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LunaSea ESB - Empyrean Brewing Company

Not Rated.
LunaSea ESBLunaSea ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

108 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Empyrean Brewing Company visit their website
Nebraska, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Extra Special Bitter is our homage to the best of English beers. Brewed with imported English malts for a bold, caramel-sweet, yet crisp ale. Brewed with English and American grown barley and American hops.

31 IBU

(Beer added by: PhantomVodoo on 10-05-2002)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by scarfield:
Photo of scarfield
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

App- amber/copper in color as it pours it leaves a half inch head. nice lacing throughout the glass.

Smell- A bit musty, some citrusy and hops comes through as well.

Taste- Very bready taste here for me. Malty and the hops are subdued. Some sourness also coming through with a bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel- the beer has a nice balance to it. Not too carbonated, thick, runny or chewy, but if you concentrate you can get any of these.

Drink- it is fine for a couple, but there really is not anything that stands out to me about this beer. I think that Empyrean has better offerings.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy orange-brown color with a white head. The aroma is full of toffee and grass and is fairly sweet overall. The flavor follows the aroma, with a lot of toffee and a hint of biscuit malt coming through up front, and a hint of grass and a very low amount of bitterness coming through from the hops. Easy to drink with a medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of RDW
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of bpascale
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of IntriqKen
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very pretty golden amber with a half finger head that melts to fine lacing.
Aromas are full of toasted malt and nuts with a hint of caramel
Taste is the toasted malt and caramel at first but the citrus hops come in at the right moment to balance it out and turn it into a very quenching, mild ESB.
Aftertaste of nuts and citrus hops.
Refreshing.

Photo of beerbrains
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rough pour brings up a thin and foamy ivory-colored head atop a hazy copper body. The retention is good and the head maintain a thin but creamy surface covering throughout most of the glass. Some nice lace is present but it doesn't stick... it's formed each time you sip, but erodes shortly always keeping just about an inch above the surface. Fruit and butter-laced caramel mingle in the soft, pleasing nose with just a slight hint of hops. A firm, malty body and fine natural carbonation accentuate its maltiness in a flavor that's fruity (apples, berries) upfront, displays caramel across the middle, and follows with a gently floral and grassy hop flavor. The hops linger with some sweetish malt and a gently balancing bitterness in the finish. Very nicely done! Quite enjoyable with enough character and complexity to keep it interesting throughout several pints.

Photo of dbossman
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brownish amber with a large and steady head--great retention and lacing

S: A sweet bready malt backbone with a touch of lemony, grassy, and earthy hops; pleasant but fairly subdued and simple

T: Nice grassy hop bitterness with a touch of lemon followed by a strong burnt, grainy malt flavor; the charred malts are a bit harsh but the sweet, toffee breadiness works to balance things out

F: Carbonation borders on too much up front and then the beer doesn't quite stick to the mouth as you would wish but in the end a decent amount does cling to the roof of the mouth making for a pleasant all around mouth feel

O: A decent, balanced interpretation on the style; not my favorite but an easy-to-drink, pleasant session beer nonetheless; I am sure I will return to this on occasion

Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best enjoyed by October

Pours an effervescent amber/caramel with 2 fingers of tan head. Superior lacing & head retention

S: Biscuitty malt, woody hops & a bit of pear. Fruittyness increases as this warms

T: Follows the nose, along with herbal hops up front along with some apple tartness. More fruittyness as this warms, more woody hops. Finishes crisp & fruitty with a touch of dryness & a bit of herbal hops

MF: Medium bodied, slightly over carbonated at first, calms down as it warms. Good balance

An alright take on the style, nothing to really brag about, but solid & very sessionable. Worth a try

Photo of lawlerj
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. Best by notch is March of 2012.

A - Pours a a hazy amber/copper with an off white two finger width head. Speckled lacing. Appears to be well carbonated.

S - There is a caramel/toffee breadiness coming through from the malt mixed with some citrus and fruity hop notes mixed in as well.

T- More or less follows the nose. Mild hops and prominent bready malt body is the main story here. Finishes with a nice dry burst of hops. Pleasant aftertaste - a bit astringent on the back end but not in a bad way.

M - On the lighter side of medium. It is well carbonated, as I suspected by looking at it, and give it a nice crispness.

O - Overall, nothing crazy going on here, but just a damn fine beer. Highly refreshing, highly drinkable. Nothing really to complain about. I really like this one, and it might be one of my favorites from Empyrean.

Photo of bditty187
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Empyrean Ale’s landed a bull’s-eye with this one! It was served to me on tap; it came with a creamy off-white head, one finger’s worth. The body was coppery-golden. The aroma was blended perfectly, lovely hops (bitterness) and malt (sweetness) in the nose. The flavor was what I expected, hoppy bitterness mixed with sweet malt and a hint of butterscotch. The carbonation was ideal as well and overall the beer was very drinkable and very tasty.

I can see myself drinking more of these! (and I have!)

Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Minimal tan head sits atop this coppery brown beer.
Aroma of caramel malt and fruity, slightly floral hops.

Taste shows a toasty, caramel malt backbone. Good fruity, slightly floral hop balance. Juicy Fruit gum type fruitiness. Good malt and hop flavor that are balanced and meld together well. Light, crisp and clean. Finishes well.

Good mouthfeel.
Very drinkable; definite session beer material.

