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Extra Special Ale (ESA) - Yards Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Extra Special Ale (ESA)Extra Special Ale (ESA)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

591 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 591
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 8
Gots: 55 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 12-01-2001

Our first ever and most beloved brew, ESA helped establish a following for cask-conditioned beer in the United States back in the ‘90s. East Kent Golding hops give this English style ale a subtle spiciness, which compliments its strong malt backbone. Hints of chocolate and caramel round out this deep chestnut colored ale. Floral, earthy, smooth.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 591 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of socon67
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber pour with a biege foam. Clumps of lacing around the pint glass. Foam retains well.

S - Smells of caramel malt, spices, and a little hoppy scent.

T - Flavors of caramel, light malts, and brown sugar. Finish has a mild bitterness. As with all the Yards beers I've had, this is a surprisingly complex beer.

M - Very sessionable. Light bodied, and has a raspy bite in the finish. Nothing fancy; just a light feeling ESB that starts sweet and ends bitter.]

O - If I had the option of Yards on Long Island I'd be happy. A nice craft beer that could eaily lure the BMC crowd.

Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with a big honkin head. Great layers of lacing down the glass.

Smell is sweet, figgy, strangely metallic...

Taste is also metallic, grassy, sweet again, overripe dark fruit, quick bitter jab at the end.

Substantial brew but not my favorite from Yards.

Photo of larryi86
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- A Dark copper color with a two finger off-white head.

S- Floral and earthy hops, toasted malts, some caramel malts, a little weak.

T- Again floral and earthy hops in the finish with a touch of dark fruits, toasted malts, caramel malts, roasted notes, much bolder than the nose.

M- Smooth, a little creamy, medium body.

O- A solid beer that I would love to try on cask. I am really starting to try ESB and I am really enjoying this. Definitely will be pick this up again.

Photo of hlatimer266
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Scott1970
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of blameo
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of bluckbeyes
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of tmars13
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of BeezNeezy22D
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of LarryMyers
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of nosavingsaccount
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of ChefSean
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thick circumferential lacing on a c;ear amber body.

S: musty earthy hops with caramel malts and a light citrus note.

T: very nicely hopped ESB with a full toasted and caramel malt base. Very flavorful for the style.

M: medium body and light carbonation.

Overall: Flavorful ESB, true to the style for sure.

Photo of rmartin11
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of terradactle
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of 57md
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color. Bready nose indicative of the style. Hearty body for the style. Malty but not with the caramel sweet notes that generally come in an ESB. Drier and more bitter than the average beer of its style.

A bit out of step for the style but a nice effort nonetheless.

Paired well with my dinner of pork, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Photo of jman42
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed the bottle from the fridge thinking it was going to be a 2X IPA for some reason... As I poured, smelled, tasted, etc I figured out it was an ESB

A = Rich amber color. Nice fluffy off-white head that was pretty persistent. Lacing hung onto the sides of the glass even now that the level is 3 inches lower.

S = Thinking it was an IPA, I was wondering why I was noticing so much more of a maltiness to it. Some hop-inspired floral undertones, but the malts prevail.

T = The maltiness really comes through with a fair amount of an ESB's bitterness at the end.

M = Definitely not watery. Good body with the bitter taste lingering long after I swallowed.

O = Now that I verified it is an ESB, I'm quite impressed.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served a deeper amber color with a big off white head. Upon fading the head levels a moderate amount of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The nose is mainly of roasted malt, but mixed with it are notes of dark fruit (cherry and prune) as well as some light earthy hop aromas.

Taste – The taste begins heaviest of roasted malt with some sweeter caramel notes. As the taste advances however the caramel sweet fades and more hop flavors come to the tongue. The hop begins with just some more earthy like flavors, but then lighter floral flavors develop as well. In the end of the taste the roasty flavors and hop flavors with the lack of sweetness leave a slightly bitter aftertaste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the light to medium side with the low cask carbonation giving it the classic cask creamy feel. The smoothness of the brew really suits the roasty flavors as well as the more floral and earthy hop flavors and overall suit the beer quite well.

Overall – Easy drinking and a pretty good taste. A brew and one to try if you get a chance.

Photo of HopBrain
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of GWC
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of kingslotty
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Extra Special Ale (ESA)
Yards Brewing Co.
Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
ABV: 6.30 %

LOOK: Dark amber colored brew with a fine clarity. Pours with a soapy off white head that leaves lace on the pint.

SMELL: Caramel, toffee, flowery hop, burnt sugar. Smells like an English session ale.

TASTE: Upfront sweetness of caramel and candy sugar. There is more depth of flavor with lightly roasted malts, toffee, tree nuts and mellow herbal hopping. Tea like hops with a mild but complimentary bitterness, this brew actually finishes a bit on the sweet side.

FEEL: Medium bodied ale, medium carbonation, malt flavor lingers into the finish but more or less clean example of English ale.

OVERALL: A pretty good attempt of the style, but hop character was a bit withdrawn and the malt sweetness was big. Almost could be considered a dessert beer, this would pair best with sweet and savory dishes.

Photo of muhler
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of TimoP
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Extra Special Ale (ESA) from Yards Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 591 ratings.