Tomos Watkin Old Style Bitter | The Hurns Brewing Co.

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84
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34 Ratings
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Tomos Watkin Old Style BitterTomos Watkin Old Style Bitter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Hurns Brewing Co.
Wales, United Kingdom
hurnsbeer.co.uk

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A rich red premium cask ale produced using pale ale, crystal and wheat malt. A full fruity/citrus hop flavour of willamette and fuggle with the light aroma of goldings.

Bronze medalist at The GBBF 1999 and runner up in The Champion Ale of Wales 1999.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2005

BEER STATS
Ratings:
34
Reviews:
23
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
11.92%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
0
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of Offa
4.63/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful, subtle but highly complex bitter with a lot of great flavour.

Red amber, it has a medium-large pale tan head slowly shrinking to a permanent foamy top and leaving some weak lace.

The aroma is light winey fruit (plums, especally) with strong fresh bread and a hint of caramelized fruit.

The taste is sweet-sour fruit up front with light, zesty yeastiness, a lot of dry bread, especially in the finish, hints of leaves in the finish, hint of caramelly fruit and a finish that has very light bitterness and complex mix of dry leaves, toast, citrus, and black pepper, yet leaving a lingering aftertaste of caramelly bread and fruit.

This is wonderful, highly complex, with so much flavour balanced in it it's hard to describe it fully. It's highly drinkable.

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Photo of branko7
4.44/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy, reddish amber in color. A little bit of foam that lingers.
The smell was a bit bitter---the only part I didn't like too much.
The taste was very satisfying---bready malt predominates, with a bit of citrusy, herbal hops.
Not very carbonated---the way I like it.
Very drinkable. I was very pleasantly surprised. I like this style in general, and I'd rate this example near the top.

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Photo of irishevans
4.09/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing this a bit late I'll admit, but I did fall in love with this beer.

a-light yellowish copper with a nice foamy head after an agressive pour, looked almost like a light ginger beer.

s- if memory serves i picked up on corriander right away, maybe some banana peel though i doubt there is any in the brew.

t-moderatly bitter, once again that banana bread was a heavy like flavor but not in an over powering or offensive way, nice mellow hop notes as well.

m-slightily more abrassive than i was expecting, but not to the point of making your tounge feel like it's cut, easied up nicely toward the finish though.

d- it was a great session brew, drank nicely once you got used to the mid mouthfeel. if i can find it again i will be picking it up again

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Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Rwalford74
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ZCW
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy apricot color with a decent head that splashes the sides of the pint glass with lace

Smell: Stone fruit and a bit of toffee

Taste: Opens with a nicely balanced malt and fruit element, with some caramel and nutty flavors that are offset by a hint of apple cider flavor; after the swallow, an herbal tea character that is interesting; also a bit of malted milk, honey and a hint of earthiness at the end

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A decent drinker; wish this were more widely available

Thanks, BuckeyeNation, for the opportunity

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of EricCioe
3.99/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a medium brown with a nice one finger head that fades to a small ring around the edge in a short while. There is no lacing to speak of. On the nose it's like a date or banana bread. On the tongue there is so much going on it's kind of hard to follow in a very pleasant way. There are apples and definitely raisin and other dark fruit notes right up front that lingers for a while, giving way to a really nicely restrained bitterness further back on the tongue that also sticks around. In the mouth it's a medium finish defined by a slightly prickly, again in a good way, slight carbonation. I can see myself sitting down for a ploughman's lunch with two of these. Really a nice beer that I bought on a whim because it was a style I've just recently come to enjoy.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 500ml bottle, by Hurns Brewery, same address as above, but a brewery name change?

Drank on 25th march 2009, best before the end of may 2009. Poured into UK pint sleeve glass.

Bright and clear amber coloured body with a huge foaming off-white head. Plenty of carbonisation, well loads of bubbles rising through the beer anyway. Lighter in colour than I expected (old style bitter just made me think dark and musty).

Good malty, beery aroma. It may well be Welsh but it has all the hall marks of a good English Bitter, yeast and hops can also be sniffed as you drink this very pleasant beer.

