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13 Rebels ESB - French Broad Brewing Co.

13 Rebels ESB13 Rebels ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

165 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 165
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: 165 | Reviews: 90 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Tilley4


1.85/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into my SA Perfect Pint..

Pours a dark golden appearance without so much as a whiff of head at all... Nothing... Nada...

Aromas of rancid malts and a slight floral hoppiness.... Hmmm..

Yep, this ones toast.... Oily and buttery with a strange slick finish... No hops to speak of... slightly sweet I guess but not in a good way...

Drain pour after a few sips... Not what I was hoping for here....

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 22:54:12 | More by Tilley4
Photo of Wasatch


2.42/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Got this one from gford217.

22oz Bomber

This is my first BIG TIME GUSHER! What was left.

Pours a cloudy dark copper color, tons of carbonation, HUGE foamy off-white head, with lots of sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty with lots of caramel, and some spice notes. The taste is malty, slight spice note, and some caramel. Medium body. Not Drinkable, would not seek out again. Very dissappointed in this brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 19:21:07 | More by Wasatch
Photo of DefenCorps


2.48/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

It's a funny thing, beer. You hear the name French Broad and you think to yourself "Gee, the brewers must either be hot or sexist pigs". And then you find yourself driving through Asheville and crossing the French Broad river. I guess not all breweries rely on gimmicks.

Pouring a beautiful golden orange with a dense, white head that recedes to a ring, leaving a little lace, this is a pretty nice looking beer. The nose, however, is rather unpleasant. Rather prominently hoppy in the English vein, this initially has a very noticeable soapy, mildly cleaning-solution like aroma. Once it breathes for a bit, it does become better, changing to a rather pungent EKG aroma. A mild toasted white bread-like malt sweetness is present as well.

The palate opens with a blend of the moderate malt sweetness and a rather big hop character. As with the nose, the hop character just isn't to my liking. Moderately soapy, intensely earthy, almost mineral-like, this is very, very green. Bitterness is on the lower side of medium, there's an almost resiny hop character here. Grain and yeast are secondary here, especially the latter. Medium-light in body with fairly high carbonation, this finishes with plenty of hop flavor on the finish. Decent, though not particularly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 05:23:34 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of unionturf

North Carolina

2.68/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured for a 22oz bottle into pint glass. Color is dark gold, clear, decent lacing and a very malty smell. Taste was ok but not that impressed, all malt taste with hardly any noticeable hops...not that bitter either. Had a very sharp and not pleasant taste that almost makes me think I got a bad bottle. Might try again if at a tasting but not impressed enough to spend $5 for a 22oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 14:57:32 | More by unionturf
Photo of Tiklmelmo


2.9/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Very murky burnt orange to reddish brown. Fairly foamy...not a particularly pretty beer.

S - Slightly musty bready caramel malt. Something odd in the aroma ... not bad but nothing special.

T - Bit of a mess of flavors here. Toasty malt with hints of chocolate and then some fruitiness and crispness from the hops as well. Comes across a bit jumbled. Not very cohesive flavors.

M - Thin and bubbly where some of the more roasted malt flavors could stand to have some more body behind them.

D - Light and refreshing, but a bit too odd to drink too much of.

Not very impressed here...definitely a lot of flavors happening, but they all tend to clash with each other. I've had any number of better ESBs.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2010 05:53:00 | More by Tiklmelmo
Photo of nick76


2.95/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The aroma is odd for the style. It is grassy and paper like with some biscuits, fruit, and yeast. The appearance is deep gold with an amber hue and a large head. The flavor is like the aroma and astringent. The palate is thin. Overall this beer has some good qualities but the negative ones bury them.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 05:01:10 | More by nick76
Photo of jrallen34


3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a dark orange with a hint of amber. The head is light white with light retention and lacing.

The aroma is matly not a sweet citrus, just sugar malts with a hint of alcohol.

The taste is very watery with just a little bitter. This is very boring.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 02:12:59 | More by jrallen34
Photo of SaCkErZ9


3.05/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass a clear, light amber color. A white head forms of about two fingers in size but is quite airy and not really dense. Falls as slowly as a feather from the sky leaving generous lacing.

Aroma is a bit off with this one. Sour and grainy. Chalky as well. Not a whole lot oaf caramel or biscuit which I expect from as ESB.

Pretty decent flavor. Some fruity sweetness in the beginning. A good dose of caramel and a touch of sweetness with the hops contributing the slightest bit of bitterness making this one fairly balanced. Slight touch of hop bitterness in the end as well. All of these profiles are completely seperate from each other and offer no uniformity or cohesiveness. Erratic.

Pretty thin on the body; too thin. Finishes really dry as well. Extraordinarily ordinary. Nothing special here.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2008 18:35:49 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. LIght copper see-thru body with a modest bubbly off-white head that leaves a bit of patchy lacing as it disappears.

Nose is pleasantly toasty if lacking in earthy and leafy qualities. Malty flavors dominate, toasty and nutty (rather reminiscent of wheat toast with peanut butter at times, actually). A bit of fruitiness, a quick hit of bitterness and a flush of carbonation at the swallow, but otherwise a fairly smooth drinker. Not bland, but not exciting.

