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ESB Amber Ale - Flying Fish Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ESB Amber AleESB Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

236 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 236
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 13.64%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Fish Brewing Company visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-20-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 236 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WesWes

New York

2.93/5  rDev -16.8%

The beer pours an amber color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is decent. It has a fine malty scent with a bit of bitterness to the nose. The taste is a little above average. It has a very intense malty flavor, but it is soured by a strong off-taste. There is something wrong with this beer. It tastes like it has an elevated abv., but it says it's only 5.5%. It is bitter and dry on the finish. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. This beer drinks hard. The flavor does nothing for me. I also need a little more carbonation here.

04-03-2004 01:31:00 | More by WesWes
Photo of thefireman


4.1/5  rDev +16.5%

12 Oz bottle, no date. pours a dark caramel and a half inch head that flattens out, but laces the glass. Smells of malts, a little sweet smell. Great burst of flavor, fruity, malty, and then the hops become evident. Nice snappy finish.

Solid effort by these guys. Always dependable. I drink often, and consider this a great session beer or a good intro for beer "probies". Great with pork barbeque.

04-01-2004 02:12:23 | More by thefireman
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +8.8%

It pours a clear copper, with a thick creamy off-white head rushing up, and settling slowly, retaining well. A frilly lace adorns the side of the glass.

There's a moderately floral dose of hops aroma, distantly fruity, with a yeasty maltiness underneath, and a slight caramel note as it warms.

First taste brings a fruity wash of hops, melded nicely with a pretty fair malt sweetness and an indistinguishable flash of spice. It finishes with a hops dryness along with a slight malt toastiness.

It's light bodied, yet with a light, buttery feel. It goes out with a mild dry hops glow at the back of the tongue.

This beer is straightforward and independently assertive; it doesn't confuse the palate with countless dimensions, it just tastes good. It's honest, it is what it is, some sweetness, some bitterness, and lots of good ale flavor. Very drinkable, it goes down smooth, with enough presence to turn the corners of your mouth up with a grin after each sip.

12-27-2003 00:00:22 | More by Foxman
Photo of PSUDREW


3.43/5  rDev -2.6%

Pours amber, with massive amounts of head. I am honestly suprised this much head poppped out. Minmal risidual head. It is a clean taste with no real aftertaste. Hop presence mixed wiht sweetness, but the hops winning in the end. Very light, somewhat peppery overall taste. Smells rather nice, but no real indication of taste. I do not know if this could be considered a session beer, but it is a very nice beer ot cap off a night of FF tastings, and, I would consider a further go. Cheers!

12-24-2003 05:14:42 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +17.9%

Flying Fish ESB Ale is in my top 10 most enjoyable beers! A beer that's not too heavy, so you can drink several, and yet thirst quenching as well.

ESB Ale pours a beautiful caramel/copper with a nice white head that laces the glass and lingers awhile too.
The smell is slighty sweet with hops present.
The taste is wonderful- light, yet slighty bitter, with a nice clean feel and no aftertaste.

This is a beer that I will keep on hands and will keep an eye out for at the local watering holes!! Delicious!!!

11-21-2003 20:43:25 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of Loki

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +9.4%

Sampled from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Deep golden honey color that produces a huge, biege head. Had to stop pouring and wait for the head to receed before finishing the pour.

Smell: Malt and floral hops. Some malt, but fairly muted and very faint hops.

Taste: Solid malt profile with a hint of sweetness. Nice hop balance on the backside. Good mouthfeel. A very solid beer over all, just needs a little more aroma.

11-21-2003 00:09:00 | More by Loki
Photo of pezoids


4.35/5  rDev +23.6%

This beer has a wonderful appearance. It is bright with perfect clarity. There's a decent carbonation of fine bubbles. Poured an attractive light copper color with a thinnish head that faded into a wisp of a film, leaving a tight lace on the glass. Sweet malt aroma with a definite fruitiness. Medium light malt body with a pleasant sweetness in the taste. Nice fruity hop notes, with hints of oranges and cherries coming through. Pleasant and crisp bitterness. Very good. A delicious ESB and a new favorite of mine.

11-12-2003 15:51:00 | More by pezoids
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours a nice amber color with a medium sized head. The aroma has a nice mixture of sweet, floral tones, and hints of fruit. The taste is less than expected from the smell, but still tasty. Some sweetness is nicely balanced with the hops, but neither is strong. This is a medium bodied beer that has a slight bitter and fruity aftertaste, but does not linger around for long. I found this very drinkable and definitely could be a session beer.

