Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB - Stoudts Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESBStoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

634 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 634
Reviews: 362
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 12.19%
Wants: 11
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB Alström Bros
Ratings: 634 | Reviews: 362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of blackie
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: low khaki head with light retention, the beer is a medium copper-amber in color

s: biscuity malt nose with a mild dose of toasty toffee - less than the darkish color would indicate, flashes of fruit as it warms - raisin and date, English style hops earthy and mild, very subtle woody roast

m: carbonation light-moderate, body on the fuller side of the light range, seems a touch thin but not terribly so

t: a grainy pale base malt forms a structure for some light toffee, some dark sugars hit briefly in the middle but soon fade, quick glimpse of roasted malt after the swallow and lingering into the earthy finish, lots of toast, nice balancing bitterness

d: easy enough, a simple and drinkable beer with a good deal of character rolled into such a small package

single from Whole Foods - Short Pump, Glen Allen, VA

Photo of Amalak
3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had at Barcade in WIlliamsburg, Brooklyn.
A- Nice bronze color with a tan, foamy head that leaves a good deal of lace.
S- Has a fruity scent with a mix of hops.
T- It's very dry with a lagery aftertaste. Somewhat sour, but quality. It's too dry for my taste, and the bitter is not really there.

Photo of beerdrifter
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish-copper pour with creamy, quickly fading head and nice lacing. Not much going on in the nose besides some earthy malt and biscuit. Toasty caramel malts sweeten the taste but the hops are pretty subdued for the style. The mouthfeel is good and it's fairly drinkable but a little sweet for an ESB.

Photo of Clydesdale
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: An attractive reddish-bronze color, with a tan-tinted, medium sized creamy head. Retention was decent, with a few scraps of lacing here and there.

S: Quite fruity in the nose - orangey citrus and some lighter berryish notes to go along with some toasty, biscuity maltiness. A definite caramel note as well. A bit of herbal hop character is also detectable.

T: A moderately sweet toasty malt presence up front. Primarily bready, with lesser caramel notes and a vaguely tealike flavor. A kiss of herbal and lightly citric hops provides a solid bite before fading into a rather fruity finish of sweetish citrus and berries.

M: Medium-light body. Carbonation is soft and somewhat creamy, leading to a clean, slightly dry finish.

D: A winner from Stoudt's - this is a pleasant drinker with surprising complexity. Definitely flew in under the radar.

Photo of beerman207
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- red, goof white head which left a decent skim on the glass.

S- a bit of caramel, malt dominàtes, faint hop aroma

T- starts off bitter- good malt backbone - suprising bitter finish with such an average nose.

M_- easy to drink, light bodied.

D- could drink this all night- abv is low and the taste is good. Considering the bar I'm at this is about as good as it gets.

Photo of rfgetz
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish brown color with no head, retention of lacing. Smell is of carmel malts, some earthy hops and a kiss of nuts and grapes. Taste is rather muddy - carmel, nuts, brown sugar, earthy hops, light herbal touch and grapes. Medium bodied, slightly oily, under carbonated. Pretty average ale that doesnt do justice to the ESB style.

Photo of bum732
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Caramel malt, sweet, floral, very fruity, apples and pears mostly.

L: Clear reddish brown, good creamy head with good lacing, thin layer of retention.

T: Caramel and fruity ester malt. Earthy hops and moderate bitterness. Some caramel and toffee undertones, hint of raisins. Prominent bitterness balances.

M: Moderately low carbonation, nice mouthfeel.

Really enjoyed this ESB, more of an American version of it. Liked the esters in this, one of my favorite from this brewery.

Photo of jwhancher
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Have had this one plenty of times over the years but am finally getting to the review. Would like to add that I think the recipe has changed a little from recent memory. Poured a 12 oz bottle vigorously into a pint glass. Pours a clear amber color with nice white head and good carbonation. Head sticks around a good bit before finally fading. Smells of caramel malts with a bready/toasty aroma. Faint hop aroma is there, but you really have to look for it. Slight chocolate aroma too. Tastes a little more sweet than dry. Again, the caramel malts dominate for me. Not a hoppy beer, but is bitter. The hop presence isn't a dominating factor. A solid beer, but a little one dimensional. An average mouthfeel. In getting a variety case from Stoudts, this is now my least favorite. From what I remember, this one used to be a lot richer and tastier from a few years ago. Recipe could use a tweak or two.

