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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

88 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 88
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brakspear Bitter Alström Bros
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Ratings: 88 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of anakar
2.1/5  rDev -44.3%
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
Photo of Fizzlybear
2.42/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

Fizzlybear, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of JanM
2.58/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The colour is of copper yellow wild honey and it pours with weird big bubbles looking like soap. The smell is bitter with apples, pears and a pinch of caramel. The initial taste is almost of apple juice with the bitterness kicking in after a few seconds. But, I'm sorry to say, I found it very watery and on the flat side (but then why not? It's a low-alcohol English bitter). The aftertaste is not so bad although the as a whole I think the product begs for another percent ABV.

JanM, May 20, 2007
Photo of CrazyDavros
2.63/5  rDev -30.2%
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 fullsweep
2.9/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

fullsweep, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -20.4%

pin, May 27, 2013
Photo of cervezango
3/5  rDev -20.4%

cervezango, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of Mr_Pink_152
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Mr_Pink_152, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of ReDave
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

ReDave, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.13/5  rDev -17%
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 velkyal
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

velkyal, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of charlatan
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

charlatan, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of Daredevil
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

nice amber color, firm and creamy head ... smell of wet grass and fresh hops with hints of tar .... taste of pink grapefruit, macadamia, with hints of sultanas and lime ... a bit watery, perhaps ... nevertheless, probably one of the better brews from Wychwood ....

Daredevil, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of Iaido
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Iaido, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of aracauna
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a fairly standard amber but not a lot of character. Didn't have that glow I like in a beer that's pale enough to see through. The head was nice and slow to fade, though. The nose was surprisingly hoppy as was the flavor. Since the body was really thin the abundant hopping was forced to carry the beer. Unfortunately, the hops (Goldings, according to Oakes at least) don't have enough flavor and character besides the bitterness and a slight medicinal quality to add much excitement. Although the malt there was nice, like buttered caramel, there wasn't enough of it. Not bad, just not good. Easily quaffable though.

aracauna, Feb 17, 2003
Photo of Bix
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Bix, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of hansavijaticar
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

hansavijaticar, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of biegaman
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A fusion of lemon yellow, maple beige and tawny amber are glossed over with a coating of mahogany. There is a very thin but existent level of white, bubbly head. Lacing present. Leisurely schools of bubbles are observed in spurts, taking their time on the vertical path upwards. This is a beer meant for holding up to the light.

The aroma smells, to be quite frank, like beer that has sat in an opened bottle over night. The must of damp cardboard, rotting cork, and steaming vegetables make for smells as unpleasant as they are unexpected. First and foremost, however, is the stark and unappealing smell of cheap, buttery toffee.

The beer is badly lacking in flavour and texture. It is a common complaint I have with the British bitters that are shipped to North America; they loose their taste and their essence. If this were unpasteurized, unfiltered, and fresh ... then I'd have an entirely different beer in front of me. It is that simple. I imagine it would be quenching and tasteful. I assume it would taste (and drink) as it was designed to.

Instead, I have a nearly full pint I'm trying to avoid drinking. The soft, honeyed biscuit malts and light sprinkle of toffee are instead an astringent, dry, buttery mess of cheap caramel and cardboard. It is lifeless. It is tasteless, bland, bloating, and least of all: it is far far from something I could drink all night.

I have had a few good offerings I enjoyed from Brakspear. But this beer, a 3.5% well malted bitter, was nothing like what it should be. I will try to avoid a rant before it begins by saying anyone who's been to England and had true bitters, that is to say unpasteurized, unfiltered and fresh off cask, can attest that these imports are a ghost of the real selves. That said, this is all I have to go by ... at least hopefully only for now.

biegaman, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
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 pootz
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

pootz, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of TerryW
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

TerryW, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of flyingpig
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
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

flyingpig, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of wl0307
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted by a pint at the Bow Bell, Bow Church, East End London.

A: bright reddish amber hue, very clear, with a nice off-white frothy beer head with good retention and a fine carbonated body; the tight lacing sustains just fine.
S: earthy and floral scent of hops plus a grapefruit zest note, like Fuggles-dominated hop content. Simple and nice.
T: lightly-sour sweet maltiness underlined by a profound spicy and herbal hops, followed by a dryish zesty kick at the back; very smooth finish with a moderate bitterness which lingers surprisingly well~~
M&D: the soft mouthfeel is consistently backed by subtle and fine carbonation--very good cask-conditioned; light-bodied, simple-flavoured, this is a good honest bitter to savour--could use bolder flavour to really stand out, though.

wl0307, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of BKLRIBS
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

BKLRIBS, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of MechMessiah
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

MechMessiah, Apr 16, 2014
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Brakspear Bitter from W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc
85 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.