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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

515 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 515
Reviews: 305
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 40
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anvil Ale ESB Alström Bros
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Ratings: 515 | Reviews: 305 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am surprised I was able to finish a 750 over lunch, but I did. It is nicely done, somewhat bitter and not complex. But went well with various lunch dishes. Rather mild Malty and floral and understated fruitiness. Thanks Don for bringing back fresh from San Diego!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2005 02:36:37 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

08-11-2012 22:56:21 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin broken rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some earthy and herbal hop aromas. Taste is of toasted malt and some nice earthy, herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 01:54:58 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.1%

11-24-2011 01:09:09 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to t0rin0 for sending this bottle my way. Served in a Bell's tulip pint glass.

Pours a moderate brown-amber color with a good off-white head and a nice bit of lacing on the way down. Collar throughout. The nose brings some light floral and earthy hops. A bit of bready malt. Flavor has a nice bitterness mixed with light hop flavor and bready malt through the background. Really excellent balance. Light-medium body and a semi-dry finish. Really nicely done ESB.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 23:25:55 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bloodshot orange-copper loaded with fine yeast; a gorgeous, multi-hued constellation of colors when viewed through late afternoon sunshine. The pale caramel colored head has rapidly compressed to its current two finger thickness, but doesn't appear to be interested in falling any farther. Although there isn't much lace initially, subsequent pours result in a thick, crusty band at midglass.

The nose is balanced and would be much better if it was stronger. There's a firm, toasted malt base with orange fruity hops layered on top. I can't tell for sure which hop varieties are in use, but it smells like an Anglo-American effort to me; heavier on the Anglo. It's a decent ESB nose, no more than that.

Anvil Ale is solid, like the implement that it was named for. Still though, I'm not tempted to go with the next highest flavor score. The flavor profile is supremely balanced. A toasted whole grain breadiness is seamlessly integrated with an acceptably bitter, orange marmalade hoppiness.

This is pretty unchallenging beer considering who brewed it. I can't decide if I mean that in a good way or a bad way. It has no rough edges and is tremendously polite in the mouth. That makes it a tremendously easy drinker and a wonderful session ESB on the one hand. On the other hand, it has no standout qualities that really impress me.

The bottom-of-the-bottle-therefore-even-more-yeast pour doesn't add anything of value to the flavor profile; nor does the flavor change appreciably as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is medium with a nod toward light-medium. A little more heft and a few more bubbles are what I'd recommend if asked.

After the incredibly wonderful, delightfully delicious AleSmith IPA and YuleSmith DIPA, my expectations for Anvil Ale were sky high. Although it failed to meet those expectations, it's far from disappointing beer. In the final reckoning, it's a good example of the American ESB style and should appeal to a wide range of people.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2005 22:52:42 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Valhalla, New York, NY

A: The beer is clear but dark reddish garnet in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thick ring of bubbles around the edge and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of earthy hops and biscuit malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is earthy and malty and has hints of mineral water in the flavors.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and slightly clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish leaves a little dryness in your mouth.
O: This beer seems more flavorful and fuller-bodied compared to other ESBs but it is still very easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2012 12:13:14 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with a thick, foamy head that leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Musty caramel, overripe stone fruit, Burton-on-Trent water character, earthy hops and tobacco

Taste: Toasted bread and caramel, up front, followed by the overripe stone fruit; by the time mid-palate rolls around, the earthy hops and tobacco combat the mineral-heavy Burton-on-Trent water taste and it is those flavors that persist into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While I generally like the ESB style, I am not a fan of the Burton beers and I am afraid this one reminds me too much of its antecedents; well-crafted, just not to my taste

