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Crooked River Settler’s Ale ESB

Serve in English pint


on tap


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RATINGS: 108   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85/5   EST. CALORIES: 174   ABV: 5.8%
An amber-colored, full bodied ESB style ale with delightfully hoppy flavor. Perfectly balanced, refreshing and satisfying in every way. Brewed in the English tradition with special medium roasted Caramel Malts and East Kent Golding hops. Perhaps one of the finest ales of its type. A Silver Medal Winner at the World Beer Championships, The World Beer Cup, and at The Great American Beer Festival.

Note: Previously known as Crooked River Original ESB. Brewed until the early 2000s by Crooked River, contract brewing recommenced in 2010 at Black Box Brewing in Ohio.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
superspak (4739) - Michigan, USA - JUL 21, 2015
12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, pepper, light citrus, light plum/apple, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and light-moderate fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, pepper, light citrus, light plum/apple, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, light citrus/pepper, light plum/apple, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and light-moderate fruity yeast flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/bready/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good ESB style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and light-moderate fruity yeast flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (13587) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 4, 2011
Draft sample. Poured clear copper brown color with an average frothy off-white head that lasted with good lacing. Moderate floral hop and sweet malt aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration. Solid drinkable beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
joshwilfong (1200) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - MAY 1, 2011
medium red with large white head. nose of crystal malt wiht touches of floral hops. some bitterness before a ton of medium/high crystal malt. some floral halts interacting with this, but a high residual sweetness leaves the beer with little drinkabilitiy

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
pottygok (548) - Ohio, USA - APR 14, 2011
Aroma: Lots of floral and spruce hops. Appearance: Cloudy dark orange with a thin, white head. Taste: Slight bitterness upfront fading to a light sweetness balanced by a bitter/sour finish. Really well put together. Palate: Medium body, slick texture, soft carbonation, long finish. Overall: I’m impressed at the way this beer builds in the mouth. It’s mild enough to be a session beer, though some might argue the 5.8% ABV puts it out of the running, but with enough hop depth to keep the drinker interested. A really well developed beer.

   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 4/20
gunner_md (1) - - APR 13, 2011 does not count
Had an overwhelming aroma of dead yeast and bacteria spoilage. The sourness made it unpalatable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ironp55fe (20) - dayton, Ohio, USA - FEB 21, 2011
Pours a light amber color, with a white head that leaves fairly quickly. Sweet, nutty aroma. also some small hints of hops and caramel. Mild bitterness in taste. caramel notes are not very present. Very clean finish. All flavors work very well, with just the right amount of bitterness. A great light beer. The guys at black box/ jw dover did a great job on this one!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
hypn0toad (267) - Maryland, USA - FEB 6, 2011
You guys like this but I don’t. I guess I just don’t like this style of beer which seems to taste like a rusty nail. I thought my first one might have been bad or my previous meal conflicted with it, but the second one was no different.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
scottw86 (1167) - Maryland, USA - JAN 15, 2011
Poured a clear amber color with a medium-sized off-white head. Aroma has hops with caramel and some soapy notes. Also a slightly sweet cotton candy hint. Taste is very smooth and well balanced with caramel and hops. Very earthy, it has a lot of interesting flavors. Finish has a slightly doughy and cheesy quality with herbal notes. Overall quite flavorful and interesting.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Rastacouere (6174) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 11, 2010
UPDATED: AUG 13, 2010 12oz bottle, bought, if I recall correctly, at Rozi’s in Lakewood. I think this may have been the top rated ESB since I joined RB, so I’ve wanted to try it for a long while. With its new contract brewing status, I expected a slight let down, but this was not the case. Not at all. Its darkish amber pour already hinted at a darker spectrum of malt flavours than the norm and this brought us a gloriously nutty, toasty malt profile that culminated in a perfect, round yet dryish palate with soft bubbles helping with drinkability. The minerality is absolutely perfect and surely contributes to the mouthfeel’s impressive quality. Some sips almost hint at chocolate, there may be a touch of roast in there. The golding hops feel pretty orangey and more woodsy/spicey than brightly floral. And they are part of the action both in aroma and in mouth, though never stealing the show from the structured, layered cereals. Remarkably clean also, without the slightest hint at butter, not that it’s a character I dislike in English styles. Wow, I should have bought a six-pack and certainly hope to encounter it again.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MartinT (9411) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 11, 2010
My Bottom Line:
Freshly toasted cereals permeate this ESB’s judicious caramel sweetness before seguing into a perfectly levelled leafy and nearly resinous hop bitterness.

Further Personal Perceptions:
-A veil of foam covers the hazy amber.
-The body is cushy and nourishing while remaining very drinkable.
-The toasted malt character is absolutely gorgeous, from aroma to aftertaste.
-The hop bitterness is of medium intensity. Not too weak, not too strong.


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