Foster's Special Bitter | Foster's Group Limited

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Foster's Special BitterFoster's Special Bitter
237 Ratings
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

View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 237 |  Reviews: 174
Reviews by ghostwalker:
Photo of ghostwalker
3.39/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25.4 oz can.

Pours a light amber, huge frothy white head.

Nose is sour malt, not a very auspicious beginning.

Flavor is bitter with significant sourness. Malt is not a huge contributor, just a little bit up-front. Mild English hops are present in the middle and the finish. I don't mind the overall taste, it's a reasonable bitters. But I could do without so much sourness.

Mouthfeel is medium, with some smoothness in the finish.

Drinkability is good. Like most bitters it's good for quaffing, not sure how many I could down due to the sourness, though.

Overall, not bad for the price. Worth a try, better than Foster's lager.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.35/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This didn’t look half bad. The body is thin but has a nice brown color to it, and the head came up fairly easy.

Smell – The lightly-toasted grain aroma was sans skunk. Maybe it was the big green oil can that kept it out. I can also pick up a slight hop balance and some cheap sugars.

Taste – Much better than the standard Foster’s Lager. It’s no masterpiece mind you, but the light toasting hides much of the cheapness of the grain and it does indeed have some bitterness to the flavor.

Mouthfeel – This is a little creamier than your standard macro piss. The carbonation isn’t bad, either.

Drinkability – I think I’ll finish this one off without help from my sink. Nicely done.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.64/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Though I've had this beer many times, this is the first time I've ever actually seen it. I usually just swill it out of its awesomely sized can and feel like a badass. It is actually a lovely reddish-copper color. It has a big foamy white head that dies fast but does leave some lacing. The nose is a forcefully sweet malt and earthy and spicy hops. Taste is a big bitter flavor on top of a weaker but distictively sweet malt body. I haven't had enough English Bitters to say how it measures up but it blows other beers in its price range out of the water and I've been a fan of this brew for a while.

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Photo of Todd
3.04/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Big-ass 25.4 fl.oz. (oil can) green can. Union Made. Brewed and canned by FBG Breweries in Canada. Australian beer made in Canada? Oy vey!

Appearance: Hazy honey-copper in colour with a very healthy pillowy off-white sticky foam head.

Smell: Grain and metallic (steel) aromas with a faint musty hop smell.

Taste: Light-bodied with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Malt character and hop bitterness is splendidly balanced. Malt has just the right amount of malty sweetness, touch of toasted malts (very light caramel malts) and mustry dry grain husks. Hops come around and slap the palate with light citrus flavours/lime-like bitterness. Not too bitter or citrus, just enough to keep you interest and liven up the boring malt. Finishes a bit dry with grain flavours and lick of citrus bitterness on the tongue with some lingering metal.

Notes: Supposedly this is only a 2.8%abv beer. And, supposedly it uses the same ingredients (malt, yeast, hops) as Foster's Lager, but with an addition of aroma hops and caramel malts to provide added character. A lot of other sites and people categorize this beer as a Lager, but it clearly has "Ale" on the can -- not to mention that it is a "Special Bitter," which is an ale.

Personally, I think that "Foster's is Australian for crap" but I found their Special Bitter to be most enjoyable and quite the session beer. Shame it only comes in oil cans here in the US, but I'd definitely purchase more of this beer.

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Photo of generallee
2.75/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: It was poured from a big 25.4oz or 750ml "Oil Can" into an Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: It has a very clear and bright golden color with a tall foamy head. The head slowly fades down to a very thin layer that just hangs on until the last sip and makes only some spotty and slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is semi-sweet and grainy with a slightly floral hops in the background.

Taste/Mouth feel: Its flavor has a somewhat sweet with husky and grainy alcoholic malt and very mild hops that add more bitterness than flavor. Its finish is quick and grainy The texture is slightly thick and smooth with average carbonation and a medium body.

Notes: Overall it was very simple and loaded with cheap adjunct flavor.

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Photo of Jason
2.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big ass 25.4 oz can with no freshness date, brewed in Canada … damn and I thought I was drinking an Aussie product. Pretty good bubbly rocky head that slowly dissipates with a sunset orange hue. Mild fruity and grainy aroma with vague hints of caramel and mineral. Smooth with a moderate carbonation. Slight metallic and buttery flavours run amuck upfront, hop bitterness is no help in the matter and seems to be accentuated from the metallic flavours. Along comes a mildly buttery malt and late fruitiness that seems to barely tame the astringencies but at least draws the brew closer to balance and leads into a bit more malt character. Semi-dry after taste with more mineral and grain flavours. Not a beer I would go back to.

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Photo of ThePostmaster
2.5/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Despite the "bitter" on the can, it wasn't. Very similat to regular Foster's except a little darker and maltier. Of the two, I like this better. Taste is sweet and somewhat smooth, but with significant graininess. Not bad, not good. The big cans are cool.

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Photo of westcott
2.25/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of ADR
2.78/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An "oil can"...clear, darker gold, biggish head that's spidery and cavernous but mostly gone in a minute. A little hop in the smell. Hops are not aggressive in the taste but are important in that the malts are very subdued and only sweet in impact. Pretty flavorless but with no overtly bad tastes. The aroma pairs with the flavor to give a weird, cheap sense to the swallow and aftertaste. Pretty standard, better than the Lager (out of the can, at least).

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.7/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Foster's Austrailian for beer well maybe not, but one thing is for sure from what America recieves the special bitter is much better than than Foster's lager. It appears with a copper tone and an off white tannish cream head foam very nice. With a perfect ring of lace completely even with a very nice head retention. Very nice mild bite of hops paired with a the caramel like sweet malt tones. A bit light in flavor but this beer overall works for the balance of the delicate hop bouquet sweet malt profile. Mouthfeel is very light in body no consistency like water for the style, although it's decently carbonated. Pretty drinkable, but I wouldn't waste much time on this sorry attempt at a bitter.

