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Green Man ESB - Green Man Brewery

Not Rated.
Green Man ESBGreen Man ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.

59 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 315
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 28.42%
Wants: 9
Gots: 53 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 315
Photo of MacQ32
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a deep brown with a slight tint of amber, really nice finger of light chocolate colored head, retention is ok, a thin layer remains after several minutes, lacing is ok too.

S - Toasted toffee malts, earthy/woody flavors, slightly chocolaty with some earthy hop notes.

T - Roasty bitter malts and earthy (slightly lemony) hops up front, not dry/hoppy bitter at all initially. Sweet toffee and traces of chocolate malts shine through and the finish is a bit citrusy/almost funky (in a very mild way). Aftertaste is that citrusy/slight funk, quite woody, and fairly bitter from earthy hops. Mildly dry (bitter) aftertaste lingers a decent bit

M - Lighter bodied, pretty well carbonated, very drinkable.

O - Tasty, guzzled 4 or 5 sips at once and am enjoying it more. Not amazing, but decent flavor, lots going on, and very drinkable.

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Photo of wedge
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reddish copper color with a small, but nicely creamy off-white head. Smells of toasted, nutty malts, spicy, earthy hops, and cocoa. Balanced flavor of biscuity malts, chocolaty sweetness, toasted caramel, and some grassy, floral hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a creamy feel thanks to a lower amount of carbonation. Pretty nice little easy drinker here. I've come to appreciate Green Man more over the last couple of years.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fills a Dogfish Head Fish-eye pint with clear, deep copper (SRM 18-19), while a half-inch, beige froth quickly settles to leave rings of lace.

The malt is strong and pronounced with toasted notes while hops are subdued. Lots of caramelized sugar, but otherwise lacking complexity.

Balanced between light bitterness and sweetness. Some burnt sugar supports wheat bread and tar flavors. The finish is modest and lingering. Warmth brings out cashews and butter.

A medium body with light carbonation and no alcohol. Somewhat dry with a cotton texture.

While rather simple, this is a beer to sit back and enjoy while watching a ballgame with bar food.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rather interesting offering I have to say. I would guess this is more in the vain of a traditional ESB. A nice amber pour with a good bit of cloudiness to it. A big head of white comes up and fades quickly leaving behind a ring of lacing and thick pillow across the top. Aroma is herbal, lots of grassy and thick hop notes that are melted in with tons of bready notes and a touch of a woodsy note. A rather full body with a medium carbonation that really came across quite nicely and allowed the flavor to really show off quite nicely. Rich and full the green resiny flavor is well balanced and very full. Oily and dry in the finish this one begs for another sip almost immediatly.

Overall a very solid and really well put together ale. I would not mind at all getting to try this one again anyday.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer has a nice dark amber color to it that makes it appealing. When it comes to the taste and smell, the beer is a very smokey ESB but still pretty good. The hops could be stronger and less earthy but is still enough to give it a nice hop bite.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark reddish amber in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation and some garnet red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall fine creamy light beige head that reduces to a large patch of thin film and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted and nutty malts.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted and nutty malts with just a hint of roasted malts. There is a slight amount of earthy hops present which impart a light amount of bitterness which fades rather quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Very easy to drink with a pleasant flavor that is not too malty but not bitter either - well balanced. Definitely a beer that I could have several during a session and I think it would pair very nicely with pub food.

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Photo of avalon07
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark copper color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, off white head that lasted an average amount of time. Not a whole lot of lacing.

S: A nice aroma of malt, caramel, and light hops.

T: Tasted of a good amount of malt, a little bit of hops, caramel, and a slight nuttiness in the finish. A pretty solid flavor considering ESBs are rarely overly complex beers. The caramel is a good touch.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth, lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole this is a well done beer. It won't blow you away, but it is worth trying.

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Photo of Brenden
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
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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Photo of dbl_delta
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated July 17, 2015 into pint glass. Hazy amber with an off-white head. Malt predominates, with an unusual nuttiness (peanuts?) and a slight hint of hops. Medium mouthfeel. Not much bitterness. Good but not outstanding.

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Photo of JimKal
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of mchegash
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of jsausley
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours copper with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of earthy hops, bready malt and some caramel. Body is medium and smooth. Earthy hops, bready and caramel malt and ripe fruit nicely balanced on the palate. Finish is long and spicy. Great brew.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of Griffin2
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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Photo of raszputini
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of ncfranklin
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of Deuane
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.99/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of Enola
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of beer2day
4.01/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Green Man ESB from Green Man Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.