Brakspear Bitter - W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc

Not Rated.
Brakspear BitterBrakspear Bitter

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BA SCORE
84
good

65 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 65
Hads: 109
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 10
Gots: 9 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 109
Photo of Andrewharemza
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

notes of malt, amongst caramel. The foam is confined to a thin layer. It tastes markedly bitter hops and has a small sweet tang of caramel. Not to bad. (151 characters)

Photo of Dentist666
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into english pint.
Pours light copper beer with off-white 1-finger head, modest retention.
Smell - rubbery, butterscotch, some ordinary fruitiness.
Taste - butterscotch, hop finish.
Light body and carbonation.
Pros - surprisingly well-hopped.
Cons - nothing to blame. Lots of off-flavours. (296 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (2,025 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.11/5  rDev +10.2%
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: 4.11, 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. (1,674 characters)

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

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. (566 characters)

Photo of gutbucket2
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

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. (213 characters)

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4/5  rDev +7.2%

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. (995 characters)

Photo of RichardMNixon
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%

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. (426 characters)

Photo of dwren89
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: amber with gold highlights, creamy off white head, great clarity

Aroma: toasty , toffee, earthy hops with slight metallic hint,

Taste: toffee and caramel flavors abound, slight toastiness with a bready malt character, earthiness from the hops

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, soft carbonation

Overall Impression: Considering this ale only sports 3.4% ABV, it packs a malty and flavorful punch! Surprisingly complex and flavorful, this is highly indicative of the English brewing style-- finding ways to create flavorful beers without having to jack up body and ABV. Toffee and caramel flavors explode in the mouth and finish with a earthy bitter twinge. This is an ale that you could drink all night long, enjoy every last drop, and not stagger out of the pub drunkenly. (780 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.36/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Handpump halfpint from a fresh cask at the Eagle and Child in Oxford.

A: Clean bright chestnut body with a creamy finger of tan head. Lovely.

S: Very fresh aroma of floral hops, mild fruit, and nutty malt. Restrained but pleasant and complex.

T: Follows the nose. Great balance of leafy hops and toasty, nutty malts. Clean bittersweet finish. Simple, yet distinct in it s freshness. One of the best Bitters I've had this year.

M: Light-bodied with similar carbonation. Could use a bit more on either front, but it goes down easy.

O: Great session ale, period. I'm not surprised that bottles aren't as good, but on cask near the source this was a real treat.

Cheers! (671 characters)

Photo of rarbring
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a clear amber ale with medium sized bubbles, an offwhite head that leaves good lacing, but small curtains.

Smelling honey, ripe apples, nuts and oatmeal.

Starting with sweet brown bread, honey and orange marmalade, a hint of canned pears, grass and apple peel.

Medium low carbonation, soft and refreshing, a slow dry finish.

Very good, very sessionable, and very reasonable ABV. (390 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly murky golden copper, the head really comes and goes.

Aromas of toffee, English style malts.

Taste is restrained, until you look at the bottle and see 3.4 ABV, when you realise this is A Good Brew. Malts dominate some caramel. English all round. Light delicate.

Mouthfeel starts watery, as does flavour, but soon changes to a more creamy feel.

Overall.. quite good taste of Old England. Be really interesting to try to session, but at $9 a bottle, it ain't gonna happen. Difficult to rate given flavour / ABV. (530 characters)

Photo of opalchemist
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Didn't expected a lot - just read that it had 3.4% abv - and could not believe, that this has aroma.

It surprised me... punched straight in my face.

Big hoppy aromas - which continues on the palate.
Mouthfeel - yeah butterscotch is a great expression - however the bitterness doesn't reveal it easily.

Hoppiness goes on and on and on.

Not your everyday beer - it is just too hoppy and too unsettling - but occasionally it is a great beer, which really surprises.

Would buy it anytime again! (495 characters)

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass providing a lovely reddish hue and golden body with a thin white head with large bubbles which quickly dispersed but was easily recalled due to the very slightly over gassy nature.

a very hoppy aroma compliments a nicely bitter peppery taste that quenches the first.

quite drinkable very reasonable and low enough gravity to be sessionable.

not very exciting but alright wallop (406 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 500ml bottle of this in Home Bargains for around £1.

