1. Introducing the Respect Beer® Society. Upgrading your account to a Society membership entitles you to more than a dozen awesome perks, from discounts, to ad-free browsing, extended users stats, and much more. Join today.
  2. BEER FEST ALERT: Don't miss FUNK Boston: A Wild & Sour Beer Fest on June 14-15!

Foster's Special Bitter | Foster's Group Limited

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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:
None provided.

View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 237 |  Reviews: 174
Reviews by montageman:
Photo of montageman
1.74/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass.

I've seen Fosters in the blue can many times, but had never seen this one. It caught my eye, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Overall, this is an underwhelming beer. I wasn't aware that the ABV was only 2.5%. The appearance is the best part - deep amber with a nice thick head that leaves lots of lacing. The taste is very watery with a slightly off bitter taste that borders on rancid. Mouthfeel follows with a thin and nearly non carbonated texture. If you wanted to, this would be a heavy drinking beer due to the low ABV, but if you're looking for something memorable, look elsewhere. Not recommended.

 632 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeckHardy
1.24/5  rDev -56%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

Other than having caramel coloring added please see my review for the original Foster's.

88 characters

Photo of MRLott
2.93/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

 1,482 characters

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.

 729 characters

Photo of beerluvr
2.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a nice fluffy head over bold golden liquid. Nose is weak and sweet, filled with adjuncts and little if any malt and hops. Taste is sweet, with flavors of corn and very light hopping. Finishes weak and bland with a slight cidery flavor. Much better is availiable out there.

 283 characters

Photo of AaronRed
3.19/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I did not even know this beer existed. It was appealing, given my choices. I was surprised. I liked the copper color and creamy head. It did not have much of a bitterness taste, rather flowerly, more like a watered down pale ale. It was enjoyable, smooth and very drinkable. Some body was evident that let me know this was an ale.

 336 characters

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

Sampled from one of those wacky, huge "oil cans." Poured a bit on the amber side, with a tight, fizzy head. Firm bittering, with some husky, slightly grainy malt flavors at the end. Much less refined than a good English bitter, but passable.

 241 characters

Photo of frank4sail
2.78/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Crystal cear peach colored with a pinkish head. Lots of carbonation. Malt bitterness in the nose. malty smooth taste with a slight bitter finish. Also a slight metalic taste (oxidation)....?

 194 characters

Photo of marc77
3.3/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The thick, white head tops a light copper hued brew and settles quickly. Diacetyl butterscotch dominates the aroma, and a light Kent Goldings hop nose is there as well. Mild, yet pleasant in overall aroma. The hop bitterness and malt sweetness is well balanced, but body and mouthfeel is a bit thin and a touch watery. Considering it's an ESB, more fruitiness and malt complexity would've been appreciated. Regardless, the overall balance and lack of flaws make this a drinkable brew. I was craving a Fullers ESB while drinking this one, however.

 551 characters

Photo of hooligan
2.89/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 1,104 characters

Photo of Jordan
3.26/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Grainey scent. Good balance of barley malt and hops. IMHO, this is a superior brew to the Foster's Lager. Nothing very fancy or original here, it's just a good tasting classic (even though a plain) beer. Good amount of sediment in the glass. Was pleasantly surprised with this one.

 286 characters

Photo of canoehornpoint
3.23/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oilcan poured with a dense white head that soon diminished. Color was deep golden to very light brown. My wife liked this, I knew I wouldn't find this to be a GREAT beer. The smell was straight bitter hop with a hint of malt. The beer's taste does not stand out. The hop bitterness is not flowery nor citrusy, just enough of bitterness to remove the malt sweetness. At least you can tell that it isn't packed full of adjuncts. This is better than the average bear (beer) but nothing I'd go looking for.

 508 characters

Photo of budgood1
2.78/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

clear copper color. big rocky head that doesn't go away. very faint grain and malt aroma. pretty light bodied but very smooth and creamy. easy drinking and poses no challenge to the taste buds.

 197 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.01/5  rDev +42.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahhhh Yes! The Master Cylinder revisited. It's been a while since I've enjoyed a Master Cylinder, but I received one as a gift from Dudey. However, unlike the big blue cylinders I used to drink in college, this one was green. I have the bitter rather than the lager.

This Cylinder became the first ever that I actually poured into a glass. The appearance was appealing. Crystal clear deep amber. Nice big white head with good retention. Lacing is adequate. I'm glad I poured this one out rather than shotgunning it. Aroma is of slight malt and fruity esters. The taste is really nice. Some subdued fruity tones, a sweet candy like presence and some bitterness. Good flavor profile. This is a beer I could drink a lot of. Goes down nice and easy. And tastes good to boot. The body is a little better than medium. I was a little surprised at how much I liked this one since I associated Foster's with my college days, but this is really a solid bitter.

