Foster's Special Bitter | Foster's Group Limited

146 Reviews
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Foster's Special BitterFoster's Special Bitter

Brewed by:
Foster's Group Limited

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UnionMade on 07-10-2001

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Reviews: 146 | Ratings: 194
Photo of BeckHardy
1.6/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured from the oilcan into a pint glass. Clear amber appearance with a off white frothy head that dissipates quickly. Virtually no lacing left around the sides of the glass. The aroma was very faint. It had a very odd taste and lots of carbonation resulting in numerous belches. The after taste was even worse. The mouth feel was thin and the finish very watery. This is best drunk at very cold temperatures and on a very hot day will get you bombed. Heck it isn't even a real bitter but a lager as most Australian beers are. It is a step up from regular Fosters but barely. Don't let yourself be fooled. This is a bad beer.

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Photo of NavyVet1959
2.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Definitely better than regular Fosters, but not what I would call a "great" beer. Still, it's a quite a bit better than any of the American mass market beers (e.g. Bud, Miller, Coors, etc). But then again, even regular Fosters is better than *them*. I think that the version we get is make in Fort Worth these days, so technically, I guess it's an American beer with Aussie influence. I'll still buy it in a pinch, so I guess that says *something*.

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Photo of Brenden
2.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Not the bronze or brown color of some, neither is this beer extremely pale; it's pretty much an even copper, clear and fairly bright. The head is a bit more than expected, a bubbly off-white foam that might top at half a finger. Retention is above average, and the little bit of lace left clinging may just be as well.
The aroma, as expected, is pretty light and altogether unexceptional. Tangy fruit esters, grainy dryness and mineral make up the nose, while the flavor is marred by something not quite vegetal and the mineral aspect taken to metallic proportions. It seems like someone made an effort with hops, though it went wrong and only made it a little sulphuric.
IT's a little slick and dry at the same time, though it evens out and goes to a cleaner semi-dry in a light but almost medium body. It goes into a quick finish.

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Photo of FosterJM
2.54/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1002nd Review on BA
Can to Pint

No dating.

Not sure how my wife got this can and then ended up in my hand. Oh well. This thing could be old as shit. If that one dude can do Bud Light from the ocean I can do this, but here goes.

**So yeah, only 1/2 a glass from 1/2 a can. I couldnt do it**

App- Looks a bit like a mix of an ESB mixed with a DIPA but had a huge three finger long lasting head that leaves a ton of cling and stick.

Smell- Smells a lot like Taffy thats been melted and pulled and a bit like Malt of meal. Not in a bad way just the way it turned out. Oh well.

Taste- Its like a bad caramel apple mixed with a bit of astringent soapy water. I don't think my wife knew anything about this can before giving it to me other than Foster is our last name. Just way past it's prime with a pastey like rice taste to it.

Mouth- A light body and full carbed rice/soap/paper machet bomb.

Drink- Not again. I appreciate the wife's effort to give me a can of a namesake beer but man this was bad.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
2.03/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Overall, this incarnation of Foster's is pretty bad. The brew pours a bright golden hue and is capped with a short-lived fizzy head. Both the smell and flavor are astringent, grainy, alcoholic and fairly strong on metallic flavors. The feel is about on-par for an AAL, but this is supposed to be a bitter, so I'd expect a bit more tooth. I would not want another one of these.

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Photo of NStLincoln
3.03/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Very light amber color. The fact that Fosters admits to adding caramel color worries me.

Smells faintly of rice and corn. It's got some hops that are about a quarter mile away. Tiny bit of funkiness.

Tastes faintly of sweet bread and bitter but characterless hops .

Keep it cold and drink it on a summer day. Better than many of lager options at the same price point.

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Photo of Wasatch
2.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean/clear pale yellow color, nice carbonation, very nice white one-finger fizzy/foamy head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is sweet, malty, with some grain notes. The taste is sweet, kinda malty, grainy/ricy. Medium Body, with a not bad bitter finish. Not a bad brew, alot better than most American macros.

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Photo of BeerLover99
2.6/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: light yellow with hint of gold. big head that fades away.

S: very grainy with mild hops.

T: adjuct style in different can, tad more bitterness, but still very weak

M: watery, light body, leaves you thirsty, too much carbonation, not good aftertaste.

D: I think you get what you pay for and most Aussies I know, avoid this one. Don't bother.

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Photo of hmk22
2.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had the "oil can" serving others have noted. This seems to be popular as a "jump start" large-serving beer -- they sell a lot of it at $2.50 at my commuter rail station for the ride home.

Nothing to outright hate about this so much as that there's not much to seems to be trying to tread on its Aussie name/roots (it's brewed in TX now) to attract buyers with the promise of a refined brew, but it's really a caramel-color-added (admitted on the label) high ABV item.

First taste and aroma have a rotgut, alcohol-enhanced edge, and -- owing to the added color --the mouthfeel doesn't jibe with the appearance, so the whole thing just ends up feeling like a budget get-me-drunk-quick quaff. Heaven knows we've all been there, but I think we can all aspire to our better selves.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.28/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ok, this is my "go to" "work on the car" "lawnmower beer" goes down smooth, and does the job better than most when thirst is the primary concern...

