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Lord Rear Admiral - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Lord Rear AdmiralLord Rear Admiral

Educational use only; do not reuse.

167 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 167
Hads: 613
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 16.59%
Wants: 169
Gots: 127 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) | 6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scruffwhor on 04-02-2007

Three Floyds version of an ESB, this deep amber ale has a complex malt sweetness and pronounced apricot hoppiness. Named after Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.

55 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 167 | Hads: 613
Photo of ONUMello
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a 3F pint glass
A: Hazy burnt orange color with a generous 2-finger lingering head
S: Smells very bitter; aromas of orange zest, orange juice, cherry juice, generic malt, and a hint of pine.
T: Much less bitterness/citrus with more malt than the nose suggests; both the citrus & malt notes come through in a pleasant/balanced way.
M: Crisp, medium-bodied, enjoyable.
O: Another good, well made beer from 3 Floyds that paired quite nicely with homemade carnitas tacos.

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Photo of stxSS07
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes

A- Pours a clear honey orange/iced tea color with a 1 finger white head that lasts a bit. Excellent lacing.

S- Typical FFF citrus/juicy hop profile. Caramel-like malt sweetness.

T- Biting citrus hops followed by a wave a caramel malt sweetness. Bready finish blends with an alcohol tinge as the brew warms.

M- Medium light and highly carbonated.

O- My first ESB and I am a fan. Nice balance of sweetness and hops.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another amazing label design from Three Floyds, this one courtesy of artist Chris Berg. The beer itself looks pretty awesome too, with the liquid a hazy copper/bronze sort of color, and a dirty white head that, while not enormous, is fluffy and rigid.

The aroma is terrific. I get deep berry and cherry notes that are slapped upside the head with something very much resembling Sweet Tarts candy. Also mega-herbal. Clean, breezy, bright, hoppy. This doesn't resemble any ESB I've ever had, and I suspect the only thing this will really have in common with a traditional English ESB is the "Bitter" part of the equation.

While I couldn't detect much obvious malt character in the nose, it does come through in the taste, having that musty, bready, grainy, roasty taste you find in plenty of English ales, ESB or otherwise. The twist is the especially bitter hops, which are leafy, green and close to astringent. Citrus and tart young berry. Very much heading west of Indiana toward southern California, in terms of the hop vibe, than the other direction toward England. The fruity nature of the nose is dialed down on the tongue, not as much resembling fruit as resembling what it actually is (hops), although the tart character remains and makes you think of grapefruit, both flesh and peel.

Feel is bright and tingly, slick and airy of body but definitely with a pleasant sort of carbonation sizzle that aligns well with the intense and vibrant flavor.

Would be a tough one to have more than a bottle of in one sitting (especially considering this bottle is bomber size), because of the up-front bitter/tart/tangy element...but damn, it's a good one and surely one of Three Floyds' more interesting and nonconformist brews, for sure.

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Photo of jsulko
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a tulip glass

Pours a deep copper color with a significant amount of off white head.

Smell is fruity with a hint of the pine hops as well as a malty background

Citrus smell does not come through in the taste. Taste is heavy with sweetness and malt with a lingering thick finish from the hops.

Never had an ESB before so I can't say how much it clings to the style.

A good beer, something different than I am used to from FFF.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a buddy for sharing this with me. Pours a hazy reddish orange into a snifter glass. Has a mellow citrus/floral taste up front, with a bready malt background at the finish. Could be insanely sessionable as its so easy to drink. Interesting american take on a ESB. Love how hazy 3F's beers are.

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Photo of cratez
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased from the brewery in Munster, IN.

Pours a deep copper/ruby hue with three fingers of eggshell white foam. Head subsides to a thick cap and leaves several strands of lacing on the tulip glass. Gorgeous appearance.

Smell is big citric and zesty orange peel, marmalade, jujube candy, peach, pine sap, pungently floral and herbaceous hops, caramel, light doughy notes, and red grapefruit. Incredibly aromatic nose.

Taste is navel orange, peach, marmalade, and nectarine upfront, malts counteract with brown bread, roasted malt, and caramel flavours, mildly sweet palate transitions to a juicy grapefruit bitterness with some pine on the cough. Booze hits about half way in, but thankfully I can't taste it. Easily the boldest, most hop-forward ESB that I've sampled. Really yummy stuff.

Mouthfeel is lush and medium-bodied, average carbonation, spicy hop bite precedes a bone dry, citrusy finish. In keeping with the style, the bitterness is relatively balanced (compared to an IPA, for instance) and fades away quickly. I'm left with a clean palate after each sip.

Overall, Admiral Lord Nelson is an excellent North American interpretation of an Extra Special Bitter. It combines many standard ESB qualities with an over-the-top hoppiness and insanely robust aromas. A complete joy to drink, I would recommend this to hop heads and English ale lovers alike.

