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Mitchell's Extra Special Bitter - Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse

Not Rated.
Mitchell's Extra Special BitterMitchell's Extra Special Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

27 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 27
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.27%
Wants: 5
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Recently named “one of canada’s top beers” by Maclean’s magazine, this long time favourite with Spinnakers’ regulars is a copper coloured, classic English pub bitter, brewed with English Pale and Crystal malts, hopped with Horizon & Kent Goldings.

40 IBU

(Beer added by: 49degrees on 01-10-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 27 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rodrigueZflyingf0x

British Columbia (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

07-18-2012 03:16:15 | More by rodrigueZflyingf0x
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -13.5%

I sampled this at the brewpub.

A: Copper Bronze, some off-white head, lots of lace.

S: Not a lot of nose, a little bland.

T: Bready, fruity, with a British Bubblegum aftertaste (from the yeast). VERY British. My taste score may be on the low side (I'm not a fan of the overtly British yeast).

M: Light body and carbonation.

D: Quite quaffable.

12-24-2005 01:10:28 | More by Derek
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -12.8%

At the Victoria brewpub. Darker golden with a white head. Light mouthfeel, OK bitterness. Acceptable ESB as understated hoppiness.Melange of hops, including Kent, Northern Brewer and Cascade.Maybe better on tap, and a decent cask. Competent as most of the lineup.

02-24-2008 04:35:50 | More by Sammy
Photo of Goldorak

Quebec (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -12.8%

Thanks to Stephenlouis for including this Beer in his CanBIF package!

Appearance: Opaque copper with bubbly, soapy dishwater-like head.

Smell: Hops are quite fruity, in fact it smells exactly like a can of Del Monte peaches in syrup! Now there's something you don't find every day in a Beer!

Taste: Very quaffable, British-like flavor profile, fruity hops with only a slight astringency in the tail end make this a very refreshing brew. Some cookies in the body but was a little weak. This stuff must be awesome on cask, but this bottled product tastes pretty close to the real deal.

11-28-2006 02:34:06 | More by Goldorak
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -11%

A pint from the cask at Spinnakers.

Arrives a dark, copper color with a finger of light, fluffy foam that sticks around through the drink.

Smell has a light sweetness to it, some caramel malts, hints of fruit, maybe even some citrus.

Taste is a light, light sweet caramel flavor. Hints of bittering hops in the finish, on the watery side (light, light body).

Really, just not that impressed. Drinkability is there but the flavor and the body just had no depth to it.

04-02-2009 05:14:43 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -6.5%

Picked this up at Spinnakers liquor store, as they were completely out of it on tap at the brewpub itself the whole time I was in Victoria.

Came in a 650 ml brown bottle. Pours out a transluscent mahogany hue, picks up red oak highlights when held to the light. Light tan creamy head on the pour that recedes to a thin dense cap.

The aroma is a surprising deep toasted malt, with nuts and carob, even smells a bit creamy. Light coffee notes as well.

The toasted malt carries over predominantly into the flavour as well, along with bitter, woody nuts, while everything mellows out towards the finish, with the faintest astringency provided by light hopping. Creamy, silky light bodied mouthfeel helps turn this into one helluva session ale. I can see now why this was sold out, and why the brewpub was letting the upcoming batches age properly. Looking forward to sampling the draught version someday soon.

07-15-2007 02:56:32 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of 2beerdogs


3.75/5  rDev -6%

07-23-2013 21:35:17 | More by 2beerdogs
Photo of KStark

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -6%

05-16-2013 14:05:19 | More by KStark
Photo of IllNate

British Columbia (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -5.3%

Pours a medium amber with a finger of head and decent retention. Aroma is malty with biscuit and bread tones, some caramel coming through as well. Hop aroma is earthy and floral.

Taste is full bodied and sweet. Nice english malt and caramel tones as well as earthy floral hops. A bit sweeter finish than I would like however.

Mouthfeel is pretty good and it has the right amount of carbonation.

Overall a decent beer but not anything special in any category.

