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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.

626 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 626
Reviews: 362
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 12.19%
Wants: 10
Gots: 21 | 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
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Ratings: 626 | Reviews: 362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DaggerEyes
2.7/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottle was stamped with a "Best Before 7/8/06" marking.

Scarlet Lady lived up to her name and poured a scarlet hue with sublte accents of ruby. A thin head rose to the surface but quickly disappated.

Some what hoppy on the nose with some sweet malty undertones and subtle scents of rasberries.

Some what sweet on the tounge with a bit of a bitter after taste, the taste is a bit muted and monochromatic, but the rasberry characterisitcs present in the aroma cary through to the taste.

A bit thin at first, but bubbles up in your mouth and becomes a bit chewier.

Nothing really to write home about, after sampling this beer again I can say I'll probobly never drink it again...

DaggerEyes, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of crwills
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty decent session beer.

Pours a deep red, almost brown, with a small head that fades to a bubble-cover after a minute or so. Smell is oddly yeasty with a bit of hops. Taste is mild, but not bad. Some citrusy and piney hops, which is a bit odd for the style, but OK. Smooth mouthfeel, but a dull bitter aftertaste that detracts a bit.

crwills, Mar 26, 2006
Photo of tempest
2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Clark's Ale House

Nice dark orange and amber body with a creamy white head and decent retention. Looks great, but smell and taste are too light. Sweet ringwood aroma with a little hops, but faint. Similar taste is nice but very light. Its hard to pick out the hops at all. Mouthfeel is watery, but it is fairly drinkable.

Does Clark's just have an old keg here? What gives?

tempest, Mar 20, 2006
Photo of bahumutx
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper with a small head

Smell: Floral hops and sweetness from the malt

Taste: Starts with a piney/floral hops and then moves on to a malty sweetness. End with a slight hop bitterness. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could have a few of these in a sitting.

This is another good beer from Stoudt’s.

bahumutx, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of thepitch
2.65/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I met the scarlett lady at the Stoudt's brewpub, and decided to take her home, based on apperances alone. She looked good (a nice coppery deep red) and clear, but the head was unmemorable.

She smelled clean, which I like, but without very much aroma at all. I guess it is better to have no smell than a bad one.

The scarlett lady's taste was completely inoffensive and almost non-existent. Her only redeeming quality was a faint and sweet aftertaste.

Let's just say I won't regret the one night stand, but I wouldn't take her home to mom.

thepitch, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin head that doesn't last very long. Nice coppery red. Minimal carbonation. Leaves very little lace.

Smells of bitter hops, pomegranate and leather.

Taste is definitely on the bitter side. Fruity sourness fighting against toasty malts, with mild pine from the hops standing strong. Flavors die out pretty quick after the sip, leaving a dryness. Feels really good while in the mouth, slightly creamy with some effervescent activity (which I never would've predicted by looking at it).

A good-but-not-great beer. I know Stoudt's brews better beers. This is an interesting and enjoyable ESB, but it's not an award-winner.

Metalmonk, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with an initially two-finger thick, frothy, amber-tinged, tan colored head. The beer itself is a concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma is a mix of fruit and hops; I get notes of berries, a light herbal character and a touch of orange zest. There is a dry toasted malt aroma underneath, that becomes quite rich and prominent if you become too intent on sucking in all of the aromatics. This has a really nice nose to it, makes me thirsty for a sip.

The beer is pretty light, dry up front, but it begins to pick up a bit of malt sweetness as the beer passes through the mouth. The beer is quite smooth, with just a touch of prickly carbonation; it is quite nice and makes for an easy drinking experience. There are some soft fruit notes here, mostly reminiscent of raisins, but there is a bit of berry character here as well. There is a nice herbal hop bitterness throughout, it is not too assertive, but is always there and noticeable. I even think that some of the hop flavors accentuate the soft fruit character of this beer. The malt character is quite good as well; there are some nice caramel notes as well as some biscuit type notes and some lightly toasted grain notes.