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Photo of wschmit
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber from the Brewpub, so pretty fresh. Into a tulip.

A: A rich, just-hazy, caramel-hued body sports a fine, centimeter-thick layer of beige head with a nice creamy quality. Not bad retention, either.

S: It has the distinctive hop nose common to most FFF brews--a nice citrus punch, and some pine--Amarillo, Simcoe, probably some Cascade. There's some malt in the back, but the nose is really hop-forward, and well executed at that.

T: Good hop oil flavor up front, with moderate bitterness throughout. The malt is there, but pretty subservient to the hops--just enough sweetness, with some light roast notes. Overall, it's a hoppier, Americanized version of the regular thing, and a successful one--a balanced, Anglo-American hybrid.

M: Not too carbonated, and a relatively nice, mouth-coating feel. It's apparently a bit high in alcohol for the style, but I can't really feel that.

O: A pretty good offering from the Three Floyds line-up, this one has the characteristic Three Floyds hop touch, but is still utterly drinkable and reasonably faithful to the style. Perhaps a bit expensive for what it is, I still happily gulp this stuff down.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours caramel reddish-brown, mostly clear, with a 2-finger cola-looking head. Great retention and leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Rich malts, caramel/toffee, lots of hops (light citrus, mainly peach, with lots of floral notes and Earthy qualities).

T: Good bite of hops right up front (mostly Earthy with floral accents and a bite of bitterness). Citrus profile doesn't show up as much as the nose suggested. Some of the peach is there, but it's definitely in the back ground. There's also some light apple flavors. Fairly sizable body of toasted malts, some biscuit, with a moderate level of caramel/toffee sweetness. Has a good bite of bitterness in the finish (with more floral notes coming through and a little pine).

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth, semi-dry finish, easy drinking.

O: A solid, hoppy bitter. Clean and easy drinking with a solid malty base. I'd definitely buy more of this for Spring/Fall if it was locally available.

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Photo of bertram
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a bomber picked up from the brewery and shared with my buddy, poured into a pint glass.

A nice, slightly hoppy smell as we opened the bottle. Poured a nice, rich amber color in the glass with a significant white head.

The taste of this beer was excellent. I didn't really get the 'bitter' as mentioned on the label.

Good carbonation here with a nice, crisp mouthfeel.

Overall I am a big fan of this beer, and will definitely be picking myself up some next time I can make it to 3F.

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Photo of jsanford
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a dark amber-brown with a fluffy white head that fades to a slight haze and soapy ring.
S - Crisp aromas of piney, resinous hops with a significant sweet caramel malt backbone.
T - More pine resin and grapefruit hops with a sweet, bready caramel malt profile. Pretty nicely balanced, but this is much more of an IPA then a ESB. Still, it's good, and I like it, so who cares?
M - Crisp and drinkable, with a smooth, medium body and good carbonation. I wish the ABV was a touch lower to increase the "sessionability", but oh well.
O - A really good IPA, a really "off" ESB, but damn good nonetheless!

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Photo of Bung
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Just a slight haze to the amber/brown pour. Good layer of white head. Just barely sticks.

Aroma, the usual 3F piney hops. Some faint malt and a spiciness of some sort.

Taste, Herbal, citrus and light pine up front. Almost like a rye spiciness. A little yeastiness as well, there was a bit of sediment in my bottle. Leather, earthy wood, some roast even, light tea, an impressive level of flavor variation.

Heavy side of light bodied. Lively carbonation. One of the better American versions I've had of this style. Falls right into 3F's wheelhouse.

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Photo of SalukiAlum
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

Appearance: Nice head, with some retention. Dark brown in color. Hardly any apparent carbonation and/or bubbling.

Smell: Very sweet nose, molasses scent.

Taste: A nice bitterness, but not to much. Perfect hoppiness to the beer. Also a nice spiceness in the mix.

Mouthfeel: Very tasty beer once again by Three Floyds. Defintely kept tasting better and better the more I had. The bitterness definitely hangs around.

Drinkability: Easy to drink a few of these bitter, malt bombs!

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Photo of beenitty
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one as a package full of surprises from whitemomba, thanks Jason.

A: Pours golden brown with tan/white head. Looks awsome. Something about the combination of colors is super inviting

S: Hops, Fruit, light spice, bit of caramel and breadiness. Dont drink many ESBs but this is a top smell for me

T: Mmm. Hops, malt, and a bit brown sugar (i think), delicious.

M: Awsome. Creamy Smooth. Slight bite, but not bitter at all. Super balanced.

D: Super High, Seriously. All night long.

