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Best Bitter - Picaroons Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Best BitterBest Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

63 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Picaroons Brewing Co. visit their website
New Brunswick, Canada

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: PiratePete on 11-10-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of waughbrew
4.7/5  rDev +27.7%

Wow! What a pleasant surprise. The fiancee's parents brought this one back from Nova Scotia for me and damn was it nice!
A medium ambery copper with a medium light beige head that has a little retention but good lacing. The tinge of green in the head might be the lights or my imagination. Smell is buttery vanilla, oak, and honey with a grass-and-herb-covered caramel toffee. Flavor starts with a surge of tingly hop flavor and then calms down to a smooth nutty caramel. Trails off into a wonderfully melded bitterness that is just perfect. Medium-thick body for the style and low carbonation. I could drink a lot of this and I wish I had more.

This is surprisingly spot-on and good condition considering it is from a bottle that has traveled and is filtered and possibly pasteurized. Somehow they tame the beast that is the Ringwood yeast, and, even after filtering, manage to come up with a beauty. Amazing.

waughbrew, Jun 24, 2004
Photo of markaberrant
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%

Reviewing as an English ESB/Pale, it's certainly no APA.

A - reddy bronze, big tan head, great retention and sheets of lacing. Looks great.

S - toasty sweet pale malt, pleasant english esters and some floral english hops. Very classic, and very good!

T - Good bit of hops smack you first, then some chewy caramel malt. Lingering toasty malt, with a hint of chocolate, mingles with a decent amount of hop bitterness long into the finish. Damn fine.

M - med full body, low carbonation, dry finish. Good for style.

D - Very sessionable, and very good!

I love when a relatively "boring" style of beer ends up exciting me, it's almost like a rediscovery. This beer flat out kicks butt - I would put this in front of any stubborn "new school" or "extreme" beer drinker and dare them not to like it. Right up there with Fullers ESB, maybe even better.

markaberrant, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of Sammy
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%

New Brunswick? What a surprise, and what a winner best bitter. Very good ingredients: the malt, the yeast, the hops, the creamy mouthfeel. And me mates loved it just the same. An initial bite, with nuts and fruit. Amber-mahagoney dark. Fresh as if on tap. Must try.

Sammy, Sep 06, 2004
Photo of CurtisD
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

CurtisD, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of lgmol
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

lgmol, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%

Says Best Bitter on the label so its being rated as an ESB. Thanks to NASH for sending this my way.

Pours a clear copper, very thick white head forms, some massive lacing, very thick ring around the glass. Smell is nice, sweet and bready, spicy floral hops, strawberries, roasted graininess, bit of citrus, earthy, quite nice. Taste is roast and grains, caramel, oats, very nice malts, fruits, spicy floral hops, chocolate, very interesting, very balanced, nice solid bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth. I love this beer, very interesting and very drinkable. Thanks Greg!

Viggo, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of nighthawk
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%

500mL bottle with no freshness date poured into pint glass.

Pours a clear coppery brown with a modest white head. Lacing is left with each sip.

Aroma is sweet fruit, with some berry and citrus, and faint caramel.

Taste finds some sweet fruits, berry and citrus up front, mellowing to chocolate, nutty and caramel tones. Hops clean up on the finish, mildly bitter, with a touch of sweetness.

Very smooth mouthfeel, almost creamy, very light on the carbonation. About a medium body with a slight heft to it.

This is a pleasure to drink, smooth, nuanced, flavourful. Delicious brew, quite recommended

nighthawk, May 12, 2009
Photo of bikegeek
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%

A decent beer from my homeland.

Pours a dark cloudy copper with a beige head that is thin and fades quickly. Some lacing. Smells... good. Not overwhelming, or powerful, but good. Nothing special here. Tastes excellent, strong hoppy flavour. Mouthfeel is slightly "creamy" for lack of other words (and to borrow from another review). Not watery, but not too thick. Tastes very good. The hops jump out and command your attention. It's good. Very good.

bikegeek, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of MMansfield
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%

Finally, Picaroon's Best Bitter, I've been itching to try this for a while. Got this bottle from a friend in Fredericton. Thanks Keith!

Appearance: Pours a deep copper colour with a fizzy/foamy white head. Retention is modest.

Aroma: Lovely hops with bready malts. Big hop smells with notes of butterscotch and florals.

