Moylan's Special Bitter (MSB) | Moylan's Brewery

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24 Ratings

Brewed by:
Moylan's Brewery
California, United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-09-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by dmamiano:
Photo of dmamiano
4.08/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on cask at a small bottle shop in Pittsburgh
the appearance after this was poured was great...smooth looking clouds of carbonation as it settled to a pretty looking beer.
the mouthfeel on this and all good cask beers was amazing. like drinking velvet!
nice nose of English malts and hops with a good well balanced taste

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of augustgarage
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on nitro-tap from Bluepalms Brewhouse. Reviewed from notes. Served in a 20oz nonic.

SAE/ECE amber body with good clarity. A two finger off-white lid forms up-top. Incredibly dense and smooth yet ethereal and light all at once due to the smaller bubbles.

Very unique aroma - a light carmel malt backbone plays against many herbal notes: mint, lemon verbena, cherry, hungarian peppers, etc. A touch of DMS or skunkiness perhaps. Something seems amiss.

Slightly sour, herbal, and almost savory - but decidedly though not aggressively bitter. Finish is a bit toasty, peppery, and earthy with a lingering taste of sulfur and a touch of ammonia.

The nitro-tap is supposed to increase the surface area that is in contact with your tongue, bringing out more flavor while yielding a sensation of added body to what is otherwise a pretty light beer. Drinkability is good except for what seem like off flavors to me - though I'm new to the style...

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Photo of philbe311
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A fingers and a half worth of fluffy whipped pure white head... Solid retention... The color is a bright slightly glowing orange amber with some golden highlights... Mostly still with just an occasional stray carbonation bubble... A bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - A surprising burst of earthy hoppiness to start... This is followed by a mix of caramel and lightly toasted malts...

T - Loaded with bready malts... Some caramel notes as well... There is also a bit of subtle sweet citrus mixed in... Subtle notes of bubble gum... A very slight kiss of bitterness on the finish...

M - Light to medium bodied... Ultra sleek... Ultra smooth... Slightly creamy and lush... This one went down easy sip after sip...

D - Uber quaffable... This one went down in record time... Quite smooth and very accessible... Easy drinkable and rather enjoyable... A very nice job by Moylan's a very pleasant surprise to find on cask...

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Photo of largadeer
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of claspada
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Cramerican
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Mark
4.08/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't understand the Nitro presentation for this style but it didn't hurt too much. This brew was a copper color and had excellent head retention, lacing was scattered and more pronounced from mid glass on down. Smell was standard, had a good earthy aroma and some fresh hop scents. Excellent smooth hoppy taste but not too hoppy. Malt was very pronounced here, a good English style that should be served up on cask or at least regular draught. Nitro masks the taste a bit much. A nice discovery at Moylan's.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-ish yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, gingerbread like maltiness and a hint of pine hops. In the taste, gingerbread malt and a nice pine hop bitterness. A hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry pine to somewhat citrus like hop aftertaste. I think it does well for style, but I really just don't like nitro beers.

 359 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.16/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On nitro at Beachwood Brewing

A: The beer pours a sort of pale golden straw color with a creamy white head.

S: Not a terribly enjoyable aroma. Heavy on the grass and popcorn notes with some of the more standard toasted malt and grain. A light cracker character as well as some feet and cheesy, old hops.

T: Lemon peel comes through with substantial intensity as does a lot of grass. There is a moderate bitterness as well as the same popcorn malt character. Some apple and bread give it a bit of sweetness.

M: Medium bodied with a smooth carbonation. A bit better mouthfeel than most nitro beers.

O: Quite an off aroma and not much better on the palate. Not worth going back to.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.21/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Moylan's Special Bitter (MSB)

Pours a light pale yellow with a substantial creamy white froth. Sheets of lace on the pint. Aroma is very light. Grass, toffee and butterscotch. In the flavor, very mild, and bitterness is restrained. A touch of herbal hops, buttery biscuit malt, and wet grain. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, creamy and very smooth. Overall, perhaps too mild for the nitro format, the flavors, while not unpleasant, had a hard time coming through.

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Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours golden orange with a small pillow of half finger tall white head leaving light rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of earthy hops with a touch of pine coming thru toward the end. Some lightly toasted caramel malt and a bit of bread help to keep things balanced.

T - Good amount of earthy hops up front slowly giving way to a mix of lightly toasted cereal malt and some lingering hop bitterness. The finish is just like the taste, with some lingering hop bitterness. This was good but I think it could have used a bit more citric hops. The earthy hops were good but they were a bit one dimensional. Still pretty good.

M - Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth, creamy, feel throughout. A light mix of hop bitterness and dulled sweetness in the finish.

O - This was one easy drinking beer. It was simple yet enjoyable, with plenty of flavor. It could have used a bit of citrus but that is no big deal really. Good stuff.

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Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on cask at Al's -served cask temp in a nonic.

the color is slightly rosy golden with light haze and a small white cap which retains well. The lace holds and the bead is fine. The smell is fragrant with some light floral notes with mild citrus and subtle caramel sweetness in the nose. The feel is decent for a cask bitter-well balanced overall, however the yeast seems to dominate the hops slightly. The sweetness level is good as is the mild body and alcohol.

This bitter is flavored with enough fruity yeast and mild toasted flavors in the malt for my taste. I just prefer the hops to show a little more bitterness to balance. The hops do show up in the flavor more as floral/fruity than bitter and seem somewhat juicy when combined with the gentle sweetness of the malt and English yeast. I thought this was a decent example of a cask bitter, but didn't think it was outstanding it works and is good for what it is a refrehing and flavorful beer considering the style and abv.

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Photo of BigB415
5/5  rDev +40.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer took me by surprise. I went into Moylans last monday and I thought I'd get something different this time since I always get the stout and even the bartender knows I always get the stout. I took my first sip of this and I was blown away. Great smell, great taste and great after taste. I was expecting it to be hoppy and it wasn't at all. So smooth and calm as in the taste and hops doesn't attack your taste buds. I found a new go to beer at Moylans besides the stout. I highly recommend this.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.07/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on cask at the Pizza Port Real Ale Fest 2004. It was listed as an ESB.

This ale poured a hazy, coppery amber color with white foam that settled. The smell was a bready, yeasty, malty aroma with some floral hops notes. Overall the aroma had a touch of sweetness. The taste was malty with a bit of light bread and some floral hops. The hops were subtle with a nice bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy and dry with medium body and low carbonation feel. This was a very easy drinking bitter.

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Photo of a77cj7
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Halcyondays
2.72/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On nitro-tap at Beachwood II,

A: Pours a medium orange with an impressive white nitro head, thick lace.

S: Grassiness and some vegetables, very light malt component.

T: Very green and earthy with really no malt to speak of. Somewhat astringent, nothing really tasty about this effort.

M: Smooth and creamy, light-bodied, mild hoppy aftertaste.

O: Not a huge fan of this one. The hop flavours were not exciting and were off-putting at times. Maybe it'd be better on a normal tap.

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Photo of danieelol
1.29/5  rDev -63.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Sampled at the Local Taphouse

Smells infected, sour, with earthy hops which have an organic manurey quality.

Taste is sour, astringent, unpleasant, get the hops and the end result is like fertiliser and pesticide.

Mouthfeel is sour and thin.

Overall possibly the worst beer I have ever had. Absolute trainwreck. Tasted like the glass was dirty.

 348 characters

Photo of dragomni
5/5  rDev +40.1%

Photo of Chucker17
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Moylan's Special Bitter (MSB) from Moylan's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 24 ratings