Beamish ‘Best Bitter’ – The Review

DSCN1277I got, as a wonderful present from my dear aunt Sheena [to whom this post is dedicated – hey chook!], three Beamish Brewery beers. And just in case you didn’t think there were enough <b>s in there, I’m reviewing their ‘Best Bitter’.

It’s unusual for me to look at this style of beer, because it can often represent a ‘middle of the roadness’ in a brewery’s oeuvre of beverages, but – even if only to say thank you to my aunty – I felt this was an appropriate time to scrutinise this bottled beauty.

Vital Stats:

Look The bottle strikes me, though I’m apparently not an expert on the subject, as a bit ‘hipsterish’. Maybe. But live ‘n’ let live, right?

A light orange, in the glass. Looks a bit too light, but it’s nice ‘n’ clear. Head disappeared quite quickly. 6/10

Aroma Lovely – plenty of nostril-penetrating power. Vanilla, malt and a little burnt sugar. I expected more fruit, but I’m far from disappointed. 7/10

Taste Ooh, very fudgy. I like that. Despite the vanilla fudge  notes, it’s not too sweet. It’s balanced maturely with a fresh maltiness and an all-round-the-mouth bitter tippy-tap on’t’ tongue. Fairly light body, of course, but it’s not ‘watery’ or owt. Plenty of complexity for a ‘light one’. 8/10

Value Well, it was free for me, so must score an instant 10/10. I don’t know how much it costs because I’m too far away from where it’s sold. I will say, though, that I’d probably happily pay £2.25 – 2.90 for this. 10/10

Session Very happy session beer. It’s light on alcohol, and it’s not that this encourages any recklessness – of course not – but it’s a good one to chill with. It’s complex enough to savour, yet very easy to enjoy. As well as this, I appreciated more of the aroma as I drank on, such as the buttery and toasty elements, and I like it when a beer keeps on giving! 8/10

So there you have it – further proof, if any were needed, that ‘bitter’ and ‘lower alcohol’ don’t mean anything even close to ‘insipid’. I thoroughly enjoyed this, on a par with one of my favourite bitters ever, that I enjoyed on draught at the Ranch House in MorecambeStockport Brewing Company’s ‘Crown Best Bitter’. All that remains to say, apart from that you try some Beamish ales if you get the chance, is thanks again Sheena!

Final score: 78/100

P.S. Just thought I’d mention a couple of other groovy bitters I’ve tried, at Morecambe Beer Festival no less: Hardknott’s ‘Continuum’ and Brentwood’s ‘BBC2’ – very yummy!

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