Red Racer ESB (Extra Special Bitter) - Central City Brewing
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by stagger:
4.7/5 rDev +15.5%
On-tap at the Alibi Room, as part of a three-round face-off between a number of different draft selections there.
In three rounds of four beers each, the ESB clearly came out on top, ahead of perennial favourites such as Red Racer IPA and Driftwood Farmhand. A well-rounded, extraordinarily favourful and balanced bitter, equally suited for savouring and sessioning. As fine as their IPA is, it pales (no pun intended) in comparison to the ESB.
If they can get this into bottles (correction: cans, I suppose) I'd drive across the border regularly to get my fix. Well done, Central City!
10-06-2009 01:43:09 | More by stagger
More User Reviews:
British Columbia (Canada)
4.33/5 rDev +6.4%
On tap at the Central City brewpub. Pours a clear copper color with a medium white head. Aroma of citrusy hops and caramel malt. The flavor is fairly hoppy, but nicely balanced with the malt. Medium-light body with good carbonation, and a mild bitter aftertaste. Very drinkable, this makes a great session beer.
02-21-2010 06:18:23 | More by chickenm
4.13/5 rDev +1.5%
12oz can, a single procured at Zyn in Cowtown. The label is replete with the standard Red Racer cutie, strikin' her pose as ever was.
This beer pours a clear, bright, and solid medium copper amber hue, with two chubby fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which settles at pace, leaving some whipped-cream topping, and a nice thin wall of meshed lace around the glass.
It smells of sharp biscuit/toffee malt, pine resin, warm citrus (orange and lime, mostly) rind, a soft oily nuttiness, and further floral, weedy hops. The taste is more edgy biscuity graininess, a heady nutty caramel sweetness, toasted brown bread, lime and lemon peel, a certain mineral flintiness, and general forest floor hop esters.
The carbonation is moderate, just a flitting frothiness wafting about, the body a lean medium weight, and just a tad prickly in its otherwise unassailable smoothness. It finishes clean and crisp, the hops and crackery malt seeing to a lingering dryness.
A nouveau-riche ESB combined with all the proper West Coast IPA sentiments - big British maltiness, and some tethered, but well noticeable Yankee PNW hops. Quite drinkable, and patently enjoyable, for lovers of both styles, such as this guy (points both thumbs at self).
12-28-2010 06:17:05 | More by biboergosum
3.73/5 rDev -8.4%
I like this better than the IPA. Bang on for the style. This one from Zyn and listed at 5.6% Pours a ridiculous amount of foam and stays like that. Soft mouthfeel yet the bitterness is right there throughout the pint. Golden body. Very drinkable and some hops wafting in the air that invites you in.
05-15-2011 04:15:37 | More by Sammy
4.28/5 rDev +5.2%
A - clear bronze, tall soapy off white head, some sticky lacing
S - strong herbal and citrus aroma, bready and peppery
T - herbal hops and bready malt up front, quickly moves to spicy lemon zest hop notes and rich nutty malt
M - strong carbonation, thin and a very tart bitter finish
D - strong hop flavour with plenty of malt balance, carbonated for easy drinking
02-18-2011 03:03:03 | More by joemcgrath27
4.1/5 rDev +0.7%
Almost clean and golden-amber in colour, finger of frothy off-white head.
Red Racer hops in an ESB? Lychee, guava, grapefruit, caramel. Smells more like their IPA than their pale ale does.
The nose has a ton of similarity to the IPA but the flavour here is different enough. The "Central City" hops are still perceptible but they switch it up a little here with some dark earthy bitterness in the foreground, overshadowing the fresh tropical fruit from the IPA. Lots of hops here to be sure but there are enough distinguishing features to know it's an ESB (lighter malt body and more prominent minerals). Fairly well-balanced with an enjoyable amount of caramel malt (including some roasted character), with the bitter finish winning out in the end.
Nice thick medium body with an active moderate carbonation.
This stuff is extremely drinkable. One of my favorite ESBs I've had. If you're looking for a lighter alternative to the IPA, pick this stuff up instead of the pale ale. I would totally buy this stuff if it were available here. ABV is pretty high for an ESB but I'd session it anyway. Really tasty stuff.
12-14-2011 06:23:51 | More by eat
British Columbia (Canada)
4.22/5 rDev +3.7%
Appearance. Pours a clear deep amber with 2 fingers of sticky yellow head that leaves some nice lacing.
Smell. Fruity, piney hops and a little malty caramel.
Taste. Bitter, dry and toasty malt. Grassy and citrus hop bite. Lasting, dry bitterness and a little alcohol.
Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium-strong, prickly carbonation.
Overall. Tasty, bitter beer. More hops than I expected.
03-23-2011 02:51:34 | More by Rutager
3.53/5 rDev -13.3%
Thanks to kjyost for this one.
Poured from can in to Unibroue tulip glass. Bottle date of H1110 - Aug 11, 2010.
A - Nice dark amber colour with one finger of thick foamy white head.
S - Bitter hops up front - some juicy citrus and earthy tones come through. A light sweet malt backbone rounds this one out.
T - Bitter hops with earthy notes and some slight citrus flavours. A nice sweet caramel malt taste rounds this one out.
