Naughty Hildegard ESB - Driftwood Brewery

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Naughty Hildegard ESBNaughty Hildegard ESB

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32 Reviews
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Reviews: 32
Hads: 99
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 35
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bobsy on 02-16-2010

Brewed to honor Hildegard Von Bingen, a 12th century Benedictine nun who allegedly was the first to record the use of hops as an ingredient in beer. While this is open to debate, we like Hildegard's style and we can't imagine a beer without hops. This extra special bitter has lots of hops- Hildegard would be proud. We are! Cheers Hildy!
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Reviews: 32 | Hads: 99
Photo of Sammy
2.8/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Fresh bottle from rutager. Pours tan brown body with small retained white head. Smells odd. Taste is mild hoppy competing with some sourness and buttery and some honey. Really not meeting the style. Not to drinkable. Will try again on tap when I am there soon.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a relatively large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of earthy bitter hops with light dry caramel malt notes. Taste is also a well-balanced mxi between some earthy hops with some citrus bitter notes with a solid dry caramel malt backbone. Body is above average for style with good carbonation. Very enjoyable beer with nice earthy hops mix but not sure it has much to do with actual Bitter anymore.

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Photo of LazyL
3.91/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful clear dark amber with a cream coloured foamy thich head. The aroma is suble roasted malt with a bit of clover honey and pine. The taste is sweet heavy roasted malts, carmelized brown sugar and a medium/ high level of bitterness. Fresh tasting with a touch of leafy earthyness. The mouthfell is bold with a big body feel and nice contrast between bitterness and rasted malt. A bit of a burnt flavour comes though. A bit heavy maybe, but a nice, interesting beer.

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Photo of papat444
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes accumulated since the birth of Zoe.

Thanks to chickenm for this one.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle, best before 111612.

Appearance: Bright burnished copper, fairly clear. Head manages barely over 2 fingers before going to a thin ring. Clings all around and could be a bit livelier though nice rings as glass empties.

Smell: Juicy hops leave a nice citrus aroma mixed with some pine. Laced in back is a tea-like maltiness.

Taste: More balanced in flavor as malt is more predominant with hops coming in the latter part. A touch of grapefruit sweetness in the finish that grows as drinking progresses.

Mouthfeel: I'll give the body a medium feel with a nice raw bitterness in the aftertaste that gathers steam.

Overall: Gets better as it warms. A hoppy ESB that is quite good though i preferred Mitchell's.

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Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is like a 3 Floyd's take on the style.

A: Clear, copper-bronze with a huge, off-white head; good retention & lacing.

S: Tangerine, nectarine, pine & grass with hints of sweet toffee.

T: Tangerine, nectarine, grapefruit rind, grass, pine, floral, hints of toffee & cotton-candy fruity esters, balanced bitterness.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has a slightly drying finish.

D: A good drinker.

Over-the-top for the style, but the hop-heads will love it.

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Photo of ericj551
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Naughty Hildegard pours an orange copper with a nice offwhite head that lingers. Earthy, herbal and spicy hops are prominent in the aroma, with a nice caramel maltiness. Hops are featured in the flavor as well, with more spicy and slightly citrusy hops. There is a nice malt backbone that isn't completely in the background, with more nice caramel and toffee notes. The finish is bitter and slightly resiny. Overall I'd say this is a hoppy take on the ESB, but a delicious beer none the less.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle, always nice to have a mainstay in the Canada Top 100 just up and appear on the shelves of my local bottleshop of choice.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium copper amber hue, with two pudgy fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and rather fizzy ecru head, which leaves some patchy snow rime lace around the glass as it slowly sinks out of sight.

It smells strongly of varied orchard fruit (orange, apple, and underripe plum), biscuity caramel malt, further tropical fruit notes, mild florals, and a prominent wet stoniness. The taste is bready, doughy caramel malt, a lesser biscuity graininess, white grapefruit and blood orange citrus rind, bitter pine needles, sharp earthy and floral hops, and a wee twinge of alcohol heat.

