Baldwin And Cooper Best Bitter
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

Baldwin And Cooper Best BitterBaldwin And Cooper Best Bitter
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #21
Ranked #15,302
3.97 | pDev: 10.83%
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada
Very Good
Baldwin And Cooper Best BitterBaldwin And Cooper Best Bitter
Notes: A smooth, malty well-hopped ale, with a full aromatic nose made with 100% barley, hops, water and yeast. The "best bitter" description refers to this beer's higher alcohol content and its depth of hop bitterness. It is named for Jim Baldwin & Ed Cooper, the first men to climb the Grand Wall of the Stawamus Chief (702 m) in July, 1961.

52 IBU
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 52 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by JanM:
Photo of JanM
JanM from Sweden

4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a hazy, red-brown colour. Great smell, just like I imagine a good bitter. The taste was excellent. Bitter, with grassy hops and roasted malts, not too much sugar. Just enough carbonation. After 15-20 minutes the hops calm down and some breadnotes become discernible. This is a rich, fresh and one of the most well-crfated Canadian beers that I have tasted.

Aug 22, 2007
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's great to see Howe Sound now in my area,I have had a few of their beers in the past from online stores in the Pacific NW.Pours into an imperial nonic a clear rich deep bronze with a tightly formed half finger lacey white head atop.Aromas are fruity with a tinge of hard water and caramel,light leafy hops linger.Malt driven as it should be with caramel/biscuit really standing out, a bit of brown sugar and toffee come into play as well,again the leafy hops linger in the finish.A damn fine ESB actually one of the better ones I have had in awhile,well done.

Dec 24, 2013
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead from Canada (BC)

4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This my peeps is the answer to where has the lost ESB from Shaftebury gone. Well kinda of as this tastes just like that sadly departed great BC beer. The beer looks fab with that toffee colour and big head. The nose is all British hops with a west coast flair. The thing that makes this a real treasure is the perfect balance between malt and hop. Complexity, drinkability and a full mouthfeel are apparent in every sip. Say hello to the best ESB in BC.

Aug 07, 2005
Photo of Sammy
Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At the Alibi Room. Grapefruit colour. Bubble and cream on top. Some hop aroma. A good bitterness, I like this brewery, but a bit thin mouthfeel and I argue too sweet, dry and citrussy finish.They dopn't need honey and sugar. Appropriately carbonated. A bit better as it warmed.

Feb 24, 2008
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras from Massachusetts

3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1L bottle purchased as a single from Beverage Warehouse, Winooski, VT.

Poured into a large glass stein, formed a 1/2" beige head over the cloudy reddish amber brew. Fluffy head bubbles away very slowly, with sticky lacing. Aroma is balanced and sedate.

Taste is sweet to start, slgith fruity tart in the middle, light to moderate bitterness through the close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good. I could see having a few of these.

Jan 08, 2014
Photo of ericj551
ericj551 from Canada (AB)

2.5/5  rDev -37%

May 07, 2013
Photo of BDTyre
BDTyre from Canada (BC)

4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Definitely the best ESB in the province. Toffee colour with off white head, and a rich malty smell with a very nice hop nose on it. Well done hop-malt balance in the taste department. The hop bitterness cuts down on the malts and there is a very slight brown sugar after taste. Nearly as good as Fuller's. Ctirus and sour hints on the taste, as well as a semi-sweet malt profile.

I agree with canucklehead; this is a very well done beer. My bottles says 5.4% ABV, not 5%.

Jan 23, 2007
Photo of Hornet2003
Hornet2003 from Canada (BC)

3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad.

A: Kind of cloudy deep rich ruby red colour.

S: Hops and malt. Mostly a grassy hoppy smell. Quite English in the aroma. think Fuller's and youve got it.

T: Quite bitter. The malt is really not as apparent inthe flavour. The hoppy bitterness is dominating

M:Meh. Nice carbonation, but the actual bitter flavours are overpowering on the tongue.

D: So-so. Pretty nice session beer, but I'd go out of my way to try Howe Sounds IPA or Oatmeal Stout after having a pint of this. Not so much an all-night beer.

Sep 29, 2007
Photo of Graham5161986
Graham5161986 from Canada (BC)

4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours cascadingly into a chill-hazed ruby brown with a 1 finger off-white head that had good retention and leaves a good lace on my glass.

S: chocolately, caramel malts on the nose with nice northwest hops in the backgroud as well.

T: smooth caramelly malts up front, then the hops come out to play. very well hopped. leave s a pleasant, bittersweet hop flavour on the long finish.

M: medium to heavy-bodied, creamy and crisp. goes down smooth and somewhat dry.

D: another great beer from Howe Sound. i'm lovin' the hops in this bitter and the malts provide for a nice sweetness that does not overpower. It is a bit heavy so I don't know if I would drink more than one bottle - but then again, it is 1 litre... well made and well enjoyed.

Mar 22, 2008
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz glass at the Howe Sound tap takeover @beerrevolutionyeg.

This beer appears a glassy, dark bronzed amber colour, with one finger of tightly foamy pale beige head, which leaves some nicely chaotic inkblot lace around the glass as thing duly fall away.

It smells of sweetly biscuity pale malt, a touch of caramel/toffee, mild orchard fruit, and bitter floral, earthy hops. The taste is rich caramel malt, sponge toffee, cookie biscuits, stewed apples, and robustly noble earthy, floral hops.

The bubbles are capably supportive, and underhandedly spritzy, the body an adequate medium weight, and generally quite smooth, all things considered. It finishes on the sweet side, but in a pleasantly biscuity, cake-like manner, all balanced well enough by the lingering fruit and hop.

A bit strange for a best bitter to be north of 5% ABV, but this new worlder ain't complainin'. Mostly because the whole affair is commensurately amped up, round and full. Oh - and tasty. Pretty tasty.