This is quite a nice beer, in fact it is really hitting the spot right now. It is light enough and quite quaffable with lots of hop and malt character to keep the flavors intriguing and interesting. As the beer warms up a bit from the initial 50*F, the hop character becomes a bit more assertive, perhaps leaving a touch less well balanced.

Gueuzedude, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB

Appearance- hazy reddish orange with a decent billowy head. Heavy lacing.
Smell- sweet malt with just a faint touch of nice dry hops.
Taste- whoa... sweet malt overpowers this one! A nice citric hop flavor but very subdued.
Mouthfeel- watery and sweet. Very minimal dry hoppy bitterness.

Overall- A nice ESB. Not 1 that'll knock your socks off but a pleasant, just a hair above mediocre Bitter.

NJpadreFan, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of EStreet20
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

A - pours a deep reddish tinted amber with a very nice off white head about a fvinger and a half high.

S - Smell of sweet malts with some toasted malt aroma in there as well. A bit of a floral hop along with tiny citrus notes. Nice tea like aroma is the smell jumping out at my most.

T - A big toasted malt profile. Some hop notes are present but not as much as I expetced from the smell. Still it finishes veery clean with some hop bitterness.

M - The roasted taste combines with a medium body/carbonation make this one feel pretty good in the mouth.

D - A pretty good session beer but not drinkable in the sense that it's unique and exciting. Still pretty good drinkability.

EStreet20, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear amber color with a fluffy head that dissipates quickly; decent lacing

Smell: Resinous piney hops aroma with a caramel base

Taste: Starts out with a bready malt flavor with underpinnings of earthy, herbal hops; caramel elements build, mid-palate, with some light fruit character; the finish is a balance between the malt, the fruit and the hops

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: I have had nixed experiences with this beer in the past but now that I have had a fresh bottle, this beer appeals as a good example of the style

brentk56, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of HugoGrim
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on tap in the Black Angus Restaurant at the Stoudt's Brewery.

Body is a dark copper color. Thick head with excellent lace.

The scent is a bit fruity and has elements of apples and hops.

A nice balance of sweet malts and bitter hops make up the flavor. Alcohol peeks through, which is surprising as this is a relitively low ABV ale.

HugoGrim, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of Mitchster
2.95/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Sparkingly clear deep ruby red, forming a creamy light tan head with very good retention and average lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Very nice looking beer. The aroma is a pleasant mix of English and American hop varieties all balanced by a slight hint of caramel, green apple esters, sweet wet grain husk, and residual sugars. Mouthfeel is smooth and satisfying with a medium body. The taste is a recap of the above. The hops are herbaceous and I detect some musty cardboard in the middle with faint alcohols and mild fusels in the middle. The finish is very earthy and dirty and has an oxidized aftertaste.

This looks and smells nice, but it doesn't hold up in the flavor department. Ruddy and bland, it's not something I would care to have again. A less than average ESB, like something Miller/AB would have came up with.

Mitchster, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of jaluria
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Interesting name and artwork to match on the front of this bottle.
Poured a dark amber color with a hefty amount of carbonation and a frothy head that left behind bits of lacing. Various hues in the beer gave it a distinct glow and shimmer. Aromas of burnt wood, hops, citrus, and roasted malts. Together, these scents seemed to suggest a cross between an IPA and Doppelbock. It seemed interesting at first, but quickly became somewhat repugnant and unappealing. The taste, however, is enjoyable and smooth with a refreshing citrus character that works very well with the roasted malt flavors; adding depth and wonderful texture to the beer. The aftertaste is bitter with a lingering sensation in my throat. Good drinkabilty due to the flavors and lower ABV, but the aromas given off by the beer can be a big distraction, it was for me.

jaluria, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pristine dark pumpkin with undertones of scarlet and polished brass. The wonderful crown of toasted beige has a moonscape surface and is sticky enough so that sections maintain contact with the glass as it drops. Thick lace remains behind and resembles paint that was daubed on with a sponge.

