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13 Rebels ESB - French Broad Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
13 Rebels ESB13 Rebels ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

186 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 186
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 4
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
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: 186 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%

A: The beer is slightly hazy light amber in color and poured with a thin white head that has good retention properties and never completely disappeared. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are fruity aromas of apricots in the nose along with some hints of bready malts and grassy hops.
T: The taste has flavors of bready malts and fruits; there is a slight amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is easy to drink because of its low alcohol content; the sweetness provides for an interesting taste.

metter98, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a hazy amber color, no head (and cannot jiggle one up) and no lace

Smell: Modest stone fruit aroma with a touch of earthy hops

Taste: Caramel and stone fruit flavors up front with an earthy hoppiness appearing after the swallow to complement the sweeter flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Drinkability: Very nice flavor profile, although closer to a Best Bitter than an ESB; could stand a bit more malt and hops to take it to the next level

brentk56, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%

Shiny copper penny with a fair amount of orange as well. Several steady bubble streams lead up to a thick slice of foam the color of fire-toasted marshmallows. As it descends, the cap leaves an attractive collar of lace that is gradually turning into shredded sheets. Good looking beer.

The nose is more toasted grain-like and earthy than I usually like. It would be great if the hops (East Kent Goldings, among others) were more prominent. Hopefully, they'll make more of an impact on the palate.

13 Rebels ESB is the first Frech Broad beer that hasn't impressed me. It isn't bad, it just isn't as delicious as Rye Hopper and Altbier. The short version of the flavor description is that the beer tastes like it smells. When did I ever settle for the short version in a beer review?

Balance is more or less achieved in terms of sweetness versus bitterness. However, even if they aspire to be true to their English roots, most American-brewed ESBs are hoppier than this. 42 IBUs seems overly generous. Malt flavor versus hop flavor, on the other hand (and unfortunately), favors the former.

The flavor profile includes toasted whole wheat bread, baked peanuts, woodsy herbs and bitter tea leaves. Munich malt (a guess) wasn't a good choice since it overpowers the hop flavor that should be showcased in a beer of this style. The silver lining in this only slightly dark cloud, if FBBC chooses to take it, is that improvement is but a malt bill tweak away.

All things considered, the mouthfeel is above average as well. It's at least medium for the style, only faltering a fraction on the somewhat loose finish. A few more well-buried bubbles would fix it right up.

French Broad Brewing is a credit to the state of North Carolina. That said, 13 Rebels ESB is not one of their better efforts and is not a beer that I would buy a second time. Coming at it from a different direction, most craft breweries would kill to have a 'worst beer' that's this good.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%

A good ESB. Very clean and easy on the palate. Aromas are bready and biscuity on the malts end and pleasantly herbal and floral from hopping. Color is solid copper with moderate carbonation and and off white persistant head that laced well. Tastes biscuity and toasty without becoming yeasty. Mildly grassy and piney with a floral, spicy roundness to the taste. The body is medium but softens (without weakening) into the finish, leaving a pleasant bitterness in the aftertaste. Very clean brew.

BEERchitect, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of mikesgroove
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%

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.

mikesgroove, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -14.8%

ygtbsm94, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of kylehay2004
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

kylehay2004, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%

Appearance: Lightly hazed, mahogany-hued body with a thinnish, whitish head.

Smell: Aroma of toasted bread crumbs marked by notes of English hops and caramel (though light) and fruit (though even lighter).

Taste: Lightly sweetish toasted malts with a touch of dry caramel. Slight fruitiness. Earthy, lightly herbal English hop character with a medium-plus bitterness. Finishes fairly dry with a recurrence of bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, a wee bit thin for my liking. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A worthy attempt at the style and an okay, perfectly drinkable beer. Personally, I'd prefer a slightly bigger body and greater inclusion of caramel flavor, but, again, that's just me.

