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Extra Special Ale (ESA) - Yards Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

566 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 566
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 7
Gots: 43 | 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:
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 added by: pezoids on 12-01-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 566 | Reviews: 262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Profchaos20
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Profchaos20, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of Bdel34
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Bdel34, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of briandaube
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

briandaube, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

mendvicdog, May 30, 2012
Photo of IPAchris
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

IPAchris, May 28, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4/5  rDev +7.8%

iL0VEbeer, May 26, 2012
Photo of JeffTheJuice
4.75/5  rDev +28%

JeffTheJuice, May 22, 2012
Photo of jifigz
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

The beer pours a rich and deep caramel/reddish brown with a tiny head that lingers for quite a while. It left some lacing on the glass. The aroma is rich with candy sweet malts with just a touch of hops noticeable. The flavor is very well balanced between bold and robust malt sweetness with flavors of molasses and twizzlers noticeable that is very balanced with a delicate and lingering hop bitterness. The hops taste earthy and grassy but are mostly just noticeable through the bitterness. The MF is medium bodied and very smooth. Overall this is a decent "E.S.A" and quite enjoyable.

jifigz, May 21, 2012
Photo of KAP1356
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

KAP1356, May 17, 2012
Photo of pearljam118
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

pearljam118, May 15, 2012
Photo of Bigtimmy
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Bigtimmy, May 14, 2012
Photo of Buggies
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I actually picked this out of the cooler thinking it was an extra pale ale. I was surprised when I poured it all the while in my head saying "extra pale my ass".

Either way, I like a good ESB so I'm not all broken up about the confusion. Nice aromas of malt and dark roasted grains. Also a slight fruity aroma as well.

Tastes really good. All the roasted grain goodness and a slight caramel tastes. Just a hint of fruitiness, but the roasted grains dominate. Nice sharp bitterness that lingers and keeps this from being too sweet on the pallet.

Very nice attempt at the style.

Buggies, May 12, 2012
Photo of KimbarkBrewCrew
4/5  rDev +7.8%

KimbarkBrewCrew, May 11, 2012
Photo of bdbd
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

bdbd, May 10, 2012
Photo of tommyd313
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

tommyd313, May 10, 2012
Photo of JustinMatthew
2/5  rDev -46.1%

JustinMatthew, May 06, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

ygtbsm94, May 05, 2012
Photo of jniagar1
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

jniagar1, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of DavyJones
4/5  rDev +7.8%

DavyJones, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of chucksim
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

chucksim, Apr 29, 2012
Photo of mbiscombe
3/5  rDev -19.1%

mbiscombe, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of NiceTaps
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a room temp pint glass.

A-truly an amber ale. About a one-finger head, good lacing and carbonation. It keeps the malty tan head as it goes.

S-dark roasted malts dominate. The malts are strong and sharp as the name implies; it has English Bitters written all over it. I wish that I could identify the sweetness in the aroma; mocha...caramel...hard to tell.

T-all those malts are full of flavors. A little dry grass, some roastiness, some fruit. There is a slight hoppy finish.

M- full body and carbonation. It is tart and oily.

O-quite good. It is an English Bitter Ale to me.
Tasty and drinkable. I'm glad that I have some bottles left.

NiceTaps, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of brutalist
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

brutalist, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of MONKandTUCK
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Deep golden hue. On draught it would be clearer and lighter, probably also carry more head. Darker than Pilsner Urquell, but much lighter than most Pale Ales.

A - Some malts, kinda fruity and vegetal. It reminds me more of a flower than what you think of when you imagine flowers. Definitely not bright and juicy, like American Pale Ales.

T - Buttered bread and a little honey, some sturdy hops. This is remarkably balanced and refreshing. The hops add some depth, but they're not harsh. There's a refined character about this beer. Then.... the finish. Wow, funky. Maybe it's this batch. Maybe it's something that goes unnoticed when this beer is chilled. But damn, there's something fierce that sneaks up in this batch. Ya know how athletes chew food for the taste, then spit it out? That's how I felt with this one.

M - It's no shrimp. Considering the ABV, this beer is substantial. But the malts are staight forward, so the beer is actually refreshing.

O - It was never gonna be stellar; however, this beer lost its opportunity to be my go-to-beer with the lousy finish. I'll try it again, but I suspect the bittering hops had a lot to do with that fresh-cut-lawn taste. gag.

MONKandTUCK, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of dreichus
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

dreichus, Apr 08, 2012
Extra Special Ale (ESA) from Yards Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 566 ratings.