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Twist Of Fate Bitter Ale - Moonlight Brewing Company

Twist Of Fate Bitter Ale
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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

82 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 12.38%


Brewed by:
Moonlight Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: donnebaby on 11-28-2004)
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Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 54 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi

California

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On Cask at Toronado in San Francisco, CA.

Raul's last brew for the night and he couldn't have thought of a better ending. Like The Disney Land fireworks that he hears from his pad every night, this dang sucker was just popping and blowing up at every chance it got. I mean, this sucker has it going on on all levels. It's smooth, it has a bite, there's some roast, but there is also this delicate caramel aftertaste... Like the plot of "The Big Sleep," there is so much going on, but in the end, it basically smooths out to an almost perfection.

Don't just feel it, my children. Respect it. Respect it with your glorious little hearts.

Serving type: cask

11-12-2013 07:45:30 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Twist of Fate pours an amber caramel color with great foam. There’s a subdued but well-defined malty caramel aroma. I get a taste of caramel and a light, sharp roast as I taste it, with a sweetish finish. I love Moonlight brews. This is another winner.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2013 06:15:24 | More by elNopalero
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On cask at the SF Toronado.

Pulls a bright and clear amber color with a pretty sizable off white head. Looks inviting.

Aromas are muted, but pleasant. Notes of earthy hops and slightly sweet brewed tea.

Taste is like the nose. A bit hoppier than expected though. Starts of with light creamy caramel sweetness, then settles into some slightly spicy brewed tea flavors. Finish has a nice hop bite, mostly an earthy and somewhat resiny quality.

Mouthfeel is full, without being heavy at all.

A bit strong for a traditional bitter, but this is really flavorful, and very satisfying to drink. Yet another winner from Moonlight.

Serving type: cask

05-08-2013 15:42:38 | More by flexabull
Photo of Morgan-makes-Cloud
Morgan-makes-Cloud

California

4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer could easily become one of my favorites. Hade it on tap at beer revolution and it was exactly what I was looking for. Hoppy red beer with some bite. kind of kicks your ass in the beautiful way where it lasts for some time. Really glad it was recommended to me

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2012 06:40:07 | More by Morgan-makes-Cloud
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's interesting to me that this is more "abrasive" to me than the Bombay by Boat IPA. I suppose by that I mean more boisterous. Nice oily flavors to it. And I think I'll leave it at that. A well made beer. Intense on appropriate levels, but not really trying to be obnoxious. Another good one by Moonlight. An awesome brewery...apparently.

Serving type: on-tap

08-30-2012 17:06:40 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beer Revolution.
A: Served a very cloudy iced-tea color with a thin white head that faded to sticky lace.
S: Light notes of honey, pale roasted grains, lager yeast and a touch peppery spices.
T: Honey sweetness is there but not strong. Pale grains, citrus rind hops, and a touch of grass/hay come through. Light in flavor with nothing really standing out. Bitter aftertaste lingers long after I swallow. I get a touch of biscuit as well.
M: Medium-thick body, bubbly carbonation. Clean mouthfeel.
O: Definitely on the bitter side. Very easy to drink and refreshing. I know this is a different style than the others but this is not my favorite Moonlight beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2012 16:58:59 | More by scottfrie
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft at The Linkery in San Diego.

Pours a dark golden amber color with a one finger off white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Floral, earthy aroma with a nice balance of piney and citrus hop notes.  Pine needle, grapefruit and orange peel along with some biscuity malt.

Fuller bodied than expected with a good balance of dry bitterness, citrus rind and sweet malt.  Slightly dry and resinous with some pine needle and floral notes countered by some grapefruit and orange peel. Decent malt backbone provides balance without taking away from the hops.  Slightly sweet with hints of caramel, subtle toffe and biscuit.  Well done.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2012 22:22:43 | More by corby112
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Twist of Fate bitter ale has a good look for a beer coming out of a hand-pump. A brown to dark red body has a creamy tan head that has solid retention and lacing.

The aroma is pretty hoppy with resin, pine, grass and a bit of grapefruit. The malt is pretty bready.

This is a super hoppy ESB. Loads more bitter resin and pine with bits of grass thrown in. Some grapefruit also. The malt is hiding in the background, proving just a little of bread flavor.

Great smooth, creamy cask feel.

Good beer that is almost all hops and nothing else.