Taste: Still lots of hops. Not a lot flavour up front. Strong bitterness in the finish. Possibly some roasted malt, perhaps a bit nutty. Solid English style.

Mouthfeel: Appropriate cabronation for style, smooth with a high drinkability.

Final Statement: Perhaps it was over hyped in my mind, but as a pale ale fiend, I love this brew. This is not an APA as the style suggests. This is an English styled Pale Ale, while perhaps more hoppy than most English PA's, this is still. Great brew. I recommend.

MMansfield, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of skellock
4/5  rDev +8.7%

skellock, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of abust
4/5  rDev +8.7%

abust, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Deuane
4/5  rDev +8.7%

A-Dark, brownish tinged, copper with a medium tan head that held up well and left decent lace.

S-Biscuity sweet malt with herbal hops.

T-Rich caramel with lighter roasted malt character. Good hit of herbal and mild citrus hops. Earthy feel i the aftertaste.

M-Medium bodied, creamy and quite smooth. Lingering toffee flavours and hop bitterness.

D-Quite good and true to style. As good as any ESB I have had in England. This was a smooth, tasty treat. Glad to have made the side trip to The Lunar Rogue to try some Picaroons!

Deuane, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of DoreenAndDave
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Beer is an attractive dark amber. A centimeter head that dissipates quickly and leaves some lacing. Smell is not very strong. There's some malt and maybe cranberries. Taste is good. Assertively bitter. The finish seems almost lemony. This beer strikes me as simple, but in a good way. It's not subtle or overpowering. Just a good, straightforward, crisp, bitter beer. Mouthfeel is fine. It's nicely carbonated. Quite drinkable. All in all, a good, basic beer. Not amazing, but quite good.

DoreenAndDave, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Picaroons Best Bitter has a kind of tan that's hard to get in New Brunswick, but it does looks like a drink they'd like on the East Coast (rum). Its orange-brown body is clear but toasty, hosting a select few bubbles that manage to amass a thin and spotty (but unexpectedly durable) set of lining and lacing. It makes a good first impression!

The brewery promotes the fact that they brew their ales in "traditional British style" but - the tonic water-like minerals and toffee sweetness aside - this bouquet has more than a little bit of New World hoppiness to it. While it's tame by American standards, it might be enough to ruffle some feathers among the older regulars at the pub.

The biggest planet in this flavour constellation is definitely one of caramelly malt, but it has moons of bitter herbals and floral resins that rotate it round and round. The bitterness is earthy and highly noticeable, even with the distraction of a fruity ester-spewing yeast and slicing sharp water minerals. Those resiny bitters ooze like sap from a maple tree.

The beer may be of average strength, but it's density is far from moderate. This chewy, thick maltiness sure tips out the scale at an impressive weight. Despite being tremendously drinkable, it is a deceitfully filling beer. It's easy to want more, mind you, given all the pecan nuttiness and toffee sweetness that seeps into the gums.

Best Bitter is a straightforward-enough style, but it's simplicity is deceptive. True, this is both nutty-sweet and approachable, but it's also a considerably heavy ale with a very appreciable bitterness. To brew this style with any degree of success requires not only negotiating the balance between hops and malt, but also treating your water and employing the right yeast. Picaroons puts all the right steps into this and it pays off.

biegaman, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of Seanstoppable
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Pours a mahogany color with two fingers of thick bubbly head.

Scent is a sweet and floral, with maybe a minor trace of hops.

Taste starts out with some minor sweetness and toffee malts and flows through to some minor hoppiness. Finish is a creamy/buttery smoothness. Nice balance between all the flavors.

Not the greatest fan of some of the other Picaroons beer, but this one is definitely something I enjoy. Very smooth and tasty. Easily a session beer.

Seanstoppable, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of Skizem
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Skizem, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of StomachUlcers
4/5  rDev +8.7%

StomachUlcers, Aug 31, 2013
Photo of mmmbeer
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Half-liter brown bottle, packaged 27/04/11. Pours auburn, with good carbonation and an inch of light tan head. The Ringwood yeast leads off in the nose with earthy and nutty notes, followed by a bit of malt and spicy/herbal hops. On the palate, it's the same yeast and hop profile as on the nose, and the malts are lighter than expected, but they do give notes of caramel and toast. Its fullish, moderately-carbonated body is creamy and chewy, with lingering bitterness. I think the Ringwood could turn some people off, but the beer is solid and quite sessionable.

mmmbeer, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of schnarr84
4/5  rDev +8.7%

schnarr84, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of berley31
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%

A: Poured with a very large, off-white head that hung around at a good two-finger size for almost the entire consumption of the 500 ml bottle. Head is clumpy, and yields nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Body is hazy, and a nice, dark-amber color.