05-26-2012 01:34:40 | More by IllNate
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.79/5  rDev -5%

Spinnaker's Brewpub 'Mitchell's ESB' @ 5.2% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $5

A-pour is a burnt orange from the bottle to glass with a big off white head that is leaving a spotty lace along the pint

S-certainly doesn't have the powerful smell I've been acustomed too , way to mellow

T-clean , mellow tasting 'ESB' , no wow factor

MF-low/mild carbonation , medium body

Ov-ok beer , below average local 'ESB'

prost LampertLand

10-30-2013 16:54:10 | More by LampertLand
Photo of lumikuuro

British Columbia (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

650ml bottle.

Appearance: Clear brown amber with beige head when poured aggressively, but little retention or lace.

Aroma: Gentle woody hop, toffee and caramel malty sweetness.

Taste: Woody hop, coffee, some chocolate. Restrained caramel. Hazelnuts, slight hint of fruit. Woody hop predominant in finish with hints of other flavours lingering. Not an aggressively hopped ESB, more of an English tasting one with a PNW accent.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly dry, very little carbonation.

Drinkability: Some good flavours going on in here, but a little too English for my preference. Nothing essentially wrong with that, but it just seems to be good throughout without being impressive. Unlike many English ales, this one does not become unpleasantly sour when it warms.

03-14-2010 01:27:25 | More by lumikuuro
Photo of chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a dark amber color with a thin tan head that leaves a bit of lacing. Subdued aroma with malt and a little hops. The taste is very British with caramel malt, bread, honey, and a hoppy finish. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Nicely balanced and quite drinkable, this is a nice session beer.

06-17-2010 04:04:47 | More by chickenm
Photo of benbou17

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +0.3%

12-05-2011 02:57:13 | More by benbou17
Photo of EskimoDave

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +0.3%

12-01-2011 06:32:07 | More by EskimoDave
Photo of kelvarnsen

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +0.3%

09-28-2012 17:42:14 | More by kelvarnsen
Photo of schopenhauerale

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +0.3%

05-15-2012 07:55:29 | More by schopenhauerale
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

Spinnakers does not disappoint.

The look of this beer is classic ESB. Solid copper colour with a fine, white head. The scent is a bit malty, but other than that, I could easily think this beer was a true English ESB.

The hops do not overpower, and the malt taste does not make the beer too sweet.

I can't wait for the opportunity to try this on tap.

03-23-2006 06:14:52 | More by BDTyre
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +2.3%

From notes accumulated since the birth of Zoe.

Thanks to chickenm for this one.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle (10 notched on the left side of the label and 02 & 7 notched on the right).

Appearance: A dark copper color with red tinges and pours a little like apple cider. The slightest brown in the good sized head with a thick sheet all the way down.

Smell: Orange peel, mineral hops, a bit tea-like and that crisp ESB aroma that i love.

Taste: Very malt forward with the hops riding on the back. Has a not overly citrus profile and the Golding is not overused as the tea aspect is kept to a minimum. Fleshy fruit.

Mouthfeel: Mouth filling from start to finish. Bitterness in the tail end and robust indeed.

Overall: Very satisfying, flavorful and intense for the style. Highly recommended.

06-27-2012 23:48:57 | More by papat444
Photo of Voonder

Alberta (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours dark brown colour, very clear, with no head. Smell - malts with chocolate notes. Taste the same, plus you can recognise those hops in there too. It's pretty chocolaty though (nothing wrong with that). Moderate carbonation, balanced and very drinkable, very good beer overall, perfect ESB!

10-16-2008 06:06:08 | More by Voonder
Photo of KalanM

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

01-10-2013 23:19:46 | More by KalanM
Photo of Garin

Alberta (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

UPDATE: I had it at Spinnaker's from the cask, instead of out of a bottle. Holy cow that was a good beer. I've learned, then, that you don't drink this one from the bottle. Go right to the source.

It arrived with a nice creamy head, a deep orange colour, with some obvious sediment floating around the glass. It's from cask, so this is to be expected.

