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Twist Of Fate Bitter Ale | Moonlight Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

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BA SCORE
4.01/5
Exceptional
100 Ratings
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States
moonlightbrewing.com

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by donnebaby on 11-28-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#5,718
Reviews:
57
Ratings:
100
pDev:
11.72%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
3
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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firstprev| 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100  | next → last
Ratings: 100 |  Reviews: 57
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at Toronado, poured from a hand pump. I've had this before on tap, and the cask just accentuates the lovely nature of this beer. Poured into a nonic, looks the classic english bitter. On the darker side with a fine, slightly grainy head and excellent lacing. Smells like a solid English bitter with the biscuity malt and light metallic bite as well as earthy hops. Beautifully balanced flavors of soft malts and earthy hops. Gentle, but memorable. Soft and oh so drinkable. This tastes like a bitter should.

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Photo of illidurit
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at 515 in Santa Cruz. Coppery amber color with a long lasting, creamy, tan head. Nice lacing. Aroma is nutty with caramel and maybe a little bit of orangey hop influence. Flavor is deep dark caramel and maple syrup up front which melts into a piney resinous hoppy finish. Moderate bitterness. A little heavy on the palate for the style. Pretty good beer overall.

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - rich toffee copper with a thick merengue head. lots of lacing.

S - straying from Britain... very citrus with biscuit and more interesting malt aromas.

T - VERY BITTER. More so than I was expecting, with a biscuity background.

M- prickly from the bitterness and slick from the hoppiness but somewhat drying end.

D - I want more.

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Photo of Viggo
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A pint of this on cask at the Toronado in San Fran.

Pours a mostly clear orange/brown, thick white head forms, great retention, leaves a solid ring around the glass, and some lace rings. Smell is great, caramel, bread and biscuits, floral, very malty, some light grains, raisins and strawberry, some grassy hops, dark fruits, real nice. Taste is a nice thick caramel malt base, grains, biscuit, some nice fruitiness, grass, raisins, finishes with a solid spicy bitterness, nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth, very good ESB. I could drink this stuff all night.

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Photo of Floydster
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint for three dollars during happy hour at Toronado in San Francisco, consumed 8/13/08 after I got my sour ale fix, reviewed from notes

A-Color was a mix between copper and a medium brown, this beers was cloudy as it could possibly be coming out of that handpump, looked amazing, had 1 1/4 inch white foamy head, awesome retention, crazy lacing
S-Earthiness, lemons, toffee, orange peel, dirt, lots of hoppiness, some bready malt aromas, and straw
T-Taste begins with a whole lot of citrus, particularly juicy lemons, the middle is quite chewy with malts, both bready and biscuit-like, English malt in fact, lots of yeast that make it even dryer than it would be with its large amount of hops already, nicely balanced, gets easier to drink as it warms even more, less dry as time goes by and has an appealing citrusy flavor, malt is still there but mellows out, enjoyable
M-Bitter, somewhat chewy, and citrusy mouthfeel, medium bodied, creamy and smooth, nice level of carbonation, taste seem to linger for a very long time
D-Could have drank a few pints of this, light on the stomach, went down with very little effort being that it was served at room temperature, smooth and sessionable

First of all, I can never turn down a cask conditioned beer, and secondly I cannot turn down a beer from Moonlight, which is why this was a no brainer for me, one of the best beers I have tasted in this style, would love to drink again, recommended

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Photo of bbothen
2.98/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at The Trappist in Oakland.

Reddish brown with a big fluffy white head.

Earthy hop aroma with a significant malty/bready presence.

Has a herbal/medicinal taste to me with a maltiness to balance that flavor out. I don't like it so much.

Medium bodied with a lingering herbal taste.

Not my favorite from Moonlight. I was dissapointed. Hey, even Babe Ruth had 0 for 4 games.