Photo of mjw2808
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

dark amber with a one finger head that doesnt leave a whole lot of lacing. The smell is very sweet caramel and grain. The taste is the same with a hop bitterness. decent mouthfeel and drinkablilty. A pretty standard ESB, not amazing but still pretty solid and easy drinking. Wouldnt buy this regularly but from time to time when im in the mood I would.

Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber color and clear. Pours with a three-finger head. Recedes slowly in a rocky fashion. The lace slides down the glass easily, leaving only a hint of each sip.

Excellent blend of creamy malt and muted hop. Smells more like an American Amber.

Harsh flavor of a very dry beer...astringent. The hop is surprisingly subtle. It doesn't match the typical tastes I expect for an ESB. The body is as expected. The aftertaste dies quickly, but it is initially dry-ish.

Photo of argock
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear goblet-style tasting glass. Best by 9/10/10 on bottle neck. Purchased as 6-pack at Piggly Wiggly (Hilton Head, SC) for $9.99.

A: Inviting russet brown with 1/2 inch of off-white small-bubbled head with below-average retention but it does leave an impressively craggy lace trail at the top of the glass.

S: Toasted, caramel, and biscuit malts come together to deliver a sweet, caramel frosting-like aroma. Hops are mainly herbal but don't contribute heavily to the nose.

T: Toasted caramel malts and smooth biscuit and cracker flavors provide a malty punch, but the hops bitterness is too soft and could use more oomph to provide a more complex brew that comes off a little sweeter than it should.

M: Feel is light-medium with a stinging higher than average level of tight carbonation for the style. Aftertaste is long and mildly bitter with an herbal accent, but maltiness still is more prominent here too.

D: A decent ESB but more hops contribution would provide a more interesting beer overall. Mid-range for the style at best. Not bad but many others are better to take on.

Photo of thebeerdoctor
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having a sample that is neither heat or light damaged, Scarlet Lady poured beautifully into a slightly rounded ale glass.
This is an interesting recipe. A vinous (that is grape-like) palate is in the forefront, giving way to a chocolate note in the finish. Somewhat complex with substantial body, this is a gentle reminder of Carol Stoudt's edict to "never forget the integrity of the beer".
Well worth a tasting investigation.
Should this mahogany colored brew be compared with Fuller's ESB? I do not think so. That is apples to oranges.

Photo of bob3701
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a shaker pint. Pours a clear copper color with a small creamy off-white head that slowly goes into a film with some lacing. Malty, biscuty aroma. A caramel sweetness of the malt first then the slight hops bitterness at the finish. Drinkable but better ESB's out there.

Photo of silentjay
2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a nice ruby with little white head that leaves just a bit of lacing.

smells like an amber mixed with a bitter. some earthy hops give way to a lot of caramel malt.

taste is a bit metallic. some buttery bread and caramel dominate the palate. some english-style earthy hops back that up a bit, but stay in the background a bit too much.

mouthfeel is pretty thin with very low carbonation. not terribly bad for the style. leaves a bit of resin on the tongue as the hops try to present themselves a bit.

goes down ok. falls between styles, it seems. that is not necessarily a bad thing, but it seems to fail to create its own identity. nothing revolting, but also nothing drawing me back again.

Photo of samie85
2.15/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Best By 6/27/10. I'm a little worried going in as there was no hiss of carbonation escaping as I open the bottle.

A-Pours a dark brown with no head. I'm not sure what the deal is with the carbonation, but there doesn't appear to be any.

S-Smells of sweet toffee malt and caramel with some earthiness.

T-Caramel sweetness with a breadiness and a barely bitter finish.

M-Kind of terrible as there's no carbonation whatsoever. Thin side of medium bodied.

D-I was pretty excited as this was my first beer from Stoudts. I really like ESB's and was expecting good things, but the complete lack of carbonation is killing this beer for me. I'm hoping the other bottle I got of Stoudts is more impressive.

Photo of Borgs
1.93/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Pours with a thin head that dissipates rather quickly, & a clear, shallow red color.

Smell: Smells caramelly, lightly toasty, & yeasty.

Taste: This beer is way more on the sweeter side than bitter. Extra Special Bitter?! I don't get it. It tastes like the brew wasn't finished.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, chewy.

Drinkability: Maybe this should have sat longer to mellow out or it should have been in the fermentor a bit longer. I don't think I'll be giving this another shot.

