Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale | Burton Bridge Brewery

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 169 |  Reviews: 134
Photo of donmonkey1
1.17/5  rDev -67.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: Dark orange with a very large white head, decent lacing. I can't tell if the beer is dark orange or cloudy. I'm skeptical with the orange color.

Smell: Mild skunk. No date on bottle.

Taste: Average or above average hop bite and skunk.

Mouthfeel: water with a touch of stinginess.

Drinkability: This beer should be called Shitty Shitty Bang Bang.

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Photo of 86MonteSS
1.62/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Reading the reviews, I could have gotten a bad bottle or an average one, but either way, this stuff was wretched. I'm serious, this was really, really bad. The best way I can describe it is: you know how the doctor's office smells? That's what this tastes like.

I've had a couple Burton-upon-Trent beers in my life and that was the only reason I bought this--I had a lot of faith in the town. I paid $5.50 for the last bottle in the store (they didn't think they'd ever get any more), thinking I had stumbled across England's biggest and greatest secret. But no, instead of a malty and robust pale ale, I got a cotton swab and a tongue depressor. Turn your head and cough, motherf***er.

I'd really like to try this again. I don't think I got the best (or the youngest) bottle of the lot. But until I've had another sample, my decision stands: This was undeniably horrible. I hate, nay... detest pouring out beer but I had to discard at least 18 ounces of this stuff. It's funny... I paid only $4 for the best beer I've had in my life (Rochefort 10) and over $5 for one of the absolute worst. Variety is the spice of life, huh? *hurl*

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Photo of kvnstfrd
1.76/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a 16 oz. goblet.
Pours a vey cloudy golden-amber color with a one-finger off-white head.
Smells of fresh cut hay with some cherry and orange aromas. A slightly sour smell.
Taste is strong with hops right from the start with a very sour flavor while on the tongue.
The aftertaste yields some fruity malt flavors, but still dominated by an awful, grapefruit-like sourness. Hop bitterness is not backed up with enough malt to balance. As the beer warms, I'm picking up more yeast flavors, but still horribly sour and bitter. Not a good bitter. It's starting to taste like Alka Seltzer. Mouthfeel is harsh, astringent and dry with too much carbonation.
Overall, too much like a grapefruity, American IPA and a total waste of $7. Barely able to finish this one.

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Photo of Offa
1.91/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I don't know what to make of this beer and am particularly unsure whether it's supposed to be the way my bottle was or if it was simply a bad bottle. It seems to fit the description most other reviewers here gave and to some degree, at least, what I have read elsewhere. However, to me it seems to have been bad and in its overly active carbonation, smell, and taste, it very closely resembles the one bad bottle of Young's Special London Ale I had (it's also pale, hoppy, and bottle conditioned and I KNOW the Young's was not supposed to be like that as I've had it many times and only once was it like that).

It's hazy dark straw with a huge, out-of-control white head that fills the glass and lasts forever, shrinking very, very slowly but leaving no real lace. It remains extremely actively fizzy for over an hour, since that is how much time passed before I decided to revisit it and ended up pouring it down the drain, with it fizzing up in the sink.

The aroma is yeast, bananas, more yeast, pears, and citrus with some essence of bitter green grass.

The taste is kind of similar: bananas, yeast, and exceedingly dry champagne, as if tasting day-old champagne, that somehow remained as fizzy as when opened, after someone had steeped bananas and yeast in it. It also has hints of bitter orange pulp and pear. It's sharp, very spicey-bitter, and alcoholic. Overall, interesting, but dreadful.

I do agree with those who commented that this has a Belgian quality to it. It especially resembles a more bitter Belgian strong, bottle condition golden ale, however a twisted and really unpleasant one, assuming that what I drank was the way it is supposed to be.

I will assume that this was bad and will try it again, but not for a while.

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Photo of StrayteEDGE
2/5  rDev -44%

Photo of Doomclaw
2/5  rDev -44%

Photo of Macamah
2/5  rDev -44%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Photo of JLapadura
2.07/5  rDev -42%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I know it's where it all started but English IPA's are awful. Not just this one but all.
Immediately upon first sip there is something wrong. No hops actually you fall in debt to the hop municipal credit union...negative acceptable amounts of hops despite hops being the foundation of IPA. Sweet flower no bitter despite the decent 7.5 abv you wouldn't know. Don't buy despite one of the coolest bottles ever.

