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13 Rebels ESB - French Broad Brewing Co.

13 Rebels ESB13 Rebels ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

164 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 164
Reviews: 90
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 11.05%

Brewed by:
French Broad Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierguy5 on 05-18-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 90 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ivanovichi


3.34/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22 oz Bomber into a tulip pint

A- Orangey yellow very cloudy color, minimal (1/4 inch) cream colored head. Very little lacing.

S- Very citrusy to the nose, nothing else much...

T- Now with the taste we're getting somewhere! very hoppy, the citrus comes through here real well. Although the proposed IBU's of this brew were way off the mark I believe.

M- Light, the taste did not last very long but the little bit of coating I did get was nice, earthy feeling.

O- I will be trying the rest of what French Broad has to offer. The regular IPA was twice, if not more-so, as bitter as the 13 Rebels so it begs the question what has French Broad done with the rest of their brews? For the record, though, I would buy this again for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 03:32:40 | More by ivanovichi
Photo of Mojo


3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter

A - Medium gold pour with an initial one finger head, ZERO retention, ZERO lacing.

S - very weak nose, mostly floral and bread

T - caramel malt with a tangy and spicy twist and a big bitter finish (although the stated IBU of 142 is laughable)

M - adequate with a bit of an aftertaste

O - Taste is not bad, but otherwise unremarkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 23:09:48 | More by Mojo
Photo of jpro

South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber poured into a mug...

A: light copper; light beige, pinky-width head; thin retention leaves a few strands of lace; looks pretty good. *there may be an error on the label... 142 IBUs?!

S: toasted malt; nutty; bready; typical ESB aroma.

T: bready malt flavor; peanut skin; crusty; somewhat abrasive hop finish.

M: pretty average feel.

O: not bad overall; kind of a hoppier Fat Tire (but not at 142 IBUs); a nice traditional ale to throw back.

*from notes 5-13-13

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2013 16:00:20 | More by jpro
Photo of GPHarris


3.96/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick off-white and billowy head into a snifter that left good lacing throughout. the body was a bright copper.
s - caramel and toasted bread.
t - caramel, bread, toffee, spicy and grassy hops.
m - creamy and medium mouthfeel.
o - one of my favorite ESBs and i think this is FB's best beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 18:28:26 | More by GPHarris
Photo of KYGunner


3.61/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There was tons of carbonation which created a fizzy two inch head and tons of bubbling on the edges. There was an Ice Tea like coloring that was not ugly but just above average.

The scent was kind of stale but had a fruity tone; maybe apple or plum.

The taste was sweet, malty and fruity. There was a breadiness to this Bitter but a bit of apple, plum and sweetness that really caught my eye. Not a bad example of the genre but perhaps a bit to bubbly for my liking.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 03:15:27 | More by KYGunner
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear golden orange to light amber in color with some orange highlights and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy white head that reduces to a medium thick medium sized patch of medium bubbles, a very thin film that covers the remainder of the surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate amounts of bready malts with some light notes of apricot. There are also some faint hints of grassy hops.

T: Moderate amounts of bready malts with some lighter amounts of light fruit (apricot) sweetness and light amounts of grassy hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish with light amounts of lingering.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a very light hint of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink, with a nice flavor and a low ABV - a little sweeter than other offerings in the style but definitely one to try (or have again).

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 01:29:46 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of plaid75

New York

4.13/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Barley's, Asheville, NC.

Poured a medium copper hue with a two finger dense frothy head. There was very good lacing and retention.

The smell featured toasted biscuit malts and herbal and slightly piney hops.

The taste was extremely well balanced with a sharp toasted breadiness complimented by a clean herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was clean with a vigorous carnonation.

Overall a very good and balanced ale.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2012 20:19:41 | More by plaid75
Photo of Beejay


3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A murky copper orange color, with off white head on top.

S: Bready with a nice hoppiness. Some toffee notes, as well as a floral hop presence. Bready and a faint hint of earthiness.

T: Toasty with touches of toffee, and burnt sugar. some raisin notes, as well as a bright floral hit from the hops. Not overly bitter, good balance between malt and hops, although there is a lingering coffee flavor.

M: Medium light in body, carbonation is medium, and pleasant on the tongue. Fairly light feeling although there is a slight slickness to the finish.

O: Overall this is plenty drinkable. Tasty, and interesting though I don't think I am in love with the flavor, there is almost a light licorice character to it that seems out of place to me.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2012 03:48:33 | More by Beejay
Photo of McNealc31


3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a sticky beige head. Smells of butterscotch and toasted bread. Toasted malt dominates the palate with hints of orange and butterscotch. Citrusy hops are noticeable, but not overpowering, in the finish, which is long, dry, and a tad bitter, but pleasantly so. It's a little oily and slick in the mouth, but that dry finish is a nice contrast.

