Tomos Watkin Old Style Bitter | The Hurns Brewing Co.

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Tomos Watkin Old Style BitterTomos Watkin Old Style Bitter

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

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

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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 23
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

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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 wl0307
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the Spar (a chain grocery store) in Church Stretton, Shropshire. Filtered, coming in a 500ml brown bottle. BB JAN 09, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: dark reddish amber to light copper in colour, with a nice-looking off-white foamy froth sustaining well. The fine carbonation flows constantly.
S: lightly metallic upfront, on top of fruits, plum jam and some earthy hops. Not so pronounced on the "citrus" note promised by the beer label (from UK and US hops); instead, a black tea-ish and brown sugary maltiness sneaks through the foam.
T: plenty of biscuity malts emerge from the very beginning, intertwined nicely with a floral hop flavour, while the rather light taste of citric sourness lags behind... The aftertaste packs some sour nuts and pines, with a very mild bitter palate (slightly chewy as well) in the finish.
M&D: fizziness comes quite light, on top of a medium body. This rather fruity pale bitter gets a pronounced floral and fruity influence of hops. The overall drinkability is just above average as shown by this bottle.

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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 beerthulhu
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a copper color with a 1 finger foamy light beige head that was sticky leaving a good solid rim lacing.

S: The nose was spicy with nutmeg, cinnamon and toasted caramel hints.

T: The initial flavor was sweet caramel with some alcohol spiciness (nutmeg, cinnamon). There was some dry pumpernickel bread hints, light toast, and a light bitterness as well. In the finish the dry spiciness comes through once again as well a light fruitiness of dried apples.

M: light, sweet, fruity, and softly carbonated leaving a slight sourness behind.

D: Average drinkability, not bad but nothing that would make me want to go out and buy again. Worthy of a curious try at best.

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Photo of baos
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into bicentennial Mason jar with the Liberty Bell on it.

A: Blonde copper with off white head that leaves some nice lacing.

S: Caramely malts the slightest hint of canned mushrooms.

T: Malty and bitter dry. At first its very fresh but as you go on you get a metal canned mushroom taste, but at first I get a bit of honey comb hops, but I doesn't last for some reason the bitter metal takes over.

M: The high point of this bitter.

D: The first half of my jar is 4.0, but it goes south from there the rest is 2.0. I guess its a 2.5 overall. Not a horrible beer, but mushrooms from a metal can?

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