Green Man ESB - Green Man Brewery

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Green Man ESBGreen Man ESB

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BA SCORE
83
good

281 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 281
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 12.2%
Wants: 6
Gots: 36 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Green Man Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 281 | Reviews: 58
Photo of drperm
4.71/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I liked this beer on tap at Jack of the Wood ok, but having it cask-conditioned at Brewgrass has changed my life!

Regarding the appearance, it pours pure foam into the glass before settling into a shimmering raw umber. It sits poised with good posture, laced with a delicate doily of white foam.

As it approaches the nose, an aroma of freshly-cracked roasted barley awakens and caresses the olfactory. This flows seamlessly into a melange of fresh hops and a nostalgic hint of summer meadows untainted by industrialism.

The taste is creamy-smooth, roasty, and above all mellow: mellow like the quiet sage who only speaks once a month, but when his mouth opens pure poetic wisdom spouts forth.

As it tickles the tongue and continues its journey, it leaves a calling-card: more mellowness, richly smooth. I could make sweet love to this brew all night (or day!) long.

Overall: Have I mentioned yet that I think I'm in love?

Photo of Adam_B15
4.54/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyable smooth taste. Cool logo.

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.39/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into Sam Smith Tulip Imperial Pint.

Pours hazy dark copper with a thinnish off-white head that quickly fades to nothing. Bumped up for over-valuation, and also because it's a growler.

Nose is as I remember it at the pub - beautifully malty, toasty, rich caramel, hints of toffee, chocolate, and the perfect amount of floral hops for balance.

Taste is excellent, and follows the nose very closely - intros with a blend of floral, slightly earthy hops and toasty, rich, complex malt. Like the nose, toasty caramel, a bit of restrained fruitiness, a bit nutty, hints of chocolate and toffee mingle with the lovely earthiness from the hops. This beer literally nails the style for me. Beautifully put together, expertly done.

Mouthfeel is restrained, medium-full bodied and with a very light carbonation, perhaps just a bit too light. Drying in the finish, and with a nice silkiness to it.

Drinkability was fantastic - this beer had more flavor than some beers I've tried twice its size. Fantastic beer.

Photo of beerdown77
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been excited to try this beer for a few reasons: One, it's a local place and I appreciate that. Two, it comes recommended by a friend. This beer was good. I thoroughly enjoyed the intense hoppy flavor, which I was not expecting. It had a robust, natural element. I enjoyed the "rawness" and heaviness despite the fact that it is only 5.3%. Maybe there is power of suggestion in the name, but earthy and organic came to mind as well. I could have a few of these in a row and am looking forward to trying Green Man's other beers.

Photo of myelo
4.16/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Bearden Beer Market in Knoxville.

Hazy, dark amber color with thin tan head. Prominent bread, roasted malt aroma with mold floral hops. Taste is reacted malts with caramel, fruity sweetness balanced by mild bitterness. Medium body with mild carbonation. Very mild ethanol warmth.

Overall a great ESB, very smooth with strong, sweet malt.

Photo of plaid75
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barley's, Asheville, NC.

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a delightful mix of toasted malts and herbal hops.

The taste was very well balanced with a push toward the toasty breadiness of the malts. The vibrant herbal hop made its presence known however.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a well made ESB.

Photo of tdm168
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tribeca Tavern in north Raleiigh

Pours a reddish amber with little head. Nose detects caramel and nutty malts. Taste is robust offering caramel and nutty malts but a clean hop bitterness to finish. Clean and well balanced. Medium to full bodied. A nice first introduction to Green Man.

Photo of Dave1999
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a semi transparent reddish brown.

The smell is dark malts, caramel, coffee. Smells really good.

The taste is coffee, and dark malts, it's also very nutty.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation.

I really enjoyed this, smells great and flavorful. This is a really great lower end abv beer.

Photo of Fcolle2
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber nearly brown in color and has a pretty big haze to it. Head is about one finger, fizzy and off white. Head has fair retention .

Nose has some rich doughy bready malt forward. There is a faint hazelnut sweetness also present hops are there but light, hard to detect particular aromas, maybe some herbal aromas.

Taste is great. Some more bready malt is forward that fades into a light herbal hop midsection before a slightly doughy malt finishs the beer leaving sone residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good, medium body is cut with moderate to high carbonation and leaves it pretty soft and highly drinkable. Very light bitterness lets the malt really come out.

Photo of beer2day
4.01/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the best things about Jack of the Wood is the cask handle.

