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 skizziks
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a nonic. Opened the bottle maybe a minute before I was ready to pour, had to get on with it as the foam was coming out of the neck! Highly carbonated, pour raises a huge cream head over a very hazy golden orange beer. Got a chunk of something orangey on top of the foam. Seems yeasty even though it has been in the fridge for a month. The head dies down to 1/4", leaves a little lacing that mostly fails to stick to the glass. Maybe because the glass was just rinsed with water and still wet. As the beer warms the haze diminishes somewhat

Very fragrant through the pour, aroma is very fruity and herbal, a little tropical, a little Ricola. Some phenol and alcohol in the back.

First sip knocks me back. Not sure what's going on here. Lots of carbonation on the tip of the tongue with some sweet malt and honey struggling to get through. Tartness flows along the sides. Some numbing phenolic and bitterness from mid-tongue on back with a dry alcoholic finish. Lots of carbonation. Aroma adds a lot the flavor experience. This is some pretty odd stuff. Very estery, way too carbonated. Swirling the carbonation up for 10 minutes helps a lot. Now I can actually taste it and it tastes like it was fermented pretty warm. Lots of tropical fruit esters and alcohol.

Nice medium bodied beer but way too much carbonation. A real burpfest here. Much improved by getting the foam stirred up for a while. Drinkability suffers because of the bubbly and obvious alcohol. The beer is actually pretty decent and an interesting experiment by Burton Bridge to make a recreation of what the original IPAs were like. Not sure they would have been so highly carbonated and it could use more bittering hop, A little diappointing as this could easily, with a little tweaking, be a great IPA.

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Photo of Luigi
4.06/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy amber orange color. Huge! foamy off white head. Has a life of it's own!
Retention? Well you couldn't get rid of the head if you tried. Fruit aromas dominate. Apples, diacetyl, and hints of yeast. The flavor is very hoppy. But not a typical hop. They take on a fruity character. Apples and wood like flavors are sharp on the tongue. Grainy malts and alcohol sweetness. Dry hoppy aftertaste. This is a truely English IPA. It is a great switch up from the everyday hoppy IPA in America.

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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 Crosling
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light in color. Seriously funky aroma (perhaps it’s the yeast, the oak aging or the sulfur content in the water) with hints of wood, horseblanket, salt and citrus fruits. It’s interesting to taste this, knowing that this is very similar to what the English troops received in India. Historical. The funkiness continues upon tasting. Nice, woody, funky tartness along with a well hopped profile (grapefruit, lemon) and a nice biscuit-like, slightly toasted, caramel malt flavor in the backround. Notes of vanilla are present as well. An interesting and enjoyable brew.

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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 blitheringidiot
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial pint bottle

pours a ruddy hazy orange hue full of rising bubbles topped with a thick densely packed layer of vanilla headcap.

Nose is a bitter sour scent with a bold farmhouse funk!

First swigs: Tart lemon juice and orange citrus. Reminds me more of a Trappist Pale Ale than anything. Ginger and peach.

Feel is soft cushy with a tart finish.

Last swigs: Amazing how this beer inspired such a revolution with IPAs. This is a twist, but I was ready and dug it!

Beer is good. Happy unexpected beering.

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Photo of brentk56
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy orange body with a frothy white head that settles down to a ring and islands while leaving good lacing

Smell: Lemony and sulfuric - so this is what that famous Burton water does to an ale

Taste: Starts out with a sturdy malt backbone that gives way to some bitter lemon and green apple flavors; the finish is rather astringent, with a harsh, mineral tone

Mouthfeel: Moderately thick bodied and well-carbonated

Drinkability: While I recognize the distinctness and historical aspects of the style, I cannot say this is a beer I intend to try again - its just too lemony and sulfuric to satisfy my palate

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Photo of rousee
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty nice IPA. The pour is murky orange--crazily carbonated huge foam. Takes forever to settle. I guess it must still be nice and fresh considering I bought it about a month ago (thanks Nick at Bauer for keeping your beers in top condition). I think this is a fine example of what the original IPAs were like. Hoppy piney, skunky, citrusy hops both on the nose and tongue but delivered in a fairly subtle manner. Smooth mouthfeel and an extremely misleading potency make this thing quite drinkable but dangerous. I want ploughmans lunch now to soak up some of the 7%+ abv. I will seek this one out again as long as I know its fresh.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a magnificent burnt orange with an incredible off white head that retains excellently, truly a looker. The aroma is also nice, with a big fruit character upfront (tangerine, lemon, apples, kiwi, and passion fruit), some citrusy and floral hops, biscuit and toasted bread and some ethanol. The flavor retains the intense fruit character (apples, tangerines, lemon rind, passionfruit, lime), as well as some nice citrus and floral hops that shine but dont overwhelm, toasted bread, slight sour citrus edge and moderate alcohol. The mouthfeel is chewy with light carbonation, and drinkability is descent but the alcohol is noticeable and warming. An interesting, complex and tasty IPA...supposedly the original IPA, and i can see why it was/is so popular.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had the head of an IPA and the body of a pale.Grapefruit taste, nicely bitter, not overly.Smooth creamy.Very well done English
Nice aftertaste,some malts.Not very complex, couldn’t drink a whole bottle.Aggressive carbonation and alcohol presence, otherwise I applaud the craftsmanship.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five-fingered cream head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Cloudy amber color. Piney hop nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Starts more sweet than hoppy but the hops kick in, finish doesn't linger too long. Not the usual intense IPA. $4.99 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of yelterdow
2.86/5  rDev -19.7%
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 rocketmotor
2.78/5  rDev -21.9%
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 Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium sized bottle, w/o freshness dating. Very surprised by the low ratings for this brew. It pours very cloudy dull orangey amber, with a long lasting loose off white head, leaving loads of thick sticky lacing. The aroma is mildly of hops, glorious hops. This is a full flavor, quite hoppy brew. Nice to see a British brewery makes a beer with more then a delicate amount of hoppy character. This one has character and complexity. Perhaps the low ratings have to do with folks not getting a fresh bottle and shelf life issues with what appears to be an authentic cask/bottle conditioned ale. At any rate, I truly enjoyed the bottle I sampled. Get a fresh one and enjoy a bold and hoppy brew with better then average flavor and character.

