1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Victory ESB - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Victory ESB
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
87
very good

84 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 15
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.25% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-22-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by rugbycritic:
Photo of rugbycritic
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a rare find for us here in WNY. A local here (Monty's Krown Lounge, Rochester, NY) had a selection of Victory specialties recently, and this one was in it.

Our benchmark for measuring ESB's always starts with Fullers, who most likely originated the style. I am happy to report, this is not a clone of Fullers, the Victory lads wen out on thier own in another direction.

Color is the expected lovely amber glow, slightly lacy on the glass, an excellent malt and hop balance, almost restrained. Allowing it to warm in your hand, which I know is a difficult task, will yield excellent results with the malt and hop flavors bursting forth.

I would recommend this with out reservation, unless that will get me a seat at the bar in front of the handle for more.

More User Reviews:
Photo of SIRIUS2
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at the Victory Brewery.

Deep golden color, mostly clear, with a thin fine head of less than one finger's width. Though not a large amount of foam, the retention lacing were very good, with lace all the way down the glass.

A very intricate mix of sweet malts and lightly floral hops with a sort of earthy undertone.

The malts rush in first with a sort of sweet, grainy, earthiness that slowly comes to balance on the tongue with the flavoring hops. The hops come on strong at the finish but continue well into the linger. This is a great example of using a lot of hops without getting stung with the bitterness. Carbonation was fine but abundant and lent itself to a somewhat creamy texture.

Very enjoyable and easy to drink. The hops were there in abundance but didn't blow me away right out of the gates like an IPA. The late bloom of the hops after the swallow was also very nice.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Piper's Pub a couple weeks ago, I couldn't help but drink the hell out of the Braumeister Pils that was flowing at the same time. This one pours a copper amber hue with a light off white head forming nicely in my glass. Aroma has caramel malt sweetness, hints of cereal bread grains, and earthy herbal hop notes. Flavor continues the trend of caramelized maltiness with a hint of toasted marshmallow with creamy sweet dessert bread, enough hops step up to balance it out but this is very English hopping which works for the style. Earthy, herbal hops grace the palate with a light edge of citrus peel nothing heavy just a kiss that makes the beer very very drinkable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample mellow carbonation level that works so well for this beer. Overall drinkability is high, I didn't guess this alcohol to be anywhere near 6% abv, quality American brewed ESB from my own experience that can be a rarity.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask conditioned. Fairly clear with just a slight haze. Golden-bronze with an off-white head that holds well but leaves very little lace (may have been a dirty glass). The aroma is brightly hoppy with Goldings and a solid caramel malt backing. The body is medium with a gentle carbonation that gives it a very smooth and lightly creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is well rounded with sweet caramel malt and a light hop flavor. The bitterness is softer, playing a supporting role in the cask version vs. standard draught. There's a soft, gently lingering maltiness in the dryish finish. Superbly enjoyable in this presentation. Not exactly a session beer at 6.2% ABV, but worthy of enjoying more than one in an evening.

Photo of Chinon01
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Tea color with minimal spotty lacing.

Nose and Taste - Graham cracker crust, warm and orangy, grain and maple. Minimal hops in finish. Lacks minerality.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Mouthfeel is thinner but includes crispness and graininess. Drinkability is high due to cask.

Photo of HopEnthusiast
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep orange-amber with a light tan frothy head that left pleanty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is malty with notes of citrus and floral hops with a wee bit of yeast fruitiness. The taste starts with pleanty of caramel and vienna malt flavors balanced with a citrus bitterness and some spicy hop notes. The finish is very smooth with a great balance between the hops and the malt with neither flavor getting the upper hand. Aftertaste is hops as the clear winner. Not over powering but a nice subtle lingering bitterness that slowly fades away. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a medium body. Not to bitter either.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

amber in color with a smooth, even, head of white on top that faded off after a couple of moments. Light lacing was left by the side. Aroma is bready, hints of caramel and grassy notes and warming brought out tons of grains. Light, crisp and clean taste, light grassy hops and a smooth even caramel malt base made up the bulk of the profile

Photo of scottyshades
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at the brewery

A: Pours a transparent copper color with a medium-sized white cap. Retention is decent

S: Soft pale malts give a light toasty note, hops give lots of earthy and spicy notes. Well balanced, and definitely English

T: The low carbonation + the cask makes this really English. Subtle hops and malts are nicely balanced. Hops are spicy, earthy, slightly citrusy. Malts are light, slightly bready, and balance well

MF/D: Carbonation is low, body is medium for the style. Finish is of spicy hops

Photo of BrettVache
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this wonderfully delicious treat a couple years ago at the brewery and it turned out to be the best I tasted there. Wish we could get it in Rochester New York. Fantastic from start to finish, and also paired well with my meal, wish unfortunately I can't remember what it was at this time

Photo of Gasp100
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a crystal clear copper color with a thick off-white head that had staying power and left nice lacing down the glass. The smell was of sweet, toasted malts and light floral hops. The taste was crisp and sweet somewhere in between a real strong ESB and a killer Pale Ale. The mouthfeel was bitter and the hops seemed to take over in the end, but still nice and sweet as well. This brew is extremely drinkable (as our all Victory brews) and the above average ABV means that this brew can sneak up on you quick. This is one of the best all around brews I've had on tap so far --- surpassing SNPA as a fantastic daily or session brew. I'm not sure about being "true" to the ESB style purist, but this is like Victory's "Pale Ale" for me --- something they don't have in the line up... yet. This will do just fine and should be bottled as part of their main lineup.

