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ESB Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

51 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 13.61%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.25% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 04-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by RonfromJersey:
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-red body, nice, creamy head of microbubbles and froth. Leaves nice lacing. Very little nose at all. Hint of British sulfur off in the distance. Good strong malt taste. Some hops lurking around and jumping out occasionally. Mouthfeel is too tingly as opposed to smoothness. Needs to be fuller, richer.

Revised 07-06-03: Following rumours of reformulation. Mouthfeel is now "fuller", far less "tingly". Mouthfeel upgraded to 4.0 from 3.0.

Used to be Weyerbacher flagship, but has been left behind by bigger beers: Hop Infusion, Quad, and Blithering Idiot.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2002 01:00:01 | More by RonfromJersey
More User Reviews:
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3/5  rDev -11.2%

04-28-2014 00:33:57 | More by yourefragile
Photo of

4/5  rDev +18.3%

You rated this beer. Consider writing a review.

03-06-2012 21:20:55 | More by
Photo of Giantspace


3/5  rDev -11.2%

01-07-2012 05:19:36 | More by Giantspace
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from note

hazy golden yellow in color it came roaring out of the bottle and easily filling the entire glass with rich bubbly foam that melded seemlessly into the bubbly, grainy base.

The aroma was light, lots of grain and light spice with a smooth, mellow and light fruity hint that popped up toward the finish. Smooth mellow flavor with a n even cosistency. My only knock is it came off as more of a mild ale to me as the hop flavor was not really too high and not much in the way of bitter flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 01:18:49 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of ClockworkOrange


3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my shaker "pint" glass. Appears a clear dark amber color with a finger of off white foam. Smells like sweet malt, and bready yeast. Tastes of caramel, bread, and mildly bitter hops. A notch or two below medium in both body and carbonation. Relatively easy drinking and quite smooth.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2007 04:17:56 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of tempest


3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to leftmindedrighty for this trade. I had this the day after a Yards ESA and there's good contrast here. This is less traditional with a sweeter mouthfeel and only a touch of grassy bitterness. The caramel malt flavor almost reminds me of an extract brew, go figure. Still a good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2007 23:53:56 | More by tempest
Photo of foureyedgeek


3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle to pint glass, this pours a light golden brown, leaving a finger and a half head. Head fades to a ringer shortly thereafter, slight lacing throughout.

Not a lot of aroma coming of, slight hoppiness, maybe a little grape?

Mellow malty beginning with a nice crisp hoppy finish.

Light in the mouthfeel, making in a little underbodied, I think but plenty drinkable. Good session beer, at least.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2006 12:42:16 | More by foureyedgeek
Photo of JohnnyM2002


3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I read on Weyerbacher's web site that ESB won't be around too much longer, so I was sure to pick up a sixer...

It pours a clear dark-golden color into my Weyerbacher pint glass. Smells a little fruity with a decent amount of hops..not as hoppy as I expected though. It is very easy to drink, not very hoppy, but well-balanced.

This is a good offereing, but I'm not too sure it's an ESB...it is very drinkable, though.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 00:57:03 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of rabsten

West Virginia

3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with one inch tan head. Some lacing. Pretty good looking beer.

Butterscotch malt with some faint but lingering hops.

I get tired of writing this sometimes but, “tastes just like it smells.” Malt dominates, with a flavor that reminds me of a Brach’s hard candy butterscotch. There’s a slight bitterness from the hops. Very much like scotch ale, where the sweeter malts tend to dominate.

Good drinkability, easy on the gullet. No real comment on the mouthfeel, though. It’s kinda just “there.”

Overall, not a bad ale, but there are so many E.S.B.s out there that are better. Makes a pretty good Scotch Ale substitute if you’re hankering for a highland brew and none’s available. Oddly, this is more scotch ale-like than their scotch ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2006 23:16:07 | More by rabsten
Photo of DrJay


3.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber with a thin, off-white head from a vigourous pour. Fine bubbles clung to the sides of the glass. Toasted and caramel malt dominate the nose, with a bit of fruitiness as well. Mild bitterness with malt to the forefront throughout. Dry malt finish with just a hint of hop flavour. Caramel and toasted character is nice, but not enough hops here. Diacetyl was apparent as well. The weak hop character is not what I expect from an ESB.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2006 23:06:31 | More by DrJay
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

2.6/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a moderate head that leaves splashes of lacing

Smell: A bit of biscuity malt and a rather earthy, sweaty tone

Taste: Starts out with a rather neutral biscuity flavor; after the swallow it just goes downhill, with a cardboard oxidised flavor that is just unappealing

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation but the finish suffers from both some diacetyl induced slickness as well as a puckerish quality

Drinkability: Weyerbacher is inconsistent in its brews and this is one that falls solidly on the negative side of the ledger - perhaps the worst of the lot

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2006 23:29:53 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phatz


3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There is no bottled on or freshness date on the bottle that I could find. I did want to mention that my bottle of ESB Ale is a very different design than the one displayed. (I'm assuming a new bottle design). I was fortunate enough to receive this bottle in a trade so the exact date of purchase is unclear) but I believe the picture shown is outdated.

