Exile ESB - Evolution Craft Brewing Company

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Exile ESBExile ESB

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213 Ratings

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Ratings: 213
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 3
Gots: 17 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Evolution Craft Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: lackenhauser on 05-02-2009

48 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 213 | Reviews: 74
Reviews by betsona:
Photo of betsona
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to larryi86 for this 12oz bottle. Quick admission, this beer foamed up all over me, the table, my cell, and the floor and I can claim that wherever it touched, now smells better for having come in contact. Poured the remaining beer into a pint glass.

A- A hazy deep amber color. Head was off white with a lot of retention. Plenty of lacing on the glass. No visible carbonation.

S- Lots of earthy smells. Grass, leafy hops balanced with a sweetish smelling malt backbone. Has smell of a well-balanced ESB. Maybe a tad sweet with a green apple smell, might be a little premature.

T- Bitter hop up front followed by a sweet malt backing. Has a toasted malt taste and a slight fruitiness. Some smoke quality. Lingering apple taste with slight mixture of fig.

M- Medium body with correct amount of carbonation for the style. Has a dry finish that is not exactly crisp, but close to.

O- A good ESB to add to the regulars. It is an easy drinker with all the correct flavors. If there is one complaint, the beer might be a little green. Still one that I would accept without hesitation.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Crackling sea foam head leave some patches of lace on the glass, good clarity. Little edge of caramel and breadiness in the nose, fruity as well. Crispness comes along quite well, medium body. Solid malt backbone drops a little sweetness on the palate before going dry and biscuity in the finish. Hops do a good job at balancing the malt out, quick kiss of alcohol in the middle with a vague fruity linger.

A very easy drinking balanced toasty ESB, Evolution hit the target here.

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Nice bready malts with just enough hop balance. A nice, lighter version of the style that is good for warm weather. I have had better in the style, but this is certainly enjoyable.

Photo of Soonami
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Evolution Craft Brewing Exile ESB is a beer from a brewery that I have not heard of before, but it was available and pretty cheap (<$2/12oz)from Total Wine and More in Claymont, so I gave it a shot.

Exile ESB, bright orange amber, seems to be paler in color than the Fuller's version and without the exploding fruitiness that is characteristic of that London beer. The pour garnered a little bit of head that quickly fell off. The beer has a rounded earthy malt aroma that is spiked with a little red apple. The beer is bready sweet with ripe fruit that gives way to a balanced, minty, hop bitterness in the finish. The beer has a chewy mouthfeel with some contributions from tannins from the grain husk and hops.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.21/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Draft, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a hazy, golden yellow, with two fingers of white foam that topped the beer, but quickly dissipated into a quarter of a finger of head that completely covered the beer. Very surprising appearance as most ESBs that I’ve had haven’t been hazy at all, much less this hazy. There must be a higher amount of yeast in this ESB, than are usually found in other makes.

Aroma: Actually not much of a nose on this beer at all. I do get a little bit of citrus and hay, and maybe a slight hint of bubblegum.

Taste: Very interesting. Very good, though hard to describe. There is some yeast, which gives some clove and banana, but thank god, no bubblegum. There’s also a slight, very slight, hint of citrus. Unlike other ESBs that I’m used to, there’s not much malt coming through.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy, like an ESB should be with some nice carbonation.

Overall: This ESB is surprising in how much like an ESB it’s not. That being said, it’s a tasty beer. Very sessionable, and pleasant, but nothing special either.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an Evolution pint glass

A: Pours an medium orange/amber with a small head with many small bubbles forming at the bottom. Some bubbles are releasing to the top of the beer.

S: It has a caramel/bready smell with hints of apple and grape at the end. The fruits come through more as it sits and warms up/

T: This beer is sweet upfront and then the maltiness kicks in on the backend. It has a nice toasted malt flavor and hints of the fruit on the nose, but to a lesser extent. A almost fig like taste on the finish.

M/D: It has a slightly dry taste and a little bitter, but enjoyable. Easy drinking, and is better off tap than in bottle.

A pretty solid offering from Evolution resulting in a toasty bitter beer.

Photo of mempath
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nice 'southern ice tea' amber clarity with nice foamy head that settles fast. good lacing thinly slathered around this DFH pint

nose has a toasty malt note that's mellow yet assertive enough. seems very fresh.

ok, the taste. starting to really like the ESB now that i've tried an array. here, very nice indeed. actually 'bitter' with it's hopped up profile. nothing massive, but not as sweet as say the Fuller. the toastiness comes through, tho, if anything, the malts might be a bit eclipsed by the toasty/hoppy notes. not a problem, just interesting and unique. as it warms, the bitter element fades and the sweetness asserts a bit. still, right on.

mouthfeel matches taste perfectly with the slight carbo and creaminess making this a(nother) quite drinkable brew from the First State! easy to session in a nice pub in New Castle (i wonder if any carry this on draft?) i imagine...:)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Exile ESB pours a very hazy, deep amber body beneath a two fingered head of light khaki froth. The head retention is excellent, and it leaves walls of broken, craggy lacing about the glass.