S: Consistent aroma of some light, roasted malt, and strong bitterness. Maybe some light fruit in there as well, but nothing too distinctive.

T: Very nice taste of sweetness at the beginning, and finishing with a moderately-bitter flavor that is intermediate-lasting. Nothing too overpowering, but far from boring as well. Quite a nice tasting bitter.

M: Medium-to-full bodied and creamy texture. Average carbonation.

D: An excellent bitter, and one of Picaroons better entries. Easy to drink, but more than enough in the flavor and mouthfeel department to be extremely enjoyable... and easily the best-looking Picaroons to date.

berley31, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of JustinBathurst
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%

Bought this in Bathurst, New Brunswick. I'd never heard of the brewery before, so I was delighted to pick up three different offerings.

Pours a dark toffee-copper with tan head o' foam. The head kept up the covering pretty well until just before the end of it all.

The aroma is mostly hops, a mix of cut grass, lemons, and hay, with a touch of grain.

The mouthfeel is smooth and, as others have noted, slight creamy. It did have a bit more carbonation than I expect from a bitter, but no big deal.

The taste is molasses, slightly roasted malt, big on the hops, citrus, buckwheat honey. This is a hoppy, malty, and earthy bitter. Quite good and true to style.

I actually enjoyed this bitter better than most of what I had the chance to try while in south England. I wish I had access to this beer in Newfoundland. Alas...

JustinBathurst, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of grub
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. thanks eric!

500ml bottle. sampled feb 15/08.

pours crystal clear reddish amber with a big dense cream coloured head. the head drops slowly and leaves tons of lace behind.

aroma is good. light alcohol. big biscuit and bready malt. slightly earthy. just a hint of grapefruit hiding in the background. just a touch of tangerine too. bit of floral hops.

taste is good. light alcohol up front, then the big solid biscuit and bready malt takes over. medium-low bitterness level. touch of grapefruit. very faint tangerine. earthy hops. nice light sweetness. slightly floral.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level that is fairly smooth. medium body, a little fuller than i'd expect from an APA (or a bitter as the label claims).

drinkability is quite good. the alcohol is more obvious than i'd expect, but it's still balanced pretty well.

grub, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of eat
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%

Picked up from the brewery store in downtown Fredericton. Clear dark copper body with ruby highlights and a good cover of cream-white head. Some lacing left as the head dissipates.

The nose is of slightly-burnt caramel, light earthy hops and minerals, graham cracker and a touch of diacetyl, though it's nothing extreme. I seem to be catching a whiff of cigarette ash now and then, but not when I go looking for it. Strange.

Quite well-balanced, with lightly-smoky caramel and moderately-bitter earthy hops meeting equally. Minerals, toasted nuts and a subtle chocolate note round it out. A touch of grapefruit pith lingers on the palate.

Acceptable feel: medium-light body with moderate carbonation. This is probably the lesser aspect of this brew; the body could be a little fuller and the carbonation toned down.

Based on this brewery's reviews here I can't say I was expecting much but this one far exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations. Reviews seem to be all over the place, looks like I got a lucky good bottle. I'm picky when it comes to bitters as it's not one of my favourite styles but I think I'd honestly drink this one pretty often if I lived in Fredericton. I sampled three of their other offerings at the store and this one easily ends up as the highlight of the four Picaroons I've tried. I'm now wishing I picked up a few more of these...

eat, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of andrenaline
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%

Another east coast treat...

A - Pours a nice dark amber colour, finger of head with some retention, and some sporadic lacing.

S - Dominated by toasted bread, musty caramel and toffee, some earthy greens and a nutty finish.

T - Much like the nose with the nutty notes coming through nicely alongside a bitter earthy hop flavour, the toffee and caramel lingers with a hint of sour citrus.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and dry.

O - The finish is a tad chalky and dry, but the flavors are nice for the style and the nuttiness adds a uniqueness that stands out. Glad I was able to try this one and certainly recommended to any fan of the style.

andrenaline, Aug 25, 2012
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Best Bitter from Picaroons Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.