ChainGangGuy, May 21, 2009
Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%

Had this before the Pop the Cap event over at Barleys Taproom yesterday.Pours really light for an ESB I think,a lighter copper shade with not much head to speak of,aroma of fruity malt with a touch of caramel.Taste hit the style better than the appearance nice biscuit malt and big fruitiness with a touch of hop to let u know its there.A decent rendition of an ESB,I have had better but this was solid.

oberon, Aug 15, 2004
Photo of zeff80
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

zeff80, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

nickfl, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of russpowell
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%

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

russpowell, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

Rifugium, May 28, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%

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.

Mora2000, May 13, 2012
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

DrunkinYogi, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of Gavage
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Appearance: hazy orange in color with a short 1" head. No lacing develops.

Smell: caramel and a mild fruit sweetness are all you can pull out of the glass by the nose.

Taste: caramels, red apples, black plums, and a mild bitterness create a simplistic but well balanced beer. The is a slight bready quality to the beer too.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp at the start, smoother at the finish.

Overall: a decent easy drinking ESB. Nothing to blow you away but it hits the spot. A few of these can be consumed in a session.

Gavage, May 20, 2011
Photo of woodychandler
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%

One of the overlooked CANtributors to The CANQuest ™ is one of my local beer people, soon (eventually) to be a “Character” in my column – Justin C. He does a good job of looking out for new and different CANs for me in his travels and this is one with which he recently returned.

From the CAN: “13 Rebels ESB Ale is an Ameri[CAN] interpretation of Britain’s Extra Special Bitter.”

I would love to know the story behind both the beer’s name and its label, but it was time for more important things, like the Crack! I love a brimful CAN and when this one revealed itself, I was ready to go. I initiated an inverted Glug, leading to a near-rebellious two-plus fingers of dense, tawny head with good retention. I sat back as the battle raged, sticky lacing appearing in the wake of the fighting. Rebellion should not be without casualties. The first rule of The CANQuest ™ is to talk about The CANQuest ™. Color was a slightly hazy Amber (SRM = 7.3, thanks to the brewery for providing that bit of 411). Nose had a grassy honey-sweetness that really put me more in mind of a lager. Mouthfeel was medium and although I was still getting that honey flavor, it was accompanied by an earthy maltiness and an intensely grassy hoppiness (IBU = 42). Holy rebelliousness! I CAN drink this all day! The grassy bitterness was offset nicely by the biscuit maltiness on the tongue. It was on the finish that it really came together, though. It was like summer in the country with biscuits and honey after mowing the grass. I really am a fan of this one and wish that it were more widely available.

woodychandler, Thursday at 01:55 AM
Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%

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).

dbrauneis, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%

Hmmm. Well, this is definitely an American style ESB. There is the typical nuttiness and dry biscuity malt, but also far more hoppiness than usual for the style. That being said, it works here. Unlike Ding, I won't be hung up on the style parameters here and simply enjoy the beer for what it is. Pouurs a nice coppery color, but the head fades a little too quickly. Nice slightly nutty aromas with some of that biscuity malt and some earthy/spicy hops. The taste, to my mind, nicely balances the classic ESB flavors with a nice, and surprising, jolt of hops. They by no means dominate the beer, but merely add another dimension and take the beer into a more indeterminate style. Good carbonation, and a very nice drink.

Georgiabeer, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
2.42/5  rDev -31.3%

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.

Wasatch, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of LXIXME
3/5  rDev -14.8%

LXIXME, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of plaid75
4.13/5  rDev +17.3%

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.

plaid75, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of tdm168
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%

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.

tdm168, Feb 24, 2012
Photo of sendbeer
2.5/5  rDev -29%

sendbeer, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%

Generously provided by BRoss242 via Dance/Trance/EDM BIF. Thanks!
Slight haze, light copper colour with a thin skim of fine bubbles and a soapy ring from a hard pour. Spotty stickage, good retention for what's there. Fruity aroma with a fair bit of floral/spicy hops, quite malty and toasty. Bitterness sat just underneath the fruity character, malt sweetness provided balance mid-palate. Slightly bready, more toasty though, with an earthy quality. Medium bodied, average carbonation, decent texture with a bit of pop from the CO2 but not enough to overpower the mouthfeel. Good stuff overall, quite drinkable and nicely balanced.

DrJay, Sep 19, 2008
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13 Rebels ESB from French Broad Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.