RateBeer
overall
87
97
style
Brewed by Fuller’s
Style: Premium Bitter/ESB
London, England
Serve in English pint

bottled
available

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 255   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.4   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
SilkTork (5166) - Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - FEB 24, 2005
UPDATED: APR 7, 2008 Nov, 2004 The Partridge, a Fuller’s 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 - Fuller’s pub. A clean firm golden malt - quite strong tasting. Hops are well soaked in. A little too sweet and lacking character. [3.3]

3.8
   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.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
maeib (8598) - 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

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
MiP (13513) - Sønderborg, DENMARK - SEP 26, 2004
Cask. Malty, peppery flavour.

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
DanielBrown (3717) - 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.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
chriso (7347) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 23, 2003
The classic strong bitter that most people rave about. Bright copper colour. Toasty malt aroma. Sweetish malt & hops initially on the palate. Lots of complex flavours. Slight bitterness coming through at the finish, but not really enough bite for my tastebuds. I would happily sip a bottle of this at home (note to Fullers - really classic bottled beers should really be bottle conditioned) and whilst I might have a first (or only) pint of ESB in a pub, I would soon move on to something else if I was intending to stay. Quite apart from the fact that I would fall over on a ESB session, I find it rather cloying after a pint or two. Not really enough bitterness to temper the sweet malt for extended dreinking. Handpump, The Sabctuary, London SW1, August 2003

3.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Spiesy (2338) - Sydney, Greater London, AUSTRALIA - MAY 1, 2003
Cask. It poured off with a nice light fluffy head, but had not consistent gas (Fine by me).Deep full gold colour and very clear. Some bitter hop & elderflour aroma. The sam bitter hope taste only not as good and as the smell promised. Marks down for that. Also had a slight tarte twist towards the end.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rickgordon (3843) - 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.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
imdownthepub (9999) - 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.

3.4
   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.


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