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Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB - Stoudts Brewing Co.

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

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641 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 641
Reviews: 363
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 11
Gots: 26 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 641 | Reviews: 363 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Mitchster
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

Photo of jaluria
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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.

Photo of ypsifly
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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.


Photo of bignick
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
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
3.62/5  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
4/5  rDev +10.8%
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
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
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
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
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
2.21/5  rDev -38.8%
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
3.17/5  rDev -12.2%
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
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
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
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
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
3.56/5  rDev -1.4%
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
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
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
3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB from Stoudts Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 641 ratings.