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Extra Special Oak (ESO) - Element Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Extra Special Oak (ESO)Extra Special Oak (ESO)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

96 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 14.85%
Wants: 11
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Element Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  7.75% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jwale73 on 05-10-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by markdrinksbeer:
Photo of markdrinksbeer
4/5  rDev +6.1%

markdrinksbeer, Feb 16, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #46 (Nov 2010):

Not too shy to show off its presentation of epic lacing and pale amber sheen. Oak, fruit, yeast tone, doughy biscuit and lemony hops are a great showing for an aroma. Heavy, silky smoothness. The malt and oak character intertwine so much and so deeply that they play off each other ... and compliment each other. Subtle hopping evens out the fruitiness that bounces around. Leafy. A drier side shows more toward the finish with oaky overtones and a lingering fruitiness. Yeah, the alcohol warms, but it's very delicate. A brush of greatness they have created on this canvas.

BeerAdvocate, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Janeinma, May 26, 2014
Photo of glid02
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%

Bottle purchased from Wine & Cheese Cask in Somerville, MA.

Pours a very hazy dark amber color with a tan head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of moderately sweet caramel malts with large amounts of harsh oak and lighter amounts of leafy and slightly floral hops. Also present are slight amounts of boozy medium fruits.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Sweet yet slightly grainy caramel malts up front are joined by hints of toasted malts and large amounts of oak. Midway through the malts fade a bit and booze-soaked medium and dark fruits with leafy hops come into play, carrying through with the oak to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall the oak was really heavy and made the beer not enjoyable for me. I’d like to try the base beer for comparison as it seems like an interesting beverage, but the oak dashed any hopes of that.

glid02, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of OBIrish24
4/5  rDev +6.1%

OBIrish24, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of Aberration
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Aberration, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of DrewBest
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

DrewBest, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev +6.1%

jh1982, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of rworkman
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

rworkman, May 22, 2014
Photo of jmerloni
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%

A - Amber to light brown colored and fully translucent. Not much head. Not much sparkle Decent.

S - Definitely can smell the oak, a lot of malt, not much hops.

T - Brown sugar sweet, tangy, some hops. Doesn't taste particularly fresh - a little musty.

M - Mouthfeel is all over the place. Goes from sweet to bitter, back to sweet. From flavor to flavor. Little organization. Not a dry finish.

D - Pretty drinkable overall. Pretty light. Nothing is repugnant about it.

jmerloni, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of innuendobrewskiman63
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

innuendobrewskiman63, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of ComputerBeer
5/5  rDev +32.6%

WOW, like nothing I've ever had before! Oak aromas without any hops in the nose. Creamy texture with a oak like never before finish. I can't tell is is a wine, port, whiskey, barrel? Some vanilla, spice, tannin. Has a alcohol wallop that you will not see coming. I had 2 of these at the bar and I was done. There is no booze or heat like you would expect from such a potent beer. Very well done.

ComputerBeer, May 24, 2010
Photo of u2carew
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%

On tap at Cambridge Common. Consumed 5/23/10.
A) Poured with a finger thick head. Settles with thin, creamy, and sticky lacing. Some haze. Copper on color.
S) Subtle caramel malt. Some mellow hops lingering the mix but not pronounced.
T) Up front- astringent alcohol a bit more defined due to the warm cask temperature. Oak cask has rubbed off on this one, definitely some woody characteristics. Hints of whiskey. In the finish light malt sweetness.
M) Smooth. Mellow creaminess. Medium body but a little thin. Alcohol effervescence.
D) For me just an average brew. The body is a bit thin. Overall doesn't taste much like a beer - more like whiskey with beer consistency sans the alcohol kick.

u2carew, May 24, 2010
Photo of Greywulfken
4.36/5  rDev +15.6%

A: poured into a nonic pint, deep amber brown ale body with a nice finger of foamy head

S: dry malts and hops; some oakiness and woodsy flavors; mild hard liquor aromas

T: pale malt flavors with a hearty rich bready character; some deep wood flavors added complexity and distinction to the beer; sweetness of vanilla

M: the body and feel of a sweeter beer; buttery on the finish, not quite butterscotchy - it stays dry and then evaporates into a near-clean finish

O: a highly driknable brew, that I would gladly buy again.