The carbonation is quite frothy and fizzy, in equal and almost alternating parts, the body a decent middleweight, and generally smooth, those testy hops making a small dent here. It finishes well off-dry, the big grainy and caramelized malt still ably fending off that near IPA-esque hop incursion.

A tasty and interesting example of the style - it's big and hoppy, sure, but with a certain complex maltiness that leans towards the old-world English bitter side of things, all while the hops scream out PAC-NW. Once again, this aptly suits a brewer from Victoria, given the nature of that city's location and demographics.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich amber colour with a good sized, but not out of control head.

Rich, fresh bread and toffee malt scent with a noticeably spicy hop nose. Slightly floral, and sweet.

Pronounced bitterness, almost pushing this to an IPA level of hoppiness. MAlts are too big for an IPA, and their rich, slightly sweet character solidly ground this in ESB territory.

A bit heavy handed on the carbonation; this could be a bit smoother but that's really the only down point.

Great ESB - one of my favourite Canadian ones.

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Photo of byronic
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to @Corson for this bottle!

A dark orange poor with minimal head. Smells of a nicely balanced hops and fruits but with definite malt presence. At first not really what I expected drinks more like an IPA however as it warmed it became very interesting. Notes of different types of citrus presented themselves.

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Photo of chickenm
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a big white head that leaves plenty of lacing. Really nice aroma of piney hops. Balanced flavor with hops and caramel malt. Light-medium body with a fairly dry finish. Quite drinkable, this is an enjoyable beer from Driftwood.

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Photo of JasonLovesBeer
4.19/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nose: Smells authentically English. Bitter citrus, grapefruit. Pale malt notes. Bready.

Taste: Big citrus bitterness on a pale ale backbone, has the crisp and light body of a pale ale with huge grapefruit and floral hops smattered all over it.

This is a really enjoyable ESB, definitely one of my favourites. The combination of flavours, the body, mouthfeel; everything just comes together really pleasantly. A great accompaniment to a lot of dinners as well - ESB's are good for that, I find.

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Photo of pugdogbeer
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amazing bitter from Driftwood with lower carbonation and loads of hops. Drinks extremely smooth.

Colour is a wonderous light orange when raised to the light with a nice white head.

Exceptionally smooth with a bitter hoppiness that comes off with a spicey, sweet taste. Nice mild aftertaste.

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Photo of schopenhauerale
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Rich amber with a moderate, off-white head that dissipated with some lacing.

S: Pleasant, vegetal hops and sweet malt.

T: Big but well-balanced ESB - all of the malts and hops were there in force. Lingering bitterness, subtle alcohol.

M: Moderation in all aspects.

O: This beer is outstanding. It shows that you can make a well-balanced ESB that is still exciting. Another Driftwood classic - wish this one was year-round!

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Photo of liamt07
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Jason, 650ml into a tulip.

Darker orange/copper with a white head. Strong retention and great lacing. Bready nose, some English hopping with strong citrus presence, earthy, sweet and caramel flavours. Taste has some toffee, earthy, more citrus, pine and some light herbal notes. Bready sweet finish. Light bitterness, medium low carbonation. A very flavourful ESB.

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Photo of Svingjo
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The first thing you notice from the beer is it's slightly opaque caramel colour. The opaqueness in part because of it's unfiltered nature. The citrus orange smell accents the obvious hop notes. These flavours come through on the taste as well as a balancing maltiness. The mouthfeel is slightly heavy and the bitterness lingers on the tongue. My overall impression is that this is a nice beer, however I was expecting a little more hoppy bitterness. It was still refreshing and probably more approachable to the general public then I was expecting.

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Photo of EspressoGuy
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: bright copper; translucent
S:very pleasant soft malt/hop balance; caramel, fresh buttered bread, slight spice, grapefruit rind, melon
T: that is very tasty and balanced right to the end. Hops and malt are so well integrated and supportive of one another; not over the top. Just a slight bitterness right at the finish. The bitterness keeps the malt from becoming too rich and sticky. Makes me want to keep coming back for another sip.
M: medium bodied; medium carbonation
O: I really like this beer. The balance is really there. My only wish was that it was a little lower in alcohol so that it was more of a session ESB. Perfect with my Mexican-theme dinner.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle best before 11/14/12 courtesy of Rutager. Thanks! Poured in to Bruery tulip glass.

