Brakspear Bitter
W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc

Brakspear BitterBrakspear Bitter
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English Bitter
Ranked #41
Ranked #28,418
3.77 | pDev: 13.26%
W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc
England, United Kingdom
Very Good
Brakspear BitterBrakspear Bitter
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 149 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of elnachooo
2.4/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Un dedo de espuma burbujeante que permanece por varios segundos. Ligera y de carbonatación media. Aroma a malta y café. Al beberla tiene un amargo persistente no tan agradable.

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Photo of drmeto
3.12/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

-pours a clear amber with a small to medium,frothy,offwhite head
-medium to high carbonation visible
-spicy,malty,slight toffee,nutty
-Follows the nose
-light to medium carbonation
-light body
Very simple, unexciting, but drinkable.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very comforting ale after a day of touring/working. Classics can comfort.
(My bottle shows a changed label, all blue background, but clearly the same beer, ABV etc.)

Almost a beautiful Looker with a chestnut amber, consistent foam and delicate lace. Smells mostly of malt. Balanced nicely by the bitter hops, mild in the Taste (a great relief for me having to avoid the hop-heavy American palate.). Finishes semi-dry, so I think I'll have a dry cheese from Oxfordshire to go with Brakspear's Bitter. I did and it did.

My first from Brakspear, I went on their website and got lots of history and details about their unique brewing process. Then at the bottom, I find out they are owned by Marston... the brewing brand manager and historic preserver.

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Photo of JonnoWillsteed
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- Mid chestnut brown, clear, pours with thin white head.
S- Traditional ale, it reminds me of lying in a barn amongst the bales of straw, something very homely/reassuring.
T- Toasty, bitter, traditional, that I like. A gentle balancing feel comes along after.
F- How it takes flight [as such] on just the sparsest chassis of 3.4% is quite something; and yet it does.
O- This is an interesting beer. I bought it in a 6-bottle box of 'Classic Ales' from Waitrose. I'd usually overlook a 3.4% beer, as a single bottle, as not having much hope/interest, so this is a surprise, it shows things can still be seriously magic'd up down there, I'd put this down as classic old-school bitter. Would make a good session beer if dwelling on the lighter side of things. There is zero, zero, out of place with this beer. Given how light it is, ie 'no place to hide', that's impressive.
BB: 30/9/19

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Photo of monkist
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Again a low alcohol bitter with Goldings and Fuggles hops brewed with the Double Drop process trademark of Brakespear - which means hopping? Therefore overly bitter?
I'm not familiar with English Bitters but I understand this to be similar to a Session IPA - just the hops are different, bitter.
It is not bad but compared with their American counterpart, a little boring...

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Photo of josanguapo
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From Costco. At lunch, with fried potatoes + fried eggs + croquettes. In Ikea’s pint glass. Full of english dry bittering hops and a smooth and creaming feeling. It’s incredible they packaged all this in such a tiny ABV! Avg 4.25

17 Jun 2018. From Lidl. In Ikea's pint glass. At lunch, with rice soup + fried squids. Very mineral, with a light yet not watery body, plenty of herbal bitterness and some malty sweetness

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Photo of Spike
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On draught in The Crooked Billet pub near Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Pours a clear copper with a dense, creamy, white head that persists despite no visible carbonation.

Sweet, malty, light, clean nose.

Taste is of sweet malt base with earthy, woody, bittering English hops. Very nicely balanced.

Dry mouthfeel with a creamy finish. No carbonation, which is typical of the style. Astonishingly rich for a mere 3.4% ABV.

An excellent, well-kept pint of English bitter served cool. Super refreshing. Nicely bitter.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint, yellowish copper with small head and decent retention. Smells of butter, faint floral notes, taste is buttery with toffee aftertaste, and a nice bitterness that permeates the palate and lingers long after. An enjoyable and quaffable brew. Went well with chicken and leek pie.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

notes of malt, amongst caramel. The foam is confined to a thin layer. It tastes markedly bitter hops and has a small sweet tang of caramel. Not to bad.

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Photo of Dentist666
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into english pint.
Pours light copper beer with off-white 1-finger head, modest retention.
Smell - rubbery, butterscotch, some ordinary fruitiness.
Taste - butterscotch, hop finish.
Light body and carbonation.
Pros - surprisingly well-hopped.
Cons - nothing to blame. Lots of off-flavours.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is as classic an English bitter as you can drink. I had it on draught in several English pubs. It's a nice dark amber color. It has the telltale toffee aroma and taste, along with some sweet, bready malt - like smearing toffee on an English muffin. It's light, creamy, mildly carbonated, and at 3.4% ABV it is the ultimate session beer.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic English Bitter? Yes please! And, according to the label on this bottle of Brakspear, this is the original taste of Oxfordshire... as if a county in England could have a specific taste... anyway, I’ve got my Bitter and I'm as happy as a Frenchman who has just invented a pair of self-removing trousers. Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t used that Blackadder reference before.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Typical English Bitter clear copper body with a thin cream coloured lace instead of a head. 7/10.

