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 Graham5161986
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a brilliant amber-orange with one of the nicest looking frothy heads I've seen in quite a while - with some amazing staying power as well! Nice lacing left on my glass. Couldn't as for more!

S: grassy, northwest hops and touch of caramel malt and slight honey in the background.

T: smooth, beautiful subtle sweetness, a nice touch of honey throughout and a nice English-style hoppiness.

M: smooth and full bodied, nicely carbonated and quite a refreshing, very crisp finish and linger.

D: This is a fantastic english-style bitter IMO. All the right flavours are there and it is not, thankfully, overly-hopped. Another winner from Rogue. I will definitely buy this one again. well worth the price.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

According to the Rogue Beer Bible, which I slobbered over profusely during my recent Portland trip, this is a bitter named after Bill Younger, the "younger" (Sorry for the pun) brother of Don, the owner of the world famous Horse Brass Pub (where I also slobbered during my recent Portland trip).

It pours a thin head that sinks into a translucent film. It is an amber colored quaff with some clarity. It has notes of lemons and apples - yes, a bitter. I thought it a complex product, especially with three malts (Northwest Harrington, Klages and Crystal), two types of hops (Willamette and Kent Golding) and Rogue's very own yeast strain. [I once dated a girl with her own yeast strain ...]

And yet, it is a mild, minimaly hoppy, bitter with a low ABV (4.8) that makes for a smooth sessional. From what I understand, it's usually available on tap or bottle at the Pearl District location. If in Portland, you must... ah, hell. Who am I kidding? No self-respecting Beer Advocate is going to hit Portland without hitting this place.

But if you do - order a pint of Younger's Special Bitter.

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Photo of Lepley
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Labeled Fat Head's Ale in a 22oz bottle.

A: Pours thick reddish-brown with a good amount of carbonation and about two fingers of tan head.
S: Not real potent, but smells hoppy, sweet, citrus, and a little fruity.
T: Malty, citrus, slight bitterness. I gave taste its weakest score because I felt that it lacked a big flavor other Rogue beers have.
M: Smooth, slightly watery.
D: This beer is decent. I wouldn't seek it out again. Like I've said about Rogue in other reviews, for me they're hit or miss.

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Photo of hurleymanvw
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this under the name Summits Cliffhanger ale.

Golden in color with medium white head. Aroma of citrus and light caramel malt. Nice hop (citrus/grape) and sweet malt taste but not to complex. Medium body beer and a long bitter finish. Good beer very drinkable.

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Photo of danielharper
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours from the 22oz bomber into my pint glass with a dark golden amber coloration, clear, some effervescence, and a thick foamy white head that leaves tons of lacing. Excellent presentation, nearly perfect for style.

Smell: Strong hop presence, "mushy" as opposed to crisp. Strong notes of apples buried underneath, something like an apple cider? Overall aroma is sweet, malty, slightly cloying.

Taste: Strongly hoppy upfront, sweet in the middle, with a dry backend. Slight notes of citrus. Overall uncomplex but enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Thin, but the hops give the tongue a bit of a workout.

Drinkability: This is a good-quality example of an English Bitter, not necessarily a great style, but a really decent beer for daily drinking. The price tag makes it a bit steep, though.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml ceramic bottle into nonic.

Deep honey amber with a massive 3+ finger light tan head that slowly settles to a very thick cap. Thick sticky lacing along the glass.

Very light grainy aromas with a touch of diacetyl. The hops don't really come out much in the aroma for some reason, even toward room temperature.

Although the hops aren't in the aroma, they do show up in the flavor. Sharp and assertive, slightly acerbic, mildly spicy. The malts are toasty and somewhat hidden by the hops. Full bodied with good carbonation. The hops linger for a while.

This isn't an English Bitter, nor is it an ESB. It's closer to an American Pale Ale than anything else. But I guess the goal of this beer is an "Imperial English Bitter", which is a bit of an oxymoron, but they somehow pull it off. It's a good beer, hence the score, and it's hard for me to penalize a good beer for being outside of the style boundaries (or in this case, making up a style). Enjoyable and recommended.

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Photo of Greggy
4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a massive head that starts very fluffy and eventually goes a little soapy. When receding, the beer leaves some lacing. The body is caramel colored with zero sediment. I'd like to see some sediment here as it would definitely raise the bar to a 5.

