Gromit (479) - Port Orchard, Washington, USA - DEC 13, 2003
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A very nice Winter offering. If it were darker I'd swear it was a PNW beer.
Pours an amber color with a respectable head and a very nice lace.
The scent is *very* hoppy, which explains in part my PNW comment. There's a nice malt component there as well.
Taste...hoppy for sure, with a citrus aftertaste. Far more malts than an IPA, of course, but not quite balanced enough for style (one of my favorites). There just doesn't seem to be enough meat to this. I think the hops would mellow and the beer become more complex with a few months aging.
Mouthfeel is good but just a bit thin for my preferences. Overall this is a very good winter beer.
Oakes (12789) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 8, 2003
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Orangey-amber. Hazy. Wispy white head. Chewy, caramelly earthiness and mango fruitiness in the aroma. The palate is rich and woody, playing off again light tropical fruitiness. Caramelly, rich maltiness in the back. Long, sweetish, earthy finish. Robust rendition of the style, to say the least.
MarkR (68) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 2, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Brilliantly clear, vibrant pale amber with a foamy tan head that settles to a respectable cap with crazy lacing. The aroma is well balanced between the leafy, floral hops and the malt which is bready, toffeeish, and nutty. A bit of rye spiciness rounds it out, and adds some complexity. The flavor starts out firmly bitter, and while the bitterness stays strong throughout, all of the malt complexities come out around the midway point. Lots of toffee, toasted bread, and nuttiness form a wonderful backbone underneath the biting, floral hop bitterness and flavor, which combine with the rye for a spiciness which accentuates both the hops and malt. Round and medium in body, with a lingering dryness from the rye on the finish. Ends with a splash of hop flavor. Overall, a fantastic ESB and a hearty winter brew that I look forward to every year. It’s worth noting that this is heavenly when cask-conditioned from Schlafly’s hand pump.
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - NOV 30, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2005 Bottled 11/06/03:
Clear copper. Nice,lasting white,head. Drooping lace. Huge spicy/piney hop aroma. Malt/rye undertones. Creamy mouthfeel with the soft carbonation. Medium to full body. Grainy up front,followed by leafy hops,rye,malt flavors. Finish is loaded with flavor. Tons of hops(spicy,leafy),with some toast,malt. Lingering hops. The rye dries the beer out more than the hops,which are spicy and fresh.
thedm (4972) - Fort Wayne, USA - SEP 20, 2003
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
This rating was from the Hop In The City event where brews from the previous year were sampled (5 oz) by the attendees from kegs. This brew poured a medium sized head of fine to large sized bubbles that left behind a hazy transparent orange brown colored body. The aroma was mildly hopped and the mouthfeel was smooth yet had that hoppy feeling and bite to it. The flavor was all bitter hops.
BBB63 (6155) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - SEP 19, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
At Hop in the City: Hazy orange hue with so me head and little lace. Ripe fruit (apricot, apple, lemon), wheaty, yeasty, and toasted malt aroma. The taste had a grapefruit twang and lively hop bitterness. Undertone of English malt and rye. Minor acidic finish. Medium-bodied with a clean, crisp, and lively mouthfeel. Outstanding version of an ESB, a hybrid.
Indra (2663) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - SEP 18, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Flowery, citric, lightly sweet and malty aroma, hints of lemon and spice. Light amber color, partially opaque, with a slight head. Flavor is citrusy, floral and sweet, some pineapple and very faint mint, and some yeast esters on the otherwise bitter and spicy finish. The best bitter in the world? I'm not sure about that, but it was enjoyable.
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - APR 19, 2003
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Nose is intense sharp hops and it shines through on the palate. Syruppy, sharp hoppyness, and a bit one dimensional, not really elegant or rounded or anything, just a bunch of phat, syruppy, cloying hops that kick you in the face. Let down by the lack of balance and complexity, there is lots of flavour there, but its a bit ugly, not too bad though.
Braudog (5903) - Traveling the USA, Missouri, USA - MAR 31, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 2, 2008 An amber beer with a sweet hoppy nose and an adhesive head. Nice light aroma of cara-malt. Twinge of hoppy floralness with nice malt balance. An outstanding beer with exceptional balance.
Brodie (540) - Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA - MAR 28, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Rich malty aroma - caramel and some dried fruits. Perfect appearance for an ESB, brilliant amber with a frothy white head that laced the glass. Flavor matches the aroma, dominated by malt with some fruity esters. Decent hop bitterness, but no hop flavor or aroma. Body is pretty full, carbonation is a little high for a bitter, but it hides the alcohol well. A well-crafted, malty ESB. It fits the style well, although my personal preference is for a little more hops in the flavor and aroma.