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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

550 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 550
Reviews: 311
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 41
Gots: 22 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anvil Ale ESB Alström Bros
Ratings: 550 | Reviews: 311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BAsbill
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

BAsbill, May 16, 2014
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

zestar, May 05, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a fine esb, which has the odd misnomer of being called bitter, when in fact these are sweeter, grain driven beers. perhaps in my case bitter has a very different, more diabolical meaning. it was brew that started as a celebration of a big win in the stanley cup playoffs last night, guzzling the sweet copper colored liquid right from the bottle in jovial preparation for what was sure to be a winnable game 7 forthcoming. to me it was a beer that would taste awful good out of the cup itself in a few more months. however, as the aromas of burnt sugar, english toffee, and old world ale yeast moved into flavors of maple syrup, candied apples, and werthers candies, the unthinkable happened. the home team gives up two goals in the final two minutes, and lost early in overtime, a situation that had less than a 0.4% chance of occurring. as jubilation turned to head in hands curses to the powers that be, and soft goaltending, anvil esb went from a celebratory quaff to a sorrow drowning full bodied sweet beer i almost resented as much as i liked it to start. and as a playoff beard that began on game 1 of 82 way back in early october fell hair by hair into an already dirty white sink and razor burn irritation set in, the final lukewarm dregs of this beer were of little comfort. this beer, like the play of my team, was good for some 95% of its performance, but it ends up middling by the end. an all too frequent collapse not only for my team, but for this underwhelming style. the parallels are too many to name. 22 ounces never experienced to much emotion, from the summit of the greatest mount, to hopeless dejection that will span the entire summer...

StonedTrippin, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of TaborTime
4/5  rDev +2.8%

TaborTime, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of mc4z
4/5  rDev +2.8%

mc4z, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of jeff1973
4/5  rDev +2.8%

jeff1973, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

afsdan, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of msquared36
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel color with a thick tan head. Nice lacing.

Smells of black pepper and musty wool. There is something about the scent that is familiar but not necessarily pleasant.

Strong taste of caramel up front, though without the sweetness. Finishes with a crisp, balanced bitterness.

Tiny bubbles that make the beer smooth.

Overall a tasty beer. Not as drinkable as other ESBs though.

msquared36, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

MrMcGibblets, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of Taologic
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Taologic, Mar 31, 2014
Photo of zenithberwyn
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

zenithberwyn, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Boone757, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of random846
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

random846, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of Dimitri
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Dimitri, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of Copernicus
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Copernicus, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of mdaschaf
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

mdaschaf, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of vermilcj
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

vermilcj, Mar 15, 2014
Photo of evbro
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

evbro, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of spoony
4/5  rDev +2.8%

spoony, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of philbe311
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Two plus fingers worth of active lush slightly creamy off-white colored froth comprised of medium-to-large sized bubbles... Rock solid retention... Ultimately there is a full, mostly thick, veil of lacing and a thin-to-moderate collar... The color is a darker than expected deep copperish bronze... There is a little ruby hue that lingers underneath as well... Loaded with micro-to-small bubbled carbonation that rises throughout... Gobs of lacing cling to the sides of the glass... A very nice looking ESB...

S - Bright and vibrant nose... Loaded with malty goodness... Short bread... Caramel... Toffee... Loads of airy light bready notes... A light layer of euro-hoppiness lingers a bit beneath the surface...

T - Mostly a malt bomb on the palate... Lots of bready malts... Caramel... Some light toffee as well.. There is a light hop presence... Also a bit of a metallic twang, but it's rather enjoyable...

M - Medium bodied... Smooth... Sleek... Even and consistent... Mostly lush with just a touch of dryness on the finish...

D - Insanely quaffable... A very nice ESB and another solid offering from Alesmith... There is a reason I consider them to be one of the top breweries going... Solid for the style... Solid regardless of style... Just a solid enjoyable brew... There's a lot going on here with a low 5.5% ABV... Good stuff...

philbe311, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of meatyard
4/5  rDev +2.8%

meatyard, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of ToddHolder
4/5  rDev +2.8%

ToddHolder, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of smakawhat
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Real perfect copper red body, and deep crystal amber shine. Head is fluffy light tan evenly made, and grows a nice controlled four fingers tall. Light soapy lacing just coats the glass, and some fine white thin carbonation crawls on the sides. Great looking beer.

Large hints of loose leaf tea. Heavily herbal, but with some clove spice aromatics to match. Cinnamon. Some faint sweetness of caramel hiding in the background as well. Some almost creamy senses of milk too, very inviting.

Palate comes with a bit of flat mouthfeel. Slightly wet bodied, but with some leafy hops and large herbal tea like presence. Hints of mint, oolong on the finish. Soft tannins as well that coat but are also still quite wet. Hop forward a bit for a bitter, with the herbality growing nicely on the finish. Malt depth and sweetness is missing and classic esters.

If there's one thing I find about bitters is they usually have a good malt presence and this one while relishing some great herbal presences is really missing some malt depth. Some depth or crackery or biscuit and caramel oomph to this would really set this beer on fire.

smakawhat, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of BeerLover99
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: shiny copper body, 2 finger khaki head,
flawless legs

S: light herbal notes, toasted malt/grains

T: mild lemon peel, caramel, bready malt, earthy finish

M: med body, creamy smooth mouth

O: 1 of the best American ESBs I have ever tasted.
Having visited Eng + Sco, this is up there with
many of their finest offerings.

EXCELLENT; TREAT YOURSELF!

BeerLover99, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of 510a
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

510a, Feb 17, 2014
Anvil Ale ESB from AleSmith Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 550 ratings.