Overall, it's a very solid beer. Plenty of flavor, good balance, nothing overpowering. Fun lacing, too.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 00:51:33 | More by McNealc31
Photo of therica


3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Much better complexity in the Taste after sitting for about 10 minutes if it's been chilled into the 40's F.

A= yellowish ice-tea color, foamy yellowed-white head settling quickly to nice pooling, then rimming and lacing.

S= starchy malts, slight sweetness akin to mild honey. Not very complex when fully chilled but the nose begins to change and grow as it room-warms, adding modest citrus.

T= initially somewhat basic and lacking; a sour bitterness that doesn't remind me of any true English ESB-style (Courage Best is a personal favorite). Slightly watery, with malts lacking complexity until it warms a bit; light citrus. Bready malts begin to emerge as it warms, very nice but a bit late and not quite enough balance overall.

M= bitters, a lack of complexity as far as anything else.

O= not one I'd go out of my way to find. Given to me by a friend from Asheville, a random pick at the store, a much-appreciated effort.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2012 00:16:54 | More by therica
Photo of Mora2000


3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a golden-orange color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of citrus, with some orange and lemon notes. There is also a strong biscuit malt component. The flavor is fairly malt heavy, with both biscuit and toffee. There is also some bitter orange character and a little bit of bitterness. Easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 02:30:11 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Cresant


3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served this 22 oz. brown bottle in a Sierra Nevada Hops glass. No date. The beer was a clear, deep, rich, amber/copper color with a parchment head. The brittle bubbles made a cap that remained til the end.

The aroma was nutty and fruity. Tea-like.

The taste was of moist wheat bread. Non-descript fruitiness. Juicy. Apples. There was a gentle bitterness, tannin.

The mouthfeel was medium to thin. Mild carbonation. Smooth in the mouth. A pretty solid ESB.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2012 13:53:54 | More by Cresant
Photo of Apellonious

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Black Mountain Ale house.

A - orange with a slight haze

S - malts, slight smoke.

T - more of the same as the nose, some hop presence and toffee-caramel notes.

M - a little on the thin side, although the carbonation is sharp.

O - a decent esb to try, though not very complex.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2012 18:21:25 | More by Apellonious
Photo of jktedder12

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a chilled pint glass.
Appearance: clear amber color with a 1/4 inch foamy head, with minimal lacing.

Smell: sweet toasted caramel malt with a hint of hops

Taste: Tart malty taste with hints of caramel. bitterness at the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Light effervescent mouthfeel.

Overall: Not bad at all. A bit heavier body would make it nicer, but again, not bad. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 00:58:37 | More by jktedder12
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at World of Beer at North Hills on 2/17/12

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark orange with a thin layer of soft, white head. The nose is mildly citrusy and has a big toasty aroma. The flavor is pretty one dimensional with big notes of burnt toast with just a hint of citrusy hops for balance. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with decent carbonation.

This in my opinion was a pretty mediocre beer. It's one dimensional and that one dimension was burnt toast. The hops were noticeable but were unable to tame the intense malt character. I probably won't have this again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2012 22:51:39 | More by tdm168
Photo of Merkur


3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Village Pub in Nashville.

Beer pours a nice rich amber color, with a small amount of tan head.

Beer smells of sweet caramel and toffee.

Beer starts off tasting very malty, followed by bitterness with just a small amount of caramel sweetness.

Rather thick.

Overall an OK ESB

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2012 03:17:46 | More by Merkur
Photo of MacQ32

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice slightly red slightly muddied copper into my Brooklyn shifter, nice finger of barely off white head. Great retention. Nice lacing

S - Lots of slightly toasty caramel malts, pretty sweet. Some nice grassy hops as well. A little citrus kick as well

T - Kind of mild, sweet and citrusy (orange) with a little floral hop kick at the end. A little toasty and dry up front good bitter aftertaste

M - Fairly light,nice and crisp for sure. Appropriate carbonation, very drinkable

O - Kind of wish it was a little bit more bold but definitely a tasty super drinkable brew

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2011 01:48:38 | More by MacQ32
Photo of mrfrancis


3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber with a thin, creamy white mousse that makes no effort to stick around any length of time. The beer, itself, looks good, but the lack of head retention underwhelmed me.

S: Very malty on the nose with generous notes of toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and marmalade. I didn't pick up on much in the way of hops.

T: Opens malty and smooth with notes of orange marmalade, lemon jelly, brown sugar, toffee, cream, and caramel. The finish reveals a bit more in the way of hoppiness with gentle citrus flavors joining the toffee, cream, and caramel notes contributed by the malt.