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Photo of opwog
2.53/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had this on handpump at Toronado this last weekend, but after looking at most other reviews, I have to assume that I got a bum pour. So I won't bother with much detail. Also, I have had this on regular tap many times before and always loved it, but it has been years.

A- Nothing special.
S- almost none.
T- unbalanced
M- I have no problem with cask texture, except when nothing about the beer holds up; as was the case here.
D- I didn't even finish a single pint

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Photo of largadeer
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On cask at Toronado, this was an especially fresh pint.

Appearance: Copper colored with an inch of off-white foam that lasts and lasts.

Smell: Citrus, earth, a hint of toffee. Doesn't smell English at all, more like an American take on the classic English style.

Taste & mouthfeel: Citrusy with a big biscuity malt backbone. Very clean and dry, this definitely has an American yeast character to it, though it manages to retain a hint of that English character. The finish is dry and bitter - very bitter, in fact. The mouthfeel is unbelievable here; creamy and smooth with very light carbonation.

Notes: I loved every drop of this beer, and it certainly helped that the cask was very very fresh.

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Photo of Offa
2.02/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This definitely is bitter, but it is not "a" bitter - terribly unbalanced, it lacks not only subtlety but the full flavour, complexity, and body to support the bitterness.

Like most, if not all, Moonlight beers, this is beautiful, being dark amber with a big, creamy light tan head that lasts forever and leaves thick lacing.

The aroma is the first sign of trouble for me: powerful citrusy hops, mostly the ubiquitous grapefruit (for me, this quality gets tiresome and is all too often overdone), with just a hint of toasted grain.

The taste is powerfully grapefruity and piney, very bitter and rough, drying my tounge. There is a little toasted grain, but it's too weak to do more than remind you it's there. This is, so far, far and away my least favourite Moonlight beer.

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Photo of
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Toronado.

Light brown/dark amber in color. Modest, light tan head.

Citrus, floral, spicy. Well balanced with honeyed wheat bread.

Taste was very similar to the aroma. Maybe add in just a touch of roast.

Medium in body. Low carbonation. Usually, I'm not a huge fan of cask beers in that I generally prefer more carbonation. Not the case this time, in that it was perfect as far as mouthfeel goes. Not particularly dry.

Overall, a very well balanced, highly drinkable beer.

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Photo of ojclark
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at the Toronado. 1/3/2008. Aroma of dark crystal malt, fruity esters, and strong green apple (acetaldehyde) notes. Poured dark brown with good clarity. Nice tan head with moderately low retention and good lacing. Flavors of dark crystal malt, dark brown sugar, and yeast. Fruity, citric flavors with a good level of hop bitterness in the finish. Some spicy hoppiness as well. Slight green apple favor in background. Between dark malts and hops, beer was fairly bitter overall. Medium-light body. Moderately low carbonation.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa, CA.

A: A very dark golden, almost light brown color. Served in a pilsner type glass.

S: Floral hops are dominant.

T: Flowery hops, a brisk but not too aggressive bitterness. Light in the malt as well.

M: Carbonated pretty highly, at least for what I was expecting. Medium-light to heavy-light body.

I was expecting a little bit of a more easy drinker but this one was just slightly more assertive in hops and prickly in mouthfeel than I would have liked. It was still a good beer.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Dark red, with a thin, white to off-white head, pretty typical of a bitter.

S: Toasty malts, biscuits, toffee, with a crisp baked bread smell.

T: Very hoppy for a bitter with lots of pine, very peaty, almost thought it was a derivative of a Scotch-style ale. One of the bitterest bitters that I have ever had, would say it needs to be more mellow, like an English-style bitter, but it is hard to find other faults with this one, they just aren't there, in the taste.

M: Chewy and resiny, though quite smooth, like a bitter is, lowly carbonated, kind of has a light quality to it.

D: A good, well-made bitter, easy to drink, though not quite as quaffable as I would have hoped, a lighter English-style bitter is one of the most drinkable ales around, but overall, it is very good.

