1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Alaskan ESB - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan ESBAlaskan ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

198 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 198
Reviews: 88
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 10
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 08-20-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 198 | Reviews: 88
Photo of cmbeddoe7997
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Photo of mjurney
4.94/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep copper color, clear. Lots of small bubbles rising up. Thick creamy head.

Spicy-herbal, a little piney. Sweet malts, bready, caramel. Some ripe prunes.

Bready, deep toasted caramel, nutty, a little toffee, with some dark fruit. Medium hop bitterness, herbal, leafy, a little earthy. Finish is dry. Medium bodied, smooth, silky, dry.

It's a world class beer.

Photo of Myotus
4.8/5  rDev +25%

Photo of Foyle
4.69/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into schooner glass.
Appearance: pours a 1" frothy cream colored head which recedes with plenty of lacing. Dark amber color and lots of streaming carbonation.
Aroma: very pleasant aroma of spicy hops, toffee, cinnamon, some fruit, and a malty backbone. Mouthfeel: fairly light and prickly mouthfeel, somewhat sticky on the palate.
Flavor: pine and citrus hops, raisin, toffee, whole wheat bread.
Overall: a very delicious smelling and tasting beer. Interesting American version of the classic English style.

Photo of beernut7
4.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another great Alaskan brew. Hops give a great flowery aroma and extemely smooth finish. Goes down real easy.

Photo of moundbz
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

pleasant bitter, solid beer

Photo of SkotOgden
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of Hruska
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of SargeC
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep, brown-gold with a golden-tan head.

Smell: Bold hop presence, vanilla, oranges.

Taste: Nice wave of smooth malt goodness. Sweet foundation with a touch of hops.

Mouthfeel: medium body. Smooth, waxy quality.

Drinkability: One of my favorite Alaskan brews. Perfect balance of boldness and drinkability. Makes a great beer batter and compliments Alaskan seafood perfectly.

Photo of MrNuggets
4.44/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hops on the nose. Amber colour with good head. Strong malt filled body. Fruity notes all along the way. Finish is bitter, with more of that fruit. This beer is very easy drinking dispite the bitterness.
I could drink more than a few of these babies. Another great brew from Alaskan Brewing Co.

Photo of woodychandler
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It began with two finger's worth of rocky, medium-tan head with low retention, but a good bit of lacing. Nose had a good bit of caramel accompanied by a mild bitterness. Color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with a bitterness softly tempered by a caramel/malt sweetness. Finish had the same commingling of bitter and sweet that I got on the tongue. In fact, as it warmed, I got a really pronounced biscuitiness on the extreme finish. A very good ESB and a beer that nicely offset their Amber.

Photo of loren01
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light amber color, nice white head and lacing down the glass. Smell is slightly malty with nice hop scent.Taste is sweet/fruity at first with a nice bitter hop aftertaste. This beer goes down very easily. Picked up a six pack of this for $3.99 at Osco Drug in Billings, MT. Not sure why it is so cheap, but I'm going to have to go back and stock up.

Photo of granger10
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I consider most ESB's to be food beers. By that I mean that they usually are really good compliments of spicy food but are not the greatest by themselves. This beer provides the example. I had two of these, one by itself and one with some spicy Mexican food. The flavor in this beer matched really well with the spicyness of the Mexican food. There was a spicy hop dominance in the beer which was annoying alone but good with food. The malts play a perfect role in providing flavor and holding bitterness back but yet letting the hops do their thing. The bitterness is on the light side but that only means more hop spicyness. There seems to be a bit on a acidic quality in there as well. The hops linger in here. Lots of earthy flavors underneath. This is a really well made ESB.

Photo of Lemke10
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This pours a clear, dark amber color with a slight beige head. The aroma is slightly malty with a touch of bitter hops. The taste is bold with just the right amount of hops that leaves a dry after taste. This is quite a well made ESB and a very well made beer, it’s well worth giving a try!

