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Dragonmead Sir William's ESB - Dragonmead Microbrewery

Not Rated.
Dragonmead Sir William's ESBDragonmead Sir William's ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

58 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Dragonmead Microbrewery visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Another fine example of the English style. This Bitter is more robust than the best bitter but still with an excellent balance between hops and malt. Pale Ale Malt along with Aromatic and Crystal malts combine with the Galena and Fuggles hops to create a sure-fire favorite.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Goldfoot
5/5  rDev +38.9%

Photo of ppoitras
4.85/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity... Has a "12 16" sticker, maybe brew date, maybe not.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" light tan head over the slightly cloudy reddish brown brew. Head fades slowly, with ample bubbly tan lace. Aroma is dry grain husks, light fruitiness. Taste is has the same malt doing a little dance over the tongue, with a light hoppiness that makes its presence known, but doesn't shout out its name, and then revisits in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, and drinkability is incredible. Wish I could keep revisiting this one...

Photo of Reneejane
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I just loved this beer. It poured a rich brown color with a great fluffy head that retained quite well over time. It had a definite hop flavor, which was predominated by English hops. The malts balanced out the hops nicely. The malt flavor was not sweet but rather distinctly smokey. It wasn't a very strong smoke flavor, just a slight nuance that created a satisfying character in the ESB. The beer finished with a refreshing bitter final note.

Photo of ypsifly
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated 12oz poured into a pint glass.

Dark copper. Almost brown with a beady head of light tan that fllas to a few cm, but never goes away and leaves lots of wispy lace.

Caramel and a little toasted malt with some diacetyl in the back. The hops barely register as a bit spicy. Good clean aromas that show complexity and restraint.

Biscuits and caramel upfront quickly followed by a more pronounced hop presence that tastes bitter and spicy. The finish is rather dry but still retains enough of the malt for balance. Has a pleasant aftertaste that suggests crackers.

Smooth moderate body that is washed clean by the hops and good carbonation. Extremely quaffable.

Photo of Chimneyman
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice medium bronze with a very tight one finger head that settled quickly leaving a light sheet of lace behind.Lighter aromas of caramel and brown sugar with light herbal notes that became more noticable as the beer warmed,spot on ESB flavors let me tell yah,juicy fruity and sweeter caramel malt that intertwines with a big drying herbal hop finish.Wow a great ESB spot on and oh so quaffable,would love to have on cask..

Photo of neonbrown82
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a decent ESB, and so far it is the best of the Dragonmead beers that I tried, in my opinion. Pours a little bit dark, but still fairly clear. A nice nutty brown amber color with a thick off-white head that recedes to a centimeter and stays there, thanks to a good carbonation.

The smell is nice. Has a high fruity ester profile. A bit grainy along with some spicy hops. Definitely not an American hop strain, as would be expected for this English style.

The taste also has a slightly high ester profile with hints of candy apple and berries. Nutty malt profile with a gingery brown sugar finish. Also has a mild sourness to it that gives me the feeling of a good cask ale on the brink of turning (right when it's at its best). Almost seems like a brett flavor, like an Orval. This mild sourness works perfectly with a subtle dry, bitter finish from the hops. The more I drink it the better I like it. It's about time I found a beer I enjoy from this brewery, and I'm not entirely sure if the sour brett flavor is intentional!

If so, damn good stuff. A bit odd at first, but it grows. I will have to try another sample in the future, but I will probably avoid the other Dragonmead beers I've already had. Like all the rest of their beers I've tried, this tastes like an extract homebrew, but I'm really loving it.

Photo of goast8127
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of trumick
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red color with a huge off white head and lots of lacing all around.

Scent is carmel malts and spicey hops.

Taste starts off with a nice carmel malt base, buiscuty and a very nice spicey hop finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, refreshing with just the right amount of carbination.

Drinkability is above average. This is a beer that I could put away all night long. I would buy this beer again if not for the price.

Photo of adamant1912
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of SupaCelt
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This strangely exhorbitant bottle of beer purges a mahogany coloured liquid, not quite the shade I had expected, into my English pint glass. It formed a small cola tan head that subsided quickly. No lace follows behind. The nose is brown sugar, cinnamon, and sourdough. Almost like an elephant ear, but a bit more earthy. There goes that earthy thing again. Nutty. Oily smelling. Baked. Toasty. Nice. The taste is laid back. Pleasant brown sugar sweetness with a bready quality. The toasted characters come through well in the flavour as they did in the nose. This is a nicely balanced beer. The spice and sweetness profile contribute to a winter holiday feeling for me. This would hit the spot in the cold season. Mouthfeel lingers around medium. The drinkability is good, but would be better for colder periods in the year. What is the deal with the price? I am never buying another one of these. There are plenty of cheaper models that suit just as well or surpass this one in greatness. Seriously.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear deep copper with with ruby highlights and a thin beige head with nice lacing.

