Brewed by Fullerís
Style: Premium Bitter/ESB
London, England
Serve in English pint


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 268   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.41   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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 Fullerís beer in the US is served by handpump kegs and not a cask. Ask your server.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
harrisoni (14138) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - JUN 2, 2005
UPDATED: APR 12, 2008 Cask at The Tiger, Stowting, Kent I was really looking forward to this on a hot sunny Friday lunchtime. However, the barrel had come to an end and this was hanging. Shame as I do really like it 0.9/5.0. Re-rate, Barrow Boy and Banker, Southwark. Deep copper with lasting beige head. Peppery hop aroma. Soft fruity malt. Fullish and a little unsubtle in mouth, bit pukey to be honest, but the peppery hop aroma/finish is outstanding. Apart from a red beery syrupy pukey bit in the middle, itís good. Needs another re-rate.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BuckNaked (1230) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAY 29, 2005
NERAX 2005: Medium amber body with a small eggshell head. Aroma: mostly malty, notes of nuts, butter, caramel, toffee, mild fruit and earthy/grassy hops. Taste: sweet toffee, mild nuts, light fruit (apple, berries), light herbal/floral/grassy hops. FInishes medium bitter, with a thin body and notes of herbal/floral hops. Medium bodied, though finishes thin & slightly watery.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
kook (2033) - Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA - MAY 15, 2005
Cask @ Duke of Kent, W5: Amber in colour with a beige head. Aroma of nutty malts mixed with fresh fruits. Sweet toffee flavours, mild fruits and a hoppy yet not overly bitter finish. Medium bodied. Nice, but I prefer Chiswick.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
joergen (21533) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - MAY 5, 2005
Cask at Charlie’s Bar. Orange colour with a white head. Malty aroma with notes of apricots. Malty flavour with notes of apricots.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
madsberg (10459) - SÝborg, DENMARK - MAY 5, 2005
Cask @ Charlies Pub, Cph.: Reddish/amber coloured. Unclear. Small white head. Malty and light hopped aroma. Notes of caramel and fruit. Flavour is hoppy and light herbal. Quite smooth and drinkable, but a little thin in the body. Ends on a medium bitter note.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Kinnaj15 (275) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - APR 30, 2005
Cask@Charlies. Dark amber with small white head. Good balance between the sweetness and bitternes. Notes of fruits in the aroma.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
TomSpears (65) - Norfolk, ENGLAND - APR 29, 2005
The Bush at Friars ford over the sweet river - boring pub. Boring beer. Nothing stands out. Cloggy, dull and blurred. I fail to see how this stuff got so many awards and is so acclaimed around the world. Iíll keep trying it when Iím in the vicinity, but if Iím in the smoke I prefer Youngs.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DeepBlack (386) - Derby, Derbyshire, ENGLAND - APR 24, 2005
Cask conditioned & on handpump at The Alex in Derby on 08/03/05. Mid amber brown colour. Very full rich flavours. Nice after taste. Quite alcoholic taste, feels over the 5.5% it is.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Oakes (12789) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 20, 2005
Cask at the Star of Belgravia

Having been expecting a world classic and been thoroughly disappointed, I spent my second night in London seeking out some serious Fullerís ESB. The cask version has a fuller, more complex flavour than either keg or bottle. The yeast is especially dominant, but also the malts come through with much more clarity. On cask, you can see where the reputation comes from, even if you donít entirely agree with it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ungstrup (29850) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - MAR 16, 2005
[Cask at Charlieís Bar, Copenhagen] The new recipe. A hazy amber beer with a small off-white head. The aroma is faint, but of malt and hops. The flavor is quite sweet with notes of caramel and malt. Not as powerful as the old version - I liked the old one better.

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