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Brakspear Bitter - W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc

Not Rated.
Brakspear BitterBrakspear Bitter

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

90 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
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: 90 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by anakar:
Photo of anakar
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...

anakar, Sep 03, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of dwren89
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.

dwren89, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice light copper color with a light but pretty sticky head,aroma is light and slightly grassy and mineral-like.Flavor is nice and subtly hopped with some mineral flavors with a nice slightly sweet malt backbone.A true sessions beer in my mind a great find.

oberon, Sep 16, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This beer is an even mix of orange and brown. The head was moderate and didn’t hold well.

Smell – This is a very balanced English Bitter. The musty malts, caramel, and light floral hops mix well to offer the drinker a rather substantial nose.

Taste – The toasted malts pick up a bit of wood at the taste along with, oddly enough, some alcohol notes. The sharp citrus hops and hints of sour and tart round things out at the finish.

Mouthfeel – Light to medium-bodied and tangy with a good bitter character.

Drinkability – This Bitter is refreshing and very well-balanced and definitely worth a look.

RoyalT, Aug 27, 2004
Photo of Jason
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: 500 ml brown bottle with a BB (Best Before) date jet printed on the neck of the bottle.

Appearance: Thin and inattentive off white lace that barely stays around. This ale is very clear with a bright shaded orangey copper hue.

Smell: Soft fruity and buttery aroma, some plum and lemon jump out amongst the stable malty nose. Faint woody hop in the nose behind the malt and yeast.

Taste: Moderate body with a supple smoothness, carbonation flows over the palate and prepares the tastes buds. A light maltiness cradles a growing hop presence with light bready and caramel tones. Hops evolve quickly on to the palate with a solid bitterness and lingering earthy and woody flavour. Yeast hands off a fruitiness that adds some serious depth to the brew, other than the mild buttery diacetyl it is quite a clean ale. Finishes dry with a lingering earthy hoppiness.

Notes: Quite an impressive little ale at 3.4% abv, the head retention has its problems but on a whole this is a stellar bitter. It was worth the 3.99 (I personally would not pay more) a pop and an ale to go back to when I crave a refreshing bitter.

Jason, Sep 04, 2002
Photo of jazzyjeff13
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.

jazzyjeff13, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of Hammarby
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber with an offwhite head.
S: Phenols, red berries, malt, fudge, sweetness.
T: Bitterness, malt, hops, metallic tone. Hint of honey in the aftertaste.
M: Low carboration, medium body. Just the way a bitter should be, but perhaps a bit "thin".
D: Goes down really easy. And with an abv of 3,4%, you could drink a considerable amount of it without getting too cocky.

Hammarby, Jun 08, 2007
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.

RichardMNixon, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of cokes
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shiny copper with a short-lived white fuzz on top.
Strange nose full of buttered bread, hard toffees, minerals, sulphur, and savory herbs.
Begins dry with flour-coated bread crusts. Buttery hues add depth and character. Never attains any real sweetness, but toffee, caramel and apple skins are suggested. High pH water, makes this hard and brittle in the mouth. Hopping is light, but adds both lilac and herbal bitterness. A bit of dried tobacco on the swallow.
Nicely constructed!
Tempered CO2 levels add an authentic feel. Light-bodied but in no way weak.
I'm impressed.

cokes, Nov 17, 2003
Photo of Sammy
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad bitter for 3.5%. Pours a yellow with some creamy head. Easy drinking, a nice mild bitterness. Neutral to cheesy scent in head. About average mouthfeel,mild hop-grassy.A drop of spice and the band-aid. An average beer, which is not a bad thing.

Sammy, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of CanuckRover
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great looking bottle, lovely royal blue with gold trim. Pours a dark amber with a thumb of nice off-white head. Great sticky lacings coat my pint glass all the way down.

Toffee malt, subdued sweetness with a little bit of a soft vanilla character. Rounded Goldings earthiness behind.

Sweetness up front, caramel/toffee, with a zesty freshness that gives way to some classic fuggles bitterness. Nice and juicy just the way I like them they provide a subtle burst of bitterness that quickly fades away leaving just a trace of resiny goodness and some malty sweetness.

Great mouthfeel, as much as you can expect from a bottled version of a cask classic.

Easy drinking, classic tasting bitter, I'd love to have it on cask.

CanuckRover, Aug 16, 2008
Photo of Iaido
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Iaido, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of opalchemist
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!

opalchemist, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of CrazyDavros
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.

CrazyDavros, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
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.

Phyl21ca, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of Tipper27
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Tipper27, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of Gusler
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A cloudless amber color, the head modest but quite short-lived leaving a fine sheet of lace to blanket the glass. The nose crisp and clean with the malts dominant and lightly sweet tones to seal it off. Front is lightly sweet, the top skimpy and the acidity modest in its bite with a nice English hop spiciness that makes the “Bitters and ESB”, special brews that I enjoy as often as I can.

Gusler, Dec 18, 2002
Photo of BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Henley brewery is now closed.

This brown 500ml bottle claims to be brewed in 'England for Tillverkare The Brakspear brewing Co'.

Best before April 2008, drank on a wet cold July 2007 evening in my front room.

I poured the bottle into one of my Duvel glasses.

It looked great, a good solid foaming head, slightly off white. The beer was a lovely deep terracotta red.

The aroma was of hops, malts and some barley tones too, a typical English bitter smell. Nothing very strong, but there if you search for it.

Considering the 3.4 ABV, this is a very good beer, the soft roundness often found in English bitters is here in an abundance. A kind of understated fruitiness is also to be found.

This is a well balanced beer, not sweet or sour, just a pleasant session beer, ideal for an afternoon in a beergarden on one of those rare sunny days we have during an English summer.

BlackHaddock, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of vinicole
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

vinicole, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -20.2%

pin, May 27, 2013
Photo of KiltedCulinarian
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

KiltedCulinarian, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

patre_tim, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of Bananaman
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brakspear Bitter is one of the best beers you can find in a regular food store in Sweden.

A typical ale-look, brown, but clear in the color. Nice beige/white head.

Smells nicely of caramell and some typical english hops, fuggles etc.

Tastes fine, some nuts, some dry fruityness. A bit caramell is noted too.

Plain and simple, nice. You can have this beer anytime considering the low ABV.

Bananaman, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of marc77
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brilliantly clear light copper hue, topped by a thin, but persistant head that leaves loose lace. Rustic, leafy, dry - hopped, earthy Fuggles hop nose hits the nose upfront, & is ensued by biscuit malt, light caramel and mild diacetyl butterscotch. The malt profile is a seemless extension of the aroma, being comprised of biscuit & light buttery diacetyl, w/ malt sweetness provided by light crystal malt. Hop bitterness offsets malt sweetness perfectly, lending an overall balance to this bitter. Ample residual dextrins provide a full body, & when coupled with the low carbonation, the mouthfeel is slickly smooth. Assertively British, earthy Fuggles hop flavor. Finishes w/ fading biscuit notes. Brakspear Bitter is a very flavorful & full bodied session brew, especially considering its low gravity. The best "light" beer I've ever tasted!

marc77, Aug 09, 2002
Photo of BKLRIBS
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

BKLRIBS, Apr 26, 2013
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Brakspear Bitter from W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc
85 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.