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 20:04:18 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great thing to be trying a new Alesmith brew! This one poured a very vigorous deep orange amber. A very dark color which took me a little by surprise to be honest. A very nice three inches of head formed on the top in a good light tan to off white color. Great retention had this thing hanging around for what seemed like forever. Some sediment actually poured out of the bottom and graced over the top of the foam at the end. A very hazy and cloudy brownish amber this was and it had a very full look to it. A very nice aroma of deep caramel malts was the first thing I noticed. A nice subtle hoppiness as well, though sweet. The flavor was very full, almost a hoppy scotch ale of sorts. Very big with a grainy and chewy kind of feel to it. Medium body with ample carbonation led to a great rich feel and this was just a superb drinker. Overall I really liked this one. Much more full bodied then some of the ESB’s I have had in the past, this one really had a body on it and was very filling. Great hoppy finish and a very well rounded feel. A great ESB and a great addition to the Alesmith lineup, this one was definitely a keeper.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2007 02:04:12 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

10-25-2013 23:20:42 | More by nmann08
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Naven: Poured a medium brown color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some good lacing as well. Aroma of dry malt with some fresh lightly bitter hops. Taste is also well balance between dry malt with some very light sweet notes and a dry light bitter finish. Average body with medium carbonation. Overall, I thought this was simple without much complexity but well made to quench thirst.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2007 15:00:20 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With all the newfangled ales that microbrewers are churning out (hell, I even saw a beer with bull testicles in it), Its refreshing to see time honored recipes still making waves.

Anvil ESB pours with a bright, light-gold color and the most modest of haze. A billowing ivory-white head races to the top of the glass with loosely knit foam that settles into a creamy blanket and scattering a spider-webbing of foam down the glass.

Thin caramel, biscuit and pecans start the show as the malts provide a most supple type of sweetness rounded by the slightest toasted grain character. Its dry taste is perfectly balanced with a floral hop nose and honeysuckle taste from noble English hops before developing into a spicy middle and a drying woodish bitterness to close.

Its light body is accented by its high effervescence that springs the ale from the tongue and ushers in a fast, snappy, and slightly iron-like finish. Mild minty warmth stems from alcohol along with a medium pepper note and slim hop-derived bite to close.

Anvil is an effortless ale that's well suited for near sessionable quality, but is sturdy enough for that decadent plate of bangers & mash.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 17:27:48 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood Brewing

A: The beer pours a dark amber color with a couple fingers of white head and some mild lacing.

S: Heavy on the caramel and toffee malts with some traditional English hop aromas. A nice earthy and floral hop character to this one with a hint of pine. Some mild cocoa and toasted bread, as well as some yeast, on the back end.

T: The flavor is similar to the aroma. Just a touch of citrus, but mostly floral and earthy hops with a mild bitterness to the beer. Sweet toffee, bread, and caramel hops with plenty of toasted character.

M: Medium to full bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Like most Alesmith beers, really solid stuff. I could have used a little less sweetness, but the beer was still enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2011 17:56:25 | More by womencantsail
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

12-31-2011 18:48:03 | More by acurtis
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

12-30-2012 03:04:55 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.1%

03-10-2013 20:11:57 | More by spycow
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have been wanting to try this for going on three or four years now,after having it I feel maybe a little underwhelmed.Poured into a imperial nonic a slight hazed copper/bronze with a creamy-like light tan colored one finger head that left broken rings of lace as it settled into a creamy mass.Aromas are the best trait of the beer,the sweet caramel really burst out at ya,juicy fruitiness,and leafy hop provide the other elements.Seemed just a tad watery in the mouth,not earth shattering but it wasnt quite as rich as some others of the style in my opinion.Nice flavors but it seemed to miss a punch in the finish,starts out fruity and deeply caramelly,a pretty good shot of leafy hop rides thru the finish,the water gives that certain sulpheric element that Iam not overly fond of.Its a good ESB, but there are better American versions,I like a big bready malt character to mine.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 21:27:04 | More by oberon
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