Good flavours, of all things beery. This ale tastes like an ale, crisp, refreshing and clean. Wheat has been used, but I couldn't detect any, just malted barley on the grain front.

Very drinkable and one of the best beers I've had from Wales, ever.

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Photo of drperm
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paying homage to my Welsh ancestors with this one.

A: An English-looking ale (don't tell the Welshmen I said that) -- copper-brown, nicely hazy, thin lacing.

S: Subtle grassy notes. Subtle malt. Subtlety all around.

T: Malty, bitter, flinty, good. The mineral-water quality may be a bit much for some (my wife doesn't care for it) but I find it charming and refreshing. A nice floral-yeast finish to boot.

M: A bit slick, a bit sweet, but no real complaints.

D: Highly sessionable; great with mild Indian curries. It gets better -- comes alive, really -- as it sits in the glass. And the price round these parts is great, especially considering the large bottle size.

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Photo of Foxman
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours an almost clear classic amber with gold margins. A finger of uniform off-white head descends to patchy froth. Hyphens of lacing dash along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, tasted malt and caramel are lightly sweet and fruity. A muted floral spiciness and a couple crumbs of biscuit swirl in the distance.

Upon tasting, and aptly understated malt sweetness denotes caramel and English toffee. The hops are subtly bitter and especially crisp, with a spiciness that goes just so. The middle mellows as yeasty biscuit and the merest touch of residual grain sweetness are dried by the lingering crisp bitterness of clean living hops in the finish. It's all about subtlety and the ensuing appreciation.

Light bodied, it flows with an easy gait and closes clean and dry on the palate.

I could say subtle ten times, and I wouldn't be overstating this refreshing characteristic. This is what I want when the extreme stuff is a bit much. It's crisp and clean, low-key, and nicely drinkable. This beer says session, right out of the OED. I'm thinking maybe a case would look real nice in my DBF.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle poured into a tulip stout glass. While there was a digital stamp on the neck of the bottle, the numbers didn't obviously mean anything to me.

Appearance: Translucent orange-copper beer with a very light tan head. Poured an impressive 1/2" thick head initially, which died down to a thin head across the top with lots and lots of lacing all over the glass. Head comes back with a swirl and stays around a bit with still plenty of lacing.

Smell: Toffee-like malt with a tea-like hop smell. Very much like a classic bitter.

Taste: Toffee and caramel malt up front moving quickly into a bitter finish. Every now and then there is some nutty flavors in there...peanut, walnut? Can't place it. The bitterness isn't quite as tea-like as it was in the smell, more like an English bitter finish. Very simple in the flavor profile here, with the bitterness being most of the flavor once the sweeter malt moves out of the way.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation on the tongue with something sticking to the teeth, but otherwise just a hair thicker than water. Actually, quite a lot of carbonation for a bitter. Otherwise, nothing special.

Drinkability: After drinking this, I think it would be better with food. The carbonation does a good job cleansing the palate, and I think with the simple flavor profile, it would compliment food nicely rather than get in the way. By itself though, it's just okay. Maybe a lot warmer or on cask (less carbonation) I would enjoy it more by itself. Good looking beer though.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a creme head. Flavor profile is definitely bringing some bitter. Not much beyond that. Just an earthy and somewhat citric edge. Feel is about typical. If you're going for this beer, you have to realize what it is. This is an English Bitter, so there are going to be some interesting and unique qualities going on that you have to focus on and appreciate. Overall it is decent. More of a sipper to me than anything else. Nice to try, but moving on.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of mecummins
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of sjjn
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of jdhilt
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly, leaving a good lace. Clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Slight malty nose. Flavor is malty, hints of sweetness. Mild bitter finish. $4.45 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice after work beer here.Poured into a imperial nonic a dull slight hazed copper/bronze with a thinner white head.Malt dominated aromas to be expected,caramel/biscuit and fruity esters with a hint of brown sugar.True to stryle the beers nuances came thru more as it warmed a little,toffee and caramel dominated the fklavor profile with just a light smack of leafy hop in the finish.A big time quaffer,light but flavorful,a nice bitter.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ripe kumquat with nothing but the occasional bubble disturbing the perfect clarity of the liquid. The modest cap is a lovely shade of orange-tinted ivory and has a sticky, bubbly texture that is mirrored in the copious amount of lace that finds its way to the glass.

