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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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anvil Ale ESB Alström Bros
Ratings: 531 | Reviews: 307 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spoony


4/5  rDev +3.1%

03-10-2014 02:02:16 | More by spoony
Photo of philbe311


3.73/5  rDev -3.9%

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...

03-08-2014 02:07:30 | More by philbe311
Photo of meatyard


4/5  rDev +3.1%

03-01-2014 03:12:27 | More by meatyard
Photo of ToddHolder


4/5  rDev +3.1%

02-28-2014 15:38:37 | More by ToddHolder
Photo of smakawhat


3.86/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

02-26-2014 02:01:26 | More by smakawhat
Photo of BeerLover99


4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

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.


02-23-2014 20:41:05 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of 510a


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

02-17-2014 05:33:18 | More by 510a
Photo of MarcWP


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

02-07-2014 21:08:59 | More by MarcWP
Photo of T100Mark


4.35/5  rDev +12.1%

Served on tap, in a shaker pint glass, at the California Fish Grill, in Lake Forest, California.

Appearance - Reddish brown in color. Fine, tan head that never entirely disappears. Good stickage on the side of the glass. Great clarity. A very handsome beer.

Smell - Sweet Carmel with just a hint of hop bitterness.

Taste - The first flavor that you experience Is the robust malty sweetness followed, quickly, by a subtle hop bite. The balance between the two is perfect.

Mouth - Fizzy. Tart. Fun!

Overall - AleSmith knocked this one out of the park! In my previous review, I damned AleSmith's IPA with faint praise. This beer, however, is a wonderful interpretation of an ESB. Watch out Fuller's.

02-07-2014 01:59:31 | More by T100Mark
Photo of mpenske


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

01-25-2014 22:30:47 | More by mpenske
Photo of buzzy


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

01-24-2014 02:10:31 | More by buzzy
Photo of anarchia


3.56/5  rDev -8.2%

22 oz bomber. Bottled-on date reads 6/25/2013. Drinking today, 1/17/14. More carbonation than expected for the style. Lots of lacing. Ruby-colored beer, very clear. Aroma is very biscuity, has a "tang" to it that I would describe as faintly metallic. Sweet and fruity in the mouth. British malts are fairly subtle, lending some caramel and slight breadiness. Lots of fruitiness from the yeast, seems to be the dominant set of flavors here. Oily texture that coats the tongue. Some slight hop bitterness on the finish but they don't show up strong in the aroma or flavor profile. I'd like it better with more malt character, less carbonation, and maybe even a little more hop bitterness. Your mileage may vary.

01-18-2014 01:35:36 | More by anarchia
Photo of user785335


4/5  rDev +3.1%

01-12-2014 15:16:10 | More by user785335
Photo of Griffith


4/5  rDev +3.1%

01-07-2014 17:11:26 | More by Griffith
Photo of hilgart1


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

01-04-2014 06:27:02 | More by hilgart1
Photo of BeerNDoggerel


4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

12-29-2013 04:10:35 | More by BeerNDoggerel
Photo of brewskis4drewski


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

12-18-2013 16:30:49 | More by brewskis4drewski
Photo of berlinabb


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

12-16-2013 21:31:04 | More by berlinabb
Photo of Samuel906


3.23/5  rDev -16.8%

Pours a very nice looking reddish amber, very clear and bright with off-white to straw colored head that is thick and clingy. Some subtle effervescing of bubbles. Smell is caramel, apples, black tea and yeast. I get very pronounced tea character in the taste as well with hints of lemon and some thick bready malts to finish it off. Has a character reminiscent to me a bit of a Wee Heavy. Mouthfeel was much to thick and syrupy for me and did not suit the style well. Mild carbonation and my mouth was left feeling sticky.

12-14-2013 10:11:08 | More by Samuel906
Photo of civicm87

New York

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

12-04-2013 14:25:05 | More by civicm87
Photo of NooseJustice


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

12-01-2013 19:15:26 | More by NooseJustice
Photo of fain12


4/5  rDev +3.1%

11-28-2013 07:46:29 | More by fain12
Photo of sd123


4/5  rDev +3.1%

11-27-2013 04:28:10 | More by sd123
Photo of scotorum


3.65/5  rDev -5.9%

No visible bottling date, bought at a good price ($6.75) at a store notorious for leaving bottles on the shelves until sold, so God knows how old this is.

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass.

a: Deep nearly clear red-brown, huge bottle-conditioned tan head receded slowly to patchy surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Ripe fruit.

t: Apples at first, a bit sour later, then a strong porterlike smokiness takes over. Near the end, when warmer, good caramel malt begins to shine through.

m: Medium, good body, smooth except for the slight sourness early on.

o: Odd for an ESB, like a cross between an English porter and a Belgian dubbel. The smoky porter taste which dominates later is pleasant enough, but lacks the malt dominance one might expect from an ESB. Probably the issue is a combination of bottle conditioning and age on the bottle, where the remaining yeast eventually bore some unintended fruity esters. I'll try to find a fresh bottle and give this another whirl.

11-22-2013 23:42:16 | More by scotorum
Photo of Benesi88


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

11-22-2013 16:40:54 | More by Benesi88
Anvil Ale ESB from AleSmith Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 531 ratings.