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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 andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

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.

08-25-2012 16:59:57 | More by andrenaline
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev +1.4%

Rocky, slightly off white head; slow to dissipate. Plenty of lace on the glass as it settles. Surprisingly clear (given the yeasty smell) with dirty copper amber color.

Earthy aroma with a solid dollop of brewers' yeast. Not my style, but it is like a good homebrew.

Caramel and crystal malts start the taste off. Good hop bite in the swallow that creates a decent aftertaste. Rich, almost oily, body. Low carbonation. Much better on the tongue than on a nose.

08-22-2012 00:55:41 | More by smcolw
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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.

08-14-2012 00:33:46 | More by biegaman
Photo of graybayou
graybayou

Nova Scotia (Canada)

2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

07-07-2012 22:01:14 | More by graybayou
Photo of TylerD420
TylerD420


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

06-27-2012 00:51:16 | More by TylerD420
Photo of skellock
skellock


4/5  rDev +8.7%

06-11-2012 13:41:43 | More by skellock
Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
Ivanhoes_Backpack

New Brunswick (Canada)

4/5  rDev +8.7%

03-15-2012 15:14:14 | More by Ivanhoes_Backpack
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -6.3%

500ml Bottle - thanks to frenchy for this one

Appearance - Clear reddish-copper colour with a large size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, toffee, reminded me a bit of a creme brule

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel/toffee, light hops, and malts. There is also a bit of a roasted nut flavour and a woodiness. It ends with a malty and light bitter hopped aftertaste.

Overall - A solid ESB that might benefit from a touch less carbonation. The taste is pleasant and it's quite drinkable. Don't go out of your way to track down, but if you see it pick one up.

03-02-2012 18:23:01 | More by spinrsx
Photo of Skizem
Skizem

New Brunswick (Canada)

4/5  rDev +8.7%

12-23-2011 22:27:48 | More by Skizem
Photo of schnarr84
schnarr84

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +8.7%

12-21-2011 00:04:57 | More by schnarr84
Photo of abust
abust

New Brunswick (Canada)

4/5  rDev +8.7%

11-14-2011 12:15:34 | More by abust
Photo of mmmbeer
mmmbeer

Massachusetts

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.

10-18-2011 01:23:24 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of fostachild
fostachild

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

clear copper brown/amber colour. inch of light beige head, decent retention.

smell has a bit of hops, sweet malt.

taste also sweet and malty, nice bitter aftertaste and goes down fairly smooth.

overall, it was a decent beer - has that weird taste in all picaroons but somewhat tolerable in this case.

10-01-2011 02:48:20 | More by fostachild
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev -7.6%

My boss brought this back from Halifax.

A - Pours a hazy dark orange with good carbonation and a three finger, fluffy off white head. Great lacing with a coating along the inside of the glasa and a full finger of thick head remaining.

S - Fair amount of smoke and tobacco, dropping off to some citrus and earth with breadiness and a little caramel. The smokey and tobacco notes were odd but gone when the beer was able to open up more. A little soapy.

T - Caramel and breainess with lot's of smoke which is gone when the beer opens up. Earthy hops and a little fruitiness.

M - Good carbonation with a body just barely making it to medium. Slight tobacco type finish.

O/D - Tasted OK and went down smooth. But I don't think I could drink alot of this. I just isn't all that interesting and lacks the great flavours of better ESBs.

08-07-2011 23:23:09 | More by tbeckett
Photo of eat
eat

Quebec (Canada)

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...

08-01-2011 03:48:07 | More by eat
Photo of spree92
spree92

New Brunswick (Canada)

2.65/5  rDev -28%

A heavy cooper color with red highlights. The head was heavily carbonated and sank into the glass rather quickly. A coating of foam and yeast lingered on the surface. A pungent smelling toffee nose, maybe some dried fruit as well. The hops were first on the scene but were quickly erased but malts, that are just not right. Burnt malt flavor make this bitter in the wrong sense. I need to say it just feels like the ingredients have been dirtied. Leaves a bad trace in the mouth, also dry and sticky.

Overall, I usually like what comes from the Picaroons Brewery, but this was a total miss.

03-24-2011 13:14:47 | More by spree92
Photo of Yoonisaykul
Yoonisaykul

Quebec (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -8.2%

Friend brought it back from N-B

A- Clear copper chestnut under a pillowy, chunky light beige.

S- Honey. Reminds me a lot of Boréale Rousse. Some bitterness lurking in the back.

