Sierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Best Bitter AleSierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale
BA SCORE
3.68/5
57 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Best Bitter AleSierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#29,134
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
57
pDev:
11.68%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
1
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 31
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwins Trappiste in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a murky light orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and some tea-like aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

 494 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on draft at the Blind Tiger ale house in NYC, Poured light amber, clear and low head/carbonation noted. This is Sierra Nevada's take on the classic and under appreciated Bitter style. Malty nose, mellow and mild. Malty base, very smooth and subtle. Understated, reserved and smooth. Fine sessioner. Give it a try if it makes it to your local.

 350 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a clear amber, with a small head, and a small amount of lacing.

This smells like toasty malts, grass hops, and earthy tea.

This definitely isn't the boldest beer I've ever had, but it is only 4.6%. I think cask delivery could help this one, give it a fuller body and flavor, possibly, but as it is now, it's super drinkable- the glass was gone befor eI even knew it. There's a muted hop flavor, at least in comparison to the typical Sierra Nevada beer. The hop flavor that's there is really nice though, a bit of citrus, some grassiness, and herbal tea. The malts are toasty and nice, and stand up just as strongly as the hop flavor.

This is medium bodied, with a crisp and crackery mouthfeel, and a moderate level of carbonation.

This was tasty.

 810 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at The Blind Tiger.

Poured a light copper hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured light grainy malt and a flowery hop.

The taste consisted of clean and full cereal malts and a balancing flowery hop. There was some light sweetness toward the finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a seemingly authentic and very tasty ale.

 409 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer sits a beautiful, full, clear, copper color in my pint glass, it is topped by a finger thick pale tan colored head. Ah the aroma is magnificent; a mix of bergamot, peach, apricot and a bit of an underlying herbal character (all of which is from the hops of course). The taste is pretty dry and quaffable, yet it has a biting bitterness in the finish which is in line with, or perhaps a bit dominating of, the quaffable malt character. With the dry finish the fruity hop notes in the nose are down played to allow the herbal hop notes to dominate in the flavor. I get notes of fresh cut herbs, and some slight menthol in this beer that is served a bit too cold.

The malt character is subsidiary to the hops, it is here but plays second fiddle / supporting role. I get hints of caramel, toasted malt, biscuits and a dry grain character. This beer hits the light, easy drinking character of a traditional best bitter, though it is perhaps a bit too hoppy and bitter (which of course I enjoy quite a bit).

 1,015 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
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 pathman
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DefenCorps
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
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 Beerandraiderfan
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
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 rlee1390
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
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 baklo
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: Sampled on draft at Lucky Baldwin’s, Pasadena, CA on Saturday 18th September during the Sierra Nevada Beer Festival and a mini-BA Gathering. Served in a Sierra Nevada Pint Glass, $3 for the Pint.

Generic Sierra Nevada Tap Handle that is Dark Blue and has the words ‘Best Bitter’ in White text, nicely accompanied by a Union Jack which hints at the style.

Appearance: Golden color with a few coppery hints at times, though in the darkness of Lucky Baldwin’s it was difficult at times to work out what the exact color was, this one didn’t last too long to examine it either. Nice white head on this one from the off-set, and it lasted. Excellent conditioning.

Nose: Some grain, light toasted malts, fresh hops, and a delicate herbal spicy character at the back end with some lemon essence. Bitterness and hops start to shine through in the latter third. Decent nose, average strength but interesting.

Taste: Average malt background, light hoppy middle, dry bitter finish. Lemony with some fresh zest from the smooth carbonation that dissolutes nicely on the tongue allowing the flavors to reveal themselves. Not a big beer by any stretch of the imagination. What it does have, it uses extremely well and to full potential.

Mouthfeel: Slightly above average feel, but perfect for the style, at least for me. Solid carbonation really helped to bolster the creamy feel and smooth texture that this exhibited. A great body that is just right for the style and allows the flavors to escape in all the right proportions and at the right times.

Drinkability: I was pointed towards this one by drewbage, and may I say right here and now this was one of my favorites, probably the least complex aside from the Blonde Ale, but it had perfect balance and a *seriously* inviting quaffability that would make this an excellent Session brew for me. I could manage a Gallon (UK that is) very, very easily - too easily!!

Overall: Not the biggest, boldest, rarest, strangest or most complex of the Sierra Nevada Fleet on offer at Lucky Baldwin’s this weekend, which just goes to show that a great Beer can often be the simplest. Superb balance and a damn tasty libation. A solid effort from Sierra Nevada, so why the hell don’t they make this one more widely available!? Definitely one of my favorites from the portfolio on offer during the LB's Sierra Nevada Festival.

Recommended!

 2,409 characters

Photo of Lovely85
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
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 LilBeerDoctor
3/5  rDev -18.5%
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)

 252 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blue Tusk in Syracuse on 6/28/11; served in a mug.

A: Body is light golden in color with a small white head on top. Carbonation is visibly low. Good rings of lacing left behind.

S: Faint fruitiness and bread-doughy malt.

T: First impression: "light." A light malt foundation, reminds me of a pilsner malt, actually (though the color may be responsible for that impression, due to the power of suggesstion). Touch of bread or toast-like malt and some fruity sweetness underneath. Balanced somewhat by a touch earthy, herbal hops.

M: Carbonation is low, as expected given the lack of visible bubbles. Call it light-to-medium in heft, shading towards the light side.

O: If this were the older "Drinkability" category, I'd give it a 4.5, since this one was an easy drinker. However, as an "Overall" category, I'm only giving it a 4. Decent beer, lighter than expected and sweeter than expected, but I could have a few.

 930 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark and clear gold color, with a smaller white head.

Aromas are of light hops, an easy pine light aroma, along with some easy brewed teas.

Taste is flavorful, but not at all heavy or overpowering. Nice malt flavors, light biscuit, easy sweetness, cream, and brewed tea. Finish has a touch of hops, mostly some mineral bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good. Nice carbonation, and an easy full and not overly heavy feel.

Drinkability is quite good. This is one of my favorable sessionable Sierra brews. I'd love to have a keg of this at a party. Very tasty, but not heavy, and is very easy to drink.

 602 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
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

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Sierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 57 ratings
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