Photo of Beersignal
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

As I down the last sip of this beer, I sit here wishing I had another 6er, for it is mighty pleasing. But alas, Alaska is a long way from Montréal.

Beautiful and warm deep copper coloured pour rested crystal clear in my glass showing tones of burnt orange. Sadly, no foam on the first pour. Only a thin ring of bubbles. A second more violent pour yielded a larger and rocky head comprised of large bubbles which coalesced into even larger spheres. Not overly attractive but forgiven.

Aromas were charming and not so subtle. A mingling of firm malts and fresh hops up front ushered in notes of caramel and juicy and ripe fruits which dansed with the malt and hops. Hints of candied oranges lingered in the end along with floral aromas.

An average bead rose from the depths of the beer as I took my first sip. Medium but firm in the body with a velvety texture. Flavours are of malt, grains and hops all harmonised with a hint of orange liqueur. A very nice presence, firm malt and a strong backbone of bitterness in the middle which lasts until the end finishing on bitter and drying hops and hints of candied oranges.

A first class session brew with a dry finish and great quenching qualities. Many thanks to my buddy Pierre Archambault who lugged a 6er of this and the amber back from his expedition on the summit of Mt. McKinley.

Photo of Bighuge
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a nice shade of scarlet red. A small creamy beige head recedes to a thin coating in seconds. Lacing is adequate. The aroma is about half and half between piney hop notes and caramel/biscuity malt tones. This beer displays some nice balance for the style and types of hops utilized (Centennial and Cascade). Hops impart some bitterness, piney tones and some rind qualities to a lesser degree. Malt provides a beautiful underlying and balance in this beer. Although bread like and doughy at times, the malt profile is primarily caramel. And very nice. Beautiful smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is low. Drinkability is high. It's been months since I tried a beverage from Alaskan and they have picked up right where they left off (in my mind). Very good stuff.

Photo of Mark
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep amber, one of the darkest bitter I have evere encountered head was thin but lasted nicely, good lacing was present. Nice malty and subtle hop aroma was apparent, somewhat grainy. Very smooth, nice hop pesence with solid backbone of caramel malts. Alaskan Brewing Co. was always kind of passed over by yours truly, big mistake. These beers have become a real joy to drink. Their trademark is outstanding smoothness and drinkability, and this might be the best domestic ESB out there. Get this fine ber if you ever see it.

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Along with Rogue's Younger Bitter, this is one of the best American ESB's you will ever find. It has a complexity in the taste which reminds me in my tastings of various ESBs you don't find too often stateside.

It has a dark caramel color and a thick head. Lace stays for a long time.

Hops on the nose.

Doughiness and aforementioned complexity, which reminds you of Fuller's--of course that's a good thing.

Very drinkable.

Thanks to blitheringidiot for getting me this one.

Photo of GClarkage
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

07/19/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 12oz undated bottle. Poured into my Moose Drool pint glass.

Appearance- Amber pour with a 1/2 inch head and light lacing.

Smell- A lightly sweetened bready malt. Some hops are noticeable.

Taste- Just a bit sweet with a big hit of bitter hops. Very bready. Caramle toasted malt carries the beer.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, bitter on the back of the tongue.

Drinkability- Very refreshing brew that I'm sure I will find myself having again in the future. Would be a good summer session beer while enjoying a camping trip.

Photo of Braz
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of prock180
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of ToddKehoe
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Iowacraft
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this is an excellent concoction by AK. It has incredible hop flavor, and all the bitterness the hopheads like. Pours dark yet transparent amber, with good carbonation. I like the initial hop taste that really kicks your ass! suprisingly drinkable for an esb, many will mistake it for an IPA aside from the color. The finish shows a little malt but still very hoppy. Great brew.

Photo of zacharius
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice amber color with a thin white head that stays around long enough to enjoy the glass. Smell is of hops and yeasty esters. Taste is of hops than a subtle graineness. Aftertaste is all hops and lasts and lasts. A great brew thats interesting enough to keep you drinking. Cheers.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Alaskan ESB from Alaskan Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.