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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
85 90 74 7 43 820
Bitter Brewer by Surly Brewing Company
English Bitter
3.50 % ABV

Review by James Kitchens on 08/28/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 3 10 16 5 8 0
I thought I reviewed this one already.....

Color is medium-ish amber. Smell has some bitter citrus, hops and a slight bready sweetness. Taste starts with a zip of bitterness, quickly followed with some bready yeasty sweetness, finishes with a citrus rind bitterness that sticks around a while. Feel is great, not overly carbonated and light enough for the style to not overpower. Overall, another winner from Surly.

Served In: Bottle

Review by SAP on 09/10/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
82 3 11 15 4 8 2008
The sixteen ounce can comfortable pours into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass with a frothy, initially two-finger thick pale tan colored head. The beer is a full amber hue that shows a lightly hazed, red tinged, dark copper color when held up to the light. The aroma is nice an punchy with hop notes of ruby-red grapefruit, vibrant orange zest and a substantial, toasty, biscuit like malt character. It is quite interesting how much this smells like orange marmalade, the hop character is just so nice and definitely hits the spot (and I haven't even tasted this yet).

A little too cold still (near 40°F / 4.5°C), this tastes of lemons and hop bitterness. As it slowly warms the hop-citrus flavors become a bit fuller, with notes leaning a bit more towards grapefruit. This beer is quite dry, which is not unexpected considering the strength. A touch more malt sweetness might accent the hop fruit character a bit more, but I like how light and quaffable this is right now. There is just enough malt sweetness to this though to make the overall hop effect just fruity enough; touches of lychee, sweet grapefruit, ripe tangerine and some flowery peach notes all get more and more noticeable as this beer opens up. The malt is not quite as assertively aggressive as it was in the aroma, but still there are substantial flavors of biscuit-like malt, and pale toasted grain that add complexity to this brew.

This is just too easy to drink. The aroma is fantastic and I wish the flavor was a little more assertive, but this definitely needs to be on the warm side of 50°F / 10°C to be fully experienced properly. I would kill to have this on hand pulled cask for a pint or five in a row. This is a very good beer, that really would be at its best as a real ale; I would love to have that, but I know that is never going to happen. Way before I want it to happen, this beer has disappeared from my glass.

Served In: Tulip

Review by feloniousmonk on 08/11/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
74 2 8 16 4 7 2008
(notes: May, 2007)
Lightly hazed apricot marmalade kiddin'...under a crisp, creamy white head...really, crisp and creamy...this is so far, one of the paler Surlys yet (maybe Cynic was lighter?), but the least alcoholic, for sure. (4.2%)

orange/ apricot marmalade dominates the aroma, also...fresh with citric zest...pithy, zippy...and a little sticky...

Taste: big bitter blast, tangy and tart, then nothing but refreshment. Easy drinking ale, this, crisp, snappy, light bodied, but full of testure, flavor and character. Bitter lemon rind feel keeps creeping into the palate.Then it fades back, with the hoppy kick still hanging on.

Interesting. Very much like a smooth, light ESB, but with that special something you get from the hops we grow on this continent. I am liking this, a great late spring sessioner.

Served In: Flute Glass

Review by Kegergator on 08/02/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
88 3 10 18 4 9 2008
Thanks to Tip Top for this brew>

A- Deep orange color with a thick creamy buttered mashed potato head. Nice.

S- Wow, this smells amazing. This wont be fair to most other English Bitters. Great hop presence. Very citrusy.

T- This is where this brew is perfect. Just as you raise the glass to your nose that strong aroma gets you ready for a hop bomb...then...the smoothness that makes it awesome. Light hops all the way through the brew. Crisp bitterness rest on the palate after it's gone. Very good brew.

M- Very good, and extremely easy to drink.

O- Another great brew from Surly. The transition from the huge aroma to an awesomely easy to drink brew is really great.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by tavernjef on 06/30/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 10 18 4 10 2008
Semi hazed, strong, dark, golden hay color with an overall peachy tone. Nice frothy, crunchy, yellowed foam gathers quickly to about a half inch thick and remains there for quite a while. Lots of thinnly placed lacing in drizzled, spotty patterns.

Aroma is quite pungent and hopped to the gils with a moderate array of citrusy zest and guts with a grassyness whirling about. Herbal notes of all kinds of strange floral stuff make it all the better.

Taste is hazed in a hop fog of broad crusty grasses and lofty puffs of citrus bringing orange, grapefruit, and lime pith mixed with peach fuzz and dried pineapple husk. The grassy herbal undertow grows and grows and it warms creating a more toasted edgyness to it. finishes with all sorts of fun hop grasses and fuzzt fruityness.

Feel is about medium with an all over buzz and cleansing of complex hop tones that grab at the forefront and don't let go. Toasty edges hold firm for good length into the finish as it gets all complex and fulfilling.

All in all, drinkable, and then some. Only 4.5%!! A keeper of a fun, yet bittered brewer brew.

Note: Have had many of these on-tap and find its much more fruity and creamier with an unholy yummy drinkability thats killer good. I may need to review that at some point if I can ever remember to.

Served In: Other

Review by seaoflament on 06/06/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 3 10 17 4 9 2008
Thanks to Scoobydank for the four pack!

Pours a golden color with a good inch+ of foam, every Surly beer I've poured has looked good so far.

Smells like a bitter but with fuggles and citrus combination. Lots of toast with some earthiness, hints of caramel, and some nutty malts. Really fresh hop aroma.

Tastes very toasted at first. Hard to describe, but very noble hop taste with a slight citrus finish, works really well. Quite a bit of biscuit malt too. There's also an earthy flavor. A slight metallic taste is detected in the aftertaste but it's possibly the hop profile.

Great mouthfeel, I could drink this all day.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Tip Top on 01/01/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
88 3 10 18 4 9 0
This is described by the brewer as an American Bitter, not an English bitter. No category for that though. Had this for the second time last night at Arborfest.

A - Pours a slightly hazed golden with a small light tan head.

S - Surprisingly vibrant hops for a low alcohol, low IBU beer. Sort of grassy, earthy hops. Bready malt base.

T - This beer is packed with much more flavor than I expected after hearing about it initially. Light biscuity malt provides a base and some sweetness. Other than that it is vibrant fresh hops. Grassy with a bit of a bitter bite to it. More flavor than in any bitter I can remember.

M - Clean and crisp with smooth carbonation.

D - This beer might be the definition of session. I would drink so many of these while working outside that my wife might think I have problems. Seriously flavorful and super easy to drink. Wish it wasn't going to be tap only.

Served In: Bottle

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