Overall, a good ESB. Big thanks to bditty for the sample!

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Plain amber color with little head, some tiny carbonation. Delicate, malty aroma. Sweet malts and some hops are noted up front, ever so bitter, but not offensive. Complex and creative, some fruit is noted throughout, seems to be medium bodied, toasty, some caramel flavors should be noted as well. Finishes a bit dry, pretty good for an ESB as the bitterness doesn’t micro-manage the full flavors of this beast! Thanks to bditty187 for this bad boy!

Photo of cmoore32
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Forb
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle best before September...

Appearance: An amber color is seen here with with a think solid white head.

Smell: Sugary spice inside of a biscuity malt essence.

Taste: Tastes of a sweet breaded malt with very faint terra quality to the hops.

Mouthfeel: A medium leading into a full body with this one accompanied by refreshing carbonation.

Overall: A good solid beer. Nothing extremely special here for me but definitely not something to shun.

Photo of danfix99
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of philbe311
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love me a good ESB... Let's see how this one measures up...

A - One finger's worth of late-to-rise slightly lopsided off white colored head with a couple of big chunky bubbles mixed in... Limited retention gives way to a mostly full lacing that has some carbonation bubbles bursting through the surface... The color is a mix of pale gold and light amber... Loaded with small bubbled slightly sluggish carbonation...

S - Pleasant, but slightly understated aroma... Toasted malts... Warm fresh baked bread... Caramel... Maraschino cherry juice... Perhaps some faint golden raisins as well...

T - A bit fruity to start... Next is an over abundance of malty goodness mostly in the form of light breads and toasted malts... There is also a faint hint of toffee and caramel mix in as well... Lots and lots of bread crust on the finish... Just the faintest earthy hop presence as well...

M - Medium bodied... Some prickly carbonation... Sleek... Perhaps even a bit sticky... Starts a tiny bit lush, but the finish is surprisingly dry...

D - A very respectable and enjoyable ESB from Empyrean... It's a style that I wished more brewer's would take the time and effort to produce... This one is fairly text book... Lots of good things going on, but nothing outstanding... I would gladly drink again, but it's not a must have...

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out again to swid who sent me some very solid beers from Nebraska. I popped this one open right after the vanilla to get a nice taste of what else they could do. Served cold, and poured into a pint glass. This one was consumed on 11/23/2008.

The pour was very nice. A rich dark amber color with a nice amount of clarity to it. A good two inches of white foam coming up over the top settled down nicely into a thin layer of white crown that capped it and brought down tons of side glass lacing.

The aroma was highly charged. Nice light hop profile was highlighted by hints of grapefruit and fresh grass. As it warmed it got tremendously more balanced, with a light bready malt character coming through and a light herbal like quality to it. Smooth flavor here, though the hops did seem a touch off to me. Light, with a grapefruit, peach, lemon like tartness coming through in the front and an almost green tea leave like flavor in the mid palate. Intresting mix of flavors here, some biscuit and a touch of light grain coming through now. Smooth, mellow, and consistent carbonation never failed and allowd this very sessionable lager to really be a smooth and easy drinker.

Overall yet another solid brew from them. I am most impressed with what is going on here. I cannot waiot to try the brown ale, this is a great brewery who seems to be setting the bar pretty darn high here.

Photo of FreshmanPour77
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of bjohn84
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of eclaycamp
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce shorty bottle. Interesting name, Luna Sea ESB (a play on Lunacy, perhaps?). Breaking out the ususal basic tumbler for this beer. Pour is a very hazy red to orange, super-cloudy. It doesn't appear to be condensation on the glass so I will chock this one up to the filtering, of which there doesn't appear to be any. I'm guessing this could be bottle conditioned as well, though the label didn't do me the courtesy of a heads up. Small fizzy head that fades pretty quickly. Low to mild levels of carbonation. Aroma is of light grains and gym socks with some honey sweetness. Mouthfeel is more robust than I expected, with an unsweetened black tea finish. The flavor reminds me of honey and biscuits, like I used to have when I was a kid. Some citrus and floral notes are mixed in with the malts. Not bad for an ESB, but I've had better.

Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour gives a very low white head that recedes to a thin ring. The beer is a hazy medium-amber in color.

smell: Buttery caramel upfront with hints of a toasted malt sweetness. Some light fruity hints, especially sweet apple. Nondescript, lightly herbal hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation and the body are both around medium.

taste: Toasted caramel malts with a light sweetness and note of apple juice. Some leafy, earthy notes. Low, grassy hop flavor and a light to moderate bitterness that slightly dries out the finish.

drinkability: An enjoyable beer, and pretty easy to drink.

received in a trade with jhammerly

Photo of OregonGrown7
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of StevieW
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz stubby bottle. Medium copper color. Nice khaki fluffy hop bubbled head. Laced the glass nicely. Toasted malt smell, matched with some butterscotch diactyl flavors. Not offensive though. Nice carmel malt taste with a well balanced hop presence. Biscuit like bread flavors, toast. Bitter middle keeps this one extra smooth and refreshing. Medium bodied, moderately carbonated. Very smooth and drinkable. A very well done ESB.
Tip of the hat to bditty187 for sending this one and singing it's praises. bditty's doing some fine work out in the heartland, listen to him. He know's his stuff.

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LunaSea ESB from Empyrean Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.