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Brakspear Bitter - W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc

Brakspear BitterBrakspear Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

82 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 14.36%


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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 57 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dwren89
dwren89

Virginia

4.44/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 14:27:54 | More by dwren89
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.36/5  rDev +16%
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!

Serving type: cask

03-22-2013 01:46:46 | More by woosterbill
Photo of rarbring
rarbring

Sweden

4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2012 11:50:23 | More by rarbring
Photo of heygeebee
heygeebee

Australia

3.65/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 07:27:14 | More by heygeebee
Photo of opalchemist
opalchemist

United Arab Emirates

3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 02:45:41 | More by opalchemist
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis

United Kingdom (England)

3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2011 18:07:14 | More by EmperorBevis
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 13:37:03 | More by flyingpig
Photo of anakar
anakar

Israel

2.1/5  rDev -44.1%
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...

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 13:51:15 | More by anakar
Photo of stjaernstoft
stjaernstoft

Sweden

3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 16:25:28 | More by stjaernstoft
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable

Missouri

3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2011 20:20:19 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of drperm
drperm

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 00:55:45 | More by drperm
Photo of jazzyjeff13
jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 00:28:53 | More by jazzyjeff13
Photo of marquis
marquis

United Kingdom (England)

4.63/5  rDev +23.1%
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.

Serving type: cask

02-17-2011 16:13:39 | More by marquis
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

2.63/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 10:35:08 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of brendan13
brendan13

Australia

3.73/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 11:49:39 | More by brendan13
Photo of pootz
pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2010 02:28:41 | More by pootz
Photo of ReDave
ReDave

California

3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 21:01:44 | More by ReDave
Photo of Fizzlybear
Fizzlybear

United Kingdom (England)

2.42/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

L - Pours a dark brown with a small off white head, that didn't last for so long.

S - Smells of sweet choclate malts and a few fruit notes. Also a hint of black pepper like spice in the background. I found to be the most redeeming part of this beer.

T - Taste starts of as a malt and honey with a very bitter aftertaste.

M&D - the mouth feel is great but after it went down I felt it very harsh.

Overall I wasn't too impressed, hopefully I'll find a pub that has it on tap, im sure it I would appreciate it more.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 10:50:41 | More by Fizzlybear
Photo of Kristing
Kristing

Sweden

3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an amber-coloured bitter with little head and, initially, high carbonation. The aroma is mellow with a quite strong element of dried fruit and apricots.

At first, the taste is full of hoppy bitterness with a mouth-feel of carbonation. However, as the carbonation goes down the taste becomes more mellow to the tongue, and the light bitterness goes up to the palate. Their is a lovely tone of dried fruit, as well as a hint of honey in the after-taste.

This brew is rather drinkable, due to the mellow taste and a low alcohol content. Nonetheless, I do prefer stronger bitters, and thus consider them as more drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 21:05:55 | More by Kristing
Photo of fullsweep
fullsweep

United Kingdom (England)

2.9/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 mL brown bottle poured into a pint glass.

I had tried Brakspear's Oxford Gold, classified here as an English Pale Mild Ale. While the OG was on the bitter side, it sure tasted nice on a sunny afternoon.

Ironically, I don't find most English bitters to be all that bitter. But this one is. I enjoy trying new beers, and this one was no different, but having said that it's way too bitter for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 21:38:56 | More by fullsweep
Photo of charlatan
charlatan

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark amber to light copper coloured beer with a generous head. Rather sweet, fruity nose which has me thinking of grapes and raisins.

Fairly standard one dimensional bitter with enough of a hop bite to make it palatable. Slightly oily on the tongue. Reminds me of the Badger beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 21:25:08 | More by charlatan
Photo of TerryW
TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good looking beer that pours hazy golden amber with a moderate head. The head settles to a heavy film and gives up lots of pretty spotty lace.

Slightly sweet malty nose. Mouthfeel disappointingly soft and washed out. Some bitterness. Balanced malt and hops. Not a bad beer, but not overly exciting either. Deports itself as maybe a little above average.

Easy drinking, well made, but not real interesting.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2009 20:08:09 | More by TerryW
Photo of velkyal
velkyal

Virginia

3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I loved the colour if the Brakspear, dark amber with an off-white head. On giving it a good sniff it was slighty bready and laced with bananas. The first mouthful was a delight, very smooth and creamy with a refreshing bitterness. But then strange things started to happen, it started to smell vaguely of rubber tyres, oak and even whisky. The problem was a lack of consistency within the pint, one minute there was a strange smell and then the next it was gone. I found that towards the end of the pint it had become stale, reminding me of digestive biscuits that go soft.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2008 09:53:18 | More by velkyal
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light clear brown color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of light caramel malt with some dry Fuggles hops. Taste is also a mix between some dry Fuggles hops and a medium caramel malt base. I thought it was relatively well done for the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2008 19:20:41 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle picked up at the LCBO.

Pours a clear light orange/gold, thick big soapy white head forms, drops some lace chunks as it settles down to a thin ring around the glass, looks nice! Smell is weird, some thick malts, caramel, wheat, very bready and biscuity, fresh baked, bit of citrus, some herbal and earthy spiciness, pretty interesting. Taste is quite nice, bit of malty caramel sweetness up front, nutty biscuity middle, herbal bitterness, light touch of roast, bit of a yeasty finish, some floral, nice solid bitterness. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, very drinkable stuff, I might have to get more. This would be stellar on cask.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2008 01:56:37 | More by Viggo
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Brakspear Bitter from W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc
85 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.