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Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus ESB³ - Rock Art Brewery

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Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus ESB³Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus ESB³

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very good

206 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 206
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.64%
Wants: 11
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottum on 08-29-2006

An ESB squared! It’s big! It’s bitter and it’s balanced! Heck, we even dry hopped it with Tettnang hops, but I’ll admit the Tomahawk chewed up the dry hop and didn’t spit it out!
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 144
Photo of ROMER79
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour was a cloudy golden color with a thick white head. Miller lite looks like this beer, but w/o the thick head part.
It smelled of citrus and hops. The taste wasn't all that great, it was a mix of orange, lemons, and grapefruit with a hoppy kick. The mouthfeel wasn't anything to write home about and it was easy to drink just not a beer for me.

Photo of gkatsoris
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Golden honey and quite murky. Really big, foamy, white, THICK head. The head too k 3-5 minutes to fall. Lots of lacing.

S: Citrusy hops. Grapefruit and grapefruit rind. Orange and orange peel.

T: Sour. Bitter and SOUR. Pure grapefruit rind. Not yummy.

M: Honestly the taste has ruined the mouthfeel. The carbonation is good, but someone give me a Budweiser to rinse my mouth out with.

D: And down the drain it went.

Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a cloudy orange color with a fluffy 2" head that sports some large bubbles. Light lacing develops duringhte session.

Smell: grapefruit and honey sweetness comes through cleanly and is pleasant on the nose.

Taste: caramel, grapefruits, honey, green grapes, and a hearty bitterness are wrapped in a mild alcoholic blanket. Dryness abounds. Definite ESB on steroids.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp and dry from the start and finshes smooth and dry. Medium-heavy in body. Long flavorful aftertaste.

Drinkability: not a session beer, but an enjoyable one. One bomber was easy to quaff and enjoy. Worth a try.

Photo of Foxman
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a quite murky and covertly carbonated orangey amber. A finger of tight off-white head elapses soon. Valences of lacing dress the inside of the glass.

The aroma carries malty sweet caramel and berry fruit. A smooth layer of crisp citrus and a lighter blush of pine slide about atop a warm stripe of alcohol.

Upon tasting, an initially sweet swath of caramel malt and a mellow mark of general fruitiness is quickly squashed by a swelling spate of grinding bitterness. A spritz of very dry grapefruit is soon nudged aside by some damned toasty alcohol. A rounded puff of biscuit disperses before a more rigid bitterness, with a finish that's crisp and numbing. The IBU's are out of proportion and somewhat distracting.

Medium bodied, there's an oily stickiness that falls before an ultra-dry crush.

Well, I guess it's possible that the actual IBU's aren't really out of whack, but the perceived bitterness is, and after all, perception is reality, or so they say. It alludes to a balance and then tips brashly to a bitter bias. The ABV is out there a ways, solid and bold, and it works with the blossoming acridity against being especially drinkable. I'm not impressed, but hey, maybe next time.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to admit that for some reason I purposefully avoided anything from this brewery for quite some time. And then I said to myself: "Hey self. Maybe it's time to try something from this brewery."

Pours a foggy orange brown with a crème head. Nose is hopped. Comes off as a resin-like and very mildly citric edge. Flavor is like a mix of Double IPA and ESB. Hearty hops with a perfume like edge to it. A noticeable bitter tone hits on the end as well. Pretty full carbonation and a well bodied liquid aspect make it nice to drink. I have to agree with Ding on this one and say that this really does seem more IPA-ish that ESB-ish. It's nice-ish to drink-ish, but the whole ESB cubed-ish thing just doesn't really work out.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a shade lighter than amber with a huge stiff foamy straw colored head that fades in a rocky pattern to gobs of 3D lacing. The smell is first an aggressive toasted lager malt with a flowery pine resin aroma . The back half is slightly clouded and notably fragrant. Medium-full bodied, the mouth feel is nice. A constant stream of effervescence in this SA Perfect Pint, its adequately carbonated and there is a nice creamy texture offset by a warming hoppy character. Full flavored, the toasted malty taste laced with a bitter resin flavor lingers appropriately. Didn't know what to expect, but its a nice drinker. The 8% ABV is warming, but not the least bit distracting. Really glad that i had the opportunity to sample this one. Looking forward to visiting Morrisville, VT.

Photo of Kegatron
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber with a big foamy white head that nearly fills have the glass. It eventually settles down to the point where I can fill it up more. Huge lacing that covers the glass in a sticky web. Aroma is kind of subdued. Mostly hoppy citrus notes and some light tones of sweet malt.

