Courage Directors Bitter | Wells & Young's Ltd

Courage Directors BitterCourage Directors Bitter
116 Ratings
Courage Directors BitterCourage Directors Bitter

Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 08-09-2002

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 116 |  Reviews: 72
Photo of EdmundBlackadder
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of robotiks
4.04/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Howlader
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeckHardy
2.63/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

I had this on draft in a London pub. It looked amber in the glass. Like strong tea actually. Low carbonation and a fairly decent head of foam. Decent lacing on the sides of the Imperial pint glass. Smell was of bread crust and biscuits. The taste was smooth with a slight underlying taste of fruit. Mouth feel was a wee bit slick but not bad at all. Over all not a bad pint at all. Served with the chill off of course. I would order this again. It would be interesting to compare this to Theakston's Old Peculiar.

 513 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml can - a sort of surprising entry to the Alberta market for the typically 'once-in-a-while' English import segment.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, rocky, and bubbly tan head, which leaves some disintegrating ice shelf lace around the glass as things lazily sink away.

It smells of grainy and biscuity pale malt, muddled dark orchard fruity notes (prunes and raisins, predominately), a hint of wayward son yeastiness, and some sassy leafy, weedy, and grassy noble green hop bitters. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, some further indistinct black stone fruitiness, a touch of peppery spice, faded yeasty esters, and more testy earthy, floral, and dead grassy verdant hoppiness.

The carbonation is fairly pervasive in its come-hither frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and sort of smooth, with a wee airy creaminess settling in as things start to warm up a bit out of the ol' basement frigo. It finishes off-dry, the base malt holding tight, amongst the lingering spicy and hoppy intransigence.

Overall, this is a fairly enjoyable English bitter, the hops doing well to elicit some New World elan, in addition to their inherent old-school qualities. I'm a bit taken by this one, even as its ABV seems typically strangled, as such. Easy to drink, and worthy of sessioning, if I were ever to find myself in a pub situation where the default were a given.

 1,438 characters

Photo of windowside
3.69/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Altrurian
4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Creamy head. Lovely, lasting cling. Reddish amber with a metallic glint. Full-bodied texture. Taste of toffee with the slightest bitter kick. An exemplar of the style.

 167 characters

Photo of horshack7
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's a deep amber with a slight haze. The head is off white and about one finger thick.

Aroma: Piney notes, grapefruit.. a light floral hop dryness in the nose. Little notes of pear and apple.

Taste: Very crisp mouthfeel in the front. Bits of toffee, light brown bread, Wisps of figs and banana and twinges of spice towards the back end.

Notes: What we have here is a very tasty bitter top to bottom quite tasty. Cheers.

 444 characters

Photo of josanguapo
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From Hipercor. In Ikea's pint glass. Playing Tomb Raider 2015. Very balanced and sessionable. Im starting to become a fan of the style

134 characters

Photo of risenz
3.34/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Fettmaster2000
2.05/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Photo of leginsh
4.14/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PlutonowyManiek
2.84/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color: dark amber, clear. Head color ecru, not too high, on average lasted.
Aroma: in the foreground are plum and caramel in the background and gently yeast.
The beer is slightly watery, like the above are the leading caramel and plum.
Bitterness is always at the finish, coffee. High saturation.

 296 characters

Photo of stevoj
2.69/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Initial nice taste, but then it falls flat. A bit more head than I’m used to from British ales, so it looks pretty good. But aroma and taste and palate are all very light, flat and almost bland. Next!

 202 characters

Photo of janubio
2.66/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Amber colour, big head that fades soon leaving some lace. Smell of limestone, dark fruits and a disgusting tyres strong notes. Medium body, good carbonation. Taste of caramel, dark fruits. No hint of tyres here.

