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Anvil Ale ESB - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anvil Ale ESBAnvil Ale ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

531 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 531
Reviews: 307
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 39
Gots: 20 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 03-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 531 | Reviews: 307 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ycortez

5/5  rDev +28.9%

05-08-2012 03:26:46 | More by ycortez
Photo of earitt


5/5  rDev +28.9%

11-17-2011 20:00:19 | More by earitt
Photo of ZAP


4.88/5  rDev +25.8%

nice copper color...bubbly creamy head..english malts on nose and buds...flatish/sweet mouthfeel with malt dominate..very slight smokiness on the nose..spicy..lovely soft, sweet, grainy taste...This is really something..an outstanding ESB...

05-25-2002 11:56:22 | More by ZAP
Photo of waughbrew


4.78/5  rDev +23.2%

Rusty red with creme colored head that stays and sticks tightly. Beautiful. Aromas of cherries, strawberries, and light citrus hops. Caramel and chocolate covered fruits. Flavor starts with sweet nutty caramel balanced with a burst of fresh floral hop flavor when a small bite of grain kicks in and takes it to a sweet roasty chocolate finish. Extremely delicate and soft with its medium-light body.

Absolutely wonderful. The only more I would ask for is some additional yeast character. Maybe hints of phenolics or diacetyl even could bring this beer over the edge. As it is, though, it is something I really wish I could have all the time.

09-05-2004 00:52:02 | More by waughbrew
Photo of pathman


4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

07-15-2013 02:04:51 | More by pathman
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Appearance - reddish color with hints of orange and brown. Mocha-tinted off-white head of 1 finger settles quickly. Refilling from the bottle instantly regenerates the head which retains better towards the bottom of the bottle. Lots of sludgy stuff at the bottom, I let some of it into the glass, but not much.

Aroma - malty and bready with a biscuity, hoppy thread. Notes of alcohol peek through as well.

Taste - toasty, dry, richly malted start that is equally flavored with a slightly citrus, slightly bitter hop feel. All mixed together, I get this sometimes orangey, sometimes chocolaty sensation. Aged for an ESB, but well cared for, this is one tasty brew. Larger gulps do not do this beer justice, smaller sips work the palate much better. A touch of alcohol shows through as it warms. Finishes warm, toasty, and slightly juicy. Does it get any better than this?

Mouthfeel - smooth and creamy, carbonation starts out about average, but the levels drift off a bit with time, in step with the increased levels of yeast towards the end of the bomber.

Drinkability - at 3.19 per 22-ounce bottle, this is one of the best values for an extremely tasty, most drinkable beer.

Major props to drewbage for this hand trade, giving me a chance to experience some West Coast brews not always accessible in these parts.

02-15-2005 21:10:45 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of jonnylieberman


4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

nice and copper out of the bottle. Great head.

smelled like a good beer. Good malt aroma.

This is a very salty beer. Oh wait, those are my TEARS OF JOY! Hands down the most scrumptious beer I ever tasted. Good good good! Really good! A revelation. We were drinking Arrogant Bastard and I grabbed a 22 of this and all four people agreed this beer was far superior. Superb. Incredible. Get some.

If this beer was all I ever felt in my mouth I would be OK with that.

I could drink a keg in one sitting and still be thirsty. For reals.

02-20-2004 05:44:36 | More by jonnylieberman
Photo of mikepcarney


4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

07-09-2014 23:39:02 | More by mikepcarney
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +19.3%

Very nice looking beer here. Dark reddish brown with a nicely sized off-white head. Leaves lots of lace, and head retention is pretty decent. The aroma features floral hops galore along with a healthy dose of biscuity and grainy malt. Quite nice. The flavors are even more impressive. Starts off with just a little bitterness, then goes to a nice biscuity maltiness. In the middle, the bitterness returns, showing more hop character. It's oily/resiny and slightly leafy. The leafiness increases in the back and in the aftertaste. Malt is a little sweet and grainy in places. The mouthfeel is very nice and smooth. Finishes with a final stroke of bitterness. One excellent ESB right here! Grab it if you can!

