When it comes to writing beer reviews, one can occasionally stumble across important lessons. I learned such a lesson this week when I second guessed myself while reviewing Bitter & Twisted ale. You see, after taking my notes I researched the article and learned almost every review I read gave this beer a significantly higher rating that I did. I began to seriously doubt my notes. After careful contemplation I decided it was best to trust my judgement. After all, not everyone’s judgement is going to be completely in line with mine.
Harviestoun brewing was opened by former Ford employee Ken Brooker in 1984. Today, Harviestoun is owned by Caledonian Brewery out of Edinburgh, adding their resources to Harviestoun’s ability to produce and market their beer. Today, Bitter & Twisted is an English blonde ale designed as a session beer. The nice thing about session beer is they tend to be lighter in body, flavor, and alcohol than other offerings. Session beers are a nice thing to have in your repertoire so you can have more than one or two without giving up your ability to drink responsibly.
As I pour Bitter & Twisted into the glass, it comes out a brilliant pale yellow ale. Light carbonation supports a dense, white head with good carbonation. Aroma starts out with notes of lemon drops which moves smoothly into the grassy aroma of hops with hints of peppercorn. Malt presents itself in the center with the aromas of biscuits or soda crackers. All in all, the aromas are very delicate, stopping shy of outright simplicity.
Bitter & Twisted isn’t as bitter as I was expecting. This medium bodied ale starts out with a faintly lemony juiciness. Bitter & Twisted’s flavor lacks the maltiness I detected in the aroma and jumps straight for a mild bitterness. Bitterness moves into a dry, palate cleansing finish. Overall, Bitter & Twisted is fairly decent, if uncomplicated. Despite its straightforward profile, Bitter & Twisted is an enjoyable, refreshing pale ale. When all is said and done, Bitter & Twisted comes in a solid 7.45 out of 10.
Bitter & Twisted ale is one of the few British imports I would recommend to just about anyone. Women who aren’t traditional beer drinkers will enjoy its flavor, spritziness, and not over-assertive bitterness. Mainstream beer drinkers will enjoy it for similar reasons. Even veteran beer enthusiasts should enjoy Bitter & Twisted because it shares an overall profile similar to many American microbrews.