The aroma is surprisingly fruity over resinous, grassy, floral, and leafy hops. There's a yeasty component to it, and some malt is able to sneak through as well.

In the mouth it's a bit bristly on the tongue given the style. Fortunately, the medium body leans towards medium-full and balances it.

Although the yeastiness, fruit, and hops dominate the flavor profile, the caramelish and bready malt base is firm enough to pull it all together. A bit of a mineral edge lends it some English authenticity. Still, it's not very rounded at all, and it's certainly not polished. (Perhaps there was a fermentation temperature issue with this batch? I'll have to look into getting another sample). The solid bitterness balances it nicely and the finish is drying, yet a bit bombastic with yeast, fruit, and grassy hop notes lingering a bit too long. It seems incompletely attenuated. Finally, a touch of astringency leaves my tongue trying to wipe my teeth clean, greatly reducing its drinkability.

Overall, it's a fairly decent beer in terms of its sum parts, but production problems leave it sloppy and unfocused with a limited drinkability.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours light amber with a nice happy head that leaves some fairly impressive lacing.

The smell is full of sweet bread, some fresh grain, and dry hops.

Again, sweet bread, some schotch-like malts, and fresh grains dominate. The finish is nice and dry to counter the front very well.

The feel is a bit light, unfortunately. It's good and goes with the style, but it could improve.

Overall, I enjoy this beer. I could see a sixer make its way into my fridge if I could find one and I'm not the type that has the patience for a sixer of the same thing.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark but clear amber. Great tan head an excellent retention.

Sweet caramel and bready aroma. Light floral notes.

Very malty and sweet. Toffee, Hawaiian bread. Herbal.

Very smooth mouthfeel. Soft body with moderate carbonation.

A very good esb. It lacks in hops, but decent flavor.

Photo of ConradKenney
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very light body for an ESB. Have definitely had better.

Photo of bum732
2.62/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

S: Rich caramel richness, some toffee, touch of herbal.

L: Cloudy reddish brown, off-white head that dissipates to a dusting.

T: Malty but herbal tea like malt with a medium low bitterness. Finishes quite dry with some grain and additional maltiness.

M: Thin mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Not that great, incredibly thin mouthfeel, nice aroma, but fails in the taste. Quite disappointed.

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap while visiting the Eastern Shore of Maryland:

The beer appeared a nice clear copper color with a nice creamy white head that faded too quickly, but did leave a little lacing. The aroma, was as expected, a nice caramel and biscuit flavor with a nice hint of citrus hops that ultimately ended in a nice balanced finish. The taste was good, well balanced, a nice malt body, biscuit with a light hop. The beer had a medium mouth feel, I found it very easy to drink. Overall, a nice beer, nothing special, not complex by any means, but a well done beer.

Photo of tone77
3.27/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a light brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, some malts. Taste is dominated by hops, no malt at all, considerable bitterness. Feels light in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a decent brew.

Photo of philbe311
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - About a fingers worthy of tightly packed uniform off-white colored head with a mild audible fizz... Minimal retention gives way to a full lace... A moderate amount of large bubbled carbonation moves at a pretty quick pace throughout... A burnt murky amber orange color with a faint haziness...

S - A heavy dose of sweet bready malts to start... Soft pretzel dough... Grainy cereals... A subtle nuttiness... An ever so slight note of delicate citrusy hops lie beneath the surface...

T - Much more pilsnereque than ESBish... Pale malts... Euro variety hops... Very little of the malt appeal that I look for an an ESB... A bit of a bitter finish...

M - Medium bodied... A bit harsh as loads of harsh carbonation explode throughout the mouth... A slightly bitter dry finish...

D - I love the ESB style, but this one misses the mark for me... After a strong start in terms of appearance and aroma, this one quickly drops off... Not an offering I would drink again, let alone recommend...

Photo of tugdriver7
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I had high hopes for this one. Decent ratings on BA, but I figure the beer lost something in the bottle. Light brown (muddy water) in the glass with a subtle head, light body and somewhat spritzy carbonation. Nothing really in the nose and a somewhat one-dimensional taste profile. Definitely drinkable, but nothing to write home about. I'll have to try it on tap.

