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Stone Cat E.S.B. - Ipswich Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Stone Cat E.S.B.
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31 Reviews

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Reviews: 31
Hads: 38
Avg: 3.55
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-22-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Cat E.S.B. Alström Bros
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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 38
Photo of zrab11
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a nice amber color with a small head and good lacing

S- Aroma has grass and carmel in it also some hops and citrus r coming through

T- Has a malt/bready begginning and then moves to a carmel taste in the middle followed by some funky bitter grassness

M-Light to medium bodied with good carbonation

D-OVerall i thought from the smell i was going to love it. but it had a werid bitter grassy taste that i didnt like. ive had a few Esb's and this one im not a fan of.

 477 characters

Photo of DAllspaw
3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lighter amber color than expected from the style, white head.
First notice more of pale ale aroma than expected from ESB, less bready (citrus, pine etc). Nothing overpowering in the taste, but nothing off-putting as well, this would make a fine session beer.

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Photo of BeerBoss
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served out of a bottle in a chilled glass.

A: Has a deep amber/brown color with a bit of cloudiness

S: A malty aroma with hints hops

T: Clean on the tounge. Has a semi sweet front with a bitter yet pleasant finish.

M: Feels good on the tounge.

O: A very drinkable beer. Nothing exceptional, but very drinkable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, grassy hops and a touch of citrus.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty malt character and flavors of caramel and nuts. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in to provide a good balance. There's some background citrus flavor as well. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of porcelli426
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass at a little cooler than cellar temperature

A- Hazy deep red color with hints of orange, nice copper. A solid finger of head

S- Fairly strong hop smell but it's not too prevalent

T/M-Right off the bat is a strong bitterness complimented with nice hoppy notes. Slight citrus on the back end. Medium mouth feel

D- This is a really nice beer. I don't usually care for ESBs but this one balances the bitterness well with taste.

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Photo of dtivp
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber with a very small light tan head that dissipated into a collar very quickly with moderate lacing.

Aroma of a sweet malt with hint of orange.

Taste was first dominated by hops then it soothed out to a grainy malt with some citrus.

Mouthfeel was medium leaning light body, needed a little thickness.

Drink-ability was average, wasn't a strong bitter beer as labeled.

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Photo of argenti44
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank 2 in a large frosted mug. I received them in my beer of the month Christmas Present I received from my kids.

It poured an amber orange color with an off-white 1" head that maintained well. Left a nice lace along the glass.

The smell was not overpowering I did get an earthy note as I drank it the longer I enjoyed this. I did smell a light hop note.

The taste was very light and balanced. It's low ABV made this a great beer to drink while watching the game or a great flick.

It had a dry feel up front and a creamy finish in the end where the malt an hops combined well to let me know I was drinking a craft beer and not some swill from the local stop and shop.

Again I could drink this like a session beer due to the low ABV. Not to overpowering goes well with a sophisticated meal just as it goes well with hot dogs at the game.

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Photo of Cullen80
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- this beer has a dusky amber hue and a light tan head. The head started out at about 3/8 of an inch from an moderate pour rate. Disipated quickly leaving moderate laceing.

S- Aromas of citrus and malts nothing is overpowering.

T- Mild malt flavors with a touch of bitterness and a slightly piney flavor on the back end.

M- The mouth on this beer could stand to be a little thicker. Its not watery but it leaves a little something to be desired.

D- Overall this is a pleasently drinkable beer

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Photo of vfgccp
2.37/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Dark amber. Very nice fluffy white head. Great retention with good lacing.

S - Mild citrus, orange. Some malt. Left me wanting a lot more.

T - Very little up front. Dry feel with a pine bitterness. Somewhat dusty. Malt backdrop.

M - Dry throughout the drink and the finish. Medium body. Mild pine on the backend.