Clear reddish copper colour, fluffy white head that has good retention & leaves some lacing.

Fruity with a nice butterscotch aroma & some nice sweet malts too. There is a good mix of malts, honey and some floral notes. Very sweet & well balanced.

Sweet with a nice mix of butterscotch, malts & hops upfront that is followed by a great summer fruits type taste too it. Sweet right up until the finish which is a solid bitter one.

Smooth, medium bodied beer that has a creamy feel to it & goes down well. Carbonation is low in this one & the finish is a nice dry one

Overall the beer is really well balanced and full of flavour. Only downside being that the bitter finish is slightly too strong for my liking.

Featured in the 1001 Beers Blog:
http://abarwithnoname.wordpress.com (848 characters)

Photo of anakar
2.12/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Terrible... That's how I'll start it off

App - it's only fooling attributes, this one pours a light bronze with a pretty head. Very clear

Smell - The first sign, it smells like WINE... I know, you don't hear that a lot, definetly not about an English bitter but it has no hoppiness or barley-ness to it. Wine

Taste - Sadly and to my great disapointment - same like the smell: tastes and has a terrible after taste of red WINE!

Mouthfeel - It's very light and a bit carby, don't think an English beer should be either of those

Overall - Avoid it. maybe mine was spoiled, but if you like an English beer (not even bitter, could be just about any good English) you'll find no trace in this Oxfordshire pride
try something else from Brakspear, they have some nice stuff

Edit: Just looked at the bottle, it's not spoiled however it is brewed in Belguim... I don't know why, but that has a funny feeling to it... (912 characters)

Photo of stjaernstoft
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brakspear Bitter, ABV: 3.4%.
500 ml bottle, 19.50 SEK at Coop Forum.

A: The liquid is darker orange, almost copper-coloured, and has a small, off-white, almost beige head that leaves nice lacing.

S: A robust, malty, fruity, earthy aroma, with hints of rye bread, toffee, chocolate, orange and bananas. Very British-y!

T: Great burnt, bitter flavours of banana bread, tropical fruits, dark chocolate with orange, and a lovely balance of malt and hops.

M: The body is good, considering the low ABV, and the carbonation is light. It's drinkable, and doesn't suffer from being served at almost room temperature.

O: One of the best additions to the Swedish supermarket shelves so far - why don't we import more beers like this, instead of watered down versions of stronger likes? A great British session beer that's nice on its own, as well as with most typical British (and Swedish) dishes. Go-ood. (899 characters)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation-500ml brown pop top bottle with cool bumblebee cap. This beer is 3.4% abv, and has a best by date of October 31, 2011. The label says that this is brewed with the special ‘Double Drop’ system, and that it uses Maris Otter and English Goldings and Fuggles.

Appearance- Poured into a tulip pint, this brew pours a burnt orange/copper hue, which is capped by a nice ivory cap that fades after a minute or two to a thick, sticky film. All in all, a nice looking beer.

Smell-Some apple-like fruity esters up front, with a bit of earthy English-variety hop, and light malty notes. Simple, but inviting.

Taste-My initial thought was that this was overly light on flavor, but as the brew warms a bit, I think this initial impression may have been a bit harsh. It is light, but then again, this beer has only 3.4% alcohol, and the flavor that is there is, on the whole, pretty good. It starts out clean, with just a hint of fruity esters. A light, pale and crystal maltiness hits you next, and the finish is bracingly clean and bitter.

Conclusion-A pretty tasty bitter. At 3.4%, this would make one really nice quaffable (true) session ale. The bitterness is still just a bit high for me, in that (for me) it overtakes the malt just a bit too much. I like my bitters fairly balanced, if leaning towards the bitter side. Still, this one isn’t bad at all. (1,369 characters)

Photo of drperm
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle purchased in Cambridge, UK in May 2011, brought back to the US and opened in July.

The minute I popped the bottle, I was transported back to the UK.
In the glass, it's a handsome copper-amber with a nice glow. Little head retention, but I don't care -- it makes it look like a cask pull!

