Bitter & Twisted | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.

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Bitter & TwistedBitter & Twisted
459 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 459 |  Reviews: 281
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly foggy sunshine gold with lemon curd highlights. The pale ivory cap picks up a modest glimmer of yellow from the beer beneath and displays a gently pocked surface that is falling at a leisurely pace. Thick hunks of bubbly lace stick to the glass in haphazard fashion.

The nose is interesting without being all that wonderful. It smells somewhat buttery and more citrusy than British ESBs customarily smell, but it's more of a lemon-lime soda (7-Up) aroma than it is a hoppy one. While still better than average, it isn't up to par given the rest of this beer's attributes.

Better on the palate. Still though, I'd expect a beer called Bitter & Twisted to be a little more bitter than this. It is tasty stuff though, a snappy conglomeration of buttery pale malt, tangy fruit, sweet grass, bitter hops and a spritz of lemon juice. The first two dominate right out of the gate and then give way to a lovely bitter lemon tweak at the wire.

The body is on the lighter side of medium, yet holds its structure throughout, and there's a subdued amount of carbonation that still mananges to provide a mild tongue tingle. The neck label proclaims 'Champion Beer of Britain 2003', but is prefaced by the qualifier, 'in its cask-conditioned form'. There's no doubt that this stuff would be killer on-cask.

All in all, Bitter & Twisted is a close to classic English (although brewed in Scotland) ESB. Friendly, drinkable and the very definition of sessionable, it's a beer that most everyone should enjoy.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly darker golden ale with a frothy white head.
WOW ,after a week of mainlly Scottish malty ales, the hoppy aroma is VERY evident,refreshing, piney in aspect.
Very nice ,flavouful, piney/grapefruit flavours are very up front and the malts take a definate back seat in this beer.Almost like an American Pale Ale.
Nice mouthfeel,invigorating.
A very drinkable beer..most refreshing after all the malty beers.

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Photo of aaronh
2.53/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark golden color with a creamy head. Almost has a euro-lager aroma. The taste is bitter, but with a bit of malt to support it. However, the flavor profile is not pleasing to my palate. It's also a bit thin and astringent on the tongue. I was a bit disappointed by this offering, as it's a less than enjoyable brew.

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Photo of avylover
4.29/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Tried this on recommendation from TinusTime - my embassador of beer "Quan"...

The beer looks decent,.. a tad darker than a budweiser with a nice white head and lacing. Nice aroma of skunky english style hops that remind me of a warm cup of tea. This is one unique brew. Imagine a mega IPA...but with sammy smith style hops. Starts off tea like, then ends on a fruity floral hop note (ARE YOU SURE THIS IS FROM THE UK?) what a great change up. This starts up front like a sammy smith pale ale and finishes like a Gumballhead. Brilliant. At only 4.2% I wish they sent this over in 12 packs . Mouthfeel is fairly light, but the taste makes up for it. The Drinkability is off the charts

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Photo of John
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had B&T cask conditioned at The Old Toad in Rochester. One of several special cask beers to be offered in the coming weeks. Cheers to Joe at the Toad.

Drawn from the hand pump, Bitter and Twisted is a fairly light golden honey color. The bubbles rise and form a thick dense head, about 3/4 inch. The aroma is surprising, dominated by citrusy grapefruit rinds. There's also an ever so slight damp hay note. Flavor is sharply hoppy, another surprise, rounded out by lightly toasted grains akin to saltines. A light sweetness fills the middle followed by a lingering bitter finish, living up to it's name. Also abundant is crisp hop flavor and aroma, leading me to believe the cask must be dry hopped. Body is light, carbonation on the money. This is quite a flavorful little drinker.

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Photo of cracker
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was not what I was expecting for a Scottish beer as typically this grapefruit hoppy profile is more in keeping with American pale ales from the northwest. Delightfully refreshing I must say.

Appearance: Golden orange hue.
Smell: citrusy
Taste: Even more citrusy
Mouthfeel: Smooth, somewhat creamy, little carbonation (cask-conditioned).
Drinkablity: Absolutely easy to go down. Too bad it isn't readily available.

I was a bit suprised to find these features in a beer from Scotland

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Photo of helloloser12345
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Cask at a local pub

Pour: Small head with little retention and slight lacing.

Appearance: Light honey colour

Smell: Citrus fruits, slight smell of grapefruit and also hay

Flavour: Sharp citrus flavours which buzz on the tongue. Very refreshing and full of flavour.

Had a few pints of this the other day and was very impressed so i have updated my review scores.

Overall: A very refreshing beer, ideal for a hot day

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Photo of gentlebubbles
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Almost but not quite clear gold with orangey tinge. Small bright white head. Strong sour scent becoumes more malty and caramel when the head dies.

Oh yeah, it's bitter. Just what I'm in the mood for. Strong bite up front over light caramel base and a long resiny finish with suggestions of apple.

Medium body. Low carbonation overall (aiming for that cask impression) but the bubbles still bite.

