Oliver's ESB - Pratt Street Ale House

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Oliver's ESB
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BA SCORE
88
very good

28 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 28
Hads: 46
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 4.48%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pratt Street Ale House visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gavage on 10-07-2003

A special bitter with a dark amber color and smooth body. It has a good malt to hops balance and is fairly high in alcohol. Chosen by Michael Jackson for his book "Ultimate Beer".
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 28 | Hads: 46
Reviews by Swift989:
Photo of Swift989
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of NJpadreFan
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wharf Rat/ Oliver's- ESB

Appearance- dark dirty/ muddy brown with a thick frothy head.
Smell- heavy malt. Earthy, like a mixture of tubers and earth.
Taste- thick and creamy. Heavy earthy malt and hops balanced nicely.
Mouthfeel- thick and smooth. Warm yet refreshing.

Overall- my first beer from Oliver's and a damn good 1. (333 characters)

Photo of jmz62565
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a few before an Orioles game. This beer pours a dark coppery color with a medium tan head. Very nice looking. The smell was a little light,but you can still pick out a bitter hop citrus aroma. The taste starts with a creamy hop flavor and ends with the hop bitterness. A decent ESB. The m/f is light and very bitter. A good beer and a good job making this to the English style. (381 characters)

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass:

A: Poured a clear amber color with a very light white head that was retained for an adequate length of time.

S: Aroma was very earthy with some hints of hops and malt. Nothing outstanding about the smell, but not bad.

T: The taste was excellent. Good malt and hop balance. Not much more needs to be said about it, just an excellent flavor.

M/D: The beer was very creamy and smooth with a medium body. The beer is highly drinkable. I would have had a few more but there were others on cask that night, but I would go back for this beer. (565 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a hand-pulled pint of ESB, served at The Wharf Rat in Baltimore. The ale is slightly chilled, but closer to room temperature.

Appearance: The ale has an amber to orange color. A dominant feature of the beer is the soft creamy head that results from the hand pull. Very classy.

Smell: There is not much of a hop smell here. The head gives a nice frothy milky aroma, but beyond that, not a lot stood out.

Taste: The ale is well balanced. First and foremost, the creamy head imparts a sweet taste on the ale. Behind that, an earthy hop flavor appears, giving a nice bitterness without going overboard. The malts are biscuity sweet, imparting a bread-like taste.

Mouthfeel: It's very difficult to go wrong with a hand pumped ale.

Drinkability: A little stronger that the Best Bitter (of which I purchased a growler), this beer is still quite drinkable and good for a pre- or post O's game tailgate. (917 characters)

Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on cask at The Wharf Rat in Baltimore:

A - Reddish copper, hazy, creamy head.

S - Light roastyness and herbal hop scents.

T - Toasty malt backbone with carmel hints. Well balanced with bold herbal bitterness.

M - Medium/Heavy bodied, creamy smooth.

D - Enjoyed this very drinkable. (290 characters)

Photo of cubedbee
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the handpump at the Wharf Rat, this is a light copper with a littly haziness, a big 2 finger creamy head, great retention, great lacing. Nose is a nice balance of malt and floral hops, slightly nutty. Taste is a nice slightly roasted malt, caramel, with an earth flowery hop balanced perfectly. Very simple but delicious. Mouthfeel is silky smooth, velvety and creamy. I think this is my favorite beer, i could drink this all day. (442 characters)

Photo of Brent
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pub that brews English influenced beers and offers an ESB on cask - no question what I had to try. Certainly did not let me down. According to the beer menu: "A special bitter with a dark amber color and smooth body. It has a good malt to hops balance and is fairly high in alcohol. Chosen by Michael Jackson for his book 'Ultimate Beer.'" Who am I to argue with the great one? An interesting play of flavors. Beefy, caramel body, but very smooth, almost, but not quite, thin in the mouth. Alcohol made itself known, nearly crashing the party but being held back just enough. Went wonderfully with the shepherd's pie. (619 characters)

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of javahead71
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Dithyramb
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper/golden color with a malty/hoppy aroma (or is that just the surroundings?? that is the same smell that permeates the rat) This is an extremely well balanced beer with just a tinge of alcohol on the finish. Goes down wonderfully with the pub grub. Not too bitter, with no nasty aftertaste.

