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Belk's ESB - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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Belk's ESB
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very good

514 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 514
Reviews: 356
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.87%
Wants: 19
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Inspired by the classic “Bitters” from Great Britain, our Belk’s ESB is an innovative take on the style. With a deep, golden hue and big malty foundation, the spicy, herbal hop aromas and crisp, bitter bite give a West Coast flair to this classic recipe.

Formerly Boont ESB.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-25-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 514 | Reviews: 356 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ArmyATCBrewer

Korea (South)

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

08-30-2014 14:40:37 | More by ArmyATCBrewer
Photo of Thothamon


5/5  rDev +31.9%

08-27-2014 19:45:19 | More by Thothamon
Photo of Dsg10

4.2/5  rDev +10.8%

08-16-2014 12:49:06 | More by Dsg10
Photo of Brutaltruth


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Ale pours a nice yellow amber hue with frothy white head and fantastic lacing. Nose of light
earthy/floral hops and light sweet malts. Taste is much like the nose with sweet malts up front
and light bittering hops to the rear with light alcoholic warmth coming through on the finish.
Very nice, but not as well balanced as most English ales of the same style. Almost imperial for
the style.

08-14-2014 21:46:18 | More by Brutaltruth
Photo of zestar


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

08-10-2014 07:35:02 | More by zestar
Photo of Doomcifer

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +5.5%

08-01-2014 00:10:08 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of Hopswagger

South Carolina

2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

07-20-2014 21:35:36 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of vhmf1978


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

07-13-2014 19:53:37 | More by vhmf1978
Photo of NJBeer265

New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

06-28-2014 23:58:11 | More by NJBeer265
Photo of SaltofOH


2.78/5  rDev -26.6%

Last week I was excited to be the second review for this beer; now there are more than 500, and they go back some time. Damn you re-branding! Bottle from a mix and match sixer. No freshness dating.

Appearance: Pours a hazy ornageish-brown with a 1/2" light tan head. Very foamy. Very little visible carbonation. Lacing goes all the way down as I drink. The best lacing I have seen on a beer in a long while.

Aroma: Something is weird here. Yeast fruitiness and sweet malt. Touch of earthy hops.

Taste: Dry arrival, full-flavored, malty bitterness across mid palate then POW big bittering hop finish. Cloying at the end of the glass.

Mouthfeel: Midweight with significant slickness.

Overall: This is not an ESB. This is an IPA without aroma hops. I cannot imagine drinking more than one of these. Out of balance.

06-23-2014 00:26:01 | More by SaltofOH
Photo of markdrinksbeer


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

06-20-2014 15:45:05 | More by markdrinksbeer
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3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

06-20-2014 01:07:56 | More by Necronomad
Photo of wrightst


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

06-02-2014 02:38:50 | More by wrightst
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

05-11-2014 20:18:07 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of MikeWard


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

05-01-2014 21:35:09 | More by MikeWard
Photo of bubseymour


4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Bought this one as a single sampler. Surprised I live in Maryland and am the first one to write a review of this California brewers beer on Beer Advocate.

A nice clear copper beer with frothy 2 finger head and great retention. Smells great of caramel and malt. The taste is very "complex" (darn there it is). If you read the back of the bottle it discusses lilacs, white pepper, Bartlett pears blueberry honey and roses. Well I can taste some white pepper, honey and a crisp hop finish. It's a good beer and has a lot going on but the overall taste is, well, a little weird.

For an ESB at 6.8% its a little more to work through than most lighter ABV ESB's but its well crafted and very experimental. Tastes like something DFH would put out. That is a compliment.

Overall, I recommend everyone to sample this. Others may really like it. I enjoyed it but probably won't buy too often due to competition.

04-29-2014 22:24:36 | More by bubseymour
Photo of SmashPants


2.49/5  rDev -34.3%

Bottle: 355mL blue can with an antlered bear (assumedly the Anderson mascot).

Appearance: pours a hazy orange amber with a thin white head that drops pretty quickly, leaving some lace.

Aroma: some herbal and grass hops with unrecognisable malts, with wet cardboard and some pine. Not the greatest aroma ever. I checked the best before, and it's still in date. Either it has suffered light strike (unlikely as it is a brown bottle) or this is a real ordinary beer.

Taste: again some malt and grassy hops - certainly nothing special. Also very flat in flavour - if anything, I would call this beer quite boring.

Aftertaste: a bit more hop bitterness comes through on the finish, but this is still one very disappointing brew.

Mouth feel: a light- to-moderate body with mild carbonation. A bit lacking.

Overall: this is the second beer I have had from Anderson Valley (the first being their Amber Ale), and neither are even a decent beer, let alone worth the top-end boutique price. One brewery to scratch off the list.

04-22-2014 11:26:42 | More by SmashPants
Photo of robotiks


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

04-22-2014 01:27:07 | More by robotiks
Photo of John_Squires

New York

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

04-19-2014 21:16:02 | More by John_Squires
Photo of Jalle


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

04-05-2014 09:02:28 | More by Jalle
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3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

04-03-2014 22:43:49 | More by Modernrickk
Photo of brpendergast85

District of Columbia

2/5  rDev -47.2%

03-25-2014 03:42:22 | More by brpendergast85
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3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

03-24-2014 06:45:51 | More by VeganUndead
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Alberta (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

03-23-2014 07:05:17 | More by FadetoBock
Photo of Dsimenson


3.99/5  rDev +5.3%

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium goblet. Thin head but nice lacing. Coppery amber color, and hazy. Aroma is citrus and malt. I don't quite get the floral notes in aroma and flavor thAt are advertised on the label. The flavor is delightfully bitter, grapefruit with pine and malt. Mouthfeel is medium, with a fair amount if carbonation. Overall this is a very good to outstanding bitter ale, and one of my favorite styles. This brewery makes several styles that I really like.

03-20-2014 02:57:33 | More by Dsimenson
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Belk's ESB from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 514 ratings.