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Brakspear Bitter - W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc

Not Rated.
Brakspear BitterBrakspear Bitter

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BA SCORE
85
very good

101 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.56%
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: 101 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of allergictomacros
4.6/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a clear copper with an impressively creamy head with excellent lacing

S - Malt, lemon/citric hop, some floral notes, chalk. Light fruitiness.

T - Dry, grainy and mildy hoppy. Some earthy tones, lemon, and nuts and soap. Really nice, balanced bitter.. and very low abv to boot.

M - Dare I say creamy? Very nice moderate body with some heft.

D - Doesn't get any more drinkable than this. Superb.

Photo of Daredevil
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
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 ....

Photo of Jonte
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a pint glas.

The beer is clear, has a amber/orange color and a creamy off-white head that is mostly diminishing after a few minutes.

The aroma is of butter, biscuits, fruits like citrus and plums, light caramel and hops.

The taste has bitterness, citrus, caramel, light bread. Some toasted notes and a bit of wood/leather. Dry and bitter finish.

Light carbonation and medium body.

Low ABV of 3.4% makes it an excellent beer for session drinking.

Photo of mdagnew
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle bought from the Vintage, Antrim

Poured a nice golden amber colour. Light creamy head poured quite thick and foamy with a rocky, meringue like top then faded to good thickish layer... barely any carbonation... light wispy lacing...

Aroma - Good strong mouthwatering juicy fruits (oranges, light figs, apples, some apricots), light caramel maltiness, good biscuity notes, toffee apples, light pepperiness, some freshly cut grass notes, light rubbery traces, some vegetal notes, toasty / burnt bread, some sweet graininess..

Taste - Good strong peppery hop bitterness, juicy fruits (oranges, grapefruits, pears and apples), very little sweetness, nutty notes, definite toasted bread, some sea salt notes, very floral and perfumed, light metallic traces..

M&D - Pretty sharp and dry... light bodied... At only 3.4% this is extremely quaffable.. an excellent session beer...

Overall - A pretty standard bitter... no real flaws just not the most exciting beer in the world... worth a try...

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.

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.

Photo of JanM
2.58/5  rDev -31.4%
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.

Photo of GreenCard
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
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!

Photo of Chaz
4.6/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The smallest Bitter I've ever encountered, either as an import or otherwise. Pours a very clear-to-brilliant golden copper in color, leaving a light tan/off white head of small dense bubbles. Medium duration on the head, about two and a half minutesto deflate adter a modrate pour. Good lacing. The nose says it all, with a bitterness that is usually less pronounced in this style. There's plenty of biscuity malt and a mild herbal/vegetal character here too, but the hops are mugging for all the good shots here. The first sip gives you an idea of what you're in for: bitter and astringent, a touch of lactic sourness, and very attenuated malt sweetness right around the middle. Light-bodied and with a light and breezy mouthfeel, but this is both on-style and perfect for this brew. Wonderful aromatics here, with equal parts malt and hop. As this warms the vegetal/fruity character I detected in the nose really develops and makes something of a "Star Turn", complementing the lingering bitterness quite beautifully. Biscuity malt also kicks around looking a bit like an unloved supporting cast member, but it can't be entirely forgotten here. An absolutely wonderful drink! If only there were more like this readily available in the U.S. - hop-bombers, are you listening?
(Edit: I first encountered this as part of the old All Saint's Brands import portfolio, and was positively ecstatic to see it return via Shelton Brothers - naturally, the brewery closed soon after! May or may not be brewed by the good folks at Wychwood . . . I sure hope so!)

Photo of Sigmund
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

660 ml brown bottle, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger. Served with original Brakspear pint glass, nice! "Double dropped", ABV is 3.4%. Brewed with Maris Otter malts, Goldings and Fuggles hops. Copper coloured, low head. Aroma of "dusty" Goldings hops + rusty iron in stale water + hospital flesh wound dressings(!) Flavour is very tasty for a 3.4% pasteurised beer, nicely balanced between the malts and hops, nutty and toffee elements, not sweet. Moderate carbonation. A nice Fuggles finish.

Photo of bark
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The colour is amber with a tint of yellow. The finger thick airy head is off-white.

The smell got burned notes with lots of malt and some bitter-sour notes of thistles (!).

The taste got a touch of smoked malt. The taste is over all malty and fruity with flavours of sour drops and a chemical note of band-aid. The aftertaste is bitter with a sourish note of apple acid and lemon peels.

The carbonation is light and pleasant with tiny bubbles, making this a highly drinkable beer. As a bitter should be.

Photo of wl0307
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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

Pours a hearty amber color with some tan head and nice foaming action. Smell comes out maltier than I expected for a bitter, nutty maybe. There are also some nice hop characteristics in there. Taste is more hoppy than the smell let on, and a bit biscuity and buttery, with the nutty malt flavor backing it up. And of course it's got that nice biting bitter kick at the end which I've really come to enjoy a lot recently. Yum.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bitter poured a clear, amber-red color with off-white foam that settled slowly and which clung to the glass a bit. The smell was mildly fruity hops with mild malt. The taste was malty and fruity with a very light sweetness and low hoppiness. There was a bit of buttery diacetyl upfront. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium body and very low carbonation. This was a very enjoyable bitter and excellent as a session beer.

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.

Photo of necoadam
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this at Manchester Wine & Spirits in CT. Poured out a light copper/amber color with a very little head that went to lacing all the way until the end. Smell consisted of malts, biscuits, buttery tones and some soft fruit. Blended well together actually. Taste was good, but the mouthfeel was quite flat. Perhaps a bad bottle but it was pretty flat. But the taste held up nicely. British brewed beers usually like to be on the low side of carbonation so perhaps that's what the beer is supposed to be but I didn't like it that way. Other than that not a bad bitter.

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.

Photo of Stopper
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bitter pours a transparent golden orange, with a small watery white head that quickly disappears. The aroma is of a very clean base malt and a light, clean hop. The body is much more syrupy than I expected from the listed alcohol content of 3.4%, and it has a nicely balanced malt sweetness and a very fruity, hoppy flavor initially. The finish comes quickly and consists of a medium dry, bright, clean, hop bitterness over a slightly grainy taste.

This is an interestingly refreshing beer. It goes down very easily, but I'm definitely not getting bored with it. I could drink this all night.

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.

Photo of PatandDavid
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drink these while you can...

Again at Redbones, awesome copper colored beer, not much head or lace.

Oh, the beers they have lately taste so fresh!! Anyway, this was medium to light bodied, not a hop monster, not overly sweet and malty, but a very well balanced. I alternated this with another beer, and I have to say, this had the same charcteristic: a fruity, refreshing taste. Medium to light in body.

Would get again. pat

Photo of CharlesRiver
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just had this on tap at Redbones. Light copper in color with a nice white fluffy head that lasted. Wasn't much in terms of smell. Hints of malt and some hops came through.

Nice light hop bitterness came through that seemed to balance well with the malt. Nothing overpowering in away from this beer. I could of had a couple and not even known it. I would love to try this on cask. The ending just kind of died.

Overall very good and I would order another.

Photo of aracauna
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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.

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.

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!

Brakspear Bitter from W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc
85 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.