Sierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Best Bitter AleSierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-20-2003

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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 31
Photo of warmstorage
1.7/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Had on tap at the brewery in Chico last night. Quite disappointing: thin, light, pours a medium straw color. Minimal aroma, likely because it was poured at about 43 degrees. Slight aroma later, appropriate to style, but still limited. If I didn't have so much respect for Sierra Nevada's history and some of their other brews, I would have been pissed to bother driving all the way to Chico. (Other reviews forthcoming: the beer was almost uniformly disappointing, thin, and bland.)

Thin start, fairly high carbonation. Weak, thin, limited hop presence, and body is thin and bright. Only balanced in the sense that there is no significant hop or malt presence, so it's a balanced blandness. Mouthfeel is crisp and bright, notably carbonated. Finish has distinct hints of cheap grain/cheap adjuncts, like an American style lager.

I echo GreenWBush's sentiments in a prior review of this beer, to the extent that many of SN's brews seem to all be on the same base, and just have minimally varying flavors added. This beer varied MINIMALLY from the Blonde, the Pilsner, the Wheat, the Crystal Wheat, and the Extra Special Pale Ale.

I definitely wouldn't bother again, and barely finished this pint, even though I got it for free! (I ordered the Extra Special Pale Ale, and the bartender accidentally poured 3/4 of a pint of this, so when I asked if it would just go to waste anyway, she laughed/grimaced and gave it to me.)

 1,432 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
2.85/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of washburnkid
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery. About 5.00%ABV

A: Clear golden and amber with a small white head that retains as a ring.
S: Nothing really overwhelming on the nose. It smelled like the rest of the brewery (a little yeasty and grainy). It had a mild cooked aroma, but it wasn't unpleasant.
T/M: Crisp and light, dry finish of bitter hops. Some honey sweetness somewhat discernible amongst the drab malts and hops. I really wish there were something more to this beer, though maybe it's meant to be very neutral!
D: This was okay. I wouldn't have another because there are so many solid SN brews to choose from.

 601 characters

Photo of Bieniek30
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of chefduff2
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 9/3/08. On tap at BT. Pours a clear orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweet malt, flowery hops. Flavor is bitter initial with lots of wheat. Some flowery hops but quite bitter. Blandish. I'd pass on this next time.
6/3/6/3/13 (3.1/5)

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Photo of poohbearzeccola
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of SamuelR
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of gillagorilla
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of July2Nov
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of QuakeAttack
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of BrewCaveDweller
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of ssgunbond
3.54/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DefenCorps
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at churchkey

A clear, burnished copper with a dense white head with good retention and lacing, this looks great. The nose is decent. A moderate, earthy, leafy hop character is immediately noticeable, along with a light toast and toffee character. For a bitter, it's a little lacking. The palate opens with a nice bitterness, with the english hop character pleasant, along with a mineral character. Not really fruity. Malt character is not particularly true to style either, with insufficent depth, there's not enough nut, toffee , just some toast. The carbonation, while typical for a tap beer, is more than i like for a bitter. Light in body with a bitter, drying finish, this is decent.

 696 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Clear orange amber, two finger head, not much carbonation

S-Malt, some floral hops, not much else

T-Too much malt, floral notes are good, not much bitterness either.

M-Light, a little on the flat side, crisp though.

O-A little too much on the malt side, could have used some more bitterness.

 297 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A dark golden color, fluffy head. Didn't really pick much up aroma wise.

Taste, not as bitter as I was expecting, this was definitely more traditional than was hoping. Pretty light but ample bitterness and light low alpha acid hop quotient to it. At times had the feel of a pale wheat. Light, but woody.

Anything drank at the bar there in Chico is always drinkable, cheap, just perfect ambiance.

 398 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1/2 pint at the Sierra Nevada Taproom for two dollars, consumed 8/11/08, reviewed from notes

A-Color was a mix between copper and medium brown, 1/2 inch foamy white head, some retention, nice lacing
S-English malt, lemons, grassy accents, strong hops, citrus, and roastiness
T-Hops are pretty powerful in this one, in other words the hoppiness outdoes the malt for once, bitter all the way through with some dried citrus in the finish, does not change much as it warms up other than becoming more subtle, liked the dryness in this one
M-Could use some more carbonation, bitter and dry mouthfeel, medium bodied, taste lingers a little bit
D-ABV seemed low and it was light on the stomach, went down easy and refreshing at times, taste is not complex enough to keep coming back to though

I enjoy English Bitters once in a while and this one did not measure up to the last one I drank, being the Surly brew, might drink again if I was at the brewery and in the mood for something along these lines, worth trying

 1,011 characters

Photo of scuttlebutt21
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Churchkey.

Pours a dark gold to light copper color with a nice white head and a bit of lacing. Nose is light bread and some floral, herbal hops. Light bitterness and bread in the taste with a bit of hop flavor. Fairly light but nice bitterness levels and quite drinkable.

 303 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark golden color well suited for esb territory. Immaculate 1" white head on the imperial pint glass. Served in Chico. Aroma was mostly grainy biscuity malt impressions.

Taste not even as bitter as SNPA, but hit those traditional notes. They went noble hop I believe. Pretty nice, could see sessioning this easy going beer plenty in the summertime for those who stay away from lagers, this is a good hot weather golf choice.

 430 characters

Photo of Lovely85
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clean malt and a bit of hop character, not really as full and rich as true cask bitter. Drinkable enough but nothing special. Kind of an odd style to throw down as a special release at the new brewery.

 203 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Sierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.73 out of 5 based on 57 ratings.
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