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Photo of brentk56
4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy amber color and a modest head that coats the pint glass with lacing

Smell: A fruity aroma of apricot and lychee wafts above the underlying earthy brown bread base

Taste: The earthy brown bread malt flavors are quite distinct up front but the beer gets aggressively bitter by mid-palate with a pithy aspect that is almost sour; after the swallow, it is the fruity flavors from the aroma that arrive and really make the beer very enjoyable; a hint of dusty chocolate powder on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Drinkability: An extremely flavorful bitter that you just want to linger over rather than quaff; unique in the way that it is constructed

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Photo of Goldorak
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brownish red, head was a bit thin, but that was likely the barkeep's fault, not the Beer itself.

Smell: Beautiful and delicate flowery hop aromas, with a touch of roasted goodness. I'm a sucker for cask Beer...

Taste: Impressive body that accorded really well with the hoppy flavors that lingered long after the end of my sips. A near perfectly balanced Beer that I enjoyed.

 397 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on cask at Toronado's in mid July. The color was murky and auburn, almost opaque, looked pretty good.

I can't say the aroma did a lot for me, but it did smell about right for an English bitter. Kind of neutral leaning to the malty side.

The flavor was slightly malty sweet with a dry bitter after-taste. The carbonation was smooth and authentic (hand-pumped) real ale as if it was served in the UK. Overall not bad.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Lanesplitter in Berkeley, CA.

Mmm, this is like a hopped up American Red. I dig it.

A: Gorgeous dark red with a thick and chunky tan head. Brilliant orange hues when held to light. Very, very nice.

N: Toasted English muffin, bready yeasts, floral hops.

T: Plenty of toast, sweet caramel, and then bam…floral hop garden! Complex, balanced and blended, and damn fantastic. Just lovely.

MF: Flawless. Really, really, really dry. Light as can be. Wonderful.

D: Nearly flawless. See above.

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Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This Bitter is a moderate brown in color with a huge, explosive, yeasty white head that showed the classic retention associated with the EB style.

Smell – The malts are lightly-toasted and very fresh. The yeast imparts some nice bready notes as well. The bittering hops can be found easily.

Taste – The big, toasty malts come out much stronger at the taste. There’s more bread and the bittering hops are honest.

Mouthfeel – This is shy of medium-bodied but bigger than light. The bittering feels a little different in the mouth but it’s a nice signature creation by the Moonlight brewers.

Drinkability – This is a good drinker. It’s a stiff bitter belt, but why the hell else do you order an EB?

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Photo of GClarkage
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10/09/05- On cask at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- Via cask into a typical pint glass.

Appearance- Deep amber colored pour. Slightly murky with bits and pieces of yeast all around. Nice 1/2 inch creamy looking head and excellent clinging lace.

Smell- Very laid back scent. Nothing really jumps out at you. Bits of floral hops here and bits of mild toasted malt there.

Taste- Just as in the scent. A very mild and drinkable bitter. Nice rounded flavor of lightly toasted malt and a medium bitter twang from the hops. Maybe a touch of citrus flavor as well.

Mouthfeel- Almost smooth as silk. No carbonation, just a tiny touch of a watery feel.

Drinkability- Nice English Bitter which is very drinkable. Not to bitter, which is good once and a while.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Toronado in San Francisco.

Appearance: thick head throughout. Nice cloudy copper.

Smell: hops noticeable.

Taste: strong hops- didn't reced to access the malt flavors. Very good though.

Mouthfeel: perfect.

Drinkability: More malt flavor peaking through would have made this beer almost perfect. But a hoppy bitter works for me. Very nice. Couldn't imagine having it on anything else besides the handpump.

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Photo of OldSock
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance and Presentation – Tried on cask at the Toranado. Poured dark amber, with red highlights. The beer is slightly hazy with one finger off-white head that has great retention and lacing.

Smell – The aroma is a great combination of bready malts and a variety of hops. The hops run the gambit from piney, to spicy, to earthy, with every sniff I get a new aroma.