Taste is extremely sweet up front with caramel malt that gives way to a very aggressive flood of strong floral citrus and hop bitterness. The bitterness is very biting and lingers on the tongue for a while. The extremeness of the malt and hops does tame down some and feels more balanced as it warms. Mouthfeel is a beefy medium body that takes on an almost viscous feel at times.

I'm not really sure what to think of this "ESB Squared" experiment from Rock Art. The thick body and in your face hops and malt definitely made for a tough drinking experience at times. A lot tougher anyway than most of the Double IPAs that this seems to be trying to imitate. Maybe a little more balance would have helped make this a more enjoyable encounter.

Photo of potownbill
2.94/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I try not to drink the same beer twice, but for some reason, I bought 2 bottles of this when I was in Winooski. Forgot the first tasting, and entered the data in my review list. Finished reviewing and realized that it was the second time. Both reviews were identical.
Appearance:Cloudy golden yellow. Head dissipated after a few minutes
Smell: Funk. Old dishtowel. Not good
Taste: Yes, it is bitter. Grapefruit, some floral. Overall not bad.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation was suprisingly persistant. Good mouthfeel
Drinkability: OK, but I will not be buying a third.

Photo of smcolw
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a neutral amber color, slightly cloudy. Generous three-finger head that dissipates into a solid and rocky quarter inch leaving tremendous amount of lace.

Fresh hop aroma with some light malt on the side. A little alcohol warmth and some yeast smells as well.

Extreme, indeed. Lots of potent bittering hop--far more than the smell suggests. Lip puckering bitter aftertaste from the bitterness. This is not a balanced beer--for hop heads only. Full bodied with an appropriate amount of bubbles.

Too much of a good thing? Although I love hops, I also like to have some balance. This is a bold beer.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, served in a pint glass.

A - murky, orange/amber color with a big, fluffy beige head that settled down to a layer of foam in a few minutes, leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

S - almost sweet smelling, citrus hop aroma, very pleasant.

T - very good bitter tasting brew, exactly what I came for.

M - medium bodied with very crisp carbonation.

D - I had no problem knocking off a bomber and could have gone for at least one more.

Final Note: after reading some of the reviews of this beer, maybe I was the lucky guy who got a really fresh bottle of this stuff? I thought it was delicious and I highly recommend it.

Photo of Vancer
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hey, nice brew sent by gpcollen1
for my BA annv!

Hazy, lazy amber orange pour – lookit that pillow of ivory floating on top, and ring laces per the duration.

Citrus and pine in the aroma – quaff had these also, but with a bit a sharp bite. Orange and grapefruit also make an appearance. Even after 9 months of cellering the alcohol has a bit, not bad, of a burn – but it does smooth out towards mid-bottle. But maybe I’m just getting a buzz, either way this beer works for me – a good drinker and sippin’ beer.

Photo of sleazo
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a medium chestnut brow with an extremely fluffy head that sits atop the beer almost like a merengue. Really beautiful

S-Soapy piney hops with aslight twinge of caramel

T-Strong on the hops. The hop profile is slightly more citric than the smell with touches of pine. Way pushed to the hop side there is some caramel and biscuits. This is more like a west coast IPA to me.

M-slightly thick medium carbonation.

D-this is delicious. A hopheads treat

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A triple ESB is a difficult thing to fathom, but here goes...

Somewhat cloudy orange body, possibly chill haze. Three fingers of lunar surface white foam.

Takes a very deep sniff, but I finally pull some citrus aroma out of the glass. Was expecting much more oomph.

Nice semi-sweet malt base. Good rising tide of earthy and citrusy hops. Citrus notes linger on and on post swallow, the most extreme thing of the beer.

Solid medium/light mouthfeel. Good, enjoyable drinkability.

A solid pale ale ? Sure. A triple ESB ? Maybe an ESB-and-a-half. An EESB. Unfortunately though, the label hype had me looking for something bigger and better than Troegs HopBack Amber and this isn't in that league. Needs a bigger beer or a less boastful label.

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cool from 12 oz amber bottle into Boston Lager glass.

Pours thick with good body, looking golden amber in color, hazy, with a nice white head that lingers, leaving great lacing all the way down.

Aroma at first pour is all about spicy, pungent hops. As it warms in the glass, a sweet malty note drifts up.

Taste is strong and sweet. Good, hoppy, puckering.

Mouthfeel is dominated by noted bitterness on the back of the mouth. Heavy body, lingering sour hop flavor.