A - Translucent medium amber/orange colour. One finger of fluffy cream coloured head with decent lacing.

S - An amazing fresh hop aroma up front with grapefruit, tangerine, peach and pine notes. A slight malt sweetness is present in the background.

T - A nice bitterness up front, reminiscent of an IPA. Grapefruit, pine, orange zest and some peach. A decent malt sweetness provides some semblance of balance.

M - Light to medium body with a very nice chew. Light carbonation.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber poured into tulip april17 2011

A glowing copperish amber with just a few bubbles feeding a thumbs width of beige head that falls rather quickly and leaves a few patches of lace

S citric hops with some biscuit and toffee

T what I smell but the hops are a little spicy, there's some faint nuttiness, faint pine, orange rind and the flavors are much stronger then the smell.

M medium bodied with much more carbonation then I could see in the glass, this bitter is just that and it leaves a little grit behind and the aftertaste just keeps going

O could pass for an IPA but this works well for a bitter bitter, there's some balance to this one but it is a little lop sided towards the hops and that doesn't bother me one bit

I'd like to say this would make a great session beer but the 6.5% would catch up to you pretty quick when I think of how fast I emptied my glass. thanks chickenm for sending me a want before I even had it on my want list.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another awesome bottle sent by Rutager in a recent trade. Thanks for all the loot man!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, one finger, fluffy, white head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a thin wisp and ring. Clear burnt orange in color with medium carbonation evident. A faint half wisp remains and coats the sides of the glass with lacing. Very nice looking.

SMELL: Pale malts, caramel, citrus lemon and grapefruit on the nose. Some pineapple and melon in there as well. Very fruity and hoppy for an ESB. Not quite to style, but it's still very nice.

TASTE: Pale malts and some sweet caramel malts up front, then a nice dose of pineapple, melon, and some fruity flavors at the swallow. A nice bitterness arrives at the finish with grapefruit, lemon citrus flavors, and some floral hoppiness. Aftertaste is bold and persistent with plenty of hop bitterness, citrus flavors and a light melon sweetness for balance. This is more IPA than ESB, but still a wonderfully flavorful brew in itself.

PALATE: Medium-fuller body with medium levels of carbonation. Quite creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smoth and finishes a touch dry. Nice feel for sure.

OVERALL: Another quality, quality beer from Driftwood. It seems like these guys know how to do their hoppy stuff. The hop bill makes this more of an IPA than a true ESB, but the beer is fantastic regardless. I'd gladly drink this on a regular basis, so if you get the chance to try it, don't pass it up. Thanks again for the awesome box Rutager. Fantastic stuff.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy amber liquid with 1/2" cream coloured head that left a nice lacing.

S: Yeast and floral hops.

T: Citrus and pine hops at the start, malt in the middle, with a dry finish and a nutty aftertaste.

M: Medium viscosity with a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: Great ESB with an interesting taste profile.

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Photo of Hornet2003
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark orange and a nice, creamy head that retains well.

Smell: Lots of citrus hops in the aroma followed by a nutty English malt character. Reminds me of a highly hopped Fuller's ESB.

Taste: Lots of malty sweetness and a slight English pub-ale flavour. Definitely picking up some biscuity malt as well as a ton of coastal hops (grapefruit, mango, lemon). Slight alcohol taste as well but it is well placed among all the other assertive flavours.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy as a solid, English-style ESB should be. I've had a lot of other North American interpretations on the style but mouthfeel is something most haven't been able to replicate from their English cousins. Driftwood does this incredibly well with Naughty Hildegard. Extremely pleasant to drink.