S: Toffee and butterscotch, tons of the stuff, suits me fine - I’m a Werther’s man! The hops struggle to add a note of anything under this oppressive malt regime, but it is an English Bitter - an oxymoron style that is hardly bitter at all. 8/10.

T: Bold in its massive buttery Diacetyl content, with again - a strong toffee centre with some hints of yeast fruitiness (think cider apples) and a light earthy hop finish. Impressive overall given the 3.4% ABV, some 5% Ales don’t reach a profile as tasty as this. The balance is quite well done with mild sweetness countered by the light hop bitterness. I’m very interested in trying their Triple now, that should be a tour de force. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light English pub carbonation. 8/10.

D: It’s all good with Brakspear then, an impressive, and in two words: Sessionable Ale. This is the stuff that Ye Olde English pub goers cram into their gullets in massive quantities so that they may still be able to hold a decent conversation without mincing their words or dribbling saliva on themselves (a rookie session drinkers mistake). To me the fact that this tastes like a 5% ABV drop and has those classic English Ale flavours, is what typifies that segment of culture, and really makes me miss the UK pint after work, sniff. 8/10.

Food match: I could picture this brew with a light game roast (pheasant or partridge) with a light gravy, a Yorkshire pudding, roast vegetables (potato, carrot, squash) and peas.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle from a Marston's sampler picked up at the LCBO; best before July 31 2015. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a clear copper-orange hue, with one inch of frothy, off-white head seated atop the liquid. It clings to the surface for at least five minutes, gradually seeping away and leaving behind a bubbly cap, creamy collar and an uninterrupted ring of lace. The aroma is inviting, but nothing unique for this style - butterscotch and caramel are the most prominent features represented on the nose, but the bouquet also contains some pleasantly floral hop undertones and nutty malt notes, as well.

The flavour profile is straightforward, but beautifully balanced and quite enticing. Toffee and butterscotch sweetness start things off in familiar territory, with hints of citrus peel. The floral, leafy English hop bill struts its stuff in the latter half of the profile, providing a mildly bitter finish with notes of toasted nuts. Somewhat minerally aftertaste that rapidly fades from the palate. Light in body, with moderate carbonation levels that provide a nice, crisp mouthfeel that works perfectly with these particular hop flavours.

Final Grade: 4.11, an excellent A-. Brakspear Bitter is a fabulous session ale, and definitely one of the highlights of Marston's 'Classic Ales' sampler. This is not a complex beer, or even necessarily a particularly memorable one - but it's easily one of the best English bitters I've had in years, and for that reason I must give it some sincere props. Solid stuff that all English ale fans should consider worth a shot - I'd definitely be buying more if it were available in this province in a more convenient format.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

A: Dark amber, almost ruby coloured body with a small off-white head.
S: Rubbery and sulphury smelling.
T: Sharp and bitter. When chilled it's sulphury and slightly metallic. Warming up I get mild citrus and ginger beer in the aftertaste. The finish is quite bitter. Completely dry. The off smell doesn't go away until the beer is close to room temperature.
M: Actually very nice and light, and a bit frothy. Light carbonation and almost feels like it's been pulled from the cask.
O: Certainly not bad but not great. Low ABV ale gets much more flavourful than this.

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Photo of gutbucket2
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

A: amber, head lasts a short while, a little longer than some.
S: spicy hop and vegetables.
T; vegetal hop, quite sweet.
M: some mouth-coating, reasonable-lasting malt.
O: has some taste, also some stale in there.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Appearance – Dark golden amber in colour with a medium head that vanishes quickly and leaves little to zero lacing.

Smell – To be honest this Bitter smells a little of wet dog and chocolate but do not let that put you off!

Taste – There is a depth of flavour in this one that is rather impressive. It starts off smooth at the front of the mouth but has bold bitter flavour on the back of the tongue. Coffee roasts like espresso with earthy hops and some notes of what I think may be citrus and toffee but it is hard to say because it is so dark and properly bitter that I drank this quickly enjoying it too much to really make notes on it properly.

Mouthfeel – Wonderfully astringent yet smooth with good body. This went down a treat.

Overall – A very complex Bitter with a lot of character and a well-balanced, ever changing flavour. I liked this one a lot so I drank it almost forgetting to make my normal notes. If you want to try and rate a good bitter I recommend this one.

