1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

116 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 116
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 116 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnathanColeman
3.25/5  rDev -14%

JohnathanColeman, Feb 01, 2014
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.

Craigory, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of siege06nd
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

siege06nd, Jan 21, 2014
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.

Cyrion, Jan 18, 2014
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.

bruceblizard, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of Hockey_Fan
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Hockey_Fan, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of Rbodacious
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Rbodacious, Jan 09, 2014
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.

dbrauneis, Jan 04, 2014
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.

tone77, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of HoppyBastard1
4/5  rDev +5.8%

HoppyBastard1, Dec 31, 2013
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.

delta490, Dec 17, 2013
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

Arithmeticus, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Beer4Baltimore, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of avisong
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

avisong, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of seanchai
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

seanchai, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
3/5  rDev -20.6%

mendvicdog, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

GRG1313, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of Lovely85
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Lovely85, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +5.8%

nickfl, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +5.8%

kylehay2004, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of russwaddell
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I have often been disappointed by ESBs, but this is good beer.

Pours totally clear with a small head. Decent lacing but not a ton. A layer of bubbles sticks around for quite awhile. Copper to brown color.

Smells like an amber or red ale but with some really subdued hop notes too. I associate this style with the English, and I associate the smell with the smell of an English pub. That could be good or bad, I suppose.

Taste is a little more floral than I expected. It's sort of metallic but in a good way rather than a malt liquor way. Long but not terribly bitter finish.

Thicker on the tongue than I was expecting. Quite sweet, but still easy drinking. Not even slightly boozy, which seems consistent with the style.

I come away very pleased with this beer, maybe because I did not expect to enjoy the style. It sort of reminds me of a really good, clean, balanced German lager...but more English?

You know, on second thought I have no idea why I insist on bringing nationality into this review.

russwaddell, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of JayQue
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A nice ESB.. Pours a clear, dark amber color with a medium size white head and some lacing. The aroma is malty - caramel and bready malt with some spices (mostly pepper) and a little toffee.

Flavor is just about the same with a touch of finishing bitterness thrown in. Good flavor.

Mouthfeel is rich enough and crisp

Overall a good ESB...and in a can too, for portability.

JayQue, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of stortore
4/5  rDev +5.8%

stortore, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of philbe311
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

philbe311, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of jacewg
4/5  rDev +5.8%

jacewg, Oct 18, 2013
Steel Wheels ESB from Blue Mountain Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.