S.O.B. (Special Old Bitter Ale)
Atlantic Brewing Company - Town Hill / Mainely Meat BBQ

S.O.B. (Special Old Bitter Ale)S.O.B. (Special Old Bitter Ale)
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Atlantic Brewing Company - Town Hill / Mainely Meat BBQ
Maine, United States
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
3.62 | pDev: 13.81%
Jun 11, 2017
Nov 17, 2001
S.O.B. (Special Old Bitter Ale)S.O.B. (Special Old Bitter Ale)
Notes: This strongly hopped, crisp ale, is the clear choice for the hop enthusiast.

We use pale, crystal, black and Munich malts, and a veritable boatload of Northdown bittering hops for this ale.

Like the Island Ginger, it is quite popular in the warm weather, as hops yield a clean, crisp bitter that is rather refreshing.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Reviewed by Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
The appearance had a hazy dark brown body with a foamy tan half finger white head that lasts for about a good minute. The body is too hazy for any carbonation to be seen rising and there is minimal lacing. The smell had bitter hops up front with a light bit of malts with an even lighter sense of molasses. The taste was a slight malty sweetness combined nicely with the bitter hops. A slight breadiness comes through as well. On the palate, it sat at/about a medium on the body. The carbonation is felt and seems to absorb some of the creaminess coming through, dry aftertaste and finish. Overall, I do like this. I like how a lot more hops come than most ESB’s I’ve had, and the malts are not necessarily subdued but has a certain strength in it. I would definitely get it again.
Jun 11, 2017
Rated: 3.5 by iRun2Beer from Minnesota

Sep 02, 2015
Rated: 3.42 by doremite from Vermont

Jun 27, 2015
Rated: 3.25 by jrob21 from Georgia

Feb 06, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by DrBier from Pennsylvania

Jan 15, 2015
Rated: 4 by jebrew from Maine

Oct 18, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by fossage78 from Massachusetts

Oct 01, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Mini4x from Massachusetts

Aug 14, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by wrightst from Maryland

Jun 06, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by Latarnik from New Jersey

May 24, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by jaemeno3 from New Jersey

Dec 24, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by sgregory from Connecticut

Nov 05, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by williamjbauer from Colorado

Feb 16, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by wesley14 from Massachusetts

Oct 29, 2012
Photo of DIM
Reviewed by DIM from Pennsylvania

3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
a: This was a bright, clear golden copper color. It poured with a thick sticky head.

s: Fruity pot pourri tea and biscuits.

t: Crackers and tea up front with a lots of bitterness at the end. A little lingering plastic.

m: Creamy with a nice heft.

o: Thanks E this was pretty good.
Oct 27, 2012
Rated: 3.75 by mendvicdog from Maryland

Sep 07, 2012
Rated: 4 by kevgod from Massachusetts

Aug 19, 2012
Photo of Durge
Reviewed by Durge from Connecticut

3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
(I should first note that the bottle I sampled here had been cellared for well over a year) This bitter pours a rosy copper color into the pint glass and produces a healthy egg shell colored head that deflates to a stubborn sheet and creates a creative web of lacing. The aroma is a pleasant caramel malt and brown bread grain laced nicely with lemony hop bitterness. This promises to be a well grounded but reasonably hoppy brew. The first swallow is indeed tasty with a definite crisp citrus hop presence but a clear grain back bone. This suggests rhubarb and rye toast along with some lingering caramel sweetness. I'm pleasantly surprised by this one. Not really an American IPA yet something a bit beyond the usual hoppiness of an English bitter. It's perhaps a tad watery and I do get some metallic or musty notes that bring it down a notch here and there, but the nice hop attitude shores up the feel somehow, enough to make this a drinkable and likeable refreshment with a busy carbonation built on very tiny bubbles that attack the tongue and lively things up. I'm not sure what attracts me here. It does not strike me to be a beer I would typically search out for a follow up, but I have to say it is a relaxing, pleasant brew. A little different I think. Recommended for a try.
Jul 24, 2012
Rated: 3.75 by ububru from Pennsylvania

Jul 23, 2012
Photo of BeerKangaroo
Reviewed by BeerKangaroo from Alaska

4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Into a pint glass:

A: hazy dark brown body with a foamy tan half finger white head that lasts for about a good minute. The body is too hazy for any carbonation to be seen rising and there is minimal lacing.

