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Twist Of Fate Bitter Ale - Moonlight Brewing Company

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Twist Of Fate Bitter Ale
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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

57 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 57
Hads: 97
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 3
Gots: 2 | 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:
Beer added by: donnebaby on 11-28-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 57 | Hads: 97
Photo of berkey
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (1,003 characters)

Photo of jdense
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (857 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (588 characters)

Photo of WeisGuy
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
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 (919 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On handpump at the Toronado. What a remarkable beer.

Mildly hazy copper/amber with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and gorgeous lacing, this beer is everything a cask beer should be. The nose is excellent too, a blend of toast, toffee and a beautiful hop character, lightly minty, earthy and complex. Opening with a citrus-mint hop combination, the delicate malt flavors take over mid-palate, with biscuit, toffee and a classic English yeast character. A combination of drying, hoppy bitterness and a creamy, dextrinous malt character is present on the finish, with the minty, herbal hop character being most dominant. Creamy on the palate with soft carbonation, this pint of beer lasted about 5 minutes. Oh, how I miss Moonlight! (748 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Came with a finger's worth of thick, deep tan head like a milkshake with good retention. Color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a mild bitterness. Mouthfeel was so silky smooth that I barely registered it going down. The taste was mildly bitter, very English, not intense at all. Great lacing throughout. Finish was lip-smacking tasty. VERY pleasant, probably sessionable. Again, everyone should try a cask ale at least once in their lifetime. (461 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Flavor Bistro last night.

The beer pours a dark amber color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose is very attractive in this one, though it also tends to show Moonlight Brewing's fondness for hops. In any event, I get aromas of wet wood, white pepper, underlying citrus and even a whiff of light sour. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, except the beer has a very dry, roasty, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is pretty light, and you can tell right off that the alcohol is dialed down nicely in this beer. The beer finishes well, with the abv. very well disguised.

This is a very easy to drink ESB, albeit it clearly has considerably more bitterness then what you find in your typical English ESB. This, I would say, is an ESB for hopheads. Nothing wrong with that! (794 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at Toronado, poured from a hand pump. I've had this before on tap, and the cask just accentuates the lovely nature of this beer. Poured into a nonic, looks the classic english bitter. On the darker side with a fine, slightly grainy head and excellent lacing. Smells like a solid English bitter with the biscuity malt and light metallic bite as well as earthy hops. Beautifully balanced flavors of soft malts and earthy hops. Gentle, but memorable. Soft and oh so drinkable. This tastes like a bitter should. (524 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.76/5  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. (369 characters)

Photo of xhcadamx
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - rich toffee copper with a thick merengue head. lots of lacing.

S - straying from Britain... very citrus with biscuit and more interesting malt aromas.

T - VERY BITTER. More so than I was expecting, with a biscuity background.

M- prickly from the bitterness and slick from the hoppiness but somewhat drying end.

D - I want more. (335 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A pint of this on cask at the Toronado in San Fran.

Pours a mostly clear orange/brown, thick white head forms, great retention, leaves a solid ring around the glass, and some lace rings. Smell is great, caramel, bread and biscuits, floral, very malty, some light grains, raisins and strawberry, some grassy hops, dark fruits, real nice. Taste is a nice thick caramel malt base, grains, biscuit, some nice fruitiness, grass, raisins, finishes with a solid spicy bitterness, nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth, very good ESB. I could drink this stuff all night. (604 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint for three dollars during happy hour at Toronado in San Francisco, consumed 8/13/08 after I got my sour ale fix, reviewed from notes

A-Color was a mix between copper and a medium brown, this beers was cloudy as it could possibly be coming out of that handpump, looked amazing, had 1 1/4 inch white foamy head, awesome retention, crazy lacing
S-Earthiness, lemons, toffee, orange peel, dirt, lots of hoppiness, some bready malt aromas, and straw
T-Taste begins with a whole lot of citrus, particularly juicy lemons, the middle is quite chewy with malts, both bready and biscuit-like, English malt in fact, lots of yeast that make it even dryer than it would be with its large amount of hops already, nicely balanced, gets easier to drink as it warms even more, less dry as time goes by and has an appealing citrusy flavor, malt is still there but mellows out, enjoyable
M-Bitter, somewhat chewy, and citrusy mouthfeel, medium bodied, creamy and smooth, nice level of carbonation, taste seem to linger for a very long time
D-Could have drank a few pints of this, light on the stomach, went down with very little effort being that it was served at room temperature, smooth and sessionable