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Photo of ElGordo
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden hue with a touch of light orange, and a small white head that vanishes almost immediately. Very little carbonation. Light, sweet aroma of toasted malt and aromatic hops. Nice palate of sweet malt up front, developing into a slight hoppy bitterness towards the back of the mouth. Wonderful creamy mouthfeel. This is about the ideal session beer, if it weren't for the price.

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Photo of cypressbob
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle

Pours with a light amber body, slight fuzzy head sits atop, some retention and little lacing

Smell, strong hops aromas, floral, u can really get the challenger hops coming through

Taste, crisp and hoppy, nice citric bitterness from the goldings

A very nice ale

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Photo of shapudding
4.16/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lot A, drink by date of August 2004.

Pale golden with not much head. Bit of white head that reduced down and stayed at a slight cover and ring. Great scent of dark cherry. Very dry mouthfeel, nice. Hoppy but not intense. No fuit in the flavor, must be that you think you should taste it since you smell it...? Thin mouthfeel, low carbination. Decent flavors but not much jumps out. Very balanced and easy drinking.

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Photo of ADR
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chill hazed darker gold appearance, nice very white head that lasts well and rises to 1/2 an inch. Complex and fairly complete lacing. Aroma hops on the smell, lightly citrusy but with more of a floral sense that melds well with biscuity maltiness. Nice body, sub-medium, smooth and creamy. Malt and hop balance very well early, a combination of classic hop style and a nice sense of butter and syrup on flapjacks. Both the sweetness and the hop contribute to the finish and aftertaste, very nice. Tightly balanced and drinkable brew here. One of those beers that straddles styles, has a nicer sense of balance than many American IPAs...

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.52/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on cask at the Romsey Beer Festival in the New Forest in Hampshire UK.

Pours a pale gold color with a moderate head and good lacing. The aroma is of lemony hops and some malts. The taste is very interesting, a very hoppy mix of fresh mown hay and pronounced lemon. This beer is brewed with both German and English hops, that might have something to do with the unique hop profile. The finish is very bitter and citrusy. An Excellent and very unique beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium golden, clear body with a small white head; some lacing

Smell: Citrus hops on the nose

Taste: A slight touch of sweetness on the front of the tongue is quickly assaulted by the assertive lemony bitterness of the hops

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a nice bit of carbonation

Drinkability: A refreshing brew for a hot summer's day; just enough bitter hoppiness to make things interesting but nothing to ponder over for too long

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Half-Litre (1 Pt 0.9 fl.oz) brown glass bottle which has a neck, obverse and reverse labels, all of which are high quality prints with some metallic gold highlights. The main label is oval shaped and has the words ‘Bitter & Twisted’ above which are some hops, and below which is a picture of a harvest mouse in front of some barley. Listed on the obverse label as 4.2% ABV, the same as the Cask-Conditioned version I note. No freshness date. I note that this is currently listed as an ESB, though I would have to disagree with this – it’s more of a Golden Bitter Ale.

Appearance: My saliva was flowing as I poured this one into my handled One Pint Mug because it looks bloody quaffable from the off. Fantastic deep golden body that is perfectly clear to the naked eye. As the beer pours immense volumes of released carbonation form a massive frothy white head on the surface of the golden pond. The creamy looking surface leaves lots of lacing on the sides of the Mug. Its chilled “Lager Looks” are incredibly inviting on a hot afternoon.

Nose: Like it was just bottles, fresh and zingy, the hops are definitely evident; they have a great citric zest and lemon acidity that is pungent. In the background, toasted malts with some freshly cut grass and a hint of freshly harvested hay.

Taste: The reverse label states that Bitter & Twisted “combines the aromatic Hallertau Hersbrϋcker with the spicy Challenger. It’s finished with by ‘late hopping’ with Styrian Goldings”. At first this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, but it really works. Lovely fresh citric hops and lightly toasted malts mix well. The Styrians contribute to the lovely dry bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: The soft carbonation supports what is essentially a relatively light beer in body terms. Talcum like on the tongue the bitterness comes through as the mouth dries after the swallow.

Drinkability: On a hot sticky Saturday afternoon this Half-Litre slipped down oh soo easily. This is a true Scottish Session beer, I could easily manage a Gallon of this one no problem.

Overall: An excellent brew and past winner of several CAMRA Awards. I have had the Cask version of this many times, and whilst the bottled version is particularly good, on Cask it has a little more sharpness to the bitterness and the hops are a little fresher. That said, I am not usually a big fan of bottled beers from the UK, but this one is a winner for sure, and if you only want to try a few Scottish beers from the bottle, make sure you try this one! A tad expensive but Recommended.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This beer is an amazing golden blonde color that is totally translucent. It is actually very impressive how clear the body of this beer is.

Smell: At first smell, this beer had an almost whisky quality to it. After it had a chance to breath in my glass for awhile, the smell took on a more clean smell that carried with it hints of hops.

