Bitchin Bitter | Cambridge Brewing Company

very good
17 Reviews

Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-25-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 31
Photo of Beric
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: On tap at the brewpub, in a sampler
Served: 1 June 2016

Appearance: Pours a generic brownish/amber color with an off-white head. Looks like your standard sort of British ale.

Smell: Nice crackery/bready notes from the malt, a subtle herbal hop aroma.

Taste: Wheat bread, honey, roasted hazelnuts. Slight herbal, green, and peppery notes from the hops. Mild bitterness. Really a well balanced beer in all regards, and one I could easily put down pint after pint of at 4% ABV.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. Good for an English ale.

Overall: A great session ale for sure, and one that is not too complex to burn your palate out after one, and not too bland to make it boring after a few. Recommended.

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

Ok, see this is what I'm talking about. The cask version of this beer was too bland for me. I had that one first and this one next, and I'm glad I tried it again.

Doesn't look as rich as the cask, of course, but still nice looking amber/brown.

Aroma stands out for its malt, earthy spice and nuttiness. Nothing very strong, but solid.

Yeah, the flavors come alive here, and the bitterness subsides a bit in contrast to the cask version. Some fruitiness, nuts, almond. Bitterness is there, for sure, just as it should. It's a bit "un-complexed" if you will...kinda loose. Not really sure what I mean. Gotta be the beer! hahaha...

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on cask at the Cambridge Brewing Co. Dry hopped with Chinook, one of my personal favorites!

Appearance was really exceptional. Such a large head for a cask conditioned ale, beautiful coppery body.

Nose was tantalizing hoppiness. Not overpowering, but definitely noticeable.

Flavor was that wonderful blend of smooth maltiness and restrained hop blast finish that makes Bitters one of my favorite styles. The hop levels were more than the usual Bitter, but still on the balanced end of the spectrum.

Mouthfeel was wonderful. That soft silkiness that marks a cask pour was very much in evidence.

Drinkability is insane. There's a reason that Bitters is one of the classic examples of the "session beer". I could have had many more than the two pints to which I limited myself.

Wonderful stuff! Of all the great brews I tried last night at CBC, this one won my heart, and my taste-buds.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from day two of the CBC 20th anniversary party on may 9, 2009. served in a plastic cup, since this was only available in the outdoor beer garden area.

deep copper w amber tint. faint haze. creamy, off-white head maintains a thin layer, then finally fades to wisps and ring. great lacing.

aroma: biscuity, toasty malt w hints of toffee and caramel. yeast apple esters and bread. leafy, grassy hops, almost earthy. mineral and metallic whiffs. hint of tea?

taste: maybe too cold at first, so the crispness of the hops is quite sharp and bitter upfront. (otherwise with typical english character - grassy, leafy.) still some nice malt, esters, etc., although a bit subdued, even as it warms.

light body, with astringent character. carbonation can be a bit sharp and fizzy despite just being moderate overall. perhaps a function of the temperature?

eh, i guess i'll never get used to the cold temps of american taps, except maybe for the pale lagers.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one is a dark amber with brown hues, bubbly head and creamy! nice retention.

The nose has mildly sweet malt, herbal, roastiness, minty hops, sweet fruitness. simple but nice.

Herbal, dark wheat bread in the malt, vey ry herbal and dry hops with wonderful balance of deep earthy herbs and heady, but mild malt.

a nice session brew and rather comples for a mild.

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

Pours a hazy amber that borders on a brownish copper. The beige head hd faded to a wispy film by the time our beers arrived. The aroma has notes of light caramel, a slight nuttiness, and a some herbal hops.

Sweet bready notes upfront that moves through to a bit of toastiness that seamlessly blends with a light grassy bitterness in the finish that's accented by a bright citric flavor that appears just before the finish. Medium-bodied and highly carbonated with a bit of a grainy texture in the finish.

Nicely balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of smcolw
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is special treat that is served at the temperature you'd expect in a London pub. My pint was served with a bountiful head (for a bar). Great lace. Slightly cloudy, neutral amber in color.

The smell is as expected but milder than expected.

This is a superior bitter. Excellent hop bitterness combined with a full-bodied malt base. Only for the sake of variety did I order something different. As good as the next was, I still wish I ordered a second one.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Cool red amber body with a thick small head.
S - Really toasty aroma, fresh thick floral aroma.
T - Flowers caught in tree sap. Mildly sweet biscuit malt.
M - Light body, fine carbonation.Soft.
D - A great easy drinking ale, the bitterness lasts a hell of a long time. Although light in body, this beer is not a bitter in the English sense of the word at all, as it is far too bitter.

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Photo of rousee
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat translucent brown-amber color.

Aroma of musty wood and malt with some vinegar-like aspects also.

