Younger's Special Bitter
Rogue Ales

Younger's Special BitterYounger's Special Bitter
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Bitter - English
Ranked #6
Ranked #12,633
3.94 | pDev: 10.91%
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States
Very Good
Younger's Special BitterYounger's Special Bitter
Reviews: 280 | Ratings: 369 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dunkel_weizen
dunkel_weizen from Oregon

3.47/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Rogue brewery in Newport. The head is 2 finger on arrival, good crown and lacing retention, focused towards the middle. The color is a solid hazy orange, with a bit of opacity. This brew is orange on the nose, some hop, and a bit of earthy notes. As far as the taste goes, this is a true bitter ESB unlike a lot of others out there. I get some strong herbal bitter notes, a lot of hop, and some faint brown malt on the backend. It finishes crisp and dry, with a astringent but not unpleasant mouthfeel.

I have had better ESBs to be frank. This is the most bitter I have had for sure, and the most floral as well, but compared to others like Ferment I am not a super fan of this brew.

Oct 10, 2020
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imfinished from Canada (BC)

1.41/5  rDev -64.2%
look: 1.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

This is the creepiest beer I have ever had. The combination of it being served warmer than the others in the flight, the fact that it had fizzy head and also has a vaguely gross "old apple juice" flavor makes for a rather unsettling sip. All in all, the old windowless rusty white van of beers.

May 18, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.9/5  rDev -1%

i really dig this brew here. a well americanized take on a classic english stye.. caramel in color but nice and clear, and having almost a full inch of soft white head. the nose smells like desserty english malt, while the yeast is a burton or something similar. whats unique about this is the flavor in the middle. it has an almost holiday spice cake character, where cinnamon seems obvious, but maybe some molasses and clove too. not over spiced,or even spice per se, but that complexion is there for sure, before its all cleaned up in the finish. loading this much flavor and character into a beer with such low alcohol is a feat, unforced and natural in this beer, and very impressive. clean finishing, plenty of body, and the kind of beer i could gladly have several of given that its both sessionable and different. well done here by rogue, i prefer this to the massive imperial version.

Aug 30, 2014
Photo of BSquire

4.97/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Several years ago this great Younger's Style bitter ale from Rogue was available in my location and I loved it. I can't get it anymore. It wasn't as hoppy or yeasty as Rogue's Brutal Bitter, but darn near as good, plus it sold in 12 oz bottles, whereas the Brutal Bitter was in 24 oz bottles. Both are great bitter ales in the best British tradition... and brewed in the US to boot.

Dec 15, 2012
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ToddT from Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear light brown color with an orange tint and a medium off white head. Head fades quickly but leaves some nice lace on the glass.

S- Caramel malts and East Kent Golding hops. Spot on in the nose for an English bitter.

T- Taste is spot on too, nice notes from the hops and perfectly balanced out with biscuit malts. Finish is dry and crisp with a final slight bitter note.

M- Light in body and decent carbonation. Very clean and crisp an easy drinker.

O- Outstanding take on the style, the 4.8% ABV is well hidden and this would be a great session beer for an evening out with friends. There is a nice story that goes along with the name of this beer too.

Apr 07, 2012
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Derek from Canada (BC)

4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really nice bitter... not over-the-top like their Brutal, but certainly 'west-coast'.

A great hop nose follows through in the flavour. Plenty of EKG give it the British flavour, but it's super-sized. Very solid bitterness. I'd be happy to session this one.

Light to moderate body is smooth with just a hint of acidity.

RIP Don.

Sep 02, 2011
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Hojaminbag from Colorado

3.23/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

YSB has a brownish orange body and a creamy tan head. Both the retention and lacing are fairly good.

The aroma has a lot of English hops, with fruit and bitterness. Some toasted malts are noticeable also.

Toasted malts come through up front, with a bit of bread. Hops come next, with a fairly high amount of bitterness, some earthy flavors and some fruit. Somewhere in the middle a little bit of fruity yeast poles its head through also.

This beer is very dry from start to finish. The body is a little bit thin.

YSB is a decent bitter, but it has more bitterness than flavor.

Aug 25, 2011
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Brewski4Drewski from South Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Several pours into 22oz nonic glass.
L: Pours dark orange/amber color, visible carbonation. Creates big 2 finger light head. Good lacing.

