Boltmaker
Timothy Taylor's Brewery

BoltmakerBoltmaker
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Style:
Bitter - English
Ranked #3
ABV:
4%
Score:
89
Ranked #8,477
Avg:
4.05 | pDev: 8.89%
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
66
From:
Timothy Taylor's Brewery
 
England, United Kingdom
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  9
Gots
  12
SCORE
89
Very Good
BoltmakerBoltmaker
Notes: A well-balanced, genuine Yorkshire Bitter, with a full measure of maltiness and hoppy aroma – Boltmaker is first choice for the discerning drinker – on both sides of the Pennines. Formerly known as Best Bitter, Boltmaker has won many awards over the years but most recently it was awarded the CAMRA Supreme Champion Beer of Britain in 2014 and Champion Beer of Britain – Bitter category in 2016. The ABV in bottle is 4.2%.
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 66 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnyGoldsbrough
JonnyGoldsbrough from England

4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review is from bottle, but have had several times on draft. Much of this review will be a comparison to Landlord.
L4 - very very similar in appearance to Landlord. Does not hold head as well.
S4 - has a nose which Landlord lacks. Sweet and malty.
T4 Well balanced and malty.
F4.25 Spot on - medium body, excellent mouthfeel.
O4.25 Very similar to Landlord, head not held as well but better aroma.

May 04, 2020
Photo of James94
James94 from England

4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark orangey amber in appearance, a good level of head
S: Sweet flapjacks, background of maltiness, hints of bread
T: Toffee, bread, cake, bitterness at the back
F: Quite a lovely feel, well-bodied

O: 4.25

Nov 25, 2019
Photo of JamFuel
JamFuel from Sweden

4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep amber color, with soft, soapy head.

Smell is floral and malty, with a bit of sweetness and notes of grapefruit, white bread crust and a hint of leather.

Taste is crisp, soft and malty with a bit of sweetness, balanced perfectly by a floral bitterness. Notes of grapefruit, herbs and some earthiness. Very refreshing and sessionable.

Mouthfeel is medium, soft and well carbonated.

Overall, a brilliant bitter, drinkable, but full of flavor.

Aug 06, 2019
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Half pour (cask) at York Tap. Medium amber with small creamy head, lots of lacing. Bready, malty aroma. Taste is also like dark bread, cask makes this silky smooth and delicious. Really sublime and superb.

Jun 20, 2018
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Brolo75 from California

4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle poured into a tumbler

Pours a murky orange amber color with a bright white creamy head, great retention, slight lacing, and a decent amount of carbonation. Soft notes of citrus, fruit, and spice along with a touch of bready malts, caramel, and toffee, not much on the aroma. Good amount of bitterness on the flavor, citrus and spice notes along with bready malts, caramel and toffee, finish is dry with a good amount of citrus and light green hop note lingering in the finish, very nice. Light/medium bodied with medium carbonation and a very dry finish, creamy smoothness to it that disappears in the finish.

Besides the lack of aroma, I really like this beer, it has a good amount of bitterness but it's not hoppy, great balance of flavors, and it's definitely easier to drink with such a low ABV. Another beer from Timothy Taylor that I'd pick up.

Jan 06, 2018
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mynie from Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wonderful ESB pour: medium-dark yellow-orange with a large, fluffy white head. Translucent and lively.

Smells of bready English malt with firm nodes of caramel and toffee and some light European hops. As is expected from such an august brewer, this is quite expertly composed.

Tastes... different, but I grow to love it as the pint progresses. The word "bitter" has such a variable and contextual meaning. To an American pallet in, say, the 1980's, this would have probably seemed undrinkably rough. To a American beer person in the mid 2000's, it would have seem far too tame. But now that American IPA's have turned toward using smoother, fruiter hops, a sessionable English ESB again seems somewhat aggressive.

But only somewhat. This beer is quite delicately composed--it could serve as a wonderful lesson for the legions of American brewers cranking out mediocre "session IPAs" as of late. The grainbill is, gasp, actually used as a source of flavor and complexity. The caramel and toffee start off lightly bitter and grow fruity as the beer progresses, with a bitter and lightly peaty finish bookending the flavor. Very nicely done.

May 31, 2017
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is crystal clear yellowish amber in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high dense white head that gradually died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles that covered nearly all of the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of fruity yeast are present in the nose along with notes of pale malts and butter (from the diacetyl).
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of biscuit and cracker malts and buttery diacetyl along with notes of fruity yeast. There is a light amount of bitterness. Hints of mineral water are noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and somewhat chewy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: For an English Bitter, this beer is extremely tasty. It is a very good representation of the style and is perfectly sessionable given its low alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

Jan 14, 2017
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tbryan5 from Louisiana

3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a medium reddish gold with minimal head.
S- Biscuit malts, bread, some slight esters.
T- Bready with a nice amount of bitterness. Bitter malt.
M- Well balanced, medium bodied and perfectly carbonated.
D- Probably one of the best examples of the style I have ever had.

