SkyinBrian (430) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 21, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
nice ruby color, toffee in the nose. flavor is apple with some caramel. very smooth, lightly carbonated. a fine ale.
pjk33 (390) - Sligo - Curllsville Heights, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 11, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 23, 2005 Bottle. Enjoyed at the Elephant & Castle in Grove City, PA. Pours very dark, almost ruby color... not amber in any way as some raters have said. Nice malty nose with some hint of hops to be tasted more than smelled. Nice medium body with surprisingly nice carbonation. I thought that this might be more English and less carbonated. Nice, almost, not quite, but almost burnt malt taste along with a great hop bitterness that never goes too far. Nice fluffy head laces well onto my glass. If I werenít out on a "school" night and I didnít have to drive an hour home, I may have tried about 6 or 7 of these as a quality control measure. Nicely done ESB!
thegreenrooster (3824) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 10, 2004
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pour is a nice amber with a quickly dissapearing head. Aroma is hoppy. Flavor is hoppy and the burnt malt character really stands out. Nice for the style.
SimonB (66) - Geneva, SWITZERLAND - DEC 1, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
From tap at Pub Italia in Ottawa (30 nov 2004). Average size creamy tan brown head, mostly to fully lasting, good lacing. Clear amber brown body color, thick appearance. Moderate to heavy sweetness in aroma as well as toasted, caramel, toffee and honey. Also moderated hops flavor (flower and herbs like). At first light to medium sweetness in my mouth then still medium sweetness on the final with a fair good amount of bitterness toward the end of average long duration. Very smooth transitions in flavors, well balanced. Medium creamy body, soft carbonation. Light alcoholic and organic feel. Satisfying.
piscator34 (2261) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA - DEC 1, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Amber in colour with aromas of grassy and earthy hops. This one has quite a sweetmalty backbone to it with notes of rasin, wood, and toasted grain. Long finish. Not really my favorite interpretation of this style (a bit too malty and fruity for me), but this is still a well made beer.
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - NOV 30, 2004
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark amber body with a beige head. Malty, floral, hoppy. Medium bodied. Nice feel in the mouth. The flavor was malty and sweet. A good example of the style.
SilkTork (5499) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Hampshire, ENGLAND - NOV 28, 2004
2.9 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2006 Bottle. Filtered. 5.9% abv.
Jan, 2003 It starts promising - quite fruity and nutty, but soon fades. Darkish with some gentle hop bite, but the crude sugar malt tastes too false. [2.6]
April, 2004: Head to Head with Badgerís <a href=Beer-Ratings.asp?BeerID=1013&FanOfID=4383> (2nd place) . The dark amber colour of a traditional bitter. Creamy toffee malt. Soft mouthfeel - quite pleasant. Hops build into the finish. Quite dusty and earthy. Leaves a good flavour in the mouth. Needs to be served a little cold to get the full toffee flavour. This hasnít fully grabbed me, but itís a decent ale. It gets better the more you think about it. [3.1]
Sept, 2004: The Big Face Off. <a href=Beer-Ratings.asp?BeerID=24312&FanOfID=4383> Empire; <a href=Beer-Ratings.asp?BeerID=132&FanOfID=4383>N Brown; <a href=Beer-Ratings.asp?BeerID=34610&FanOfID=4383> Ruin; <a href=Beer-Ratings.asp?BeerID=365&FanOfID=4383>S Nevada; and <a href=Beer-Ratings.asp?BeerID=618&FanOfID=4383>H Devil. 4th place. Aroma was quite busy with little features: anchovies, beef, tomatoes soaked in olive oil and vinegar, tobacco, cardboard, coal-tar soap, dark berries, chocolate, staleness. But the whole is less than the parts, and the whole thing is predominantly stale beer even though the BBE is 10 months away. Taste is sweetish up front. Creamy toffee. Metallic, jagged carbonation. Without the carbonation the beer is quite light and watery; bland and lacking in flavours compared with the others. There is, however, an attractive tree bark finish with hints of licorice. [2.9]
Feb, 2005: This beer has to be drunk cold from the fridge to mask the stale flavours. And even then it canít quite hide them. Toffee sweet with sherry stale hops. There are people who actually like this beer bottled - and good luck to them. But to suggest that such an obviously pasteurised beer is top quality is to completely misunderstand the whole nature of quality beer. [2.4]
May, 2006 Blind tasting: Strongish. Hoppy. Malty. Smooth toffee. Creamy. Very nice.
My main complaints about this bottled ESB have centered on the stale notes and the pasteurising process - yet, due to the strength, I didnít pick that up on the blind tasting. Trying it again knowing what Iím drinking Iím becoming more and more aware of the strong, but stale hops, and the clean and slightly candied malt. Is it prejudice, or an educated focus? [3.0]
Dec, 2006. Blind tasting with Strong Suffolk, Riggwelter and Old Peculier. Last place. Glowing orange amber. Soft vanishing carbonation. Aroma is jam and vanilla ice-cream, pale biscuit, faint chocolate and even fainter herbal citrus. The flavour is somewhat muddled. Some fudge, damp leaves, toffee, a confused bitterness which lingers in the finish. Lack of clarity - the general muddled nature of this beer lets it down. [2.9]
footy (345) - scottsdale, Arizona, USA - NOV 26, 2004
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask @ Coopers. Waterloo station. Horrible pub. Bottled 500ml. multiple times. A very good ESB. Definitely a standard
Ubiquibeer (140) - Cleveland, USA - NOV 25, 2004
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Outstanding bitter. Definitely my favorite English ESB. My only complaint is sometimes it can have a faint harsh taste at the end. Still, I have been known to drink these all night.
drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - NOV 23, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Quintessential English excellence. Unique graininess envelops every aspect of the beer and only the hops play an equally important role refreshing the sweet malt the grains with a crispness that is neither distracting nor overpowering. Thereís not much to say here that hasnít already been said, but this is a staple for a reason.