The aroma was dominated by citrusy hop aromas, and some vaguely sweet floral tones. Some yeast was in there, and I imagined a bit of a medicinal smell. A little malty grainy tone is in there as well.

The flavour was rounded out by the herbal and floral hops, including a definite bitter orange-peel overtone. Nice rich and slick maltiness filled it out beautifully, and a good bitterness finished it.

The mouth feel was creamy and soft, with low carbonation. Again, this was from a cask, so no surprise there.

If you do buy this in a bottle, I'd recommend pouring it and letting the foam come, and then leave again. From a cask, it has very low carbonation. This is about the same level as you have left after the monstrous billowing foam head that came out of our bottle the first time we had it. If you have a choice, though, go to Spinnaker's.

08-10-2003 16:02:14 | More by Garin
Photo of saskguy

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +10.3%

Ok, I have to admit to have drunk large amounts of this beer over the years. The malt hop balance is great. I find it stacks up with most of the esb's that I have tasted in the UK.

Being served at the correct temp at the brewpub helps a lot as does the correct carbonation. The bottled version is not quite as good, but still better than most.

11-21-2003 19:02:23 | More by saskguy
Photo of Graham5161986

British Columbia (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +11%

I was really looking forward to this beer as I haven't had anything from Spinnakers in a LONG time.

This classic ESB pours a crystal clear dark brown colour with a good 1 and 1/2 finger off-white head that has decent retention and leaves some very nice traces of lace on my imperial pint glass.

Aromas of honey, bread and toffee waft up from the head along with some subtle hints of hops, chocolate and cream.

The taste on this beer is outstanding. I get Honey, toffee and caramel with a good backbone of bitterness from the hops that is balanced out by roasty notes of chocolate and cream. So simple, yet decently complex and incredibly delicious. A very well put-together flavour profile.

Mouthfeel on this one is medium bodied and creamy with just the right level of carbonation and a touch of bitter spice on the finish from the hops.

As for Drinkability, there's not much to complain about here. Overall, this is super easy-drinking classic ESB that should satisfy any purist and is a real treat for the tastebuds. I will definitely be buying this beer again. Can't wait to try more from these guys!

05-19-2010 20:37:43 | More by Graham5161986
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +11%

This is one of the cornerstone beers in Spinnakers and perhaps in the history of BC microbrewing. The recipe has changed from when Malcolm Faviell and John Mitchell brewed this back in the 1980's in the original Spinnakers but this version is still great. The subtleness of the flavours show the real English roots of this beer. Everything has its place and this is truly one of the great BC session beers. BC may not have the hopmonsters of our neighbours down south but this is a good example of the understated ales that we do best.

07-27-2004 16:24:44 | More by canucklehead
Photo of 49degrees

British Columbia (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +11.5%

An excellent English style bitter. Routinely served at the brewery on tap, but outside of immediate surroundings, this one is most often found in standard 650ml bottles.

In recent years I've started tackling more and more bitter styled ales and this one sits up amongst the highest tier ales from around the globe. Sadly, it doesn't receive much recogniition, but that's undoubtedly a result of the difficulty one can have in tracking this one down.

Features an exceptional aroma and flavor that relies heavily on the Cascade, Kent Golding, and North Brewer pitch. These three key components are skillfully blended with English Pale and Crystal Malts that provide a very complex result which provides an intriguing amount of malt flavor yet provide ample room for the flower bouquet to shine through.

Pours very clean with a moderate sized head, which disapates slowly leaving a layer of calm foam with periodic large surface bubbling with a tight collar. Lacing is consistent around the glass.

Of particular interest was the last 1/6th of the bottle which dispensed a suprising amount of sediment on the last pour. Sediment was very dark and consisted a small dark brown particulate that was suspend for 3-5 minutes before settling at the bottom of the glass.

Despite the last pour, the rest of this one was a keeper in every way, shape, and form.

01-10-2003 18:09:14 | More by 49degrees
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Mitchell's Extra Special Bitter from Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse
88 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.