Beast Bitter | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
87
very good
165 Reviews
Beast BitterBeast Bitter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
New York, United States | website

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 09-24-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
165
Ratings:
242
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
14.14%
 
 
Wants:
26
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 165 | Ratings: 242
Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Some bitter, and malt and hops and yeast. OK bitter, somehow going off in different directions, drawn and quartered. Somewhat watery mouthfeel. Not best of the line, but not bad. Carbonation instead of high hops, unusual for the line. Golden with head.

 252 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

almost more like an american ipa in style than an english bitter. smells like big west coast hops, fresh and bold. some sturdy english malts underneath. flavor is beastly and bitter, but not in an imperial only drink one kind of way. its hoppy and dry, refreshingly crisp, and more drinkable than the name implies. its got a great pine hop profile, only really getting bitter in the finish. mouthfeel is great, medium body with some caramel notes, and prominent carbonation which is uncommon in the english style ales. overall this is an excellent beer, if difficult to categorize perfectly. one of my favorites in the mixed 12pack.

 632 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice golden color with a pretty good looking head on it. The head leaves a little bit of lacing but not too much. The smell of this beer is malty, it's a little sweet and earthy too. The taste of the beer gives off a lot of the same features as the smell. Mostly malts dominate the flavors here. The mouthfeel of the beer is decent, I'd say it's average for an ESB. Overall this beer was pretty good and probably worth a try. I can't say that I'd run out for more right away.

 501 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Doing what they do best- the Middle Ages brewery can hang their hats on anything English. While missing the mark slightly on minor nuances of ESB, the beer reasonably captures the essence of the style with unwavering committal.

Pouring a honey-amber hue, the beer's mild haze is a testament to it's non-filtered character. Its ample carbonation yields a billowing slight yellowish head with rock-solid staying power and clumped lace. It's a fantastic looking ale that's on par with most well made ales.

Biscuit, light caramel, dry nutty notes, and sharp hops shape the impressions to the nose with authentic English ale aroma. Apricot fruit, apples, and peach are fruity complements from yeast and gives a richer impression to the malt influence.

Flavors seem sweeter and fruitier with notions of caramel soaked fruits, but take a sudden dive into dry nutty taste and earthy wood flavor to balance at middle palate. Its balance is impeccable as the taste of damp sod and wood leads to a broad and spicy bitterness to balance the semi-dry malt taste. Finishing with a mostly earthen bitterness but waivering malt sweetness, the beer closes mostly clean with a short linger of barley and spice.

Medium bodied, the beer's biscuity textures carry an inherent sweetness that's slow but steady to recede. As it does so, the hop dryness, moderate alcohol warmth, and grain attributes gain command in finish for a semi-dry taste and texture that frame the final impressions.

Though this ESB doesn't have the masculine complexities and authentic nutty malt taste of Fuller's ESB, the taste and simplicity of American specialty malts and restrained yeast character keeps its palate a little short and simple.

 1,703 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hzy honey color with a frothy head that leaves shards of lace

Smell: Fruity orange/peach with butterscotch

Taste: Starts with a fruity peach flavor that is quickly subsumed by the butterscotch diacetyl (Ringwood) aspect; after the swallow, some earthy hops join in with the other flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and spritzy

Drinkability: I can never drink too much of a beer made with Ringwood and this is no exception; nevertheless, I did enjoy it and would have it again

Thanks, plaid75, for the opportunity

 545 characters

Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light fizzy head of almost 1 finger, clear pale wheat orange color, light lacing.

Nose light grassy hops, bit of chewy hops, light toasty pilsner like malt aromatic malt.

Taste starts with a light grassy and slight spicy noble-ish hop flavor, gets somewhat bitter but not too much, light toasty malts under, crisp and clean finish with lingering bitter but clean hops.

Mouth is med bodied with decent carb.

Overall a decent americanized pale ale, light malts that are distinguishable, nice grassy hop profile, semi bitter but not astringent.

 545 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber-orange in color with a fluffy white head that holds OK, then drops to a thin collar. The aroma displays a lightly fruity and caramel maltiness beneath bold piney hops. The body is medium with a fine, moderate carbonation from bottle conditioning that gently caresses the tongue and becomes creamy in the mouth as it warms. Very English in character. The flavor expresses an excellent combination of bready maltiness with a gently sweet caramel character and piney/lightly grassy hop flavors. Some light diacetyl helps to round and soften - it's well integrated and unobtrusive. Actually quite nice. Some fruitiness appears towards the swallow along with a firm bitterness. It finishes with a mild lingering bitterness and some sticky residual caramel maltiness, as well as some more pine-like hop flavor and mild diacetyl. It's not a strong aftertaste, but it is long lasting. Very nice. A really enjoyable pint that seems to express itself best at closer to cellar temperature. Well done.

 995 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Moderately hazy bright tangerine-amber beneath a light ecru head of substantial looking foam that sports a rumpled surface and has admirable staying power. Lace appears as a thick, short collar with a few rogue scraps higher up the glass.

