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Naughty Hildegard ESB - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
Naughty Hildegard ESBNaughty Hildegard ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

72 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 7.66%
Wants: 26
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

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

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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!

(Beer added by: bobsy on 02-16-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
2.75/5  rDev -36.2%
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.

Sammy, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -13%
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.

Phyl21ca, Oct 04, 2013
Photo of stakem
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

stakem, May 27, 2011
Photo of liamt07
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

liamt07, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Derek, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

wordemupg, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

TheSevenDuffs, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of canucklehead
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Damn this is good. Tons of hops but balanced to the dime this is why Driftwood is among the top tier of BC's brewers. A west coast ESB that is big and beautiful with excellent drinkability make this a new favourite. Now to put in cans and sell it in 6 packs

canucklehead, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -7.2%

tom10101, Oct 02, 2014
Photo of andrenaline
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

andrenaline, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of bobsy
4/5  rDev -7.2%

bobsy, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Kurmaraja, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of oldp0rt
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

oldp0rt, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of Rutager
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cask just tapped at Kingfishers for CAMRA Fraser Valley's first cask event. Love this label!!!

Appearance. Awesome. Deep golden amber with just a little haze. Three fingers of thick off white head that leaves some pretty bands of lace.

Smell. Sweet caramel and citrus, spicy hops.

Taste. Nice grassy, floral hops and citrus fruits, just enough dry caramel malt. A little lingering bitterness. Real good stuff.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with smooth medium carbonation.

Overall. Awesome stuff that was just made better by enjoying it with a bunch of cool local craft beer fans

Rutager, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of Jeffo
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Jeffo, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of schopenhauerale
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
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!

schopenhauerale, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of bumchilly25
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

bumchilly25, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of papat444
3.98/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

papat444, Jun 28, 2012
Photo of SebD
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice deep hazy golden/orange color to it. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves some spotty lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus, some grapefruit, pine resins, sweet caramelly malts and some breadiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some citrus and grapefruit upfront, piney resins giving off a nice bitterness, sweet caramel and some bready/biscuity malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a low-medium carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas. Such a well balanced beer and so hoppy at the same time. I could drink this all day, loving it. I think Driftwood might just be my favorite Canadian brewery.

SebD, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of BDTyre
4.05/5  rDev -6%
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.

BDTyre, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of chickenm
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

chickenm, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of kjyost
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

kjyost, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of ZachT
4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional ESB.
Colour was a bit lighter than I was expecting.
Very hoppy aroma, followed by a strong but not overpowering bitterness. Finish is crisp and bitter, leaving you wanting more. At 6.5% its the perfect mix of alcohol and bitterness. I tried this one in a bottle and will be hunting for it on tap.

If you like ESB this is an absolute must.

ZachT, Aug 26, 2013
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

DaftCaskBC, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of Erik-P
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Erik-P, Aug 23, 2014
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Naughty Hildegard ESB from Driftwood Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.