11-07-2003 01:29:50 | More by Gavage
Photo of nomad


3.6/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured a good roasty caramel color, clear with nice carbonation, a thin soupy head, and solid thin lace. Smell was bready, and both hard-wood cask smelling and slightly of nice caramel malt. Hada floral and bitter green Kent-ish hops scent that turned grapefruity with time.

Taste was malty with an oat smoothness and a nice grain to it. Hops began quaint and built on my palette to slight snips of grapefruit and Kent-ish fruity-tart bitters. Even more, its soft twang became endive-like in sharp, talc bitterness, taking away some of the great flavors displayed earlier. Needed better malt though it was good. A bit watery on the mouthfeel, but it helped the drinkability.

A nice ESB, and a good choice in the region.

11-05-2003 03:40:43 | More by nomad
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.63/5  rDev +3.1%

Appearance: bright, deep crimson color, nice 1/4" , bubbly, off-white head.
Aroma: clean and airy, with underlying fruit (grapes, cherries) that flowers, then crisply closes.
Taste: easy entry on the palate, very little standing out, with a swift, forgettable finish. Fruitiness detected in nose recurrs in the flavor, comes back taste after taste, although body and texture are fairly light.
A nice ESB, not bad at all.
Thanks to jcalbi for this one.

11-03-2003 18:52:09 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of SixpointJMH

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -11.1%

flying fish used to be my favourite NJ brewery, until heavyweight came along. while their brews may not be as fierce as heavyweight's overall, they still produce some pretty solid brews. the esb, while not amongst their best, is certainly a solid, if only average, brew. it pours a light amber/orange colour with a moderate to minimal head that leaves a nice lacing but dissolves rather quickly. smells of caramel and a bit fruity, and the taste is immediately creamy and somewhat citrusy, i would say. again, as this was a fairly creamy brew, it was quite smooth and easy to drink and could potentially be a good session beer. i would have liked to have seen something a little bolder from flying fish, but this will do.

09-23-2003 19:40:46 | More by SixpointJMH
Photo of BitteBier


3.63/5  rDev +3.1%

Clear, orangish amber color with a nice head. Sweet, malty smell with some spice present as well. Certainly more sweet than bitter in taste. This is a tasty beer but doesn't strike me as an ESB. Soft mouthfeel with a bit of cling. Quite drinkable and pleasant but, again, doesn't strike me so much as an ESB.

09-03-2003 18:51:53 | More by BitteBier
Photo of beernut7


3.63/5  rDev +3.1%

Pours a deep honey brown with a delicate head. The aroma is quite malty with just a hint of floral hop spice. The first sip brings out a biscuity flavor and sweetness that are both quickly shoved out of the way by a moderately sharp bitterness. The flavors of dark malt and caramel come through ever so slightly in the finish, but for the most part the bitterness takes the cake. Complex and tasty.

08-31-2003 16:36:18 | More by beernut7
Photo of beerguy101


3.2/5  rDev -9.1%

Medium amber color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and biscuity with a touch of cinnamon. A medium bodied ESB. Malts are sweet and nutty. Hops are sort of mild for an ESB, there is still some bitterness going on but its kind of subdued. Somewhat sweet. Smooth taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

08-14-2003 03:42:02 | More by beerguy101
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

2.75/5  rDev -21.9%

I was happy to try it on the machine but once I did,not impressed.I asked the bartender if this was the ESB because it didnt have any qualities to it and it was.Poured a golden color with a slight malty aroma,the taste was bitter not a good malty,fruity balance.Just not impressed at all I must say.

07-31-2003 03:10:05 | More by oberon
Photo of Boto


3/5  rDev -14.8%

The beer is a bit of a coppery color. Somewhat of a head, but little retention. Slightly citric/hop aroma. A bit of maltiness to the taste. Tasty, but lacking the stronger hop characteristics of a true ESB. There are better ones are definitely out there.

06-30-2003 18:06:21 | More by Boto
Photo of bditty187


3.45/5  rDev -2%

Translucent brownish-gold hue, bubbly small beige head which is rather quick to fade… no lace. Weak nose… pleasant hints of hops, a kiss of malt... ultimately it is too clean. Decent palate, it is thin and watery though… the hops bitterness is negligible but satisfactory, the malt is slightly sweet & biscuity (this seems like a consistent trait for this brewery), there are some other subtle flavors like clove, fig, citrus, yeast, and organic/earthy essence. The palate might not be a true ESB but it has its moments… fairly enjoyable to drink. Medium-light body, minimal carbonation… smooth mouthfeel. Simplistic.

