Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale | Burton Bridge Brewery

Burton Bridge Empire India Pale AleBurton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale
Liked This Beer
3.56 w/ 169 ratings
Burton Bridge Empire India Pale AleBurton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Burton Bridge Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-01-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 169 |  Reviews: 134
Photo of goethean
4.72/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice, complex, drinkable English ale. I cellered my bottle for several months before drinking, and the brettanomyces was quite apparent in the aroma and flavor profile. Hops make themselves heard but are not overpowering. Not as excessively over-hopped as most American craft IPAs. Hopped closer to a pale ale, but with a more substantial malt presence and complexity. If I could hold my liquor better, I could drink this stuff all night.

After I poured it into my glass, I dumped the dregs into a keg of homebrewed old ale --- maybe the brett will dry it out a little before the alcohol content kills them. So if you're a homebrewer, you get a sample of wild yeast in addition to a fine beverage in an almost antique style.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
4.62/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a British pub glass at just cooler than cellar temperature.

A: Dark orange and very cloudy, with lots of yeast in suspension. A rocky, white head forms on the pour and slowly collapses into a two inch pillow that follows the beer down the glass. Lots of lacing.

S: Strong English hops on the nose, followed by apricot and a touch of bread. Makes a powerful first impression.

T: The taste is initially dominated by English hops (perhaps Challenger?) followed by apricot and other fruit. On the finish is a definite toffee note, with some mineral water flavor as well. This beer is more complex than many American interpretations of the style. Some alcohol warming, but not much.

M: Moderate to light mouthfeel. The carbonation is light and perceptible only at the very end.

D: I could drink a few of these despite its strength.

Overall: Although other reviewers don't think as highly of this beer, this is one of the best English IPAs I've had. Complex but very drinkable, hoppy but still balanced with malt sweetness, this is what I think of when I imagine the style.

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Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage '05

Pours an orangish brown with a beige head. Nice retention and light lace.

Nose has bready malts, nuts, caramel, herbal hops and a subtle mossy funk aroma.

Taste also has a bit of must funk which pairs quite well with the floral hops and sweet doughy malts.

Medium body is well carbonated. Nice finish. Really cool beer.

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Photo of Longstaff
4.54/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not at all what I was excpecting from an English IPA but I was pleasantly surpirsed by this one. I was expecting a thick malty ale that was heavily hopped, but instead I got a light fruity brew that was quite refreshing.

A delicate pour still produced a huge foamy head that took a long time to diminish. Very fruity aromas with some sulfury / lemony notes. Its tasted much the same as it smelled, fruity, slightly grainy, sweetish, and sulfury, with the slightly bitter hops kicking in late to make this a very complex and interesting drink. The somewhat thin body and high carbonation levels made this quite spritzy and refreshing. Almost like a Belgian Wit, but fruitier and hoppier. Definitely not your average IPA.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.53/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL into Duvel glass. Initially light gushing despite the bottle not having moved since months. A whole bed of sediments lie at the bottom of the glass. Head is at first huge, frothy, but slowly diminishes to an off-white cover. Color is a deep murky orange sand. Nice color really, seems to have reflects of red and brown + the sediments change the light reflection constantly. From the glass come powerful funky aromas, you could almost believe brett was thrown in and this becomes even more apparent as it warms. Big yeasty and fruity (ORANGE, mint tea, cantaloup, pineapple, mango) even woody character. Lingering earthiness, sand-like, almost smoky. Decent hop background. Citrusy on the tongue, tart with those generous drying out orange flavors. Funky (leather, hay) and delicious flavor development containing a warming kiss of alcohol as it warms. I’ve never had something this uniquely yeasty from england. Moderately high carbonation, round powdery medium-full body. Quite salty toward the end. The finish may be the only point that left me wanting more, while it’s long and fruity, whatever hops they used (styrian golding?) almost give it a cardboardy feel the way it combines with the yeasty and fruity acidity. Awesome. Ultimate proof that bottled english ales ought to be mandatory bottle-conditioned, hell this could be an english Saison.