Overall: The hops make this border on IPA territory but the malt keeps it firmly entrenched as the delicious ESB it is. As a close cousin to the Fat Tug IPA, this is a nice, smoother alternative for someone who craves hops, but doesn't want to be bitch slapped by them.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A perfect clear copper with minimal bubbles that stream up to 2 fingers of just off white head that finishes with a thin film of bubbles.

S: Floral mix with pine resin and warm smooth malts. Hints of warmed sweet cream and grapefruit. ... please please...let the taste be as good as the smell!

T: Excellent balance between smooth malts and piney resin. Tastes of grapefruit and smooth cream and finishes back with grapefruit rind. Opposing flavours can sometimes be overwhelming and confuse, but this manages to strike a middle ground and a simple balance of creamy malts and piney hops.

M: Mild on the carbonation and rich and creamy in mouth feel, top notch

O: Balance between hoppy citrus, pine and malty sweetness with smooth creamy mouth feel creates an incredible interplay of opposing scent and tastes. This brew develops a balance that is incredibly wonderful to drink. Must buy more.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Driftwood Brewing 'Naughty Hildegard ESB' @ 6.5% , first tasted at HOPoxia on tap , this review from a lot of 650 ml bottles purchased for $6.75
A-pour is gold from the bottle to a clear dark amber in the glass with a medium size off-white head leaving a spotty lace along the pint
S-smell is big citrus , so many hops
T-big & strong tasting , yet so smooth , awesome ESB
MF-ok carbonation , good full body
Ov-great beer , even better ESB , I've seen a lot of this naughty lady this summer
prost LampertLand

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Photo of CookstLiquor
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice "interpretation" of an ESB. There's a ton of fresh citrusy-piney hops on the nose and an equal amount on the palate. But at 6.5% this is approaching an IPA in a lot of ways (except for the copper-brown color). Still, a flawlessly made beer and another great release from Driftwood.

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Photo of stakem
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle conditioned bomber care of psiweaver, thank you for the generous extra man! No clear date coding that I can see on the glass or label. Poured into a pub glass, this brew appears a clear copper to amber color with a thick, frothy cap of yellowish stained head just shy of 2 fingers strong. Bubbles rise constantly through the body in support of the head which is composed of rather large bubbles. As the head slowly fades, it leaves thick patches of lacework on the glass.

The smell of this brew is quite dank with hops. Other hop characteristics of flowers and light herbs come into play as well across a backing of toasty sweet malt. The sweet smelling character of the malt really makes the floral aspect of this brew's scent pop. Shoving the nose deeper inside my glass brings forth mild grassy scents and more herbal qualities to the hops that at times have a mild stinky cheese aspect to them. Overall a fantastic nose on this offering.

The taste is malty sweet with a flavor of caramel malt meets lightly musty grains. There is a fruity aspect that evolves across the tongue before the bitter herbal quality of the hops come into play. There is quite a deep layering of hop flavors ranging from an initial floral sweet and fruity aspect that is mildly rind-like with hints of orange zest to a light catty aftertaste that is very herbal. There is also a dank aspect included in the flavor imparted by the hops which creates an interesting flavor combination with the light musty grain quality. The aftertaste is a mix of herbal quality that is very enjoyable. As this brew warms, a fusel tingle of alcohol becomes evident as well as more oil character of the hops emerge creating new, previously hidden flavors of resinous pine and a touch of a lemony aspect.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is easy drinking and super enjoyable. The alcohol is well integrated in this brew and it is very well balanced. Only after the beer starts pushing room temperature does the alcohol finally become evident with a fusel flavor and a warmth down the back of the throat. I am not an ESB connoisseur by any stretch, but I do enjoy them when given the opportunity. This one very well might be the best one I have tried to date. I keep thinking to myself that this seemingly over-hopped or super fresh example is along the same lines as Troegs and their Nugget Nectar. A beer in a style other than IPA that is hopped to such a degree that it has the aroma and taste of an IPA but not necessarily with the bitterness typical of the IPA style. This is an ESB for the hop lovers, well done.

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Naughty Hildegard ESB from Driftwood Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.