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Theakston XB - T & R Theakston Ltd.

Not Rated.
Theakston XBTheakston XB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

108 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 9.36%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
T & R Theakston Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-29-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by damndirtyape:
Photo of damndirtyape
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

1pt, 0.9oz bottle poured into a Tulip stout glass. Date stamp is L134 KE 16:12. Some tiny amount of sediment came along with the pour.

Appearance: Hazy copper. Off white head, about 1/4" thick upon pouring which died back to a thin but persistent skin across the top. Lots of persistent islands, strands, and sheets of lacing. Good looking ESB.

Smell: With a swirl, caramel malt, hints of fruit (plums?), and maybe some herbal hops. Otherwise quite mild in aroma, even as it warms up.

Taste: Caramel malt, hint of butter and toffee, metallic notes, British bitter finish which is clean and not lingering. Not really amazing in flavor - just simply there.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation but a bit watery.

Overall / Drinkability: Overall I've had better ESBs with more impressive aromas and flavors, but it is well balanced which is the feature of a ESB. Very drinkable. Went very well with dinner (pesto covered Mahi Mahi and basmati rice) and is quite drinkable...it's nothing special but very easy to knock back. Maybe this is its charm - just enough flavor and appearance to be enjoyable, but nothing amazing to slow you down in drinking more. I could see having another if it was offered.

damndirtyape, Aug 11, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #58 (November 2011):

LOOK: Mildly hazed amber

SMELL: Ripe plums, herbal, woody, grassy, toasted grain, toffee, chalky yeast

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, medium body, semidry, toasty, faint toffee, grainy, overripe fruit, buttery, mild alcoholic esters, dried grassy finish

Saying “session” would be the easy way out, as this ale is much more than that. Complex, as layers peel back each minute it gets warmer. A prime example of the style that sets the benchmark pretty high for brewers. A delight to throw back!

BeerAdvocate, May 02, 2012
Photo of BeerDreadz
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

BeerDreadz, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of henryclay_
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

henryclay_, May 10, 2014
Photo of GreenMountainBoy
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

GreenMountainBoy, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2014. Picked up from a B&M store not too long back. A local brew with heritage...

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear coppery-brown colour with light carbonation. Forms a decent head of frothy off-white foam that lasts for a minute or so before disappearing. Aroma of caramel malt with hints of stewed leaves/veg, fruity ale yeast and cardboard. Dry and dull.

Tastes of caramel malt with a mild, dry finish. Notes of stewed leaves, caramel, mild grain, fruity ale yeast, faint grass/hay and cardboard. Well-attenuated, followed by a subtle bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry and tingly, with decent carbonation and good body. Slightly astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of stewed leaves, cardboard and mild fruity yeast.

Meh, pretty bland and uninteresting. Looks OKish, with an aroma/flavour of caramel and stewed leaves. Body is alright. Perfect example of the type of traditional British ale that lacks character. It's well made and there's nothing fundamentally wrong with it, but it doesn't command your attention. Nowt special - no need to seek it out.

jazzyjeff13, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of chinchill
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy copper with a decent bubbly head.
Medium-Light body.
The flavor is similar in quality but much stronger. Fine fruity, malty flavor.

chinchill, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of rastaman
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sweet toffee/caramel malts, and a silky smooth palate, pretty easy to drink, but not really my cup of tea, but not bad. Probably too sweet and smooth for me, lacked bite/bitterness on the finish, and nothing much was happening after the sweet malts at the start (Cask -GBBF 03')

rastaman, Sep 29, 2003
Photo of tdm168
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber with a thin, soft, white head that has decent retention

S - toffee, caramel, sweet, a bit sugary

T - toffee, bread, caramel, faint sugar, sweet, faint bitter finish

M - a bit crisp, medium bodied, sticky

This isn't a bad beer. It's smooth, flavorful, and highly drinkable. It's a bit malty at times, but a slight bitterness adds some balance. It's worth a try.

tdm168, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Theakston XB
12 oz. bottle, $2.03 @ State Line Liquors, Elkton MD
Code date illegible

Theakston XB. You can't really get any more English than that, can you? It's one of the old classics.

It's an "extra" bitter, clocking in at 4.6% alcohol by volume. The dark amber colored body appears almost russet brown while sitting atop the bar; and the frothy, almost light tan foam leaves dozens of tiny spots of lace across the glass with each sip you take.

