Younger's Special Bitter | Rogue Ales

very good
279 Reviews
Younger's Special BitterYounger's Special Bitter

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 01-31-2002

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Reviews: 279 | Ratings: 363
Photo of hopsbreath
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
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

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of claspada
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of THECPJ
2.95/5  rDev -24.9%
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


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Photo of schlazzgraft
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
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

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Photo of chumba526
1.03/5  rDev -73.8%
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.

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Photo of jdense
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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!

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Photo of xcrunner78
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

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Photo of Long813
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of confer
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
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

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Photo of berley31
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with an average-sized, creamy, frothy white head. Diminished to about 1/2-finger size over time. Body is amber-colored and hazy. A very nice looking beer.

S: Nice aroma of bitterness, with a bit of malt thrown in there for balance.

T: This is a great-tasting beer. Some caramel malt in the flavor, with a bitter finish. But the bitterness isn't too heavy at all, it's very nice and makes a beer that is actually quite smooth and easy to drink.

M: Medium-bodied and quite creamy, with average carbonation.

D: My first Rogue beer, and a great one to start with, in my opinion. One of the better bitters I've had so far, and quite easy to drink.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rogue bomber, $6.99 at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours typical darker almond amber, khaki head, that goes all tiny bubbly, and leaves a mess of fine fine lace and a nice shimmering and lightly frothy film. Orange peel, and lighly musty nose. Well hopped Biter, nice malty under coating, thoroughly tasty and enjoyable Rogue brew. Pac NW all the way, with the healthy hop attack shining through. Softly citric and quite appealing. Clearly quality, nicely done.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a pint. Notes from 2 nights ago.

The cap pops off like a rocket, grazing my cheek. Glad it wasn't my eye, I expect to see this foaming over, but it sits... waiting.

Pours with a few fingers of frothy tan head, a slightly hazy orange-ish amber.

Aroma is lemon, grass, earl grey tea. Slightly soured earth. Fairly fruity.

Taste was nicely balanced, walking a good line between malt and hops, it followed the aroma. Carbonation was a bit high and fizzy.

Overal and nicely balanced brew, though it was a little underpowered for the steak I had with it.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear light brown color with a 1.5-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bright citrus hops with husky lightly toasted malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly toasted grainy malt flavors up front with good amounts of citrus and lighter amounts of pine hop flavors. The hop flavors fade away right before a solidly bitter ending. As the beer warms the malt flavors intensify and take on a sweeter caramel malt flavor with hints of toffee.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have a few more.

Overall this was one of the better Bitters I remember having, however it's worth noting that all of my favorites have had more hops than are standard for the style. Even without all the hops, the solid malt bill would make Rogue's take on the style worth a shot.

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Photo of zplug123
3.26/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 16 oz glass

A: Medium amber-copper color with excellent head retention and lacing.

S: Very faint and subdued malt and flowery scent, could barely detect

T: Fairly bitter for a light beer, crisp hops taste with biscuit/butterscotch undertone

M: Smooth and light bodied, definitely leaves a bit of a bite at the end of each sip

D: A good hoppy example of a bitter, would repeat a tasting if I was in the mood for hops and not the strength of an IPA.

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Photo of nighthawk
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber with no freshness date poured into pint glass.

Pours a fairly clear copper with some carbonation visible, and the usual large, tightly bubbled and rocky head that retains excellently and leaves lacing on the glass.

Aroma is a nicely subdued sweet floral and citrus hop. I say subdued mostly in comparison to Rogue's usual smack-you-in-the-face hop aroma. Some nice biscuit and butterscotch complement nicely.

Hops are a bit more subtle in the taste, and lean more floral. Added in is the noticeable PacMan yeast flavour, some biscuit sweetened with caramel and a grassy bitter finish that's a touch on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is a bit creamy, fairly smooth with just a light bubbling from the carbonation.

Goes down smoothly, and is a nice, subtle change of pace from Rogue's usual flavour, hop and alcohol hammering.

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Photo of TwubMoore
3.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Solid three finger thick head that clung to the side of the glass all the way down. A nice golden amber color.

Smell: If I was at all disappointed in this beer, which I wasn't, it was with the aroma, which was extremely light. There are some light herbal scents the emanate, but I was hoping for some fruit in the nose.

Taste: This beer is clean and crisp. The lower ABV allows for the flavor of the beer to hide the alcohol. The mild to moderate bitter flavor finishes nicely.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was light, but not watery. This beer definitely stands up for itself, but isn't trying to pick a fight with anyone.

Drinkability: I definitely enjoyed drinking this beer. I enjoyed the moderate bitterness that wasn't trying to punch me in the face. I can definitely see myself enjoying this beer on a hot summer day while relaxing at a cookout or as a session beer. I will definitely be trying another one of these in the future.

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Photo of plaid75
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at The Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a light to medium copper hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft doughy malt and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of a smooth biscuity malt, a touch of caramel and a spicy and grassy hop. Good doughy aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style with a good lingering hop.

Overall a well balanced and delicious ale.

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Photo of blaje
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of bomber, this beer is light amber in colour. Pours translucid and forming a medium head quickly fading away. Carbonnation appears to be medium.

Nose: Delicate, I was expecting a more aggressive hop smell. Lightly floral.

Mouth: Again, as with the nose, I was expecting something more aggressive, more punchy on the hop side. This beer is more like an English bitter then an american bitter. Bitterness is nice. Malt is very present, in fact, more then expected. This make the hops a bit "hidden", tempered down. Sweet and fruity on the final.

Conclusion, A nice English bitter style of beer. More malty then it's American cousin. A bit off-balanced, but still very enjoyable.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first thing that happened upon opening up this beer was that it instantly begun gushing ale. Seeing as how it had been sitting in the fridge for a few days, there was really no apparent reason for its abrupt explosion. I guess that is why they call this one "Younger's".

After cleaning up the initial disaster, this got poured into a mug. A cloudy amber color results, with some decent frothy head, which evaporates sporadically. What remains laces down the glass. Smell was of some caramel malts. Taste was bitter, obviously, with some floral sweetness. No real excessive carbonation.. potentially used it all up earlier. Leaves the mouth dry with a slightly sour aftertaste. A decent bitter overall.

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Photo of Shadman
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last of the Rogue Feb Beer Club Selections.

Tarnished copper in colour with a rich head that settles into a noce cap. Loads of lacing as has been the case with most Rogue brews.

Can certainly pickup the hop, along with sweet toasted malts. Quite appretizing.

Smooth, med-light in body. Nice caramel malt start that gets overwelmed a wee bit by the sharp citrus hop that follows. Bit of butter toffee flavor seeps into the picture after the hop invasion. Citrus rind tends to hang on in the finish for a long time. No hint @ all of the 5.3% ABV.

Carbonation is low, as one would expect in an English Bitter, leading to a smooth mouthfeel.

Decent attempt, well crafted, but Rogue got a tad carried away with the citrus hop for it to be a top-notch English bitter. If there was an American Bitter then this would score a lot higher.

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Younger's Special Bitter from Rogue Ales
3.93 out of 5 based on 363 ratings.
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