S: hops up front with a light bit of malts with an even lighter sense of molasses.

T: slight malty sweetness combined nicely with the bitter hops. A slight breadiness comes through as well

M: medium, carbonation is felt and seems to absorb some of the creaminess coming through, dry aftertaste and finish

O: I do like this. I like how a lot more hops come than most ESB's I've had, and the malts are not necessarily subdued but has a certain strength in it. I would definitely get it again.
Jul 23, 2012
Rated: 3.25 by salvy31 from Pennsylvania

Jul 20, 2012
Rated: 4.25 by Cavanaghty from Maine

Jun 25, 2012
Rated: 3.5 by ShemRahBoo from New Jersey

Jun 15, 2012
Rated: 3.25 by jrfehon33 from Pennsylvania

Apr 07, 2012
Rated: 4 by plehnus from Massachusetts

Dec 14, 2011
Rated: 4 by Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

Nov 28, 2011
Rated: 4 by EastCoastHawkeye from North Carolina

Nov 24, 2011
Rated: 3.25 by rab53 from Washington

Nov 22, 2011
Rated: 4 by mormon from Utah

Nov 16, 2011
Rated: 3.75 by bpfrush from Wisconsin

Nov 14, 2011
Photo of drpimento
Reviewed by drpimento from Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
I let this bomber warm up a bit out of the fridge first. Poured with a nice foamy, thick, light tan head that lasts and good lacing. Color is a clear copper and has plenty of bubble trails. Aroma is malt, hop, toffee, a little caramel. Flavor is like aroma, has little sweetness and is true to style although I could even say it's perhaps like an ESB. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor, has medium length and is balanced. Good beer. Session for sure.
Jul 23, 2011
Photo of Snamnoum
Reviewed by Snamnoum from District of Columbia

3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Drinking this beer with a year on it.

Appearance - hazy nut brown color with one finger of beige head. Retention is fair and leaves some rocky lace clinging to the glass.

Smell - resigny and slightly piney hops with a big toasted malt backbone. Notes of molasses and brown sugar.

Taste - Malty sweetness and bitter hops are well incorporated yeast is slightly doughy. Finish is dry and astringent. Hops are a little overpowering and overshadow the more subtle malt profile. Finish is tannic and abrasive. A good beer but a few too many hops.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is creamy.

Overall - A good ESP in a market over saturated with IPAs glad they tried something a little more risky. IMO a tad over hopped or under malted but still a good brew and an easy drinking one too.
Jul 10, 2011
Photo of deaconoflove
Reviewed by deaconoflove from Pennsylvania

3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
Dark brown w/o much head, but produces a nice head with a swirl of the glass. A bit of ruby around the edges.
Smell. Faint caramel, some malts, and slight citrus.
Taste. It tastes good, but has indistinguishable flavors, some malt, a little bitterness, longer bitter finish. Tastes good, but vague...like me.
Mf. Good fullness and carbonation, smooth.
Overall. Easy to drink, okay, but unmemorable.
Jul 01, 2011
Photo of Jayli
Reviewed by Jayli from Massachusetts

1.15/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1
Consumed 11/21
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a clear, dark copper color with a one finger of white head. Head recedes immediately, leaving no lacing.

S: Nose is... good GOD what the hell is it? Musty, musky, dirty malts that were left in a garbage can...or wait, was that the dead floral or citrus hops?

T: Taste was.. hideous. Musk, musty dankness, and not whole hell of a lot more. The taste is almost akin to that of the smell you get from the water that flowers were left in for too long...I made my way halfway through a pint before pouring the pint and the rest of the bottle.