03-21-2003 05:25:17 | More by hyuga
Photo of BrewMaster


4.63/5  rDev +19.3%

Appearance: Poured from a bomber into a 23 oz sniffer. The head is rough and a bit uneven in bubbles size. Very nice tan color on the head that is easily revived with some swirling. The beer is a semi-cloudy brownish red with an orange tint to make it seem light,

Smell: The aroma is simply lovely on this beer. Crisp caramel malts along with brown sugar that is nearly seductive. There are notes of orange that come from the hops. It is not over hopped but nicely hopped to balance the malt.

Taste: Very big caramel flavor to start with a big helping of brown sugar sweetness. The flavor is very toasty, From the smell I would not have expected such a toasty, nearly coffee-like, flavor from such a beer with this color. There is a lot of flavor packed into this simple looking, seemingly lighter beer. The hop bitternes shows up in the middle of the flavor in an earthy, piney, perfumed sort of manner. The hop flavor is delicate and short lived but perfect. It does not over-stay its welcome and it does not try to steal the show from the rich malts. The ending of this beer is a refershing and clean watery flavor. It does not taste watered down in a poor way, but rather a nice water flavor sends you palate off and bids a dieu.

Mouthfeel: Velvety and very well carbonated. Toasty aftertaste that is washed clean and left un-sticky by the watery ending.

Mouthfeel: All around this is a truly remarkable beer. The flavors are well crafted and balanced to provide a wonderful drinking experience. Nothing is overdone while nothing is also under represented. Excellent in the true sense of the word. This beer excels in flavor where others simply cannot.

04-02-2005 22:57:16 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of freed


4.63/5  rDev +19.3%

Stumbled (not literally) onto this gem on tap at Blue Monk last week and had to go back and have some more.

The beer is a lovely deep copper approaching brown. It has excellent clarity. There is a small amount of foam when served and it remains through the pint.

The aroma is old world in its malt smells. The smell is a little huskier, a little mustier, and the yeast compliments with a mild apple tart.

The taste is benevolent with its flavors. Sweet malts finish in a toffee and caramel kiss. The mouth is left immediately wanting. It takes a second sip to realize that the flavor wants to hide, but can't quite fully. What's amazing is this beer is so uniuqe - not only as an ESB but as any beer, and it emplores you to pay it all the attention it deserves.

04-28-2005 01:14:24 | More by freed
Photo of rowew


4.63/5  rDev +19.3%

Presentation: 22 oz bomber. Lengthy description of the style on the back, but no freshness info to be found.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy red orange color with a bit of haze. Medium sized head that fades, but leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt aroma dominates, with a nice amount of fruity hops in there too.

Taste: Nice smooth mouthfeel and low carbonation which seem appropriate for the style. Bready malt flavor, with quite a bit of hops balancing things out. Very smooth and drinkable.

Overall impression: Highly drinkable, and nicely reminsecent of cask conditioned beers. Very well done - wish I could get it locally.

11-23-2005 21:39:49 | More by rowew
Photo of garthwaite


4.6/5  rDev +18.6%

Sampled on tap at Father's Office in Santa Monica. Appeared a deep copper with a sticky white head that converted to a creamy ring & left an intricate web of lacing down the pint glass. Earthy hops, caramel malt, & sweet fruit in the nose. Rich malts everywhere...loads more caramel with toasted almonds & toffee. Fantastically balanced by spicy, peppery, in-the-ground floral hops. Beautifully balanced, seriously complex ale (especially for a fairly low gravity brew). Medium to light bodied, almost airy in the mouth. It was tough for me to have just one of these, what a treat. Without a doubt, one of the best ESB's I've had.

09-03-2004 19:56:22 | More by garthwaite
Photo of MJR


4.58/5  rDev +18%

22oz bomber.

Appearance: Pours a color somewhere between dark copper and light amber that seems to glow on it's own. Crystal clear body with lots of carbonation bubbles. Capped with a thin, off-white head that is standard for the style.

Smell: The aroma is an amazing balance between the grains and hops. The grains are very fresh with lots of breadiness. There's a nice touch of fruitiness in there as well, most noticeably apricot. The hops are very leafy and green. Great aroma!