Serving type: cask

10-01-2011 01:10:08 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of litheum94
litheum94

California

3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Toad in Hole.

P: amber body with some deep, ruby tones. Thick, tanish head that leaves a strata of lacing all the way down.

A: Soft fruit aromas, apples and pears. Hop aromas consist of pine and spice. Slight minerality to the nose. Biscuit malts.

T: Creamy at first, very subtle malt flavors. Maybe a hint of fruit. Not much going on at first. Then a giant bitterness comes up to smack the palate. Lots of pine hops, with some citric tones as well. The bitterness is long and lasting.

This is one of the most bitter ESBs I've ever had. It drinks really easy as well. Good beer.

Serving type: cask

08-10-2011 02:44:01 | More by litheum94
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Served a clear copper-red color with a finger of frothy/creamy off-white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of rich sweet lightly toasted caramel malts and some piney hops. There is also some biscuit/bready aromas in the background.

T - Starts off with a mix of rich sweet caramel malts and some piney hop bitterness in the background. Through the middle, a bit of biscuit flavors comes through with a touch more grassy hops flavor. The finish is a nice balance of sweetness from the caramel and bitterness from the hops that lingers nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer felt very smooth and had very nice balance from start to finish.

D - Very drinkable. The malt hop balance here was very good. Really exactly what I was looking for in an ESB.

Serving type: cask

07-27-2011 06:46:45 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of treyrab
treyrab

California

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went out to San Francisco to swim Alcatraz and made sure to try as many Moonlight beers as I could. Tasted at Toronado San Francisco for the full effect.

Pulled from the cask into a pint glass at Toronado.

A: Pours in the glass a semi-hazy golden bronze. More of a light brown with crimson hues than gold. The haze is reminiscent of chill haze, as opposed to unsettled yeast. A nice white head forms and sticks around a bit, but eventually recedes and laces only slightly. Looks pretty still, with minimal carbonation (as expected). Very nice.

S: Smells like a nice piece of burnt toast and English hops. A punch of orange, pine, and grass hit you first, followed by a nice caramel backbone traditional of ESBs. Nice toast aroma to go with the pungent hops.

T: Pretty much along the lines of the smell. A softer taste and pretty bitter. A very drinkable English IPA and not overly bitter. The toasted bread qualities really stick out and are very attractive. They blend nicely with the bitterness of the hops.

Overall, a solid beer. Moonlight is impressing me with their work. This is no exception.

Serving type: cask

07-23-2011 19:40:34 | More by treyrab
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Toronado

A: The beer pours an amber in color with a nice tall, creamy, white head.

S: Probably a bit more hoppy than the typical English ESB, but I like that. Nice foral hops with a light citrus character. Plenty of bready malts with a heavy toast character.

T: Starts off with a lot of bready malts and a light toast. A moderate bitterness to the beer which helps to break up the somewhat sweet nature of the malts. Floral hops and a touch of citrus also assist in that.

M: Medium in body with a smooth, slightly creamy mouthfeel.

O: Really a nice beer. One of the better Moonlight offerings and one I wanted to have after a long break from Moonlight beers.

Serving type: cask

06-26-2011 05:06:53 | More by womencantsail
Photo of madvermin
madvermin

California

3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Jupiter brewpub in Berkeley.

Pours a deep ruby red with a nice two finger white head. Head was very frothy and extensively lacy, leaving sheets. Awesome clarity to the body made this a fantastic looking beer.

Nose was weak, with some biscuit and grain, and a nondescript bitterness. Expected more.

Taste delivered a healthy herbal bitter kick that lived up to the standards I expect from Moonlight. Grainy character wasn't emphasized as much as in the nose, and more cracker and biscuit replaced it. Bitterness is clean, dry, and very pungent. Completely herbal, it cleans your palate almost as well as brushing your teeth with flavorless toothpaste.