S- Nice earthy hops come across right away along with some nice fruitiness. I get a pine apricot and just a touch of mineral content.

T- Very nice thick mouthfeel to start with notes of caramel, apricot and some like pineapple or pine. The finish on this is slightly oaky, even tough I don't think it's oaked, with a dry mineral finish. Quite nice.

M- Very nice low carbonation and thicker mouthfeel with a great finish.

D- 4.8% = quite sessionable. Definitely one of the best bitters I've had to date. This would be a knockout if it had some sediment in there.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured with a murky orange with thick lacing on the side. Aromas are faint with minor hop hints and a chilled citrus smell. Taste has a bittersweet caramel flavoring to it with a somewhat citrus texture. Mouthfeel is pretty crisp and refreshing, making this a clean, dry beer. Overall, pretty darn good.

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

poured from a 750ml XS ceramic swing-top, a clear dark amber with a medium size dirty white head, good lacing.

smell is faint, caramel, malt, touch of cerial, some citrus.

taste is creamy, hop kick, caramel, some citrus, mellow malt back, pine, nice bitter finish.

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Photo of smcolw
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good two-finger head with some lasting power. Moderate lace. Orange-amber color and nearly clear.

Very nice blend of hop and malt--powerful aroma. Inviting.

Good hop bite, but with a solid malt base. The aftertaste is strongly bitter and lasts a very long time. The body is solid with an appropriate amount of carbonation. In many ways, this could be considered the quintessential bitter...American style.

I'm giving this one some extra points for its bold flavors and pleasant smoothness.

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Photo of cggarcia
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have it on good report that the ABV is 6.5%. Anyway, I had the opportunity to try this on tap at the famous Horse Brass Pub in Portland, OR. The beer is obviously brewed with the passion that best describes its namesake Bill Younger. The beer pours as you would expect from a bitter, but wow that first sip has has hops dancing and attacking your mouth. Luckily, the brewer balanced it out with a good dose of maltiness. A perfect beer for the Northwest tastes and climate. Just be careful the higher alcohol will sneek up on you!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of ryrust5301
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 oz. bottle into a rogue pint glass

Appearance - Pours a cloudy, murky reddish orange. Head was an ample off white one finger.

Smell - Heavily malty and very sweet caramel scent. Fruitiness can be detected behind the malts.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Deep deep sweet caramel malt taste. A crisp carbonation that fades in the beginning into a smooth maltiness. A little bit of bitter hops gives it a bite, but not as bitter as I would have thought. There is a taste of orange and lemon in the back as well. Mouth dries out at the end for a nice finishing kick.

Drinkability - I found this beer really really malty. It has a nice dry bitterness to it, but the caramel malts definitely headline in this one. Rogue is always solid, and this is a good offering.

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Photo of ShrLSU
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Poured a hazy deep orange color. Very little head and some light lacing.

Smell- Very rich caramel hops. A light floral hop scent, but not overpowering. A very nice blend of the two ends of the spectrum.

Taste- Somewhat bitter but very smooth. Not nearly as hoppy as I had anticipated. Nice caramel malt flavor and very light airy, and floral hop taste. Nice bitter dry finish. Bitter but not to far, just right!

Mouthfeel- Two words - smooth & refreshing. This beer is perfect for just a refreshing drink on a hot day. Perfect taste, great carbonation and just all around smooth and slightly bitter taste.

Drinkability- Just as I expected from Rogue. A great offering and perfect example of the style. I wish I could get this more in my region. I brought this back from Chicago, and it is definitely on the list to get again.

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Photo of Ian
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deuce complements of Bear Belly Bob's, Valatie, NY

A - Dark, cloudy, orange body. Creamy head, decent retention

S - Sweet, caramel malt with a hint of citrus.

T - Great traditional bitter - extra special, but not so bitter. Malty up front, nicely complemented by that classic, crisp golding hops finish.

M - Light-med mouthfeel, tingly; A bit over-carbonated

D - I really dig this bitter...another solid session beaaah.

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

This is basically Rogues contract brew. I've now had it under the "Fatheads Ale" and "Young's Special Bitter" aliaseses.