The nose is wonderfully citrus fruity, even through the still two finger cap. As expected, given the fact that this is a Middle Ages beer, the aroma is one of buttery-butterscotchy richness mixed with sweetened bitter orange peel and peach syrup. It's hoppier than most ESBs and is a pleasure to sniff.

It also tastes hoppier than most ESBs; gotta love what American brewers do with this style. The hops taste a fraction too harsh though, as if the malt undercarriage isn't quite sturdy enough. A lighter than expected mouthfeel is another indication that a little more malt would be a good idea. It's hard to find too much fault with the flavor profile though.

The butteriness of the nose is scaled back a bit on the palate and is replaced with a greater quantity of orange and grapefruit zest along with a caramel candy flavor. The 'B' of ESB is well accounted for, so those with a low tolerance for that sort of thing should keep their distance. The medium length finish is impressively dry, to the extent that saliva is hard to come by.

Beast Bitter is a pretty good effort and is a solid ESB. A little more malt would give the hops a sturdier springboard to bigger and better things and is the first change that I'd make if they let me. I can't wait to taste the Middle Ages take on a whole range of styles. Thanks to HappyHourHero, I'll have that chance.

 1,612 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of grassy hops, caramelized malts, nuts and a touch of citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a strong but not over-powering burst of hops bitterness. Then some mild flavors of caramel, nuts and citrus come in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and provides a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a solid session beer with flavor and substance that make it worth drinking for a while.

 799 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I recieved this one as an extra in a trade recently. I was exceited whenever I get a new beer to try, but this one had me from the label. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/15/2009.

The pour was very, very nice. Rich and hazy golden yellow in color it came roaring out of the bottle and easily filling the entire glass with rich bubbly foam that melded seemlessly into the bubbly, grainy base.

The aroma was light, lots of grain and light spice with a smooth, mellow and light fruity hint that popped up toward the finish. Smooth mellow flavor with a n even cosistency. My only knock is it came off as more of a mild ale to me as the hop flavor was not really too high and not much in the way of bitter flavor. Easily drinkable though as no real heavy feeling or flavor.

Overall a nice little, light ale, not really what I was looking for, but decent none the less.

 903 characters

Photo of Jason
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Beeguy for the sample.

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

A- Pale amber hue, good clarity and one hell of the head.

S- Peachy fruitiness with a buttery diacetyl on the side. A little toasted grain and earthy hop in the back.

T- Hops and malt are in a perfect balance. Malt sweetness if rounded by toasted grain, mild fruitiness, musty dicetyl and a woody hop.

M- Good level of crispness, very smooth with a medium carbonation.

D- Bring them on, line them up and I will put them down ... so damn tasty.

One of the best bitters in the world IMO. Middle Ages has set the standard with the Ringwood / Yorkshire Yeast and not many brewers have come even close.

 694 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I do not like beers that explode when opened. I lost a third of the bottle. The head is massive! And it recedes slowly in a dome-like fashion leaving plenty of spotty and chunky lace. Light amber in color with a moderate degree of cloudiness.

Pleasant blend of modest floral hop and pale malts. Surprisingly, there's also some alcohol warmth to the nose.

A true bitter in terms of flavor. The malt is present but it plays second fiddle to the hop bitterness. The body is smooth but thin. There is heightened level of carbonation, naturally. The aftertaste is mild bitterness. I detect a touch of sourness. Overall, a balanced bitter.

 636 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 08/23/11 notes. Received as an extra from SteelersX; thanks man! Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a hazy dark orange color with one finger of fluffy white head and
moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing on the glass and little head retention.

s - Smells of light citrus hops, floral hops, and pale fruity malts. Some light fruit, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, fruity malys, pale malts, and some bready malts. Lightly bitter in the taste, but just a touch.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation; a touch too carbonated.

o - Overall a pretty nice ESB. Easy to drink and some light fruit with the light bitterness, would have it again.

 694 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed amber gold. Nose is a sweet tone with a bitter hoppy edge. Flavor is doughy with a slight bitter tone and a slightly larger sweet edge. Feel is slightly thick with bubble on the tongue and a thicker liquid feel. Overall pretty smooth and drinkable. I have had a few of this breweries beers over the past day and I have to say I am fairly impressed.

 362 characters

Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric for this brew. Poured into a snifter, it appears a perfectly clear light copper color with a finger of white head that is composed of rather large bubbles. The cap fades quickly with a leggy amount of lace clinging to the glass.

The smell of this brew is herbal and minty with a bit of orange rind and lemon zest. A little more fruity than I was expecting with a lightly spicy note of alcohol. The aroma is so pungent that it's almost artificial smelling like this should be a canned up air freshener. As it warms, it gets even more lemon filled with citrus and grass notes.

The taste is grainy with a lingering bitterness that is reminiscent of lemon zest/rind. It is somewhat oily with a lasting cling that includes other flavors that are minty and a bit of orange rinds. Light alcohol presence that gets increasingly noticeable as it warms. It also picks up a grassy flavor that lasts.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation yet it is prickly and effervescent for a bit. This is an easy drinking brew and fairly good representation of the style. Quite a clingy resinous bitterness hangs on the tongue. I don't know how fresh this sample was but it was quite unique and enjoyable.

