1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Theakston XB - T & R Theakston Ltd.

Not Rated.
Theakston XBTheakston XB

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

102 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 9.33%
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)
View: Beers (7) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Theakston XB Alström Bros
Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of redleg411
redleg411

Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -20%

06-28-2013 19:34:02 | More by redleg411
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 01:32:47 | More by puboflyons
Photo of pin
pin

Australia

3/5  rDev -20%

05-26-2013 20:47:18 | More by pin
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +6.7%

05-19-2013 00:25:50 | More by drtth
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4/5  rDev +6.7%

05-18-2013 00:04:42 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of powdersoldier
powdersoldier

Washington

4/5  rDev +6.7%

04-27-2013 17:41:23 | More by powdersoldier
Photo of jrfehon33
jrfehon33

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

04-24-2013 23:50:16 | More by jrfehon33
Photo of WissBrauSean
WissBrauSean

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer poured a clear light brown to amber colour with a nice foamy one finger head that lasts as a full ring around the glass and leaves an nice woman's bottom pattern on the glass. I made sure that I poured this at about 55 degrees F from the bottle into the standard pint glass.

The aroma comes off to me as straightforward caramel malt sweetness with some hints of fruts (diacetyl) and not much else. My nose is stuffed so that is a hindrance. Dang sinusitis.

The taste is of caramel malt when it hits the tongue and as it rolls across towards the back the carbonation brings a nice hop taste to the top. I think that may be the bramling cross hops and they are kind of earthy and nice. The hop flavour then becomes a little bitter on the back of the tongue and leaves you very lightly dry. This is well balanced for sure.

Mouthfeel is well balanced between sweet and hop dry and a light to moderate body. The carbonation is also light to moderate and the finish is slightly dry with a hint of black pepper.

Overall, I would have to say that this is an excellent ESB! Without looking at the ratings I would have to say that it is approaching world class. I was a little disappointed in the thinness of the body, just a little more would have set me off! But it is definitely a beer to recommend and drink again! 4 out of 5 would be the very least that I would score this beer as!

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 01:10:48 | More by WissBrauSean
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy khaki head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with a wood-like flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but quite subdued, especially in the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 01:42:50 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of grahamboudreaux
grahamboudreaux

Tennessee

4/5  rDev +6.7%

01-14-2013 05:36:35 | More by grahamboudreaux
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

How hard is it to put a price tag on a beer? For this one, it was enough to cause me to leave the premises before being 86'd. I will be hard-pressed to return to that venue until after an extended cooling-off period. It was a bottle, to add insult to injury. Bah!

From the bottle: "What's in a name? In our old brewery cellar in Masham, we have, for many years, distinguished the contents of one cask from another by using wooden blocks dipped in whitewash shaped either with a letter B or with an X. As we only had two blocks at the time and with our other beers limiting the options, we were left with either BX or XB. We preferred XB!"; "A classic English ale. The subtle dry undertone is balanced by the fruitiness of the Brambling Cross and Fuggle hops, resulting in a distinctly complex aroma and flavour. Enjoyed by beer connoisseurs all over the world."

I hate the designation "beer connoisseur", but I do like beer, so it was time for a pour. I had a nice two finger, fizzing, tawny head with moderate retention. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose was really fruity, like Juicy Fruit chewing gum in terms of sweet fruit. There was also an underlying malt sweetness, somewhat sugary. Mouthfeel was medium but the sweetness of the nose did not transfer onto the tongue. Instead, it retained its fruity flavor, but it was nowhere near as cloying as I girded myself to expect. Finish was semi-dry and I began to wonder how long they age this before bottling. This was very pleasant, but I wish that it could have been purchased under more pleasant circumstances.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 23:31:51 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Sipchue
Sipchue

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

12-31-2012 00:34:50 | More by Sipchue
Photo of pkalix
pkalix

California

4.7/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

darker orange with very little on top and weak lacing down the sides.
smells very nice, malty. tastes the same- very good malt flavors, but i dont see where the 'bitter' comes in. this is just a really nice tasting brew.
but i suppose it ought to be a nice tasting brew at such a low abv. heck, even coke and pepsi taste good, right? i learned that lesson before and keep forgetting it- if it does not list the abv then it is a very low abv because it doesnt have to list it. i love a refreshing beer and i love the way the brewer can tweak a taste with additions and subtractions. but if i wanted a nice tasting beverage, and i wasnt concerned with abv, then i would be drinking iced tea or pepsi, right? i believe the ability to draw a great tasting beer with the abv sidling in with the flavors is the goal and it is what sets aside the duvels and the doppelbocks from the buttweisers and miller lites, no? so in judging this brew, i did give it good marks for taste, etc because i compared it to big sellers like the buttweiser, but the accomplishment is really in the duvel. because one can only drink so much beer in one night before he either begins making repeated trips to the urinal oe he compliments it with a nice whiskey.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 23:57:45 | More by pkalix
Photo of mwar
mwar

Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev 0%

12-02-2012 21:01:28 | More by mwar
Photo of GreyGhost4
GreyGhost4

Ohio

4/5  rDev +6.7%

11-17-2012 01:52:03 | More by GreyGhost4
Photo of leinie13
leinie13

Ohio

4/5  rDev +6.7%

11-17-2012 01:45:26 | More by leinie13
Photo of dmcclurejr
dmcclurejr

Ohio

4/5  rDev +6.7%

11-08-2012 16:41:13 | More by dmcclurejr
Photo of dougbassett
dougbassett

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

10-16-2012 01:25:50 | More by dougbassett
Photo of Dapperticus
Dapperticus

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

09-30-2012 03:54:40 | More by Dapperticus
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2012 00:33:45 | More by tdm168
Photo of mquinn919
mquinn919

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +6.7%

09-03-2012 13:19:35 | More by mquinn919
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Modest starting head that dies to a single layer of minute bubbles. Little lace. Cloudy, brown color.

Strong sweet caramel aroma. Very candy like.

Leans to the sweeter side. There's a touch of hops that doesn't quite balance this beer. Neutral body with a higher than expected carbonation for a British brew. Strong caramel aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2012 18:42:18 | More by smcolw
Photo of DaveRTP
DaveRTP

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev 0%

08-19-2012 01:09:20 | More by DaveRTP
Photo of bumchilly25
bumchilly25

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev 0%

08-13-2012 20:40:47 | More by bumchilly25
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape

Ohio

3.6/5  rDev -4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 22:25:58 | More by damndirtyape
Theakston XB from T & R Theakston Ltd.
85 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.