Younger's Special Bitter
Rogue Ales

Younger's Special BitterYounger's Special Bitter
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Bitter - English
Ranked #6
Ranked #12,716
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
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber/orange beer with very little head or retention ... a thin translucent, tight whisp floats on the beer that eventually goes still -- no head at all. Unfiltered offering, and there's sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Oh yeah. Malty. Lots of rich, caramel, fruity malt character in the nose, backed by a pleasant floral and citrus hop aroma. Wonderfuly inviting.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Fizzy carbonation, medium-bodied. Sharp hop sting in the start with a snappy citric bitterness, bit of "cheesey" hop flavour, too. Very bitter overall, astringent and assertive. Defining.

Malt character builds a foundation under the bitterness, providing sublte balance while still allowing the style to play through. Malt also provides a smooth body that pushes back on the coarse hops, keeping the palate in check. Sweet and fruity underneath with caramel and toasted malt flavours. Finish is leafy with residual hop flavours and a drying palate.

Notes & Drinkability: A bit disappointed with the head, but other than that this is an outstanding bitter and a no brainer as a session beer; flavourful and easy to drink. Spot on for the style. Lovely stuff here ...

Nov 26, 2002
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with no freshness date, info about the beer or brewery. Thin layer of sediment stays intact during pouring.

Appearance: Good foaming action, attractive Brussels Lace is unwavering. Rustic tawny colour with a slight chill hazed that fades as the brew warms up a bit.

Smell: Deep sweet maltiness that is more caramel than toasted in the aroma. Hints of fruitiness from the yeast and well as a mild yeast note permeate from the liquid.

Taste: Medium bodied with lush crispness. Rich and fruity with a heavy hand of hops to counter the spread of malt sweetness over the palate. Fresh bursts of toasted and caramel malt come in several layers and give off a cake like maltiness. Hops range from woody to brisk citrus to slightly sharp bitterness and have no problem balancing the malt out. Faint fruity esters form middle to end with a flare of yeast and a lasting toasted grainy flavour.

Notes: Keep them coming, this one does me just fine. I could happily sip this brew all day long.

Oct 23, 2002
More User Reviews:
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Px2GrafX from Virginia

3.31/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a clear burnt sienna with caramel highlights in a pint glass. off white eighth inch head that drops to a ring but laces well. aroma is not very strong. clean light hop aroma with a lightly sweet aroma to compliment. not much else to say here. taste is not overly complex either. there's a medium bitterness mixed with high carbonation disguising any hop character. there is some fruit flavor, mild like peach or apricot, but these are quickly displaced by a metallic flavor. there is a yeasty and dry bitterness in the finish. mouthfeel is light and crisp and easily quaffable. high carbonation, and the alcohol is well hidden. overall, this isn't more than an average bitter and one of my least favorite offerings from rogue. not terrible, but you might want to seek better.

Mar 14, 2006
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mdagnew from Northern Ireland

3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml Bottle bought from Sainsburys..

Poured a slightly hazy amber / rust colour... Slightly off white head started quite foamy but disappeared to a thin layer...

Aroma - Quite sweet, hints of orange, malty, vanilla, quite sugary smell...

Taste – Nice bitterness, peppery, lemon notes, ginger ?...

Feel - Quite smooth and velvety...

Overall - Highly recommended, very drinkable....

Oct 03, 2005
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bigdeuce from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A hard style to find a good one in is the ESB, but this one is a definite above average brew. Pours a decent, creamy head. Smells of light fruit and some hoppy grapefruit, as well. Starts out quite sweet ending with a refreshing bitter hoppiness. A nice, clean, refreshing brew that can be drank anytime.

Sep 07, 2006
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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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russpowell from Arkansas

4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This 22 oz cliff hanger ale comes via Ddarden hooking me up!

Poues orange/amber with 4 fingers+ of fluffy sand colored head. Very good lacing & head retention

S: Herbal & piney hops, plus fruittyness once warmed

T: Piney hops & a little honey malt sweetness. Citrus hops start to bite as this warms along with some dryness. I also catch fruittyness, a hint of tobaacco, hop tea & brown sugar. Finishes with piney hops & fruittyness

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation & pretty darn good blalance

Drinks very easy, I do remember this being a little truer to its english-style roots & remember it being better then. Not a bad choice to session on. Not a huge fan of amarillo hops though..

Mar 20, 2007
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battlekow from Wisconsin

3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a beautiful dark reddish-brown color, with a substantial head and very nice lacing. The smell is less pleasing, strongly laced with a cabbagelike character. Smells like a bad brown ale. There's also some spicy hoppiness. The taste is bitter through and through, as I suppose it should be, and thankfully bears no trace of the cabbage quality that the nose possessed. The mouthfeel is relatively full and pleasingly dry, but I feel it's overcarbonated, leading to some harshness. Overall, a very drinkable beer, smooth despite its bitterness, but not something I'd drink often, primarily because of the smell.

Thanks to JacktheRipper for the opportunity to try this rare brew.

