Dragonmead Sir William's ESB - Dragonmead Microbrewery

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

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BA SCORE
82
good

58 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.06%
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 37
Photo of neonbrown82
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
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 SupaCelt
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
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 Imstillthegman
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with lighter amber along the edges of the glass. Light only makes it through on the edges. Two finger tan head which sticks around. Average amount of lacing left behind. Smells of sweet nut bread and herbs with a touch of sourness at the end. Taste is nutty and the malts dominate. Hints of sweet molasses try to come out but this nutty flavor won't let it. Some dark fruit (dates maybe?) show up in the end. But where is the bitterness? Barely any hop characteristics at all. Nice body and bubbly in the mouth but no bitterness at all. Not one of my favorite ESBs.

Photo of granger10
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Starting my ESB day out with the most expensive and I believe will be the most "English" ESB on the lot.

Pours a hazy copper color with some light auburn hints on the sides. Medium tan head rests atop the glass. Modest to moderate lacing.

Aroma is a bit herbal and earthy at first but then takes on more of a fruity sweet character. Finally it gets really bready and buttery. In the end I'm left with a burnt toast kind of smell. Odd.

Taste is definitely malt dominated. Lots of nutty, caramel maltiness in there. A robust slick taste comes out. Some bready notes and butter notes are in there along with an herbal earthy aspect. The finish is almost vinous but I would say chocolatey even. Quite different.

Mouthfeel is decent. Body is too thick and malty for my liking but there's a roasted character which is agree with and the moderate carbonation is spot on.

This beer was ok. Not really my type of ESB. It needs more hops really and less of a robust malt character. Plus the price was a bit ridiculous. I'm glad I only got a single.

Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
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 ppoitras
4.82/5  rDev +33.9%
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 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 walleye
3.12/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

from the tap at the brewery. poured mahogany with off white head. aroma, malts, mixed fruits, apple , grapes. caramel, hops, a hint of honey. flavor, mixed fruits, malts, caramel, hops and the rest of what I got from the aroma, with a nice dry smooth mouth feel. with a hint of bitterness

Photo of trumick
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
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 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 ypsifly
4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
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 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.