06-12-2003 12:34:32 | More by bditty187
Photo of marc77


3.25/5  rDev -7.7%

Bronze hue with brilliant, filter derived clarity. Ivory white, fluffy head persists well and leaves tight lace. Toasted malt and light lovibond caramel sweetness upfront in aroma couples with berryish fruit esters and vaguely floral hops to lend a ripe raspberry like impression. Buttery diacetyl undertone. Sweet caramel initially in flavor is quickly ensued by a mildly drying combination of cracker like, grainy malt and mild hop bitterness. Hop flavor is lightly earthy, but has a tinge of agreeable spiciness that brightens the overall flavor profile. Faint fig like fruit esters add token yeast derived character. Medium, almost full bodied and heavily dextrinous from the apparent copious use of speciality malts. Approaches creamy in mouthfeel. Finishes lightly minerally, and both savory and sweet with a brief suggestion of sugar dusted salty biscuit. Certainly a decent amber that falls only a bit short on balance. Malt sweetness is pervasive, and remains only partially contested throughout. Innocuously enjoyable.

06-08-2003 18:58:08 | More by marc77
Photo of TPoling


3.93/5  rDev +11.6%

Flying Fish ESB poured an inviting bright amber with an orangish hue, but a head never formed, nor did any lace.

The smell promised a slight toastiness and hops on the mild side. There turned out to be a nice balance of the malt and hops that refreshed the taste buds and really began to pop out as the ale warmed.

The biggest dissappointment was that the mouthfeel was a little weak in comparison to some of the classic ESB examples of the style. Some ESB characteristics, particularly in the malt, but drank much like an American amber.

06-04-2003 07:08:58 | More by TPoling
Photo of LarryKemp


3.45/5  rDev -2%

This beer poured a very clear dark copper with a nice white head. The lace clung to the side of the glass very nicely. Even with such a nice head, the aroma was very minimal. No hops and a slight bit of malt. The first couple sips was dominated by the malts. There was a hint of caramel. After several sips the hop bitterness came forward but never overpowered the malt. The mouthfeel was fairly light. This is a good session beer. The last third of the beer I drank and ate cheese puffs. The combination was terrific. This would make a good ballgame watching beverage!!!

05-26-2003 15:27:46 | More by LarryKemp
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.03/5  rDev -13.9%

Good carbonation so it pours with a good head that fades leaving some lace. Cloudy coppery color/ The brewer's description of a malty start and hoppy finish is correct. The six malts they use is clearly noticeable which is nice for an ESB. Smoother than I would expect in a ESB but the bitterness is there.

05-21-2003 15:30:41 | More by jdhilt
Photo of francisweizen


4/5  rDev +13.6%

a nice malty AAA (American Amber Ale). This beer poured a dark amber colour and it had a nice, white head. The aromas were of malts, hops, and fruits. The taste was very hoppy, fruity and malty. This was a very well balanced beer with a nice, full mouthfeel and an excellent drinkability.


05-19-2003 13:46:55 | More by francisweizen
Photo of porter17

New Jersey

2.73/5  rDev -22.4%

Sat down at Andy's Corner to have a couple of pints after work and decided to have a Climax ESB and Flying Fish ESB. Started with the Climax and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then hit the beach for some Fish. The beer didn't captivate me with either it's appearance or aroma. The mouthfeel was mothing special either. At first, I was very disappointed with the taste, it lacked the fundamentals that make an ESB and ESB and that make a good ESB into a great one. After a bit, the taste did seem to grow on me but it still didn't come close to the Climax. .
The Fish was an average beer that I could certainly drink a few of with no problem. Problem is, I can think of other ESB's that I would drink before the fish.

02-23-2003 17:42:54 | More by porter17
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev +4.5%

Copper body topped by a fluffy, foamy off-white head. roma is bread and caramel. Taste is caramel malt with just enough hop bite that it has depth and is not overly sweet. Smallish aftertaste. Mouthfeel could be Fullers, er, excuse me, that's fuller. Very easy drinking. A nice little beer, and certainly more enjoyable than their Extra Pale Ale, but suffers a bit when compared to the two bottles of Fuller's ESB I had this week.

01-25-2003 23:01:14 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of yen157

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +11.6%

Orange amber in color with a fluffy white head. Lovely malt aroma was mixed with something musty, like the barely was somehow malted and toasted in a moldy basement. It tasted just as nice. Rich, toasted malt flavor dominates but allows a little room at the end for some fruitiness, green hops, and a very slight astringency.
Very light carbonation gave this beer a fairly silky mouthfeel. Simple but tasty brew from Flying Fish.

12-02-2002 17:48:26 | More by yen157
ESB Amber Ale from Flying Fish Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.