mike mcneil (660) - St Augustine, Florida, USA - OCT 22, 2001
Had this brew on tap.A very complex, but unusual bitter. Deep copper color with a very creamy off-white durable head. Dominant toasty malt presence with some background butteriness. A nice hop presence punches through mid-palate and finishes with a pleasant, crisp dryness. Good stuff! Hopistotle420 (1178) - Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 15, 2002
Golden amber hue. Nice lacing on beige head. Roasted aromas. Excellant maltiness, kinda woody at first, alcohol, then hop bitterness. A wonderfully balanced brew, definately worth trying. This is my favorite brew from those guys at shipyard. Cant beat the thump. JoeM500 (1908) - Crown Point, Indiana, USA - OCT 21, 2002
CASK-CONDITIONED VERSION: Baked apple nose with some grassy hops in there, as well. Velvety smooth with a sweet, warm fruitcake start that fades nicely into a grassy, dry hop end. BigBen2120 (688) - Derry, New Hampshire, USA - FEB 10, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2007 Amber translucent body with less than a half an inch of off-white head. Smells like bready, fruitty, and buttery. Tastes sweet, buttery, malty, and bready. Creamy mouthfeel with a medium to heavy body. Full-flavored and tasty, but well-ballanced with no one aspect overwealming another in this beer. Better like the ringwood yeast or you’ll hate it. elcig (37) - Oliver Springs, Tennessee, USA - JUL 13, 2006
Bottle - Pours a lovely amber with creamy, thick head. Very soft hops aroma but a bit of citrus is there. Smooth as silk mouthfeel with flavors of sweet butterscotch and vanilla followed by a nice crispness at the finish. Nice example of an ESB from the states.
HighlanderOne (1332) - York, SC via NJ, South Carolina, USA - APR 14, 2007
Poured from bottle. Way past due date, oh well. Aroma of hops, caramel, bread which greets you nicely as you drink. Semi clear amber, nice look. Caramel and cake in the flavor, along with the hops. Kinda a hybrid between a belgian and an IPA. Finished quite nicely. I’m quite pleased with this brew. This would make a great everyday beer. jsmerig (1590) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 26, 2011
Pours light brown with mild carbonation. Aroma of sweet flower and banana. Taste is sweet with a biscuit like flavor and a rich but subtle earthy bitnerness in the after taste. Mellow but crisp in the finish. I like this beer an want to have more if the style. badpuppy69 (321) - orange, California, USA - JUL 4, 2014
UPDATED: JUL 17, 2014 Pours a clear amber with great thick head. Aroma is sweet caramel roasted malt with a citrucy Hop note. Taste follows the aroma perfect. Super smooth and very delicious! The balance between malt and hops is spot on. jaymobrown (1845) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 22, 2002
CASK-CONDITIONED: As I try to peer through my beer stained notes, I notice that I wrote this is light in color with a lot of sweetness but well balanced with hops. Bitter, creamy, and smooth. Darkmagus82 (2302) - - OCT 16, 2014
Transfer from BA review on 4-18-14-
Poured from bottle into a ping glass
Appearance – The beer pours deep amber, nearly copper color, with a billowy tan colored head. The head has a moderate level of retention, fading to leave a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of a caramel and toffee smell mixed with some lightly toasted bready and malty smells. Along with these aromas are some others of an earthy and grainy nature. Rounding out the aroma profile is a little bit of oak which leads to a nice sweet and malty aroma overall.
Taste – The taste begins with a big sweet and bready flavor with tons of toffee and caramel and a somewhat doughy taste. The doughiness transitions more to a roasted bready flavor as the flavors advance with the sweeter tastes gaining even more butteriness with much of the caramel taking on a more toffee like flavor. Some lightly burnt flavors as well as a bit of a nutty taste come to the tongue more toward the end. These are accompanied by some herbal and earthy hop flavors, which combined with the rest, as well as a little bit of an apple and stone fruit flavor, to leave a somewhat sweet and lightly roasted and hopped, but rather strong malty flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is quite thick and creamy for a brew of only 5.6 % abv. with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both are great for the big, sweet, and malty flavors of the brew creating a very mouth coating feel.
Overall – Quite sweet and robust in flavor for only 5.6 % abv. A rather enjoyable ESB.