Brakspear Bitter - W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc

Not Rated.
Brakspear BitterBrakspear Bitter

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BA SCORE
85
very good

101 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 8
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  3.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of doktorhops
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic English Bitter? Yes please! And, according to the label on this bottle of Brakspear, this is the original taste of Oxfordshire... as if a county in England could have a specific taste... anyway, I’ve got my Bitter and I'm as happy as a Frenchman who has just invented a pair of self-removing trousers. Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t used that Blackadder reference before.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Typical English Bitter clear copper body with a thin cream coloured lace instead of a head. 7/10.

S: Toffee and butterscotch, tons of the stuff, suits me fine - I’m a Werther’s man! The hops struggle to add a note of anything under this oppressive malt regime, but it is an English Bitter - an oxymoron style that is hardly bitter at all. 8/10.

T: Bold in its massive buttery Diacetyl content, with again - a strong toffee centre with some hints of yeast fruitiness (think cider apples) and a light earthy hop finish. Impressive overall given the 3.4% ABV, some 5% Ales don’t reach a profile as tasty as this. The balance is quite well done with mild sweetness countered by the light hop bitterness. I’m very interested in trying their Triple now, that should be a tour de force. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light English pub carbonation. 8/10.

D: It’s all good with Brakspear then, an impressive, and in two words: Sessionable Ale. This is the stuff that Ye Olde English pub goers cram into their gullets in massive quantities so that they may still be able to hold a decent conversation without mincing their words or dribbling saliva on themselves (a rookie session drinkers mistake). To me the fact that this tastes like a 5% ABV drop and has those classic English Ale flavours, is what typifies that segment of culture, and really makes me miss the UK pint after work, sniff. 8/10.

Food match: I could picture this brew with a light game roast (pheasant or partridge) with a light gravy, a Yorkshire pudding, roast vegetables (potato, carrot, squash) and peas.

Photo of thehyperduck
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle from a Marston's sampler picked up at the LCBO; best before July 31 2015. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a clear copper-orange hue, with one inch of frothy, off-white head seated atop the liquid. It clings to the surface for at least five minutes, gradually seeping away and leaving behind a bubbly cap, creamy collar and an uninterrupted ring of lace. The aroma is inviting, but nothing unique for this style - butterscotch and caramel are the most prominent features represented on the nose, but the bouquet also contains some pleasantly floral hop undertones and nutty malt notes, as well.

The flavour profile is straightforward, but beautifully balanced and quite enticing. Toffee and butterscotch sweetness start things off in familiar territory, with hints of citrus peel. The floral, leafy English hop bill struts its stuff in the latter half of the profile, providing a mildly bitter finish with notes of toasted nuts. Somewhat minerally aftertaste that rapidly fades from the palate. Light in body, with moderate carbonation levels that provide a nice, crisp mouthfeel that works perfectly with these particular hop flavours.

Final Grade: 4.14, an excellent A-. Brakspear Bitter is a fabulous session ale, and definitely one of the highlights of Marston's 'Classic Ales' sampler. This is not a complex beer, or even necessarily a particularly memorable one - but it's easily one of the best English bitters I've had in years, and for that reason I must give it some sincere props. Solid stuff that all English ale fans should consider worth a shot - I'd definitely be buying more if it were available in this province in a more convenient format.

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

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3.8/5  rDev +1.1%

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4.25/5  rDev +13%

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3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

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3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of headstash
3.04/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of bigox420
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of cam477
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

A: Dark amber, almost ruby coloured body with a small off-white head.
S: Rubbery and sulphury smelling.
T: Sharp and bitter. When chilled it's sulphury and slightly metallic. Warming up I get mild citrus and ginger beer in the aftertaste. The finish is quite bitter. Completely dry. The off smell doesn't go away until the beer is close to room temperature.
M: Actually very nice and light, and a bit frothy. Light carbonation and almost feels like it's been pulled from the cask.
O: Certainly not bad but not great. Low ABV ale gets much more flavourful than this.

Photo of gutbucket2
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

A: amber, head lasts a short while, a little longer than some.
S: spicy hop and vegetables.
T; vegetal hop, quite sweet.
M: some mouth-coating, reasonable-lasting malt.
O: has some taste, also some stale in there.

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Appearance – Dark golden amber in colour with a medium head that vanishes quickly and leaves little to zero lacing.

Smell – To be honest this Bitter smells a little of wet dog and chocolate but do not let that put you off!

Taste – There is a depth of flavour in this one that is rather impressive. It starts off smooth at the front of the mouth but has bold bitter flavour on the back of the tongue. Coffee roasts like espresso with earthy hops and some notes of what I think may be citrus and toffee but it is hard to say because it is so dark and properly bitter that I drank this quickly enjoying it too much to really make notes on it properly.

Mouthfeel – Wonderfully astringent yet smooth with good body. This went down a treat.

Overall – A very complex Bitter with a lot of character and a well-balanced, ever changing flavour. I liked this one a lot so I drank it almost forgetting to make my normal notes. If you want to try and rate a good bitter I recommend this one.

Photo of Tipper27
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of RichardMNixon
4.1/5  rDev +9%

Served on cask in Philly. Pours light amber with an almost grapefruit-like hue and the thick creamy head of cask beer. Nose has faint whiffs of biscuits and toast. Taste is surprisingly fruity with back current of woody tannins. Body is thin but supported by the nice carbonation from the cask. Both that and the cask temperature were a huge compliment to the beer; it would have been a far lesser beer served cold from a keg.

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3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

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4/5  rDev +6.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

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3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

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3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

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3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

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3/5  rDev -20.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +13%

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4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

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Brakspear Bitter from W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc
85 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.