Total Score: 7.5/10
Classic English Bitter? Yes please! And, according to the label on this bottle of Brakspear, this is the original taste of Oxfordshire… as if a county in England could have a specific taste… anyway, I’ve got my Bitter and I’m as happy as a Frenchman who has just invented a pair of self-removing trousers. Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t used that Blackadder reference before.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Typical English Bitter clear copper body with a thin cream coloured lace instead of a head. 7/10.
S: Toffee and butterscotch, tons of the stuff, suits me fine – I’m a Werther’s man! The hops struggle to add a note of anything under this oppressive malt regime, but it is an English Bitter – an oxymoron style that is hardly bitter at all. 8/10.
T: Bold in its massive buttery Diacetyl content, with again – a strong toffee centre with some hints of yeast fruitiness (think cider apples) and a light earthy hop finish. Impressive overall given the 3.4% ABV, some 5% Ales don’t reach a profile as tasty as this. The balance is quite well done with mild sweetness countered by the light hop bitterness. I’m very interested in trying their Triple now, that should be a tour de force. 7/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a light English pub carbonation. 8/10.
D: It’s all good with Brakspear then, an impressive, and in two words: Sessionable Ale. This is the stuff that Ye Olde English pub goers cram into their gullets in massive quantities so that they may still be able to hold a decent conversation without mincing their words or dribbling saliva on themselves (a rookie session drinkers mistake). To me the fact that this tastes like a 5% ABV drop and has those classic English Ale flavours, is what typifies that segment of culture, and really makes me miss the UK pint after work, sniff. 8/10.
Food match: I could picture this brew with a light game roast (pheasant or partridge) with a light gravy, a Yorkshire pudding, roast vegetables (potato, carrot, squash) and peas.