Definitely the most impressive offering from FFF for me because I wasnt expecting it to be as good as it was. Definitely the best ESB I've had. And a great introduction to the style if you're looking.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you to my wonderful friends for bringing me home a bottle! Good beer karma is yours! Listening to the Naked and Famous. Poured this beer into my Weyerbacher pint glass.

The beer is a darker amber color topped by a cream colored head that stays around the whole time. Ends up shrinking to a sticky, sudsy foam that covers the beer. Great appearance, though there is some haze to this beer...

Smells of American hops galore. Not as intense as a Double IPA or anything, though it smells pretty hoppy and would easily be confused as an Imperial Red Ale to this point. Big notes of pine and honey. Little bit of lavender in the nose as well. I am really digging the aroma, but I am afraid this is more than is called for in this style. I know that 3 Floyds could give a shit what the style is all about (look at Gumballhead), but the enormous hop aroma is not well suited for a traditional English style. If this was an American IPA, I would offer up a 4 at the least for the aroma.

This is one bitter beer! High bitterness up front and in the aftertaste. Clearly all American hops, with earthy, spicy hops in the forefront. There is a moderately low amount of fruity esters with the little bit of malty sweetness that peeks through here. The bitter hops really take precedence in the flavor here, which is actually to style...hey "bitter" is in the name of the style! Only a light amount of fruitiness in the background here, especially as the beer warms a bit.

Soft mouthfeel, with a medium body. Carbonation is modest, and right on for what this style is all about. I would love to try this offering on cask. I have a feeling that would really elevate this beer to another level.

I think this is a good beer and a good ESB, even if it is a bit "Americanized." We are seeing exactly what the Brits had intended with this beer: something on the left side of malty and smooth, with excellent ale characteristics, like fruitiness from the esters and a bitterness that pushes back! Great American craft beer...would completely recommend this beer.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

769th Review on BA
Growler to Goblet

@Woodshop Classix
Thanks to Shail for sharing!

App- A muddled murky brown with some highlights of gold throughout. A decent one finger head that faded rapidly and just a minute amount of lace/cling.

Smell- When I 1st took a whiff it was more malty forward and a little bitter on the nose. As it warmed slightly it was a bit more citrusy, earthy, and damp.

Taste- This was a very nice ESB. It had some decent bitter notes but didn't overload. More malty/bread driven taste. It struck me as very balanced throughout.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Nice residual bready notes with a touch of bitter citrus.

Drink- It was a tasty ESB. It has been a while since I had an ESB and this was pretty money on flavor and balance. I've liked a lot of the three floyds stuff I have had. This was a nice simple clean beer for me.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Big thanks to Jim for this bottle. Very cool bottle art.

A: Pours a hazy copper/amber color with a large white head on top. Rather foamy with great retention and rings of lace.

S: Rather hoppy with lots of orange and grass, and to lesser extent some grapefruit and pine. There is some caramel malt sweetness to round it out. Certainly the hoppiest ESB aroma I have come across.

T: Nice grapefruit and orange flavors combined with some bready malt and a bit of caramel. Slight bitter pine on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth and clean.

O: Not a style I drink a lot of, but this one is fantastic. A hopped up ESB, another job well done by Three Floyds. Would be a nice beer to drink all the time.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber thanks to Kayn169. This one was poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Lord Admiral Nelson pours a roasted chestnut color, a bit dark for the style, and lightens to amber when heldo to light. The off white foam that caps the beer approaches three fingers in height, has displays decent retention, and is nice and sticky. The nose has some crisp biscuity and caramel malty notes, as well as some herbal hop notes. A light citric aroma enters the picture as well, and serves as a nice accent rather than taking over the whole beer. The nose serves as a pretty good preview of what's to come. The bready and caramel sweetness lead things off, before a modest bitterness lets itself be known mid palate. The balance is superb, I couldn't describe this beer as either overtly hoppy or malty. The same predominantly noble, herbal hop, with a light touch of American citrus blend is on display at the back end of each sip. Props the 3 Floyds for showing restraint and keeping this one essentially British, with just enough American influence to liven things up. The mouthfeel is pretty solid overall. The body is sturdy, relatively full for the ABV, and the carbonation is slightly understated. A great spin on a classic style.

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Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a nice copper color with a thick white head that lingers throughout the session.

S - A nice hop aroma with bitter malt backing. Perhaps some barley, but the malt is actually quite nice. Seems well balanced and has some substance to it.

T - A well balanced taste of hop and malt. The piney hops play a high end role to the taste, while the malt gives it backing, complimenting, and playing its own slightly dark role. Quite amazing how everything is playing so well.

M - Medium bodied with that malt giving it some heaviness. Decent amount of carbonation.