Oct 03, 2016
Photo of jzlyo
jzlyo from Iowa

4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is fruit/mild berries and English/biscuit malts. The flavor is fruit, English malts/ale yeast, slightly nutty/toffee and a mix of tart and bitter in the finish.

Sep 24, 2016
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a nonic a clear copper color with a thinner white head atop,good color clarity.Buttered toast and hard water notes in the nose,faint earth is detected as well.Sublime flavors for a bitter...spot on,buttered toast and caramel up front with earthy dryness in the finish,that hard water element is there thru the finish.It's a little thin and sharp but man what a sociable bitter,the best of the style I have had.

Sep 10, 2016
Photo of Smakawhat
Smakawhat from Maryland

4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Stamp code L5253 19:15 whatever that means who knows.

Deep copper orange and red, with a resemblance of a crystal clear body but not quite. Not hazy, but an interesting opaqueness to the clarity, with a fine sense of middle carbonation slightly which is surprising. Frothy and thick chunky head, off tan almost orange in color in a way, easily making three solid fingers and a clump thick retention with some very big bubbles. Real nice and neat looking brew.

Toasty malts with an excellent sweet bakery sense. Big amounts of sweet cookie and a mild floral sweetness to go along with it. Muted brown sugar tones mix in with the malt quality as well, there might even be a bit of green herb poking out slightly. Real impressive aroma for a bitter. A faint dry brown bread crust even pops out with all the thick and light toffee quality as well, very nice.

Palate manages excellent flavor. A real neat malt profile in the mid palate, light brown sugar with a biscuit warmth and actually dry slightly pine hop bent. Finishes with big toasty dryness and accented with hop bitterness that gets even a little earthy and tea warm. Toasty angle gets into a lot of nutty flavors, almost hazelnut tasting, but with a noticeable bitter sting. Mouthfeel and flavor comes off real light but supportive, and even a bit mineral as well. Bold but light. Session sensing, but full of rich flavors.

There's a lot of complex qualities going on here for a bitter, a real nice rewarding brew to partake in. Great brew.

Jul 20, 2016
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape from Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle served in a Tulip Stout glass. Date stamp L5253 19:16

Appearance: Slightly hazy copper-amber color. Thin off-white foam with some fine strands of persistent lacing.

Smell: Light aroma of some fruity esters and leafy hops. Not a lot though.

Taste: Very nice. Perfect balance of malt and English-style bittering hops. Just a hint of metal at the finish. Full flavored from start to finish. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation, slick, with some stickiness to the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: A very solid example of an English bitter. Simple but a very good example of the style. I would love to try this on Cask and see how it is different. I could easily have another of these - very drinkable.

Jul 11, 2016
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, honey and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, honey and some citrus. Then a mild hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Jun 25, 2016
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SABERG from Massachusetts

3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass, 50deg.
A - Distressed copper color, the occasional meandering sphere wanders upward. A quick pour yields a creamy
white cap.
S - Caramel, toffee, warm earth, slightly vegetal.
T - Light toasted malt, brown sugar, grassy notes, and a nice tight hops bite.
M - Medium in body, appropriately carbonated, silky in feel, and a nice lingering finish.
O - A delightful ESB, well constructed, and a joy to experience.
CHeers

May 31, 2016
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

This one pours a light copper color, with a tight half inch head, and a bit of lacing.

Smells like earthy tea, grassy hops, and a hint of toasty, bready malt.

This really has a lot going on for only being 4% ABV. It's got a clean, distinct tea-like bitterness, with a firm bready malt backbone. It's pretty hoppy, floral and tea-like, basically exactly what I expect from English hop character. I could drink loads of this stuff. Delicious.

This is medium bodied, pretty full for the lower ABV, with a good level of carbonation and a crisp mouthfeel.

Since I don't always dig cask beers, I'm glad I got to try this here in the US in bottles. It was quite nice.

Apr 25, 2016
Photo of smcolw
smcolw from Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, neutral amber color. Decent head that lasts. Some good streaks on the glass for lace.

Sweet caramel aroma predominantly, almost like a candy apple. There's faint floral aroma in the background.

It's starts off creamy. Rich, not-so-sweet, caramel base. Thick mouthfeel with a moderate carbonation level. The hop is far more distinct in the taste but not harsh. The aftertaste is rather well balanced.

Feb 27, 2016
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BergBeer from Virginia

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Deep copper with an active white head. Moderate activity.

Smell: Pungent caramel malts, sweet toffee, slight roasted nuts, and whole wheat bread.

Taste: Sweet bread malts on the attack followed by mild sweet toffee, dried brown figs, raisins, more rich caramel malt, and an earthy hop finish.

Feel: Light-medium body. Finish has a light pleasant bitterness. Infinitely drinkable.