Taste is sour up front but then balanced by a nice roasted malt charactrer with just a hint of hops. This beer reminds me of Shoal's pale ale by Smurttynose which is also a fine offering in this style.

There si a slight syrupy character to the mouthfeel but it is not real pronounced. Pretty smooth and drinkable but this style tends to be quite drinkable as a rule anyway. Another fine beer from CBC.

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

Had this one right on site at the CBC. I've had most of their standard beers on tap around town, but it was nice to get in there to try some of their more unique stuff. This is a great beer, too. Appears a lightish cardboard color brown, clear, with some nice lacing and a decent head. It's robust and lively actually, not submissive like a lot of ESBs. Plenty of fruity esters floating around, as well as a nice malty backdrop. Plenty of dough and bread and grains on the palate here and a nice caramel toffee character that's spot on for the style. Lightly hoppy finish adds some spicy complexity to the mix. I've had a lot of beers that attempt this style and come out tasting flat and lifeless, but this one really pays homage to the great English style beers and is a great representation of what a bitter (or ESB) should be. Very impressive, and coming from an American brewery too. Very smooth mouthfeel and this one is uber quaffable. It'd be a great session beer. Definitely recommended. Maybe I'll get a growler next time.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presented to me from the tap in a basic pint glass the beer was a penny colored copper with a half-finger of near perfect white head. Carbonation bubbles stuck to the sides of the glass and there was a slight chill haze. A thick sheet of lace formed and lasted for the entire length of the sample. A great looking beer.

The smell was malt and caramel. Slightly doughy and bready with hints of english toffee, faint traces of hops and a slight flowery aroma.

The taste had a slick slightly creamy mouthfeel dominated by malt and caramel. Slightly fruitty undertones with an ever so slight hoppy crispness to the finish to balance its creamy malt base. Very smooth to the finish and well balanced. No abrasive character at all.

A creamy smooth mouthfeel that has a moderate consistancy on the palate.

Super drinkable and and enjoyable. If I was so sit there at the bar and have one beer all night without food, this would be that beer. I'm sure it would be exception on cask, as it was excellent on draught.

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Photo of PeatReek
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: pint on draft.

Appearance: body is brown and cloudy. When it's brought to the table, all that's left of the head is a white rim.

Aroma: faint. Bready / roasty, but dry.

Taste: Slightly earthy hop taste up front, followed by mild breadiness. Pronounced but not ovrewhelming bitterness comes in after that, lasting through the otherwise clean palate. The overall impression is quite delicious... plain, but yummy.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: A little thick for an ordinary bitter; just feels heavy. I could definitely have a couple, but not a session, of this beer.

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

(Actually had this back on 3/15/05)

Gloomy dark caramel with barely a bit of white around the rim.

Fruity caramel toffee scent. I can see fresh cut prunes when I close my eyes.

Mild toffee and butterscotch caramel up front. And yes, there's lots of currant in the finish from the Brambling Cross. More like a mild than a bitter

Mellow mouthfeel, very nice. What a pity this isn't on cask!

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Photo of carln26
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light, clear brown with ruby highlights and a decent tan head. Caramel and toffee malt up front in the nose with mild citrus. The taste is a nice balance of caramel and a little grapefruit hop. There is just a bit of apple on the finish. Very smooth mouth feel. Very drinkable. This is a fine example of the style. In my opinion this ranks up there with the best that the States have to offer.

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

Rode some gnarly waves with this one on 3/25/2005. 16-oz. pour in a shaker at the [AC]PH.

¼-inch somewhat loose but covering head that settles to a sheen with just some light lacing. Deep mahogany hue with great clarity but no action visible to the naked eye. Nice bitter bouquet with roasted caramel and light toffee notes thrown in. Butterscotch sweetness and some genuine bittering flavors conspire with one another on the palate with an almost apple butter hard crust coating that settles in. Very good rendition.

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

Presentation: On tap in a pint sized tumbler.

Appearance: Close to a chesnut amber colour with a creamy looking head.

Smell: Hit of caramel sweetness, subdued fruit and a light floral hoppy nose.

Taste: Breay maltiness, mildly sweet in a moderate body. Small prickly hop bitterness and crisp malt with a light carbonation roll perfectly over the taste buds. Mild fruit and grain make for the finish.

Notes: Traditional bitter to say the least, the ideal session brew. Went well with the fish and chips!

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Photo of Bierman9
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper hues, with hardly any head at all. Nose is very mildly hoppy; nothing jumps out at you. Medium bodied and on the tongue. Taste is predominantly hoppy, with a touch of an underlying biscuity flavor. Not bad. (4.6%abv).

overall: 3.65
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


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Bitchin Bitter from Cambridge Brewing Company
3.94 out of 5 based on 31 ratings.
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