Bitter & Twisted | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Bitter & TwistedBitter & Twisted

Brewed by:
Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
English Golden Ale

Bitter & Twisted is a superbly-balanced, refreshingly-lively beer. It has a malty-sweet aroma with a floral, fruity hoppiness and a zingy, zesty flavour. Complex, rounded, sweet and dry; this is the connoisseurs' session beer par excellence!

HOPS: Hersbruker, Celeia, Perle, Bobek
MALTS: Lager malt, crystal malt, malted wheat & oats

34 IBU

Added by xlperro on 07-22-2002

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Reviews: 277 | Ratings: 444
Photo of Spike
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 330ml bottle.

L: Orange/gold, perfectly clear with several streams of carbonation. Two finger, white head reduces slowly to a patchy cap.

S: Herbal, slightly medicinal.

T: Earthy, woody taste . Something metallic as well. Don't get the lemon mentioned on the label.

F: Medium body with a soft, foamy mouthfeel. Light coating on the tongue and some carbonated tingle. Dry finish.

O: Much more robust and hoppy than your typical golden ale. Made with lager and pilsner hops which gives it an unusual, herbal characteristic. Not an IPA (even the label says "golden ale"), this is a reasonable, if not outstanding, sessionable, Scottish bitter. Not as sharp or refreshing as other golden ales.

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Photo of avalon07
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper-yellow color and a clear texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. A below average amount of lacing.

S: A very underwhelming aroma of malt, caramel, and light hops.

T: Tasted of a light amount of hops, a little bit of citrus (orange), some caramel notes, a lot of bready malts, and a splash of toffee as well. Like a lot of English IPAs, this one is much heavier on the malt than other ingredients. This makes it much less multi-dimensional than it could be. Tastes more like an ESB than anything an IPA.

F: A low amount of carbonation with a smooth, yet lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Ultimately, this is a pretty forgettable beer. Could have been more interesting than it is.

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Photo of Roguer
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful golden ale, transparent and shot through with orange highlights.

Pine and citrus on the nose, with grainy pale malts.

Flavor is about what you'd expect: it's both hoppy and grainy, with plenty of pale malt character, and a crisp hoppy bite. Lighter resin, lemon citrus, slightly grassy.

Lively; fairly light bodied; oily hops, but otherwise slightly dry. Very drinkable

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Photo of tone77
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, malts, a touch of hops. Taste is also mild, malty, light hops, a bit of lemon, very little bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer, but nothing special.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From Labirratorium. In Teku glass. After dinner. Clean, crisp and refrshing, with a profile more close to a good soft lager than an ale. Very sessionable. Although classified here as an English IPA, its a Golden Ale.

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Photo of sjccmd
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bitter orange peel, perfumey, herbal, spicy hops. Caramel, bready malts. Dried apricot. A touch of diacetyl. Grassy. Hop forward with graham and bready malts balancing.

Pours a touch hazy golden orange with a small off-white head. Ok retention, good lacing.

Oranges, black pepper, honey, and apricots in the flavor. Somewhat sweet at first. Peppery, spicy, dry finish. Firmly bitter, but with pleasant, orangey, honey sweetness to balance. Crackery base malt with a touch of caramel. Oranges and spice linger on the finish.

Medium body, low carbonation. An acceptable amount of diacetyl adds to the mouthfeel. Snappy bitterness and dry finish. Somewhat resiny.

What session beers should shoot for. Tons of flavor without being cloying.

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Photo of brureview
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper orange color with a 2F head in a Stone Imperial pint glass.
The head diminished to 1F after a few minutes.

Aroma: excellent. Fruit, bubblegum, and malt.

The beer is very carbonated and malty.

The fruit and bubblegum transition well to the taste, although not as prominent, and finish with hoppy bitterness.

The taste opened up with warming. I enjoyed this lower ABV beer- it has a lot of character, as do all the beers I have tasted from Harviestoun.

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Photo of interzen
2.21/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

330ml bottle poured into a chalice glass

Look: Fairly dark, golden yellow - almost orange. Clear, with no hint of haze or sediment. Thin white head which quickly disappeared leaving a foam ring and little or no surface foam. No lacing to speak of.