Mouthfeel is clean, medium bodied, and never too full or thin. I like the level of carbonation a lot and enjoyed the dry finish a great deal. Drinkability is good because of that, although the herbal bitterness might be too strong for some. Overall it was yet another solid offering from a brewer I now actively seek out.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2011 21:19:54 | More by madvermin
Photo of NorCalYeti
NorCalYeti

California

3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

taste- roasted malt, bitter hops, caramel, bitter malt finish

color- chestnut

clarity- clear

smell- sweet malt, toast

body- smooth on the palate, light-medium weight mouthfeel, medium length finish

appearance- half finger off-white oatmeal colored creamy head, little visible carbonation, head disipates quickly, full lacing throughout the glass

overall impression- didn't really care for the beer, underwhelming character across the board although drinkable to the casual consumer

beer spy- ben & nick's, oakland ca, 3/27/11, $5.50, 16oz

glassware: pint

Serving type: cask

03-28-2011 04:51:50 | More by NorCalYeti
Photo of hophopandaway
hophopandaway

United Kingdom (England)

4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at Monk's Kettle. Met the brewer and his apprentice too and they were a real pleasure to talk to.

This beer is a dark mahogany colour and has a small head that actually stays which is a first for a US brewed cask, although I have to say I've only had a few.

the smell is of malt with a subtle hint of biscuit, maybe a touch of pine.

The beer drinks great with a real nice malty goodness, some oak and medium bitterness, smooth long finnish which starts of as malt and ends with a little biscuit.

The mouthfeel is as a cask bitter should be: full bodied, smooth and oh so drinkable.

This brewery proves that the crazy strengths people seem to be using these days are totally unnecessary.

I really can't say enough about this bitter, if this was sold in one of the many superb cask beer pubs I frequent in England it would definately not be out of place. This guy obviously understands the style and has hit the proverbial nail right on the head with this belter of a beer.

Serving type: cask

02-18-2011 15:17:01 | More by hophopandaway
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at Toronado in San Francisco. Pours a copper colour with thin white head. Nice rings of lacing after each sip. Huge grassy hop aroma with a bready malt, somewhat unusual for an English style bitter, but it is nice. Nice bitterness in the flavour. Smooth carbonation level. I'd definitely have this again.

Serving type: cask

12-29-2010 21:25:00 | More by kwjd
Photo of nataku00
nataku00

California

4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask, hand pumped into a shaker pint glass. Bartender had a really frothy initial few pumps, but let the head settle before pouring the rest of the glass. Beer is a deep brown mahogany color, clear, with only half a finger of head when the bartender tried to be gentle in filling the glass. No carbonation visible and minimal lacing from the small ring of white head left at the top of the beer.

Nose was light caramel malts and a grassy hops, but it was fairly light at cask temperature.

Taste followed the nose, light grassy hops with a light malt backbone to give it slightly above light body. Just a short bitter hops finish before leaving a clean palate. Fairly light bodied beer with very light carbonation, perhaps from the hand pump causing most of the carbonation and initial head to lose all the gas bubbles in the beer.

However, this makes for a very drinkable beer that reminds me of the type of sessionable ales served in english pubs and is an excellent example of this style of beer.

Serving type: cask

12-24-2010 10:22:06 | More by nataku00
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Toronado San Francisco in August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice amber-copper with a big white head and quite a bit of lacing. The nose is pretty hoppy with a big of lighter malt in the background. Good pine, earthy, and floral notes. The taste is not quite as nice as the nose, but works quite well. Nice crisp and bitter feel. A really nice ESB; one of the better ones that I've had.

Serving type: cask

11-14-2010 04:45:51 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A pint from cask at Toronado.

Brown red with great lace and decent head retention for cask. Clear. Oily hop aroma. Soft up front with a bit of carbonation. Some subdued fruity malt first. Bitterness waits till late middle to assert itself. Mild fruit returns at the end.

Serving type: cask

10-31-2010 16:08:06 | More by LittleDon
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8/14/2010

Cask at Toronado SF.

A: Deep amber a big frothy white head.

S: Displays a nice balance of malt and hops, biscuit and pine, with notes of earth. Hops are aggressive for a bitter. Citrus is very light.

T: Moderate bitterness with biscuit and toasted malt. Hop profile is grapefruit and pine. The finish is toasted biscuit and lingering pine.

M: Mouthfeel is great, smooth and sticky.

Overall: A delicious beer. Very bitter for the style and higher in ABV, but such improvements on a classic style are to be expected in California. I wish I had a pint of this in front of me right now.

Serving type: cask

09-09-2010 19:34:52 | More by HopHead84
Photo of philosobeer
philosobeer

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Toronado in San Francisco.

Appearance - Nice old penny kind of darkened copper color. the head is frothy and creamy and pure white. It's got really good clarity, too. Looks pretty mouthwatering.

Smell - You can smell some nice cereal grain here as well as grassy hops. But then again, some of the aroma here is also plastic and acetone. Fairly phenolic.

