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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

104 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.87%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | 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: 104 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by woodychandler:
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +19.5%

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!

04-18-2014 12:04:21 | More by woodychandler
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +5%

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.

11-22-2012 17:58:06 | More by oberon
Photo of csmartin6
csmartin6

New York

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

08-24-2013 21:28:03 | More by csmartin6
Photo of alienlifeforcecube
alienlifeforcecube

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

08-26-2014 23:02:00 | More by alienlifeforcecube
Photo of avisong
avisong

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

12-06-2013 04:58:31 | More by avisong
Photo of HuntDaddy540
HuntDaddy540

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +5.5%

04-28-2014 19:20:20 | More by HuntDaddy540
Photo of tabascosigned
tabascosigned

Virginia

4/5  rDev +5.5%

09-05-2013 20:08:18 | More by tabascosigned
Photo of ConradKenney
ConradKenney

Maryland

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-18-2014 15:18:35 | More by ConradKenney
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

11-26-2013 02:12:19 | More by GRG1313
Photo of HoppyBastard1
HoppyBastard1

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%

12-31-2013 02:21:34 | More by HoppyBastard1
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3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

You rated this beer. Add a review.

01-27-2013 05:15:48 | More by
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Hockey_Fan

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

01-12-2014 00:01:52 | More by Hockey_Fan
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.54/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

01-03-2014 06:22:58 | More by tone77
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

10-23-2013 00:39:54 | More by philbe311
Photo of VeganUndead
VeganUndead

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

10-04-2012 20:17:23 | More by VeganUndead
Photo of Sanchezrox23
Sanchezrox23

Virginia

3/5  rDev -20.8%

04-23-2014 08:46:28 | More by Sanchezrox23
Photo of KevinGordon
KevinGordon

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

09-08-2013 01:36:06 | More by KevinGordon
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DavidHume

Virginia

4/5  rDev +5.5%

06-17-2014 14:53:06 | More by DavidHume
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.89/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

07-21-2013 18:13:26 | More by smakawhat
Photo of MarkJBurch
MarkJBurch

New York

3/5  rDev -20.8%

03-02-2014 16:46:27 | More by MarkJBurch
Photo of Cyrion
Cyrion

Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +10.3%

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.

01-18-2014 02:45:48 | More by Cyrion
Photo of biga7346
biga7346

Michigan

4.01/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

05-26-2013 01:29:27 | More by biga7346
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mendvicdog

Maryland

3/5  rDev -20.8%

11-26-2013 21:29:41 | More by mendvicdog
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JasonTaverner

Virginia

4/5  rDev +5.5%

07-06-2014 03:31:55 | More by JasonTaverner
Photo of obywan59
obywan59

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%

750 ml bottle corked and wired. British malts, Scottish yeast, and
American hops.
The label shows the band "Steel Wheels" based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia near Harrisonburg, and known for their "soulful mountain music".

Pours nearly crystal clear with a light tan 3 finger head that leaves impressive sticky lacing. Coppery in color.

Fruit and spice and toasty malt on the nose combine to give an impression that approaches mustiness.

The taste is sweet and fruity with light spice and a nice smooth long=lasting bitterness.

Medium-full in body with light prickle on the tongue. Very drying to the point of being almost numbing. Warming in the throat.

Unique in my experience Well balanced and easy drinking. I would definitely try this brew again. This is my second sampling of brews from Blue Mountain Barrel House, (Mandolin being the first) and at this early date BMBH (a sister brewery to Blue Mountain Breswery) appears to me to be the best brewery in Virginia.

11-18-2012 06:03:15 | More by obywan59
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Steel Wheels ESB from Blue Mountain Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.