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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

122 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 122
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.17%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | 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: 122 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of squack
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Drk93TT
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22oz corked bomber.. into a pint glass

A : Pours a reddish brown color with a 2 finger head that partly sticks around throughout the experience. Bubbly and active in the glass... Yet leaves minimal lacing.

S: Light carmel and apple spice scent. Some malty-bready tones too.. but barely there.

T: Crisp and carbonated.. almost a bitter granny smith-like apple taste that lasts throughout. The apple flavor fades as the beer warms. But its still very much there.

M: Thin and crisp here, not as thick as I had hoped for.. not very chewy at all. Aftertaste is very faint.

A pretty decent ESB here, but I beleive itd be much much better with more body and maltiness going on in the mouthfeel. The apple flavor is too much for me.. it dominates the palate. Still glad i gave this a go, only beer ever had from Blue Mountain so far.. Not bad. Try it for sure.

Photo of millerbuffoon
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of ConradKenney
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Clydesdale
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a deep, clear copper-red color. The tall, copper-tinted head is moderately dense and frothy. Retention is good, and a respectable amount of splotchy lacing sticks to the glass as the head recedes.

S: Toasty, caramel aromas are prominent. Some nice depth here, with estery notes of fruit (orchard and dried) and light spiciness. Hop aromas are mostly leafy and herbal, with some added fruitiness.

T: Firmly malty up front, with equal parts sugar cookie maltiness, caramel sweetness, and toasted flavor. Hop bitterness is moderate and appropriate for the style. Some leafy and herbal hop flavor is noticeable. This is not a particularly clean beer, though not in a bad way; there are prominent yeasty esters of fruit (think golden apples and raisins) as well as some residual sweetness towards the finish.

M: Rather full-bodied. Carbonation is medium. This has a fairly big malty feel, especially for the style. There is a fair dose of hoppiness to balance things out towards the finish, but this drinks more like a brown ale than a pale ale.

O: This is a good ESB from Blue Mountain. It's a little fuzzy around the edges, but it doesn't detract from the enjoyability. Steel Wheels has a little of everything: maltiness, hoppiness, and estery character.

Photo of VikeMan
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of JohnathanColeman
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Craigory
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

64oz growler fill from Green's Piney Grove, poured into a Blue Mountain snifter.

A: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with an inch of off-white head. This quickly dissipates, leaving little lacing.

S: Sweet grain, biscuit-y malt, a hint of dark fruit, and herbal hops.

T: A great biscuit character throughout, buoyed by just a bit of dark fruit and a clean hop finish.

M: This boasts a much better mouthfeel than most ESB's, as it manages to really fill the mouth and make its presence known. It's crisp, but not too carbonated.

O: This is a nice "Americanized" ESB. It hits all the standard notes, but the increased ABV boosts flavor and mouthfeel. While remaining drinkable, this is a comparatively hefty example of the style.

Photo of siege06nd
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Cyrion
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of bruceblizard
4.99/5  rDev +32%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best Virginia beer. Smooth, hardy, malty entry and bitter finish. Refreshing and warming simultaneously. Nutty flavor beautiful golden brown color and lots of caramely head for a canned beer. Would buy this by the case and could have as my only beer with no problem.

Photo of Hockey_Fan
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Rbodacious
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a can at City Beverage in Winston-Salem, NC

A: Pours a clear bronze-ish amber in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation slowly rising from the bottom of the glass and some golden yellow + brassy highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy light beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of biscuit and caramel malts with a light amount of spicy and earthy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of bready and biscuity malts with a light to moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of earthy and spicy hops which contribute a light amount of bitterness which fades pretty quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy.

O: An enjoyable offering, sort of an Americanized version of the ESB with a slightly more aggressive hoppiness than is expected for the style. Definitely easy to drink and one I will pick up again. Alcohol is well hidden.

Photo of tone77
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of HoppyBastard1
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of delta490
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- poured a clear copper-tinted amber with a short lasting fizzier white head. No retention at all (true to style)

S- minimal at best with slight hints of raisins and some nondescript hops. Sometimes it was non-existent.

T- again, very little in the taste. There are some mild notes of dark fruit and some subtle hops. But all in all, this comes up short to other ESBs I've had, especially those made in England.

M- A little thinner but definitely not watery.

O- I wanted this to be better. It's not bad, per se, but it falls short as an ESB.

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured chilled in ale glas chez White

A: dark amber, one-finger head (creamy), good carbonation, excellent lacing
S: malty, darker roasted malts; opens up nicely
T: like a hoppy bock; very malty, complex brown sugar, horehound candy; resinous

A very good beer, but astringent and loud

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of avisong
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of seanchai
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mendvicdog
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Lovely85
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Steel Wheels ESB from Blue Mountain Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.