Photo of therica
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= red or caramel-red depending on the lighting; not much head after pouring, slight rimming.

S= plentiful caramel, toasted malts, fresh hops florals.

T= nicely bitter, greenish hops, dry toasted malts, caramel coming together nicely. Little carbonation, could use a slight bit more.

M= slightly dry and some bitters, light sweetness.

D= great for a few.

Photo of JunkYardJake
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle to pint glass.
In my early days of craft beer consumption (not that long ago), this was one of my favorite local beers. Sessionable, tasty, and has good flavour and character without being too bold for a newbie. Plus it has a cool name and label! Alot of reviews that I have read here say this is not a true to style ESB. I haven't had enough ESBs to really have an opinion in this regard but, to me, it tastes similiar to alot of brown ales that I've had. Slighty sweet and malt forward with toasty and nutty notes. Maybe a little buttery too. Dark brown and gold in color. Nice head but no lacing and minimal retention. Pretty good mouthfeel. Not too slick, not too heavy. It won't blow you away but is a solid session ale.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barleys in Greenville last night. I opened my night there with this one. Served cold and consumed on 02/27/2010.

The pour was decent, nothing incredible, but nice for the style. Light 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. Light body, nice carbonation and a smooth even and clean finish.

Overall a pretty good ESB, nothing crazy but very drinkable for sure. Not a bad way to open up the afternoon that was for sure.

Photo of josefnewsong
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a clear red color with a bit of off-white head with ok retention and little lacing
S - bready and grainy malts, not much else
T - not-too-sweet bready malts with a slightly bitter hop finish, well-balanced but low-key
M - smooth, medium/full-bodied, creamy
D - definitely drinkable due to the well-balanced nature and low abv, but not much here to keep me asking for more

Photo of morimech
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish amber with two inches of white head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Aroma is full of crystal malt. The hops linger in the background but do give herbal, earthy hints. The flavor does not suit me. A lot of crystal malt, low hop flavor, and mild bitterness. Somewhat sweet overall. A bit medicinal. Has a nice body for an ESB. Carbonation is lively without being harsh. The malt bill in this one does not suit my tastes. Nice ABV and body raises the drinkability score.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear body with a brown color and a slight orange hue and a wispy thin tan head that turns into a 1/2 ring after a sip. There are strands of tiny bubbles that glide to the surface.
S- The aroma is pretty clean with a soft brown malt hint and a faint hop note that only comes through after the beer warms a bit.
T- The light brown malt flavor with a biscuit malt flavor to follow has a taste of fresh sweet wort which grows as the beer warms. The finish is a soft hop note that increases nicely as the beer warms.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a bit of a flat mouthfeel in the finish.
D- This beer has a nice hop flavor to a good session beer but the biscuit malt tends to grow to strong and overpowers the other flavors.

Photo of jkrich
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, clear red with brown highlights and an quickly receding off-white head; no lacing.

Very little here: perhaps some muted malt aromas.

There is an inital mild hoppy bitterness that is quickly overtaken by malt flavor. It does not have the complex flavors of hops and malt I expect with this style. The ale does improve as it warms. This is more of a pale ale than an ESB.

Medium bodied and a little too much carbonation for a bitter. The body is a thin but does leave a pleasant malty sweetness on the palate.

This is very quaffable and mostly refreshing, yet there are many better examples of the style available for the price. I have enjoyed all of the products from this brewery. This one is not at the same level as their other offerings.

Photo of Jwale73
3.08/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. No freshness dating indicated on the bottle. Poured a translucent copper with a loose, quarter inch off-white head that dissipates into a slick and a band - no lacing on this one. Nose is light, but getting a combination of cereal grains, a slightly skunky quality and some light aromatic hops. Taste follows nose with perhaps some caramel malt in the mix. Mouthfeel is light-medium (more to the light side of the spectrum) and lively with a fairly dry finish. Not sure if this is an off bottle, but I was a little underwhelmed by this.

Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured out of a bottle freshest dat 9/25/09. Yes I got suckered on this one. But here goes...

Dark burgundy color with minimal head. Still appears to be a very thick brew. Familiar smell like cookies. Something sweet going on here, not sweet like a barlywine though. A lot of flavors going on here some dark fruits at first sip but the hops are helping disappear the flavor quickly. But leaves a metal like flavor in the after taste. Very low drinkable nature. Carbonation really hurts the mouth flavor.

Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB from Stoudts Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 634 ratings.