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Photo of Durtdiggler
4.53/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from pint sized bottle into a tulip glass. Cloudy amber. I could not wait to Let the sediment settle. White head settles quickly and leaves a lot of lacing.

Aroma is most unique ever. Kind of a Belgian funk but with strong fruits like banana, citrus, some clove, coriander and orange. It must be the yeast. Earthy hops, very non West Coast IPA. Incredible. Just all hits you in the face.

Taste hits with immediate big bitter hop that's intense in a earthy, herbal way but smooth not sharp then fades into nice ester malt, slightly sweet with some caramel. Malty backbone as well but the cask carbonation mellows. The hops last thought the taste. A bit boozy.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, almost barley wine like.

I've read about Burton on Trent IPA and the recipe and this beer is far from what the US would think about IPA. It's almost Belgian like but not a fair comparison since the profile is so unique to anything I've had. It's very earthy, natural with a lot of different things going on in the aroma and taste. The yeast seems to be huge impact on this beer.

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Photo of DarrellK
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought the 500ml bottle from my top notch supplier and was ready to get the normal English, very good ale with a fancy labeled bottle. Once opened it was pleasantly surprised by a great aroma and tight fine foam rising from the open bottle.

Nose is full with a slight;y fruity note.

Head initially is bold and fine bubbled and settles to a more open bubble that is more head than the typical IPA. Color is about a 3 on a scale of 1=water 10=Molasses and is the usual IPA cloudy.

Mouth is full with a bit of a tingle at the back and finishes with a very nice warm slightly tart (fruity) experience.

It is a bit stong for a session beer so it is one that I would share with an experiences beer advocate and could appreciate that high quality of the brew.

It is called an IPA but it doesn't have the hoppiness of the IPA standard. This is not to say it is bad just hard to classify.

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Photo of tjdrewry
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

Photo of EastCoastHawkeye
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

Photo of KarlHungus
4.45/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy yellow-orange color. The head is an inch in height, and recedes very slowly into thick lacing. This is one nice looking IPA. The aroma is of lemon, orange, flowers, and a nice wood character. I really like how the woods is there, but does not by an means overpower or distract from the rest of the aroma. The taste has the same lemon, orange and flower characteristics of the aroma. The wood is there too, but it is cut through by the a sharp piercing bitterness. This beer has got to be on the high end of bitterness for an English IPA, but it works. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is one fine IPA that I would love to see in six pack form, but I am sure I would drink it again nonetheless.

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Photo of Graebner
4.45/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely rich orange-brown, non-filtered, so there are floaters and sediment. Develops a large three finger head that drops slowly down to a couple fingers worth of thick froth.

Smell is rather distinct. Carrots, strawberries, banana, angel food cake, pumpkin, and some spice. The fruits come through the most, and it really smells a LOT like a fruit smoothie. It's unlike any PA I've smelt.

Taste is initally very sweet, with all the fruit flavors coming through quite markedly. You can feel the carbonation begin to rapidly increase over the front-to-middle of your tongue, and you begin to think that if it keeps up it will be too much. It drops off as it travels farther back, though, and it's really quite a nice accent, because the hops hit at the back of the mouth. The hops are also unlike any PA I've tried (and I'm quite the hophead). It may be due to other factors influencing the way the hops act in the mouth, but these hops do not feel like other IPA's. They really permeate the back of your mouth, almost like someone rubbed an unripe persimmon around back there. Really dries it out it's so bitter. That fades into kind of a minty feeling, like everything is hypersensitive, and then into a creamy feeling and buttery flavor, like you ate a nice piece of St. Andre cheese or a heavily buttered slab of toast.

The notable tastes I detect are banana and strawberry, malts up front, interesting strong hops in the back, lemon-water, and some spice, like cilantro.

