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Bookbinder | The Emerson Brewing Company

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17 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Emerson Brewing Company
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A wonderfully drinkable interpretation of a classic English ale. Bookbinder Bitter is a blend of four malts combined with two classic Nelson grown European hops (Fuggles and Riwaka). The beer pours an attractive reddish brown, with a cream coloured head. Bookbinder Bitter has a sweet, perfumey, malt and hop aroma with a soft, malty, fruit and vinous palate that is both full flavoured and refreshing with a long, gently drying finish.

Added by TubaManJack on 05-07-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 7
Photo of uuoo33
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jeschaefer
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of skywizzard
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Stillyman11
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of XsoldoutX
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of chinchill
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of hopnerd
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of jraldous
4.75/5  rDev +28%

Photo of cammo84
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of flexabull
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Platinum Liquor from their currently dwindling stocks of New Zealand craft beer. Let's hope they start filling it up again soon.

Pleasant coloured burnished copper hue, with a crackling honeycomb of foam on the top which settles in concentric rings of lace. Body looks pleasantly thick, with some good heft to it-nice to see in a beer of this ABV. Overall, looks very tasty indeed.

Nose is very traditional, giving earthy and peppery tones of tobacco and tea leaf tannins. Slightly pungent burnt rubber character is pleasant as well, but it melds itself nicely in with the other earth English hop characters. Whatever it says about "New World" and "NZ Hops", they're not the classic aromas I associate with them.

Of course the taste is where it gets into more sessionable territory rather than raw power, but there's still plenty to enjoy. Pleasant nutty characters on the back with a lightly herbal and slightly tannic bitterness to finish. Husky grain notes are noticeable, as is a little of that burnt rubber that was present on the nose--almost gives it a tone of phosphorous, like a freshly lit match.

Feel is a little too thin, but I knew the illusion of body in the appearance would be hard to live up to. Still, it aids the sessionability, which is good for this style.

Yep. This is a nice beer, if a sessionable one that you could slug all day without much difficulty. Plenty of character for its lightness. If only they served this "mid-strength" beer at the cricket instead of the watered down macro sludge we have to live with.

 1,566 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark-brown-tinged amber, slightly murky and cloudy in the glass. Beautiful dense beige head when poured, sinks to a majestic crown of large bubbles in a cradle of nice webbed lacing. Bit of furious bubbling at first but that's gone. Pretty damned nice.

Smells crisp and hoppy. Good dose of malt with a slight nutty edge, backed up and overridden, in fact, by crisp hop cuttings, slicing through with sharp lemon notes, some chives and lemongrass, a good belt of passionfruit and some pink pepper as well. You know when I just start listing ingredients I'm pretty impressed, this is a lovely nose, fruity and spicy and good.

Now the acid test, and the taste is less good. Plenty of malt throughout the palate - good job considering the ABV - slight cakey malt at the front that develops a buttery character towards the mid. An odd cherry note on the assault that almost makes a return towards the finish, as the beer gets a slight earthiness from some kind of hop - which is not prominent enough for me to discern the variety - that provides a slight piney bitterness that gets more flaxy and resinous towards the end. Hop bitterness is also not strong enough to stave off a slight cloying yeast on the finish which provides an unfortunate finale.

Quite harsh fizz on the feel which can be expected given the low ABV and resultant lack of body. Goes down alright but definitely some shortcomings.

I had really high hopes for this given the nose, but the palate doesn't quite live up. I've maybe been a bit harsh though because this is very enjoyable for all its faults. I feel like this is rather like what Billabong Brewery were trying to do with their 4 hop ale, construct a low ABV beer and hop it up to make it flavoursome. While this hasn't completely succeeded it's a good beer and more than a match for your typical midstrength.

 1,846 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a small head.
Nose shows spicy, herbaceous and floral hops in abundance. Underneath is plenty of sweet malt with toffee characters.
Similar flavours although the hops fade a little, revealing nutty, toasty malt, along with the aforementioned toffee.
Good moderate carbonation works well, although the body seems a bit watery.

 347 characters

Photo of dgilks
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, malty aroma with a touch of NZ hop character.

Cleat, copper colour with a moderate sized, off-white head. Decent head retention.

Good flavour with the rounded malt teemed with light hops and a touch of bell pepper (which is odd but sort of works). Good biscuity character out of the malt.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation. Good.

Easy to drink and moreish. It's only a pity I discovered Albar's Scotch collection or I would of had a few more.

 456 characters

Photo of brendan13
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass a fairly clear orange-copper with a 2cm off white head that falls to a thin whisp fairly quickly.
S - Light citrus fruit and herbal hop aromas with a light caramel touch.
T - Fruity also again in the taste with some floral hints as well as herbal also coming through. Caramel like maltiness balances the hops.
M - Light bodied, medium to high carbonation.
D - A decent session ale for sure. Would drink again.

 438 characters

Photo of vancurly
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Glenn for bringing this one across the ditch for me.

a) Bright amber, pouring an offwhite to beige rocky head. Nice lace... good looking ale.

s) Initial citrus fruit on the nose, that extends to a marmalade note, touch of metal and slight brininess. Opens to a fleshy yeasty note

f) Throws me back to London. Nice chewy maltiness that is not overly heavy or sweet. Saltine cracker, touch of wild vegetation & seed. Slight woodiness/tobacco box hint.

m) Light body, slight tingly mouthfeel. easy drinking

d) A good session ale that would go well out of a cask.

 574 characters

Photo of TubaManJack
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ask and ye shall receive... in this case a tasty bitter.

Hand drawn pint
Appearance- Orange Yellow Body, Mostly clear, and a far amount of carbonation. A really light tan creamy head that lingers and lightly laces.
Smell- Herbal Hops drive this nose, they are complimented by a substantial sweet and caramel malt backbone.
Taste- Almost a pale ale with the amount of hops. The hops sit up front and slowly transition into a sweet- carmel and finishes with a mild bitter hops and malt finish.
Mouthfeel- Really creamy, light carbonation ,cellar temp- but hey that might be the handpump talking (its only my second cask)
Drinkability- Pretty good, it takes a little to get use to the cask style, but I could go for another pint.

 736 characters

Bookbinder from The Emerson Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 17 ratings
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