Aug 02, 2005
Photo of Phatz
Phatz from Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent amber copper with an off white head. Decent lacing. A bit hazy and noticeably carbonated.

Smell: Nice blended sweet malt and mild hop aroma.

Taste: The hop bitter is pleasantly lip smacking as opposed to being overly piney or grassy. A mild floral (and slightly citrus) character, blends gently into honey and caramelized sweet malts. The malt base seems a bit thin through the center. I'd have liked to see it closer to Fuller's ESB type of malt base. Nonetheless, it is a pleasant taste. It is not as gentle and is a bit more invasive on the palate than some. It would work on certain palates but contradict others. Slightly above average, but not mind blowingly impressive for Rouge.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, a bit thin at spots but overall medium body and refreshingly crisp.

Drinkability: This is not an all night beer for me but it is very easy to put down a 750 ml bottle before you know it. It was GREAT with some Danish Havarti cheese.

Hope this is helpful.

Jan 18, 2006
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Wasatch from Colorado

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

Pours a cloudy brown/amber color, some carbonation, small head, nice lacing afterwards. Scents of hops, malt, and caramel. Very nice taste of caramel, and malts, a little dry, but not that bitter at all. Medium body. Another excellent brew from Rogue, if I were to guess the ABV I would say about 5-5.2%. This is a very drinkable brew and would make a nice session drink.

Nov 20, 2005
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Naes from New York

3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This bitter pours a clear amber color with a small white head.
The aroma is a bit muted, but has a bit of hops with a slight sweetness as well; quite typical of an English style bitter.
The flavor is much sweeter than I was expecting. It starts out with a mild bitterness from the hops, but it is quickly overtaken by caramel m malt. It is more balanced than I was expecting.
Mouth feel is light in body and mild on the carbonation levels.
Overall, this is a good beer, but just a little too sweet for a bitter in my book.

Dec 10, 2006
Photo of SFLpunk
SFLpunk from Vermont

3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown glass pry-top w/out freshness date.

Appearance: A moderately hazy amber/brown with light tan head and no lacing.

Nose: Hop-candy. Pale malty sweetness combined with light citrus and a slight floral note. Candied orange comes to mind.

Palate: Medium-bodied and much more malty than I anticipated. Slick mouth-feel is then overtaken by hop-sharpness on the finish. Medium-caramel malt notes (like an alt) mingle with the citrus qualities of the hops and a little fruitiness from the yeast, and then are taken by the dry, bitter hops, and a little dried cannabis-like note on the finish.

Notes: A slightly off-balance bitter, if only because it seems like it's just an exaggerated recipe. It's both big on the fruity notes and big on the bitter. Tasty and sessionable.

Jan 29, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini from California

3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amber with a minimal white head. Aroma is full of peppry hops, caramel malt, rosemary, and the normal Rogue yeast sweetness. Taste is spicy hops with some citrus anda sweet caramel malt backing. A bit bitter in the finish. Kind of thin. Not your normal bitter, but definitely another great beer from Rogue.

Dec 16, 2008
Photo of jmalex
jmalex from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my friend Josh for grabbing this at State Line Liquors for me. It is one of the few currently offered Rogues that I have yet to try.

APPEARANCE: Pours into an English pub-style glass a reddish orangish amber. It's fairly opaque and features a one-finger high creamy off-white head. It holds fairly strong and drops to a full surface coating. Lacing cascades down the entire glass in spider web-type sheets.

SMELL: The aroma is a huge blast of resinous, floral hops. Searching further, a bready malt base stands out fairly well and serves as a nice balancer.

TASTE: It's quite light in flavor with nothing being over the top. The malt base is solid and provides a light sweetness. The hops don't come out as much as I'd expect, but the bitterness is certainly there. There just is hardly any hop flavor to speak of which is a surprise.

MOUTHFEEL: Very light bodied with a slightly lower carbonation. Very appropriate for the style.

DRINKABILITY: Very VERY easy drinking. I'm so glad this came in a bomber, because 12 oz wouldn't be near enough. The thin body really helps in this regard, but then, that should be expected from an English-style bitter.

Excellent. This beer surprised me quite a bit. I thought this would be more like an "imperial" version of Brutal Bitter, but it's quite the opposite. I guess I should have done my research. Regardless, I'm glad I got to add this to my ever-growing Rogue collection.

Oct 27, 2007
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orfeu from New Mexico

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

22-ounce silkscreened bottle. Ruddied amber with a dense and creamy manilla head. Appealing mellow English hop aromas (EKG); a bit of toasty buttered biscuit as well. Warm rounded malts introduce the taste, with a biscuity character being most prominent. There is an ever-so-slight butteriness to the biscuit flavor, and there are some green plum and other watery fruit flavors -- the character is almost woody. Leafy English hops bring the swallow to a close, and a strikingly sharp mineral finish seals it up. The mouthfeel here is incredibly smooth. Medium body gives it just enough heft. A ridiculously drinkable bitter. I actually much prefer this to Rogue's Brutal Bitter ESB. I'm very glad to have found this at Beers of the World in Rochester, and I hope they continue to stock it. Pairs great with my vegan mac and "cheese" with boiled collard greens.