S: A little toasty, a little hoppy, maybe a little nutty. A twang I cannot put my finger on.

T: Similar... malty, slightly bitter/ sharp, a bit hoppy.

M: Medium bodied, carbonated throughout offering.

O: A pretty good bitter (but not the best of this style) from Rogue Ales. Nicely drinkable, killing growler wasn't a chore...glad to try it. I grabbed it thinking it was a special brown, but next time I'll stick with the Hazelnut Nectar. Cheeuhs

Aug 19, 2011
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Natural510 from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at South Park Tavern in Dayton.

Pours a dark amber-copper color with quality lacing.

Scent is malt-heavy with a sweet, fruity edge.

Flavor is well-balanced between the malt, with its sweet notes of caramel and cherry, and a hoppiness which is most apparent in the bitter finish.

Body is full and well-formed in classic bitter style. Bitter in the finish without the dryness typical in, say, a pale ale.

Excellent example of a British bitter, probably the best I've had from this side. Very full for a beer under 5%ABV, though the alcohol content still makes itself known. Well-balanced between malt sweetness and hop bitterness, exactly as it should be.

Jun 23, 2011
Photo of cooch69
cooch69 from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this one as Fat Head's Ale. It came in a 22 ounce bottle.

Pours a hazy amber with some orange hues. Not much of a head, which is almost pure white in color.
Nose is big on the floral hoppiness and sweet caramel malts.

Taste is pretty good on this one. I was'nt sure to expect something hoppier than this from Rogue but it is a pretty Authentic English Ale. Sweet caramelized, bready malts and a nice mild biterness in the finish.

Recomended. Another solid offering from Rogue. Maybe they're onto something with this Pacman Yeast.

Jun 21, 2011
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negroobserver from New York

2.66/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

C: Ruby Red color with a golden hue.

S: Sweet. Light Malts. Light Roasted Scent. Light scent of hops. The beer has a funny pungent smell.

T: Malty.

M: Good carbonation. Smooth texture and slight alcohol/carbonation bite.

D: I didn't enjoy this beer at all becasue of the strange funky smell.


Apr 12, 2011
Photo of hopsbreath
hopsbreath from Florida

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first bar I went to when I moved to Portland was The Horse Brass Pub. The first beer I ordered was a YSB on cask. I've ordered more than a few since. A fellow BA pointed out some of the beer rock stars that were also there that night. Alan Sprints from Hair of the Dog, Guy Palmer from Lagunitas, and the man for whom that first pint was named after, Don Younger himself, seemingly having a great time. I'd never drank a beer in the presence of the person it was named for. If the beer would have sucked I suspect it would not have been as memorable. It was quite good though so that's a win in my book. Sadly the publican has passed since then leaving his legacy and memories behind. I won't claim to have actually met him and shook his hand because that would be a lie, but that's my memory of him. I don't think I will ever drink a YSB without remembering that first night in the Horse Brass. Its about noon right now after a long night shift and I'm just chilling at the bar with a freshly pulled pint. Here's to you Don.

A: Nice amber color with a couple fingers of fluffy, dusty head. It recedes down to a nice full cap with some decent lacing. That's good stuff right there. 4/5

S: Nice, moderately sweet, lightly roasted malts are a pleasure to the senses. Some berry-esque qualities show up as a nice compliment as well. Floral, English hops show up to help the balancing act. Well done. 4/5

T: Here is where the beer absolutely shines for me. Nice mild amount of bittering is the initial introduction to the taste buds. Some tannins light up their sweet spots. Its not until after the swallow that the long slowly developing finish leads to the copious amounts of whole grain biscuit. Pairs fantastically with fried foods. 4.5/5

M: Smooth, lightly scrubbing, and clean. Just what I expect from a cask bitter. 4/5

O: Good beer. Drinks easily enough and still maintains its wonderful character throughout. Perfect to drink several pints of while laughing with friends. 4/5

Mar 30, 2011
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984 from Massachusetts

3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber color some slight carbonation rising to the surface. A fizzy/foamy off white head that rises to about 2 fingers. Slowly collapses to a thinner cap. A little bit of light splotchy lacing.

Aroma is of sweet malt, reminds me more of toffee. A bit of diacetyl noted. A bit of lemon peel. Frankly also smells like a Rogue offering.