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Photo of Shaken9
2.19/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Paid $6.99 for a 500ml bottle.

Was expecting an English IPA, got a hoppy, sour mess that smelled of apples and pears.

Poured into a 22oz Pilsner glass, hazy golden amber color. Not unexpected for a bottle conditioned beer. Huge foamy head that persisted throughout.

Smelled EXACTLY like young cider, then after it had warmed a bit, like very citrusy hops (Sorachi Ace comes to mind) very lemony with apple and pear notes in the finish, some Brett sourness, funky sour aroma.

The flavor of this beer was... harsh with a side of sour bitterness. I LOVE sour beers and I love bitter hop bombs, but this was medicinal, bitter and sour at the same time. There is some funkiness, which I can only assume is Brettanomyces given the dirt, barnyard funky sourness to it. The malt hardly enters into the taste given the amount of hops and sourness.

Mouthfeel is a tiny bit thin for an IPA, even an English IPA, but the carbonation was good.

I can *KIND OF* understand what they were going for here, old English beers were supposed to have a little funk over time, but this is really not balanced and the sour and bitter really fought against each other. I was expecting an English IPA with lots of East Kent Goldings, Fuggles and Challenger hoppiness but got a big, bitter, lemony Sorachi Ace type flavor. Was not pleasant, even when I tried to consider it a Belgian sour or saison. Just unbalanced, I'm not interested in trying this beer again.

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Photo of TripelJ
2.23/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought this hoping to discover another great english IPA, and I was a little disappointed. First I crack the bottle, I can't help but take a quick *whiff* from the bottle--UGH--gross! This beer is the most wretched smelling brew I have ever smelt before. I have bottles of vinegar that smell better than this and that is all this beer smells like. The taste is average at best with a moderate hop profile (I was expecting a lot more). Maybe this is a bad brew because my stomach is already upset with me over the quarter pint I have consumed. The rest is going in the sink.

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Photo of counselor
2.23/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

pale amber color with an absurdly large fluffy head. This beer smelled like an old refrigerator that had sat unused for months. there was a mild aroma of old oranges. The taste was the same, stale, funky, old. I wonder if it had just sat too long at the package store (usually good turnaround there though). As one other reviewer noted British IPAs tend to dissapoint me and this one certainly did

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Photo of JohnGalt1
2.45/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

19 oz bottle picked up sometime last week at the Coop (Don't remember the price).. poured into my Sam Adams shaped glass.

2 finger head is pillowy and sticky.. quite a bit of carbonation.. brew is polished amber copper... took more than a minute to get a pour that didn't want to pour over the rim.. too much carbonation for sure.

Aroma is big grassy/earthy hops.. a little sour and metallic. pale malts play second fiddle or maybe third.

Flavor is waaaay off base for an EIPA.. Big bitter out of the gate comes crashing through a funky and sour/metallic mid palate that lingers and screws everything up. Almost no sweetness or maltiness.. Sorta a sour green apple/under ripe peach essence. Body is lite/medium with too much carbonation to even remotely be pleasant. Pineapple and fresh penny copper are very evident as it warms. Burpy in an unpleasant way.

I don't believe this is an "off" beer.. I just think it is the way the brewer made it. Really nothing I would ever consider buying again unless I had a certified letter from the brewer saying my money would be well spent this time around.

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Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -30%

Photo of durlta
2.5/5  rDev -30%

Photo of beerdrifter
2.58/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up at the biggest beer store in the UK, Beers of Europe Ltd. Hazy orange-yellow pour with a huge three finger soapy head with decent retention and lacing. Really sour, cider-like nose that is like no other British IPA I've ever had. The taste follows suit with lots of grassy, bitter, acidic qualities that had me thinking I was drinking a cider. There's a subtle malt sweetness that bleeds through ever so slightly, but the sour brett overpowers all else. I wasn't sure if this was intentional or if maybe I just got a bad bottle, but several other BA's had the same experience. If this was a blind review, I would bet my life I was drinking a Belgian Sour. This is the strangest IPA I've ever had...

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Photo of Foyle
2.63/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: billowy 3" off white head settles very slowly with much lacing. Cloudy golden appearance.
Aroma: Floral and earthy hops, toasted grain
Mouthfeel: medium and a bit sticky with a semi-dry finish
Flavor: spicy hop presence with a sweet malt backbone. Somewhat astringent and a bit of a cough syrup flavor.
Overall: good but not great. Glad I tried this but I doubt I would buy it again at $6 for one bottle.