Greywulfken, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of Ommy
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%

Extra Special Oak pours honey colored with a large foamy head. The bubbles are fairly large and lingers for a decent while.

On the nose the oak gives it a very musky and foresty smell. I feel there is a hint of fruits, like lemons or something similar.

The taste is a lot more muted than I expected, but it is definitely delicious. The oak gives the beer a nice character that you don't find often. This feels like a great beer to dine with, maybe with roasted chicken or pork.

Sometimes I don't bother with writing about the mouthfeel, but this is a huge part of the beer. The carbonation instantly stings your tongue when you drink this. I like variety so I'm saying this is a positive.

Ommy, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of Mike
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Mike, May 30, 2014
Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +6.1%

The beer pours a nice, white head that borders between creamy and bubbly. The beer itself is a dark copper that borders on brown and is clear. The beer has very strong oak notes when it's cold but the vanilla beans really come through and work well with the oak, which gives a bit a of a nice spicy note to it. The malts come out but not as strongly and give an interesting sweetness to the bouquet. The taste is similar to the smell notes but that the oak is much stronger than the vanilla bean and the malts are fairly sweet. The notes combine to give off a roasted coconut taste, which is pretty good. The mouthfeel is very soft and smooth with biting carbonation. Overall, a very good and unique beer; one that I will definitely pick up.

HattedClassic, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of ColdOneKev
4/5  rDev +6.1%

ColdOneKev, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of tabhill
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

tabhill, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of GbVDave
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into two pint glasses. Special thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist. Extra special thanks to jayli for this from our recent trade!

Bottled DEC 15 2010

A: Pours a cloudy dark amber with two full fingers of creamy off white head on top. Retention was fleeting with the cap quickly dying off and leaving a thin skim and collar. Some droopy ropes of lace were left behind.

S: Aromas of rich toasty malt, light smoke, new oak, and spicy citrus hops. After it warmed a bit, I noticed an interesting aroma of vanilla bean and/or maple.

T: As above with a greater emphasis on the oak and smoke flavors. Some elements of spice creep in as probably a counterpart of the oak ageing.

M: Wonderful silky smooth mouthfeel that somehow leads into a finish of spicy spices and hops. A dry oakiness takes over at the very end and does a fine job of cleansing the tongue.

O: Very impressive. I don't usually gravitate towards ESB's/ESA's but the oak ageing (and this brewerys' track record with me) made me really glad that Jax sent this along!

GbVDave, May 22, 2011
Photo of Bilco
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Bilco, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of connecticutpoet
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%

Reviewed from notes.

In the glass, this one had a clear, deep yellow hue with a thin layer of head on top. Not bad at all.

Aroma was oak tannins, vanilla, and apples. Other fruits were also present, but so subtle I could not discern between them. Almost tropical.

Taste was sweet, vinous, and slightly fruity. Light bitterness played around prominent oak flavors. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel was very good. Surprisingly dry for a beer with this complexity.

Overall this is a very good, well put together brew. Element brews cost a bit more than some, but they are definitely worth it.

connecticutpoet, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of ppoitras
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%

750ml bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Cool informative paper wrap, corked and caged.

Poured into a DFH tulip, formed a 1/2" off-white head over the clear copper brew. Head recedes gradually, with slow-falling lace. Aroma is sweet with an off-seeming vegetal tinge.

Taste starts with clean malt character, then find the off part of the nose again in the middle, then closes with a floral bitterness. Dry bitterness clings to the tongue. Mouthfeel is very soft over the tongue, but drinkability is limited for me by the flavor and aroma. Not quite liking this one as much as their other offerings which I have enjoyed.

ppoitras, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of msondel
4/5  rDev +6.1%

msondel, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of discharmingly
2/5  rDev -46.9%

discharmingly, May 05, 2014
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Extra Special Oak (ESO) from Element Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.