Portsmouth ESB
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Serve in English pint


on tap


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RATINGS: 27   MEAN: 3.22/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.13/5   ABV: -
An ESB is typically hoppier than its cousin, pale ale, and ours is no exception. This recipe is a variation of one of the several prototype versions of Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale that were brewed here in 1994.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ida7999 (105) - Milford, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 22, 2003
- clear copper color, short creamy white head, aroma of hops and sweet malt, slightly astringent and fruity, well-hopped and earthy with a dry leafy character; hop flavors dominate with a dry biting bitterness, mixed with a malty sweetness-slightly fruity and astringent, the flavors come together very well, not as assertive as some American bitters but more simple and smooth like many English bitters, smooth texture

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
johnnnniee (3793) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - JUL 28, 2013
On tap at the Southern New Hampshire Brewers Festival 7/27/2013 Light gold, sweet rich malty backbone with a hint of earthy spice. Nice ESB

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
dirtymike (2016) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Amber in color with a small off-white head. Aroma of toasted.biscuit malt and floral hops. Flavor os biscuit,sweet malt,mild roasted malt, assertive bitterness and hop finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Goodgrief (1994) - Middletown, Delaware, USA - MAR 10, 2011
Dark copper pour, one finger head and nice lacing. Lots of toasted caramel like malt, grainy sweet with a very mild hop finish, but enough to make it well balanced. Rich, full, smooth mouthfeel...a delightful feel on the tongue. Another solid beer from my favorite place on earth.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
rondphoto (4059) - Lakeside Park, Kentucky, USA - JUN 29, 2013
Hazy medium amber, good rim head, specks of lace. Taste is semi-sweet caramel malt that grows nicely to a clean finish. At the back edge, it all turns nicely bitter. Late and unexpected, things are superbly balanced. Well done.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
msnelling09 (154) - Beverly, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 18, 2013
The beer pours the color of honey and sits in the glass similarly, somewhere between red, orange, and yellow in color. The beer pours with a light, half a finger’s width head of medium sized, yellowing bubbles that fade down to a scrim. The head leaves a lacing of slick clouds that swiftly slide down the side of the glass. In body, the beer is clean and translucent with a slight haze and lots of carbonation bubbles racing up throughout the glass. On the nose, the beer smells pleasantly hoppy with a good, minty herbal touch and a strong backbone of biscuity, caramel bread from the malt. On the tongue, the beer tastes lightly bitter yet caramel sweet with the faintest touch of acid on the sides of the mouth. In flavor, the beer begins as herbal caramel bread, moving slowly towards a more toffee flavor before the bitters overwhelm the caramel flavor with hints of English Tea and grass. This gives way to a strong, lightly tannic, bitter ending and finish to the beer that mingles grassy and herbal hops with just a faint touch of bread sugar from the malt. The finish is light, shorter, and quite reminiscent of a black tea. The aftertaste mimics the finish’s flavor in a lesser way, appearing light and bitter tannic on the tongue. In the mouth, the beer feel slightly slick and on the light side of medium in body. Carbonation is of a middling amount, providing a light scrub on the tongue, while not providing any fluffiness and only a touch of crispness. Overall, this is a fairly good interpretation of an ESB. Honestly, it’s a little too bitter for an ESB by my standards, but I’ve really only ever had American interpretations of the style, so my judgment might be flawed. Still, it’s a nice sipper with some good characteristics. As the beer heats up, the malt plays a bigger role on the tongue, and the bread characteristics start to unfurl and become more nuanced, which is great. A solid beer to knock back at the pub, and an excellent beer to pair alongside stronger pub food, like a burger or buffalo wings.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
AirForceHops (6192) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 29, 2012
Draft @ brewpub on 28 Nov, 2012. Proper glassware. Hazy copper pour with thin white head leaving light lace down the sides. Nose is caramel and some dank, muskiness. Not much hop presence and that’s fine because it does have an English feel to it. Malt with a weak Earthy bitterness in the finish. Medium in body. It was served to cold. It got much better as it warmed. Would be nice on cask.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
j12601 (9548) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - MAY 31, 2009
Bottle at PilsnerPeter’s Spring Gathering. Pours a clear cola brown with orange highlights and a light white head. Sweet malt with a touch of hops and caramel on the nose. Medium bodied and a bit malty. Finishes with a light bitterness. Definitely sessionable, but rather boring.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
decaturstevo (5784) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - JUN 20, 2009
Medium brown pour with hints of red. Medium caramel malt with a hint of pine on the nose. Slight sweetness, light caramel malt, and a nice finishing bitter. Thin and watery with good carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dickinsonbeer (5074) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - FEB 4, 2010
Bomber- PPRBSG 09. Pours a deep copper light amber with a thin lasting head. Aroma is sharp cheesy hairy earthy aroma- floral hops, toasted sharp crystal malts, molasses sweetness. Flavor is sweet caramel, toffee, with floral hops, herbs, grass and earth, a bit metallic as well, along with some mineral bitterness in the end- Not bad.

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