Cloudy copper color with thin head. Nice thick lace.

Subtle citrus hit with light malt presence in the nose.

Very chewy beer with lots of body. Smoky, peaty, bread pudding, and a citrus bite all combine for a very interesting presentation. Peat, like a scotch ale, creeps in too.

Thick body. Not syrupy, just thick.

I could drink a lot of these.

Photo of Enola
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint at the brewery.

This beer was a bit lighter than most ESB's. The smell was bitter. The taste was bitter with a sweet ending. The mouthfeel was fairly smooth. The drinkability was good. I could drink these again. I was going to get this in my growler but the Oatmeal Stout was awfully good.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A couple a weeks ago, I took a hiking trip up near Asheville, NC so I drove into town to hunt for some beer. North Carolina has no annoying laws forbidding growlers so I picked up a growler of fresh ESB brewed by Green Man Ales.

It pours a deep orangey copper with a creamy but thin, light tan head. Sheeting lace on the glass. Very fruity and herbal in the nose

Taste is bready and fruity, a well balanced ale with herbal English hops, (Kent Goldings and Fuggles according to the website) offsetting a sweetish, fruity malt. Quite British in character but surprisingly sweet and that sweetness lingers long in the finish and aftertaste.

It's a well crafted ale and certainly enticing enough for me to want to try some more from Green Man the next time I find myself in Asheville.

Photo of smakawhat
3.99/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Deep copper red, with a big chestnut brown tone to the entire glass, deep and rich. Virtually no visible rising carbonation, even through a somewhat clear body. Head is two fingers barely tall, with a very light tan appearance. Settling with a soapy to creamy top, a little bit of ring initial lace, but fairly small. Fairly ok and solid. Very impressive body color.

Lots of toasty notes almost bordering towards classic brown ale nutty quality for the aroma. A good mild sense of caramel, even a little bit of soft vanilla wants to poke out with a bit of sweet brown spices and sugars. Fairly straight and simple but also inviting and nice. Great simple nose.

Palate comes nicely, simply, and very light with lots of airy toast. Hinting brown ale toasting bread crust aromas pop in the mid palate. A wash of cream and vanilla flavors come out nicely, but with subtlety and a simple light ale body. Crisp but also dense finish with a good coating malt feel. Nutty finish and aftertastes of brown bread wash and linger long, fresh and clean. A bit of a playful feel to with a little bit of prickly carbonation just to tease and keep it lively.

Overall, a very fun ESB and hints towards nutty English Brown with a little bit of spunk and play. Very nice.

Photo of Deuane
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Bright, clear, dark copper with a ringing off-white head that left spotty lace.

S-Lightly sweet biscuit malt with a touch of toffee and subtle fruity notes.

T-Sweet biscuit malt with accents of caramel and toffee. Light fruity notes of apricot and cherry in the semi-dry finish.

M-Medium bodied, nice straight forward and easy drinking. Very smooth but quite bouncy at the same time!

D-A very well done American version of this English classic. The cask delivery is iconic and makes this quite the session brew.

Photo of raszputini
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rock solid ESB. From the growler to the pint glass. Pours a light amber with thin whitish head. Green man malts are easily identifiable and this makes for a very distinctive taste, the malt is very similar to their IPA, but tones of caramel, distinct bitterness but reduced hoppiness provides the distinction. This is a very easy drinking brew and one of my favorite ESBs.

Photo of ncfranklin
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Jack of the Wood

A: Deep amber. FInger tall beige head.

S: Pine, grass, some caramel.

T: Follows the nose. Grass with some bitter upfront, hoppy floral inbetween, backbone of caramel malt.

M: Good medium body, not too much carbonation, some slight dryness on the finish in the tongue. Refreshing.

D: A very quaffable ESB.

Photo of Griffin2
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- dark brown with a nice white head.
S- Roasty smell.
T - very nice beer. Seemed like a light version of a porter.
F- medium carbonation.
O - very easy drinking beer.

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Bier Garden, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high dense white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of roasted, toasted and nutty malts. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is both very drinkable and flavorful. It has just enough underlying hops to prevent this from being too malty.

Photo of jsausley
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass from the Boston, MA brewery.

Batch 1218, bottle 14154.