Taste - The first thing that hits me is the roasted barley and a lot of toasty notes. Not what I was expecting in an ESB, but really very pleasant. Its dry and the hops come out in the flavor (though not that much). I even get some coffee flavor on top of the crystal malt body, but rather than seeming too far off for the style, this is a real treat. Faint diacetyl.

Mouthfeel - On cask this is really nice and smooth. It goes down easy and the 50° serving temperature probably helped the mouthfeel too.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. I was surprised when I found out this was more than 5% even. I could session this no prob.

Notes - The taste nearly got .5 less from me, but I really was liking it by the end. The aroma was the big problem here. I was expecting the taste would be a chemistry lab after the first sniff.

Serving type: cask

08-18-2010 10:40:55 | More by philosobeer
Photo of Jmoore50
Jmoore50

Nevada

4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Cask at Toronado. Moonlight is working its way up my list, its just a top notch brewery with amazing beer.

The appearance is a dark hazy walnut color, it has amber edges and a great foamy head. The second time I had it I specifically asked for an inch of head, it was delivered with a great foamy white head that stuck to my upper lip, sides of my glass, and tip of my nose from getting a good smell.

The smell was of dry English hops, lots of biscuit and bread malts. A great fresh wood oak smell that is very upfront. A little spice, probably from the hops and a harsh bitter chocolate that I picked up in the flavor as well.

The first sip of had a burst of chocolate paired with much bread and biscuit malt flavor. The bitter hops in this come in at the end, but lots of flavor happens in the first few sips. Great woody cask flavor that contributes greatly to the mouthfeel. So smooth and it leaves a coating all over the palate.

I could drink this a lot, and on cask for four dollars is a great deal. Great beer.

J

Serving type: cask

08-16-2010 08:06:14 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of berkey
berkey

California

4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

At Beer Revolution in Oakland on a Beautiful Sunday afternoon. Served in a contoured 12oz glass.

Very small but well retained head caps a lucid auburn body. Splotches of lace are left as I go.

Great yeasty fresh-baked bread aroma with an assertive mostly grassy and slightly citric hop bite. Subtle yet inviting.

Flavor follows the same path but hop bitterness is a little bigger on the aftertaste than I expected. Dry and grassy is the focus, the citrus I picked up on the aroma isn't really coming through much on the taste. Yeast and malt have a somewhat flour-y, doughy, character. Everything comes together just about perfectly here.

I'd have trouble naming a more drinkable beer, even with the moderate abv. I could see myself treating this like a session beer on a nice day like this if I wasn't on a one beer limit today. Really settles in and gets even comfier at room temperature. Fulfills all my expectations of the style plus a bit extra. I hope to see this one back around very soon.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2010 04:55:52 | More by berkey
Photo of jdense
jdense

Oregon

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Toronado SFO 5.29.10 $3.00 happy hour.

One finger creamy white head, slow dissipation and big lacing. Copper amber body no visible carbonation. Nose features a big hop hit, atypical for the style, spicy and piny, the caramel malt notes pushed to background. Taste has the malts really well hidden by the aggressive hop profile, malts are more bready than sweet on the tastebuds, hops no citrus but some grassiness, a pretty significant hop bill. Pretty bitter finish but balanced nicely by maltbill. Not a lot of effervescence in medium mouthfeel, a bit sticky. Quite drinkable, surprising given the out of the norm flavor profile. Moonlight is always a special treat, and the cask version, while not for beer neophytes, is worth a try especially for hopheads. A very pleasant surprise. Most definitely worth a try, especially the cask version.

Serving type: cask

05-30-2010 15:54:40 | More by jdense
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On cask at Toronado in San Francisco.

Pours a slightly hazy reddish-amber color with a nice creamy whitish head sitting on top. Great lacing.

Aroma is caramel, earth, and a nice citrusy and herbal hop profile.

Flavor is caramel malt, only mildly sweet, lots of earth, and hops. Citrus, resin, and herbs.

Body is medium and carbonation is fairly soft. Great dry, bitter finish.

Drinkability is excellent. You can session the hell out of this one (yes I know it's 5.6% ABV - deal with it, session beer fanatics). I am not a huge fan of the style, but this is definitely a good example.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2010 18:06:49 | More by nickd717
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Twist Of Fate Bitter Ale from Moonlight Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.