This beer might get a tad sour after a while, and doesn't finish quite as cleanly as most PA's (alot more lingering astringency), which negatively affects the drinkability a bit, though not the quality. Over the long haul I don't think it'd drink as well as some cleaner PA's, but that doesnt mean you couldnt sit down with it all night. Drinkability is good-but-not-great. Overall, though, this is some really tasty beer. I will definitely be buying it again.

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Photo of teovaldi
4.45/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy orange with a huge 3 finger head that leaves beautiful lacing.

Smells of hops and a slight whiff of alcohol and fruits.

The taste starts out dominated by the hops followed by the fruits picked up from the nose. One the end there's a slight sweetness and a hint of alcohol. You can tell this spent some time in the cask and it adds another depth to the already great taste.

Moderate/light bodied and low carbonation.

I could easily drink a few of these despite the higher ABV.

This beer was a big surprise for me as I picked it up out of the reduced section at my local store. Was on sale for 1/2 off so I figured why not and was very happy I did as this is one of the better EIPA's I've tasted.

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Photo of Treborofmoria
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was recommended from Roger Protz's 300 beer to try before you die. I saw it in Detroit for the first time and gave it a try.
Great thing that I did. This beer is wonderful! This baby is a full bodied, bottle conditioned, floral, and hoppy pale ale. It is listed as a pale , but is closer to IPA in style. It has a orangish amber opaque color with an aroma that is more up front fruit than floral. The taste is all malt and hops and yeast. Beautiful to look at and taste. If you haven't had it yet, give it a try...it is good beer.

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Photo of bob3701
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Poured a hazy straw amber with suspended particals with a huge fluffy head that hangs around a long time with excellent lacing. Big bannana aroma. Great balance between sweet and bitter. Really easy going down with an alcohol burn. An excellent beer.

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Photo of beerbutcher
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours reddish amber with off-white head.

nose is slightly caramelly with intense fruit aromas, some tropical, some apricot (goldings derived i guess), then there's something exotic... dried fruit and some pungent funky stuff. i suspect it's brett from the barrel. gives the beer a bouquet of age and a bit of a wild edge, i like it!

Deliciously fruity beer with substantial maltiness and a heft of bitterness behind. the brett leaves a trail of refreshing acidity that doesn't compete in any bad way.

A very complex beer worth pondering as it warms in your glass. I could drink casefulls of this stuff. Very refreshing for it's strength and worthy of some fine, well aged cheese!

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Photo of cokes
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy ambered tan with an explosive sandstone head that grows for minutes after the pour. It eventually retreats and forms chasms and trenches.
Tangerine essence and slappy minerality on the nose.
Begins full of fruited doughballs. Peaches, dates, oranges and green grapes. Sweet butterscotch backing. Phenolic vanilla and citrus. Celery stalk bitterness with dusty chalk and booms of hard-water minerals. Ends with a upturn of herbal bitters. Pine nut/tinfoil/mango/woody shrub aftertaste.
Slow carbonated and cask-esque in the mouth. Alcohol is not noted aside from some parching fumes around the swallow.
This is a beauty of a raw, old school, funky-ass EIPA.
Get up and dance.

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Photo of dgallina
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle without freshness dating.

Pours good-looking cloudy tan, with very strong carbonation and a few fingers of sticky foam. Smells powerfully woody and fruity, with tangy alcohol and sweet pink grapefruit notes. The flavor is significantly drier, more grainy and woody in character. The sugary grapefruit center is balanced by toasted malt at the edges. Finishes with a parched alcohol sharpness that suggests barrel-aged whiskey. The medium-rich body is somewhat oily and over-carbonated for something this strong. Drinks like a much larger beer than the labeled alcohol-by-volume would lead you to believe. An odd, but tasty, duck.