10-19-2010 00:20:01 | More by TheSevenDuffs
4.13/5 rDev +1.5%
This will be my second Red Racer beer review after the delicious IPA. I really enjoy an ESB as a style, so hopefully this doesn't disappoint.
Poured into a pint glass, it's a hazy amber colour with a lot of carbonation fizzling up to the top. The head is substantial and foamy, and it seems to be sticking around at about 2 fingers which is impressive.
The aroma is light. Slightly hoppy with a bit of toasty maltiness rounding it out. Very balanced, but not too intense.
Bitterness is the first aspect of the flavour that comes through as it hits the back of my tongue. I get some sweet notes as the rich toasty malt flavours come through. My mouth is fulled with some lovely hop aroma that gives way to some roasted malt flavours. I'm left with a hint of a citrus flavour.
Overall, I think this is a little to hoppy to call an ESB, but it is still an excellent beer! It is very much up my alley, and I'm sure I'll be grabbing a 6 pack of this again soon.
06-19-2011 20:30:31 | More by evlu1441
3.93/5 rDev -3.4%
From a 355 mk can, part of a 6 pack. Pours out a deep burnished copper/amber, creamy loose-bubbled white head.
Dry toasty grainy malt, with herbal and spicy hops on the nose.
Dry toasty malt up front in the flavour, immediately eclipsed with dry spicy and herbal hops. It hits all the right spots rather tersely, but still well done.
Medium-bodied mouthfeel, slick with moderate carbonation.
An assertive and enjoyable ESB, not quite as enjoyable as their Red Racer IPA, but this certainly holds its own within its own style.
12-26-2010 21:21:59 | More by IronDjinn
4.4/5 rDev +8.1%
Part of a mixed pack that my uncle brought for me when visiting.
Poured from a 355ml. can, canned Nov. 1, 2011 (Lot K0111).
Appearance: A brass colored body with 3 fingers of foam, a bit lopsided and with good lacing.
Smell: Biscuity, malty, hops and ripe fruit.
Taste: Only a few drops on my tongue and i taste immediately orange & grapefruit. Further tasting reveals the plush fruit mixed with some earthiness. Quite flavorful.
Mouthfeel: Gritty just a tad, solid with just the right amount of dryness & bitterness.
Overall: A well balanced ESB that exemplifies the style. One of the best of its class.
01-08-2012 01:56:16 | More by papat444
British Columbia (Canada)
3.7/5 rDev -9.1%
A: Deep dark clear amber poured with 1 finger of creamy thick head.After a sip or 2 the head calms to a thin cap of delicate bubbles.
S: Pine resin & grapefruit rind similar to the Red Racer IPA, but balanced out with caramelized sugar & malts. the IPA has a
T: Up front with hoppy pine resin but lacking the floral notes in the RR IPA. Some hints of toffee and malts.
M: Active carbonation pricks initially and then calms down. The body feels light and a little thin. With a reasonable show of malts in both the scent and the taste I was hoping for a thicker mouth feel
O: A hop forward E.S.B.typical of the Red Racer taste. If you enjoy the Red Racer IPA this E.S.B is akin to the masculine version of the IPA, with stronger pine and deeper malts, lacking the floral scent and taste.
09-30-2012 03:10:38 | More by FondueVoodoo
3.63/5 rDev -10.8%
Appearance - Hazy amber colour with a large size frothy off-white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some really good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.
Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grass
Taste & Mouth - There is a slightly below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and a decent amount of hops. There is also a little bit of a citrus aspect, perhaps oranges. The beer finishes with a malty and hoppy aftertaste.
Overall - While this is a very tasty beer, I'm not sure it really fits the mold of a typical ESB. It basically tasted like a more malted and watered down version of their IPA. Anyways, I still enjoyed it.
06-13-2011 14:10:58 | More by spinrsx
3.23/5 rDev -20.6%
Can from mmurphy525, into a pint glass.
Pours an opaque deep amber with a huge, billowing offwhite head. Immensely sticky lace and retains a nice chunk of head throughout; fantastic like every other Central City product. Nose has some citrus hops, lemon and grapefruit, grassy, a distinct bready note that I can't put my finger on. Taste is grassy and some general citrus character. Again a weird note that I can only like to menthol at best. Some peach pits and vague grapefruit again. Not horrible, but confusing and off-style it seems. Decent mouthfeel, drinkable with a light medium carbonation. Flavours didn't do it for me in this one, and I suspect it's a product of age. I'd be willing to revisit this one to confirm/deny my suspicions.
06-05-2011 21:47:57 | More by liamt07
4.08/5 rDev +0.2%
Tried this one courtesy of Rutager, thanks again!
Got the tulip ready, cracked the top and bam, EXPLOSION. What was left, I am guessing about half, went into a tulip. It wasn't dropped, and any travel shock should have worn off, so I'm guessing it was just a gusher.
Poured a dusky orange with one finger of head, which stuck around for a bit and then dissipated to dense white lacing.
Aroma was of citrus, particularly a lot of grapefruit with a touch of lemon and a bit of bready malt. Really, really nice aroma.
Citrus flavors with a strong, malt backbone to balance the hops and a nice, bitter finish. Alcohol not really present.
Mouthfeel is light, crisp, and almost effervescent. Another great offering from Central City.
04-18-2011 00:08:28 | More by JCDenver
Red Racer ESB (Extra Special Bitter) from Central City Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.