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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dfonorow (2039) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 25, 2014
On tap at brewery. Dark copper with a thin off-white head. Aroma and flavor both have caramel, resin, grain, sweet bread, and herbal hops. Good carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
ben4321 (5773) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - OCT 13, 2013
Location: Draft at the Brewpub, 7/12/13, My 50th ESB tick!

Aroma: The nose has some rather light hop notes, caramel and nutty malts
Appearance: It pours a clear light amber color with a small head and not a lot of lace
Flavor: The flavor is light and clean, with a clean malt sweetness and a nice, light hop bitterness
Palate: The body is light, it has a nice, clean mouthfeel, and drinks quite easily
Overall Impression: This is a nice, clean, easy drinking ESB. The nose and flavors lean toward the subtle side, but aren’t bad at all. I liked this one.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
hopscotch (10644) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 17, 2013
Bottle... Mostly clear amber ale with a small, fat bubbled white head. Aroma-wise, I could pull absolutely nothing out of the glass. Medium to full-bodied with light carbonation. Beefy, grainy flavor that leans slightly bitter. Finishes lightly bitter, a hint astringent, and then dries out. Bottle courtesy of landhoney!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
boto (2103) - Granby, Connecticut, USA - JUL 31, 2013
Draught @ Brewpub: this one pours a slightly hazy, amber color. There was a small off white head that left a little lacing. The nose is a little lighter. It has mainly pine and citrus notes to it. Some sweet malts too. The taste is good. It is just a bit bitter. Pine and citrus notes. A decent malt body behind it. A nice, easy drinking ESB.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
johnnnniee (3816) - 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 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 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
czar (7876) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 6, 2013
on tap at brewpub. hazy almost cloudy golden orange with a minimal off-white head, some retention. grains - wheat and rye, spicy-peppery, citrusy, bit of caramel, herbs and booze. moderate carbonation, light body - oily, short herbal finish. lame esb interpretation.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
rondphoto (4097) - 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
AirForceHops (6295) - 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 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
radarsock (1146) - Massachusetts, USA - AUG 23, 2012
Had on-tap @ Portsmouth. Pours a copper alloy amber with carbonation not even a fingernail in length. Tastes and smells of grass trimmings, caramelized sugar, wet soil, spice and spent grains. Ends slightly more bitter.

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