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Photo of Phishagonia
2.75/5  rDev -23%

Photo of rocketmotor
2.78/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bottle with a nice white head. I immediately smelled the hops upon opening the bottle, nice. Beer has a nice orange, slightly cloudy coloration.

Smells of hops, yeast/bread, and malt. Has a good malt/hop flavor and interplay but it is dominated by the alcohol. I often drink double IPA's and such, and this beer, at 7.2% has more of an alcohol taste than I have ever tasted in beer. The alcohol flavor just ruins it for me, a shame, as it would be very good. If I drink it quickly I get the nice flavors, but it still finishes with too strong of an alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel is good, very good, nice body.

Drinkability is poor, don't know if I'll even finish the $5.00 bottle. Maybe it's old, as there is no expiration date....

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Photo of yelterdow
2.86/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a nonic at fridge temperature. No freshness date.

Appearance- Huge, four-finger head that redefines "rocky". Hazy light orange with sporadic, light lacing that settles eventually to thin mat. Quite messy with a wild array of different size bubbles after pouring the remaining contents, less the sediment.

Smell- English hops with an earthy, slightly grassy character. Some metal, cold steel. As it warms, a mild floral note peeks through... wrapped in metal, though.

Taste- Some wet bread followed by a metallic hop bitterness, lingering well into the painfully long finish. Puckering, to the point where I look like DeNiro in Goodfellas. A dry, skunky atmosphere is left in the mouth.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- A little rough in the mouth at first, mellowing slightly after each swirl in the glass. A big beer in its own right, just lopsided in taste. I'll pass next time.

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Photo of brakspear
2.91/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After reading the other reviews I wonder if I got a bad bottle. This beer had no carbonation, looked like apple cider with no head. The aroma is english hops, fruity and sweet malt. The taste is also definitely British: fruity, estery with limited hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is too flat and cidery even for a lower carbonated English ale. All in all I hope that I just got a bad bottle because I was very disappointed with this beer.

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Photo of crossovert
2.94/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle. Bought for its label which is reminiscent of a homebrew.

It pours a slightly hazy amberish brown with a big foamy but creamy white head.

I am not a huge fan of the scent. It has a spiciness of like anise or something. There is some sourdough, golden raisin, and alcohol.

The flavor is boozy and astringent at first. The mouthfeel is prickly and highly carbonated. The flavor has ripe apple, booze, a mild bitterness, and some liqueur-like caramel. It is decent the longer you sip, it reminds me of an amber ale that has sat for a bit, but the hotness makes me think it isn't that old. It is a pretty decent one in the flavor.

Kind of a wonky one.

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Photo of beerman599
2.98/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

tried several bottle of this ale and all were bad ! then i took a bottle of this with me on a trip to burton no trent and stayed at the Queen's in whitch is across the steet from the brewery and asked to see the brewer and was told in no uncertein terms that thay see no one and was
even told of another brewer that was more freindly to visit! we never even
had a chance to discuss the bottling problem oh well i just won't buy anymore bottles

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Photo of goast8127
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer after its release from the 500ml brown bottle sets in the glass a turbid orange-amber color, the head miniscule in size, bubbly in texture and the color a light tan and it vanishes in the wink of eye, the lace forms a very thin sheet that somewhat obscures the glass. Nose has a bit of yeast, lightly sweet, musty would be a good description; the start is lightly sweet, fair malt presence with the top cadaverous. Finish is light in carbonation the hops light weight in their spiciness, aftertaste is desert bone dry with a bit of bitterness from the 7.5 percent ABV, can’t say it pleases me much, sampled it twice as I thought the first bottle bad, sure the hell different from most English Ales.

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Photo of claspada
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aromas of bready/biscuity malts and earthy/herbal hops; something is adding a slight sour characteristic.
The taste follows the nose pretty much exactly. Begins with full flavor bready maltiness and transitions to the bitterness characterized by orange marmalade and earthy/slightly floral notes. Still something sour, maybe infection or oxidation, can't be sure.
Mouthfeel is lightly spritzy and carbonation is appropriate. Overall a decent beer, probably amazing on cask in England but average here and now because the freshness is clearly a factor.

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Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale from Burton Bridge Brewery
3.57 out of 5 based on 169 ratings.
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