First of all, I can never turn down a cask conditioned beer, and secondly I cannot turn down a beer from Moonlight, which is why this was a no brainer for me, one of the best beers I have tasted in this style, would love to drink again, recommended (1,440 characters)

Photo of bbothen
2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
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. (383 characters)

Photo of opwog
2.53/5  rDev -37.7%
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 (465 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On cask at Toronado, this was an especially fresh pint.

Appearance: Copper colored with an inch of off-white foam that lasts and lasts.

Smell: Citrus, earth, a hint of toffee. Doesn't smell English at all, more like an American take on the classic English style.

Taste & mouthfeel: Citrusy with a big biscuity malt backbone. Very clean and dry, this definitely has an American yeast character to it, though it manages to retain a hint of that English character. The finish is dry and bitter - very bitter, in fact. The mouthfeel is unbelievable here; creamy and smooth with very light carbonation.

Notes: I loved every drop of this beer, and it certainly helped that the cask was very very fresh. (700 characters)

Photo of Offa
2.02/5  rDev -50.2%
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. (779 characters)

Photo of
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Toronado.

Light brown/dark amber in color. Modest, light tan head.

Citrus, floral, spicy. Well balanced with honeyed wheat bread.

Taste was very similar to the aroma. Maybe add in just a touch of roast.

Medium in body. Low carbonation. Usually, I'm not a huge fan of cask beers in that I generally prefer more carbonation. Not the case this time, in that it was perfect as far as mouthfeel goes. Not particularly dry.

Overall, a very well balanced, highly drinkable beer. (491 characters)

Photo of ojclark
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (531 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (538 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
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. (845 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy amber color and a modest head that coats the pint glass with lacing

Smell: A fruity aroma of apricot and lychee wafts above the underlying earthy brown bread base

Taste: The earthy brown bread malt flavors are quite distinct up front but the beer gets aggressively bitter by mid-palate with a pithy aspect that is almost sour; after the swallow, it is the fruity flavors from the aroma that arrive and really make the beer very enjoyable; a hint of dusty chocolate powder on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Drinkability: An extremely flavorful bitter that you just want to linger over rather than quaff; unique in the way that it is constructed (714 characters)

Photo of Goldorak
3.59/5  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. (397 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on cask at Toronado's in mid July. The color was murky and auburn, almost opaque, looked pretty good.

I can't say the aroma did a lot for me, but it did smell about right for an English bitter. Kind of neutral leaning to the malty side.

The flavor was slightly malty sweet with a dry bitter after-taste. The carbonation was smooth and authentic (hand-pumped) real ale as if it was served in the UK. Overall not bad. (425 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Lanesplitter in Berkeley, CA.

Mmm, this is like a hopped up American Red. I dig it.

A: Gorgeous dark red with a thick and chunky tan head. Brilliant orange hues when held to light. Very, very nice.

N: Toasted English muffin, bready yeasts, floral hops.

T: Plenty of toast, sweet caramel, and then bam…floral hop garden! Complex, balanced and blended, and damn fantastic. Just lovely.

MF: Flawless. Really, really, really dry. Light as can be. Wonderful.

D: Nearly flawless. See above. (515 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This Bitter is a moderate brown in color with a huge, explosive, yeasty white head that showed the classic retention associated with the EB style.

Smell – The malts are lightly-toasted and very fresh. The yeast imparts some nice bready notes as well. The bittering hops can be found easily.

Taste – The big, toasty malts come out much stronger at the taste. There’s more bread and the bittering hops are honest.

Mouthfeel – This is shy of medium-bodied but bigger than light. The bittering feels a little different in the mouth but it’s a nice signature creation by the Moonlight brewers.

Drinkability – This is a good drinker. It’s a stiff bitter belt, but why the hell else do you order an EB? (728 characters)

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Twist Of Fate Bitter Ale from Moonlight Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.