I expected the nose to be more hoppy. I also expected it to be more citrusy and less earthy. For the record, Willamette and Fuggles were used for flavor and Goldings for aroma. A metallic character doesn't ruin things, but I could certainly do without it.

I'm pretty sure the earthiness is due to malt rather than hops. The darker than usual color of the beer is further evidence that a fair amount of non-pale malt is in use. Ah ha! A quick scan of the label tells me that crystal malt accompanies pale and wheat. That's too bad because I think ESBs should be hop showcases. Others may disagree, but then this is my review.

Tomos Watkin OSB is balanced beer, more or less. The nutty, lightly sweet, mildly caramel-like maltiness is complemented by a herbal, grassy, cold tea hoppiness. The metal from the nose comes across as a pleasant, hard water mineralicity on the palate. It all adds up to a better than decent ale that is probably best drunk straight from the cask in Swansea rather than from a bottle in Des Moines.

There isn't a thing wrong with the light-medium mouthfeel. Given the style, it's right where it needs to be. They've even done an admirable job with the lightly tingly carbonation. It may not be overly cask-like, but it's fine for a bottled product.

Old Style Bitter isn't the ESB of my dreams (lose the crystal malt), but it's enjoyable beer that grew on me from first sip to last. I'd like to see more U.K. brewers exporting their wares to the U.S. As long as they're reasonably fresh when they get here, as this one seems to be. Iechyd Da!

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Photo of watchnerd
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle serving, got from Draeger's in San Mateo.

Poured a medium brown, cola color. Not much of a head, no lacing.

Aroma is of malt, caramel, and a bit of toastiness. Not a strong nose, overall, and a rather subdued aroma. Not that that's a bad thing.

Taste is smooth, not very bitter dispite being labeled as such, and dominated by the caramel flavors. The bitter flavor doesn't really hit until the end, and it's not even close to being a high IBU beer. Nice and balanced, though.

Drinkability is fairly good, although it somehow tastes and feels stronger on the alcohol than one would expect for 4.5% ABV.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at the Wine Gallery Kenmore for about $4. Poured into a British pint glass. Caramel brown and reddish color. Nice head retention. Ample carbonation. Smell was a bit hoppy and fruity, almost like apple. Had a nice malty flavor to it, with perhaps a slight twinge of pine noticed. It's a thin beer, as it's made that way. Got a bit of a dry cotton feeling in the back of the throat about three quarters of the way through the bottle. Low abv makes this an easy drinker. Maybe not an all night beer, but a few would be no problem.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 7/26/08. Bottle. Pours a clear orange/brown with a huge tan head. Aroma of light fruits and toast. Flavor is quite fruity, with toast and marmalade. Very drinkable, tasty, and sweet. Enjoyable beer.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 7/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20
(3.6/5)

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Photo of albern
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent, creamy, low ABV English Bitter. It pours a nice copper color, fairly clear, small but nice creamy and foamy head, some lacing and retention. The nose is sweet malts, some cracked grains, nothing memorable, but certainly in line with the style. The taste is quite sweet, moderately carbonated. This is a fairly uniform, unidimensional beer with some leafy hop presence, but mostly sweet malts. Most interesting is the labelling which tells you that the taste is "treacle" and the beer should be paired with vegetables, beef, etc. The symbols used on the label for this purpose are a hoot, and worth seeking out on that basis alone. Of course, they also tell you that the beer should be paired with friends ... how quaint! Not a bad beer, fairly fresh, light bodied, nothing special, but certainly characteristic of the style.

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Tomos Watkin Old Style Bitter from The Hurns Brewing Co.
3.69 out of 5 based on 34 ratings.
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