Of the four cask conditioned brews at the Camden Yards location, this was by far the best that I tried last night. They also allow their "friends" to serve this as well. You can get the ESB over at Bertha's, though they give it another name. They serve it just right there, too. (576 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazed amber/copper with a thin white head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is of caramel and herbal notes.

The taste is of caramel with herbal notes with some sourish fruitiness mixing into the bittersweet balance. Yeast is there (Ringwood?) though subtle. It has a dry-ish finish.

Light-to-medium bodied, with a touch of watery thinness.

Not bad, though personally I preferred the standard Bitter. Nice enough balance and is certainly drinkable/sessionable. (470 characters)

Photo of jtd335
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of dball
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Oliver's ESB pours with a beautiful robust amber color and a full and creamy head. It is as good as any ESB I've had. I'll certainly get it next time I'm at the Ale House before a game. It is a mildly hopped fully malted beer that goes down remarkably smooth and brings a smile. cheers to Buck's Birds. (306 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Shimmering amber color, frothy creamy white cask head, great retention and lacing.

S: Full scented roasted nuts and carmel, faint hops.

T: Full flavored roasted nuts and carmel. Biscuity. Nice hop flavors.

M: Creamy, smooth, soft, great cask carbonation.

D: Excellent ESB, one of the tops in the style. (309 characters)

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. On cask at Pratt Street.

Pours a moderate caramel color with a white head and a good dose of lacing. Nose brings some light woody and earthy hops as well as slight caramel and toffee. Taste is the aforementioned toffee and caramel as well as slight hops. Good creamy feel with a nice body. Drinks really well and is a nice American ESB. (358 characters)

Photo of IPAchris
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of Gavage
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Figure you enter an English style pub, you got to have the ESB. Nice looking beer - deep copper color with a foamy head. The aroma is alright, noting some floral and sweet tones. The taste was great, since this is served around 50 degrees the bitterness and malt were nicely balanced. There was some lacing on the glass as the drink was consumed. The tongue was happy with the smooth bitterness that lingered. Overall one of the better ESBs I have had. (452 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at Frisco's the other night.

The beer pours a solid amber, copper color, with a very nice creamy head and good lacing. This beer has a very attractive, impressive nose, consisting of roasted malt, apples and cherries. The beer is quite flavorful for a low abv. (relatively low) ESB. It starts off fairly sweet, with very nice flavors of roasted malt, apple again and cherry (in other words, the flavors on the palate replicate the nose). The beer has a nice creamy mouthfeel, and comes across as quite drinkable. There's a touch of dry, bitter, hoppiness in the finish, which is also quite nice. Quite well done.

This is a very nice ESB from Oliver; one my favorite beers made by this fine local brewery. (728 characters)

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of handpullme
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Deuane
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Hazy deep copper with a thin white head that held on and reduced to a thin cap and left spotty lace.

S-Light toasted biscuit, a hint of sweet caramel and faint spicy, herbal hops.

T-Toasted biscuit up front with some dry nut like astringency. Light spicy hops in the drying finish.

M-Medium-light bodied fairly creamy, soft and quite smooth. Drying finish with nut like astringency.

D-A little light on the aroma and palate but this one builds into a nicely dry, spicy brew. A pleasant and very easy drinking ESB. Well done. (530 characters)

Photo of Terp96
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is very solid representation of an English ESB. Hand pumped from the Wharf Rat in Fells Point.

Deep amber hue with a great head for a hand-pumped pint.

Smells almost sour but with a decent hop profile.

Tastes very good. Has that distinct English taste. Almost metallic with a nice hop finish to back up the sweet maltiness up front.

Very good mouthfeel. Stays on the sides of your tongue. There is a subtle grain feel to this one.

Overall a very drinkable beer. Good for a long night of conversation in a great pub. (537 characters)

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev -0.5%

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Oliver's ESB from Pratt Street Ale House
88 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.