Taste – Truly a well rounded flavor. The hops are assertive, mostly piney and earthy, but they do not overpower the malt flavors. The malts contribute both sweetness and a slightly roasted, nutty flavor. There is not much of a yeast, either ester or diacetyl, flavor in this beer as the style would indicate but it is not missed because of the great hops and malts.

Mouthfeel – Solid medium body, carbonation is low which is expected from a hand pump.

Drinkability and Notes – Perfect drinkability, the definition of a session beer. This is a great Americanized version of an English Ale. If you happen to be at the Toranado or anywhere else this beer is served it is a must try.

During my stay in San Francisco I was blown away by Moonlight, I tried three of their beers all of which, while not really to style, were fantastic.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark reddish amber with a small head of foam, just right for a cask ale. Aromas are all fresh citrusy hops and big bready malts in perfect unison. The hops are also a bit floral and spicy with their complexity. All UK hops? Who realy knows. I won't even guess, because I will most likely be dead wrong. After all Brian Hunt is a magician. The taste is so fresh, unique, refreshing, and tasty. Fresh citrusy hops and big doughy malts fight it out and complement one another in perfect unison. Mouthfeel is cask perfection, as is the drinkability of this one. I really can't believe, that I consumed this at a California beer bar. Shocking really. This is one of the best cask beers I have ever imbibed. I can't believe that this is not a UK brew! Try it and see for yourself. Magic, I say....Magic!

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Photo of tjd25
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great lasting head on a ruby mahogany color body. The smell shows sweet red fruits with some baking notes and hints of grapefruit. Citrus and grapefruit take over the taste with a dry and oily hoppiness circling the mouth that also gets lightly chocolaty and wooden. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth and enjoyably light. Quite drinkable, if it weren't for this kind of overwhelming dry character.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at "Flavor" in Santa Rosa.

This beer arrived a deep amber-brown with a thick, sticky light tan head which never seemed to go away. You know you've got a good looking brew when everyone else at the table exclaims "wow! that looks really good"

The smell was very, very inviting. There was a nice strong bready malt note that was well complimented by a floral, slightly piney scent. There were also bits of black pepper in there somewhere, making this a very exciting beer to smell. (I almost didn't take the first sip because I was afraid it couldn't be as good as the smell)

Fortunately, I was wrong - the taste is a good compliment to the smell. There's a very solid toasted malt taste to start but the flavor quickly turns to a very spicy, bitter hop note. These aren't the western hops ("four C's") that you'd expect for a west coast brewery but more likely a Fuggles in the traditional English style. Whatever type of hops they use, it's a perfect balance to the malt.

Mouthfeel was good as well - a medium bodied brew with plenty of fine carbonation to finish off each sip. The tongue feels tingly and refreshed rather than coated with oil.

Drinkability? The next time I'm at a local restaurant that features Moonlight brews, this is the one I'm going for - it's a keeper!

 1,298 characters

Photo of donnebaby
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Way dark, red brown color body and massively thick, 3 cm swiss cheese foam topping. Beautiful appearance. Nose was mild, of pungent malts, light booze, and a small wheat back, but, hey, it's a bitter, so I have to award style points.

Taste is excellent and unique, by far the most interesting bitter I've had. Sweet on the intake, on the tongue -- unassuming -- quickly changing over to clear bitterness -- and then finishing with an enormous nutty, dry toasted wheat flavor bomb.

Served at a nice cool temperature, the bitterness grows wider and wider as it warms, stretching out the flavor farther than my mouth goes I'm sure, like something really bitter you'd find in a "spring mix" salad.

The booze seems to be "around" as you're drinking (and I hope you are), notes of black cherry liqueur, balanced, salty cherry pie and booze. Mouthfeel has a light foam feel.

Perfectly balanced brew.

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Twist Of Fate Bitter Ale from Moonlight Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 100 ratings
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