Simon of http://youtube.com/RealAleGuide joins me via Skype to review this traditional English ESB (extra special bitter). We reviewed Fuller's ESB back in September, which we both liked, so how would this beer compare?
3.7AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured a 500ml bottle into an English pint glass.
APPEARANCE: Pretty mahogany color. Forms a 2-finger, off-white, foamy/soapy head. Decent retention, minor lacing.
AROMA: quite mild, but distinct notes of toffee, red apple and a very light potpourri scent.
TASTE: Red apple flavor dominates the palate with a subtle syrup-like flavor of toffee or caramel in the back end. While it’s in the mouth there’s a minor black pepper taste and sensation but it’s not quite that strong. Not a very robust beer overall, but it definitely satisfies.
MOUTHFEEL: a little thicker than I expected (which is nice). Decent carbonation throughout. A touch of peppery sensation is easy to tolerate.
DRINKABILITY: almost ridiculously smooth. Drinks as easy as a traditional Bitter. It’s quite refreshing as well. I probably wouldn’t pair this with a meal, but cheese and crackers or a turkey sandwich might work.
OVERALL: One of the better authentic English ESBs on the mainstream market. I like it better than Fuller’s. It’s a little expensive, though. Very satisfying overall.