T- Nice green hoppiness which I was not expecting. Malt is pretty sour though. I'd like a little more sweetness. Especially with the hoppiness bringing some grapefruit notes, part of it almost ressembles white grapefruit juice.

M- Medium carbonation. Full body. Medium mouthfeel.

D- Good. Bitterness is just right to stick to style while being highly drinkable but the sourness is a little off-putting.

Good enough to make me want to try more from this brewery.

01-04-2011 01:39:07 | More by Yoonisaykul
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

2.25/5  rDev -38.9%

Thanks to Brian for kindly sending this my way from Halifax. The bottle arrived in great shape, but sadly the contents seems to have fallen foul of Picaroons sketchy quality control.

Decent pour with an aggressive off-white head that betrays the usual over-carbonation that I've found with these guys. Nice lacing as it gently drops to a steady cap atop the rusty copper body. Nose is too skewed toward soapy notes for me to like it too much, but it does have a decent biscuit and caramel base. However, there's something that just doesn't jive with me. Taste is passable, but by no means exciting, and again I feel something is amiss here. There's a good dose of biscuit and some caramel sweetness, but also a slight acidic edge and a soapiness that detracts more as the beer is consumed. Herbal notes are good, but the floral is dead, and tastes it. Body is thin and viciously carbonated.

Another mediocre Picaroons. Drinkable, but why the hell would you bother. I'm now prepared to right this brewery off - despite a few good reviews they're pretty much crap and not worth the time or effort. If they fixed their quality control issues they'd be better, but even then their beers are pretty bland and boring.

05-31-2010 15:55:31 | More by bobsy
Photo of ritzkiss
ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

2.15/5  rDev -41.6%

500ml bottle shared by Bobsy - you always bring the best stuff buddy ;)

Pours a murky orangeish brown with 2-3 fingers of foamy, soapy sticky head that leaves some lacing as it recedes. Way too heavy carbonation for a bitter.

Nose reveals the first WTF moment and it's all downhill from there (the head should have tipped us off perhaps). Funky lemon-y dish soap mixes with a decent but overpowered nutty, woody biscuit malt base. A hint of caramel in the body, malt tries to assert itself but is beaten down by this odd soapy funk. Light hop bittering in the finish. Infected? Perhaps. It's hard to tell. Fizzy, brash carb zips through the mouth. Nothing about this beer tells me it's an ESB.

I finished my portion but it wasn't pleasant. Hard to tell if this is what they intended to do or if they just have quality control issues (leaning this way). Either way, this bottle was a disaster.

05-28-2010 13:44:17 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -0.8%

Thanks to cjbmcdon for this one. Shared with my wife last night with our supper, fish sticks & fries.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle, batch 1107, packaged 01/03/10.

Appearance: Pours a little too much foam for my liking. It gradually recedes to leave a amber reddish body. Head is fluffy and sticks a little to the glass.

Smell: Bitter hops with some fruit, orange maybe?

Taste: Reserved bitterness with the hard to pin down fruit which i think it might be melon. Has a touch of dryness to it. Would have liked a bit more flavor.

Mouthfeel: Reminds me a little of cask ale. Low carbonation with a smooth feel. Not quite full-bodied but i still like it.

Drinkability: Goes down easy especially with the warm weather.

Overall: I'd have this again probably. A well done bitter that doesn't wow you but is a faithful beer.

05-19-2010 12:17:13 | More by papat444
Photo of DoreenAndDave
DoreenAndDave

Maine

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.

12-13-2009 06:57:25 | More by DoreenAndDave
Photo of ZorPrime
ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -3.5%

Thanks to Moniker for this beer. Received in a 2009 trade.

A: Amber color beer, cloudy. This beer isn't filtered. I like it. The head is creamy looking with average to big bubbles. The foam sticks quite well to the glass.
S: The aroma is of medium intensity. I get caramel with some sugar.
T: The taste is very caramel with an aftertaste that is all bitterness. I get some maple syrup at the very end...
M: Medium body with enough carbonation to feel it. Sugary...
D: Good session beer.

On the label, it is written that the flavor are nuts and caramel... after thinking about it, yes it reminds me a little of the Honey nut brown ale from Rogue...

12-06-2009 21:27:30 | More by ZorPrime
Photo of Seanstoppable
Seanstoppable

Nova Scotia (Canada)

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.

10-12-2009 22:10:39 | More by Seanstoppable
Photo of berley31
berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

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.

10-07-2009 13:35:31 | More by berley31
Photo of nighthawk
nighthawk

Nova Scotia (Canada)

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

05-12-2009 04:19:58 | More by nighthawk
Best Bitter from Picaroons Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.