RATINGS: 347   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52/5   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 1970s, 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 1980s, making their way into the beer portfolios of many American craft breweries.

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   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Zoso137 (52) - Springfield, Missouri, USA - JAN 26, 2006
this brew made me feel like i had to go to a seminar on dental care but i ended up in a class about european weather.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
muzzlehatch (4911) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 21, 2006
12 oz bottle generously sent by Sethdude, thanks dude! Cellar temperature, Samuel Smith pint. Pours a magnificent smooth off-white very stable head atop a cloudy/translucent orange-amber body...rich malty-caramel nose with hints of vanilla....full-throttle solid ESB body, light herbal bitterness throughout with solid malt underpinnings, oaky and moderately dry body....elegant, relatively dry version of style is readily quaffable and beautiful to behold.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JPDIPSO (5990) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 11, 2006
Bright copper color with a small off-white head. Small amount of lace. Dry aromas of malt and caramel. Initial floral scent that seems to diminish after a few minutes, but is remembered and missed. Quite dry from the start as well, but quite malty in the finish and linger. Some mild raisin and currant flavors adrift mid to late quaff. A mild astringency late knocks it down one, but still quite pleasant.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - JAN 8, 2006
Pour is nice clear amber with a thin white head...smell is nicely sweet and spicy with lots of nice hops giving a melon quality to the very doughy aroma...taste is strongly bitter for an ESB, but not in an IPA way...sweet doughy flavors up front turning into a growing mild bitterness...very well done!!!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mkgrenwel (610) - North Shore, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 7, 2006
(Thanks to TAR for this one) Crisp, dry and fruity. Apples and cherries. Peppery and spicy with the hops. Nice and bitter, but not strongly. This is a very well crafted ESB. Nothing about it is particularly impressive, but it is a well rounded beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DarkElf (3061) - La Jolla, California, USA - DEC 31, 2005
(12 oz bottle: Obtained in trade with iwantalambic, thanks Justin!) Bottled With Love on 26-Oct-05. Whoa, surprisingly hoppy for an ESB, but the mildly sweet pale malt profile seems pretty timid in comparison. I can really taste the grassy hops in this rather than just vague bitterness, though the level of bitterness isnt exactly shy here either. Slightly grassy and grapefruity hops aroma. Medium bodied, crisp and somewhat clean, pretty standard carbonation mouthfeel. The beer is light amber in color with near perfect clarity. The off-white head rises to almost an inch before settling down to a wide ring and leaving sporadic patchy lacing on the glass. Overall, Im reminded of a very hoppy English ale rather than the American ESB I was expecting, though I would have known better had I read the label. Its a pretty decent beer and the flavor of the bitter hops is pleasant, but for my tastes, theres far too little malt to keep the hops balanced.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
steview (1037) - Petaluma, California, USA - DEC 20, 2005
good ale with a strong abv to make it quite the session winter ale; bold drinkin ale, earthy with some cute subtleties--apple, chalkdust, grapefruit, floral, caramel, a bit of malt-like spice, and on, but not much on... although i quite liked it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
LePoopie (151) - Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 6, 2005
Decent aroma. Clear, amber hue, with some head. Has a good, bitter flavor to it. Good texture, with the right amount of carbonation. Overall, it was a nice, enjoyable beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
DavidP (1748) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 6, 2005
Bottle (10/26/2005) thanks to Kevin. Clear amber body with just a wisp of white head. Toasty crystal malt aroma with strong fruity melon and ester highlights. Diacetyl and toasty crystal in the flavor along with apple skin esters. Grain dust and some crisp grass hops in the finish dry. Not that great of a beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 6, 2005
2005 bottle. Shiny clear gold color. Lingering soapy head. Aroma is sweet, slightly stemmy hops (not very hoppy though). Kind of herbal I think, like the purple clover flowery things. That kind of carries over in to the taste. Flowery hops that fade into a soapy residue with a touch of sweetness. Some bright sour saltiness too that is kind of cool if you float it around your tongue enough. Kind of bitter and slightly one-dimensional. But still has some interesting character if you look hard.

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