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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:
Photo of ComputerBeer
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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 Bob6518
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Bob6518, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of hopley
5/5  rDev +32.6%

hopley, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of durkle
4.75/5  rDev +26%

durkle, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of PowderRay
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

PowderRay, May 17, 2013
Photo of AdamElb
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

AdamElb, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of RRC03
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

RRC03, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of Greywulfken
4.36/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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 connecticutpoet
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 Ommy
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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 ELECTRONICAnonymous
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

ELECTRONICAnonymous, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Poured a reddish copper color with a 1 finger head in a Pretty Things glass. A wide mouth glass is recommended by the brewery for this beer.

Fruit, barnyard, and esters from the aroma which becomes more pronounced with warming.

The mouth feel is very carbonated.

The taste is distinctive. As in other beers in the style, there is fruit and esters finished with a sharp hoppy bitterness. Although the brewery refers to it as an ESB, it's more like an English Strong ale ( Beer Advocate)or closer to an Old Ale.

The beer is bottle conditioned and unpasteurized. It's the first beer I have tasted from the brewery. A singular brew- best warmer-( start at 50°F) which brings out the aroma/taste/palate in the beer.
I am looking forward to tasting more of their beers.

brureview, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of CalebHiliadis
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

CalebHiliadis, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of tneenan1
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

tneenan1, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a cloudy apricot nectar color with a foamy head that leaves some impressive splashes of lacing behind

Smell: Malt and oak forward, with shortbread, earthy hops and vanilla/oak

Taste: Sweeter malt flavors, up front, with shortbread and toffee followed by a slightly lemony/earthy hop in the middle; the barrel builds after the swallow, bringing oak, vanilla and marshmallow to sweeten up the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Pretty good stuff for a sweeter style ale; like the balance and complexity

brentk56, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of GbVDave
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 nhindian
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle wrapped in paper and finished with a cork and cage, poured into a Southern Tier Imperial goblet. Bottle generously provided by apollokim, thanks Kim!

A - Pours a beautiful burnished copper color, with a lighter orange in the highlights and deeper mahogany in the middle. After opening it threatened to gush, but only reached the opening of the bottle before retreating. The head is huge and very active; easily 3-fingers worth and shapeshifts between thick foam and a cavernous, rocky terrain. The body is pretty clear, which makes it easy to see the rush of carbonation flooding this beer. Head retention is great, and the lacing is more so thick clumps of leftover head rather lacing. Great looking beer.

S - Upon first smell, I am getting a noticeable English influence here in the malts and the oak really accentuates its oakiness. I'm also getting a lot of spice and earthy tones. Overall a mild, but pleasant smell.

T - Whereas the nose is more mild, the taste definitely boasts a lot of flavor. The malts are thick and flavorful, adding more depth than sweetness, that leads wonderfully into the barrel flavors. Speaking of, this beer brings more oak to the flavor than almost any other beer I've had before, it is almost chewing on an oak trunk and eating oak sawdust shavings. It's an interesting and certainly unique flavor, and is strangely addicting. Not much hops going on here, and the finish is moderately long with a ton of residual oak flavor.

M - Mouthfeel is light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Finish isn't as long as I would've liked given the different flavor, and it just kind of disappears from the palate.

D - Drinkability is high. Incredibly easy to put this down and the flavors keep enticing me back for more. The alcohol is non-existent and overall, just a finely crafted beer.

nhindian, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of Dope
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle probably 2 years old.

A: Pours a reddish-amber with a big fizzy white head. Fades slowly, leaving no lacing at all. Common element of this brewery (see what I did there?). Oddly enough the second pour produced a solid wall of lacing. I'm not sure what to think about that but I did upgrade it to a 4.

S: Smells similar to an ESB. Toasted malt. Vanilla and oak. Swear I even get maple syrup.

T: Oaky for sure but not overpowering. Toasted malt and lots of bread. Some mild vanilla in the middle and through the finish along with some maple. Nice clean finish with just a touch of oak and vanilla that lingers.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Pretty much exactly as described. Tastes and smells like an ESB that's been oak aged but without the bitterness. Nice, clean crisp and balanced flavors. Relative simplicity keeps it from scoring higher but it's definitely a beer I enjoyed. Super malty and the drinkability is very high.

Dope, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of DIM
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a slightly hazy golden color with peachy highlights. It poured with a smallish, short lived head.

s: I found lightly tart smelling grainy biscuits, vanilla, and powdery fruit candy.

t: Toasted grainy crackers, vanilla, woodiness, leafy bitterness, and faintly floral fruit.

m: Soft body with gently prickly carbonation.

o: Unique is the best word to describe this. Everything I found in here was subtle and well incorporated. Thanks for the treat B and E.

DIM, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Janeinma, May 26, 2014
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 jh1982
4/5  rDev +6.1%

jh1982, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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
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Extra Special Oak (ESO) from Element Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.