The nose is pretty good as well, although I can't say that I love it. It consists of a near equal mix of melted caramel and fruity hops. I prefer hop-dominant noses, but can easily concede the point that ESBs should be more balanced. For some reason, I was afraid the English hops would get lost in the mix, but they manage to hold their own.

If only the flavor matched the rather modest bar set by the aroma. Unfortunately, the Scarlet Lady is something of a looker, but is shallow and bland underneath it all. I'm unimpressed by the amount and the quality of the flavor delivered by the malt. It's lightly caramel-like with an overly sweetened tea flavor.

It looks like my fears of a less than stellar hoppiness have been realized after all. Minimal hop flavor coupled with minimal hop bitterness is not a recipe for success for any ESB that I've ever had. It tastes like there are the outlines of a good flavor profile in here somewhere, but they haven't been filled in with anything substantial. Has the Lady been dumbed down or was she never that bright to begin with?

The finish is surprisingly long and allows at least some hop flavor to be appreciated. It's too little too late though. I have no complaints about the mouthfeel. It's medium for the style and is pleasantly smooth, modestly carbonated and clean. This is an easy drinking beer, I just wish that it was more interesting.

Unfortunately, this isn't one of Stoudt's better offerings. An infusion of hops is the obvious fix. If nothing else, that would put some much needed 'B' in this ESB. As is, the Scarlet Lady isn't worth a one night stand, much less a prolonged affair.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of DrJay
3.08/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear coppery red with a short, beige head from a hard pour. Plenty of lacing and good retention. Herbal/earthy hop aroma, a bit musty, with a thin malt sweetness. Mild, malty flavour with low bitterness. Hops kick in at the mid-point, along with light fruit. Lingering herbal bitterness that's out of place. Body and carbonation are on the light side and it's a bit dry. This one just didn't work for me, though it's not bad. Just pretty average.

DrJay, Nov 24, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated 12oz served in a pint glass.

Clear, dark amber with a small head that is a very light tan. Decent retention with some ringed lace.

The nose has a lot of butter and caramel with some metallic hops.

Lots of toasty caramel upfront, a growing bitterness in the middle that washes away the malts and leads through a lingering bitter finish. Moderate mouth that washes clean. Has just the right amount of carbonation. A pretty straightforward ESB.

ypsifly, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of Shovelbum
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Generous chunky off-white head with decent retention and clinging foamy lace. Translucent deep-amber body. Toasted malt aromas combine with floral hops that are assertive but not over the top. Carmel malt is up front in the mouth, but the flavor quickly moves to a tangy hop bitterness. Light to Medium in body. Initially fairly crisp in the mouth, but it tones down for the finish. The hop bitterness lingers in the aftertaste, but isn’t overwhelming or too drying.

A fairly straightforward E.S.B. The bitterness is definitely noticeable, but isn’t overpowering. A bit more body would help its cause.

Shovelbum, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of Gaisgeil
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Everything I've had from this brewery has been spot on style, exactly what I expect from whatever style they list and this is certainly no exception, if I didn't know better, in a blind taste test I'd guess this was an British import of some kind.

Pours a deep shimmering copper brown with a thin creamy head that had decent retention. Nose is crisp and slightly bitter, pleasing and inviting. Taste is quite good, decently bitter and sweet all at once, very good balance. Mouthfeel is nice and light, but with a bit of body to it that makes it feel like a real beer, not watery. This is a top notch bitter and would be a go-to session beer for me.


Gaisgeil, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of bignick
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Kinsale 11/2.