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Photo of RichardMNixon
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%

Served on cask in Philly. Pours light amber with an almost grapefruit-like hue and the thick creamy head of cask beer. Nose has faint whiffs of biscuits and toast. Taste is surprisingly fruity with back current of woody tannins. Body is thin but supported by the nice carbonation from the cask. Both that and the cask temperature were a huge compliment to the beer; it would have been a far lesser beer served cold from a keg.

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Photo of dwren89
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: amber with gold highlights, creamy off white head, great clarity

Aroma: toasty , toffee, earthy hops with slight metallic hint,

Taste: toffee and caramel flavors abound, slight toastiness with a bready malt character, earthiness from the hops

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, soft carbonation

Overall Impression: Considering this ale only sports 3.4% ABV, it packs a malty and flavorful punch! Surprisingly complex and flavorful, this is highly indicative of the English brewing style-- finding ways to create flavorful beers without having to jack up body and ABV. Toffee and caramel flavors explode in the mouth and finish with a earthy bitter twinge. This is an ale that you could drink all night long, enjoy every last drop, and not stagger out of the pub drunkenly.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.36/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Handpump halfpint from a fresh cask at the Eagle and Child in Oxford.

A: Clean bright chestnut body with a creamy finger of tan head. Lovely.

S: Very fresh aroma of floral hops, mild fruit, and nutty malt. Restrained but pleasant and complex.

T: Follows the nose. Great balance of leafy hops and toasty, nutty malts. Clean bittersweet finish. Simple, yet distinct in it s freshness. One of the best Bitters I've had this year.

M: Light-bodied with similar carbonation. Could use a bit more on either front, but it goes down easy.

O: Great session ale, period. I'm not surprised that bottles aren't as good, but on cask near the source this was a real treat.


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Photo of rarbring
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a clear amber ale with medium sized bubbles, an offwhite head that leaves good lacing, but small curtains.

Smelling honey, ripe apples, nuts and oatmeal.

Starting with sweet brown bread, honey and orange marmalade, a hint of canned pears, grass and apple peel.

Medium low carbonation, soft and refreshing, a slow dry finish.

Very good, very sessionable, and very reasonable ABV.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly murky golden copper, the head really comes and goes.

Aromas of toffee, English style malts.

Taste is restrained, until you look at the bottle and see 3.4 ABV, when you realise this is A Good Brew. Malts dominate some caramel. English all round. Light delicate.

Mouthfeel starts watery, as does flavour, but soon changes to a more creamy feel.

Overall.. quite good taste of Old England. Be really interesting to try to session, but at $9 a bottle, it ain't gonna happen. Difficult to rate given flavour / ABV.

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Photo of jonb5
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Fairly dark amber, slightly hazy, not much of a head, left some lacing.

S: Earthy sharp malts.

T: Sharp bittersweet cooking apples with a hint of wheat at the finish, seemed stronger than the low abv.

M: Medium body, low carbonation.

O: Really good session beer, which could be consumed in high quantities.

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Photo of opalchemist
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Didn't expected a lot - just read that it had 3.4% abv - and could not believe, that this has aroma.

It surprised me... punched straight in my face.

Big hoppy aromas - which continues on the palate.
Mouthfeel - yeah butterscotch is a great expression - however the bitterness doesn't reveal it easily.

Hoppiness goes on and on and on.

Not your everyday beer - it is just too hoppy and too unsettling - but occasionally it is a great beer, which really surprises.

Would buy it anytime again!

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass providing a lovely reddish hue and golden body with a thin white head with large bubbles which quickly dispersed but was easily recalled due to the very slightly over gassy nature.

a very hoppy aroma compliments a nicely bitter peppery taste that quenches the first.

quite drinkable very reasonable and low enough gravity to be sessionable.

not very exciting but alright wallop

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Photo of flyingpig
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 500ml bottle of this in Home Bargains for around £1.

Clear reddish copper colour, fluffy white head that has good retention & leaves some lacing.

Fruity with a nice butterscotch aroma & some nice sweet malts too. There is a good mix of malts, honey and some floral notes. Very sweet & well balanced.

Sweet with a nice mix of butterscotch, malts & hops upfront that is followed by a great summer fruits type taste too it. Sweet right up until the finish which is a solid bitter one.

Smooth, medium bodied beer that has a creamy feel to it & goes down well. Carbonation is low in this one & the finish is a nice dry one

Overall the beer is really well balanced and full of flavour. Only downside being that the bitter finish is slightly too strong for my liking.

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Brakspear Bitter from W.H. Brakspear & Sons plc
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 149 ratings