Jun 07, 2013
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazel reddish brown with good head and lace patches. A aroma that first hits me as sweet with caramel and toffee and then a burst of biter, citric hops hit me. The beer is light to medium bodied as I get a bread-like background with minor sweet caramel/toffee malts balance with, although probably slightly less than 50/50, with bitter, citric flavored hops. Balance is still there as beer is enjoyable and easy to drink and finishes with a dry edge.

May 18, 2014
Photo of Offa
Offa from California

4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a great best bitter-type beer.

It looks beautiful - red-copper with huge pale tan head steadily shrinking to thick foamy/rocky top with rich lace.

Aroma is nice strong caramelised whole wheat toast, hints of dried fruit and wood, bark, tea candy.

Taste is nice caramelised whole wheat toast, pepper, wood, tea bitterness with balancing sweetness.

Mar 19, 2016
Photo of kjyost
kjyost from Canada (MB)

4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1L swing top poured into a nonic pint glass at 5C. Undated bottle, though fresh at the MLCC.

A: Rich clear amber, though with a tiny head and no lacing. EDIT: Second pour 1cm white head, light lacing
S: Lovely hoppy nose, with earthy and spciy notes. Pretty sure some EKG are in there. Caramel malts are also evident.
T: Bracingly bitter, so I am in love off first sip. Some earthy flavours along with light residual sweetness from the malt. Not overly complex, but quite enjoyable.
M: Good residual body, clinging bitterness and stronger than expected carbonation.
O: A nice surprise, but at a price point of a bar ($5/pint - $10 for the bottle) not a beer I will be buying often.

Sep 22, 2011
Photo of EskimoDave
EskimoDave from Canada (BC)

4/5  rDev +0.8%

Nov 21, 2011
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1L swinging pop top poured into tulip 8/9/12

A hazy burgundy with a solid two finger head that retains well and leaves a couple partial rings of lace

S has a little of everything, herbal, earthy and lots of leafy hops, some chocolate and caramel malt, citrus, and nutty toffee, I'm thinking world class Alt beer as I whiff this one

T not quite the complexity I could smell, not as much citrus, the malts aren't as strong but the hop mess is still there, pretty tasty stuff but a step down from the smell

M creamy from the bubbles but its balancing between cream and foam, nutty chocolate lingers on the finish

O pretty solid stuff and I had no problem tackling the liter of brew, another winner from Howe Sound

smells awesome, tastes solid and doesn't lack in any areas, these guys do little wrong in my eyes

Sep 09, 2012
Photo of lumikuuro
lumikuuro from Canada (BC)

4.88/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1 litre bottle with new artwork for 2009, abv now 5.5%.

Appearance: Transparent, vibrant deep reddish amber colour. Creamy biege one finger head with moderate tightness when poured into 500ml English pub style glass tankard. Plenty of lacing as head recedes moderately quickly to a ring.

Aroma: Malt sweetness, caramel, subtle hazelnut.

Taste: Brief initial taste of malt sweetness (with less caramel than in the smell) soon evolves into more nutty, bitter tasting malts and a growing but not aggressive grapefuit taste from the hops. The finish is a highly rewarding lasting earthy bitterness which is a perfect blend of hazelnut and grapefruit, lingering for a long time without being aggressive.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied; starts off lighter but becomes silky.

Drinkability: Very drinkable English style bitter with the extra hoppiness that Pacific Northwest brews are well known for. However, the bitterness is pronounced and appropriate, but balanced and tempered by the strong malty flavours.

This is an exceptionally good beer with a complex, rewarding flavour that is a wonderful surprise after the slightly sweeter than expected aroma.

Apr 09, 2009
Photo of bylerteck
bylerteck from Canada (ON)

3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from kjyost, split with a buddy. From notes.

A - Poured a hazy dark copper with one finger of creamy white head. Great rings of lace and a film of retention.

S - Nice citrus, bread, caramel. The citrus is a good blend with the caramel.

T - Earthy hop with a little citrus. Caramel, bread, good sweetness with a decent hop note too.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, and a light bitterness.

O/D - Very drinkable, not jaw dropping but well done. Too straight forward for me, I was expecting something slightly more boundary pushing.

Nov 05, 2011
Photo of RStansel
RStansel from Canada (MB)

4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A solid English-style bitter, with biscuity, chocolatey, toffee-driven malts balanced by a woodsy hop bitterness. A truly sessionable ale that Canada should embrace.

Mar 07, 2015
Photo of Drknight
Drknight from Virginia

3.42/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jul 29, 2015
Photo of chickenm
chickenm from Canada (BC)

4/5  rDev +0.8%

Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Molson2000
Molson2000 from Canada (ON)

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Sep 10, 2012
Photo of flyerzrule
flyerzrule from California

3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on nitro. Pours amber with a thick creamy head. Nitro dulls the aroma a bit so its mostly bready cracker malt and some light caramel. Taste is more bready cracker biscuit followed by a light English hop bitterness and a touch of pineapple, mango and vanilla. Feels very creamy with light carbonation. Very enjoyable.

May 23, 2016
Photo of Howlader
Howlader from Canada (AB)

3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Jan 01, 2016
Photo of DeanMoriarty
DeanMoriarty from California

4/5  rDev +0.8%

Jun 30, 2014
Photo of CookstLiquor
CookstLiquor from Canada (BC)

3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1L resealable bottle. The nose offers inviting malty aromas with some nutty notes. This traditional English-style ESB offers lots of toffee on the forward palate and then a big citrus rind bitter snap on the finish. It's not hugely complex but it is definitely satisfying for a fan of this style.

Jul 09, 2012
Baldwin And Cooper Best Bitter from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 52 ratings