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!

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.
BA SCORE
82
good

634 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 634
Reviews: 362
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 12.19%
Wants: 10
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 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.

Slàinte!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of Dithyramb
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased and sampled a six pack prior to the Colts/Ravens game yesterday. Best by 12/20/05 clearly ink jet labeled on the neck.

Poured a coppery red with a nice off-white head. Good lacing and average retention. Super malty aroma with only the lightest of hops tinkling about.
Sadly, the same thing comes through in the flavor. Very malty, in a brown sugar/crystal malt sort of way. Not cloying and ultra sugary, just lacking a bit in the hops department. With a touch more of hops and alcohol, this one could be world class. Some bitterness comes through in the finish, with some hoppy dryness.
Either way, quite drinkable. Not sure if any of the six pack survived the tailgate.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Reddish brown, with thin head. Dissipates quickly.

Smell: Hoppy aroma.

Taste: Hoppy and slightly malty at first, but metallic flavors in after-taste.

Notes: Not my favorite ESB. Probably just average...

Photo of jakester
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is from a new sampler case from Stoudt's. I drank this in a pilsner glass. Date is clearly stamped on the bottle. (Yay!)

Pours a beautiful reddish/copper with a one finger head of off-white foam. The head drops to islands and a ring with good lacing on the glass. Carbonation is evident.

Aroma is fruity, earthy brown sugar, toasted and caramel malts, and a barely there floral hop smell. The aroma is about the malts.

The first flavor is toasted malts and brown sugar, very clean, balanced by an appropriate level of hop bitterness. The floral hop flavor is kind of pushed back by the malts, but it is there. Aftertaste is toasted caramel, earthy and crisp, with a lingering hop bitterness. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is malty, but not sweet, with a soft to medium level of carbonation. Hop bitterness is there on your throat and tongue. Finish is crisp and pretty dry, nice.

The expiration date on this bottle is 12/20/05, so this is very fresh. Beers like this change fairly quickly. This is an exemplary representation of the style, and the freshness had something to do with that, I believe.

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite pleasant. Copper amber color. Quick and moderate head. Lasting lace.

Taste is quite exempalary for an ESB. Biscuity malt. Check. Caramel. Check. Balanced with noticeable hops bitterness. Those hops are also readily apparent on the nose, esp. once first poured. Slight metalic taste could be my imagination, since I noticed another reviewer mention it, but it fits in in a pleasant way. That taste I think is from the hops (?) and I've noticed it in the style before.

On further tastings, I may be convinced to go higher with the rating for the taste. But the score isn't as important as this: of the many ESB's I've tasted this easily, in my mind, is in the upper tier. It has the complexity only the best in the style can pull off.

Darn fine ESB which is definitely worth giving a try.

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

Appearance - Deep translucent red/auburn (I see why it is called scarlet lady). Moderate frothy head with a big ring of lace clinging to the side.

Smell - The strong hop aroma typical of an ESB overpowers anything that might be underneath.

Taste - Not as bitter as I expected. The hop aromas are more prominent than the flavor. A subtle sweet hoppy taste initially that quickly changes to a moderate and pleasant bitterness. A malty character appears to round it out. Not bad. Nothing extravagant and devoid of anything repulsive.

Mouthfeel - Medium viscosity, frothy, not very drying for a bitter beer. Actually quite refreshing.

Drinkability - Very good. Unlike many ESBs I've had in the past, this one is not oppressively bitter, which makes the prospect of a second a reality as opposed to a hopeful fantasy.

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with a thick frothy head. Aroma is some caramel malts and a tang of hops, maybe some rye.

Taste is rich and malty with a hint of sourness, maybe some rye malts in the blend. Hoppiness is low but present, not much more than a vague fruity flavor. Soft malts all the way round, much of the extra special bitterness is absent.

Mouthfeel is medium, nice to drink. A decent ESB, even if it does lean more towards the malt. I could session this one.

Photo of Fish113d
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled in a bottle poured into a pint glass, it pours an amber color with decent 1 1/2" head. Retention and cling is nice and this brwe appears very clean and nice.

Aroma is of some hops, but a wheat and mild caramel maltiness is also detected. Nothing too exciting, but decent aroma. A little biscuit to note as well.

Sipping reveals a rather bitter hop flavor, backed by some slight maltiness toward the finish (swallow). The bitterness is not as potent on the 2nd sip as the first, and this is well balanced. ESB's are not especially my favorite style, but this is very drinkable due to the carbonation not being too overpowering and the bitterness of the hops is nice.

I would recommend giving this a try. Not my favorite, but like I said, I am just not the biggest fan of the style.

Photo of Franchise
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a good ESB, this beer pours dark brown with a slight tan lace that lingers for awhile. The look of the beer is nice and clear, with a smell of toffee and nuts. The taste on the palate is sweet, malty, with some hop kick to it. I taste caramel, toffee, and nuts. I like this beer, I would def get it again.

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

The appearance is a brownish copper color with a fleeting tan head. Some lacing does occur.

Its smell is hopy and bitter.

The flavor has a brown sugar quality. It starts off sweet and finishes with a hop kick.

The carbonation is good for an ESB, and is light in the body department.

