Daniel Shay's Best Bitter | Northampton Brewery

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32 Ratings

Brewed by:
Northampton Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by bewareOFpenguin on 01-27-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in an American pint glass.

One the dark side with weather copper hues, thin lace barely sticks to the glass. Malt sweetness plays against the twang of yeast which quickly shows its ale-like qualities. Touch of caramel and a flash of fruitiness meld well with the moderate bitterness. Pretty drinkable, a decent session brew.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DrewBest
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Sammy
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the brewpub. Minimal head, though lace and grapefruit colour. No smell, watery. Malty, turning into bitter, and drying aftertaste. Nothing special for this or most of the lineup. No wonder people head to get regional and national beers on tap a few minutes down the road.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great bitter. Poured slightly dark, with somewhat of a head. Had a great "hoppy" taste, but not too overpowering. Did not make you cringe, rather refreshing. More of something along the lines of Gritty's. A definite refreshing beer, that can be drunk one right after another.

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Photo of bditty187
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tawny-gold in hue with hints of amber, there was some animation noticed in the very attractive liquid. The head was white in color, at the apex the foam was about a finger in height. Head retention was fair; it quickly faded to a thin, foamy cap. This cap lasted the entire consumption. The subsequent lacing was spotty and minimal. This is a pleasant looking beverage. The nose is pleasant, kind of clean yet English in nature. Malt is dominant, dry, toasty, and nutty with some rich sweetness from a caramel twist. The hops offer hints of pine needles, spicy flowers, and earthy qualities. Simple. Modest potency. There isn’t anything noteworthy about the bouquet; it says all the right things so it’s fine by me. Well-rounded. Inviting. The palate is lovely. Now a beer of these sorts can’t be forceful and loud while remaining true. Since this beer tastes “appropriate” it is done right and that is all I can ask for. The malt is plenty flavorful; this seems to be the flaw of many American beers, especially of this sort. Not so for Daniel Shay. Rich, kind of sweet maltiness; brown sugar and nutty flavors that encompass some toasty qualities as well. Caramel. Juicy. The malt profile is very English. The hops offer just enough bitterness; if a 10 on the hoppy scale is a DIPA this beer is a 3.3 and that is about perfect. Spicy. Earthy with a grassy and pine tree bark twang. I like it greatly. The aftertaste is lazy; it is a sum of all the pervious parts. Tasty palate. Medium/medium-light in body with modest yet natural carbonation. There is a slight creaminess on the tongue, which works well. The mouthfeel is quite pleasant. I found this beer to be very tasty and just as drinkable. I am sure this beer would be great with a smoked turkey and Gouda sandwich, followed by three or four more pints! Maybe I’ll get the chance to do that someday. This is a very nice Bitter. Thank you ppoitras! This was yet another dandy from Secret Santa 2004!

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Photo of edchicma
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent copper appearance, but with very little head. Smell was very weak, barely perceptioble hop presence. Taste was as anticipated, floral hoopy bitterness with a following bitter finish. Nothing too distinctive or special, though. Medium bodied in mouthfeel, with a slight "catch" on the swallow that lowered overall drinkability.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Northampton brewery. The drink had a nice, dark amber appearance with a pretty thin head. The smells were sharp citrus-orange flavors but were in general pretty weak if you did not sniff hard enough. The drink had a taste that was mild citrus flavors with a good chunk of malt. With its good carbonation, it was light and crisp. In general, this was nice and refreshing.

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Photo of Dewback4
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bilco
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of cbutova
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a growler from the brewery at lunch today, nice people, good price. Pours a golden orange color in my pint glass with a half finger head that dissipates fairly quickly. Leaves no lacing in my glass and kind of looks like juice after all the head is gone. Smell is the only other average part of this beer, can't really pick much up, some fruity aromas, some hops and some malts but all not coming in too strong. Taste is great here, follows the style well. Has medium malts and medium hops, starts off with a good mix of fruits and citrus hops and is followed by a great malt after taste. The tongue is left with a good coat of malty flavor after the sip is done. Mouthfeel is light-medium body with good carbonation and no alcohol flavor, a bit watery here but still good for the style. Drinkability is amazing here, probably one of the better session beers I can think of, could easily do a whole growler of this stuff, and for the price it would be worth it.

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Photo of JohannesRaatz
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of gentlebubbles
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly reddish brown with an off-white head. Not much of a scent. Medium bodied caramel malt with a touch of toffee. But...but..but..
Where's the hops? This just ain't right. I should have known. Shay started the Whiskey Rebellion, not the Beer Revolution.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22ozer from the brewpub.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head over a clear copper brew. Dense, frothy head lasts and laces well. Well-balanced aroma, with slight hops notes. Flavor is delicately malty, Vienna seems to come to mind, and slowly fades to a slightly bitter hoppiness. Mouthfeel and drinkability were great, this being an imminently sessionable brew. Check it out.

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Photo of Lunchboxhead
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DuaneL
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A superb ESB - these are getting harder and harder to find, anywhere. It was such a treat to have it at this pleasant brewery-pub in the middle of this charming New England town.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at the Brewpub. 22oz. bomber for $3.00

A: Pours a murky rust color with a bubbly half finger head that has some retention on the sides. Soapy film on top.
S: Aromas of citrus and floral hops with a nice biting grassyness. Sweet caramel malt undertones.
T/M: Grassy hop notes with sweet malt flavors up front. The malt flavors fade away into a bitterness. Dry finish. Smooth and slick through the mouth. Agreeable to the palate. I was hoping for a bit more from Daniel Shays, however this is a good tasting brew from Northampton.
D: Very easy drinking brew. I'd like to try it on tap as the flavors may be a bit more noticeable.

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Photo of prisdefer
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of EatonHops
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of SABERG
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bigone4
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a darker brownish colored beer. It has a rather light malty smell not to overpowering with one flavor. Thin white head with hardly any lacing in the glass. It has a rather malty taste at first and then followed by a nice hop finish. It is extreemly drinkable . Smooth and enjoyable. Not one of my favorite beers but it hits the spot. Went really good with the steak I had ordered. It is a decent beer but it was lacking in head and smell. Although it left a pleasent taste on my pallet.

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Photo of Nordicsk8er
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of scotorum
4/5  rDev +8.7%

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

This was about what was expected...amber in color, the head left quickly. I thought I could pick up some caramel in the aroma. Medium bodied with pleasant carbonation. I thought there was some breadiness in the finish. The average score is due to low hops and malt detected in the taste.

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Photo of bfitzge2
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of alee42
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on-tap. Pours a nice amber color, with a nice thin lace. The smell had a little citrus and I could definitely recognize the malts. I didn't think the taste had any bitterness to it, but it's got a nice smooth feel and definitely malty. Very enjoyable, I might have to ask for a growler of this when I go back.

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Daniel Shay's Best Bitter from Northampton Brewery
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 32 ratings