1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

ESB Amber - Saugatuck Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ESB AmberESB Amber

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

99 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 14.61%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Saugatuck Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: david131 on 07-20-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a plastic cup at the Tigers game a nice looking deep burnt orange with a thick head that never really settled completely,it's been awhile since I had a beer in a plastic cup I admit.Aromas were of bready malt and caramel mainly,a bit of toast and fruitiness was there as well but on the lighter side.Simple straitforward flavors of caramel/toffee and lightly toasted bread with faint herbal hops in the finish.Enjoyable at the ballgame but not anything I would really seek out to be honest.

oberon, May 13, 2014
Photo of dcevans
4/5  rDev +14.6%

dcevans, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of Kerry1
4.5/5  rDev +28.9%

Kerry1, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of chicagobill13
4.28/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was visiting back in MI. I was in Canton, MI and found this beer on draft. I didn't know what it was I was little impressed. This is a very good beer. Not too many breweries i get overly excited about. New ones i should say.

Nice color and not much of a smell but that is nothing to what the beer taste like. This is a very well beer. I wish I could have too more back to Chicago on my plane but didn't want to check in luggage. I can't wait to try more of their beers. Cheers! \m/

chicagobill13, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of Brenden
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer is a red-orange color, fitting within the range for either ESB or amber. The small off-white head doesn't look strong but takes longer than expected to fall. The moderate lacing is another surprise.
The smell is mainly of toast and caramel, very much like a Marzen. There's a hint of hoppiness, but it's mostly about the malt backbone.
The taste is similar but different in key ways; it's also interesting, as a nice caramel sweetness that may be the strongest and sweetest note of caramel I've had in a beer, along with a strong note of toast, meets leaf and pith. The sweetness and the bitterness work together without clashing, and it makes for some depth.
A good, strong medium body that leans light so as not to give too much heft to this lighter styled beer also maintains a firm crispness without giving up smoothness.

Brenden, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of king75
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

king75, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Gonzoillini, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of AliceG
5/5  rDev +43.3%

love it

AliceG, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of Dustin_A_Stoutdrinker
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Dustin_A_Stoutdrinker, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of Pivo
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Pivo, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of beveritt
2.78/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label depicts an old picture of 5 people sitting on a pier, partially colorized. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with a massive almost white head, enough that I only get a few ounces out and have to drink to prevent it from spilling. This finally settles to a still substantial cap of foam, leaving behind nice lacing. The beer itself is medium yellow with hints of orange and moderate activity. Some compacted sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Mild hop spiciness with an underlying biscuity, butterscotch malt.

Taste: Mild hop bitterness upfront with a distinct metallic twang. This is layered upon a malt backbone that is thin and insipid with only a hint of the bready caramel flavor expected. Finishes with an unpleasant sourness, an almost lacto bite.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is thin.

Drinkability: My second strike from this brewery. Can't remember if I have another in the refrigerator, but I almost hope not.

beveritt, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of bwood06
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

bwood06, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of Mark4prez20
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

Mark4prez20, May 27, 2014
Photo of Rostie
4.5/5  rDev +28.9%

Rostie, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of redleg64
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

redleg64, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of emerge077
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Trying the Saugatuck lineup and 0-3 so far, hoping this is the one that turns it around. Maybe. Single bottle with "2262 B2 0114 " printed on the bottom of the bottle.

Poured into a Bells tulip, the color is a deep copper and clear enough to read the text on the opposite side of the glass. A finger of foam on the surface that recedes to a floating island of skim in the center, leaving behind a drippy halo of lacing in the glass. Looks pretty nice so far.

Grainy barley aroma, cereal grain, some mild apple, pretty on point for an ESB.

Flavors of mildly toasted malt, light apple and a mellow hop bitterness in the dry aftertaste. Light to medium bodied, easygoing feel. No flaws, pleasant overall, would drink again. Finally, a decent beer from Saugatuck...

emerge077, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of DCdevyl78
2.75/5  rDev -21.2%

DCdevyl78, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of enelson
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

enelson, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of Vlaminck
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Vlaminck, May 30, 2012
Photo of tommy5
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

tommy5, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of mfnmbvp
2.95/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, no apparent bottled on date present, code stamped on the label. My second beer from Saugatuck Brewing Co., another random find off the local mix a six pack shelf.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Gentle pour still yields about three and a half fingers of tall fluffy off-white head on top of a deep coppery amber colored body. Some fine sediment twirling around the glass is noticeable when held to the light. Head has intense retention, and a massive cavernous root beer float like appearance to it.