Drinkability is pretty good, deceptive alcohol, no heat evident at 8%. Recommended. Reminds me very much of Bell's Two Hearted.

Photo of mshallah
4.7/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Orange beer with a 3 finger sized head and very sticky lace. Looks like my kind of brew.
S-Strawberry-kiwi snapple nose. No...really. There are no alcohol aromas in this 8%abv beer.
T-Sweet grapefruit citrusy hop on top. Strawberry-kiwi fruitiness underneath. A very sweet and sticky juicy malt surrounds with lip smackin' goodness. Very balanced and delicious. Hop bitterness builds as you drink to add to the sweetish finish.
M-Medium creamy ale mouthfeel for a session appeal.
D-Wonderful aftertaste. The strawberry-kiwi flavor and aroma is so unique I can't get enough. A well crafted, big american ESB of balanced complexity. One of my alltime favorites.

Photo of flexabull
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of cburian, thanks again!

Pours a clear gold color with a large head, and a lot of bubbles floating to the surface.

Aromas are bready, doughy, and yeast like. There are also some bright green fruits notes as well.

Taste is very hop dominate. It's a bit citrus fruit flavored, some green apple, crisp, dry, and with a mineral bitter hop finish. Underneath is a subtle caramel malty flavor, but it's second to the hops.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. A bit prickly, and a touch overcarbonated for my tastes, but still not bad.

All in all, this is a pretty good and drinkable beer. An interesting take on the ESB style, certainly worth a try.

Photo of dacrza1
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

1.6 pint bottle into a Trappist glass....hops cubed indeed noted as the beer is poured, aggressive yet respectful...consistent head on a dense orange body--look of a solid ESB...slick, straight-to-back of mouth push; aftertaste sidles over tongue’s edges...a complex beer, demanding a full drink...too much hops for an ESB?....a bit of citrus flourish... leery of anything labeled extreme--most of all, beer--and likewise leery of these Vermont brewers (i.e. Magic Hat) who can’t confidently categorize their own brews, I still am impressed with an 8% ABV that offers NO hint in the tasting whatever...this beer was a pleasant surprise, and provokes me to seek other Rock Art work...

Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rock Art Magnumus ete Tomahawkus ESB3 poured a great amber color with a little haze indicative of the bottle conditioned beer. The beer poured with an off-white head that had great lacing and stayed for the duration of the beer. The smell was nice and hoppy with floral and citrus notes giving the greatest bouquet. The taste was exceptional; the floral hops hit the front of the tongue with a pleasant hop bite that mellowed in to a citrusy aftertaste. The mouthfeel was smooth but not heavy. The alcohol was not detectable in the taste of this strong ESB making it very drinkable.

Photo of plaid75
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light to medium copper hue with a one finger creamy white head. There was very good retentiona and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet, yet peppery oily hop. Hints of orange and honey are evident.

The taste featured a strong upfront resiny hop with peppery highlights. A slight medicinal astringency at the finish.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness with a bizarre dry finish. Lingering hop bitterness.

Overal a tasty ESB. Impressive, yet hidden ABV.

Photo of beermanbrian
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice big off white head foams up with a strong pour. Clear copper color. Sticky lacing coats the glass as you drink it and it dosn't move. A wiff of citrus hops hits me when i pop open the bottle. At first taste though i get all piney resinous hops. The ABV tells me that there must be some sugar sweetness in this thing but it's hard to find through the pine. Some biscuit malt eventually shows through but just faintly. Mouthfeel is oily. I love pine but this one just dosn't have enough balance. The alcohol shows itself toward the end. Worth a try, but nothing great.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Hazy orange color with a medium head that was very sticky. Mostly a pine aroma, a little bit of floral presence. The taste was mostly all piney hops, a little late bitterness. It had an oily, not altogether pleasant mouthfeel. Not an enjoyable beer.

Photo of cbl2
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6/17/2007 $3.25 22 oz. 8.00% No best by date.


Pours a hazy medium brown highlighted with some orange, and topped by a thin film of foamy tan head that is quick to settle.


Mild floral hops with just a touch of grapefruit alongside the barest hint of roasted malt.


Bottle is labeled "EXTREME" and then in small print "This Ain't For No Mama's Boy or Daddy's Girl", and at 8% ABV and 80 IBU's, I was expecting a bold, in your face brew. The floral and pine hops are fairly muted, though their hop oils provide a nice slickness to the mouthfeel. Flowery esters dominate the flavor up front, but are soon joined by a caramel sweetness that balances things out. Alcohol is apparent, though not in a bad way towards the finish, which has a tea-like sweetness and astringency. The IBU's creep up on you in this one, and as I near the bottom of my pint, I'm realizing that this isn't as balanced as I first surmised. For $3.25, this was worth the purchase, if only to have said I tried it, though I don't think I'll be doing so again.

