Serve in English pint


on tap

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RATINGS: 343   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 30   EST. CALORIES: 174   ABV: 5.8%
Our ESB (Extra Special Bitter) may have the word “bitter” in its name, but the key to this style is balance. The combination of malts and hops creates a toasty, fruity flavor. Our ESB is dry hopped with a US grown hop varietal called Williamette, which has a pronounced spicy, lemon flavor.

In the early 1970’s, brewers in London and the south of England expanded the range of beers available in pubs, reacting to the wave of European lagers moving into the British pub scene. In addition to the ordinary bitters and pale ales, brewers developed recipes for stronger premium ales like ESB, special bitter and special pale ale. These beers contributed to the English traditional ale revival of the 1980’s, making their way into the beer portfolios of many American craft breweries.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Doppelganger (1388) - Dry County, Arkansas, USA - FEB 15, 2005
Pours sparkly amber orange with a nice layer of cream-white head. Clean yeasty malt aromas, and minty, flowery hops. Very soft and pleasant. Beautifully layered flavors--nice bitter minty-lemon hops right off the bat, followed by a warming bready maltiness, and a nice yeasty finish. Soft clean palate. A terrific full-flavored ESB that rewards sipping, but is balanced enough to be very drinkable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheDean (786) - MIlwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 2, 2005
Beautiful pour and aroma. Sweeter then most ESB’s I am accustom too, but tasty and good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
millerclmb (44) - Boulder, Missouri, USA - DEC 23, 2004
Nice sweet aroma and a crisp bobbly apperance. More head than I remember in this particular sample. I have had this before and liked it more than this year. This seemed like a thinner body with more carbonation and less alcohol. : ( Nice malty taste is well balanced. Great six pack beer...but this year is not as good as other years.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Aggie80 (790) - Michigan, USA - DEC 23, 2004
Nice dark gold color with some foam and a bit of lacing. The hops are well balanced with the malt and neither is dominant. Sour hoppy aftertaste one would expect from a bitter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
heemer77 (5196) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - DEC 4, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2009 Tried again from the ’08 bottled batch. Solid, previous rating holds, but I bumped up the palate as it is smooth and light on the tongue. Pours with a deep amber and slow, lazy bubbles. A huge white head tops it off. This could be because it was delivered today. The aroma is nice and malty with some notes of grass and cola. The taste is a nicely malty and roasted. Some notes of fresh soybeans. A weird sweet note in the background. A fairly nice ESB, but not world class. I have heard this year’s batch is down a little bit. I would really like to try this on tap. Thanks for the delivery, sethdude!!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
lizzy (44) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 28, 2004
This is an overall very good beer. I normally don’t care for a lot of hops, but the bitterness and malts balance it out. One of my favorite seasonals.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
darkstar (69) - Eureka, Missouri, USA - NOV 14, 2004
Initial sweet taste followed by a bitter finish. The color is pleasant with an off colored white head. One of my favorite beers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
kwoeltje (2233) - Manchester, Missouri, USA - FEB 19, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 7, 2004 (draught at Bottleworks) Copper, almost no head. Lovely lace on the glass. Mild malt aroma. Well balanced with sweet malt up front followed by a bitter hops finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - FEB 13, 2004
Bottled 11/26/03 – Pours a slightly hazed amber with a creamy off-white head. The aroma is that of earthy and flowery hops with lots of sweet malt. The flavor is slight caramel then lots of flowery/fruity hops with medium to light bitterness. There are hints of rye but it is really very far back in the mix. The body is medium-full and seems to be substantiated a good bit by the rye. A good beer overall. Possibly misclassified as an ESB, seems more of an APA to me. It lacks the sweet cinnamon character I like in an ESB.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ClarkVV (4436) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 17, 2004
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2005 2003 bottle. First off, thanks to Emily for sendin this gem as an extra. Pours about as good as you can get without being bottle conditioned. Good sized yellow-white head and a marvelous deep red-amber color. Dirty brown and yellow waves as well, quite bright. Smells very full and strong, lots of hops and a slightly spicy/peppery aroma. Mellow and dry caramel as well. Flavor is superb. First off you get a great bitter hops flavor from some nice english-style hops. On the background is a dry caramel-earthy/root flavor. Almost tastes like there is some anise in there, but that’s probably the rye. Body is perfect and flavor is strangely subtle yet full, as a good bitter should be. Beer definitely grows on you as you drink it and the aftertaste of sweet molasses/caramel and low acid hops is wonderful. If this was bottle conditioned, this would be one of the best beers ever made. I hope to test that theory at the brewery with the cask version.

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