In the nose you find yeasty fruitiness that includes apples, a bit of red grape, a touch of some dried dark fruit, and a suggestion of spice. It's malty as well, with a bit of dark caramel and toffee. Finally, a light whiff of floral and grassy hops rounds it out.

The flavor very much follows the nose, but you'll also find that there's a light touch of mineral character to it; and more hop flavor than you might have expected. It's moderately bitter, leaving it well rounded and very drinkable. Some malt lingers in the mouth in the aftertaste, but the bitterness, mineral character, and leafy, spicy, and herbal hop notes dry it nicely.

With enough character to keep it interesting beyond a pint or two, and just 4.6% abv, it makes a great session ale. Nicely done!

NeroFiddled, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of MrKennedy
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle from Warners at the Bay, poured into a Samuel Smith's nonik style pint glass.

Pours a copper colour, with golden edges. Clear appearance, no haze whatsoever. Off-white head of foam that measured two fingers and rested at a centimetre, lacing sporadically.

Smell is enticing. Bread, malt and a very light coloured honey aroma all stay round for the entire tasting.

Taste has some flat spots, a little watery at times. However, it is based around a nice malty, bread character with some sweetness.

Mouthfeel is decently bodied with a quite dry finish.

A very decent English ale, crazily sessionable. Disappointed i didn't stumble across this in an entire week in Yorkshire.

MrKennedy, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of Iaido
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Iaido, May 03, 2014
Photo of leinie13
4/5  rDev +7%

leinie13, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of robotiks
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

robotiks, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of erialbill
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

erialbill, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of pleasewearpants
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Makes me want to go on a fox hunt.
Smells, looks, and tastes British.

Deep copper color with extreme clarity. Nice tan-tinted head. Aroma is very rustic, with caramel, oiled boot, and hearty bread notes. Good carbonation accentuates the caramel and wood flavors. Finishes clean with a slight malt aftertaste.

Very pleased by this one. Would like to check it out on cask some time.

pleasewearpants, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of Bung
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pint 0.9. bronzy pour, thin layer of white head. Just a little left sticking to the glass.

Aroma, Mostly toffee, some toasted malt.

Taste, Malty caramel, lightly toasted malt. Some leather and tea. Mild English hopping. White grape or yellow raisin. Some woody chocolate as well.

Heavy side of light bodied, good level of cabonation keeps this mostly sweeter brew drinking pretty easy. I bet this is really excellent on draft. Good English session brew.

Bung, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of puboflyons
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped: L142-KE--02:42. Sampled on June 27, 2013.

Looks like a British Bitter with its medium amber pour and long lasting off-white head that leaves lacing on the side.

The aroma is bold with caramel malts, butterscotch, and sweetness with a milder hop note.

The body is creamy and in the medium range.

The taste is full of sweet sugary malts, caramel, toffee, and the like with only a modest bitterness at the end. This is something that I would quaff down in a British pub.

puboflyons, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with a small head.
Nose shows floral and earthy hops with toffee, caramel and bready malt underneath.
Similar toffee and caramel as flavours along with the floral hops and peach blossom. Unfortunately the finish is slightly metallic.
Body feels a bit too heavy.

CrazyDavros, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a reddish/copper color with about a half inch off-white head that didn't stay around for too long. There's a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is sweet and fruity, it smells like dried fruit, nuts, toffee, apples, caramel, and bready malt. The brew tastes mostly like the aroma, it tastes like toffee, red grapes, toffee, caramel, dried fruit and bready malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick with moderate carbonation. I think this is a solid brew, it's certainly worth trying for $3.49 a bottle. I thought it was a nice surprise, it was better than I expected it to be.

bluejacket74, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of mdillon86
4/5  rDev +7%

mdillon86, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of LJWalker
4/5  rDev +7%

LJWalker, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of nebula1999
4/5  rDev +7%

nebula1999, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of wedge
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear deep amber under a small head that settles to a considerable bubbly ring. Fruity English yeast esters are well balanced with a toffee and bread malt base. More of the same with the flavor...lightly sweet malt, black tea, leather, honey, spicy/floral hops, and more fruity esters. Medium bodied and light on the carbonation. Drying with a delicate tartness. Nothing particularly special, but nice.

wedge, May 19, 2012
Photo of BrazilianAussie
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

BrazilianAussie, Mar 29, 2014
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Theakston XB from T & R Theakston Ltd.
85 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.