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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
BrewTom (330) - - NOV 26, 2013
Caramel smell with a bitter taste that lingers turning sour. Taste is uncomplex with uncomplimentary malt & hops. Would have expected more from what is supposed to be a classic. Not bad but not great either. Rated by BrewTom

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
AndySnow (4084) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - NOV 17, 2013
How: Cask.
Where: Bishops Arms Gamla Stan, Stockholm.
Appearance: Amber colour with a large off-white head.
Aroma: Flowery, fruit, malt, hops.
Body: Full body with a low carbonation.
Flavour: Hops, fruit, caramel, malt.
Comment: Very different from the bottle condition version. I like the bottle one a little more, but both are very good ESBs.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
Pizd (433) - Merseyside, ENGLAND - AUG 31, 2013
(Cask): Dark amber with small white head. Aroma of caramel, malt, fruits and floral notes. Sweet fruit balanced with a nice bitterness along with malt, bread and hop notes in the flavour. However, it was rather flat which diminished the rating for me. Bottle is much better but will re-rate next time I get it on cask.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dnicolaescu (945) - Chișinău, MOLDOVA - AUG 27, 2013
Backlog [2013-08-19]. Head: typical cask. Colour: copper, clear. Aroma: caramel, light toast, fruity, hops/mint lollipop. Taste: caramel, light toast, dark fruit, moderate hops with a peppery finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
back (1331) - Holstebro, DENMARK - AUG 15, 2013
Gylden klar skum hvid Smør humle malt citrus blomst Bitter moderat sød modrate Vandede flad @fullers portm ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BOSSbrewer (1990) - Arkansas, USA - JUL 29, 2013
Had at The Head Of The River in Oxford, a Fullers establishment. Very nice beer. Caramel. Very clean. Slight hop bitterness. Very nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Cuso (5095) - Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - JUL 9, 2013
Cask. Copper amber color with small white head. Aroma of malt, caramel, floral hops. Taste, sweet malty, fruity, floral hops. Fruity hoppybitter finish. Good.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
MartinT (8135) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 3, 2013
My Bottom Line:
Minty hops, mineral water and caramel malts converge in this sweetish, lazy pint.

Further Personal Perceptions:
-A veil of foam covers the deep copper.
-Leafy hop bitterness is a little too low for the residual sugar level (in my tastes).
-In the end, this ESB feels very generic even though itís well made.
-Mouthfeel is somewhere between silky and stagnant.

On cask at The Barrowboy & Banker.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
viktorvee (510) - Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 2, 2013
Very well balanced strong ale with a real kick of bitterness and alcohol. Orange and malt on the nose, modest carbonation, no real head. An almost Irn Bru like tinge to it...good stuff.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bhensonb (11528) - Woodland, California, USA - APR 18, 2013
Cask at The Blackbird on Earlís Court Road. Pours dark copper with an off-white head. Floral/citrus aroma. Med minus body. Flavor is moderate roast malt with sweet pitted fruit, floral and a hint of citrus. Very smooth Finishes towards bitter - barring the fruit. Really nice.

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