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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 291   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.42/5   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 Fullerís beer in the US is served by handpump kegs and not a cask. Ask your server.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Miksu (5030) - Jyvšskylš, 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 (7262) - Hšsselby, 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 (2154) - 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 (2212) - 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 (4468) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Christian (11981) - Odense, DENMARK - MAR 18, 2006
Cask conditioned tap. Beatiful beer! Cloudy amber body with a firm off-white head. Great fruity/blackberry aroma with some caramel and honey. Well balanced flavour, but I could do with a bit more bitterness in the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TBone (14780) - Pori, FINLAND - MAR 18, 2006
Cask @St. Urhoís Pub
Dark copper brown, decent cloudy tan head. Caramelly hoppy nose. Medium-bodied. Toffeeish, oaky, some yeasty-like notes. Tasty real ale with character. Slightly watery at start, but good session beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
leaparsons (9100) - Leicester, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - MAR 9, 2006
Cask, Loughborough Fest 06. Amber with a small head. Aromas are malty with dates and plummy notes. Bready yeast is present with hints of chocolate. Flavours are sweet and malty with spices, fruit and warming alcohol. Has a good bitter finish. Scored lower than the bottled version (somehow). Still very nice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
MrWalker (926) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - FEB 14, 2006
Cask @ Mad Bishop and Bear, Paddington, London, 5 February, 2006
Served with plenty of carbon dioxide in this Fullers owned pub. Rich in butterscotch and toffee. Fruity and medium bitter aftertaste.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DJMonarch (9166) - Northwich, Cheshire, ENGLAND - FEB 1, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 13, 2009 1. Cask Handpump at the Smithfield Hotel, Manchester 09/02/2002 Amber golden colour strong in alcohol and slightly rich on the palate. Bitter hop finish. 2. Cask Handpump at the Old Market Tavern, Altrincham 24/06/2003 Amber golden colour hoppy and smooth. Crisp finish. 3. Cask Handpump at the Old Joint Stock, Birmingham 25/06/2005 Golden amber colour and slightly sweet. Sour fruit flavour. Some dryness in a full malt finish. 4. Cask Handpump at the GBBF, Earlís Court 06/08/2009 Some hop aroma. Amber golden coloured smooth on the palate and malty with a little dryness and bitterness in a crisp malt finish.

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