Cool beer...really British. This beer appeared a nice light brown, which is exactly what I would expect for a bitter. It tasted very malty, with a decent but certainly not overwhelming hop backbone, which was a nice change of pace from what I'm used to. This is a nice bitter, the likes of which all pubs should have.

bignick, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arrogant Bastard's little sister?
Something in the flavor profile reminds me a little bit of the bastard.
Pretty good malt flavor with sharp, bitter twang on the palate.
Mostly sweeter malts in the aroma.
Bitterness is just right for me.
Paired this with some spicy soup and it held its own.
Probably mild for the style; a good means of introducing someone to the style.
I wont go out of my way for this brew but it's pretty good for what it is.

ommegangpbr, Oct 29, 2005
Photo of scooter231
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Goldish copper color with a tad bit of head and moderate lacing- looks thick. Almost like maple syrup. Maple syrup beer, huh...

Nose is fruity, hints of apricot, maybe? Definitely lemon rind. Sweet malts coming through. Tastes bitter, but not overly so- underly so, actually. Hints of roastedness and breadyness. Also mildly fruity, mostly citrus. Maltyness and hoppyness are fighting to be number one on the palate- feels like they're both drowning in the struggle. Tasty, but there's something about it that's just not right... not balanced enough. That's pretty annoying because I sense that it COULD be really, really tasty... it's growing on me, though.

Mouthfeel is really lovely- medium-bodied and smooth, creamy, lightly bubbly. Quite drinkable, grows on you, just wish they could tweak the flavors a bit.

scooter231, Oct 27, 2005
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serviceable bitter, very well malted. Malts and hop in aroma. Amber colour. Smooth, clean finish, with sugary aftertaste A good second drink after my porter, though others may want more strongly bitter brew. Despite mediocre labels, this is a good brewery.

Sammy, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a slightly hazy, reddish copper color wit a large head to start, that fell to a sticky lacy ring. Smell is a perfect combination of hops and roasted malt, with some caramel noted. Taste is very refreshing with the malt and hops coming together nicely, with neither dominating, but really complimenting each other in good proportions. Finish is a bit subtle for my liking, but still enjoyable. I found this to be an easy drinking beer that was thirst quenching. Would make a great session beer.

tgbljb, Oct 01, 2005
Photo of rousee
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown color that is murky. Maybe there is some ruby or scarlet but only in the bottom 1/5 of the glass. Wisp of foam with no head or lace. Neutral maltiness with some barley sugar aspects.

A decent mild esb--malty up-front some sourness in the finish and aftertaste. Pleasant still. There are hints of apples in the flavor too. Pretty smooth MF--there is a seltzer-ish feel to the carbonation. Drinkable. A decent beer but nothing I am dying to stock up on.

rousee, Sep 20, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.2/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Standard 12 ounce bottle sealed with a black crown cap. The main label has colorful picture of a Scarlet Lady drinking ale from a horn. No strength listed but a Best Before 12/20/05 date is ink jet stenciled onto the top of the bottle neck.

Appearance: Dark copper, ruddy orange body, pellucid with a rising tan colored head that collapses quickly to leave a broken scum on the surface. Body is great in appearance but the lack of any head really destroys the presentation.

Nose: Toasted malts have a slight “baby sick” tone to them. Soiled aromas with some metallic flashes, smells like something awful from a Can. Urgh!!

Taste: I am still reeling from the off-putting aromas, but trying hard to differentiate the tastes as a stand alone mark. Sickly sweet roasted malts have caramel and soggy damp wet soiled hops. Rain sodden earth finishes with a plain toffee ending. Awful.

Mouthfeel: Sliding feel, chilled it seems reasonable, yet as it warms it morphs into a sickly mess. Sticky and cloying.

Drinkability: Off-putting, from the broken looks, I just “shit-my-pants” odors, the cheap Supermarket brand malty beverage flavors, and the sickly mouthfeel as it warms….this is one forgetful brew.

Overall: I will always try a new beer at least once, but I won’t be bothering with this one again.

TheLongBeachBum, Sep 18, 2005
Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB from Stoudts Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 626 ratings.