Boring to say, but sometimes it applies so well. Flavor follows the aroma here. Toffee, some butter (diacetyl) and a finish with some mild citrus hops. And yes... it tastes like a Rogue Beer with the distinctive Pacman flavors. The finish is where the hops and lemon peel do come through....

Carbonation is very muted and just prickles at your tongue. Fairly light bodied

Overall, I think this is pretty much on target for the style. Not the most exciting beer in the world, but it's not supposed to be.

Mar 26, 2011
Photo of claspada
claspada from New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aromas begin with layers of grassy and flowery hops. Light biscuity and bready malts follow suit. Quite English indeed.
Tastes directly follow the nose with pleasant English grassy and herbal hoppiness with equal amounts of biscuity and bready malts. Perfect to style. Finsihes with the expected/delicious full and creamy Pacman yeast flavors. Carbonation and mouthfeel are perfect; full and bubbly, maybe less carbonation than a traditional English style and a bit fuller.
Overall this is a perfect beer, period. I wish I had this on draft in my house. It is extremely hard to make a beer of this ABV and style good, let alone packed with so much flavor. Will be drinking a lot more of this in the near future, especially in the warmer months.

Mar 09, 2011
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THECPJ from Delaware

2.95/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes

Appearance: murky brown with slight amber hue, 1 finger white head, leaves nice lacing

Smell: malts and caramel, sweetness

Taste: caramel, sweet malts, mild citrus

Mouthfeel: lots of carbonation, medium body

Drinkability: not overly bitter, but not overly exciting, quite carbonated


Mar 04, 2011
Photo of schlazzgraft
schlazzgraft from New York

4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow what a great beer - poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass

A - Great english ale look; rich amber in color and a mountainous head with great retention. The head fades and leaves a nice trail down the glass... beautiful!

S - Pretty light, but sweet and a bit fruity

T - Scrumptious; malty up front and than wiped clean by the ekg hops... a great example of the style.

M - smooth and creamy, but not too heavy

D - I could drink a lot of these, but it would probably fill you up pretty quick

Aug 08, 2010
Photo of chumba526
chumba526 from Oregon

1.03/5  rDev -73.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I had this at Rogue's taproom in Portland.
The color is a murky brownish orange color with no foam or head of any kind; it looked completely flat: turns out it was when I tasted it.

The smell is of rotten sour malts. It also smells a bit nutty, a bit soapy. But mostly it smelt very stale: kind of smelt like old stale bread and old rotten yeast.

The taste is utterly disgusting. It tasted of off malts. A rotten nut taste as well is apparent. It tasted slightly sour with a gross honey aftertaste. There is also this disgusting rotten yeasty flavor to the beer.

Zero carbonation is in the beer and it was served at seventy degrees, I kid not. The overly warm temperature was hard to handle: cask should not be cold but it shouldn't be seventy degrees! No carbonation made the beer overly bad. I spit up the beer when I was drinking it. I am a huge fan of cask and this is the first cask ale I have tried that I could not drink.

Looking at other reviews I can only assume that Rogue is serving an improperly kept and old cask. It tasted like it could have been a good beer if fresh and properly stored. Rogue should spend less time on marketing and more time maintaining the quality of their beer! Rogue should be ashamed for serving this beer this way. Next time I'm in Portland I want to go to the Horse Brass and try a sample of it there to see if there is substantial difference.
If you order it at Rogue be sure to try a sample first.

Jul 03, 2010
Photo of jdense
jdense from Oregon

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

On cask at the Horse Brass 6.12.2010 during USA-England World Cup match.

Deep brown body, no visible carbonation, 1 finger creamy off white head, significant lacing. Nose is malty goodness, caramel. Taste is malty but with a nice hop hit, floral and grassy, on the back end. Mouthfeel is medium, minimal effervescence. Drinkability is superlative, light, refreshing. You really need to have the cask version to appreciate this offering. Now I see why The Old Tavern Rat drinks this all the time (when he's not drinking Scotch). I was pleasantly surprised how good this was. Definitely worth a try.

Jun 17, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fat Head's Ale aka the above.

A-pours a very hazy but clean copper orange color with a thicker tight off white head. very solid retention and lots of a very thin lace left behind.

