Harveys Best | Harvey & Son Ltd.

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Very Good
28 Ratings

Brewed by:
Harvey & Son Ltd.
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2003

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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by wl0307:
Photo of wl0307
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of paxton1978
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just one of my all-time favourites, since it can be found all over my locality on cask and is usually well-kept. A wonderful warming chestnut-coloured beer, on this occasion with a head that dissipated quickly but left a little lacing. Slight hop bitterness to slightly offset the slight spiciness. A great session beer in every sense.

 335 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From a cask at the 2016 Atlanta Cask Ale Festival.

Orange Amber body that's slightly hazy and topped with a bubbly white head.
Mild but earthy aroma.
Much better and much stronger flavor although it takes a moment for the flavor to build up.
Mild+ bitterness. Good and lasting aftertaste.

 290 characters

Photo of ric123123
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of beer_bottle
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of CRJMellor
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours mahogany and gold with a tan head with big bubbles. Moderately thck hed that leaves chunks of lace.
Aroma is toffee, hay, bread and butter and a fruity bittering.
Flavors of toffee and grain with a floral and touch of citrus hop profile.
Mouthfeel is semi-sweet to stat with a little bit of roastiness in the middle. Slowly building residual bittereness throughout.
Drinkability is very high. Great session beer, gets better after two.

 445 characters

Photo of Pelicanrocks
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at The Coal Hole, London:

Pours deep ruby with a creamy head. Sheets of lacing cover the glass.

The smell is floral/leafy/herbal with slight caramel.

The taste is herbal/leafy with caramel and a lemon tartness and an aspirin-ish bitterness in the finish.

It has a velvety, medium-body.

Nicely bitter (slightly tart) with a refreshingly dry finish. A solid example of the style!

 387 characters

Photo of Mark
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finally got around to trying this ale. it poured a deep amber bordering on brown. Head was thin and well formed, nice rings of lace and some splotches decorated the contoured pint glass. Aroma was of toasted malt with some fruity hops. A long hoppy finish that had some toasted overtones. Seemed to be served at one of the warmest temps in my U.K. travels. Very drinkable.

 372 characters

Photo of redzone3120
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A - Has a very dark clear amber color with a good thick head. As the head settles down, it leaves a nice white lace on the edges of the pint glass.

S - Has a bitter hoppy smell with a nice aroma. Smells like its going to be a good beer.

T - Has a slightly bitter taste with lots of nutty flavors. The hops, and possibly malts, are evident.

M - The first thing noticed is in the carbonation, or rather lack of it. This is probably one of the flattest beers I have ever had. Definitely distracts from the flavor but that is probably more a personal thing than anything else.

D - Very drinkable though might take a little bit to get accustomed to if you are not familiar with this style out of the cask. Highly recommended and enjoyable.

 738 characters

Photo of philmid
4.79/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Justhead
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerDetective
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask in several lovely pubs in London, a wonderful example of the style, nice and big caramel taste to me up front, then a wonderful ride through the hops to the wonderful finish. All around one of my favorite beers I have discovered from the U.K.

 250 characters

Photo of jonb5
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint from the Market Porter. Ruby colour, slight tanned head which was poorly retained, looked a bit hazy. Slight yeasty aroma, reminded me of a Belgian Pale Ale. Tasted berries, it got more bitter as it warmed, corky finish. Mouthfull not overly smooth, had a bit of gas. Overall a tasty session beer, more pale ale than bitter.

 329 characters

Photo of steverx8
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of StJamesGate
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at the Market Porter, Borough Market, London.

Pours russet with tan lace. Smoke and bitter orange nose. Toasty grains backed with bark hops. End is astringent and dry on the tongue. Medium body. A roast orange glaze taste overtakes the toast as it warms.

Toast and tight hops make for a spartan pint of bitter, but still drinkable at only 4%.

 353 characters

Photo of jkhara12
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of Calzyne
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mothman
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bitter poured a slightly hazy, amber reddish color with slightly off-white foam that persisted. The smell was minimal: malt with a hint of sulfur. The taste was malty with a good, balanced hop bitterness throughout, and a touch of fruitiness. The mouthfeel was smooth and dry with medium body and low carbonation. The hops lingered on the tongue. This was a good, drinkable bitter.

 386 characters

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of francisweizen
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lovely! I had this on tap at the famous White Horse on Parsons Green. It's a lovey dark amber colour with a nice white cap of foam. The aromas are of fresh, floral hops and the taste is the same. A nice, solid, malt backbone keeps this brew aloft as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy and the drinkability is excellent. A great session brew!

 354 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of Crosling
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Sampled at the White Horse in London, England.


The aroma was nice. English hops; flowers, light lemon and herbs along with a slightly toasted maltiness.

I really enjoyed this. This is a beer you can drink constantly thoughout the night but not only that, it is great as a palate cleanser when you are trying a lot of big beers as well. Very good example of the style. Flavors much like the aroma.

 413 characters

Photo of fullsweep
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Upon visiting friends in Lewes, had to make a stop by Harvey's brewery/shop. Got a 2.4 liter (4-pint) jug of Harvey's Best Bitter. I had had this once on cask at a local pub so was expecting this one to be more or less the same. I'm not sure if it's my memory that's off or what, but this tasted substantially different than the previous pint I had.

A: mahogany with hints of ruby red, no head whatsoever, no fizz; mostl tranparent although slightly cloudy

S: malty with mild hops, not a distinctive scent, to be honest

T: bittersweet upfront with some very mild spice on the finish leaving a pleasantly bitter aftertaste

M: smooth--again no fizz whatsoever, a slight oily texture, but pretty flat mouthfeel overall

O: a very pleasant drink that is solid throughout; distinct from other bitters from the SE region, but doesn't stand out so much as to merit a stellar rating

 878 characters

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Harveys Best from Harvey & Son Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 28 ratings