texasbartender (160) - Sugarland, Texas, USA - MAR 21, 2008
3.5 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
The beer is classified as an English Strong Ale, it weighs in at 6.6% ABV with 50 IBU. This is Real Ale’s winter seasonal which smacks of English style but with a distinctively Texas taste.
The Beer has a very light nose. It might because I have a slight cold or it might be that the beer keeps all of its flavor for your palate but got very little nose off of my initial investigation. I believe that just as you eat with your eyes you also drink with your eyes. So the question becomes does this beer say “pick me up and drink me”? This is a great looking beer. It has a white creamy head that has great lacing that hangs all the way down the glass. The body is fairly clear with an amber black color.
Real Ale claims that this” this ale is about hops. The blend of English hops, highlighted by its namesake, Phoenix, yields a complex hop character that dominates this special brew.” I hope that my recent IPA bingeing hasn’t left my palate overly shocked, because I didn’t really get hoppy bitterness off the beer. But I did get some light hoppy floral notes, which could mean that the brewers were going with a sweeter less bitter hoppy approach which is a much welcomed change from the rest of the ESBs I’ve had of late. What I did get was a rich yet balanced malty flavor. This taste comes from the English crystal malt which brings with it a light toffee and caramel undertone. The ale has a very short lived finish, which is great because as much as I like IPAs and ESBs I don’t like to taste them in the morning. This beer has a medium body with a very light and watery mouth feel.
Overall I would call this a very well balanced flavorful beer and is a great way to start off the night.
bu11zeye (11971) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - MAR 8, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
(Draft) Pours a deep amber body with a medium beige head. Aroma of caramel, orange, nuts, and toasted grain. The flavor is dominated by chocolate and caramel malts that balance out nicely with the citrusy hops and light nutty notes in the finish.
ilovedarkbeer (2340) - Dallas, Texas, USA - FEB 21, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Weird that this is listed as an ESB and it comes up as a ESA. Very bitter around 50 IBU. Hoppy malt sugary and dark reddish color. Medium sized creamy head. Pretty good beer.
mmmbeer (1253) - Austin, Texas, USA - FEB 20, 2008
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Served a pint glass at the Alamo Drafthouse- semi transparent dark red amber in color, nice off red head one finger thick, aroma of malt with a pale fruit note. Hits the mouth with a medium body, malt and hops are present, finish is crisp with a snort of sweetness thrown in. Very easy drinker.
kidmartinek (3742) - austin, Texas, USA - FEB 9, 2008
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
A dark beer, with a small amount of tan foam. The brew is amber in color, but dark. It has a smooth hoppy aroma and taste, and is not double bitter despite its name.
jezmez68 (402) - Chesterton, Indiana, USA - FEB 3, 2008
2.7 AROMA 1/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
On tap at Flying Saucer, Houston. Amber in color with small head that disappears, malty, a bit more of a tingly finish than the Real Ale Rio Blanco, but other than that, no real difference.
oreogobbler (228) - Austin, Texas, USA - JAN 30, 2008
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Fruity with a slight malt aroma. Med. amber brown off white head good lacing. Malty and some good hop flavor. Nice bouque of fruit. Velvet smooth palate.
slimchill (1044) - Austin, Texas, USA - JAN 30, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draught. Strong fruit aroma, grape jam. Bright red beer with a cream-colored head. Mild hop presence, slight acidity. Palate is thick and chewy but sharp at the same time.
djd07 (3896) - Houston, Texas, USA - JAN 29, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On draught at Flying Saucer. Has a dark ruby/brown color with a medium tan head. Sticky lacing on the glass. The aroma is a strong malt. The taste is a sweet malt with a smooth finsh, easy to drink, a great english strong ale from Real Ale.
pintsize (1042) - Austin, Texas, USA - JAN 29, 2008
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Clear amber with good head and lacing. Smells of fruity and floral hops and some malt undertones as it warms. Sweet and slightly strange malt flavor. Drinkable and somewhat unique.