Beer Reviews

Rogue – Younger’s Special Bitter

Rogue continues to put out so many quality brews that it’s a little tough to keep up sometimes. This one, Younger’s Special Bitter, is another that’s released in the 750 ml ceramic bottles (great for brewing, by the way, because of their sealable tops).

This one is a nice semi-transparent amber, with a bitter nose and a slight hops scent. The color is inviting, and the beer longs for a taste.
The taste itself does not disappoint. It is a classic ESB (extra special bitter). Its a bit nutty, a bit hoppy, and just the right level of bitterness to satisfy your taste buds. This is also only 7.4 % ABV so it isn’t a sting, but instead a nice tickle on the tongue.

A while ago I discovered something by accident. I was at a mexican restaurant in Kittery Maine, and I ordered flan for dessert. I had a little bit of Red Hook ESB in my bottle, and I took a bite of flan and then followed it with a swig of ESB. The combination brought out something phenomenal in the ESB. Something about the simple sugars with the bitterness made it taste like ecstasy. 

If you come across this, spend $3 more and buy yourself a bit of Ben & Jerry’s creme brulee ice cream. Let the ice cream melt on your tongue and then follow it with a big swig of the bitter. You’ll then discover the magic of a bitter and a simple sugar, and trust me, you’ll never taste an ESB the same way again.


  • Sid

    I walked into the Horse Brass Pub in Portland Oregon and on the recommendation of the bar keep had a pint of Younger’s Special Bitter pulled from a cask at the correct temperature. They call it the Billy here after the owner who passed sometime ago. I believe this was specifically made for him. This was with out a doubt the best pint of ale I’ve ever had in 35 years of beer drinking.

  • Middle Class Middle Aged White Guy

    I’ll have to try this. My palate doesn’t do “bitter”, so I’m not a fan of really hoppy IPA’s. (I think six people just called me a commie for saying that).

    Curiously though, I found out I DO like hoppy beers with FOOD. I did a “mix and match” six pack at our local beer store and bought two Cara Pils from Victory. I had the first one by itself, and didn’t care for it, but the second one, I had with food and it was a different experience….