Appearance: This beer pours a soft transparent copper color with a very creamy 2 finger off-white head with decent retention. Mediocre lacing.

Smell: It has a good aroma but it is subtle and reserved. After some contemplation I came up with sweet bread and yeast, slight fruity tones and gentle hops.

Taste: Like the smell the taste is gentle and approachable. It is not the most interesting ESB I have ever tasted but it is quite palatable. It seems to have a pretty straight forward bready malt and hop balance until the aftertaste. The aftertaste is a bit odd. There is very little of the bitter I was looking for up front it seems all the bitter is waiting for the finish. I'm not quite sure what to make of this...?

Mouthfeel: This beer has a very light mouthfeel that seems to disappear into nothing through the middle. To its credit it is very smooth.

Drinkability: Overall this is a decent beer but a bit lacking in luster. I would be too bored to have a second but it would be palatable if I was interested so the drinkability is what I'd call "Ho Hum."

Hope this is helpful.

Thanks to tgbljb for the trade!
Heres to finding good beer in Lancaster PA :) Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2006 23:20:21 | More by Phatz
Photo of psugrad98


4.13/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in brown longneck bottle. Pours dark brown with reddish hue. Thick frothy foam and light clingly lace that circles the glass in erratic patterns. Smells of hops and flowers with sweet breadlike sweetness underneath.

Slightly bitter and chewey, less bitter than I'd like, but full bodied and nicely balanced with esters of fruit, notably a tangy berry like presence.

Finished well-balanced between hops and malt, though ends less dry than I'd like in an ESB.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2006 21:10:50 | More by psugrad98
Photo of alexwag

New York

3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- New label from the one depicted. It's a bit more straightforward, for what that's worth.

Light copper, held up to the light looks like a darker Budweiser (though I probably shouldn't be dropping the B-bomb in a review -- purely for comparative purposes.) Finger of fluffy white head, medium endurance.

S- Crisp, a little bite to the hops, hint of malt. Not picking up very defined things ... as I often say, could be a bit stronger, but ok for this style.

T- Some bitterish, coarse hops, not much malt to balance.Still, quite clean and fairly incisive. Hops gain depth through the glass, mellow and fill out. A fairly standard offering.

M- It's got some body, little carbonation which I like, and pretty smooth.

D- Medium. Undoubtedly potable, but there are better options out there for ESB with more complexity.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2006 01:38:42 | More by alexwag
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper coloring, lush, creamy head.

Tidily hopped aroma, bready malts...neat, sweet, petite.

Taste: mild, well-balanced, lighter-bodied, vanishing finish. Mostly malty, coppery feel, a well-done rendition of the style. Not much to say about it, but that's the style, too. You can drink it, but if you're looking for "wow", look elsewhere.

A nice ale. Drink it up.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2006 15:19:44 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of tgbljb


3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a crystal-clear medium copper with massive tannish head that fell to 1/4 coating that had a sponge like appearance.Nice lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is an attractive combination of a roasted malt and a bitter hop. Taste is very pleasant with a good maltiness, a nice hop background.but an odd metallic taste. Finishes with a medium hop dryness that mixes with the caramel malt in a nice proportion. A very good and easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2005 23:56:20 | More by tgbljb
Photo of ski271


3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear medium amber with a small, off-white, foamy head that quickly diminishes to a thin film. Very attractive, complex lacing. The smell is malty up front with a little sweetness to it. A little doughy & yeasty (soft-pretzel-ish), toffee, grape, honeysuckle, herbs and lightly floral. The taste is grainy and malty with a light floral hop bitterness that starts out weak and builds to a moderate level by the finish. Bits of honey, diacetyl, alcohol and…. melon? I’m going to have to try this again to see if my taste buds were out of whack yesterday when I wrote this. But until then, I’d see that this was a decent beer. Medium body, dry texture, low carbonation. In all, a decent beer and a decent representation of the style, but not one of Weyerbacher’s more impressive brews.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2005 13:40:27 | More by ski271
Photo of BeerBeing