 211 characters

Photo of doktorhops
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I’m actually surprised I hadn’t gotten to this sooner what with me being an amateur film Director and what not [excluding both ‘what’ and ‘not’]. Plus with my penchant for English Bitters being quite strong I can only chalk this up to a sizeable slip under the old beerdar. Anyway it is here and pre-review warming up to room temp as we speak. Before I begin I must add that this is a bit on the heavy side for a Bitter at a lofty 4.8% ABV, and Wells & Young’s track record for me has been hit-and-miss with their Courage Russian Imperial Stout being their high water mark IMO, so who knows where Directors will end up.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Clear copper body with a light splotchy thin beige head on top - about as English Bitter as old English pies with a pint of English Bitter beside it and a side of English Bitter sauce to go with the pie. 8/10.

S: Toffee malt, earthy/nutty notes, hints of dark fruit - raisin, plum, with a veneer of herbal hops in the background... overall this Bitter smells like a bit of excitement compared to the namby-pamby lightweight 4.4% Bitters out there, expecting some explosive not-your-average-day-in-the-pub-watching-football-which-is-called-soccer-elsewhere-in-the-world-to-differentiate-it-from-other-forms-of-ball-sports action here. 8/10.

T: Wow, what a let-down... the flavour is a shadow of the above aromas... it’s not explosive action, just a muted Bitter at best. I’ve had plenty of Bitters that would blow this out of the water flavourwise - several of which weigh in at 4.4% ABV. This is a disappointingly light where-it-counts English Bitter... at least the flavours are as expected from the aroma (toffee/earthy/nutty/raisin/plum) with a slight sour/bitter finish, but otherwise this brew warrants my giant beige stamp of ‘MEH!’. 6/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with some playful carbonation that does nothing to damper that classic English pub vibe. 8/10.

D: Well Courage Directors Superior Ale really drops the ball when it counts in the flavour department and totally misses out on a near flawless try/goal [as long as we’re going along with the footy theme here]. Here is a list of better Bitters for you to try instead of this average drop: Ruddles County, Brakspear Bitter, St. Peter’s Ruby Red Ale and Adnams Bitter - tell me you still prefer Courage after trying these finer brews. 5/10.

Food match: Chicken pot pie with a side of mash, peas, carrots and gravy.

 2,478 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
3.09/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle. Clear, dark amber colour, short-life small off-white head, slight toffee aroma, light body, soft carbonation, moderate nutty and caramel sweet taste, sour malty palate with simply earthy hoppy notes. Smooth, but nothing special.

 243 characters

Photo of hansavijaticar
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JackieKu
2.74/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

500ml can.
A: Dark copper with 3 fingers high head.
S: I could not get anything from the smells.
T: Quite watery. Slightly grassy and earthy, probably from the hops.
M: Creamy medium bodied.
O: Expect more malts from the taste. Not bad but nothing remarkable.

 260 characters

Photo of dmurray50000
3.34/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SayBoom
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Lemreway16
4.54/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This in the world of English beer a heavyweight no nonsense bitter. Copper effect with both a hoppy and caramel taste. It leans to a autumn or winter beer where is depth and strength suit the climate. Equally this a beer to complement a Highland Malt Whisky on a wet and windy night.

 287 characters

Photo of patre_tim
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Copper amber with a minute haze, extremely little carbonation, and a finger of tannish head leaving a fine lacing.

S: Caramel bananas, toffee and crème brulee, a fine toasted quality.

T: Light caramel and bananas, very little bitterness, sort of a papery quality. Berries.

M: Medium light body, little fine carbonation, much dryer than I’d expected.

O: A little disappointed as I was expecting more from the name and label, like this would be a king of beers or something. However it left lacking. Still a fine brew. Will have it with some greasy fried Thai food in a few minutes in Chiang Mai Thailand, Nov 18, 2014.

 634 characters

Photo of Sharpee1937
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of redgorillabreath
2.74/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I'm new to English bitters. So I'm probably expecting more than I should based on appearance. I was ready for more of a malty flavor than I got. From the tap in the UK.

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Courage Directors Bitter from Wells & Young's Ltd
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 116 ratings
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