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Steel Wheels ESB - Blue Mountain Brewery

Not Rated.
Steel Wheels ESBSteel Wheels ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

110 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 110
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: argock on 09-05-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 110 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by woodychandler:
Photo of woodychandler
4.53/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Rumor has it that Blue Mountain may be backing off of their CANned offerings and that would be a shame. I have had this CAN in abeyance for a while, trying to get a pic approved. It finally required my acquisition of a tripod (!), but all is now in readiness. Nobody ever said that The CANQuest (TM) is easy!

From the CAN: "Real Virginia Beer"; "Demand Fresh Beer: Check my butt to mke sure I'm not older than I look."; "Drink the good stuff."; "The music of The Steel Wheels and the beer from Blue Mountain are both original and handcrafted with inspired Ameri[CAN]a flavors from the heart of Virginia. Our collaboration E.S.B. draws from the past with British Crystal malts and Scottish yeast, but uses Ameri[CAN] hop to put our own stamp on the creation. Take time to drink slowly and listen truly. Wherever you are, get ready to sing along, to harmonize. Maybe even get up and dance."; "Hear the Steel Wheels at www.TheSteelWheels.com, or meet them soon at a show to hear the music as they love to share it: live, kickin' and real."; "Virginia's first craft brewery in a [CAN]"; "Pack it in [,] pack it out".

I wanted to make an allusion to Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle with You" or something about a trifecta wheel combination, but when their website allowed me to listen to some of their music, I decided to go with their "Winter Is Coming" as accompaniment. Music and beer, another winning CANbination!

At long last, the Crack! occurred and thanks to yet another brimful craft CAN, I incurred a spritz of beer across my fingers. I liken it to a happy puppy eager to come out and play. The band and I celebrated with an inverted Glug that created a quick pseudo-cascade and easily two fingers of dense, light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-copper (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a distinct caramel malt sweetness underlain by a grassy hoppiness. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was unexpectedly more bitter than the nose had led me to expect. I really liked the way that the hops and malts interacted on this one, with neither overwhelming the other and making for an eminently quaffable beer. It had a dry biscuity maltiness and a grassiness that made for a very dry iteration of the style. Finish was quite dry and an unexpected bonus for me as I was expecting yet another sweet ESB. I really hope that the rumors are unfounded as I would love to have some more CANs of this one!

woodychandler, Apr 18, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial nonic a rich full bronze with a creamy half finger white head atop that settles very slowly into froth.Caramel/biscuit malt and some spicy hops in the nose,they don't jump out at ya but are pronounced.Fresh tasting with a nice bready maltiness on the palate,lightly sweet caramel provides more layered maltiness,a decent shot of spicy hops in a lingering finish.A full almost creamy feel to the makes it easy going down and a pleasure to drink.I would love to try this on the hand pump,a bigger ESB with a dose of American hops,a very solid offering.

oberon, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of csmartin6
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

csmartin6, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

alienlifeforcecube, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of avisong
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

avisong, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of HuntDaddy540
4/5  rDev +6.1%

HuntDaddy540, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of tabascosigned
4/5  rDev +6.1%

tabascosigned, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of ConradKenney
4/5  rDev +6.1%

ConradKenney, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

GRG1313, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of HoppyBastard1
4/5  rDev +6.1%

HoppyBastard1, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

You rated this beer. Add a review.

, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of Hockey_Fan
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Hockey_Fan, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of tone77
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another can courtesy of the legendary woodychandler. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a pretty amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of caramel malts, some hops. Taste is well balanced hops and malts, a light bitterness, smooth and easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

tone77, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of SLewis
4/5  rDev +6.1%

SLewis, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of philbe311
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

philbe311, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of VeganUndead
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

VeganUndead, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of Sanchezrox23
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Sanchezrox23, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of KevinGordon
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

KevinGordon, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of DavidHume
4/5  rDev +6.1%

DavidHume, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of smakawhat
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real aggressive looking ESB. Nicely foamy and soapy four to five finger controlled head with nice even pinhead bubbles althroughout. Big retention and some speckled soapy lacing. Body color is a deep super crystal clear, but dark copper red, with dark brown hues on the edges. Very big and impressive looking.

Nose is fruity estery large. Hints of caramel and lots of sweet cinnamon alover with some little bit of berried red fruit. A little bit of heat comes off in the background, with some mineral like touches. Some herbal sensing hops but the malt and yeast fruity character seems to be the star. Solid.

Light bodied feel with lots of cinnamon and herbal tea flavors on first sip. Malt action has subdued caramel on the swallow and a hint of faint brown sugars. Sharp. A good hop lingering herbal tea bitterness on the swallow that fits nicely with the cinnamon angles of the malt profile.

Overall, just a solid esb and a good looking one as well.

smakawhat, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of MarkJBurch
3/5  rDev -20.4%

MarkJBurch, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of Cyrion
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a common shaker pint. Has a 'best before' date of one month in the future. Better get cracking.

Appearance: Pours a dark gold (too yellow to use the words 'amber' or 'copper') that is very clear. A one inch creamy head dissipates reluctantly, leaving concentric rings in the glass.

Smell: It honestly smells like sugar cookies. Macaroons. Must be a cookie aroma with sugar and caramel. The malt is kickin', but I'm wondering what lies beneath. No hint of alcohol or hops, strangely.

Taste: Wow, a delicious drying malt taste. Bready, caramel sweetness in front, as gleaned from the aroma, followed by the hops. Wish I could elaborate more on the hops, but it's a pleasant mid-palate earthy flavor that is a reasonable reproduction of a strong bitter. Drying on the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium, with no alcohol taste. Appropriate for an ESB with an ABV of 6.5%.

Overall: I'm pretty skeptical of English reproductions, as so few American beers live up to the hype, but this is a truly delicious beer. Slightly more hoppy than an English ESB, but not nearly as bracing as other reviewers may say. Balanced and drying, leaves you thirsty for another. Best ESB I've had in a long, long time. I'm adding this to my very small stable of go-to beers.

Cyrion, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of biga7346
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Copper, chestnut brown, great big white coning head, lacing

N - Black licorice, rye, spices like cardomom or cinnamon, smoke, lots of breadiness, touch of fresh tangerine, strawberries, grassy hopping; really nuanced, balanced and enticing.

T/M - Rye bread, spices, white peppercorn, more of smoke, molasses, old fruit, bakers chocolate in the finish, slick and thin, drying.

D - Great beer, good to go for all night sessionable at 6.5%. It's nice to discover a fresh, creative look at an old world style. The sad part is that something like this will probably get ignored for the most part.

biga7346, May 26, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
3/5  rDev -20.4%

mendvicdog, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of JasonTaverner
4/5  rDev +6.1%

JasonTaverner, Jul 06, 2014
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Steel Wheels ESB from Blue Mountain Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.