500 ml bottle, as Hook Norton Hooky, from Vaaland, Bryne. ABV is 3.5%. Deep golden colour, moderate white head. Sweetish aroma of malt sugar and grassy hops. Thin mouthfeel, drier than the aroma made me expect. The flavour has some weak toffee and caramel notes, followed by a fairly distinct bitterness, but is not particularly complex. Still a drinkable "ordinary" bitter.
Sampled on 6/5/2009. This bitter pours a medium orange gold color from a 50cl bottle. Small to medium sized white foamy head, with good retention. The aroma is malty, flowery and hoppy. A medium bodied bitter. The malts are caramel and fruity. The hops are floral and earthy. Nice carbonation. The hops seem a little more pronounced in this beer when compared to most other English Bitters I’ve tried. Mouthfeel is a touch thin, but kind of expected for a 3.6% beer. Would be a good session beer. Mouthfeel is round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.
Pours with a stunningly, brilliantly clear light cranberry hue. It shows a rich copper hue when held up to the light. A vigorous pour produces a three-finger thick, light tan colored head. The aroma is a mix of soft malt and hop notes; it is a touch metallic, with a distinct cracker-like malt character, some light grassy hop notes, perhaps a hint of marmalade and a touch of fruitiness that becomes more noticeable as the beer warms up a bit.
Lightly sweet malt greets my tongue at first, but then a bitter hop note rises up to challenge the malt and in fact lingers through to a long bitter finish. The beer is fairly light on the tongue, but does have a touch of malt body to keep it from being water-like. The flavors are balanced towards the hop character, though all of the notes are quite in line for a British Bitter. The malt & yeast notes combine to contribute a touch of toffee flavors up front, some soft apple-like fruitiness. As the beer warms up a bit a touch of citrus-like hop flavors become noticeable as does a bit more of the herbal notes; this could use a touch more hop flavor, but really gets better once it warms up from the 50°F / 10°C serving temperature.
I would say that the aroma is more malt balanced, while the flavor is clearly hop balanced; Each component plays a role though in both domains and even that fermentation character adds just a touch here an there. This stands out for being so low in alcohol, yet still being quite flavorful and eminently quaffable. It is perhaps a bit too hoppy, or really too bitter; I would have loved to see some more hop flavor characteristics here. What this really brings home is that I need to get to England to taste a whole lot of quality bitters. Quite an enjoyable brew.
Orange/gold color with a minimal head and a mild cherry vanilla aroma. Dryish withcaramel and citrus notes, a faint sourness and a background bitterness that became more prominent in the finish. Bottled version.
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