Smell: Not much - what little I could detect suggested a reasonable balance of malt and hops, plus their attendant resin/citrus notes, but picking them out was hard work, even after the beer had warmed up a wee bit.

Taste: Again, not much - certainly not bitter and not in the least bit twisted. Slightly sweet taste with some toffee and caramel notes, malts and a hint of hops. Very, very subdued, though.

Feel: Body isn't too bad, and despite the distinct lack of smell and taste it manages to have a dry, refreshing finish.

Overall: Really not sure what to make of this - I'm going to err on the side of caution and state that I might have had a 'bad' bottle. Smell and taste were subdued to the point of almost being non-existent, particularly the former, with the net result being like fizzy, hop and malt-flavoured water. Disappointing, and Harviestoun are capable of much, much better.

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Photo of CStang67
2.7/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Beer poured a nice light clear orange color with a white head the quickly disappeared. The bottle clamed "Aromatic" however I found there to be little aroma. A nice balance of malt and citrus notes, just really had to search for them. Taste was nice with a touch of sweetness from caramel malts balanced by a good dose of bitterness. Some citrus notes at the back of the palate. Medium body that finished a little bit o the dry side making the beer very refreshing. Overall a very sessionable, balanced beer.

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Photo of vauxhaulastra
2/5  rDev -46.5%

I disagree with all these mostly positive reviews.
The taste is acrid to the point of it being like eating the pith of an lemon, not the zest that so many have clamored.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber, similar to a brown oak leaf. Normal head, lacing and retention. Nice nose of light sweet citrus (pear with lemon notes) over biscuit with a mild caramel note. Light medium body with a hint of slick texture. Normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence on the finish. The taste profile, while nice, is average in intensity, very well balanced and above average in complexity. Where it excels, is in the flavor profile that surrounds the bitterness, especially for a low 4.2% alcohol content. It begins with a flood of hop flavor (citric, rind and Noble) over light biscuit. Mild bitterness follows in the middle from the classic English Bitter profile coupled with a citric rind twist. As the bitterness diminishes, biscuit with caramel notes come forward. The finish has just a hint of dryness that leaves you with a light grapefruit rind bitterness that lingers and leaves the tongue tart with a distinct mineral note.

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Photo of rangerred
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a nonic.

Pours a slightly hazy light copper-ish gold with a very thin white head. Just the smallest bit of lacing with a bit of soapy head retention.

Aroma of toffee and pear with a hefty note of grass and flowers. Almost a bit of a tartness in the aroma.

The flavor is dark bread, caramel, and some toffee and toast. More grass and floral notes along with the same tartness I picked up in the aroma. Fairly high and sharp bitterness for this style. The beer finishes clean, however, with a thin and watery mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a pretty good English Bitter but it also doesn't have much to make it stand out. I do enjoy the bitterness which I feel is a little more than in other examples of this style.

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Photo of Dentist666
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

English golden ale in 0.5l bottle.
Pours clear orange-golden beer with bubbly off-white head. Smell is not very intense, more hoppy, than malty. Taste is semisweet with zesty hop note, due to last hopping with Styrian Goldings. They promised twist of lemon on a label, it actually is not so strong, but pleasant. Commonly low carbonation, excellent summer beer.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden pour, very thin white head fades fast to a thin lace. Lasting bubble strings.
Lots of citrus fruit in the smell, mainly lemon, some oranges too. Pale English malts and a mild floral presence.
Taste follows the nose, zesty citrus with a extra aromatic tangerine and grapefruit. Bready, slightly biscuity malts. Finishes with bitter citrus peel and mild perfummey floral hops.
Medium body, carbonation, has an appealing drinkable quality.
Really refreshing, they need to make 1l bottles of this.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

this is what the label says it is, a refreshing citrusy pale ale with a classic english or shall i say scottish grain bill. golden and clear in color, with a honey shine and a big white head. it looks pretty solid really. the nose on it is a little citrusy, but way too sweet for me, more earthy grain than is really necessary, and a stale bread profile that may reflect the age of this bottle. the taste is about the same, but there is a very definite lemon flavor in the finish before the sweetness sets in. its a nice breakup of the heavier flavors, but the sweetness still comes back in the end and really kind of ruins the refreshment the hop profile had set up. fuller body for low alcohol is also a little unflattering in this one, but not a bad beer overall, probably delicious on tap at the source ice cold and fresh on a hot day.