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Photo of cubedbee
3.81/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decanted a 500 mL bottle into a pitcher and then into the glass. Pours a dull orange with a monstrous off-white head and excellent retention. Nose is pretty sweet, fruity, and a little tart for an IPA, although some grapefruit hops notes do come through. Taste has the big hop kick I expect from an IPA, but a lot else going on as well. Oranges, grape, soy sauce, iced tea, sweet tarts---all sorts of funky tastes coming through on this one. Finish is extremely dry. Medium bodied and with a low carbonation level remiscient of a cask conditioned ale. This is a really interesting beer---like a cross between an IPA and a Belgian pale. Not a session beer by any stretch, but this is my far the most interesting English IPA I've had, and well worth trying once.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I ordered this upon the waitress' recommendation. The beer pours out orange in color with a big frothy head. The aroma is nice and citrusy but you can definitely detect the malts as well. The flavor is loaded with hops. A hop bitterness explosion as I would call it. You can still taste the citrus, but the bitterness just numbs your palate. This was definitely an interesting beer, different from any other English IPA I've had before, but not great by any means.

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Photo of horndecker
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting presentation. Odd label, neck label is nice, though.

The brew is a beautiful clear golden brassy-copper hue, with a quick white head. It leaves a little suds. The aromas are tangy and sharp: grass and sweetish toasty malt; peppery pine, almost resinous and medicinal. Nice and refreshing, but not terribly appetizing.
The first thing you taste is a big hop kick, expected, and then a round biscuity malt, like whole wheat bread. The hops come back again in force, bitter yet welcome. Then there is an impression of wildflower honey, perhaps a little caramel. As it warms there is the character of strong unsweetened iced tea. I suppose the wild, bottle-conditioned nature of this brew produces a few odd moments in the malt flavors. But they're all interesting.
The mouthfeel is lively, sharp and refershing. I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This one is a pure but dull orange in color with a monster, explosive head.

Smell – This aroma is about 60% malts and 40% bitter hops. The hops are very herbal with some very light grapefruity notes. The malts are slightly nutty with some raw sugars and maybe a bit of caramel.

Taste – The bitter hops here get bigger as the ale opens up. The malts have some sugar to them but are mostly reserved. This is a balanced brew. The flavors aren’t explosive but, like the history of the style supposes, will last for a long time.

Mouthfeel – This one is medium-bodied and overly-carbonated. The flavors though are very blended and smooth like a cask-conditioned ale.

Drinkability – The fizzy carbonation kept this from going down well, but it’s a nice example of the style.

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Photo of mynie
3.76/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Goodness. That's a head. Hazy orange, too.

Smells like Teryaki beef jerky and apples. Very hoppy, and strange. Not much like any Pale Ale I know of.

Organic hops dominate the flavor. Everything else comes in on the back, and they rush at you as if in desperation. Citrus and yeast jump in there, for a nice, wet finish, leaving a dry aftertaste. Nice

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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 walleye
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a cloudy brown orangish color with a big light tan head that stayed around for a while with some nice lacing. aroma, sweet, floral, hops, citrus,and malts . flavor, malty, hints of orange and alcohol with a slight sour finish . not to bad of a beer

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.11/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured a golden color with a finger of head. The nose does not say pale ale of any variety to me. It smells very much like a Balgian, tart like a flanders red. The flavor is the same as the nose, not what I expected from the beer. The sour and tart flavors were not from hops as I had expected, but almost puckered my cheeks. The feel was moderate at best. I liked the beer, but not what I would want from the style.

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Photo of SheepNutz
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Half a liter bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a medium orange color with one finger of head. The smell is sweet and spicy, almost tart and a little funky. The taste is fairly bitter, but not in a hop bitterness way. I can't find much hops in this one anyway. The body is a little thin and watery. The drinkability is just there as well. Eh.

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Photo of clvand0
3.26/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy amber color with a moderate head that doesn't have great retention. The aroma was hoppy with some fruit notes, but it also has a certain sourness. The flavor was hoppy/bitter but had a strange sourness about it. Very strange. Finishes slightly bitter. Moderate body and medium drinkability. Not sure how well this one fits the style.

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Photo of John
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle conditioned brew. Burton Bridge Empire India Pale Ale pours a hazy gold with an eggshell coloured rocky dense head. Quite inviting appearance in my 20oz. Nonic. The aroma greets me with an alluring sweet malt, fruity subdued yeast and citrus hop bouquet. The head is persistent. The flavor is a mild blend of the various aroma components in addition to some lovely fruity notes of nearly ripe pear, peach and grape. Orange peel citrus hops finish it off. Elements of alcohol warm but are reserved enough not to offend. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, pleasant. Mellows out as it comes closer to room temperature. Quite a nice beer.

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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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