I've had this on-tape as well as bottled. It also goes by the alias Fat Head's Ale, which features Pittsburgh beer bar Fat Head's logo.

Amber with orange and a respectable two fingers of head with huge bubbles, almost soapy looking.

Nice hops in the aroma, almost IPA in their vigor. Malt is not lacking though, as there is a good balance of caramel roasty backbone to the medium body. Good crisp refreshing mouthfeel. Hops don't have the particular twang of an english bitter, Rogue used american hop varieties in this one in addition to the Kent Goldings, and they really punch through.

Had this ontap at Fat Head's, but i've also had it before under the Rogue label. OVerall a damn fine brew and FH's should be proud to put their logo on this one!

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got on tap.

A: A copper, orangish red color. A nice slightly off white foam head. A decent amount of lace as you drink.

S: Citrus (lemon or grapefruit) and bready malts.

T: Malty flavor. Some smooth caramel as well. A tad citrus and spicy flavors as well.

M: Thin body and heavily carbonated.

D: Very easy to drink, had several, good balanced beer.

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Photo of blakesell
4.52/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, medium to dark amber color with plentiful, dense, off-white to tan head. Aromas are very toasty, biscuity, a touch of caramelish toffee, and just a touch of floral hops. On the palate, a dense malt profile really blossoms. All that toasty, caramel like sweetness really pulls through, with a slight dark molasses like touch. The hops are certainly in check with the 35 IBUs barely making a dent. Hop flavor is further relegated to the back and finish of the beer, with floral, slightly spicy tones evident. This malty beast still manages to finish relatively dry and bitter, perhaps a high sulfate water helps. Another solid offering from Rogue, very true to the British examples.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What I love about this beer is that it doesn't taste like a typical Rogue and it revels in its English hop and malt profile. Dark goldish brown with a huge storm tossed head this beer has Brit hop nose all over it. The beer is complex yet easy drinking with yeasty flowery notes on the finish. Very true to the style.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper colour with a very thick, foamy white head.

Malty smell, very thick, bready yeasty smells. Low hop profile, maybe a little bit too low.

Rich malt taste, with a moderate hop profile. Good, balanced taste but the hops are perhaps a bit to gentle for the style. I enjoy this, but I think it really should have a bigger hop character.

Carbonation is nice, not overdone and it really hits the spot. This is a fairly sessionable ale, and as with most Rogue brews, it is well done.

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Photo of timbro81
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautifully clear copper with a nice frothy head and nice lacing with good carbonation. Smells lightly malty, not a huge hop profile. I guess the guys at Rogue are going for a true to style bitter. *Tear* for no big hops. Nice and lightly earthy/floral hops on the tongue. Good maltiness with biscuit-like qualities. A good nutty slight sweetness in the tail end. Hops subtly tingle throughtout. Finishes dry with a lingering aftertaste that leans toward the hops. This is what I expect a special bitter to be. Amazing.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Younger's Special bitter pours an amber color with a solid head and some nice retention. There is no freshness date on the label.

The aroma is caramel malts and with a hint of hoppiness toward the floral side. The taste is malty up front with a slight butterscotch flavor and then you taste the hops. In the mouth it leaves a nice bitterness and a tingle. Overall this is a solid English bitter which does its job as being extremely refreshing and good but leaves wanting to open up another to refill the pint.

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Photo of chilidog
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this Rogue as a bonus bonus from a beer trade, what an added treat. Labeled as Summits Wayside Cliff Hanger Ale.

It poured a cloudy orange with little head and no retention. No lace to be had.

The aroma was malty with wiffs of citric hop. kinda mild on the nose.

The taste startsout with a good malt base with a good balance of hop bitterness with citric notes.

The mouth feels the sweetness of malt but the kick of bitterness puts things in place quick.

Drinkable, yes, a medium body without overpowering hop bitterness.Enough flavor though to reason why this makes a good house brew for our beer friends at Summits.

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Photo of GJ40
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I bought a bottle of this in the Rogue Ale House in the Portland airport and took it home with me. It's a great place because you're already through security so you can load up and carry it with you.

This beer pours very nicely. It's got a light amber color and a thick, foamy head. The mild aroma seems to have an even mixture of malt, hops and yeast. The flavor is smooth and simple. I found this to be a very drinkable beer. It would be right at home in a London pub.

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