Yea, let's just stop here. This was an abomination to all of my senses. I don't think that you could pay me to put something this hideous near my lips again. There was absolutely nothing special about this...but it did make me say S.O.B. and several other colorful phrases...
Nov 23, 2010
Photo of potownbill
Reviewed by potownbill from New York

2.2/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
This beer poured a cloudy copper brown color with a thin tan head. The first impression was the smell, which was musty, similar to a dirty dishtowel. The taste was not much better. I was looking forward to this beer, but could not get past the second sip. There was a metallic taste in the middle, and the finish was somewhat dry and a little too bitter. Never made it past the second sip.
Oct 31, 2010
Photo of WesWes
Reviewed by WesWes from New York

3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
The beer pours a hazy, dark amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a balanced aroma of pale and crystal malts along with a solid hop aroma. Northern Brewer hops provide adequate bitterness, but only a subtle hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a wonderful malt flavor that features pale, crystal, and Munich malts. The hops offer up an aggressive bitter flavor. It's very balanced with loads of character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. It's smooth and balanced; a well brewed ESB.
Sep 12, 2010
Photo of MA08
Reviewed by MA08 from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Served on tap at the Lompoc Cafe in Bar Harbor, ME.

Pours a amber/gold with a white head that dissipates. The aroma is almost all bready malt with some elements of hops. Tastes like a true bitter with carmel malt notes and minimal hops. Mouthfeel is average and somewhat smooth. Overall, a decent bitter, but nothing exciting. I am not sure why this is part of their limited series, as there nothing that special about it.
Aug 27, 2010
Photo of dudecandle
Reviewed by dudecandle from New York

3.36/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Bomber into my chalice:

A: Nice moderate brown color, somewhat hazy, with a decent fluffy head.

S/T: That the brewery calls this an IPA is quite misleading. They say they want it to be mild, and it comes out like the Bitter title that they gave it. Oh well, a title is but a title.
The hops are quite mild, and quite herbal, floral, and dry. The real base of the flavors are sweet and nutty with caramel, with some bits of chocolate and a touch of the yeast coming through as well.

M/D: I had no trouble at all polishing off this bomber on my own, as it makes for quite the session beer, however dry. Quite easy going down with a good array of flavors, but I think an extra punch, whether of hop or sweetness, would have really done it well to round everything out, especially if they insist on calling it an IPA. Perhaps I let it sit in my cellar too long before opening so the fresher version would have had that extra hop kick, but I guess I won't know til the next time I swing through Maine to get a new bottle.

Overall: Drinkable - yes. Remarkable - no.
Aug 13, 2010
Photo of lou50rp
Reviewed by lou50rp from Maine

4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
It is a nice dark red color with an off white head that lasts a while.
It has a strong dark coffee smell with a bit of sweetness.
Definite malty taste with a touch of bitterness at the end.
Medium to light mouth feel. feels good.
Very tasty, with mouth feel an easy brew to drink. With low ABV you can have more than one. Good session beer.
Aug 07, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
Reviewed by BeerAdvocate from California

3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Beer review from BA Mag Nov 2007.

In a beer world dominated by India Pale Ales and wannabe-IPA Pale Ales--at least in the US--it's refreshing to see a Bitter, which are known for their moderate hopping, complementary malts, and balance.

Clear ruby copper with a massive off-white foam head--good retention and stick. Nice hop aroma, with a hint of orchard floral, and notes of soap. Fairly light on the palate, a bit crisp up-front, with an even feel. Nice smack of prickly raw hops--leafy, coarse, oily, herbal, citric, and pith--followed by nutty tannins and an intense dryness. Malts are a bit toasty, with a thin carob back-note and mild sweetness. Mineral towards the center. Nutty, dry, tannic, astringent and slightly yeasty finish.

Aside from the harsh end, this is nice bitter for hopheads that's put together well, easy to drink, very flavorful and refreshing, and very sessionable as a result--making it oh-so-easy to polish off the bomber.
Jul 07, 2010
S.O.B. (Special Old Bitter Ale) from Atlantic Brewing Company - Town Hill / Mainely Meat BBQ
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 95 ratings