Brewed by Fullerís
Style: Premium Bitter/ESB
London, England
Serve in English pint


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 2697   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.62/5   EST. CALORIES: 177   ABV: 5.9%
Bottle & keg (USA); Pasteurised.
First brewed in 1971. Ingredients: Pale Ale malt, Crystal malt and Maize; Target, Challenger, Northdown and Goldings hops.
Brewed at 5.5% ABV in cask and 5.9% ABV in bottle, ESB is a true liquid legend, and should be savoured as such.
ESB has a wonderful rich mahogany appearance. Taking in the nose, the beer is bursting with cherry and orange, balanced by soft malty toffee and caramel notes. The flavour delivers everything you would expect from such a full-bodied ale. The unique blend of Northdown, Target, Challenger and Goldings hops imparts grassy, peppery notes on the tongue along with intense citrus fruit characters of grapefruits, oranges and lemons. The blend of Pale Ale and Crystal malts in the brew give a biscuity, toffee element to the beer. A smooth, mellow bitterness lingers on the palate to give a superbly satisfying finish.

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
shaeffbser (70) - Vail, Colorado, USA - FEB 10, 2004
Beautiful red to amber color with a nice full head. Malty, alcoholic, caramel, nutty nose. Vanilla malty nutty flavor. Crisp and full-bodied palate.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
raymow (1565) - Bensalem, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 5, 2004
Any way you look at it, this is just a damn fine beer. Great amber color and sweet butterscotch aroma. Tastes great.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
hershiser2 (2797) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - FEB 2, 2004
Nice amber color, but the head disappears very quickly and leaves a rather saliva-looking froth on the top. Light alcohol smell, nothing new and/or special here. Nice flavor, starts sweet, ends dry and bitter. This beer turns out to be quite average for me. I really didn't find any of its qualities to be enticing me back.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Gunny (41) - Dundas, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 30, 2004
500 ml bottle. Red/orange with a thick, cloud-like off-white head. Vinous nose with floral hops, butterscotch and the faint sting of alcohol. Initially bitter with a slight metallic tinge followed by shortbread biscuits and a bouquet of floral hops. Lingering bitterness and warming alcohol is quite pleasing. The draught version was more enjoyable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
wulfhere (217) - Billings, Montana, USA - JAN 30, 2004
Bottle. Nice medium amber color with a creamy head. Aroma is somewhat subdued, not as much hop character as I would have expected. Medium body with decent maltiness and good hop bitterness for support, but for some reason (old bottle) the nose just isn't there. Crisp, clean dry finish.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
cascadehop (4) - fort collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 28, 2004 does not count
A true classic. I am not sure how any one can knock this beer in any aspect. Maybe the best malt flavor and aroma that can be accomplished in an ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SG (465) - Valley Center, California, USA - JAN 28, 2004
An orange/brown tint with almost no head and a little lacing. The aroma is on the sweet side like caramel and hops. Initial carbonation is low. The body however is full with a nice, bitter bite. Some sweetness on the end as well. A very nice bitter; slightly citrusy like oranges. There is a nut-like profile as well. Easily one of the best bitters I've ever had.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - JAN 28, 2004
UPDATED: MAY 28, 2009 Updating one of my first ratings on the site (and my worst - totally from memory - bottles in 98 while living in London). This is from the 500ml can from the LCBO (one of the things the LCBO has got very very right - relationship with Fullers). Pours a nice copper orange with a creamy orange tinted white head. Really nice fruity hop aroma - mix of citrus and earthy fruit. Mouthfeel on this sucker is exquisite - so soft and creamy. Taste is superb - actually better than my inflated memory of it - rich fruity malt, biting citrus hops, complimentary alcohol in the back and all balanced amazingly well. Still the standard to which all other ESBís should be measured. I rated this from memory a 4.4 when I first joined the site and I fully expect that to be lower this time. Not really. What a nice revist surprise!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Shag (2941) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - JAN 28, 2004
This is one fine beer. Even better than the 1845. Aroma is a fruit filled experience of cherries, lemons, and oranges. Flavor is slightly bitter with vanilla, oranges, chesnuts, and cherries. Mouthfeel was creamy with a bitter aftertaste. A wonderful beer by all means!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - JAN 24, 2004
My first "buttery" beer that I ever tasted (1990). Did not get it on tap until many years later. Somehow, the bottle seemed better (nostalgia?). Delicious either way.

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