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Twist Of Fate Bitter Ale - Moonlight Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Twist Of Fate Bitter Ale
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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

88 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 88
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.85%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 88 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Offa
1.98/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This definitely is bitter, but it is not "a" bitter - terribly unbalanced, it lacks not only subtlety but the full flavour, complexity, and body to support the bitterness.

Like most, if not all, Moonlight beers, this is beautiful, being dark amber with a big, creamy light tan head that lasts forever and leaves thick lacing.

The aroma is the first sign of trouble for me: powerful citrusy hops, mostly the ubiquitous grapefruit (for me, this quality gets tiresome and is all too often overdone), with just a hint of toasted grain.

The taste is powerfully grapefruity and piney, very bitter and rough, drying my tounge. There is a little toasted grain, but it's too weak to do more than remind you it's there. This is, so far, far and away my least favourite Moonlight beer.

Offa, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of Paige
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%

Paige, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of opwog
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had this on handpump at Toronado this last weekend, but after looking at most other reviews, I have to assume that I got a bum pour. So I won't bother with much detail. Also, I have had this on regular tap many times before and always loved it, but it has been years.

A- Nothing special.
S- almost none.
T- unbalanced
M- I have no problem with cask texture, except when nothing about the beer holds up; as was the case here.
D- I didn't even finish a single pint

opwog, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of bbothen
2.93/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at The Trappist in Oakland.

Reddish brown with a big fluffy white head.

Earthy hop aroma with a significant malty/bready presence.

Has a herbal/medicinal taste to me with a maltiness to balance that flavor out. I don't like it so much.

Medium bodied with a lingering herbal taste.

Not my favorite from Moonlight. I was dissapointed. Hey, even Babe Ruth had 0 for 4 games.

bbothen, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of od_sf
3/5  rDev -25.9%

od_sf, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of codynevels
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

codynevels, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of runfoodrun
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

runfoodrun, May 02, 2012
Photo of Goldorak
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brownish red, head was a bit thin, but that was likely the barkeep's fault, not the Beer itself.

Smell: Beautiful and delicate flowery hop aromas, with a touch of roasted goodness. I'm a sucker for cask Beer...

Taste: Impressive body that accorded really well with the hoppy flavors that lingered long after the end of my sips. A near perfectly balanced Beer that I enjoyed.

Goldorak, Sep 26, 2006
Photo of NorCalYeti
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
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

NorCalYeti, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Hojaminbag, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Dark red, with a thin, white to off-white head, pretty typical of a bitter.

S: Toasty malts, biscuits, toffee, with a crisp baked bread smell.

T: Very hoppy for a bitter with lots of pine, very peaty, almost thought it was a derivative of a Scotch-style ale. One of the bitterest bitters that I have ever had, would say it needs to be more mellow, like an English-style bitter, but it is hard to find other faults with this one, they just aren't there, in the taste.

M: Chewy and resiny, though quite smooth, like a bitter is, lowly carbonated, kind of has a light quality to it.

D: A good, well-made bitter, easy to drink, though not quite as quaffable as I would have hoped, a lighter English-style bitter is one of the most drinkable ales around, but overall, it is very good.

Halcyondays, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of tjd25
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great lasting head on a ruby mahogany color body. The smell shows sweet red fruits with some baking notes and hints of grapefruit. Citrus and grapefruit take over the taste with a dry and oily hoppiness circling the mouth that also gets lightly chocolaty and wooden. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth and enjoyably light. Quite drinkable, if it weren't for this kind of overwhelming dry character.

tjd25, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of madvermin
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

madvermin, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of waddellc2
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

waddellc2, May 06, 2013
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

spycow, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of illidurit
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at 515 in Santa Cruz. Coppery amber color with a long lasting, creamy, tan head. Nice lacing. Aroma is nutty with caramel and maybe a little bit of orangey hop influence. Flavor is deep dark caramel and maple syrup up front which melts into a piney resinous hoppy finish. Moderate bitterness. A little heavy on the palate for the style. Pretty good beer overall.

illidurit, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of eawolff99
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

eawolff99, Aug 29, 2012
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

CheapBeerBuzz, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of gueuzegossage
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

gueuzegossage, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of ojclark
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at the Toronado. 1/3/2008. Aroma of dark crystal malt, fruity esters, and strong green apple (acetaldehyde) notes. Poured dark brown with good clarity. Nice tan head with moderately low retention and good lacing. Flavors of dark crystal malt, dark brown sugar, and yeast. Fruity, citric flavors with a good level of hop bitterness in the finish. Some spicy hoppiness as well. Slight green apple favor in background. Between dark malts and hops, beer was fairly bitter overall. Medium-light body. Moderately low carbonation.

ojclark, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa, CA.

A: A very dark golden, almost light brown color. Served in a pilsner type glass.

S: Floral hops are dominant.

T: Flowery hops, a brisk but not too aggressive bitterness. Light in the malt as well.

M: Carbonated pretty highly, at least for what I was expecting. Medium-light to heavy-light body.

I was expecting a little bit of a more easy drinker but this one was just slightly more assertive in hops and prickly in mouthfeel than I would have liked. It was still a good beer.

MiScusi, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of WeisGuy
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On handpump at Toronado SF.

a - pours a medium-brown color with ruby highlights, one-finger off-white head with good retention and great lacing

s - a bit muted on the nose, roasted malt and caramel being the predominant aromas, mild citrus hop notes, no alcohol to be found

t - roasty malt and caramel mixed with toffee up front, a mild citrus flavor from the hops on the mid-palate, nice earthy character, more caramel and toasty malt on the finish, like the aroma, no alcohol to be found

m - medium-bodied and very smooth, as is to be expected with a cask ale, no much carbonation and not very active on the palate, that said, it doesn't wear on the palate either

d - par for the style in that it's very drinkable and easy on the palate, not all that interesting, however, and I would probably want to move on to something a bit more flavorful, that said, much tastier than other examples of the style I've tried

WeisGuy, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of litheum94
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

litheum94, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of philosobeer
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

philosobeer, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of scottfrie
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

scottfrie, Jan 31, 2012
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Twist Of Fate Bitter Ale from Moonlight Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.