On the nose, wonderful hints of toast, brown sugar, faint fuggles, and lots of florals.
The taste is a perfectly balanced maltiness with a fine bitter snap to finish. Just a hint of butter in there, but it's neither distracting nor detracting. It possesses the perfect balance of oily coating and spritzy scrubbing-bubbles.
At 3.4%, it's the model of a well-balanced, superbly crafted session ale, and proof that high strength is no prerequisite for a great beer. The maltiness leans a bit heavy, but I've no serious complaints.
All round, an extremely agreeable Bitter and a pleasant companion for the evening. This would be ideal with Shepherd's Pie, English Tikka Masala, or ye olde Fish & Chips. (1,005 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB date of end Jan 2011 - so a month out of date. The rear label mentions that this ale is produced using their unique 'double-drop' system, which has two fermentation stages. I like their bumblebee emblem.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A coppery-amber colour with slight haziness and medium carbonation. Produces a decent off-white head that lasts for a few minutes before collapsing to leave a surface film. Aroma is malty with an underlying sweetness. Notes of roasted malt, toffee and caramel. A hint of hops.

A smooth malt taste with a nice balance of sweet and bitter flavours. Hints of roasted malt accompanied by notes of toffee, citrus and burnt grain. A subtle hoppy bitteness makes for a dry finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, with a crisp tingly sensation. Dry bitter aftertaste.

A decent ale - the flavour is subtly complex but not over the top. Makes for easy drinking. Worth cracking one open if you come across it. (957 characters)

Photo of marquis
4.63/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On cask at the Royal Oak, Car Colston, a hostelry renowned for the superb condition of all its beers.
I hardly recognised it, a shade darker perhaps than before?Totally crystal clear with just under a half inch thick,dense head which survived most of the way down the glass.As with most cask ales, aroma isn't a feature (it's only what gets pinched from the liquid itself anyway) but the beer really fought way above its weight in the flavour compartment.A beautifully balanced bitter with a hint of astringency.It all goes to show that strength isn't all in beer.
Utterly and absolutely gorgeous stuff. (605 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
2.62/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a small suddy head.
Nose shows grassy Euro hops with some caramel and faint toffee underneath. Could be mistaken for a malty pale Euro lager.
Flavours don't improve much, plain unchecked bitterness and wet cardboard notes throughout. Practically no malt.
Very thing body. (288 characters)

Photo of brendan13
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A very clear orangey amber colour with a very small centimetre or so of head that falls fairly fast.
S - Bready, honey & caramel malt aromas with some light floral hints. Some notes of diacetyl.
T - Much the same as the smell but the hops come out a bit more.
M - Lighter side of medium bodied with a fairly low carbonation level. Bitterness is there but pretty subtle.
D - A pretty tasty beer for 3.4%. Just a shame the value isn't there. But if I was sitting in a pub by the Thames drinking this all afternoon I'd be happy enough. (536 characters)

Photo of pootz
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle.

Pours a clear amber-reddish ale in the mug with a sufficient rocky off white cap that has fair retention and fair lacing qualities.

The nose is caramely-sweet malts with light wisps of kent golding leafyness.

Interesting profile: up front caramel sweet malts, musty woody tones and twiggy hop tastes in almost a perfect 3-way balance then mid palate the hop bittering breaks out and builds'til it is the dominant taste in the finish with a light caramel after tone.

Decent sessioner but not at these prices. (529 characters)

Photo of ReDave
3.06/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well, got this from my daughter-in-law coming back from London.

MM.. pretty light stuff.
Double Dropped.. OoKay..

Poured a very light brown amber. very light off-white head that sorta disappeared.

Not much aroma, little malt, very light spice perhaps.
[going very lenient here]

Very light beverage, especially compared to what i normally have. Not sure what is typical, so, maybe this is OK...

light.. not offensive.. not exactly "fragrant mouthwatering" characteristics as claimed on the label, but
drinkable if given an open mind. (538 characters)

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Brakspear Bitter from W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc
84 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.