Photo of far333
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy honey colored with quick rising streams of fine bubbles running towards a half inch high head of thick off-white foam. The head lingers long and leaves a ring of lace around the inside of the glass as it lowers itself.

Aroma of buttery malt and hops - I'm picking up citrus, some floral, and a bit of pine, all the colors of the hop rainbow with none dominating. Maybe even a bit of alcohol ether showing through.

Flavor is initially piney hops, slowly morphing to...piney hops. Malt base is understated but some doughey malt does come through. It is somewhat hidden by hop bitters and alcohol fumes, and no other flavors emerge, save for some grapefruit rind.

Full and rich mouthfeel, fills the entire mouth as it rolls through. A carbonation tingle in the finish and an alcohol warmth lingers.

Not very drinkable for me, lacks depth.

Photo of EPseja
4.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22oz. bottle in a pint glass at just below cellar temperature.

A - Vibrant orange and gently hazed with a creamy off-white head that instantly grabs hold of the glass sides and digs in for a ride down the sides of the glass. Head retains well, and lacing comes in sheets.

S - A pretty standard big-hop profile with leanings toward the juicy citrus side rather than the pine side. Malts are unassuming, and just barely able to carry the weight of the big green cones. Nice, but nothing out of the ordinary.

T - Just when you expect to be bashed in the face with hops, you get a very pleasant repreive. Up front is a mild, English malt sweetness with nice undertones of baked goods and light caramel. In the middle, the hops join in the fun, but play nicely with the muffins to create a very pleasant balance. After the muffins go to bed, the hops stay out late and party on the back of your tongue, taking turns sliding down your drying throat into your belly, where a gentle alcohol glow awaits. Not nearly as extreme as the label might have you think, but excellently balanced.

M - Hangs just over the "watery" fence on the "slick" side where it belongs. Gentle puff in the mouth and a great, throat coating finish with little gassiness. Excellent!

D - Given things like the word "Extreme" and "ESB3", I was expecting to be blasted with a crazy, uber hop beer like everybody and their mother seems to be creating nowadays, precariously balanced on the brink of a gustatory cliff. Instead, I was presented with a genuinely tasty and super enjoyable ESB that, even though it uses a heavy-handed dose of hops, allows the malts to have a say in it's direction and character. My suggestion? Next time, let the "super-colossal, big, bold, and brash, you're-not-worthy, crazy and kooky" marketing bandwagon pass you up by creating a not-so-misleading label and let this well-crafted beer speak for itself.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightly foggy apricot with a slight reddish blush. Atop the beer sits barely two fingers of ivory colored foam that is firm and bubbly rather than creamy. It's surprisingly sticky, though, and is doing a tremendous job in the lace department. Hop resins perhaps?

I think it's pretty safe to assume that the hop bill contains Magnum and Tomahawk (Columbus) at least. And I don't even speak Latin. Although the nose could be a little more aggressive, it's aggressive enough. Buttery pale malt is balanced by hops that are citric, herbal and earthy in turn.

Magnamus ete Tomahawkus does what it sets out to do. It's an impressively bitter (all 80 IBUs are present and accounted for), high ABV ale with flavors that are typically associated with the ESB style. Given the superscript '3' that appears in the name, I assume that the boys at Rock Art think of it as a triple ESB. Or would that be an Imperial ESB?

An adequate amount of pale malt (no hint of caramel malt) holds down the bottom end, while lemon citric, grassy hops cavort on the top end. I can't quite put my finger on it, but that 'extra certain something' that all good beer has is missing. I like what I'm tasting, I'm just not blown away by the magnificence of it. For some reason, I have a feeling that this is a beer that would shine on-tap.

Great job on the alcohol masking. A minor sting is present on the finish, but other than that it's smooth sailing. The mouthfeel is okay for a 5.0% ale, but not for an 8.0% beast. It's a trifle thin and could stand to have more invigorating carbonation.

This 'Extreme' beer is the best of the three Rock Art offerings that I've had so far. I'm sure that has a lot to do with the fact that I love me some hops. If you're a bona fide hophead who's a quart low on alpha acids, give Magnumus ete Tomahawkus ESB a whirl. It's pretty damn close to pretty good beer.

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Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus ESB³ from Rock Art Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.