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Photo of valkyre65
3/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of schoon
3.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of rastaman
1/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

this beer is extremely bland and boring, i don't know why everyone has rated it so highly, coz it is really really bad, maybe someone else brews it in North America?

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Photo of LXIXME
3/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Brenden
2.71/5  rDev -3.9%
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 SetarconeX
1.97/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Normal Fosters is actually one of my favorite macro-lagers. I'm actually looking a bit forward to trying this one.

Looks an awful lot like normal Fosters, honestly. Dark side of golden in color. Bubbles on top have a shiny, syrupy look to them. Smells...

Oh God it smells. Rotting corn husk, mildew...this is bad.

Taste? It doesn't. There's no taste at all here. Slightly acidic water with a hint of grain on the aftertaste. Considering the smell, this is a blessing.

This is a straight up terrible beer. Try to avoid drinking it.

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Photo of brewQ
2.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A deep gold color brew with a highly charged uneven head.
Looks promising.

The aroma? I had a strange flashback here. They say deepest memories are lodged in smell. I was hit by a flashback to my youth- this smelled like an American macro back when I thought that meant beer. Somewhere in my late teens. Anyhow, you can't go home again- feint hops here and an odd papery smell close it out.

Taste- light cereal sweetness and grain.

A lackluster finish with only drinkability standing in its favor.

BTW- we gotta get Australia off the origin for this Canadaian contract-
that's almost as bad as them putting Bitter in the name but no hops.

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Photo of caddybuyer
3.28/5  rDev +16.3%
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 zjungleist
3.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium amber color with a fair head. Smells like a simple beer, grainy mainly. Tatse was nothing special, bitter grain and hop flavors mostly, but not overly bitter by any stretch of the imagination. There was a bit of a canned corn taste, but it was really mild in the aftertaste, not in an overpowering or unpleasant way. Mouthfeel was a light medium, good carbonation. Overall, very drinkable, fairly enjoyable. Better than the standard Fosters, in my opinion.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.01/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

25.4 oz can >giant glass mug.

This pours out of the hefty can slightly cloudy, very active amber color with a big, fat 3-finger deep, puffy, pillow off-white head that becomes clumpy and thick, dissipates slowly.
herbalized, old spice maltieness pops out with grains ' wheat and some sour yeast effect.
This Foster's offering brings a bigger malt presence thatn it's blander Lager cousin, the malt is pretty sweet, not exactly bold, but decent. There is a wheatie, almond-bitterness effect and the metallic harshness is minimal concidering this is a macro. THe balance of herbal and sweetness is not bad really and your left with a peanutbutter aftertaste.
Medium bodied, soft and surprisingly clean with a mildly smooth finish. 25.4 oz's is a good amount to get through and as more time goes by the feel becomes a bit more thin and flat.
This one is not too bad for $2.00 I supose and at 3.5% ABV you could drink these all day, if you cared to.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with a large tanhead,nothing great,but not too bad. The smell is very weak with only a small amount of malt and corn. The taste was actually better than I expected,a nice blend of sweet malt and hop bitterness makes this drinkable. A decent beer for a macro.

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Photo of Caesar1pup
1.98/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Special? I am not sure what it is that makes Fosters think this is Special because I thought there was nothing all that special about it. It's been years since I have had Fosters Lager but from what I remember this Special is not much better. Fosters, brewed in Canada but somehow calls it self Australian for beer. Not impressed and I will not be back.


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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.66/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

25.4oz can, Sam Adams glass, I was lax in checking this can's date, and therefore it looks like it was made in '05.

I was not shocked, but was surprised to see that this is just another American Adjunct Lager and not actually an ale at all. It is more of an amber, marzen, or Oktoberfest in color. The head was more ale than lager-like, with better retention that usual along with some nice lace and more depth of color that flat white.

The nose is lager-like. This is clean, with saltine, pils malt, and green leafy hop.

This is definitely more full flavored than any other macro lager I can recall. A tiny bit of caramel mixes with dry pils malt and leafy hop with a small bit of noble spice for a beer that is good for an adjunct lager.

The mouthfeel is average in its fizz and lighter heft, but isn't that what lighter lagers are supposed to be?

If I could find in every grocery store, I'd but this for parties and easy summer drinking sometimes.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.41/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer many, many times and never reviewed it. I always knew I'd never reviewed it, and I guess because of that the question was always floating around in the back of my head as to why. So I saw it tonight for $1.99 and decided to give it a proper tasting and review. It poured a nice, clear amber body and frothy off-white head. Nice retention and lacing. The nose was lightly fruity (when it's cold it's almost undistinguishable from a lager), and it had a sulphury, and perhaps even metallic edge to it. Standard mouthfeel. The flavor is pretty basic "pale ale". Lightly caramelish malt, mildly yeasty fruit, and grassy/leafy hops. Not sure where the metallic edge is coming from. Standard bitterness. Finishes dry with some residual, dull hops. Average. Australian for just slightly better than regular Foster's.

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Photo of Rootdog316
3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours golden yellow, with a good white head and decent effervescence. Aroma is light and almost non-existant, otherwise similar to any american lager (maybe a little maltier). Mouthfeel is smooth but a little grainy. Flavor is actually pretty good, with a dry, grainy-powdery taste that seems more at home in a wheat beer than a lager. Finishes pretty dry and bitter. Not TOO bad overall.

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Foster's Special Bitter from Foster's Group Limited
Beer rating: 2.82 out of 5 with 237 ratings