I recently discovered just how many beers Marston now own, and here's another one. Courage or Take Courage (I'm not 100% sure) Best Bitter is brewed in Bedford, and has been for about 200 years so Marston, and by extension Carlsberg have got their hands on another old English classic beer. You'll find Courage, the beer, not the feeling, in pubs and shops all around the country so it shouldn't be too difficult to treat yourself. Personally I like a good old fashioned bitter every now and again so I'm quite looking forward to this beer. Fingers crossed hey.
Courage Best Bitter comes in a nice old 500ml bottle, which is how it should be, and contains a rather meagre 3.6% alcohol. I'm trying to remember the last beer I had at such a low percentage, it's weird a few years ago I'd have considered 3.5-4.5% to be about the norm, but it feels like things have moved on since then. Anyway lets just say you'd have to drink a few of these to really get in the spirit, it's probably good for a session though. The beer pours a little lighter than I expected, probably best described as a light copper.
There's a small head on Courage Best Bitter, which doesn't last long. It's not an ugly beer, but it's not really a stunner either, very much an I'll settle for that look. The aroma is not surprisingly bitter malts, there's some vague hops in there too, but nothing to write home about. I'm not sure how much courage it takes to drink a 3.6% beer, which smells of very little in all honesty. All of this is just foreplay though, lets be honest what really matters in a beer is how it tastes.
It tastes how it smells. This is pretty dull stuff. Maybe my taste buds have been spoiled by strong stouts, interesting porters, wheat beers and fruity IPA's over the last few years. All this beer really has going for it is some malts, it actually almost tastes watered down. I guess all we can really say about Courage Best Bitter is that it'd be a good palate cleanser between tasty beers. You wont find this beer offensive, you'll not find it spectacular, it just seems to exist, a bit like a single celled organism, it's just there not hurting anyone, but not really contributing anything either. I'll give Courage 3.5 out of 10. It has its place as a steady session beer, but not much else.