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Bitchin Bitter | Cambridge Brewing Company

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Very Good
32 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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!

 514 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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 pastramionrye7
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of trevorpost
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PeatReek
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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 carln26
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

 393 characters

Photo of MRsojourner
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of gentlebubbles
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
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 twelvsies
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

 1,032 characters

Photo of ghostwalker
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
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 Dave2234
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smcolw
4.23/5  rDev +11%
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 aorloski
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev +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...

 631 characters

Photo of AirBob
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DonFrap
2/5  rDev -47.5%

Photo of ncaudle
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.46/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

 1,017 characters

Photo of dunix
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of Beric
4/5  rDev +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.

 729 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3.58/5  rDev -6%
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
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 32 ratings
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