HSB (Horndean Special Bitter)
George Gale & Company Ltd

HSB (Horndean Special Bitter)HSB (Horndean Special Bitter)
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George Gale & Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom
English Bitter
Ranked #4
Ranked #11,910
3.99 | pDev: 13.03%
Jul 23, 2022
Mar 27, 2002
No description / notes.
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Ratings by bark:
Photo of bark
Reviewed by bark from Sweden

4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
The liquid is clear; the colour is red-copper. The finger thick head is pale beige and very compact and smooth.

The light smell is a bit bitter with flavours of fresh bread, wort and ripe grain.

The taste is fresh with a fine hoppy first flavour. Lots of malt and delicate flowery (buttercups) notes. Some sweet wort in the aftertaste, that also brings notes of tree sap and rowanberries. A delicate bitterness in the finish.

The carbonation is medium strong, the small bubbles are soft. The liquid is smooth.

A solid best bitter.
Nov 23, 2009
More User Ratings:
Photo of Offa
Reviewed by Offa from California

4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Cask at the Head of The River, Oxford.
Deep reddish copper. Off white head soon thins to thin top and some lace.
Aroma brown bread and nutty barley.
Taste nicely deep, full and fruity, almost like cherries with faint notes of brown bread, gentle woody, earthy bitterness. Outstanding.
Jul 23, 2022
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

2.5/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
Cask at the Prince Harry. Unfortunately, this is a victim of some ill-,maintained lines, and it presented itself with slight vinegar notes. Sensed a standard bitter under it all, malty, bready and mildly sweet. Would like to sample again.
Jan 06, 2020
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

2.93/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
L- Very feint malts.
S- Chestnut, clear, 5mm fine white head.
T- Some toast into dry hops, underwhelming - there seems a lack of character or distinction, ie nothing I'll remember about this one later.
M- This was bought on hand-pull pump, the CO2/head in the glass was fine looking, it seems pretty low in the mouth.
O- Adds up to a rather disappointing beer, with nothing particularly notable about it, though pleasant enough with lunch while passing through Oxford.
Bought with lunch at the Bear Inn, 6 Alfred Street, Oxford.
May 30, 2019
Photo of vinicole
Reviewed by vinicole from England

3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
Cask, Clear dark amber. Thin head.
Not much aroma. English hops with slight caramel biscuit malt.
The taste was an enhanced version of it's smell with the addition of dried fruit and some earthiness. Bitter finish.
Great cask conditioning.
A good traditional English bitter.
Feb 18, 2019
Photo of vfgccp
Rated by vfgccp from New York

3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
May 17, 2018
Photo of Malts_over_hops
Reviewed by Malts_over_hops from New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
The English bitter is a wonderful style of beer. I am enjoying this HSB at The Parcel Yard in King's Cross. Fresh out of the tap, it pours an outstanding ruby red/copper brown color with an off white, 1 finger head. Smells like toffe and biscuits. The taste is outstanding due to its bitter finish. There are tons of malty beers out there, but to make a truly malty beer finish with a refreshing bitter end is something only English Bitters are capable of achieving. Very delicious, creamy mouthfeel. Excellent. At 4.8%, it is extremely sessionable. I will probably end up drinking many more of these in one session. Fantastic.
Aug 27, 2017
Photo of Irishnutjob
Reviewed by Irishnutjob from Florida

5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
This is one of my all time favorites although I've not been back to Hampshire for many years and since Gales was bought by Fullers. But I miss the many pints I've consumed both in Horndean, Winchester, Southsea, etc.
Jul 06, 2017
Rated: 3.67 by beer_bottle from Colorado

Oct 13, 2015
Photo of kitschiguy
Reviewed by kitschiguy from Hong Kong

4.86/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Drank 3 pints of cask at the Good Intent, Petersfield, Hampshire, England.

Poured a lovely medium-dark reddish brown with a nice head that stuck around for a while.

Nose: Beautiful complex aromas of malt, biscuit, toast, baked cookies and a little dried fruit.

Palate: Complex sweet malt flavours. Biscuity with enough light hoppy bitterness to make it extremely refreshing. Very well rounded, hitting the entire mouth.

Mouth: Nice medium bodied mouthfeel, with low, tight carbonation making it quite creamy.

Overall an exceptional English bitter. A delicious and wonderfully complex beer and one that's close to my heart.

edit* I just drank another one of these and it made me want to edit my original score. Improved score for taste - this beer is truly exceptional.
Jul 15, 2015
Rated: 4.75 by Griffin1845 from Massachusetts

Apr 21, 2015
Rated: 4.06 by BrazilianAussie from Brazil

Apr 19, 2015
Photo of Fdough1
Reviewed by Fdough1 from Maryland

4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
This is one this is one of my favorite beers. Spent a lot of time in uk and could get it everyday. Back home in the states I am deprived of it. Sitting in pub today enjoying this old favorite. Taste, mouth feel and color are outstanding. Best right off the tap. Please import this beer!!!
Apr 18, 2015
Rated: 3.92 by steverx8 from England

Dec 14, 2014
Photo of Hoppsbabo
Reviewed by Hoppsbabo from England

3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
A: Vivid mahogony, almost ruby coloured. A fine but clingy off-white head which glazes the surface of the beer.
S: Peppy and fudge-like.
T: Dry with a pleasant woody rum quality. Initially just nice and taut with no caramel or warming syrup, but it comes through slightly as your tongue gets more saturated in it. No aftertaste at first. Fairly acidic. A touch of white bread in there, and just a hint of citrus. Gets progressively better towards the end of the pint. Nice fluffy mouthfeel.
O: A very sound beer but not particularly inspired. Would complement a Ploughman's beautifully.
Nov 09, 2014
Rated: 3 by Howlader from Canada (AB)

Sep 25, 2014
Rated: 4 by Drummermean from England

Sep 21, 2014
Rated: 4 by spointon from Illinois

Jul 31, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by poskok from Croatia (Hrvatska)

Jun 14, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by hansavijaticar from Croatia (Hrvatska)

Jun 14, 2014
HSB (Horndean Special Bitter) from George Gale & Company Ltd
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 67 ratings