Best Bitter
Black Sheep Brewery PLC

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Bitter - English
Ranked #136
Ranked #39,081
3.63 | pDev: 10.47%
Black Sheep Brewery PLC
England, United Kingdom
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 51 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of deebo
deebo from Minnesota

3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hand pump in Wetherby.
Highlights. Great white lacing of a clear golden brew.
Malty and very smooth. A bit of a bitter bite in the finish. Goes great with fish and chips.

Apr 08, 2016
Photo of psm90
psm90 from England

2.5/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A run of the mill English bitter, with no distinct flavours beyond flat malt and flat hops. Still, it's fairly well balanced and drinkable, so not a bad beer by any means, just uninteresting.

Jun 29, 2015
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis from England

3.37/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Have drank this on cask, out of a can and poured out of a bottle & with this being purposely malt forward there isn't much difference between them
an okay dull bitter

Nov 01, 2013
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55 from Mississippi

3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the Ensign Ewart, Edinburgh, during a Literary Pub Tour.

A: Golden with a half finger head that leaves in a hurry to play bagpipes. Nice lacing.

S: Hoppy, toffee, yeast.

T: Light, smooth, with hops, malts and toffee sliding in on a yeast backdrop.

M: Light, watery. Not much carbonation.

O: Not too exciting. Was hoping for more.

Jul 27, 2012
Photo of champ103
champ103 from Texas

3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear golden yellow color. A two finger white head forms with good retention and lace.
S: Mostly a toffee like sweetness. Light floral and earthy hops as well. A big yeast presents that is a bit odd.
T: Follows the nose. A big toffee sweetness that become a bit cloying. Light hops and a big earthy yeast flavor in the finish.
M/D: A medium body that is slightly under carbonated. Creamy and smooth. Not hard to drink, though there are usually much better cask offerings that I will choose from first.

Not bad, a little one dimensional though. The big earthy yeast character is a little strange, and just does not fit with the rest of the English Bitter package. Worth a try, but much better options are usually available on cask.

Sep 03, 2010
Photo of JohnnyP3
JohnnyP3 from Alaska

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the pub attached to the Cartwright Hotel in Aynho.

Golden yellow and clear with a head of about one finger. The beer leaves a full, thick coating of lace as it is consumed. Smells of hop bitterness, grass/hay and some fruitiness.

This bitter imparts a delightful bitterness. Imagine that! Has a somewhat citrus bite in the finish, somewhere between an orange and a grapefruit. There is a hint of toffee and caramel, nuts, and vanilla. Plus that English hard water quality that is a trademark of this style. For a beer with a lower ABV, this bitter packs wonderful complexity and nuanced flavors.

The mouthfeel is very smooth. Served "cellar cool", it envelopes the mouth and imparts all manner of bitter goodness. Drinkability is outstanding. At 3.8% ABV, this is thirst quenching and very interesting. Definitely enough there to keep me coming back for more and more and....

Aug 14, 2010
Photo of seanyfo
seanyfo from Scotland

4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint served by handpump at The Hawes Inn at South Queensferry, into imperial pint glass.

A- 2 finger creamy white head with fantastic retention and belgian lacing. Amber golden body with excellent clarity

S- Light grapefruit and toasted sweet caramel malt, but this is extremely subtle but normal of the style

T- Sweetness of the toffeeish malt upfront balanced with a light grapefruit note and a pleasant hop bitterness in the finish. Finish is perhaps a little sticky rather than dry.

M- Very light, medium body

D- Simple solid session bitter, well balanced with a delicate body, extremely moreish, superb!

May 23, 2010
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate from New York

4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Fox and Hounds, Clavering, Essex, UK.

Pours glowing pale orange with a speckly loose white head that leaves white lace. Barn and hop perfume nose. Orange and hay malts following by lemon and anise hops. Tight finish with a bit of fruit and a barley syrup hit underneath. Dry-ish linger, oily feel, light to medium body.

Juicy! As much hop character (if not IBUs) as any American IPA.

Beers like this are the reason to seek out cask ale.

Jan 25, 2010
Photo of Trizzle
Trizzle from England

3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On cask at The Goat in Clapham

Pours a nice amber with a finger of head. Retains well and loads of lace.

Whiff of malts, hay and apple.

A pleasant medium light malt body and some instant bitter and dry hops that linger.

Great for a session.

Thumbs up.

Jan 08, 2010
Photo of tempest
tempest from New York

3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a half pint in London near city university with a sausage sandwich for lunch. The beer has a grapefruit hop character followed by very dry, multigrain bread and similar aroma. Another great bitter and perfect for washing down a meal. Certainly worth a try is you're ever wandering around London (like I was).

May 04, 2009
Photo of AylwinForbes
AylwinForbes from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Masham, I enquire of my friend, is the home of Theakston. It turns out that Black Sheep is a rebel from the Theakston family. I was happy to find it in a far-flung pub on the edge of the Hole of Horcum. A nice copper-amber colour with a modest head. Aroma has moderate floral hop and malt. Taste is perhaps a little bit lacking. It is clean and balanced and well resolved but just a little bit light. Moderate bitterness with some apple/citrus fruit balance. It's a very good pint, if not total top drawer.

Mar 11, 2008
Photo of wl0307
wl0307 from England

3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted by a half-pint at the Red Deer, Sheffield, poured by the handpump with a sparkler.

A: pale amber, with a creamy white head that lasts very well, low carbonation.
S: hop-dominated aroma, smelling hop resins and whole hop leaves; a swirl bring out the unique buttery-lemon touch of yeasts as well as Goldings. Overall it's aromatic hoppy with a milder input of pale malts.
T: light-bodied sour malts manifest as the main theme upfront, gradually a profound bitterness from dried leafy hops develops, quite tannic and chopped tea-leafy in texture; at the back the bitterness intensifies along with the maltiness until reaching a harmonious state in the very end.
M&D: creamy-smooth in texture, with a very sound and firm body that holds until the very end. Overall this is a very good-quality, hoppy Bitter designed to quaff~~

Feb 05, 2007
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock from England

3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Saint Barabara's Day lunch, first course, 4 pints of Black Sheep (I wont tell you what else I drank).

Very lively, but once it settled down, it looked a treat, off white foaming head on a body of pure delight, a fine amber brown.

The hop aroma isn't overly strong, but is there if you search for it.

Well balanced taste, a true bitter in every sense.

Taste stays for a while, a mid-sweet-mildly-bitter flavour.

Very drinkable.

2011 Update: 1st course at this years Saint Barbara's function, only 3 pints this time. Still a well balanced easy drinking session bitter: ideal before the onslaught of the wines and port which followed.

Dec 01, 2006
Photo of gpcollen1
gpcollen1 from Connecticut

4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a treat compared to what you get when travelling with the boss. Every one else is lagering it up with the Carlsberg...

Nice all the way around and I put in a session and a half...I could do that every day....Nice body, balance and bitter...

Drink this

Jul 24, 2006
Photo of Gusler
Gusler from Arizona

3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have been on a bit of an English Bitter kick, and here is another fine “Old Style English Ale”, I think I like this brewery.
On the pour slightly hazy deep amber, color with the head portly in size and frothy in texture, the color a winsome light tan, which leaves behind a nice coating of lace. Nose is mostly malt; clean and crisp, start is loaded with malt, lightly sweet with a middling top. Finish is lightly carbonated, the hops mild and understated, dry as a desert bone aftertaste, a real pleasant beer to quaff on a lazy Arizona Day.

Apr 24, 2003
Best Bitter from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 51 ratings