Bitter Twisted Beer Review

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When asked about the great drinks of Scotland, great single malts come readily to mind. That being said, Scotland’s beers are gaining momentum amongst the world’s great drinks which is really only fitting. After all, Scottish and Scotch ales have long been one of the world’s classic beer styles. These days Scotland’s breweries produce traditional ales along with other styles from around the world, many with some interesting twist or another.

Harviestoun Brewing fits into the latter category, producing a variety of beers both bottled and in cask. Harviestoun was founded in 1984 by former Ford employee Ken Brooker with his friend Eric Harris. Ken and Eric installed their brewery in a 200 year old building in a farm in central Scotland. 5 years later they installed a 10 barrel plant acquired from Aberdeen’s Devanha brewery. In 2003 Bitter & Twisted won CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain for the second year in a row.

Bitter & Twisted falls into the category of a pale ale. When you see an English pale ale on the shelf, there are certain elements you can typically expect in that beer. Usually you’ll find a golden to deep copper ale with decent bitterness and supporting maltiness. Finish will typically be medium dry. Bitter & Twisted is a pale, slightly hazy golden colored ale. Head is dense and white with decent retention.

Taking an initial sniff, Bitter & Twisted’s aroma is zesty and citrussy up front. In fact, aroma is somewhat lemony like those lemon flavoured hard candies. Finish is only slightly hoppy, giving the faint aroma of English grassiness. Unfortunately, as pleasant as the aroma is it lacks the malt character you‘d like to see in a beer of this type.

On the tongue Bitter & Twisted is a medium bodied ale that, at first blush, holds slightly more promise than offered by its aroma. Here at least lemon zestiness is supported by a hint of caramel maltiness, even if only slightly. Malt and lemon move forward into an earthy hop presence. Finish is crisp and slightly bitter.

Overall, Bitter & Twisted sits right on the verge. It sits on the verge of being a delicious, flavourful, character ale. The flavors are there. While most English ales show restraint and refinement, this product borders on timid. The flavors and aromas are good, they just don’t leap from the glass. Bitter & Twisted is a fairly straightforward product. It might be a worthwhile product for mainstream lager lovers looking for a starting point to explore imported and other craft brewed beers. Give it a 7 out of 10.

1. Bitter & Twisted | Harviestoun Brewery Ltd. | BeerAdvocate
2. Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted (Bottle) – RateBeer

Category: Health
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