Thanks dudey.

 971 characters

Photo of proc
3.03/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Foster's Special Bitter. I didn't really know this one existed. I have always thought of Foster's as the beer in the "oil" can with the Australian lineage, but brewed in Canada.

This one pours out to an amber in the glass with a massive head. The aroma is that of cereal grains and bread. The taste is actually pretty decent, with some malt character present. It is somewhat refreshing and crisp. It reminded me alot of Bass Ale.

 432 characters

Photo of bmills1608
2.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the oil can a light amber color, with a medium fizzy white head. On the nose was sweet grains, corn? and a little caramel malt.

The taste was light, somewhat fizzy carbonation (should have poured it harder to release some of the bubbles) with a fairly pronounced metallic taste. Soft doughy flavors, light malt and ale yeast fruit esters jump around a bit too. A slightly rough hop bitterness through in keeps the complexity level a few notches above zero, which is nice. Mouthfeel is very maco-lager like, watery and over carbonated. Finished astringent, becoming dry then going rather sweet (corn syrup) at the very end.

Overall impression - First off, you gotta love the giant can, it's cool, it just is. Second, 2.8% abv doesn't seem correct, after one I could "feel it" and I have a pretty high tolerance, gotta be closer to 4 or 5% in this. Third, is it truly an ale?, BA has it listed as a pale lager; the can has the word ALE stamped on it, who is correct?, who knows. With a macro brewery, the brewing process is so "engineered", I am sure they can achieve the flavor profile they want regardless of the type of yeast (ale or lager). To me, the fruitiness leads me to believe Fosters that it is in fact an ale, and ESB?, no, a nice little easy drinking ale?, sure. A better choice then the lager.

 1,324 characters

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).

 463 characters

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?

 165 characters

Photo of jackndan
2.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Fosters Bitter: In an oil can. Hmm, very nice looking, rich amber color, which is absolutely clear. The head is a very tall, very rocky and pure white. The aroma is a little grainy, and (no other way to describe it) macro like. Ugh. Flat, lazy malts seem to lay there, and are barely disturbed by the beat cop hops, who wish they were somewhere else. Flatulent carbonation is noticeable throughout. Skid row.

 408 characters

Photo of BrewAskew
1.9/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours to a frothy white head that leaves globs of foam. Smells a bit like Foster's Lager. Taste is similar to Foster's lager, yeasty, bready but sweeter and without the alcohol bite. Finishes clean with a nasty cheap beer aftertaste that just makes the whole experience unpleasant.

 281 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.06/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep gold in color and quite clear, with a two-inch or better cloud top head with very good retention. Fine curtains of carbonation slowly drift to the surface, renewing the head. The lacing is excellent, ringing the glass.

Aroma: Slightly sweet aroma of caramel, with grain and metallic hops.

Taste: Begins with lightly sweet caramel malt and fruit notes. Midway through the taste turns toward the grains. Late in the taste, the hops come on with a slightly oily citrus bitterness. The finish is dry with a persistent and lingering metallic note.

Mouth feel: Smooth and pleasant with a touch of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Sampled in the 25.4-ounce can, brewed in Canada by FBG under license. Not a great beer, but certainly OK. Seems a decent choice as a “lawnmower beer” or with pizza.

 820 characters

Photo of Suds
2.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark straw color with a moderate rocky head. The aroma is extremely faint, but displays a distant vegetable smell. Also, there’s a far-away earthiness and hop aroma. The taste is a moderate malty sweetness, with graininess and cooked veggies. Slightly sulfurous. Clean and smooth, with a soft mouthfeel. This beer is very ordinary and everyday, but also very easy to drink.

 382 characters

Photo of shirfan
2.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light amber in color with a decent layer of sticky lace left after a few minutes.

Aroma is a bit adjuncty, faint grassy pils hop notes.

Flavor is light, a bit of corn mingled with mildly toasted malt. Just a hint of grassy hops again. Very light in body, almost has the drinkability of water.

Definitely not a true Bitter, but it's ok as a lawnmower beer. A notch above the average macro.

 397 characters

Photo of BeerBob
3.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Foster’s “Special Bitter” pours a reddish amber from the 25.4 fl. oz. oil can. A fairly good dense head with a brown tint, forms and then leaves a slight cap and ring. With more pouring to refill the glass, the head starts to get clumpy.

Not much of a nose or palate other than some thin malt and a fair amount of bitter. Carbonation levels are right on the mark, not flat or supper bubbly. The aftertaste is a pleasant bitter, with some staying power.

All in all Foster’s “Special Bitter” looks much better than it tastes, it is a bitter Beer, even a tasty bitter Beer, just not a “Special Bitter” Beer.

 619 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Foster's Special Bitter from Foster's Group Limited
Beer rating: 2.82 out of 5 with 237 ratings