 1,234 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours chill hazed amber with a rich off-white head that descends to a thin cover.

The smell is of resin and grapefruit with a touch of caramel and butter.

The taste is earthy, tea-leafy, and citric (grapefruit/lemon). There is a caramelish backing. Well-balanced leaning towards bitterish. Lighter side of medium-bodied. Easy to drink - An ESB with an American flair. A nice one!

 381 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark orange with a thin, soft, white head that fades to a very thin lacing quickly

S - citrusy, fruity, faint caramel

T - citrusy, fruity, very faint toast, faintly piny, good bitter finish

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a nice, refreshing ESB. It has a nice estery, citrusy-hop character as well as a solid hoppy, bitter finish. The flavor isn't as full as I would like, but this definitely has a solid flavor profile and tremendous drinkability. This is definitely worth a try if you'd like something refreshing and sessionable.

 550 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, honeyed auburn hue, solid, creamy 1/2" head
Aroma: sweet and well-rounded, showing some hops, but softly, seems to fit the classic ESB mode rather nicely.
Taste: very smooth entrance on the palate, sweet and tasty.
Body and texture on the light side, finish is brief.
Not a limpid ale, but too lively, however, I have to keep remembering that that's just right for the style, which isn't among my favorites.
Flavor is well appreciated, some some fruitiness, citrus, peach, certainly more flavorful than your average bitter.
Huge thanks to the great McCall for the chance to drink this one!

 614 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer w/o any freshness indicator. Pours light copper. White head leaving just a smidge of lace. Seems to lightly carbonated, medium body, Dry hoppy nose, perhaps a slight metalic note as well. Grainy, piney hoppyness noted up front, thin malt to the rear. Hops linger on the tongue through the finish. Slight metallic flavor note again lurks somewhere in this brew. Nothing super impressive here, but a middle of the road, passable ale.

 441 characters

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Simply put this beer is hops and ringwood. If you like the two of those, you'll like this beer. Easy drinking with citrusy hops and fruity ringwood with a little butterscotch. Not terribly complex, but well-made and well-balanced. To put it in perspective, on the bitter scalle it's a notch down from ImPaled Ale. Cheers.

 321 characters

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden color with a lacey white head; good carbonation. The aroma is sweet with Ringwood yeast and light crystal malts. Maybe munich or vienna malts are used in this one to account for malt flavor and aroma without a dark lovibond. The taste is good. There is that maltiness about it with a medium to heavy bitter aftertaste. This is a medium bodied beer that goes down smooth. A good session beer. I'm not usually an ESB fan, but this is one that I could have a few of and enjoy.

 497 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a amber color with a thick head. Lacing was produced during the first half of the drink. The aroma was hoppy and sweet. The carbonation seemed lighter than normal. The flavor was as expected, a bitter brew that pleases the palette. The malt and hops were nicely balanced. The mouthfeel was somewhat dry and had a very minor metallic finish. Bitterness lasted a bit into the aftertaste. Very drinkable - a pure session beer.

 429 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to orcasteve on this one.

Pours a very nice hazy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, slight hop note, and caramel. The taste is malty, slight hop bitterness, with some caramel. Medium body, the finish is dry/bitter. Drinkable, this is a very nice ESB.

 369 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beast Bitter showcases plenty of bubbles for a style traditionally served under no pressure. The frothiness created in the wake of this bottomless effervescence piles up on top and sticks like quilt-work to the glass. The beer's pale golden (almost daisy yellow in some lights) complexion is fare but not altogether unreasonable for the style.

Beer takes its bitterness from hops yet the 'bitter' style tends to be more malt-oriented, at least so do many English offerings. This American brewery, however, has used ample hops to impart a wonderfully fragrant, flowery bouquet that has hints of citrus, rose-hip and other things that might make their way into a bathroom potpourri.

Floral and fruity flavours are appreciated on the palate as well. The resins-y taste is moderate and extremely pleasant on the tongue. Malt factors in too, though maybe not enough considering the style, with flavours of communion wafer and hints of a malty butterscotch and warm corn bread. But the hops are clearly the star of the show.

Beast Bitter has got little but very sharp teeth. The sparkling mouthfeel is a bit ill-suited for the style but does give it a very refreshing, mineral-rich finish. Middle Ages Brewing have clearly figured out how to Burtonize their water. The beer could stand to use more malt; it lacks that medium-heavy, sticky-sweet, wholesome body.

Beast Bitter is actually very tame, but striking nonetheless. Its floral, earthy, resinous hopping and mineral-rich water make it as refreshing as a pre-moistened towelette. It's definitely the kind of beer worth buying six of - and probably the kind most people could just sit down and drink six of to themselves too!

 1,682 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger pillowy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a balanced buttery malty doughiness and a decently spicy hop.

The taste was extremely well balanced. A nice solid grainy biscuit body highlighted by an oily hop spiciness. Excellent peppery aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was full and clean.

Overall a nice spicy ESB. A very sessionable upstate NY beer.

 432 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Beast Bitter from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
3.89 out of 5 based on 242 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest┬« Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!