A: Pale amber....ample head that fades fast with minimal lacing depending on temperature.

S: Little going on here...mild fruits and grains..a "clean beer" ajunct lager smell...

T: Best served very cold...this beer quenches thirst like no oil can at 37 degrees with 90 degree outside temp is the most refreshing thing in the world. A thirst quencher, not a beer geek satisfyer...but a most satisfying one at that.

M: Not overly carbonated...drink it from the can...that it what it is is for.

D: Very drinkable but tiring after a few.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.38/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Out of a big green oil can this beer was a perfectly clear amber color with good rising carbonation. The head was off-white, two-fingers, displayed average retention and the lacing quite good in broken fishnets. The aroma was semi-sweet, macro-malt and corn mash/grains. The flavors were more bitter than the aroma but ended a little more sweet with pale malt. The mouthfeel was average, the body medium/light and the carbonation medium/high.

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Photo of ommegoose
2.1/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Foster's Special Bitter

Apparently 5.5% now, and brewed in the US in Fort Worth, TX and Athens, GA

Frustrating and messy pour out of the 750 ml jumbo can. Pours out a bright and clear copper color. Carmel color was added, according to the can. Due to the clumsy can, I had to pour fast, so a large head resulted. It didn't last for too long, but it did leave some lacing behind. Several visible carbonation streams.

This smells pretty rank. Like how low quality lagers smell, but more potent. It has a very musty, stale aroma of grain husks. Sour apple hints are about the best thing I can find. I will leave open the possibility that some things smell worse, so I will spare this the lowest rating.

The taste is not as spirit crushing, but I didn't find much enjoyment here. Metallic flavors sully the whole thing. There's the same musty grain quality in the malt as in the aroma. Very mild toasty flavors, but mostly butter (diacetyl). The hop profile seems about right for a bitter. It's got a little piney kick, and herbal notes. The finish is not all that bad, with a medium level of dryness and bitterness. If the metallic flavors and nasty grains were not so rough, this could have been a decent effort.

Slick, and on the light side. Low carbonation. No problems here.

Drinkability scores low for me, since I physically had a hard time pouring and drinking this beer. I'm sure I lost a couple ounces while pouring over the sink. And as stated above, there's little to like about it. The aftertaste was actually okay enough for me to get through the whole thing. I will be avoiding this one from now on. If I wanted a cheap and easy to find bitter, I'd get a Goose Island Honkers Ale. For those with no other choices for a bitter, this is may be worth a try.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.56/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

25.4 oz 'oil' can

L - nice clear amber color with a tall tan head that has staying power and leaves lots of lace.

S - sour mash/malt aroma

T - nothing special, sour/bitter malt taste

F - very light body, thin, watery mouthfeel

D - drinkability is low.

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Photo of RedChrome
2.98/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear amber colored body in the glass. A off white inch high foamy head faded after about three minutes. Only a few carbonation bubbles occasionally rising to the top. Sticky lace patches.

Off balance plastic and malt with only a faintly noticeable presence of hops in the end of the nose full. Malt is very heavy on the gritty side, and has a husk note.

Flavor is bitter without any real hops presence. Malt is also a bit off balance. The flavors blend decently, but have a plastic flavor to them. Slightly overpowering yeast flavors.

A very watery beer on the surfaces. Carbonation is a bit overwhelming on the tongue.

Just average. Pair it with some hot dogs on a warm day. Nothing special, but it is an option in a style I like. I'd pass for some others out there.

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Photo of Offa
3.55/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I actually rather like this and find it a lot better than the horribly sub-par Foster's lager.

Light copper, this has a very large, lasting off-white head and leaves some weak, sudsy lacing.

The aroma is light but definite malty grain, apple cider, and pine.

The taste is smooth, basic, but good "beer" taste, a little like a cross between an English ale and an American macro lager, light caramelly , faintly toasty, grain, hint of leafiness and grassiness. It has a solid grain aftertaste. Simple, mild, it has light sweetness and mild bitterness, but both are constant. It is a little watery. It's pleasant and rather drinkable, but nothing great.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.18/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Poured a nice deep sunset orange with slight marzen highlights with an equally impressive soft, creamy light beige head that left a sticky, spongy splotchy lacing around the rim of the glass. Visible carbonation was light.

S: a moderate fresh flowery hop showing with dried orange skins and a light dry toasted malting.

T: For flavor there was a sour malting that hits up upfront with some stingy sourness, and wet hop leafs. Sour oranges, with a wishy-washy flavor and a horrible sour malt lacing with some bathroom cleaner and band-aid hints. Sour apple cider, sour fruit (melons, cantelope) with a noticeable acidity. After a promising appearance and fairly decent nose this sorely disappointed and was just bad overall flavor wise.

M: wishy-washy with a light carbonation and acidity with a sourness and medicinal lacing on the tongue. This is one beer you truly don't want resting on your tongue any longer then it has to.

D: Drinkability was pretty damn bad. Sour malting. nothing I would consider every again even on a dare.

