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ESB Amber - Saugatuck Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ESB AmberESB Amber

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

95 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | 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
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Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kaveman
2/5  rDev -42.5%

Kaveman, Aug 26, 2013
Photo of chunkyboy
2.25/5  rDev -35.3%

chunkyboy, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of carlborch
2.54/5  rDev -27%
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 deadchef
2.68/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

served into a pint glass from bottle.

a: slightly hazy copper with a quick dissipating half inch head.

s: roasty malt, caramel, earth, roasted almonds, alcohol.

t: slight astringincy followed up with some sweetness. finishes hot/bitter, not from alcohol but over sparged husk i'm guessing. earthy hop characteristic almost non existent.

m: too much carbonation for what i expect a traditional esb to have. even too much for an american amber. light to medium body. slick.

o: not too happy with this one. i got the last 5 the store had so who knows how long they've been around. who knows, might have caught a bad one. i'll edit my review if the others are better.

deadchef, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of TMoney2591
2.7/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Not sure if the Brits would make such a colorful distinction, but you never know with those crazy foreigners... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear copper topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises biscuit, light toffee, and the vaguest possible sense of grass. The taste holds notes of sweet caramel, sharp dirt, and earthy greens. There's a strong bitterness from the earth and dirt, and it clashes painfully with the caramel's sweetness. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, this was a decent idea, but it seems that execution lagged a bit behind aspiration.

TMoney2591, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of DCdevyl78
2.75/5  rDev -21%

DCdevyl78, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of HardyA
2.75/5  rDev -21%

HardyA, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of beveritt
2.78/5  rDev -20.1%
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 Lillenk
2.78/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was nice. Dark brownish color but didn't hold a whole lot of head.

Smell was farily ok, but not much there.

Taste was a little lacking. Somewhat malty but then very bitter (but not a nice hoppy bitter).

Left a very strange overcarbonated mouthfeel, with a weird aftertaste. Definately would not drink more than one.

Lillenk, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of DoctorDog
2.78/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a nonic. Thanks to beveritt for procuring this, and many other brews, during his recent travels.

A- Clear copper/amber color. Pours with a borderline explosive, massive, creamy light tan head, necessitating a multi-stage pour. Fades very, very slowly...incredible retention...impressive, if not to style. Massive globs of sticky lacing noted.

S- Bready, caramel maltiness. A bit of mineral-esque, earthy hop aroma.

T- Buttery, caramel malt. Difficult to pinpoint-minerally- citrus-peel bitterness. A bit cidery. Not terribly off-putting, but this mix doesn't exactly work well.

M- Moderately-light carbonation with a light-medium feel. A bit astringent and too dry.

D- Meh. Decently easy to drink...but with the unusual flavor....it just doesn't really work well enough to make me consider another.

Future outlook: Out of state one-off for me, which is just as well...

DoctorDog, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of SportsandJorts
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: a mostly clear orangish red. with a small head that fades away

Smell: caramel malts. fruit. no hop presence

Taste: caramel malts and fruits. extremely sweet. and no hop presence. I was hoping for a lighter hoppy beer with some fruity aspects but this is just way to sweet with no hops

Mouthfeel: pretty sticky and unpleasant

Overall: this one did not do it for me. I wanted some refreshing hops but it came out overly sweet and sticky

SportsandJorts, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of mfnmbvp
2.95/5  rDev -15.2%
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 smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -13.8%

smartassboiler, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of Matt202966
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Matt202966, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of bigclydeoliver
3/5  rDev -13.8%

bigclydeoliver, Sep 06, 2012
Photo of jsisko01
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a dark caramel amber color with an overbearing head.. I only poured half and had to stop because there was 3 inches of foam, that lingers for a long time.

Smell - Smells very bitter.. like a pale ale. Along with toasted malts and toffee.

Taste - Toasted malts and very malty, caramel, toffee, and very bitter in the finish. Also has somewhat of an herbal taste to it.

Mouthfeel - Has a thick body with a lot of carbonation.

Overall - This beer is ok.. noting great about it. It's basically like an offspring from a pale ale and amber ale.

jsisko01, May 12, 2012
Photo of czfreeman
3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep amber/light brown tone.
Head is creamy, medium bodied, good looking ESB.
Smells of biscuit, amber malt, toffee, honey, bit of hops adding just the lightest touch of grass and pepper.
Taste is good.Dry bread, malt, bitterness, pepper, touch of brown sugar, grass, slight floral notes in there, finishes slightly spicy with a very light touch of almost a bourbon-like vanilla note.
Mouth is medium, light, bitter, I would like a bit more carbonation to clean up the mouthfeel, as it becomes one-dimensional at times.
Ok ESB..not the best, but good

czfreeman, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of birchstick
3.2/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a chestnut orangish brown color with a nice looking head. Nose is caramel malts and citrusy hops. Taste follows suit - citrus flavors upfront move to caramel and bready malts. These give way to citrusy and grassy hops with a slight bitterness. Mouth is creamy and smooth. Overall this is a decent amber/esb. Not as floral or hoppy as a regular ESB, but then again this wasn't supposed to be a normal esb. Not offensive but nothing that makes it stand out in my mind.

birchstick, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of TheBrewo
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This brew was served from a bottle at the Eagle Tavern at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. Poured into a smooth mug, it glowed a pumpkin amber coloring in the candlelight of the inn. No real head was produced other than a ring of white bubbles clinging to the edges of the glass. This subsequently left no lacing that was appreciated. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be active. The aroma gave the expected amber malts, with faintly sour brown malts to contrast, brown sugar, sweet banana, esters, licorice, grassy hops, and stark tinny metallics. Our first impression was that the flavoring showed a nice balancing ester sweetness to help cut the bittering and toasty amber malts, and all of their metallics. The taste began with sweet molasses, banana esters that gave the spicy but calming essence of cold banana bread, booze, harsh metallics, baker’s yeast, alcohol, and red apple sugars. The middle came to a peak with continued esters and banana breadiness, light coco chocolates, raw pine nuts, dried grass, bittered amber and adjuncty pale malts, light gingerbread spice, and icy metallics. Washing through the finish was a blend of walnut bitterness, candied cherries, flashes of coal, burnt caramel, bitter herbal malts, chemical phenols, and all the bittering metallics of amber mash and unsweetened lemon tea. The aftertaste breathed of licorice, faint buttery diacetyls, bittered amber malts, raw straw and barley, alcohol, corn, leather, brown sugar, and candied apple cloy. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave nice slurp and smack, with pleasantly creamy froth, giving a soft lick of a mustache. The mouth was left feeling watered and coated, with a bit of a puck, but with no real dryness to come. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its balance through the flavoring. This offering doesn’t kill you with the bitterness, but rather gives and interestingly balanced, and somewhat Belgian-feeling, sweetness from heavy banana esters. The aroma, on the other hand, is overly metallic. While this is noticed through the flavoring, again, the inherent amber malt flavoring, and pseudo wheaty crispness to the pale malts lend more to a warming blend and sip. This is a nice take on the style, but ends up being only decent in our book as a whole.

TheBrewo, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of redleg64
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

redleg64, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of ROBSTARR
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

ROBSTARR, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of FirstBrewsoon
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

FirstBrewsoon, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of beerhawk41
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

beerhawk41, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of waston
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

waston, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of HarmonMW
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

HarmonMW, Jul 08, 2012
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ESB Amber from Saugatuck Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.