Well Built E.S.B. - Breckenridge Brewery
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
3.68/5 rDev -3.9%
This ESB looks the part; it's pale orange-red-brown with some deeper reddish hues that's translucent as it's somewhat clear but not enough to see through the haze that is there. The off-white head is a bit of a wisp but a strong one with some persistence. Lacing is heavily spotty in terms of placement but not structure, per se.
The smell is initially, and remains primarily, boozy wood. It takes almost all of its character from the barrel. Perhaps the base beer is just that mild, being a mild style, but it takes work to draw the actual beer's character out on its own. Some leaf, maybe toast underneath, and a mild metallic note are drawn out with time.
The taste is similar but brings more of the beer itself out. The whiskey is a major, perhaps the major, component, but this time I have little problem drawing out leafy and earthy hops notes, toast, some nuttiness, a steely, mineral note, and an herbal leaf finish. In truth, though, I would give this to someone who wanted to like whiskey but found it too hard.
The light-medium body starts off sweeter and finishes in the dry end. It's got a light bite and is creamy on the tongue, and a bit of the herbal leaf toward the middle is what lends it more dryness along with alcohol. It thins a little in the middle, though not terribly.
03-27-2014 21:04:13 | More by Brenden
4/5 rDev +4.4%
Apperance ie a deep amber with some clarity and heavy lacing. Nose is somewhat muted with mild caramel malts coming through with almost no hop character. Taste is straight up caramel. Notes of salt, caramel.. The candy not the malt. Nice balance, not too sweet. Mouthfeel is light and moderately carbonated. Overall, nice flavors here, a bit different for the style.
02-02-2014 01:04:24 | More by homebrew311
3.56/5 rDev -7%
The sweet, spicy and oaky elegance of Stanahan's whisky makes for a near-perfect complement to beers of sweeter fare- or at least it should. Breckenridge's ESB should be a match made in beer heaven.
Its appearance is everything-ESB. Medium copper in color, the beer is lightly hazy with its unfiltered appearance. A creamy bone-white head builds upon the ale and then retains well while trailing with spotty lace.
Bold malty-sweet scents capture the caramel, toffee and biscuit aromas that are common to ESB, but its light hop presence can hardly balance the grain. Its mild herbal character comes across like curing tobacco. Couple that with fruit notes and the scent is lightly reminescent of apple jelly. As the oak spice carries as much weight as the hops do, there's simply a barrel influence playing out here.
To taste, the hearty bready-sweet flavors are of toffee and biscuit- just ahead of a nutty, grassy and leafy middle due to the late arrival of hop flavor. Wood sweetness and spiciness captivate the finish with mild oak and tannin that balance the beer as much as the broad hop bitterness does. Even with a sweet boozy finish, the flavors of whisky are all present yet the beer doesn't come across as together as whisky barrel aged beers do.
Creamy and sweet in body, the beer slowly fades to partial dryness as the carbonation dissolves and the sweetness begins to recede. Lightly astringent, the extra bite comes from both woodish hops and oak tannin. Not as crisp or as clean as classic ESB, the whisky barrel character makes this beer a little more savory and meant for sipping in comparison.
I rather liked the Stranahan Barrel Aged ESB, but it is a little messy as a classic ESB and not as powerful or complex as most barrel aged beers. Landing it in no-man's-land is as much of a curse for the beer as it is a blessing.
12-27-2013 17:46:53 | More by BEERchitect
3.75/5 rDev -2.1%
This pours with a solid caramel brown color that supported a fizzy head with tons of life.
The aromas are grain-centric with plenty of barley and raw grain husk. The aroma is good but it doesn't give off a ton of the barrel or whiskey notes.
Grains are most evident on the tongue but it eases into the barrel character. A woody oak like flavor is understated but it is followed by a cream and whiskey. The cream is more towards the half and half and less the vanilla usually associated with barrel aging.
The feel is very airy and crisp and gives a feel that there is more carbonation that the appearance showed.
This was a nice change, an interesting beer but a bit of a disappointment when I paid $18 for it.
12-15-2013 19:02:13 | More by KYGunner
Well Built E.S.B. from Breckenridge Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.