This is an easy drinking beer. I could definitely drink this one again, but don’t feel that I will be purchasing it again.

Worth a try.

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

This is a nother brew that isn't bad, but still misses the mark a bit.

It pours a nice amber colour that looks very full. It is topped by a creamy head that leaves surprisingly little residue on the glass.

The smell consists of hints of caramel, malt, some fruit and a bit of wood.

Flavour-wise, this one didn't really hit the mark as an ESB for me, though it was still pretty tasty. Hop presence is felt though malt seems to dominate here, as earthy and woodlike flavours are littered throughout. It starts to go sweet for a second but moves back into a malt flavour. Alcohol flavour is surprisingly high here as well, leaving a warm feeling in the throat. Mouthfeel is average, with the body being a bit overcarbonated for me, which cut into it's smoothness.

As mentioned, this one isn't bad, but needs some tinkering. I've had better from Stoudt's.

Photo of santoslhalper
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours a nice reddish copper with a thin, near beige head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The smell is a pleasent mix of spices and sweet, sticky malts balanced by floral, citrus hops.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is just the average bitter taste of english style beers, without any complexity or depth, and a huge lack of balance. The flavors that are there aren't bad, but just aren't anything special in any way. The mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery.

Drinkability and Overall: This is about as average of an ESB as possible. This is not a hard style to make complex or fun, and this one just doesn't stand up to the test. Stoudt's hasn't been impressing me as much as they used to. It's either the fact that these beers are brewed in Adamstown now instead of Fredericksburg, or my taste in beer and my palate has matured. Let's hope it's the latter.

Photo of ChowHound
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A burnt amber color with a dense head of firmly packed baby bubbles that produces a head of ample froth. Aroma is laden with caramel notes and toasty nuts. Mouthfeel is medium, flavor is sweet and then followed by enough bitterness to make this a good example of a real ESB. Great beer here.

Photo of mentor
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to frnacisweizen for this one. Reviewed March 2005. Pours a 1/2 finger caramel fluffy head over a rust orange liquid. Opps, I poured the sediment into the glass, so it's faily cloudy. Smells quite hoppy with woody and citrus notes (KGoldings?). Some fruity esters carry the hops and I think I get some vienna malt, too. Tastes mild malt sweet witha mild tang in the middle. After the swallow, a fantastic fruity malt rises up my throat and hangs on the back part of my tongue. Wow, that was a neat experience. It's got some rougher hop character. Citrus and grassy. Not grapefruit like american hops...woody citrus and sour piney. THe bitter is more than I like in an ESB, but I'm a ho-head. It adds an interesting dimesnion. Mouthfeel is creamy and light. Not macro-swill light. It's soft with mild carbonation lifint any viscosity so the beer doesn't coat the tongue. Very nice. With searching, I guess it's medium-bodied, but appears less because of the creamy and carbonation gives it the experience of lightness.

Photo of twelvsies
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On sale today at Spirit Haus, it was a good deal and I like ESBs so I thought I'd check it out. Surprised. It's not really an ESB, in my opinion. More of an amber really, but I'll review it anyway. Reddish amber copper color with a decent head on it (actually it fizzed right out of the bottle). Smell is pretty light but there's some nice doughy malty notes and some prescence of herbal hops, and a bit dusty. The taste is very mellow. Much as it smells, but the hops are even more subdued. Nice warm wheaty and barlyish flavor with a soft malty palate but not at all normal for the ESB style. A little toffee maybe, reminiscent of the English style ESBs. But like I said, if this was an amber I would be totally pleased with it but this beer isn't bitter at all. What's the deal?

Photo of ski271
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This ESB is a beautiful medium copper color with a thin, light tan, mostly diminishing head and some lacing early. The aroma is rather light, some toasted malts and a little floral hops but not as much as I expected from an ESB. There’s also some sort of herbal aroma that I can’t put my finger on. Taste is smooth and mild, more grainy than hoppy, but it has a nice crisp but short finish with a little bit of bitterness. Mouthfeel is very good, slightly oily maybe, medium body, soft carbonation, surprisingly good though. This beer isn’t anything that wow you, and I don’t think it is a good representation of its style. However, it is a well-rounded beer that is very inviting. I enjoyed this beer.

Photo of wisnerd
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours nicely with a thin and delicate tan head. The red amber color is pleasing as is the odor. Taste is slightly bitter but not extra specially bitter, with a hint of sweetness and the hops rounded out well. The Scarlet Lady has a good consistency but is a little too bubbly, I like a woman who is a bit more reserved. This could be due to the bottle. Overall a solid beer with excellent value ($1/bottle but then again I live 30 minutes from the brewery). Goes well with a meal or on its own, and is a good choice in general.

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

12ozer bottle bought as a single from Oliver's Beverage in Albany, NY.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head above the copper brew. Head exhibits reasonable retention, with average-to-good lacing. Aroma is sweetly malty, with little hops character evident. Taste continues in the same vein, with the balance leaning towards grain, an oddity for an ESB. Mouthfeel and drinkability okay, but in this brew's case the maltiness just limits the ease-of-drinking factor a bit. An acceptable brew that seems mis-categorized, but it's hard to switch when ESB is in its name...

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