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Photo of Haybeerman
2.85/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear, pale copper. Poured a thin, wispy white head that dissipated as it formed. Minimal lacing.

S: Light wet grain aroma. Gave way to musty spic aroma.

T: Light grains, slight caramel sweetness. Mild peppery hop bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

D: Drinkable, but aftertaste began to wear on me.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
2.63/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark copper color with a very thick head. Which is surprising considering there is no activity in the glass itself.

S- There is a slight sweet fruit smell that is very faint. Then the adjuncts start to take over.

T- The very slight fruit flavor is there, but then it is just a watered down malt taste with the adjuncts.

M- Feels like beer in your mouth.

D- Easy to drink like what beer should.

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Photo of kinger
2.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've always had a soft spot for beers that come in an "oil can", and Fosters is well known for this. I've had the Special Bitter a couple times in the past so I picked one up the other day for old times sake. Pours a dark copper color with a pencil thin head and average lacing. The aroma is slightly better than your average american macro-lager due to the bitter hops. Very thin mouthfeel followed by a rather simple disappointing flavor. The bitter hops give this beer a decent finish but there is no other flavor to this beer. Not a mistake to have one of these once in a while, but don't get too excited about it.

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Photo of giblet
3.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer poured very nice into the glass with about two inches of head. this settled to about one and a half inch and stayed. good carbonation. smells of grain and bread. decent taste with dry finish. must be some hint of hop there. lace is out of this world. decent and better than i expected.

suckem up and movem out.


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Photo of EStreet20
2.57/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

25.4 oz oil can into a shaker pint. My can says 5.5% ABV.

A - Pours out a clear golden amber with about a finger of off white head. Looks pretty nice.
A few rings of lace on the glass as well.

S - Really nothing at all on the nose.

T - Really an interesting mix here as first. Has some caramel malt flavor which gives way to a grainy flavor that almost reminds me of Foster's lager. It would be a nice mix, but there is a funky aftertaste that I can't place that is pretty foul.

M - Nice smooth feel, medium carbonation.

D - The aftertaste really kills what would otherwise be a decent brew.

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Photo of hooligan
2.89/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours from a hunter green and gold Foster's "oil can" to a copper clear with a thick sudsy foam that "muffin tins" over the top of my Duvel tulip glass. Head dissipates quickly to a thick, clingy soapy residue. The color and "cotton candy" head remind me of Moosehead for some reason.

Nobel hops and coppery overtones in the nose, clean "catty" odor reminding me this is a Foster's beer, even if it's in a pretty green can and says "ale" on it.

Big fruity character upfront in the nose followed by a potent noble hop and stringent afterbite. Very clean leaving some slight bubblegummy yeast at the very end.

I won't say it's the best bitters, but it can sure wash down a pretzel or two. This use of the characteristic hops used in their lager was pleasant, but I can't say I like them much in an ale. However, I was very surprised at this offering from Foster's... a beer I normally associate with "hey, it's got two things going for it, it's beer, and it's big!".

This one is beer, big, and fairly good to drink with some friends. It's a good "Foster's" twist on the classic English bitter.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.03/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Foster's in a green CAN!?! Zounds!

My vigorous pour created a finger's worth of eggshell-white head with good retention. The color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose was faintly bitter. The mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a light bitterness on the tongue. The finish was also mildly bitter, but nothing particularly special. Definitely NOT their lager, but not all that compelling, either. For the cost, it was definitely a bargain.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.38/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If there was actual oil inside this 25.4 ounce oil can, it would be worth about 64 cents on the market. But since it's Foster's Bitter, its price is set at $1.99. On to the beer:

Clearish caramel color; on top sits a patchy head that leaves traces of lacing on the glass as it's consumed. There's a little diacteyl in the aroma, and not much else. The taste starts off with a boom of esters. The balance in this brew is good, and there are no off-flavors to be found. Somewhat buttery in feel and taste. There's a mild hop bitterness in the back of the palate, and it goes away quickly.

It may not really be Australian (mine was brewed in the US), but it's inexpensive, effective, and did a good job washing down a filet mignon dinner. Just don't chill the hell out of it.

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Photo of gearkraft
2.25/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: A standard golden color with slight amber character. Average carbonation with light head.

S: A slight watery hint of grains that smells 'aged'. Nothing grand here.

T: I was a little disappointed really. A smooth and large bite of carbonation that hits with malts and falls to a copper-caramel taste. When the can said special bitter, I really wanted bitter: none here.

M: As far as mouthfeel goes, its slightly refreshing with a fast finish.

D: Well, the drinkability isnt high for me because it doesnt taste like anything fantastic or out of the ordinary. It makes me laugh because it says "Special Bitter" on the can, yet there is nothing special nor bitter about this beer. On the other hand, Im used to drinking dark and ultra bitter beers, but to the average american macro lager drinker, this might be bitter... Im not sure.

Clifsnotes: Not bitter, just boring and OK.

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Foster's Special Bitter from Foster's Group Limited
2.87 out of 5 based on 194 ratings.
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