D - Taste isn't great and the almost dusty dryness wasn't particularly inviting.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was having a few beers at Goody Glover's in the North End on Friday night, and this was the only craft beer on tap other than Harpoon. Served in a pint glass. Bright yellow color with a quickly disappearing head but lots of carbonation. Smell was grassy. Taste was fairly good, as I liked the bit of hops, but there was a nice balance with the malt. Smooth on the palate. Slight bitter aftertaste. An easy beer to not really think about and just enjoying drinking.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.34/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on October 19, 2010. The pour is orange-copper in tone but fairly cloudy with a long-lasting half-inch foamy light tan head. The aroma is chock full of toasted malts and bread. The body is in the medium range. The malts seem diluted by a floral hoppiness in the taste so the overall character is more like an IPA rather than an ESB.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a- dark red ale. weak head retention. hazy, clarity issues.
s- malty sweet smell. I feel like I can smell the bitterness.
t- clean tasting. english yeast in the end of the sip. Very flavorful, ful malt, bitterness, hops and yeast. odd end to the sip though. I really not in love with the finish.
m+d- really flavorful but a little watery for my taste. I could sip on this for a while.

not like any E.S.B. I have had.

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Photo of Admiraldinty
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date (not on the box either)

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber with some fairly serious white sediment, and a 3/4 inch head. I was somewhat surprised by the sediment, since I've never really encountered it in this style.

Smell: Not a particularly evocative fragrance - some malt and caramel.

Taste: Sweet and toasted malt with some hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: Not overly prickly, medium bodied.

Drinkability: This is an ok ESB, but doesn't compare to Fuller's. I still miss Harpoon's version.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I figure if I'm going to run the Stone Cat sponsored 50 miler in November I mighnt as well try some of their beer.

Pours a cloudy caramel color with a decent white head. Retention is ok and leaves a bit of lacing but it doesn't stay for the whole beer. Smells like cider, and orange marmalade.

Beautiful mix of a fall fruit bouqet and a rolling tea-like bitter. Hints of cocoa. Balanced.

Probably not hoppy enough to be an ESB and more of a B or even a PA. I like it just he same.

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Photo of OldYoda
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As with others, courtesy of my Beer of the Month club.

Appearance is decent, pours a slightly cloudy light amber with a minimal head and no lacing to speak of.

Smell is very faint and really doesn't say much to me. Some malt, no hops and that's about it.

Taste is ok - malt but not too sweet. Like the smell , this is just kind of faint and not much to it.

Mouthfeel is ok, finished better than it starts and leaves a clean bitter feel. A little watery.

Drinkability seems fine although I can find no information about the ABV anywhere on the label.

Not the best ESB I ever had, but very drinkable and certainly not the worst.

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Photo of Jimbo87
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: fairly clear copper with big pale head.

Smell: Sweet fresh barley and some nice hops.

Taste: Some toastiness. Dry. Nice slightly earthy hops. A bitter beer.

MF: carbonation lower than average and slightly thin.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable beer.

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Photo of alarusse
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer of the month club #1.1

A - Nice color; sort of a faded sunset orange, decent lacing but little retention. Moderate amount of head, but weak in character.

S - Really quite pleasant on the nose; sweet bread notes, substantial alcohol present.

T - Not a big fan in this department. It's not terrible, but is a bit offensive to me. Tastes a bit skunky to my palette, also some earth and coffee flavors in the background.

M - Thin and nothing of note about the actual drinking except a little strong on the carbonation for my taste, but there is a little residue afterward.

D - Mainly for its lingering flavor I dont give it high marks here.

Not my favorite beer. Perhaps in another serving context or with food, I'd enjoy it more, and I'll need to try more of the style, but I'm hoping they have a more pleasant taste than this.

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Photo of krisandajt
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew courtesy of my Beer of the Month Club...

Appearance: Pours a clean, clear copper color with lots of head that actually hangs around for a little bit. Decent lacing.

Smell: You can first smell a bit of malts, but that's quickly followed by what you come to expect...a bit of hoppy bitterness.

Taste: I've had other brews of the style, and this one seems mild in comparison. That certainly isn't a bad thing, I was just expecting some extra 'e' in the ESB.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth to drink. Very mild carbonation, nothing to get in the way of the bitter.

Drinkability: I am a fan of this style...and despite my opinion of its mildness, I am thoroughly enjoying this and will drink it again given the opportunity.

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Photo of JimmieFrisbee
4.07/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle I got from a beer of the month club.