S - Smell is of stale dusty malts, malts, and more malts. Some dusty green apple skin, and perhaps some adjunct type smell going on in there also.

T - Crisp, carbonated, apple skins, copper, and a touch of hop bitterness on the end. This is basically a malt bomb though. Not nearly enough hop presence to keep me interested, and offensively over-carbonated, heavy body.

M - Feel ends with some sweet fruit sugars, and a pervasive dryness.

Overall, not horrible or anything, just not very interesting. Lacking in hops, and too excessive in the way of carbonation. Still, a drinkable beer with a modest 5.50% abv. I won't have a hard time finishing this bottle, but this won't be a beer I pick up again.

Saugatuck ESB Amber ---3/5.

mfnmbvp, May 03, 2013
Photo of DMarlinJ
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

DMarlinJ, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of carlborch
2.54/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Brilliant amber pour. Two-finger off-white head that settled into a creamy 1/2 inch. Modest carbonation. Sweet, grainy, nose with hints of malt. Medium-full body. Less malt and bitterness on the palate than expected given the ESB label. Forward bitterness that lingers. Short. Some Belgian lace. Drinks well. Quenching but not exciting. Will neither seek out nor decline.

carlborch, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of HardyA
2.75/5  rDev -21.2%

HardyA, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of StoutHunter
3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Saugatuck's ESB Amber last week for $1.49 at The Lager Mill. I was reading the newest issue of The Michigan Beer Guide and it said that the ESB Amber was named the best ESB in the Midwest, so I thought I should pick up a bottle and give it a try. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- The label looks OK, its got an old classic looking family photo on it. It poured a nice light amber color with two and a half fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick layer that stayed till the end and left some nice sheets of lacing.

S- The aroma starts off with lots of sweet malts that had a dark bread like aroma. There was also some fruit aroma with a light amount of dark fruits. I got a light amount of earthy and herbal hops. The aroma is pretty malty for an ESB.

T- The first thing I pick is a good amount of lightly toasted malts that have a distinct brown bread flavor that was pretty similar to the aroma. The malts also impart a very slight amount of caramel. The hops are on the lighter side and have an herbal flavor with a slight bit of fruitiness. The finish is smooth with a pretty light amount of bitterness and it and herbal hop aftertaste.

M- Smooth, semi dry, on the light side of being medium bodied, and it had just the right amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was spot on for an ESB.

Overall I thought this was an OK ESB. It was a very smooth and sessionable beer that had just enough flavor to hold my attention. It had some pretty good drinkability to it, if I had another one I would drink it, I could see drinking a three or four of these in a sitting, it makes for a good fall beer. What I liked most about this beer was the mouthfeel, to me this is exactly what an ESB should be like, it had a good body with just the right amount of carbonation, this beer also looked pretty damn good. What I liked least about this beer was the aroma and the light amount of hops in this beer, the aroma was a little dull and pretty much all malts and the flavor could have used a bigger hop presence to help balance out all those malts and I think an ESB should have more then just a light amount of bitterness on the finish. I might buy this beer when looking for an ESB, but if Short's Autumn Ale is in season I would chose that over this beer every time, it doesn't have that stronger hop presence that I look for in this style. This beer is worth giving a try but expect it to be on the malty side and not as bitter as other ESB's. This beer was better then their porter, but I still felt like there was some things that could be improved like adding more hops to balance out all those malts. So far this is my favorite bottled offering from Saugatuck Brewing Company, but it falls short in being a great ESB. I don't think this is the best ESB in the Midwest, the people who voted for it must have not tried Short's ESB. It may have a stronger hop presence when really fresh, but with not bottling date on this bottle I have no way of knowing.

StoutHunter, Nov 03, 2011
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
ESB Amber from Saugatuck Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.