Posts Tagged ESB

Swan’s ESB (Buckerfield’s Brewery)

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Swan’s ESB is brewed by Buckerfield’s Brewery on Vancouver Island in a popular hotel and brewpub in Victoria, that tends to brew British style ales and German style lagers. The ESB has a nice dark amber colour and is gently carbonated, in the tradition of ales from the other side of The Atlantic, but has a slightly more robust hop aroma than some. There is a nice malty body to this beer, with plenty of sweet caramel notes; these lead to a bitter hoppy finish that seem to envelop the initial malt sweetness.

Although I really enjoyed drinking this one, the flavours are not that well integrated, and the hops on the finish seem strangely separate fom the mid-palate. Never the less, it’s definitely one to try for fans of the style, as it goes down easily, and as it is lower in alcohol than most ESBs, makes a good session beer.

ABV: 5%

Best Served: 9°C

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Propeller Extra Special Bitter

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Propeller ESB is a rich dark amber / brown and is brewed in the traditional style of a British Extra Special Bitter. It has a nice fruity aroma, with strong hints of malt that remind me of a classic pub pint in the UK. This Nova Scotian brew is a breeze to drink, as the balance of malt and hops are good and makes drinkability a key factor in recommending this beer. The malt has a touch of sweetness to it, but mainly you get to taste its richness. The hops are North American though, and there is a nice herbal note and a refreshing bitter finish. This might not be a show stopper, but it’s a well made and drinkable beer, almost making it a session ale due to the alcohol being on the lighter side of a typical ESB. Pair this with a richly flavoured lamb dish, like a roasted lamb shank, as the bitterness will offset the rich fattiness of the meat.

ABV: 5%

Best Served: 9°C

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Fuller’s ESB

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Fuller’s ESB lays claim to be the original Extra Special Bitter and its popularity across the world has made this one of Britain’s best known ales. It has a lovely medium amber colour with a loose head (typical for Southern English Bitters); the aroma is full of rich malt with some notes of yeasty bread flavours. The hops are far more noticeable on the palate, and are beautifully balanced with the strong maltiness that typifies the ESB style. They are present with a subtle spiciness that makes this a very drinkable and thirst-quenching beer. There are plenty of fruit flavours there as well, with a touch of pear and some nice orange zest on the finish. This is a great benchmark for the style and I for one could drink this ’til the cows come home! Have this with a steak and ale pie and mashed potato – preferably in a good pub!

ABV: 5.9%

Best Served: 10°C

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