S - Caramel, toasted malt, biscuit with just a touch of spicy hops.

T - Caramel,biscuit and a grainy taste up front with a dry, spicy, mineral finish. There is a slight spice but the hops are lacking somewhat.

M - Thin to medium and slightly watery with more carbonation than I am used to for the style.

D - Tasty beer but somewhat different in style from the more traditional ESB's I have tried. I enjoy the additional roasty malt in this one.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another gem I received as an extra recently. I was thrilled to get a hold of a good portion of the lineup here and decided to start with this one. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 06/02/2009.



The pour was very nice. Rich amber in color with a light brown, mineral like look to it. Smooth, even head of creamy white capped off the top quite nicely at a height of an inch and a half before settling down into a nice firm layer that stayed throughout. Light aroma of citrus and green tea. Hints of a mineral like quality wash across the tongue at first before a chewy tea like flavor takes over from there on out. Smooth, sweet caramel note in the finish wraps it up nicely while overall the light feel and nice light carbonation made for a very session able addition.



Not bad at all here. It was more in the traditional vein of the style for me, but I have to admit it came across quite well. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again.

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Damn, what a simply delicious session beer. Thanks to tangfoot for this bottle. Pours a deep and murky cherry brown color. Thick, frothey eggnog-shaded head that has as much retention as a cask ale. Nose is the only negativ as it is extremely subtle malts that I had to really dig into the glass in order to find.

Flavor is just front loaded with malts, peat and a wood essence. The malts just drip off the roof of the mouth and cling to the tongue and teeth they are so thick. Hops are a nice spruce-mint-ish that just balances all the sweet and earthy malts very well. Mouthfeel has a full body and is very juicy. I tend to use the word "juicy" to describe hops but this time I am using juicy o describe the malts. A six-pack of this beer would be a great addition to my Sunday football tomorrow.

Photo of kohoutek
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with a sticker that seems to imply a brewed on or bottled on date. "1 09".

A nice mahogany beer with a beautiful initial tan, rocky head. This head turns quickly to lace and a nice layer of permafoam. This beer seems to be the slightest bit hazy. IMO, a good thing. . .I am not usually a fan of filtering.

The beer shares most of its aromatics as flavor components as well. A malty, graham cracker, biscuit, toffee backbone is met with a flinty, mineral yeast and calcium rich "dusty" water profile. Nice English hops throw in an added drying attempt. It's an herbal finish, but it can't match the malt.

Dragonmead did a great job of capturing the English hop and yeast aromatics, but this beer simply finishes too sweet. I keep thinking it seems a bit too rich and cloying to capture my interest or reach for another. A nice beer - and a favorite style of mine, but it provides too few magic moments for me to return any time soon.

Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear chestnut with no head off the pour. Malty aroma with a bit of roast and faint grassy hops. Mild bitterness with a clean malt character. Caramel sweetness throughout with a little roastiness towards the end. Medium/light bodied with lowish carbonation, solid texture. Pretty good stuff, smooth and easy going down.

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A well made ESB from Dragonmead. Pours out to a hazy brownish bronze color with a huge head of dense foam. Medium level of carbonation and rings upon rings of lacing. Aromas of malts and caramel stir in the nose. Taste is good; minor notes of spice blend with a roasted malt and hop character. Some traces of sweetbread in the end. Mouthfeel was far too boring for me, very watery and too thin. A touch of smoothness is noted, but is quickly washed away by the boring water-like aspect. Decent drinkability. If they could get some consistancy in the mouthfeel and make it a bit more noticeable, this would be a real winner.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark copper color with a short white head.

Scent of caramel, fresh tobacco, and a bit of earth. A nice malty scent, surprisingly full considering the ABV.

Taste is quite malty as well, there is a very faint hop presence with some caramel and a hint of tobacco. While not my favorite style, this is pretty good.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation.

Photo of Buck_Jones
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of detroitpat
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mebummer
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Kerrie
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jeffwright
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Lexx
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at Goodrich's in East Lansing.
Pours a clear, coppery amber color with a light tan foamy head. Light, spotty lacing.
The first thing I thought of when I smelled this one was muffins. It has a scent reminiscent baking bran muffins. A bit of grassiness and caramel.
The taste is grainy, almost resembling hay, with a bit of caramel, with just a slight bitterness in the finish. This was alright, quite easy drinking.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with a dull white head that kicks off small specks of lace.
Aroma of wheat bread, cracked grain, some pale malts and an earthy herbal note.
Flavor is dominated by blanched pale malt, light caramel and toasted biscuit. Taste is somewhat cut short.
Mouthfeel is smooth and malty with a subtley, mild, herbal hop finish that has a sharp jolt of gritty bittering right at the end.
Drinkability is very solid. Bit bland for an ESB on the front end but all the other characteristics are very pleasing.

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Dragonmead Sir William's ESB from Dragonmead Microbrewery
82 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.