13 Rebels ESB - French Broad Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
13 Rebels ESB13 Rebels ESB

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208 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 208
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 3
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: 208 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LJWalker
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of Merkur
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
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

Photo of whitekiboko
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of JohnnyChimpo
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of cantfindme
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of jak
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of jeanphony
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of dmd627
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of MacQ32
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
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

Photo of mrfrancis
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of rebel1771
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of PorterLambic
4/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of tbmurphy89
4.28/5  rDev +21.6%
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"

Photo of cosmicevan
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
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

Photo of beerdown77
4/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of russpowell
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
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

Photo of Gavage
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Brianbosox
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I may not be getting too deep into details, but this tasted really good - a hoppier version of the ESB. Great color, great taste. It really made folding the laundry, doing the dishes, and making lunches for the kids go smoothly. Overall, I would say that you will enjoy this and be happy. It's the golden age of American brewing!

Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass on 1/9/11

Many thanks to PDXHops

The color is a quite nice burnt, golden amber. A fury of rising bubbles results in a 3/4th inch cap of foam. Head retention is thinner. Clumps of bubbly lace remain.

Right after the pour a hodge-podge of hop aromas wafted about: herbal, grassy, earthy pine & orange rind. A few minutes of calm finds the hops move to the back, as the nose exhibits a smooth malt presence of toasted bread & caramel.

The taste is quite similar to the aroma. Hops of the grassy & herbal ilk wash over the palate with a modest sense of bitterness & hints of pine. The malt bill is plenty toasty with an apparent breadiness & subtle notions of caramel. Fairly dry.

The feel seemed thin at first but has compounded upon itself, becoming an appropriate medium body. Carbonation hangs out in average territory. Herbal finish with hints of toasted caramel.

13 Rebels ESB is pretty solid; certainly an easy sipper. The reasonable abv is appreciated, too.

Photo of DefenCorps
2.48/5  rDev -29.5%
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.

Photo of Jwale73
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle courtesy of BucketBoy. Pours a translucent copper with a quarter inch, loose, cream-colored head embedded with ringlets. Head eventually dissipates into a cluster of foam around the edges of the glass. Thick slashes of lacing were revealed during the tasting. Nose suggests toasted, light malt with a trace of fruit. Taste expresses quite a but of grain - somewhat close to a sour mash flavor, but not quite. It's also slightly tart with perhaps a trace of caramel malt and a light lingering bitterness between quaffs. The mouthfeel is the best aspect of this beer. Consistency is medium-light with a pleasant carbonation and a semi-dry finish. A decent ESB. Not my favorite example of the style, but quite respectable nonetheless.

Photo of PDXHops
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

13 Rebels ESB from French Broad Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.