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Photo of BWED
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500 ml poured into a tulip pint glass.

A- golden yellow with a thin light white head. Strings of lacing.

S- Light citrus nose, with biscuit malt, and a fruity character.

T- Subtle grain malt, with a zesty citrus snap.

M- Carbonation is mild. Slightly bitter in the mouth, and a semidry finish.

O- Mild, but it does have "like the twist of a lemon" down.

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Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy golden straw color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange zest, pear, apple, grape, floral, grass, light honey, cracker, bread, herbal, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of bright hop and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange zest, pear, apple, grape, floral, grass, light pine, bread, cracker, light honey, and floral earthiness. Light floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, pear, apple, grape, floral, grass, light pine, bread, cracker, light honey, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance of bright hop and malt flavors; with a great hop/malt balance, solid robustness, and no cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with no warming present after the finish as expected of 4.2%. Overall this is a very nice English pale ale. All around well balanced hop and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of FLima
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Golden color with a thick off-white head with medium retention and leaving laces.
Light malty and floral aroma with bread, honey and vanilla notes.
Very balanced flavor of sweet malt with earthy and fruity English hops. Hints of cinnamon, biscuit, citrus, pepper and vanilla.
Light to medium body with medium carbonation.
Flavorful and refreshing beer with and excellent balance. I could drink this a whole weekend straight.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle purchased from LCBo for about $3.50 CDN. Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Clear golden ale, with a frothy finger and a half of white head. Rich color hides the ever-present bubbles rising to the surface. head dissolves into a soapy cap leaving trace splotches of lacing around the rim of the glass.

Smell - Lemon zest and pepper dominate the nose. There is also a earthy undertone highlighted by pine needles. very aromatic and fresh smelling.

Taste - The lemon zest is there albeit in smaller quantities, but the beer while giving off the aroma of a very hoppy beer actually has a big molasses backbone which balances nicely against the zestiness of the beer. Very rich in flavor considering the low ABV. Bit of a minerally flavor in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Smooth falvor, well carbonation and a light body, this has an extremely dry finish.

Overall - A very well crafted English IPA, that is light refreshing and eminently sessionable. Definitely worth and fans of the style may have themselves another beer to add to their rotation.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before June 2014. I've had a few opportunities to purchase this at various points in the past, but for some reason I was under the impression that it was a fruit beer - a category my taste buds tend to malign - and so I didn't bother picking it up until now. Now that I know better, I'm actually kind of pumped to try it. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a pale golden-amber colour, bright and clear in hue, and generating nearly one finger of dense, creamy, white-coloured head. Fairly effervescent; the bubbles streaming to the surface are persistent enough to aid head retention briefly, but after a few minutes' time, only a thin film and narrow collar remain on top. The aroma is surprisingly intense and varied for such a light brew - a good mix of hop and malt notes, although the former are more prominent. Lemon zest, orange peel and leafy, floral hop aromas abound, giving the aroma a very fruity, fresh, zippy feel. Some biscuity malts and honey sweetness help round out the nose nicely.

As is often the case, the nose doesn't lie - this is a tasty beer, although the flavours are not quite as intense as I might have anticipated from the aroma. Still, it's far more flavourful than the average 4.2% beer. The backbone of biscuity, bready malts and a slight caramel sweetness provide a sturdy foundation upon which the hops are left free to strut their stuff. A pleasant mixture of lemon-and-lime citrus pith and leafy, floral, somewhat earthy hop notes provide a lovely dry finish that lingers on the palate into the aftertaste. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, with soft carbonation that gives this brew an extremely smooth mouthfeel. This is quite possibly the most sessionable example of the style I have ever tried; I could easily toss back more than a few of these over the course of a hot summer's night.

Final Grade: 4.08, an excellent A-. I sincerely regret not picking up a bottle of Harviestoun's Bitter & Twisted years ago when I first had the chance. It is extraordinarily flavourful for a beer of such low abv, but not to the extent that I would be worried about tiring out my palate with multiple servings. This is a remarkably sessionable EIPA/bitter that I would not hesitate to recommend to any fan of pale ales, English or American. Perfectly suited for the warm months, although it would probably be a treat any time of year. Give this one a shot; you won't regret it.

