Sierra Nevada Early Spring Beer (ESB)

RATINGS: 747   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.39/5   SEASONAL: Spring   EST. CALORIES: 177   ABV: 5.9%
Our ESB blends the best of English tradition with the boldness of West Coast style. A blend of malts featuring British-grown Maris Otter is balanced with the earthy spiciness of hand-selected English and US hops. The ale is left unfiltered which enhances mouthfeel and hop aroma creating a slightly reddish copper hue.

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DarkSong (371) - Dacula, Georgia, USA - SEP 4, 2009
12 oz bottle. Pours a cloudy yellowish orange with a medium sized white head. Smells of hops, caramel and candied orange. It has a strong earthy hop taste, a pine taste, flower taste and a caramel taste. I thought this was a very good beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - AUG 31, 2009
Pours gold with a thin white head. Smells of roses, toasted malt, caramel, some earthy hops. Tastes earthy and sweet with some floral notes on the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
williamherbert (1525) - Syracuse, New York, USA - AUG 30, 2009
This is the 2009 version... Hazy and still golden orange. Thin, but leaves an icy lace. Tiny specks sit motionless within. The thickness and white top look great. The smell is nice, bready malt backbone with some crisp, flowery hops. Almost pilsner-like. Sharp hops, though a little weak. The hops are more woody than expected, but still mild. Well-balanced. Very sweet and buttery caramel and honey flavor at the tail-end. Nice sweet-bitter balance. The feel is thick and creamy feel. Very smooth and honey-like. A very mild, sweet (but hoppy beer). Smooth and easy sipping. Diggin it a lot; better than the sum of its parts.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
shigadeyo (3705) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 22, 2009

2009 Vintage

8/22/2009: Sierra Nevada ESB (Early Spring Beer)... Aroma: Toffee maltiness and caramelized sugar combined with mostly earthy and slightly floral hops. Appearance: ESB-like appearance of orange-amber color with a minimal off-white head; cloudy; moderate carbonation. Flavor: Tofee malt extract, undertones of additional roasted/darker malts; a heavy-handed amount for bitterness and very earhty, almost herbally hops. Palate: Medium-bodied, average mouthfeel, carbonation comes through a bit more than I would have liked, but it isnt over-done. Overall: Very much like a traditional ESB; quite solid and flavorful, but easy to forget; kind of reminds me of beginner homebrew though...

12 fl. oz. bottle (Alc. 5.9% by Vol.; 9021C13 47) from The Party Source in Bellevue, Kentucky. Rating #716 for this beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
weaselkenievil (1608) - Cheshire, ENGLAND - AUG 20, 2009
Bottle. Pretty much golden with slight copper leaning, off white yellowing medium head. It may be fairly typical of an American ESB but it didnt taste very ESB to me. I certainly enjoyed it though, very tasty. Would love to get a few of these down me. Earthy and oaty and reasonably heavy on the malts, which isnt my thing usually but this was done in the right way. Nice grassy notes with a light bitter finish. Good work.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
daknole (10936) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - AUG 12, 2009
Gold pour, offwhite head. Hoppy and malty aroma. Hops are floral and lead to a nice tasting beer. A bit more bitterness than a typical ESB and a good malt bill as well. Nicely done.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 8, 2009
My ESB came on draft at my favorite local beer joint so not only did I get to sup on a delicious beer, but I also got to enjoy the gentile ambience of my favorite hangout. Clear amber depths shimmer in a Sierra Nevada shaker pint glass. Her body is topped with a copper tinged head wrought with tightly packed bubbles while their larger cousins stick to the sides. Settling into her new home, she starts to clean house by first filling my senses with a gentle bouquet of pine needles, freshly cut grass damp with morning dew, waxy lemon and grapefruit skins with some nice juicy pulpy meat included for good measure followed by a final flourish of gentle floral notes. Spring is in the air, and so are the honey bees buzzing around their nest of ripe, delish honeycomb which would go lovely with the crunchy melba toast which offers solid support. Wow. And that was just the nose. There is a lot going on, but as Sierra Nevada likes to do, they weave it all together with gentle grace. My first quaff is crisp with the pine needles and grass piercing my senses while sticky sap coats my lips and sides of mouth. Brisk and refreshing, she vivifies and invigorates as the top of my tongue tingles with dry acidity thanks to the lemon and grapefruit which was readily apparent in her nose. Joining her sticky sappy brethren is fresh honey supped directly off the honeycomb whose earthiness compliments the finishing snap of melba toast.

Intriguing to say the least, but it didnt bowl me over. That may hard to tell from the flourish of words above, but its no Bigfoot or Torpedo or Porter; their standard Porter is very tasty. On the other hand, the ESB is a very tasty and easy to drink spring session beer which is exactly what it is supposed to be.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
sfhodense (4789) - Odense N, DENMARK - AUG 4, 2009
Golden with a large offwhite head. Aroma is hoppy, grass and pine. Flavour is nice hop, with loads of grass. nice bitter aftertaste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jtodd5dot1 (44) - Marina, California, USA - AUG 4, 2009
Poured a yellowish copper with a mildly thick off white head that lasted only briefly. The aroma was all hops. The flavor was bitter like you would expect, but not so much so that it kills. Overall very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ghawener (1592) - San Salvador, EL SALVADOR - JUL 31, 2009
Bottle: Start off incredible, floral, piney, fresh full of hop goodness. Finish is less aggressive, softens and goes easy on the palate. ESB or IPA? Food Pairing: An aggressive cheddar.

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