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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.

194 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 194
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 12.43%
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: 194 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
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

Reagan1984, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of beerdown77
4/5  rDev +13%
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.

beerdown77, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of russpowell
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
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

russpowell, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of Gavage
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Gavage, May 20, 2011
Photo of Brianbosox
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%
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!

Brianbosox, May 19, 2011
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.

metter98, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of Ryan011235
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Ryan011235, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
2.48/5  rDev -29.9%
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.

DefenCorps, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Jwale73, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of PDXHops
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

PDXHops, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden brown color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: An underplayed aroma of malt, grain, and a sweet element.

T: Tasted of malt, with a bitter finish. Slightly hoppy, grainy and fruity. Not a super-dynamic flavor, but good enough.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A solidly made, drinkable E.S.B.

avalon07, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of Tilley4
1.85/5  rDev -47.7%
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....

Tilley4, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of SFLpunk
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

#400, woohoo! 22oz brown-glass pry-top bottle. No freshness date. $4.25 from Bruisin' Ales, Asheville, NC.

Pours a hazy orange amber with almost no head at all - how very British! - even with a rough pour.

Nose is flowery with some aged hop dustiness. Palate is wide with pale malt, but snaps dry from some bitterness that tastes like it might be malt related (like black patent, but not that obviously). There's a fair amount of that flowery character to the hop profile, and some faint bitterness. Some sticky sweet dried fruits are there too. Finish is fruity.

Notes: Well, definitely leaning British heavily, but it seems like it might not be so fresh... Ah, well. Decent beer, but not great.

SFLpunk, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of atsprings
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on cask at The Borough during Raleigh Beer Week, dry hopped with Cluster hops. Served in a standard pint glass a very murky dark orange with a thin diminishing head. The aroma was a nice amount of floral hops with sweet malts noticeable as well. The taste was a very nice balance of sweet caramel malts, Earthy mild citrus hops and a dash of sweet fruits. The beer is very well balanced, smooth, and enjoyable. As much as enjoy a good hoppy cask IPA, like the 2 Hearted cask I tried the other day, this is what cask beer is truly all about!

atsprings, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of argock
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

argock, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of Wasatch
2.42/5  rDev -31.6%
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.

Wasatch, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of CBlack85
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass

Pours a hazy amber/copper color with a small unimpressive white head. Very little lacing

Very light, subdued nose that consists mainly of toasted grains and bread, although there are some slightly fruity aromas floating around in there. There is also a very mild pleasant hoppy aroma that is mainly grassy in nature.

Like the nose the taste is very mild and subdued. There are some grainy and bready malt flavors, with an odd mixture of sweet fruityness and bitter hops. medium-light bodied, moderately carbinated, easy to drink.

All in all it is a decent beer, not outstanding, but decent. So far my least favorite of the French Broad beers that I have had

CBlack85, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

jrallen34, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of thegodfather2701
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a nice copper color with a decently think white head.

S-Mostly malty and kind of sweet. No real hop presence noted.

T-Malty with a touch of hops and leaves a lingering bitter aftertaste.

M-Pretty creamy with some carbonation.

D-Session beer all the way.

Overall, I was disappointed. I thought it would be much hoppier. Honestly, it tasted a lot like Fat Tire. I would pass on drinking this again unless there were no better options.

thegodfather2701, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of Tiklmelmo
2.9/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

Tiklmelmo, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of drunkboxer1
4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the second time I've had this, the first time was a few years ago out of a growler, and this time its out of a bomber. Pours a hazy brown/copper. Thin head. Smells faintly like sweet malt and caramel. Earthy flavors from the hops are very prominent with a warming sweetness and mild alcohol. Fairly malt forward and really on target for the style I think. I feel like a lot of other breweries overhop their bitters, which doesn't really make sense to me. This ones an exception.

drunkboxer1, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of gosurfobx
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber. Beers pours a hazy dark golden color with a 2 finger head. The nose has malt, fruity esters, and some hops. Taste has upfront malt with some background notes of banana and apple. The backbone of this beer is a delicate hop flavor, that is not overly aggresive. The mouth is nice with a medium level of carbination. A good and very drinkable ESB.

gosurfobx, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of n00tz
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber poured into a tall stein.

A - Dark Amber body, lightly carbonated, thin beige head without lacing.

S - Florals and bread, malted sugars. Smells good!

T - Huge malted flavoring introduces a quick bread then a finish with softer sweetened piney hops.

M - Light body, steady carb on the tongue, and a malted hops that sticks with the palate.

D - moar plox. very enjoyable E.S.B. hits the style on a sweet note. worth sharing.

n00tz, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of ectomorph
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a tall Moon River Brewing mug. No best by date noted.

A - Clear mahogany/dark copper base wearing a foamy light tan head with big bubbles that lingers forever it seems.

S - Nice malty sweetness with a floral hop background. English hops.

T - Big malty monster with honey and biscuits. A slight hop bite in the finish but this brew is sweet and clean. Classic for the ESB style, nothing crazy, and that's good.

M - Light body, great carbonation and head retention. Clears the palate with little/no after taste.

D - Very high. Can be paired with anything and consumed all day and night.

ectomorph, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of maximum12
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to gford217 for this bomber, along with three other from French Broad. The first was one of the better kolsch's I've had, so I was looking forward to this one.

Amber golden and such & so forth. Smell is oddly hopped, forest fire, mixed with a faint background of acrid bitterness. Never smelt anything like it.

Never had a beer like this. The taste is over-ze-top burnt toast, & not just the toast, but more like the black stuff you scrape off when your kid moves the lever too far to the right. The caramel biscuit is burnt too, & the hops are muted, coming in a distant third, just to add another layer of dryness to a pile of dry on the tongue.

Luckily, I love burnt stuff - toast, pizza, brats, dinner rolls, I always felt the darker the better (my wife often says "THAT one is for you..."). 13 Rebels fairly rolls down my throat & leaves my yearning for another sip, right away.

Very, very good beer! I can see how this would not appeal to everyone, it's unique & quite a bit off the beaten path. I'll be sad to see this glass go, & it's moving off at quite a pace.

maximum12, Jul 07, 2009
13 Rebels ESB from French Broad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 194 ratings.