Butcombe Bitter | Butcombe Brewery Ltd.

very good
34 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Butcombe BitterButcombe Bitter

Brewed by:
Butcombe Brewery Ltd.
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by francisweizen on 11-05-2003

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of Wobbly
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

Very good bitter in the bottle. Truly remarkable on tap.

56 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was on cask at my overnight accommodation this week, really glad I choose to stay at 'The Lamb Inn', Iron Acton.

Poured a lovely deep, dark amber, clear, wholesome and smooth looking. One of the whitest of white heads I've ever seen on a bitter, it was only thin, but it stayed and left some lacing as the beer level sank.

I had three pints and loved each one, the hops and barley aroma was slightly sulphurus but not off-putting in any way, it just added to the bitterness that came towards the finish of each mouthful. It is a true flavoursome English Bitter and was the only beer the brewery produced for its first 18 years, they now do three others.

Very moorish, which is why I had three of these and didn't get to try the others, which were also on offer, along with Bass and Courage Bitter (all on cask!).

 826 characters

Photo of champ103
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear copper color. A one finger white head forms with good retention. Nice sticky lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: A bright and clean citrus burst of hops up front. Grassy, floral, and spicy hops as well. A light sweetness in the finish and balanced everything out nicely.
T: Follows the nose with lots of hops up front. Big citrus flavors and a substantial, but not overbarring bitterness. Floral and grassy. A really interesting spicy flavor rounds out the great hop character here. A sweetness lingers for a great balance. Light fruity apples and pears as well.
M/D: A medium to full body that is really well carbonated. Velvety smooth and creamy. So easy to drink. I can drink this all day. A great session beer.

Another wonderful English Bitter on cask that I have had the opportunity to try in the UK. A big and complex hop flavor that is always in balance. All around excellent, and highly recommend.

 931 characters

Photo of stephenlee
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of Mark
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This ale poured a brownish gold and was topped by a thick white head that left solid sheets of lace. Slight aroma of what i imagined to be fresh hay fields. Malt dominated taste with subtle hopping. Very drinkable and refreshing, healthy too. Seemed slightly herbal. My second beer I've tried from Butcombe. Had it at my favorite Wetherspoons.

 343 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the Old George in London. This is an excellent bitter with an amber colour and a nice head. The aromas are of dark fruits, juicy hops, and nice, rich malts. The taste is hoppy and malty with both flavors really battling for the nod. The mouthfeel is pretty excellent, as is the drinkability.

 305 characters

Photo of Spike
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Crystal clear. Red brown. No carbonation. Thin, white head recedes to a cap. Leaves some lacing. Swirl creates a flurry of bubbles. Classic English bitter look.

Some malt sweetness, becoming more dry and earthy over time. Again, very much in line with the style.

Taste is malt (100% Maris Otter) with a good deal of dry, English hops. A very traditional hop profile, done very nicely.

Medium body. Crisp and bitter. Clean finish. No alcohol. Exceptionally refreshing. Very sessionable.

I enjoyed this. It's a very traditional pint, but it feels well balanced and is extremely drinkable. The crisp finish is particularly enjoyable.

 636 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish hued very light brown bodied clear body with very thick white head, I amanged to get at least a cm of this throth and it pretty much stuck.

Smells of beer shampoo roast potatos and sugar soap subtle but satisfying and appetising aromas.

Similar tastes with superbly balanced aspects like biting into wholemeal bread with rich thick malt then slow long drawn out hops before bitterness sits on the togue.

Nice flowing and thirst quenching mouthfeel, not flimsy but not cloying, put this with spot on carbonation that is barely noticable makes a great bottled bitter.

 584 characters

Photo of DerBayer
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very beautiful straw with creamy head that doesn t dissipate

Smells of grassy hops and grainy hops and some faint fruity notes

Tastes of much the same quite bitter but very good

mouthfeel is creamy but refreshing - i like

considering the above drinkaility is sehr high

 280 characters

Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a brown/amber colour with a decent frothy head that settles down very quickly.

