Arcadia Lake Superior ESB - Arcadia Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Arcadia Lake Superior ESBArcadia Lake Superior ESB

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BA SCORE
80
good

58 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 58
Hads: 61
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 14.33%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wildman on 10-03-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Name was changed to Thunder Trail ESB ~2012, though the recipe is the same.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 58 | Hads: 61
Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderately dark copper color with an off white head and good lacing. Nose brings caramel malt and a decent dose of citrus and herbal hops. Slight bitterness. Taste is a bit more restrained with nothing really standing out. Feel is relatively light with good carbonation. Drinks quite well and was a nice find. (339 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I used to drink a fair amount of this living in MI,poures a nice copper color with nice foamy head most of the time.Nice balancing smell with the soft maltiness coming through nicely with a small punch of hops,with sweetness very prevelant in smell and taste.Was a little citruisy in flavor though would like a more malt accentes brew for the style.Still I think a pretty well made brew from a good local brewing company. (421 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper color, average head, little lace, aroma was metallic.

Taste had enough bitterness and hopping to enjoy. Can't stand underhopped, esb's that lack bitterness. Not that this one couldn't have been better with more. No heft to the body though. Good enough. Good summer beer, won't be offensive to the majority of people not into craft beer. (345 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of and Arcadia sampler: Copper color with an thin orange/beige head and minimal lace. Toasty aroma of malt and caramel. Flavor was malty and smooth, if a little weak. The finish was not as bitter as I was hoping. (217 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
2.91/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy peach-light copper color with golden hazy edges, firm finger high head of off-whiteness, good lacing in sheets and fine spotting. Aroma is of highly sour dough sweetness, nearly lambic-like with some barnyard funk which calms down after it warms a bit where it becomes more soft and toasty but that sourness of old white grapes and pale and stale orange skins keeps its presence felt. Way off in the nose. Taste is unique and pehaps not quite fitting what I would think of an ESB. Soft grains, bread crusts, floral hops, toasty middle lingering partially into the finish where it drys out with some smokey malts and corn flakes. A bit of the souring quality from the smell leaks through in certain areas which kept this from being any better on my palate. Feel is just shy of a medium body, overly sweetening with that grasp of sourness that just wasn't doing it for me. Texture was a bit weird to match flavors with as it was lambic/saison-like. Not nearly an ESB as it seemed like some blended version of a saison and a bitter. (1,036 characters)

Photo of cokes
3.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murky orange caramel with a clinging bone foam.
Nose of rubber and iron and oranges.
Begins with a full bready malt canvas. English muffins, dry and toasty. Glimmers of toffee sweetness. Buttery, and Ringwoodesque. Thus far, it is fairly archetypal of style. The middle, though, sees this become disjointed. Coriander? Orange peel? Acetic Acid? Green apples and pepper. This is some funky ass yeast. Then it ends, again, per style guideline and full of rusted iron bitterness and dessicated herbs. There is a bit of noticed alcohol fume on the finish. Lingering sour fruits.
Medium hewn, low carbonation.
Decent. Wrong-seeming. Weird. (640 characters)

Photo of merlin48
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazed copper body with a small head that vanishes in seconds. Minimal patch lace. Aroma is buttery toffee with a hint of floral hops. Light to medium light body with high carbonation. Taste has a bready malt feel and some funky yeast. Minimal floral hops bitterness. Taste has a ringwood yeast note, for sure. Not very impressive. (338 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
2.43/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Brewed with Pale, Carapils, Crystal, and Chocolate malts. Hopped with Fuggles and Willamette.

OG=1.059, 5.5% ABV.

Honey and copper colored, moderately carbonated for this style, pours with a slight chill haze and forms a rocky white head atop medium sized bubbles, leaving rings of lace to the bottom of the glass. Head thins out rather quickly. Aroma is disappointing; noticeable diacetyl with toasted malt, rubbery hops, cardboard and fusel alcohols. Has a wet, rubbery mouthfeel with an initial hop bite giving way to a sweeter, thin aftertaste. Tastes like it was fermented too warm, as the fusel alcohols make me feel sick. A burp reeked of sulfur. A blah beer. Diehard fans of ESB may like this much diacetyl, but I'd take a Redhook over this any day. (763 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served at cellar temperature, as I don't want to drink anything from the fridge right now. I have had bocks and other malty treats all night and I want a little hop in my diet. The beer pours a deep copper to amber color with a finger of head that has a pretty good staying power. The nose is really nice. The hop is peppery and spicey, slightly sweet over top of a caramel malt base. I think it smells really nice. The flavor is interesting. There has this slight chemically flavor to it that really puts me off. The maly is orangey sweet and the hop just comes across as bitter to me. I can't say I like the flavor. The feel is moderate to thick wiith a nice tight carbonation. I think the flavor really ruins this one. I just don't like that flavor. (752 characters)

Photo of bditty187
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes from August:

Overflowing foam, there was over a fist full of white head… yikes! What liquid actually made it into the glass is very attractive, coppery with tawny influences. Slowly the head faded to something more manageable. The subsequent lacing was surprisingly sporadic. I can’t say much positive about the appearance, aside from the lovely color!

