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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 248   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.4   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 Fuller’s beer in the US is served by handpump kegs and not a cask. Ask your server.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rickgordon (3841) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - APR 12, 2003
UPDATED: OCT 6, 2003 Sampled draught at Bishops Arms in Malmö, Sweden. Amber color. Creamy off-white head. Wonderful caramel aroma. Steady stream of bitterness throughout the palate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
imdownthepub (9673) - Banbury, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - FEB 20, 2003
(Cask). There is a pleasant caramel / malt aroma initially to this deep brown beer. On drinking the hops are to the fore, loads of them. There is a dry palate to the beer almost astringent, but this adds to the complexity and enjoyment. A great end of evening pint.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Hildigöltur (5104) - København, DENMARK - JUL 14, 2002
I had this as cask ale. Very bitter and fresh.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Nuffield (3639) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - MAY 26, 2002
Very good beer, but I was underwhelmed, especially considering the quality of other Fullers beers. Initial aroma was weak to me, but later a very subtle fruitiness could be found. Sharpish taste with alcoholic tinge, and an unpleasant bitterness, although not enough to overwhelm the overall pleasantness. (Had from cask at a Fullers pub: Head of the River, Oxford)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Joeh (2038) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - MAR 28, 2002
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2004 Cask Conditioned. The Bell, High Wycombe. General Havelock, Loudwater. Queens Head, Wallingford. Not too bitter and with a good flavour. Tastes strong but not unpleasantly so. This review taken from notes written a couple of years ago, I have had it many times since and will write a better review when I can.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sigmund (4830) - Tau, NORWAY - FEB 12, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 9, 2004 One of the best bitters around. Rerate: Cask conditioned at the Blackbird, Earls Court, London. Copper coloured, no head, minimal carbonation. Moderate aroma, initial mellow flavour, then a dominant but pleasant hoppiness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JAN 9, 2002
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2004 Re-rate: Cask: i have been having this a lot of late, quite like it, but not as much as i used to. Has that typical smooth Fullers Mouthfeel, some citric rindy hops, and lightly grainy toffeed malts. A nice pint, but it does show a little bit of obvious alcohol in the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Shadallion (534) - Sacramento, California, USA - AUG 19, 2001
Finally had this from the cask, and boy does that make a difference. Guess the bottle I had before was bad, because this is a very good ale. Similar to their London Pride, just slightly more intense and amped up. Very good.

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