Photo of vandemonian
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Exile ESB is an ESB. A boring ESB (i.e. it's to style).

A: Brown colour and a 3 mm head that fades pretty fast. 3

S: Grainy. Yeasty. 2.5

T: Malty with some bitterness through the middle. The finish tastes... brown. 3.75

M: Low carbonation. To style. 4

O: 3.5

Photo of u2carew
3.29/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a finger thick head that is tight, beige in color. Clear copper colored body.
S) Earthy sweet hop aroma. Slight bit musky.
T) A bit on the malty side. Caramel. Hints of alcohol in the finish.
M) Medium-light body. Dry and tannic in the finish.
O) A bit too malty for an ESB. The body is fine, but the taste is a bit thin.

Photo of smakawhat
3.32/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A dark amber brown is poured with some light chestnut hues fairly opaque and a bit cloudy. Shampoo like light caramel three finger head. Body seems a little murky, kind of dirty looking.

Bouquet is a good malt of almost sticky toffee. Almost getting into doppelbock territory. Herbal hop tea presence and some toast. Solid.

Taste long story short seems to be lacking. Noticeable bitter hop on the finish. Mid palate doesn't bring much, textue is a little watery. Malt presence lacks and is hard to distinguish.

Overall an ok beer but not a great esb. Would certainly drink over others if the choice was limited. But can drink far better beer also than this.

Photo of jsanford
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a clear, light copper with a generous white head that stays around for some time. Leaves a bit of sticky lacing clinging to the glass.
S - Slightly sweet amber malt with a slight nuttiness and a earthy hop finish. Very crisp and clean.
T - Solid caramel malt backbone stands up well to the earthy hop finish, again there's a bit of toasted nuts and bread that adds some nice complexity.
M - Very crisp, with a medium-light body and sharp, prickly carbonation.
O - Very easy drinking and balanced, I could session a Sixer of this over the course of an afternoon.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

eep orange amber. A very dark color which took me a little by surprise to be honest. A very nice three inches of head formed on the top in a good light tan to off white color. Great retention had this thing hanging around for what seemed like forever. Some sediment actually poured out of the bottom and graced over the top of the foam at the end. A very hazy and cloudy brownish amber this was and it had a very full look to it. A very nice aroma of deep caramel malts was the first thing I noticed. A nice subtle hoppiness as well, though sweet. The flavor was very full, almost a hoppy scotch ale of sorts. Very big with a grainy and chewy kind of feel to it. Medium body with ample carbonation led to a great rich feel and this was just a superb drinker

Photo of JayS2629
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper with a creamy white head that fades fast but leaves nice rings of lace.

The aroma is of caramel, nutmeg, toasted biscuit, and caramel, with an herbal, bitter finish and a touch of citrus.

The taste follows with a subtle citrus rind in the background of a toasty biscuit, caramel, and other fresh bready elements. Malt heavy but light bodied. herbal notes throughout and a bitter finish.

Overal, a nicely balanced and drinkable beer. Nothing complex. Simple and slightly boring.

Photo of bubseymour
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Has a dark orange brown color and quite murky. Very carbonated out of the bottle requiring a quick pour, but head was 1 finger.

Smell - Some floral and spicy yeast notes.

Taste - lots of caramel and malt backbone to this beer. Not very "strong bitter" as the name would imply at all. It works just ok for my pallet.

Mouthfeel - fine

Overall - Nothing really great here. It has a flavor profile that I'm not in love with but I could drink a few none the less.

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought this while I was at Ocean City MD as I had never seen this before.

Poured into a mug. Pours a nice,alive looking, clear amber color with some golden highlight's. Off white colored heading in which left some ringage all around.

Smell is mostly of toasted malts and some biscuit notes as well. Very earthy aroma's pulling through.

Taste is mostly the same as the nose. Great malt taste with a kick of sweet caramel to get thing's going followed up by that same nutty earthy finsh. A nice touching of floral and subtle fruit taste.

Mouth is medium bodied with a solid sweet malt finish.

Very simple and very tasty a good beer from EVO. I look forward to tasting some of there other beers.

Photo of Umbra
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Grand Cru in Bmore. Pours a pretty copper with a tight head. Great retention and lacing. Served a bit cold, so I let it sit for a bit. Floral and pine aroma.
Very Sierra Nevada like, crisply bitter with a lingering mixture of sweetness and hoppiness in the finish. Medium bodied brew that was incredibly drinkable and tasty.

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Exile ESB from Evolution Craft Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 213 ratings.