Smells like light malts and a hint of hoppiness too.

Tastes very well balanced, an average malty-caramel flavour with a fruity bittersweet taste of hops.

Overall a very good and very refreshing bitter.

 338 characters

Photo of Clubroot
4.01/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of DJ-Hophead
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask @ Butcombe Brewery - Pours dark amber with a small white frothy head. Smell - slight fruit and malts. Taste - malty taste to the fore moving to light hops with nice bitter finish. Lovely balanced bitter.

 208 characters

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the St Laurent country pub in Jersey. Pours a dark amber colour with a small white frothy head. Aromas of faint malt as well as light fruit. Tastes of roasted malts, some fruits, hops, caramel notes. Aftertaste is medium to light carbonation with a bitter finish. Overall a very good bitter.

 301 characters

Photo of MisledTitan
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of brutalist
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of wl0307
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted by half-pint at the Swan Tavern, City, London. The strength is at 4.0%abv.

A: amber, great clarity, coming with a foamy thin beer head and very retrained carbonation--looking very healthy for a cask ale.
S: apple-ish fruity hops along with deeply earthy and hay-ish smell of Fuggles-hops, a stream of light maltiness stays underneath--simple, but nice and focused.
T: lovely maltiness with a deeply toffee-ish hint prevails upfront, quite chewy; a profound tea-ish hoppyness joined by a faint trace of leafy bitterness lingers in the long aftertaste, where an intriguingly crisp and bitter finish deep on the sides of the tongue brings a LOT of pleasure and soothness~~
M&D: very fresh, softly carbonated, and medium-bodied; this is the kind of good honest cask bitter which could wake up the taste buds and make them shout for more~~ A session ale for me.

 869 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed in Roger Protz' " 300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

60 characters

Photo of ckollias
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of stercomm
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hand pulled into a pint glass

A - light copper amber in color, very slight whitel head, recedes almos immediately. Very little lacing

S - get some citrus and a slight barnyard dust some tropicals

T - very nice citrusy hop profile, crisp and clean, can tell good English hops. Very tasty

M - medium bodied very mild carbonation

Nice bitter could definitely drink another but they have 3 other styles to try.

 413 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rusty amber with lumpy white head that clings in piles above the level of the beer. A very typical (and slightly dull) English autumn leaf and toasted nut nose with faint hops bark. Orange peel marmalade on dark toast then wood spice and oil hops. Overripe peach comeback and bitter linger. Medium, clingy, bit of flint.

Properly bitter pint of bitter (35 IBU, if I had to guess.) They don't mention the hop bill, but it's as good a showcase for sturdy English hopping as any (and not the best sample for Maris Otter, though it is 100%.) Good south of England ale.

 565 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Nov 2017. Picked up a little while back from Waitrose. A classic English bitter and a former medal winner at the GBBF.

A: Poured into a pint mug. A deep coppery-amber colour with good clarity and plentiful carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before collapsing to a patchy surface layer. Nice lacing.

S: Aroma of nutty caramel malt with hints of barley sugar, subtle roasted grain, leafy stewed hops and ale yeast. Possesses a faint sulphurous twang. Very traditional.

T: Tastes of grainy caramel malt with notes of barley sugar, slight nuttiness, a touch of roastiness, leafy hops and ale yeast. Faintly sweet, followed by a restrained bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with spritzy carbonation and decent body. Perhaps a shade too carbonated for the style. Aftertaste of stewed hops, caramel malt and yeast.

O: A solid bitter with a classic flavour profile. Looks good, while the aroma and flavour are a pleasant blend of rich caramel malt, stewed English hops and ale yeast. Decent body; a tad too lively. Goes down like a dream - a must try for anyone seeking out a traditional bitter.

 1,202 characters

Photo of steverx8
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of vinicole
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rulisekmartin
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Johnq1964
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Butcombe Bitter from Butcombe Brewery Ltd.
3.95 out of 5 based on 34 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.