Well Built E.S.B. - Breckenridge Brewery
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mfnmbvp:
4.35/5 rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
1 pint 9.4 fl oz. bottle, no apparent bottled on date present, bottle number 8995. The local beer store has only had these for about a week. I went to the store with the intention of buying Flying Dog Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter, but noticed two of these left, so I just had to grab one before it was too late. A barrel aged extra special bitter; no idea what to expect.
Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.
A - A gentle pour yields three fingers of soft creamy pillowy off-white / khaki foam for a head. Body is a dark cola / mahogany color with some ruby highlights when held to the light. Thin fluffy rings of lace. Looks truly mouthwatering.
S - Smell is of sweet candied caramelized malts, toffee, whiskey barrels, and beautiful vanilla. The aroma becomes increasingly powerful as the beer sits and warms toward room temperature.
T - Bittering hop presence is maintained in the taste, which is a nice surprise, since I was expecting the barrel aging to have faded the hops. Smooth caramel malt, vanilla, wood, earth, yeast, some nuttiness, hint of chocolate, copper / minerals, and some alcohol heat & sugary green apple skin on the finish. Well balanced and well built; it lives up to it's name. Very nice.
M - Feel keeps some sugary green apple skin / hop stickiness & bittering on the palate, to remind you that you are drinking an E.S.B. Hint of alcohol heat on the finish. A wonderful end to a wonderful beer.
Overall, this is definitely the best thing I've had from Breckenridge so far. Whereas most of their beers are mediocre, this one is an entirely different beast. Was it worth the $16.99+ tax that I paid for it? Probably. There is depth and complexity present here that I wasn't sure Breckenridge was capable of, based on their year-round offerings. Definitely a beer to get your hands on, if you can.
Breckenridge Stranahan's Well Built E.S.B. ---4.5/5
Serving type: bottle
09-04-2013 18:07:53 | More by mfnmbvp
More User Reviews:
3.68/5 rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
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.
Serving type: on-tap
03-27-2014 21:04:13 | More by Brenden
4/5 rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.
Serving type: on-tap
02-02-2014 01:04:24 | More by homebrew311
3.56/5 rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
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.
Serving type: bottle
12-27-2013 17:46:53 | More by BEERchitect
3.75/5 rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
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.
Serving type: bottle
12-15-2013 19:02:13 | More by KYGunner
Well Built E.S.B. from Breckenridge Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.