Brakspear Bitter - W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc

Not Rated.
Brakspear BitterBrakspear Bitter

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BA SCORE
84
good

66 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 110
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.4%
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: 66 | Hads: 110
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 Fizzlybear
2.47/5  rDev -33.8%
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. (516 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 JanM
2.65/5  rDev -29%
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. (479 characters)

Photo of fullsweep
2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
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. (407 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)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
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. (309 characters)

Photo of velkyal
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
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. (573 characters)

Photo of charlatan
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
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. (282 characters)

Photo of aracauna
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
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. (623 characters)

Photo of Daredevil
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
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 .... (264 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (253 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (1,822 characters)

Photo of TerryW
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
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. (409 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 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 wl0307
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (788 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 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 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 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 RoyalT
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (629 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 GreenCard
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: light coppery brown, great clarity, medium layer of spongey off-white foam, great head retention, bits of lace

Aroma: biscuity maltiness with hints of leather, toffee, hop greenery, and wet wood

Flavor: bone-dry malt profile with a quick-hitting green bitterness; hop flavor like unripe apples or greengages; hints of orange marmalade, copper, and leather; finishes as dry as it started with a long-lingering alkaloidal bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium body, pert carbonation, crisp texture, slight astringency

Other comments: This bitter stands out from the "bog standard" bitters you find in England because... well... it's actually bitter! (662 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)

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Brakspear Bitter from W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc
84 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.