RATINGS: 33   MEAN: 3.67/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   IBU: 32   EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%
So, what’s an ESB, anyway?

On this side of the pond, you’ll sometimes see ESB called "Extra Special Bitter." If you’re in Britain, however, and ask for that, the person tending bar is likely to give you a quizzical look. Over there it’s usually just "ESB."

If you ask anyone what that stands for, you’ll be told, "Extra Strong Bitter."

So why’s it so "special" over here and "strong" over there? The answer is quite easy.

Using "strong" as an adjective in a trade name or advertising for any alcoholic beverage in the U.S. would be a major no-no. Laws and regulations here provide that alcoholic content, as a percentage or "proof", must be printed on every label, but nothing else can be stated to puff it up, such as "kicks like a mule" or "two shots of this and your troubles are over".

Moreover, in the US of A, we can’t make any health claims for any alcohol. So, while "Guiness is Good For You" is an iconic slogan on the OTHER side of the pond, you’ll never hear any such claim over here.

So while beer contains no fat; is low in sugar; contains soluble fiber (a liter of beer contains 20% of your daily fiber needs); may reduce cholesterol levels (itself, it has none); moderate consumption of beer has been shown to reduce stress and the chances of heart disease; beer contains significant amounts of magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, and is chock full of B vitamins; and particularly real ale that hasn’t been filtered may give you enough vitamin B to counteract a hangover...

...we can’t tell you that.

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ARH (1134) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 10, 2015
On tap poured into a shaker. The aroma is caramel and bread. It pours an oily, orange copper color with a gelatin soft, off white head retaining a thin ring and light, dusty surface that leaves a good sheet lace. The beer is lightly bitter with a rich medium sweet. The beer is syrupy, but thinnish, and smooth, with a soft, creamy carbonation. The medium body is bready and citrusy with undertones of caramel. It finishes with citrus and toffee leaving a waxy, astringent aftertaste that’s bitter with bread crust and citrus peel.

weihenweizen (4050) - Charleston Area, West Virginia, USA - MAR 8, 2015
On tap at the downtown brewpub. Clear golden with nice off-white head. Aroma is grain, light body, medium carbonation, and sparse small-bubble lacing. Taste is light grain with light hop backbone.

bobark (10) - - MAR 1, 2013
I don’t even like the style...but this is fantastic. Granted it is a very Americanized version of the British style, but I feel it has finally been done right.

JStax (7129) - Devola/Marietta, Ohio, USA - JUN 25, 2012
Poured on draft. Hazy gold to copper color with a sticky white head of foam. Aroma is a a nice mix of citrus fruity bitterness, and a caramel malt backbone. Taste is mildly earthily bitter. Not bad.

chriso (7586) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAR 6, 2011
On tap at Barleys Ale House #1, Columbus OH, on 12 March 2010. Amber colour. No head. Very little condition. Sweetish. Lots of caramel malt character. Also had some sour notes and a little toilet cleaner / bleach. Not very impressed. A bit sickly. I wonder whether this was a bit stale as other reviews seem very positive. In fact, although I didn’t note it at the time I suspect this was actually from a cask that was past its best. Will try again if I ever get back to Barleys.

JaBier (8178) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - APR 13, 2010
On tap at the Alehouse. Pours a clear reddish copper with a medium beige head. Light aroma of English malt and dank earthy hop. English malt flavor with caramel and a semi-bitter finish.

Rastacouere (6177) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 6, 2008
Objectively speaking: An alright ESB which I was sure I had mistaken for another when I saw this was one of the USA’s ahemm... the world’s highest rated.
I like: I must say it was possibly the finest glass I had at Barley’s number 1. Nize hazy orange looks. Fitting very lightly carbonated texture. Good balance between sweetness and dryness.
I dislike: Quite one-dimensional, soft and citrusy flavours (think orange) with gentle earthiness from the English hops. Juicy, yet with fair growing bitterness. Quite fresh, but not particularly inspiring, lacking any real fruity developments and avoiding the whole toasty range.

1010 (309) - Dublin, Ohio, USA - SEP 27, 2008
on tap at the alehouse. Pours a amber color with a white head. Nice fruity hops and very drinkable.

DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 3, 2008
Cask, alehouse. Pours a deep amber color with a nice compact, cask-aled white head. Aroma is fruity, floral hops perfectly integrated with a nice deep maltiness underneath. Everything about this beer is nicely balanced, including the aroma. Taste is sweet yet bitter, fruity and hoppy though strongly malty. Very nice creamy mouthfeel. Drinkability is extremely high - I could drink this all night. The cask fits this beer extremely well. Great.

kp (10881) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
Date: 10/16/1998
Mode: Firkin
Source: Brewfest, Real Ale Festival

copper, wonderful sweet malty aroma with fresh hops, very light body, light bittering. quaffable
-------- /> Date: 03/19/2006
Mode: growler

clear amber, whispy head, light floral hop aroma, light lace, lightly sweet carmel malt flavor, nice long bitter finish,

Aroma: 5/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 6/10; Palate: 5/10; Overall: 12/20
Rating: 2.9/5.0
Drinkability: 8/10
Score: *4

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