S-the nose is nice and brings some butterscotch up front. a light pale malt comes in next finishing with some citrus and caramel blended together.

T/M-a lighter medium body, very smooth. too much carbonation. the taste has butterscotch up front, pale malts coming in next, some sweet citrus and a hint of medicinal phenols. as it warms big flavors of toasted biscuit come in to provide an even stronger malt backing to the taste. bitter hops come in at the finish accompanied by the carbonation to give it a very crisp finish.

D-a well balanced ale that brings a nice malt body with a hint of sweet hops and a fair amount of bitterness. extremely low in alc and very easy to drink make this something I could enjoy on a warm summer day...too bad i'm snowed in, give me a RIS next!

Feb 11, 2010
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xcrunner78 from Ohio

3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma of hops and some citrus.Poured with an average-sized, creamy, frothy white head. Diminished to about 1/2-finger size over time. Body is amber-colored and hazy. The flavor definitely has hops with a little sweetness that is the citrus. It goes down nice and smooth and a nice feel in the mouth.

Dec 22, 2009
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Long813 from Canada (ON)

3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

G: I&G Tulip

A: Clear (cloudy after a few glasses) copper body with yeast particles floating around. One inch head with moderate retention that leaves strong alcing around the top of the glass.

S: Bicsuity with strong hops and faint toffee notes. Aromas are somewhat faint here.

T: Caramel, toffee and biscuits are prominent with bitter hops leading.

M: Medium-light bodied with medium-low carbonation. Leaves a nice toffee and light bitter finish.

D: This is a nice beer and completes the series of rogue beers I have access to around here. It's pretty good and not that bitter. I also have to note that the label on my bottle is no where as neat as the one here.

Also, as you pour more beer the yeast adds to make a cloudy body which is the reason for the change in appearance.

Nov 29, 2009
Photo of confer
confer from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle with the Fathead Ale label. Picked it up on a trip to Pittsburgh.

A- Color is deep gold and cloudy. Fluffy head lingers for a while.
S- Smell is sweet and candy-like.
T-Very mellow flavor with a small hop bite in the finish.
MD- There is a lot of carbonation. This beer goes down real easy. Nothing jumps out it is just a solid Bitter.

Nov 28, 2009
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy medium copper colour, with one finger of creamy off-white head, which leaves a thin spotty wall of lace around the glass. It smells of caramel, toffee, and some soft, earthy hops. The taste is caramel malt, some biscuit, and mild piney, earthy hops. The carbonation is a bit high at first, but quickly abates, the body is decently weighted and smooth, and it finishes off-dry, with a bit of piney hops hanging around, and generally smooth.

This seems like a very agreeable, sessionable English bitter, with a pinch of West Coast USA thrown in for good measure.

Nov 22, 2009
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up in a BIF and found it sitting in the back of my fridge, decided to open it up with dinner last night, Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 11/16/2009.
The pour was nice, amber in color with a rich white head on top. Very nicely done I have to say. Lots of carbonation could be seen coming up from the bottom of the glass throughout the entire session. Aroma is a mix of nice caramel malts, hints of piney hops and a nice buttery, biscuit liken note as well. As I take the first sip a nice and smooth feel rolls across the tongue. Nice medium body and very well carbonated, it all comes across very nicely. Rich with a nice smooth finish that was not too dry at all. Long taste of smooth caramel malts and a nice rich finish left me looking for more and really helped this one go down quite quickly.
Overall this was a very, very nice ale to sip on for dinner. I would have no issue with having this one again any day.

Nov 17, 2009
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into pint glass nov5 2009

A cloudy peach with lots of bubbles, the giant head has crazy retention and cakes my glass with lace. the thick foam forms a peak that just stays there well down the glass, this is one sexy looking beer

S lots of bread/biscuit with some mild hops and a fair bit of toffee

T lots of caramel and toffee with the same bread and hops that I smell, quite a nice balance between the malt and hops

M not as bitter as one would think but it still has a nice mild bite too it and a creamy feel

D well worth drinking and I'm thinking I will be drinking this again, it's a smooth easy drinking beer

another lovely beer from Rouge, well rounded and well made. this is one of the better bitters I've drank in recent memory and I hope you het the chance soon

Nov 06, 2009
Younger's Special Bitter from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 369 ratings