Overall: Clean and easy drinking with no detriment to flavor. An exemplary English bitter

Feb 26, 2016
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Jerseyislandbeer from Jersey

3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Jersey CAMARA beer festival. Pours a clear medium orange amber colour with a frothy head which leaves good lacing from a mostly lasting, off-white head. Aromas of malt, caramel and traces of fruit & nut. Tastes has light biscuity malts, with some hints of dark fruit and caramel. Leading to a creamy mouth feel with a light bitter finish. Overall a very good pint.

Oct 03, 2015
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captaincoffee from Virginia

3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with a medium head, some lacing, but not much. Nose is muted with some fruity malt and stale earthy hops. Flavor is malt forward, but has an odd sharpness. Not a particularly good flavor, but okay. Overall, not a beer I'd want to have again. I can only assume it is much better on cask. Quite disappointing.

Sep 11, 2015
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Malt_Man from England

3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served cool from 500ml bottle into pint mug.

L) Deep colour, very slight haze. Nice dense, slightly off-white head.

S) Robust English hops and toffee-like malts.

T) Malt-led, roasted malt flavour is nice, with slight hop bitterness and faint metallic notes in the aftertaste.

F) Nice and refreshing, although the bitterness reduces the refreshment factor slightly.

O) A nice bitter, its not too bitter and well balanced. Recommended to any English bitter fans.

Jun 05, 2015
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bark from Sweden

3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The colour is The colour is copper (25 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger head is off-white and compact; it sinks slowly leaving some fine lacing.

The strong smell is hoppy (English hops). Bitter herbs, juniper wigs, dried flowers, bitter oranges. Smooth sweet malty notes with lots of caramel, brown sugar and toffee. Dried apricots/peaches.

The taste is smooth with an elegant distinct bitterness. Passing floral notes, some dried fruits, orange peels, toffee, caramel and butterscotch. Medium body. The aftertaste is a bit drier with brown hints of dark bread and brown sugar, dried fruits and a touch of tobacco. The finish is sweet with distinct notes of brown sugar and a hint of salt.

The carbonation is quite strong for the style; lots of mid-sized short-lived bubbles. The liquid is semi-smooth and a bit dry.

Lots of smell and flavours for a 4% ale. Pleasant. Just maybe a bit too bitter.

May 30, 2015
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Lemreway16 from England

4.61/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Along with other comments on this fine bitter I am a fan of Landlord and when told Tesco stocked Taylors Best Bitter I was forced under cover of darkness to visit their wretched establishment but it was worth it what an excellent beer.

It has an excellent bite, flavour and refreshment I love from English Ales and Beers. Must some when try it on draught where I am sure it will be suburb.

Well recommend this beer to anyone seeking a proper English beer.

May 16, 2015
Photo of mdagnew
mdagnew from Northern Ireland

4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from Tesco...

Poured a bright coppery orange colour... Slightly off white head poured nice and thick then faded quickly to thin layer.... No real lacing and no carbonation...

Aroma - Nice lightly toasted biscuity malts, light toffee sweetness, some nuttiness, nice fruitiness (oranges, figs, some apples), bready, some faint spicy hops, some hay hints, some faint wet dog aromas !!

Taste – Light biscuity malts, toasted bread, nice light spicy / grassy hops, light caramel / toffee sweetness, nice juicy fruits (apples and bitter oranges, light figs), some saltiness...

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy... Light / medium body... Very refreshing and quaffable and at 4.2% a supremely good session beer...

Overall - An excellent example of an English bitter and a nice find in Tesco.... Very drinkable... Recommended...

Mar 09, 2015
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BeerDrinkersWorldTour from Northern Ireland

4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Solid amber colour with ample streaming CO2 that helps support an impressive head of tight foam with what can only be described as amazing retention. This beer looks classy elegant even.

Smell - The aroma of burnt caramel (And I mean that in a good way) is very evident. there is also some mild chocolate toffee and a little light prune and raisin in the mix here. The hop is mild to subdued in the aroma rather than assertive.

Taste - Bitter pine and coffee hop suddenly assert themselves in the mix here helping to balance out the sweet burnt brown sugar/caramel malts. There was also a tiny hint of sulphur in the burnt elements of the taste but this did not range towards the egg end of the scale more the spent match head side of things. Finally this beer supported some fabulous wine like elements rich grape flavours come through with the same perfect bitter sweet balance you would expect from a perfect well made red.

MF - The finish is suitably drying and the linger is fantastic. There is also a full bodied and creamy drinking experience that to me is very pleasing.

Overall - A good beer with an exceptional malt hop balance that is very drinkable and is one of the best I have had in the style. I like this beer very much and not just because I share a name with it...

Dec 07, 2014
Photo of Hoppsbabo
Hoppsbabo from England

4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Almost rosé in colour.
T: White bread, biscuits and a slight nuttiness balanced with some English hops. Pretty creamy. Dry, with no caramel character. Mild citrus in the finish. Has that woody antiques cabinet quality I like.
O: One dimensional from the bottle. Superb on cask.

Nov 25, 2014
Boltmaker from Timothy Taylor's Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 66 ratings