Overall impression: Really like the malt profile, but really would love to see an injection of earthy and leafy hop goodness.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2010 23:45:47 | More by PDXHops
Photo of dojobrewco


3.15/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The boys and I poured this ESB from the growler into the souvenier mini-pilsners from the Brewgrass Festival the day before. It poured a golden hue with a tad of oranginess to it. Tons of head but I think that this was due in part to the mini glasses that we were werving them in. However the head did hang around for a good amount of time. This was the first ESB I had ever tried so I'm not totally sure if it was 100% true to its characteristics. Overall though it had a great mouthfeel and a good maltiness to it with very sweet overtones. Not much on the aroma side but did have a distinct hop character in it flavor.

Serving type: growler

09-28-2007 00:33:39 | More by dojobrewco
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 BeerSox


3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber into nonic.

Dark amber, bordering on copper. Slightly hazy from tiny bits of sediment floating in the beer. A two finger off-white head slowly settles to a thin cap, with a thick bubbly rim along the glass.

A little bit of caramel mixed with a slightly complex hop aroma, mixed with sweet fruit and a bit of orange citrus.

The flavor has a good amount of caramel in it, along with some highly toasted malts, with a slight cocoa presence. The hops are barely there, adding a little bit of a grassy flavor in the background. Full bodied. The overall flavor seems a little stale and papery.

Nothing horrible, but nothing outstanding either. It has maybe suffered from a little too much time on the shelf, but I think there's more to it than that. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 00:36:24 | More by BeerSox
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 wagenvolks


3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber into a Duvel chalice.

Pours a clear amber/burnt copper hue with a thin cap of buff head that retreats to a ring of bubbles. Average lacing & carbonation. The aroma is faint and uninspiring, with notes of wheat & raw grain husks. Lots of pale malts are balanced by a slight presence of earthy, peat hops.

The flavor is much like the aroma: underwhelming. It does get tastier after a few bites of food, however. Some grainy, breaded malts and a mineral note reminiscent of sourdough give way to a bit of sweet fruity esthers from the yeast that add pear and mango. Finishes very dry and bitter. All in all, a fairly unimpressive beer. Goes down easily, but there aren't many memorable or distinguishing qualities.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2008 03:54:15 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the pleasure of trying this one on tap at Mellow Mushroom in Asheville tonight. Ordered as my second beer and served in a pint glass. This one was consumed on 11/08/2008.

The pour was relatively decent with a very hazy and cloudy yellow hued amber. Some light carbonation could be seen streaming up inside the glass. A small head of maybe an inch was present on first pour, but this quickly subsided and left a bare top.

The aroma was light, a mixed bag here of light grain, some touches of bitter hops and a light, somewhat grape like fruit aroma. Not much carried over to the flavor as it came off a little bland to me to be honest. Light grain and a bready malt like flavor coming through, but the hops were too muted. Almost watered down in their nature. Mellow finish on this one left almost no flavor at all and really just was less then inspiring to be honest.

Overall it was decent, ok maybe, but nothing i would really go after again anytime soon. I have had worse though, and much better as well if I am being honest.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2008 01:51:34 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Bierguy5


3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark golden color with very little head. There was a little bit of lace on the glass as I drank it. Smell is slightly fruity and flowery. Taste was a nice biscuity malt followed by a slight sourness and a nice dry hoppy finish, which was slightly herbal and flowery. Mouthfeel was medium body with a nice amount of carbonation. This beer seemed pretty easy to drink. I suppose I would have another.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2004 01:22:46 | More by Bierguy5
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 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 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 taylorhamrick

South Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on 1/7/09.

Pours copper/read, with a moderately sized head. The bubbles are loose and fades to a thin head quickly. There is some decent retention and lacing, but it looks just about right. It smells of sweet malts, but lacks a real hop aroma. There is a bit of earthiness, and a tiny bit of a floral character. The taste is nice and sweet, like golden raisins. A bit of toffee and caramel but not overpowering. Not much in terms of buscuity flavors. Minimal bitterness, with an earthy spiciness. Nice and balanced without a hint of alcohol. No estery flavors. Good burst of carbonation, but not incredibly full. Very easy drinker. Even at 5.2%, I could see myself going through quite a few of these. I really enjoyed having it and would revisit it if the price were right.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2009 23:35:51 | More by taylorhamrick
Photo of aubuc1


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

Poured from a bomber in to a shaker pint glass.

Light, buttery color with a nice white head.

Smoothe malt smell with hops in the background.

Sharp taste that is light hops and a little sweetness.

Mourthfeel is pretty carbonated.

It is not real easy to drink for me because of the sharpness with every taste. Maybe it will grow on me.

Not that special of a beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2008 20:57:56 | More by aubuc1
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 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 argock


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

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Peabody's Wine and Beer Merchants (Boone, NC) for $4.29.

A: Slightly hazy light copper with skimpy iced tea head that dissipates quickly and leaves rare specks of lace.

S: Strong butterscotch immediately post-pour with some settling out to a more buttery lemon biscuit aroma. A lot of toasted malt was in this brew and the hops are way behind the scenes and mainly herbal and a little citrus. Diacetyl is way too much for this style.

T: Flavor is more complex than the nose with toasted malt sweetness with toffee character filled in with more lemon, herbal, tea-like notes.

M: Medium bodied with anice coating quality and clean finish with sweet toasted malt and herbal hops aftertaste.

D: Not a bad beer but the toasted aspect of the malt needs toned down to allow more bitter hoppiness to at least pull even in the aroma and flavor departments.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 02:20:39 | More by argock
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 165 ratings.