Taste: As suggested by the brewery on the bottle, this beer begins with two complimentary hops. You taste the spicier hops (Challenger) more on the tongue, where as the mellow, aromatic hops (Hallertau Hersbrucker) is tasted in the nose. The twist at the end, which they liken to a lemon, is not as strong as I had imagined by the title and the description. In fact, had the twist been as blatant as I had assumed, this beer would have been much less enjoyable. As it stands, the beer does "twist", but more into a dry, fruit/hops bitter that sharply leaves the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Body is just right - not ovely thick, but has a some weight to it that lets you know it hasn't been watered down.

Drinkability: Yeh, I could seriously drink 3 of these right now, but I only bought one. (frown)

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a real nice clear golden color with a thin head thats gone in a flash,aroma is leafy with a slight hint of mint with a light yeastiness to it as well.Flavor is on the dry side with a herbal hopiness balanced out nicely with a firm maltiness in the finish very crisp.To me the perfect sociable pint very easy to drink low in alcohol but not flavor.

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Photo of ark57
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is clear golden in color with a malty, grassy hop aroma. It is medium bodied and creamy with an herbal hop finish. There is some citrus as well in the finish. It is quite bitter, but there is enough malt to make sure that it is well balanced. It is from the UK, but if you didn't know, you might think it came from a West Coast brewery in the US.

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Photo of Chsyhkr
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not an ESB but more like a Special Bitter at this gravity.

Blond unlike most Bitters, except Boddingtons.

This beer is a little confused. Being Scottish I was expecting more of a pronounced crystal malt character. However I really enjoy this and would drink many in a row in a bar and still feel good the next day.

Lower in carbonation than most beers, it says so on the label, with a pronounced hop aroma, taste, and bitterness. A malty backbone with a dry finish. Tough to pull off at the gravity.

Enjoy this confused Bitter and bring on the 60 L crystal malt, otherwise this is one fine beer.

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Photo of Ahhdball
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this as one of my first beers at the Winking Lizard Tavern in Columbus. Cloudy blonde with a very small head it poured smooth. I could smell faint citrus, possibly orange. The taste was really good. Hoppy with citrus (grapefruit(?)) and honey character, very smooth finish. I could have this again but I'm not going to pursue the brew.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, label features a mouse nibbling on hops and, the brewery is insanely unsanitary, is that the picture I should be drawing here?

Pours out a clear, bright golden color, with a decent, white froth that slims down to a thin ring, quickly. Aroma: ow! Pine needles up in the nose, spruce, maybe, quite a unique hop profile, reminds me of a ..jeez, I can't think of anything but "fresh-ass hops!" And cannabis, perhaps..and rabbit feed pellets, too, oddly enough, don't know where that came from...
Taste: all that continues on the tongue, sharp, pungent, but rapidly smoothing on the palate. Flavor remains singular and strong, great, tasty malt, too, becoming very smooth, the body is about medium, finish is a dry, long, with hoppiness lingering. The helpful label informs us that it's a blend of "aromatic Hallertau Hersbrucker", "spicy Challenger", and Styrian Goldings, and this odd combo turns out quite a kicky mix. The latter hop "gives a sharpness like a twist of lemon", and I suppose that's what inspired the wicked name, an ingenious selling point on it's own. Very unusual, the dry-hopping and the curious recipe help create a remarkable ale. I'll return to this one again, someday, despite the price ($5.39 for this bottle).

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Photo of Sigmund
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(500 ml bottle). Golden colour, moderate head. Moderate but decent hoppy aroma. Hallertau in a bitter? Must be unusual? Mouthfeel is initially quite soft and not very "bitter and twisted", but there's a distinct lemony bitterness in the finish (Styrian Goldings). Leaves a nice aftertaste. Very refreshing. I can see why this beer has a broad appeal to the masses. Not a piece of art, perhaps, but a decent and well made bitter. Look forward to sampling it cask conditioned.

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Photo of Loki
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very bubbly, golden color with a big, bubbly white head that fades quickly. Leaves some lacing around the glass.

Smell: malt, grains, and alcohol with a touch of British hops, not much though.

Taste: Malty with lightly bitter hops and some minerals. Nothing special, a rather uneventful British Ale

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean with medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable, but nothing remarkable.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very light straw colored beer. Little head, but the label touts the low carbonation level that this beer should have. The aroma when first poured was some spicy hop aromas, but they quickly faded into a more restrained malt hop aroma. The malt and hop balance is well done and quite crisp. The beer arrives on the palate with a sweet maltiness then goes bitter, and finishes dry.

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Photo of cokes
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Regal gold with a compacted white crown.
Lemon poppyseed mufflin nose, completed with the obligatory pat of butter.
Pale, bready malts up front. A fuller sense of dough materializes as this gains temperature. But in all honesty, this is all about hop nuances. Hallertau is identified first with its signature dried grass. Then comes Challenger with iron and cold bitterness. Styrian Goldies are last, adding perks akin to coriander and lemon rind.
Light bodied. Low carbonation. Where is the fucking cask?
This is a welcome exercise in smaller scale hopcentrism.
If you crave a true-to-name regular bitter, look no further.

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Bitter & Twisted from Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 459 ratings