2.93/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz brown glass longneck US generic bottle, while and black on red label

Appearance: dark amber color, off-white head, minor laceing

Smell: malt, hops, some caramel and biscuit

Taste: medium body, light mouthfeel, roasted malt and moderate bitterness of hops

Notes: average brew, nothing special

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2005 00:39:01 | More by BeerBeing
Photo of beermanbrian


3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep bronze color. Thin head that somehow sticks around for a long time. High carbonation level that gives this beer a lively appearance. Sweet toffee smell with just a hint a grassy hops. Taste is dominated by the sweetness of the malt. Too sweet for my taste. Very dry mouthfeel that puckers your cheeks. Not one of Weyerbacher's best efforts.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2005 12:39:45 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Appearance - A deep, clear amber/bronze with medium high carbonation, a medium head that stay for a bit and decent lacing.

Smell - Sweet caramel malt, faint banana and not much else. As it warms the odor stays the same.

Taste - This is to date the sweetest ESB I've had. It also has only a mild bitter aftertaste. Maybe ESB is Extra Sugary Beer? I know Weyerbacher is a creative brewery, but that's a stretch. Flavor is of dates, bananas and anise. There is a soft grain and anise aftertaste. What the hell? I like it, but I wonder if this is mislabelled or something. This tastes more like a good tripel (a better Tripel than Merry Monks for sure). I'm confused.

Mouthfeel - Very thin and a litttle foamy. Carbonation numbs the tongue a bit. Slightly drying. Only thing typical of an ESB about this beer.

Drinkability - What tastes faintly of a tripel and goes down as easy as a pilsner? That's right, this beer. I'm not going to have another right now because I'm confused more than anything. But I will have one later I think, if I ever exit this paradoxical state. Unlike a Pilsner, it is too sweet for most foods. A good beer none the less.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2005 22:07:07 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of jakester


3.9/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from a sampler case from Weyerbacher. Expiration date clearly marked on the case!! YEA!!

Pours a clear amber/light orange with a one finger head of off-white foam. Head drops to a coating and a ring in about 3 minutes. Pretty good lacing.

Aroma is herbal/earthy from malt and hops. Kinda different, but ok. Pretty strong caramel/toffee smell as well. Toasted malts? Hop aroma takes a back seat in this brew.

Taste is somewhat sweet caramel and decent hop bitterness, with some herbal hops for flavor. Maybe even some prunes? Something is different about this ESB. Maybe it's toasted malts. Maybe from the yeast? It doesn't taste bad, but it's kind of pronounced. Aftertaste is a prolonged toastiness.

Mouthfeel is smooth sweetness, pleasant carbonation bite, and hop bitterness at the back of the throat.

This is a pretty good representation of the style, with a small twist for uniqueness. It's a good ESB, but it IS different. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2005 19:32:16 | More by jakester
Photo of GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Solid, but just alright ESB. Nice amber with good lacing, minimal head. Smell reminded me of Yuengling Traditional Lager at first, then a more typical ESB smell.

Taste is out of whack at first. Diacetyl which is out of balance? Not sure. As the beer warms, it becomes more balanced.

Drinkability? Ok. But I wouldn't seek this one out.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2005 22:37:13 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of bnuttz


3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear and bubbly amberish copper color. Slightly dense tanish foamy head. Smells of fruity yeast and caramel malts. Some english hop aroma is noted, but not much. Taste is malty up front, but kind of watered down. Minimal hoppy character, just mainly the fruity yeast profile. Kind of ok, smooth on the mouth, but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2005 00:23:24 | More by bnuttz
Photo of Fish113d


3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pouring from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass at room temp, it pours a pretty copper color with a 1 inch head that looks a lot like head on cola. It also show nice cascading and looks very clean. Pretty light getting through this one. Aroma is some vanilla malt tones (sugary) along with some berry aroma and some grassy hops (just a tad). Some alcohol hits the nose suprisingly, but maybe I shouldn't put my nose almost IN IT! Taste is of sugary wheat with a very bitter aftertaste that reminds me of a Bud finish. Some of the vanilla or even caramel comes out in flavor, but this one changes from enjoyable to almost unbearable. Mouthfeel is not too shabby. Carbonation is light on the tongue with just a touch of "twang" but the bitterness clinches your jaws a bit. No real alcohol found here either. Not too bad, but definitely not a favorite; particularly not a big fan of the style I guess.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2005 01:05:58 | More by Fish113d
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ESB Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.