Category Archives: English Extra Special Bitter

Hawkshead Cumbrian 5 Hop

Brewery: Hawkshead Brewery
Country: England
ABV: 5%
Style: English Extra Special Bitter

Brewer Description: (from bottle) This is a well hopped golden ale which marries traditional English with modern American hops – five varieties in all, including Golding, Citra and Amarillo. The full biscuity taste of English Maris Otter barley combines with orange marmalade citrus, floral, spicy and herbal hop flavours to produced a complex modern beer.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.49
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.3

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of May 2016 and poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: The beer poured a hazy golden orangey colour with a thin weak white head that leaves some stringy lacing.
Aroma: Fruity aromas, starts with melon, pineapple, tangerine and orange with hints of caramel.
Taste: A little on the weak side when you consider the amount of fruit in the aroma. Biscuity caramel malt with some citrus mandarin and grapefruit. There are hints of mango, grass and pine with a long bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.
Overall: This was quite good especially the aroma but was hoping that there was more of a punch in the taste considering the nice aromas.

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hawkshead cumbrian 5 hop 5

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Anderson Valley Belk’s ESB

Brewery: Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 6.8%
Style: English Extra Special Bitter
Other Notes: Formerly known as Boont’s ESB. BUT I’ve also heard that this has recently been discontinued… (and I can barely find any info on the Anderson Valley website)

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Burnished gold hue with a persistent, rocky white head. Floral, spicy aroma redolent of lilacs, white pepper and Bartlett pears with undertones of blueberry honey and roses. A pleasant balance of crisp bitterness with a clean malt profile adorned spicy, herbal hop flavors lasting into a dry, refreshing finish.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.46
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.5

Intro: A 12 fl oz bottle with no visible best by or bottled date and poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: Poured a slightly hazy orangey copper colour with a one finger off white head that dissipates within a minute leaving some stringy lacing.
Aroma: A bit weak but what little I do get is caramel malts, some fruitiness like plum, pear, apple sauce and orange plus hints of mineral notes.
Taste: Strong caramel sweetness beginning and citrus grapefruit bitterness finish with hints of pine, grass and pepper in between.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low carbonation and dry finish.
Overall: This was decent but nothing special. I think I may prefer it more if it had a little less of the caramel sweetness.

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anderson valley belk's esb 4

Bad Martha Martha’s Vineyard Ale

Brewery: Bad Martha Brewing Company
Country: USA
ABV: 5.3%
Style: Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
Other Notes: Uses grape leaves from Martha’s Vineyard. Brewed and bottled for Bad Martha Brewing Company by Mercury Brewing Company

Brewer Description: (from neck of bottle) Get seduced by our flagship ale. The finest English malts, New England hops and grape leaves from Martha’s Vineyard give this Extra Special Bitter a devilish honey hue and smooth caramel flavor.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.41
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.4

Intro: Another beer brought back to Hong Kong for me as part of a filler for a six pack. Bottled on 2 October 2014. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: It poured a hazy dark amber colour with an extremely light head that disappears fast leaving small spotty lacing.
Aroma: Apple and grape tea followed by caramel malts.
Taste: Sweet-ish but not too sweet, grape, plum, light caramel.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with nice carbonation.
Overall: It was interesting and I have to admit better than expected. The reason being that the bottle itself looked rather dull. If I was picking, it would not be a beer I would pick off the shelf. Having said that, I enjoyed the carbonation and the fact that it wasn’t too sweet.

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