M: Light-to-medium bodied, relatively dry, and crisper than expected. Drinkable, but not all that memorable. I would be curious to see what this beer is like out of the bottle.

O: 13 Rebels ESB is not a bad effort. In fact, it displays many of the classic traits of English ESBs. Unfortunately, the lack of head retention and the lack of a heavier hop profile are not forgivable. In the end, it's not bad, but not great either.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2011 15:23:44 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of rebel1771


3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours amber in color with very little head.

S: Smell of lightly toasted malt with floral and grassy notes.

T: Flavor is all malt. Toasted grain flavor with a dry slightly bitter finish.

O: Pretty decent ESB but not spectacular. That being said I would gladly have a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 20:17:23 | More by rebel1771
Photo of PorterLambic


4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light brownish-orange color, transparent. A light tan head with good retention fades to a thick ring and some small islands of foaming. Some lacing remains upon quaffing.
Smell is a decent balance of malt, caramel and hops.
Taste is of roasted malt, a somewhat more assertive hop note with the caramel aspect less pronounced.
Not a harsh bitterness but more of an assertive hops astringency with a drying finish. Medium bodied with a medium effervescence.
A good example of the style, not a heavily hopped Americanized version. Good stuff. I had several bombers of this over several days.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 17:31:45 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of tbmurphy89

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-copper color with low carbonation and a non existent head.

S- Sweet malt with a floral-fruity aroma

T- Slight bitterness with pronounced earthy hops

M- Coats the mouth but finishes smooth and clean at the finish

O- an easy to drink beer. Not as heavy on the hops like an IPA but they still let you know they are there.
Overall I'm very satisfied with this interpretation of an ESB
and would add this to my "must try list"

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 01:27:24 | More by tbmurphy89
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Been sitting on this one for a while now...probably over 6 months. My bro-in-law brought it for me at the beginning of the year when he was in town. Have had a few ESBs recently and have also been enjoying some lower ABV beers (not that 5.2 is a true session ale, it is far lower than the 10+ that most brews seem to be sporting these days).

a - popped the bottle and filled my portsmouth tulipy snifter. an interesting thing happened when i was opening the bottle, it started hissing almost immediately which made me open it rather slowly and piecemeal. i poured the first glass (also somewhat carefully and it was nothing but foam. dumped, rinsed and tried again and this time i filled it just shy of halfway and again at least 50% was head, so i let some of the super frothy and crazy head subside a bit then carefully added more beer to the glass. once i had enough to work with i noticed it was a pretty dense orange gold with a glow. to the light i saw insane amounts of bubbling in the glass. not sure what happened with this beer but the carbonation is visibly a problem with this specific bottle at least.

s - malty and a bit spicey. smells a bit of sharp bitter.

t - taste is also malty and a bit spicey. hops are definitely there and add a touch of bitterness to the end. not a bad ESB at all, kind of toasted lager-like

m - mouthfeel is certainly vibrant (as expected), but it is a smooth, light and easy drinking beer.

o - overall, this is a style that has been growing on me and this one is pretty decent and worth checking out if you are into the style. mostly malty and spicey, nothing crazy. checking through other reviews, my overcarbonated bottle seems to be an anomaly.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 01:51:05 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of Reagan1984


3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Newton Farms while on Kiawah Island.

Pours with very little head and what’s there fades immediately. The slightest haze and a straight amber color with a touch more sunset orange. Head vanishes and no lacing left behind.

Aroma is of light toasted malt a touch of pepper and some fruit. Peach or nectarine perhaps.

Pretty fruity along with a toasted bread crust flavor. Fairly assertive bitterness comes in for the second half of this flavor profile. More fruitiness here towards the end. Pretty well balanced beer.

A tingle of carbonation with medium body.

A pretty decent ESB… It’s no Rye Hopper, but not too shabby

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 20:37:22 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of beerdown77

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured copper and was average in appearance. It had a very bitter feeling throughout. As described by a friend also drinking this brew, it has the qualities that you crave in an IPA…minus the sweetness and syrup qualities. I really like this beer as a session choice. It was an easy to drink medium bodied bitter beer that provoked continuous sipping. It is a great beer, and great for the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2011 20:16:34 | More by beerdown77
Photo of russpowell


3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper colored with a finger of cream colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Pears, doughyness & mineral/sulphur hop notes

T: Fruittyness, mineral hop edge, sulphur & slight diacehtyl sweetness up front. Butterscotch, some grapefruit & herbal hops as this warms. Finishes crisp, dry & slightly cloying

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation & decent balance

An alright ESB, a few pronounced flaws hold this one back

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2011 03:43:58 | More by russpowell
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13 Rebels ESB from French Broad Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.