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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 260   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Oakes (12551) - 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 (29284) - 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.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
asheft (2509) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 16, 2005
[cask in Londonís Hung Drawn and Quartered] Orangy-brown and almost clear with wispy, medium-sized bubbles and nice ring. Sweet, toasty caramel aroma with Goldings in the aroma. Surprisingly, a lot more hops appear in the taste, combining with a tingly, sweet malt. Only a little bittering but still well balanced with the sweetness. Raisin notes. Medium body and clean with very low carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 8, 2005
The same old boring brittish bitters....I am so unhappy that I spent 4 days there and only 3 in belgium!!!!!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Mungo (2472) - Southampton, Hampshire, ENGLAND - MAR 8, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 22, 2006 Jun 2006 Cask conditioned @ Ship Inn, Wokingham. This starts off nicely with good green dry hopped aromas but what really lets this down is the lack of hops in the mouth to temper the sweet malts. 3.3
Mar 2005 Cask-conditioned. Rich aroma of caramel, earthy/spicy hops and some fruitiness. Initial sweet honey like flavour with growing bitterness. Very drinkable and complex bitter. 3.7

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
SilkTork (5218) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - FEB 24, 2005
UPDATED: APR 7, 2008 Nov, 2004 The Partridge, a Fullerís house, Bromley. Malty sweetness meshed with assertive earthy English hops. Musty damp knickers aroma. Banana and raisin notes along with other dark fruits. Good condition and good mouthfeel. A big beer - pulls above 5.5%. Too much over-ripe banana and too many tannic notes for my taste. [3.2]
April, 2007 Bell & Crown, Chiswick - Fullers pub. Malty and sweet with a nice tang. A good drink. Old and toffee. [3.7]
April, 2008 The White House, Guildford - Fullerís pub. A clean firm golden malt - quite strong tasting. Hops are well soaked in. A little too sweet and lacking character. [3.3]

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Hbie (133) - Essex, ENGLAND - DEC 3, 2004
Cask at Crosse Keys, London. Dark gold white head. Full bodied but hoppy also. Plenty of flavour but a bit sweet so the flavours are masked. Needs to mature in the cellar a little longer to bring out its true colours.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
maeib (8718) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - SEP 29, 2004
UPDATED: APR 14, 2012 Cask conditioned - handpump - Old Joint Stock Birmingham. A rich brown coloured bitter with a good berry fruit aroma. There is lots of malt in the taste and also a sweet alcohol touch. Again served too cold. It should be nicer than this.Score 3.4
Subsequent ratings scored 3.8, 3.7, 3.7 and 4.1. Average becomes 3.7

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
MiP (13598) - SÝnderborg, DENMARK - SEP 26, 2004
Cask. Malty, peppery flavour.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
DanielBrown (3809) - Birmingham (via Leicester), West Midlands, ENGLAND - NOV 30, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 4, 2003 Draught at the Old Joint Stock, Birmingham. Nice bitter, well balanced, with a pleasant mouthfeel and aftertaste.

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