Color is a strawish brown, filtered and clear. Thick, just off-white head with good retention and nice lacing all the way down.

Nice malty smell, offset by a subtle hoppiness -- smells a little bit "darker" than my eyes tell me the beer is.

Taste is about what the smell would lead me to believe it was going to be, with earthy hop taste present but not overpowering the malt. The hop taste lingers for a little bit after each sip.

Mouthfeel is good. Not overly heavy, but definitely substantial and not watery.

Drinkability is very good. I could definitely have a few over the course of a night or with dinner and not get sick of the taste as it is not overpowering, yet certainly not bland. The little bit of hoppiness in the finish makes me want to go back for another sip.

With somewhat limited experience with the style, it about what I expected in flavor but may be my favorite example of it, whether or not it is the "best" of the style I have tried. Something I would buy again for a night with friends if it were readily available, but nothing something I'd go terribly far out of my way to look for.

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Photo of danielharper
3.39/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light brown, hazy, moderately carbonated, with a thick just-slightly-off-white head. Head is foamy and filled with large bubbles. Leaves some lacing.

Smell: Not a lot of aromatics at all. The temperature seems right, but there's little aroma here aside from a dry maltiness. Perhaps a hint of citrus.

Taste: A true English Bitter. A crisp dry hoppiness up front, with a nutty and malty sweetness on the back end. Very dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than expected, but not by much. Higher carbonation than expected, but not by much. Goes down smooth and clean despite the dryness on the finish.

Drinkability: A good beer worth drinking, but not something I'll be seeking out in the future.

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Photo of horshack7
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a hazy copper color with a thick and creamy head about one inch.

Aromas: Nice hop nose to it. Slight dried fruit notes along with sweet smells from the malts.

Taste: It starts off with a crisp mouthfeel with a nice hop bite. Minor dried fruit notes but not too fruity. There is a little bit of sweetness. It certainly fits the style of the beer.

Notes: This is my first offering from Mercury brewing and this one is a winner.Cheers

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Cat E.S.B. pours a slightly hazy amber color with vigorous streams of bubbles rising to the surface. A frothy off white head sits on top which leaves quite a bit of lace in netted patterns on the side of the glass.

The aroma is somewhat fruity with some caramel malt mixed in. Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft on the palate with a fizzy tingle on the middle of the tongue. The flavor is malty with notes of caramel and toast. Some fruity notes move in at the middle and it finishes with a floral hop flavor. Once gone some of the caramel malt flavor lingers on the palate.

This ESB has a well balanced flavor and is quite drinkable. A good everyday beer.

 673 characters

Photo of NEhophead
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.

Murky copper/light amber in color. Quickly receding white head that settles to a thin sheet. Slowly-falling, webbed lacing with decent strength.

Mildly musty caramel and light toffee; toasted biscuit. A strange off-sweetness with a bit of spice.

Solvent-like lemon over an airy toasted malt character. Mild tones of richness; caramel. Spicy, earthen floral hops with a rather bland flavor profile. A dark bitterness followed by a spicy, tea-flavored aftertaste.

Medium bodied; dry, filmy, and spicy. An all encompassing bitter dryness.

A drinkable but off-flavored bitter. Decent but not a beer I'd return to.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice caramel color with a nice-sized, but weak head which dissipated in short order.

Cascade hops on the nose and then nothing much that caught my notice. Nice enough though.

Taste has some buttery notes which is expected for the style.

Mouthfeel comes up just a tad short. Some of it seems like carbonation that is too strong. Some of it might be due to the hops. That may have improved at a warmer temp.

A solid but not impressive ESB. Good for a session beer. As one of the bros. said, it falls very short of Fuller's, which is the gold standard. Did they really discontinue a better ESB and kept this one instead? I hope that was based on solid business reasoning.

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Photo of mschofield
3.76/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a coppery dark amber, topped with a two finger ran head. Leaves rings of lacing behind.
Caramel and earthy aroma, the aroma is too weak, not much going on and isn't very strong.
Nicely bitter taste, caramel, burnt orange, pepper, citrus zest, and a lot of toasted malt.
Medium bodied, a good drinker, good session beer.

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Stone Cat E.S.B. from Ipswich Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.