Barker's Bitter - Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)
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3.68/5 rDev 0%
Coppery orange with amber trim. One doesn't normally see a bitter this dark, but there's a good reason for it (see below). The ecru cap was one finger in height, was nicely thick and creamy and left attractive smears of lace all the way down the glass.
The aroma wasn't powerful enough to tease out many specifics. General impressions were toasted malts and citrusy, herbal hops that smelled English in origin. I'm thinking East Kent Goldings and possibly Fuggles.
My biggest problem with Barker's Bitter is that it wasn't bitter. In fact, it was tremendously well-balanced. I don't know about you, but I think English bitters ought to favor hops over malt. Balance might make beer more sessionable, but flavor is more important as far as I'm concerned. For what it's worth, the brewer considers BB to be a cross between an English bitter and an APA.
Now, for the secret ingredient that was added to give the beer a darker color and a twist on the usual flavor profile. According to the bartender, 'almost imperceptable amounts' of roasted barley were used. I wondered why a brown ale vibe was noticeable on the back end. Especially as the beer warmed.
The flavor was similar to the nose: toasted malts and fruity-herbal hops. The first several sips seemed to have a hint of vanilla, reminiscent of a cream ale, but that was no longer true by the bottom of the pint. A good bit of originality wasn't quite enough to pull the taste score up to 'good'.
The mouthfeel, while slightly too light, was remarkably creamy. It was too sparkly during the first few ounces, then settled down in short order and was fine the rest of the way.
It would be a damn shame if Barker's Bitter is a casualty of the hop shortage. With more little green cones and a much needed alpha acid bite (even a minor one), this would be a session ale to be reckoned with.
02-17-2008 12:13:04 | More by BuckeyeNation
Barker's Bitter from Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company (Downtown)
- out of 100 based on 1 ratings.