Category Archives: Bitter

Rudgate Battleaxe

2013-06-29 19.45.45

Next beer from Rudgate Brewery is Battleaxe Bitter, a delightful 4.8% ABV copper brown ale.  The aroma’s quite fruity, and the flavour is reminiscent of orange and hazelnuts, nicely dry without being overly so.  This is another great example of a beer of its kind form Rudgate, this time the archetypical bitter.  This could be a great session beer, but would go well with cheese too, or a ploughmans lunch, sitting outside the pub, on a warm Sunday afternoon.

Next up:  Rudgate Jorvik Blonde.

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Posted by on June 29, 2013 in Bitter


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York Brewery York Minster Ale

2013-06-08 19.58.21

York Brewery’s 4.2% ABV York Minster Ale is a light golden bitter.  It smells of very little at all, to be honest, but the flavour is a good, strong dry bitterness, with plenty of zesty hops.  It’s a much more robust sustained flavour than the Guzzler, and as bitters go, I really like it, but personally prefer Guzzler.  I wouldn’t drink this with a meal, but wouldn’t turn down a pint at my local pub.

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Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Bitter, Golden Ale


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Shepherd Neame Master Brew

2013-05-27 19.41.51

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting very much from a beer with the uber-generic name “Master Brew’ and costing only £1 per bottle, but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by this offering from Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame.  I was in for a very pleasant surprise, therefore!  This 4% ABV light amber coloured ale pours with a lively light head that settles quickly but lasts well.  There’s a strong hoppy aroma, with a well-rounded but complex flavour that has a slightly dry bitterness layered over a light, malty base with hints of ginger nuts and lemons.  £1 well spent, I’d say.

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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Bitter


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Potten Village Bike

2013-05-05 18.56.46

Potton’s Village Bike claims to be a multi award-winning bitter from Bedfordshire so I was expecting great things and to be honest, I was a little disappointed.  This 4.3% ABV ‘Premium Ale’ is a light amber colour when poured with a thin head that dissipates very quickly.  The aroma is floral and slightly fresh – to my mind a little like elderflower.  The taste is quite disappointing.  As bitters go, this is very mild, biscuity, and lacking in a great deal of character.  It’s also quite flat – the epitome of those beers that used to be sold as ‘real ale’ in pubs owned by large national breweries.  Not my cup of tea, I’m afraid. Sorry!

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Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Bitter


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Marble Brewery Manchester Bitter

2013-04-24 22.40.12

Manchester Bitter is a straw-coloured bottle-conditioned ale with a strong head and a strongly floral aroma.  While there’s a very fleeting hint of honey at first taste, the predominant flavour is dry, hoppy bitterness.  It’s a refreshingly diffferent ale that is uncompromising on taste among a forest of ‘me too’ ales that offer little to upset the majority of beer drinkers.  I’m not sure that I’d want to drink this 4.2% ABV ale all evening, but it’s good to try something that’s genuinely not run of the mill.

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Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Bitter


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Hook Norton Old Hooky

2013-04-21 20.53.04

Hook Norton’s Old Hooky (4.6% ABV) is allegedly one of the 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die.  It’s a really rich deep copper colour  and the head, though not as creamy as some beers, does last very well.  There’s something in this beer for everyone and this is reflected in the aroma:  it’s a subtle mixture of malt, biscuit and fruit.  The flavour is well-rounded and deep, with strong malt at first giving way in part to orange:  not sweet, but certainly not bitter either.  This is a very accomplished beer that deserves to be savoured, and probably not with food.

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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in Bitter


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Bath Ales Gem

2013-04-20 17.58.31

Bath Ales’ Gem is an amber ale that is genuinely amber.  There’s the smallest of sighs as the top is removed, and the deep amber liquid is topped by a short-lived head.  The aroma is very light and slightly hoppy and the taste is malty but not overly rich, and resolves into the mildest bitter sweet flavour, which, if it reminds me of anything, reminds me of that sweet yeasty aroma emitting from a brewery in Belgium that I remember from childhood.  Although described as a bitter, this is much too mild for my taste to really be a bitter, though at 4.8% ABV this would make a great session ale.

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Posted by on April 20, 2013 in Bitter


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