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Photo of mverity
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Crystal clear pale gold color with tons of bubbles running up from the bottom of the pint glass. Head pours cream colored but fades almost immediately. Smells extremely earthy and bready with a very faint hop presence and a not too subtle sweetness. Although I LOVE the taste of this beer. The hop is noticeable but not anywhere near what I'm used to in American IPAs. Present but not over powering. The yeasty/biscuit notes are wonderful and there's a slight sweetness that has to be malt derived. It finishes extremely clean and has almost zero aftertaste. I could definitely see myself drinking more of this throughout the summer months because of the 4.2 ABV and easy drink-ability along with the great taste. Really glad I finally decided to pick this beer up for a try.

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Photo of kaufmaal
3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a pint glass, golden honey colored and a wisp of a head. Some nice, initial lemon zest, lavender, orange blossom aromas, very pleasing and delicate. The initial taste is not too bitter, actually more tart/sour than bitter but that said not overly so, and with a hint of sweetness. Some mineral flavors balance out the floral qualities, and it's a bit heavier than I had expected, with a consistency that comes close to a cream ale. The dry hopped taste stays with you. Very drinkable, above average, and a good price on the sale table ($3.00).

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer was served a nice golden color with a one finger white head. The head faded rather rapidly leaving a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma was a blend of hops (herbal, earthy, floral, lemon and grassy) mixed with a biscuit malt and some straw and caramel.

Taste – The taste begins with a moderately strong showing of a biscuit caramel and malt flavor with only hints of hop. The hop quickly comes though with flavors of a lemon hop appearing on the scene first followed by some earthy and grassy hop flavors later on. Toward the end, the floral hop flavors mix with the rest of the hop with a good dose of sour lemon coming to the tongue. With a loss of some of the malty flavors a clean and crisp taste of hop and malt is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is rather light in body with a carbonation level that is rather average. The thinner/lighter body is great for the drinkability but seem to hinder some of the nice hop flavors to really shine through.

Overall – It is rather refreshing and has quite a complex taste for such a light bodied brew. A good one to try.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic pint glass on 5/8/13

Clear, golden straw color with clinging bubbles and one finger of white foam. Thinner, soapy retention. Only a few specks of lace.

The aroma is bristly with orange peel, pine and lemon zest. Biscuit notes as well. It smells a bit skunky at first but I think that's just the hop profile. The flavor is that of herbal hops with a floral hint. There are modest notions of orange rind and other such pith. Grassy overtones and toasted cracker and biscuit. The feel is a little watery but pretty decent. Carbonation is moderate and not over reaching the body. Herbal and bitter twinge on the finish.

I don't reckon this is too bad; a decent sipper that I'm in no hurry to get again any time soon.

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Photo of Act25
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: Half-Litre (1 Pt 0.9 fl.oz) brown glass bottle poured into a .5l cylinder glass. It's more of a Golden Bitter Ale than an IPA.

Appearance: Nice color, golden clear body, well carbonated on pour, but head dissipates quickly. Good lacing. Low carbonation after the pour.

Nose: more flowers, grass and fruit than any other IPA I have tried. Very original. What I love about a great burgundy wine, I find here, grass, earth, spring. It's fresh and zingy, hops evident, citric zest and lemon acidity, cut grass, hay.

Taste: Exotic. Bitter fruit. Herbs and Hay. Lovely fresh citric hops dominate, w/ lightly toasted malts. dry bitter finish. Great finish on the tongue. Great appetizer and food beer.

Mouthfeel: soft carbonation, light body. tingly and mellow. nice clean finish. Good year round, good in summer and warmer month. Nice to have a less alcoholic IPA. Nice to have a fruity, grassy beer to play around with different foods and to surprise friends with.

Drinkability: Scottish Session beer. Summer games and outdoors. Amen.

Overall: winner of several CAMRA Awards. If you can find it, try it, totally worth it!

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Bitter & Twisted from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
3.74 out of 5 based on 444 ratings.
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