Aug 27, 2006
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IntriqKen from California

4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a coppery tan with a full head that stays a long, long time in the glass. Beautiful lacing as it goes down.
Slight citrus and wildflower aromas with a mild hop scent.
Mouthfeel is light but I don't consider it 'thin'.
Slightly buttery in the mouth with tiny bubble of carbonation.
Taste is of mild hops, flowers, and citrus.
Light citrus aftertaste.Drying sensation that is sort of cleansing to the palette.
Could use more hops, but overall very nice and drinkable.
Nice session brew.
"Not too filling...not too strong...just right"

Dec 29, 2005
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Fugazme from Nebraska

3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice copper/amber color with a very good head of white. The bubbles seem to last awhile.

First whiff was slightly floral with a touch of rubber. Second smell was about the same with some light citrus. Third whiff reveals more... lavendar, tiny tiny hints of pine and lemon.

Quite smooth on the drink with malt upfront and bitter on the back. Strawberry notes and touches of hops. Fairly well balanced.

Dec 20, 2005
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep orange/amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts, some spice, a little citrus and a good amount of hops.

T: Just like the name implies, the taste is bitter up front with a strong flavor of pale hops. There's some background sweetness from flavors of caramel and a hearty malt character that provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a good beer to drink for a while if your in the mood for a good session beer with some substance.

Jun 08, 2008
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blakesell from Ohio

4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber bottle into a Beligan style wine glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a hazy caramel with little to no head to be seen and slight lacing around the sides of the glass.

Smell- Rich and caramelized, not near as hoppy as I was expecting from Rogue and more true to the style. Very impressive nose. Light floral hops. It smells very English and drinkable.

Taste- Slightly bitter but still smooth as an English bitter should be. Caramel and biscuity with light floral aspects. Slightly drying on the finish. This is really an excellent example of an English bitter.

Mouthfeel- This is where the beer shines most of all, a smooth refreshing mouthfeel with a light bitterness. Medium bodied, low in carbonation, I would love to give this a try on a cask.

Drinkability- Extremely drinkable and will be sought out again. I really wasn't expecting this great a beer from Rogue considering that Dead Guy doesn't do much for me and many of thier beers are a bit overhopped. But this was quite a pleasant suprise.

May 10, 2008
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crwills from Canada (ON)

4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I believe I purchased this bomber the last time I was at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY.

Poured a pleasant brownish-gold into a pint glass, with a good sized foamy off-white head. Aroma was mildly hoppy, more leafy or woodsy than citrusy. Flavour is restrained, but bitter enough to make it interesting and worth drinking a bomber of! Low-to-moderate carbonation (just the way I like it), and a pleasantly full mouthfeel (especially as it warms) just add to the drinkability. A very nice, low-key bitter from Rogue that I'd love to find on tap somewhere and have a few pints.

Oct 20, 2007
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wagenvolks from Texas

3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rogue's select brew at the Village Draft House in Raleigh in Feb.

Poured a darkish brown, semi-clear pour with almost no head (I blame the bartenders, but it does mean more beer for me). No lacing as a result. Decent carbonation rising up throughout.
To be honest, I'm probably underrating the aroma since I was in a bar and was bombarded with cigarette smoke/food smells. However, I did get a couple whiffs of the brew and was rather underimpressed. A touch of hops, some fruit, and a slight sweet floral boquet and that was it.

Taste was actually pretty good. A nice hoppy bite that reminded me of some type of leathery varnish (just a mental "tasting" image, not a bad thing) and well-balanced, roasted toffee malts to boot. Mouthfeel was crisp, carbonated, and left a lingering aftertaste which I enjoyed. I'd probably pick up other Rogue brews (i.e. Brutal Bitter), but this one got the job done.

Feb 15, 2007
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sevineyes from Arkansas

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 ml brown bottle with a yellow and purple label.

A: Pours a cloudy dark apricot. Almost cider-like. Head is very slight tan and dense. Leaves nice lacing.

S: Nice floral hops and a distinct breadiness as well are the main things that come through immediately. Mint. Floured biscuits. A lot of sweetness. Rather complex smell. Definite citrus presence. Sweet orange and sugared lemon peel.

T: Caramel sweet. Floral. Ripe melon. Wow. What a great complexity to the flavor. I can't even come close to figuring out some of what's in there. Rice pudding? Anyway, blends out to a delicious bitterness that hangs on and hangs on. Awesome hop presence in the flavor.

M: Rich and creamy. Much bigger bodied than I was expecting. Leaves a tingling in the mouth. Low carbonation as expected.

Overall: This is awesome. Compared to other bitters I've had this one really does come on top of the heap. Awesomely complex smell and flavor. Still keeps with some of the traditional Rogue profile but distinctly suited well to this style.

Apr 07, 2006
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Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +1.5%

Nov 26, 2011
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imnodoctorbut from Texas

3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Feb 25, 2020
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Tyrawlings from Ohio

4/5  rDev +1.5%

Feb 11, 2012
Younger's Special Bitter from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 369 ratings