05-17-2013 20:43:42 | More by largadeer
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Carefully poured off of the yeast sediment it's only slightly hazy. The body is a standard amber color and the head is a short, creamy, light tan cap that holds well, keeping a thin and creamy 1/4" surface covering throughout the pint. Very nice appearance! The aroma comes on strong. It's sharply fruity and citrusy (orange, apricot, some lemon) over a sweet caramel and honey-ish malt - definitely attention getting! The body is medium with a lightly zesty carbonation that tickles the tongue. The flavor is a combination of fruity, citrusy (orange, grapefruit) and floral flavors from yeast and hops, married with a softly sweet and lightly toasty malt that's backed by a supportive bitterness. It finishes fruity but drying with some residual toffee-ish malt and swirling hop flavors. Very nicely balanced. Quite supple, and alive with bold flavors! Very clean and clearly well brewed. It's a bit of an American interperetation, and dare I say it, a touch one-sided (although that goes partly to the style)... but also highly drinkable. Well worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2003 07:15:37 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

11-14-2011 22:51:07 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Yep. That's a bitter." That's what struck my mind at the very start with this beer. And it's a pretty good one at that. Decent citrus and woody/leafy tones. I'll say that it seems mildly clogged and almost too thick on the body, but the whole thing does work. Can't really say it isn't worth trying. Naturally, I'd be interested to try this on cask.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 07:28:08 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz brown bomber, white silk screened label with no freshness date.

Appearance: Lush creamy looking off white lace. Red tarnish copper colour just about glows, real decent clarity from the yeast that has dropped well with the bottle conditioning.

Smell: Fruity with a mildly coarse herbal hop aroma, bit of lightly toasted grain and caramel in the nose also.

Taste: So damn smooth with a creamy back, carbonation is moderate but tight and textured. Big juicy fruit and bitter herbal hop twang, little bit of caramel and biscuity grain on the palate. Hop flavour is soft and nearly floral with woody undertones. Fruity with traces of ripe blood orange and rind, yeast is there yet more neutral than anything else. More caramel comes through when the beer hits cellar temp with a long grainy and leafy hop finish.

Notes: Do this beer some justice, serve it at cellar temp and in a big mug to give nice firm pouring. Highly drinkable with back and forth flavours from the malt and hops. Right on target for the style, back and forth of hops and malt … this one is a keeper.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2002 00:07:59 | More by Jason
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ESBs have never been among my favorite styles of brew, often too bland and unmemorable, but I give everything it's chance and soldier on, investigating my first Alesmith bomber...
Appearance: dull red color, fairly tight white head.
Aroma: slightly citric, fruity, but otherwise arid.
Taste: niiiiiice, and tangy, zippy, fruity, very much enjoyed.
Light to medium body, decent finish, good, tangy texture.
Sweet, fruity taste rings through and through the length of the large bottle's contents. A surprising treat, though I've heard so many good things about Alesmith, I shouldn''t have been shocked. One of the best ESBs to have met my lips! Big thanks to BierRiese for providing!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2003 23:24:36 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent orange/caramel with 3+ fingers of rocky sand-colored head. Very good head retention & good lacing

S: Slight fruittyness & some breadyness. Fruttyness picks up as this warms up

T: Some fruittyness & then lemony & grapefruitty hops up front. Leafy, peppery & citrussy hops & some biscuitty malt follows as this warms. Finishes with some apricot jam & pears, plus leafy hops.

MF: Medium-bodied with low carbonation, skews a bit too hoppy for me

Drinks okay, I like my ESBs maltier, this one is just okay-good. I'm shocked, Ale Smith has made at least one beer that I'm not crazy about!

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2008 23:44:56 | More by russpowell
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured into my Aventinus glass after sitting out of the fridge for awhile allowing it to warm up a bit, forms a nice caramel tan head that compliments the deep plum ruby tone of the body nice and cloudy some yeasties floating around. Lacing chunky patches spread unevenly with each sip not bad. Aroma: Hops have a very herbal tone with some caramel malts seeking through and a mineral note to add as well a bit metallic but not in an off way. Taste: Fair mix of big flavors with a great amount of hoppiness that is almost tame due to the amount of malts used here perfect sparring match between the caramel malts and piney hops great balance is where this beer got it's reputation, not in your face flavor. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied mellow carbonation nice texture going down. Drinkability: The balance of flavors is what makes this beer great overall ESB fits the style while still adding it's own flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2004 21:27:19 | More by WVbeergeek
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Anvil Ale ESB from AleSmith Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 515 ratings.