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Photo of kimcgolf
4.27/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a bright amber with thick off-white head that lasted through most of the drink and left good lacing up and down the glass. Aroma was a perfect blend of floral hops, bread and malty sweetness, and at mid-glass the alcohol crept into the nose in juist the right proportion. Mouthfeel was tingly and bittersweet, while the flavor was a continuation of the spicy floral hops and malty sweetness, along with the hint of apples.

This all blended to a long smooth and thirst quenching finish. One of the better English beers I’ve had.

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Photo of tommy5
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of tbeer40
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of RochefortChris
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.23/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice clear amber colour with a stick-around head and decent lacing.

Smells quite fresh and sweet. Not as much alcohol as I would have guessed.

Tastes very palatable, warming but subtle alcoholic undertones accompany quite a sweet malt taste, well balanced by fresh grassy and fruity hops, the hops creeping over towards the end providing a lip smacking and thirst quenching bitterness.

Overall quite a lovely beer, fairly unique compared to other stuff i've had. Definitely getting more of this when I can.

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Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First of all, this is the furthest thing from an American IPA as you can get. Once expectations are out of the way, this ale presents many unique qualities.

Definitely Brett in this one. This is my second pint in 2 days, and i'm really enjoying this stuff. It pours a hazy, tawny orange into a goblet-style glass. About 1/2 inch of foam fizzles up and settles to nothing, no lacing even. Looks like a cask ale in fact, and lo and behold, the label states it was cask aged 6 months before bottling.

Aroma is fantastic. Musty citrus, wet hay, barnyard funk more akin to Gueuze, but nowhere near as sharp or sour. Orval may find a distant cousin in this unique English IPA. There's also a mildly cheesy, aged hop presence.

Flavors of apricot, almond, and citrus rind. Toffee like malt, but only in texture and not sweetness. Dry and bitter finish. Fruitiness is very unique, in that it has a certain fullness and distinct apricot/persimmon taste. A mild underlying spice from the hops. Brett adds another distinctive facet of restrained wildness. Must be some funky casks that are used for aging!

Smooth with low carbonation, mellow with mild bitterness in the finish. Easy to finish the bottle, but it must be savored. Cheers...

EDIT 2008: 2 bottles I purchased in Madison weren't similar at all to my first review. Hoping they were just old, and that the funky spice shows up in future bottles. Edit #2: Hit or miss with this one, i've had one tasty one, and two so-so bottles from the same place, same purchase. Seems there's alot of variability with this, but i'll continue to drink it, because when it's good, it's a really captivating beer...pretty similar to Wild Devil.

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Photo of doopydoogle
4.19/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Cloudy pale with orange and amber hues. Vibrant had with staying power that gives way to large, foamy suds without descending.

S - Slightly sour smell, akin to a lambic. Granny smith apple, fig, coriander, bubblegum, and fresh yeast rolls.

T - Very tart, tight beginning with a subtle malt that is revealed beneath the sour astringency. Then a subtle bitter gives way to a strong bite that coats the back of your tongue on the finish. A little musty and funky, with an almost blue cheese like quality. Sweet pastries and wine follow with a nice bready malt at the end with the bitter. Overall, quite interesting and unique. Makes me wonder if this bottle might be bad? Not that its bad, just nothing like any US IPA.

M - Explosive carbonation and a good, present mouthfeel. I could really see this going well with any foods because of the acid and the bittering qualities.

O - A unique beer, somewhere between a berlinerwiesse, a lambic, and an APA. Worth a try for sure. British beers are fun!

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Photo of avalon07
4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, bright white, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Aroma of hops, fruit (citrus especially) and some malt. Very subtle, but nice.

T: Tasted of hops, though not overwhelmingly, citrus (grapefruit, I think), and malt in the finish. Very well rounded and surprisingly vibrant for an English IPA.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: Although I'm not the biggest fan of English IPAs, this one is excellent. Drinkable.

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Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale from Burton Bridge Brewery
Beer rating: 46.2% out of 100 with 169 ratings
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