Photo of aracauna
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think that I would have been more impressed with this beer had it been on the hand pump instead of Hop Devil or Milltown Mild. It does have a nice herbal character that works well with this slightly hoppy take on the style. Still, i was more impressed with several other beers I tried during my visit.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cask at he brewpub. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice ted copper with an off white head and plenty of lacing. Nose brings earthy, herbal, and floral hops plus a touch of caramel. The flavor adds in a tiny amount of citrus plus some mild bready notes. Floral hops prevail. Lovely feel with great bitterness levels. A really solid and fantastically drinkable beer.

Photo of maddogruss
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint of this at the Victory sponsored MBA night at Cloverleaf Tavern in West Caldwell, NJ.

A: Pours a nice, dark golden body with a white head with excellent retention and nice lacing along the sides of the glass and the top of the beer.

S: Smells of a slight sweet maltiness with bitter, earthy undertones.

T: A pretty bitter taste with a smooth, sweet malty aftertaste. Excellent taste overall because the sweeter aftertaste did well to balance the pretty strong, bitter taste.

M: A nice, crisp and refreshing feel overall that was fairly smooth.

D: A very drinkable beer. A nice, bitter taste with a smooth, sweet aftertaste. Combined with a crisp, refreshing taste makes this beer very easy to drink or a nice session beer.

Photo of Oakenator
4.44/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a darker brown with a full tan colored head. Good lacing present on glass.

S: Malty and sweet.

T: Bread bitterness from the hops up front and through the middle. Malts and maple sweetness to finish.

M: Body yet light enough to have few. Great feeling on the tongue - really creamy.

O: Well done ESB.

Photo of jreitman
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich amber with a nice light beige head. Aroma was more subdued that I like in a ESB, especially considering some of the great ones I have had in the PNW. Sweet caramel malt and a slight hop bite comprise the majority of the flavors with not a whole lot else going on. The brew is very "by the book" when it comes to the style guidelines and doesn't seem to take any steps towards anything overly original. A good beer by Victory, but not my favorite ESB.

Photo of Biscuit033
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear Orange-Gold, with a three finger fluffy head that slowly settles atop the beer clinging to all sides the entire way down.

S: Metallic, fruit, and flowery hops with a strong backbone of sweet malts.

T: Citrus, flowers, and an earthy, metallic finish. There is a lot of malty breadiness balancing the ample hops. This is a fine example of the style.

M: Good creaminess in the feel. Tiny bubbles. There is a long tasty finish on this as well.

D: This would be a top session beer for me if only it had a bit less alcohol(on the brewery menu it said 5.5%). Great beer all around though.

PS - If you get the chance to go the Victory check to see if this is on the beer engine. This is a classic beer for the hand-pump and should be tried by all if you have the chance.

Photo of mecell2000
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ESB on cask at Victory Brewing Company's retaurant in Downingtown.

Milky white head ontop of a cloudy yellow body. Good carbonation that accentuates the smooth taste. Malty and hoppy all the way through, both in taste and smell. Finishes lightly with a citrus taste.

Victory's ESB is made from the base of previous batches of Old Horizontal and you can really taste it in the brew.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Victory ESB

Pours an orangeish copper color. Aroma of floral hops, caramel and orange citrus. In the flavor, herbal tea, citrus zest, and mild grassy bitterness from the hops. The malt/yeast foundation adds alot of toffee, butterscotch, caramel, and bread tones. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and well carbonated. Straightforward and very English in style, this is a worthy ESB with a good amount of flavor.

Photo of BeerDetective
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a very nice ESB, one of the better ones I have had made in the States, or England. They got everything right but the balance between the hops and the malt, which probably mellows on cask. I really liked this beer and had two pints before moving on to other beers last evening.

Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty aroma that is accompanied by a mild hop scent. It's light, but still packs a malty punch. The taste is decent. It has a grainy pale and crystal malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry with a nice hop flavor. It's an easy drinker even at 6.25%. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good beer. It's not my favorite ESB, but it'll do in a pinch.

Photo of dmarch
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I wanted to skip over this because it's not quite as big as victory's other beers, but I'm glad I didn't. Amber in color with a fluffy white head. Excellent floral hop aroma. Taste is well balanced with a mix of hops and the caremel like maltiness. It's pretty much a hopdevil jr. Great as a session beer when hopdevil seems a little too strong.

Photo of pezoids
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I thought this beer tasted great. This could be a good session beer for me. It was a bit hazy from the cask but that is to be somewhat expected. The hops are apparent but not overwhelming. Very smooth and easy to drink in my opinion. One to seek out.

Photo of dwarbi
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

White creamy head. The beer is a light reddish color. Smells a little flowery. Does not taste very bitter at all. I can taste a hint of cloves. It has a zippy mouthfeel and this lingers for a little while. Very drinkable.
Yet another good beer from Victory.

Photo of John
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear amber/garnet color. Tight bubbled tan head. Lace is decorative. Aroma is medium toasted malt and juicy hops. Flavors are precisely balanced...perfect blend of malt and hop. The brew is not the least bit overstated, IMHO spot on for the style. Very English. Mouthfeel is light-medium. Victory obviously used some restraint when formulating this gem, choosing to be true to style rather than over the top. This would really shine cask conditioned...next time hopefully.

Photo of Mattysox
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed two of these on cask at Fathead's.

This ESB pours a ruddy orange color, slighty hazy, with a half-inch of thick, frothy head which dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma was a little understated, with hints of caramel malt and banana at first, giving way to subtle hoppy tones. The tastes were much more expressive than the nose; great balance between the sweet malty presence and a pretty assertive hop presence. The best part of this ale was the robust, creamy mouthfeel and its super easy drinkability. Even at 6.25%, this goes down super smooth. I could definitely make this an occasional session beer. Another great Victory product.

to view more.
Victory ESB from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.