O - If one of the criteria for this style is balance, this is right on. Hops aren't overbearing, malt isn't overbearing, they just come together to make a tasty medium bodied beer. Little heavy for me on a summer release, but the taste helped me get past that.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very excited to try this, big thanks to stxSS07 for the excellent hookup. Haven't had too many esbs but this is a style that I have been getting into lately and I have heard good things about this one.

a - opened the bottle and filled my portsmouth tulip. Really attractive from the gate. Deep mahogany, almost a cherry chestnut. Nice foamy head and solid lacing. coolest label of all time as well.

s - great caramel malt with decent hop. Really nice. Kind of like a boch lite.

t - much more going on in the taste than the nose. Big kick of peppery spiciness with a bitter finish. The kick is a bit heavy.

m - nice prescence. Pretty full bodied. Nice carbonation, very beery.

o - overall a very solid offering for an ESB, can certainly hang with the best of them when it comes to ESBs.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of dsc. Been wanting to try this one for awhile

Dark amber, orange body with a nice sized white head resting on top. Good amount of lacing. Caramel, toffee mingle with english hop aroma. Some sweetness in the nose as well.

A pretty balanced beer, certainly not a phrase I thought I would say about Three Floyds. Some floral hop notes, a good pale malt backbone. Some piney-ness as well. medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Not caring much for some of the floral notes.

Overall a decent beer. Didn't blow me away but didn't dissapoint. Only thing I don't care much for is the floral hop notes in the flavor. A pretty solid beer though. Easy to drink.

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Photo of cosmo4u
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

recieved from funkyaudio in the noob bif

Pours a nice cloudy orange color with a small and frothy white head. Aroma is of hops, grapefruit, citrus, sweet, bready and caramel malts and some toffee. Flavor is nice picking up juicy hops with flavors of citrus, white grapes, grapefruit, herbs with a tea-like taste, sweet candy type maltiness, caramel and toffee, bready and biscuity malts. The body is medium with a nice silky smooth mouthfeel.
my onyl drawback was I wanted it to be even more bitter than it was.

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Photo of cpz28
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark amber/orange, clear with a big, foamy, white head

S-Typical Floyds big citrus aroma. fruity

T- Balanced bitterness that gets more aggressive towards the finish, toast/biscuity crystal malt flavor and fruity hops throughout

M- Slightly less carbonated than I'd expect

O- This is a good beer...However, it used to be better. I swear this thing is darker and not as dry this year than in years past. In fact, this beer is incredibly similar to Alpha King this year. I'm going to drink and AK after this for comparison. Go back to the old way, FFF.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Neighbor brougth home a growler of Sir Lord Admiral Nelson from Three Floyds...it was about a day and ahlf old. The appearance was nice, great head and a caramel clear color. The nose offered hop, alcohol, and some malt. The taste was very sweet to me...definitely bitter....and some hops. The bitterness really affected the mouthfeel score....for me at least. Wasn't a big fan of this beer. Not nearly as good as some of 3Fs other offerings.

Re-tried this beer from a bottle and all the points I didn't like from my original review had been smoothed out. I really enjoyed this beer and the new score reflects that.

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Photo of Kayn169
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at FFF, poured into an Imperial Pint Glass.
Date: 07/16/11

A- Body is a clear Amber, topped with a 1.5 finger off white head. Nice lacing.

S- Some nice earthy sweetness, some bready yeast, and some hops, but not nearly as citrusy as most of their beers, more bitter, and floral. Good sign, seeing as how it is supposed to be an ESB.

T- Very nice, grainy sweetness upfront. Some bitter hops, not really piney, but not really citrus either. I mostly get the sweet toffee malt, some breadiness, and a bittering dry finish

M- Medium with decent carbonation. A little sticky, but as to be expected with a malt forward beer. Over all though, lighter than expected. The last few other ESBs I had were a little on the heavier side.

O- I have been waiting to try this one, somehow missed last year, despite looking for it. Overall, another nice offering from FFF. Would I consider it 100% ESB...maybe not, but it definitely more English, than the Blackheart English IPA. Both are great beers, that I have no reservations about drinking again. I bought a few bombers of LAN to being home.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Amber colored beer with a white head that left sheets and lace while consuming. Pretty nice looking beer.

S - Lightly toasted caramel malts with some nice bittering English-type hops. A little bit bready, with some decent bittering on the end from the hops. Quite well done.

T - Bitter, little grapefruity, with some citrus and pine. Some nice earthtones and caramel, with the toasted grains coming through just a little bit stronger. This is actually pretty good.

M - Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

O - Pretty good beer, ESB's are a style I enjoy when there's a good one, and I'd consider this a good one. Will definitely drink when available.

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Lord Rear Admiral from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.