Taste: Very full flavored with the same balance from the aroma. Nice breadiness from the malt, and lots of firm bitterness from the hops. There's a faint hint of caramel and toffee. The hop flavor is both leafy and green, and fruity, with suggestions of apricot and grapefruit. There's a touch of an herbal note in there too. Very nice!

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a highly carbonated mouthfeel that's velvety smooth from being bottle-conditioned. Finishes dry and bitter.

Drinkability: Top notch drinkability! I could drink this one all night. The fantastic balance and bold flavors make this one bad-ass American-made ESB! Spot on for style...

Well done Alesmith! I wish this was available in the Midwest. More please...

04-07-2003 14:31:18 | More by MJR
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +17.3%

Ahhh, my first AleSmith.

Pours a rich chestnut color with a thin, lacy off-white head. Clean aroma of hops and biscuity malts. The first taste is just...awesome. Incredibly well-balanced and flavorful, with mild hops, caramel/toffee and biscuit, with maybe a hint of fruit. Smooth and creamy -- just a delightful beer to sip. Wow. I'm blown away by the delicate, well-crafted nature of this beer.

I'm so glad I ordered 3 AleSmith beers from LetsPour. This is just outstanding.

10-18-2012 00:26:35 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of beeritron


4.55/5  rDev +17.3%

Pours a hazy, amber color with yeast sediment floating around. Anvil has a big tan head with lots of little bubbles and effervescence. The head shrinks to a substantial covering on the surface. A nice lacing down the glass is present as the head stays on top of the beer all the way to the bottom. The smell is sweet with a pleasant yeasty sourness. Notes of caramel and roasted malts are present too. A nice hop aroma is there as well. The taste is sweet with a slight bitterness that balances well. A fruity taste is apparent with cherries being the one that comes to mind. This medium bodied beer fills the mouth and tickles the tongue with mini bubbles and a perfect carbonation level. Roasted flavors on the back of the tongue give Anvil a pleasant smokey/bitter aftertaste. This is one I'll be drinking again.

01-19-2008 23:56:10 | More by beeritron
Photo of Crosling


4.53/5  rDev +16.8%

Bright copper with purple highlights.

Tons of fruity esters in the aroma accompanied by lots of toasted malts, a smoked woodiness and some spicy notes. Smells like a fruit shake.

Top is a gliding caramel and toffee sweetness. Unbelieveably smooth. Fruity hop flavor. Spicy, citrus-like notes. Moderate carbonation.

A great beer. Easily the best of the style I have ever had.

05-03-2004 04:53:49 | More by Crosling
Photo of JupiterJesus


4.5/5  rDev +16%

12-03-2012 02:55:11 | More by JupiterJesus
Photo of Chugs13

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +16%

02-03-2013 05:14:22 | More by Chugs13
Photo of ColdOneKev


4.5/5  rDev +16%

04-26-2013 23:39:24 | More by ColdOneKev
Photo of kevgod


4.5/5  rDev +16%

04-07-2012 19:27:35 | More by kevgod
Photo of Rosquin


4.5/5  rDev +16%

09-26-2013 12:10:04 | More by Rosquin
Photo of slimntubbs


4.5/5  rDev +16%

07-28-2013 19:34:07 | More by slimntubbs
Photo of charlzm


4.5/5  rDev +16%

Consumed on 12/01/07.

Deep ambery coppery color, slightly hazy, pours a moderate light tan head that thins to a creamy, fine ring around the edges after a while.

Beautiful sweet malt aroma with sugar/molasses notes and some fruits (from the yeast?); indistinct and fleeting metallic tang the only flaw.

Mouthfeel is slightly smooth and creamy. Yeast character is unexpectedly strong on palate for an ESB. Grainy, fruity flavors (sweet oranges, apricots) wash over the tongue before going down with a clean, fast finish. Traces of caramel as well. Slightly dry on the finish.

I love this beer.

02-29-2008 18:43:33 | More by charlzm
Photo of brandoman63


4.5/5  rDev +16%

11-22-2011 21:37:17 | More by brandoman63
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Anvil Ale ESB from AleSmith Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 531 ratings.