This beer has been one of my perennial favorites when visiting the mountains of North Carolina and the vicinity of Asheville where it is most commonly found on draft. The first time I had this beer was at the 12 Bones restaurant on the UNC-Asheville campus, served on draft with a delicious North Carolina barbecue meal. ESB stands for Extra Special Bitter but the bottle says "special amber ale." It comes in a beautiful bottle with a gorgeous smooth label that I couldn't help but run my thumb over.

A: ESB has a really dark reddish-brown color that is more transparent than translucent. It is rich in color like a fine, dark red wood. It did not pour a very noticeable head on my pour, but it could be due to the fact that I reviewed from a bottle rather than on draft. There was however significant carbonation bubbling deep within the beer, but you have to stare into its deep color to find it.

S: This ale is more flavorful than fragrant. It smells of roasted malt and coffee with a light hint of chocolate.

T: This is a wonderfully flavorful beer. The first sip is packed of roasted malt and coffee flavors and hits you hard with its boldness. It has a malty, nutty body a slight tinge of hops is somewhat sweet on the tongue. There are hints of herbs and earthy flavors and very little fruit or citrus. It is not a very bitter beer (32 IBU) and lacks a significant amount noticeable aftertaste apart from a slight bitterness.

M: Smooth and crisp but lacking carbonation. It is a very drinkable texture and smoothness.

O: Overall this is one of my favorite beers that I buy locally. It's rich and bold but not overpowering, which you would expect from a nice craft ale. I still prefer the Green Man IPA (which I have not reviewed yet) but I wouldn't turn down this lovely malty ale with its rich flavor and dark color.

Photo of thagr81us
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the brewery into an Aviator shaker. Poured red-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, and subtle roasted malt. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice ESB. The flavor was nicely balanced with the sweet and roasted malts. The aroma was a little lacking as far as intensity, but still wasn't bad. Worth trying for an ESB fan out there.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a nice brown with a thin off white head that dissipates quickly and left no lace.

S-Malty, some hints of caramel, and some hops.

T-Hops up front providing a nice bitterness and it finishes with a nice chocolate/caramel malt backbone. I was really surprised at how much chocolate flavor I got out of this beer. It almost tasted more like a brown ale due to the malt over powering the hops.

M-About right for the style a nice amount of carbonation.

D-Very drinkable beer. Not overly complex and an average abv. make this a session beer all the way.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer. I would have like some more hops, but I would definitely drink this again.

Photo of mchegash
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Hazy dark orange brown, with a finger of off-white head.

Smell: Dark malts, slight fruit and hops

Taste: Dark, almost porter-like malts. Slight fruit, metallic, and hops.

Feel: Medium-full bodied, smooth and crisp. Medium carbonation.

Photo of JimKal
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Sticks and Stones in Greensboro, NC

Draft poured a dark brown into a pint glass. Minimal head with OK to thin lacing. There was minimal carbonation as well.

Taste had a hint of chocolate but other than that it was quite balanced.

Mouthfeel was smooth as with most ESBs.

This is a nice beer if you like ESBs and I'll order it again when I see it on tap.

Photo of Brenden
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this brew on tap yesterday at the Mellow Mushroom.

The color is a clear, deep reddish-brown. The head is compact and sits for a short time, leaving a constant foam and small traces of itself behind.
The smell is solid if not a bit light and thin. A nice balance of bitterness with slight sweet malts combine with lots of woody/herbal/grassy notes.
The taste is subdued but good. The bitterness is on par for the style, ESB not being as bitter as one would expect by the name or experience with, say, IPAs. That said, this one gets the style well. Lots of breads and toastiness are backed by slight notes of caramel and mix with the herbal and grassy flavors, making for a well-balanced, dry finish.
The body is medium. Nothing stands out about the mouthfeel. It's pretty smooth with an average carbonation.
This beer is certainly sessionable and makes for good drinking.

Photo of ncvbc
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber with a somewhat fizzy head and fading pretty quick. Nice lacing down the glass. Good smell of grain, lightly toasted bread, caramel, and earthy hops. Taste is a bit more expansive than the smell, which was a somewhat muted. Lots of roast flavor, more than I expected form the nose or a beer of this type. Some chocolate and caramel. Toasted bread. Finishes fairly bitter with a crisp hop bite. In the mouth it's fairly smooth but a chalky bitterness from the hops takes away from that at times. Very easy to drink. I enjoyed the entire growler, simply because this stuff is hard to put down. Tasty enough and while there's not much to it, this helps drinkability. One that you can figure out pretty quickly and then sit back and enjoy. Glad I grabbed it.

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Green Man ESB from Green Man Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.