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Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESB | Better Bitters Brewing Co.

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BEER STATS
Reviews:
5
Ratings:
29
Avg:
3.71
pDev:
23.99%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
5
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Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESBNickel Brook Equilibrium ESB
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Better Bitters Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sammy on 05-09-2014

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 29
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Rempeba
2.75/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Sammy
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of ThinkAgain
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spinrsx
3.54/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of RedAleMan
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of liamt07
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of thehyperduck
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473 mL can included in their current sampler pack; one of two beers contained within that I've not yet reviewed. Packaged Jun 30 2015 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a foggy copper-amber colour, generating one centimetre of foamy, smoker's-teeth-yellow-coloured head. It fades away fast, leaving behind few remnants - a sickly-thin collar of bubbles here; a few wisps on the surface there. The aroma is relatively subdued in nature, offering up notes of doughy, biscuity malts and some toffee sweetness, along with hints of toasted nuts, candied citrus, red berries and earthy, leafy hops.

Tasty stuff; as the name suggests, this beer's malt and hop flavours are well-proportioned. Some toffee sweetness is joined by a myriad of other flavours - mostly doughy and biscuity malts, with toasted nuts and orchard fruit following on its heels. The back end of the profile features tea-leafy English hops, accompanied by hints of orange citrus, grass and some earthy, roasted malt bitterness. The aftertaste is subtle, with hints of pithy grapefruit astringency lasting beyond the lingering malt sweetness. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, with restrained carbonation levels that gently agitate the palate, resulting in a smooth, slippery mouthfeel. Quite easy to drink; this should appeal on some level to the majority of English ale fans.

Final Grade: 3.9, a B+. Nickel Brook's Equilibrium ESB is an interesting take on this classic British style. It possesses a somewhat more profound bitterness than I tend to expect from this style - with the use of North American hops (e.g. Cascade) empowering it with a citrusy, earthy twist that complements the grassier flavours of the more traditional Euro hops. Throw in some toasty, nutty malts, and I find the combination to be pretty darn satisfying. If they market this as a single at a reasonable price, I could see myself occasionally selecting it over old staples such as Wells Bombardier or Hobgoblin. Definitely worth a look.

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Photo of rickfos
3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of Idrankthat
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

473 ml can served cold into a pint glass. Purchased for about $2.85 CDN, as part of the Nickel Brook summer tasters pack.

Appearance - a cloudy honey brown colored beer is poured, with two fingers of frothy ivory head and great staying power. Plenty of visible carbonation towards the top of the glass.

Smell - clean subtle grain aroma with a hoppy presence, some citrus is definitely present too. Subtle yet very inviting.

Taste - starts a little sweet, caramel and grains in there, before turning to a fruity flavor with a sour cherry element in there. Finishes with roasted grain and a long bitterness, although not to the point of being excessive. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel - smooth and quite creamy, medium body despite more ABV than usual in this style. Modest carbonation.

Overall - personally, I think this is a very good effort from Nickel Brook, hitting the right notes, with pleasant bitterness, a touch of roastiness and some fruit all mingled together in a way that is pleasing, thirst quenching, and representative of an excellent beer in the style. Definitely a winner.

 1,085 characters

Photo of Mack
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of atsir
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Pmicdee
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of biegaman
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This ESB (Extra Strong Bitter) looks extra sleek; polished garnet highlights and a fiery, bottom-dwelling flare lend a colourful glossiness to this otherwise glassy, non-transparent ale. Equilibrium also has a head like a sponge that appears to slowly be swallowing the glass whole.

It's difficult to describe an aroma that doesn't exist - or at least one that doesn't want to be discovered. It was apparent from the word 'go' there was no shortage of nutty, biscuity sweet flavour but it took a lot of swirling and warmth before these notes would willingly hand themselves over.

If only the aroma could be more like the taste. Whereas the nose has to work hard the palate need just sit back and that malty, caramelly flavour simply throws itself at the tongue. Traces of resin and citrus mop up quickly. This leafy, lightly fruity bitterness courses through the beer's veins.

Sadly everything ends at the swallow; the taste disappears so quickly you'd think it had somewhere more important to be. I'd love a little more time with the toasted nuttiness and candied grapefruit notes. I like my ESBs to be medium-full (emphasis on full) and this one is medium-light (emphasis on light).

'Equilibrium' is a good name for an ESB - it captures the juxtaposition between sweet malt and bitter hops that defines the style. The recipe could have done a better job at this, mind you, but it's a nice example all the same. Besides, Nickelbrook continues to get better and better so this one may improve yet...

 1,517 characters

Photo of Tyler_V2
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of hunterjames
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of Cycle69
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Electros
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Simon212
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bf_89
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Orionigel
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of fortyfield
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bigox420
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jadjunk
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"Balance is finding the point between two opposing forces for a more desirable outcome: Equilibrium. We crafted our Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESB with balance as the primary objective. Equilibrium has a great malt character and full body that you expect in an ESB. We balance it with a generous dosage of hops that gives Equilibrium a distinct fruity flavor and appropriate level of bitterness." Brewed in the style of an Extra Special Bitter (ESB), available in 16 oz. tallboy cans as part of a sampler pack.

Poured from a 16 oz. can to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy frothed head of a pastel-white tone over a mildly hazy bright copper body with very light carbonation and high clarity. Retention is average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Biscuity malt body with soft nutty and grainy character, with an understated sweetness, and a very fruity yeast presence, clean and lightly bitter. 3.5

(Taste) The flavor largely follows the nose, with a biscuity, nutty and moderately dry malt profile, complete with a clean but juicy fruity yeast profile. Altogether, it's an enjoyable and very drinkable ESB with quite a bit of dryness to it- the hops are a bit too faint to pick up much on them. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly oily, clean, very dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a mellow frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, shy of medium overall. Balance is slightly nutty bitter and dry malty over sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters to note. 3.75

(Overall) ESB isn't always my favorite style, as I don't often find the balance they seem to tout, with there generally being an understatement of sweetness and a dryness that ranges from spot-on to distracting. The dryness of this ale is slightly above what I'd consider balanced, with the nutty and fruity characters of the yeast drying things a bit, but the cleanliness makes it a very easy-drinking beer. Altogether, I'd place this somewhere in the middle of the road for ESB beers. It's probably not worth going out of your way to buy a variety pack just to get to sample this one. 3.75

Better Bitters Brewing Co.'s
Equilibrium ESB: Extra-Special Bitter
3.58/5.00

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Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESB from Better Bitters Brewing Co.
- out of 100 based on 5 ratings.