Brewed by Fuller’s
Style: Premium Bitter/ESB
London, England
Serve in English pint


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 286   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.42   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
Cask: Regular.
First brewed in 1969 as Winter Bitter - renamed Extra Special Bitter in 1971.
Ingredients: Pale Ale and Crystal malts; Target, Challenger, Northdown and Goldings hops. Dry hopped in the brewery.
CAMRA Supreme Champion 1978, 1981 and 1985.
Brewed at 5.5% ABV in cask and 5.9% ABV in bottle, ESB is a true liquid legend, and should be savoured as such.
ESB has a wonderful rich mahogany appearance. Taking in the nose, the beer is bursting with cherry and orange, balanced by soft malty toffee and caramel notes. The flavour delivers everything you would expect from such a full-bodied ale. The unique blend of Northdown, Target, Challenger and Goldings hops imparts grassy, peppery notes on the tongue along with intense citrus fruit characters of grapefruits, oranges and lemons. The blend of Pale Ale and Crystal malts in the brew give a biscuity, toffee element to the beer. A smooth, mellow bitterness lingers on the palate to give a superbly satisfying finish.

NOTE: Most Fuller’s beer in the US is served by handpump kegs and not a cask. Ask your server.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ThomasE (5174) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUL 24, 2006
Cask @ Charlies, Copenhagen. Hazy deep amber colour with a small off white head. Malty, fruity aroma with a light caramel sweetness. Malty, caramel sweet flavor with some fruityness and hints of the hops.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
gnoff (8795) - Mölndal, SWEDEN - JUN 20, 2006
Pint at Bishops Arms (Västra Hamngatan) Gothenburg, Sweden. Brown color, big tan head. Fruity hoppy aroma. Quite bitter flavor, high bitterness. Medium mouthfeel. Some bitter almond taste in there. Bitter aftertaste. Feels a bit thin after a while. I can remember it tasting better.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
TheGrandMaster (2335) - Auckland, NEW ZEALAND - JUN 5, 2006
Pint pulled at The Churchill Arms in Notting Hill (London), a slightly hazy brown with a bubbly off-white head. Aroma is most definitely malty and fruity. Malty caramal is the dominant flavour, though I think just a bit too tangy.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Fin (8429) - Merton, Oxfordshire, England, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - MAY 27, 2006
UPDATED: MAR 11, 2012 Cask at the Marsh Harrier, Cowley, Oxford regularly . Amber (dark) beer with a small tight head, very rich and fruity in the aroma and this follows through into the mouth. A very complex and intriguing beer that really does hook you but at 5.5% downing a few of these on a Sunday night with work the day after is foolhardy. This is a top notch beer just a bit too strong for regular consumption. A7 A4 T8 P4 Ov15 3.8 Had this again on Cask handpump at The Queens Head, Farnham, Saturday 10th March 2012 Pours Amber mid brown with a good clearness, there is a small off white head. This is malt heavy and whilst rich, fruity and quite flavoursome as always, its been a long while since I’ve had this on cask, as well served and kept as it was I really have moved on I think and didn’t enjoy this half as much as I used to. A6 A5 T6 P4 Ov12 3.3

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
dnas2 (705) - Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - MAY 10, 2006
Cask at The Old Joint Stock, Birmingham. Amber with a thick, creamy white head which is slow to go. Smell of citrus hops, slightly metallic bitter taste with a lemony aftertaste, which leaves a bitterness far down the throat. Creamy and fizzy. I thought this was fairly average.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Miksu (5027) - Jyväskylä, FINLAND - MAY 6, 2006
Cask at Churchill Arms, London. Amber color. Goldings hops, dark sugar and caramel in the aroma. Quite full-bodied and rich in flavor. Good caramelly english hop flavor with sweetish caramel malt and rummy notes. Bitterness and tropical fruits in the finish. A bit too caramelly, but still tasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Svesse (6967) - Hässelby, SWEDEN - APR 25, 2006
(Cask at Churchill Arms, Kensington, London 22 Apr 2006) Colour is dark amber. Malty, fruity nose with notes of toffe, nuts and a sweetish sewage character. Malty, fruity taste with hints of orange, caramel and dried fruit, some sweetness and a nice bitter finish. Complex and very well balanced.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Dorqui (2148) - Brescia, ITALY - APR 23, 2006
UPDATED: SEP 13, 2007 Cask at The Sanctuary House (Westminster - London).
Dark red color, decidedly stationary and lightly little frothy. Determined and dry scent with pleasant woody and toasted malt notes. Flowery and of caramel notes moreover. Smooth, dry and hoppy taste. Much bitter but altogether balanced and drinkable. Extended and alcoholic end.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
OldMrCrow (2177) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 25, 2006
Cask at the Elm Tree in Cambridge.

Pours a relatively dark (for the style) orange amber; the nose is limited in this smoky pub but I do pick up the grassy hops and a bit of caramel. The flavor itself is a well balanced and impressively full for the style, though not packing the sort of hop wallop that one might expect from say a strong APA. I get raisinbread, some caramel, a nice mellow, rounded, but decisive Goldings finsh, all with fine cask-bitters mouthfeel.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
RichardGretton (4437) - Leicestershire, ENGLAND - MAR 19, 2006
Cask@30th Loughborough Beer Festival. Darkish brown/golden beer with a mildly hopped and slightly toffee and dry flavour. Overall a nice beer.

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