The nose is thinly malty with tropical fruit undertones. There isn’t much to this beer. I like the sweetness, I wish there was more hoppiness though. Hints of earth, wood (pine it seems), and melon rinds. Overall, the nose doesn’t say too much. I wouldn’t call the bouquet typical of an ESB but it is pleasant nevertheless.

The palate has a thin malt backbone, caramel, crackers, and toast. Hot alcohol notes! Whoa, where did these come from? I taste rubber cement and fruit candy. Melon notes try to play along. Woody at the finish, pine mainly with some earthiness as well. At least this ESB isn’t disgustingly clean. Sweet finish, messy aftertaste as it seems to be all the previous flavors smashed together. The palate is unremarkable.

Around medium in body, moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel is more cleansing than relaxing which might not be a bad thing. I found the mouthfeel to be respectable.

This ESB neither good nor bad… it is what it is. My label got messed up so I don’t know the “best by” date. Old bottle? Just flawed? Or maybe it is supposed to taste like this? Whatever. It is a decent drink but noting I’d seek out again. Nevertheless, thank you RedHaze for the sample. (1,578 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep opaque amber orange with a nice creamy white head. Sweet pale malty nose with hints of caramel and nuts. A spicy, herbal hoppiness....a bit grassy. Fairly subdued overall...doesn't excite me much.

First sip flows with a mix of pale maltiness...the roasted barley comes out in the middle along with a smattering of caramel. A spicy, herbal hop brings a nice wave of bitterness on the way down with a light fruitiness. A bit dry with a lingering graininess and bitterness. Not bad.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice healthy bubbly factor. An easy drinking brew that is fairly uncomplicated. However...it also lacks the qualities that intice me to come back for more. (688 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.35/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer so many times yet I guess I have never reviewed it. It's a shame to have learned that Arcadia will soon be discontuing this beer. I really do think its their best offering. There's nice fruity malt tones in here yet they're not too sweet. Very, very smooth mouthfeel. A buttery slickness which must be from the yeast gives this beer a velvety feel and works beautifully for the malt hop transition. Caramel works as the base flavoring agent. The hops are slightly spicy and a little floral and they linger on the tongue in the finish. Beautifully crafted. A great ESB that will surely be missed. (614 characters)

Photo of mntlover
3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear medium amber color with a small tan head that doesn't last leaves some spotty lace.
Aroma is not great some malt lightly toasted, toffee mixed with herbal hops light skunkyness almost but not quite.
Taste is like the smell lightly toasted malt some caramel and toffee flavors mix with medicine like herbal hops that leaves a less then desirable medicine aftertaste. No real bitterness to be felt here just mediocre beer that is better then swill but not much else going for it.
Mouthfeel is light side of medium the carbonation adds the only zest in this brew.
Drinkability is better then swill but wouldn't recommend this one or desire to have it again not a good example of this style. Thanks to merlin48 for the sample. (744 characters)

Photo of Wildman
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a dark copper color and also didn't have much of a head when presented, but it was white and bubbly(only the stout they poured had a decent head but it was nitro). The aroma was of hops, malt and some citrus present. The flavor was of hops, malt and slightly citrus. The finish was bitter. Now with most ESBs, they tend to be a bit more sweet in the finish and less bitter. I don't mind it, but I don't know if that represents the style as well. (464 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber body topped by a small, but stubborn tan head. Great lacing effect down the glass. Nice aromas of malt with hints of the bittering hops. The taste is a bready and lightly hopped, more lightly than expected. The feel is a tad thin and under carbonated. Smooth, to be sure, but rather vacant of interest. Interesting but not impressive ale. (350 characters)

Photo of putnam
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark.
Citrus funk to the nose.
Piles of board-like chalky, iron-dust hoppiness that parts occasionally to reveal tea ... black tea, steeped for hours with brown sugar. Very bitter and scraping tannins cleanse the finish of the artifice. I am thankful. Where's my Speckled Hen? (278 characters)

Photo of maxpower
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy copper-orange with a smal off white foamy head that doesn't last long, not much lacing either. Bready, buttery aromas, has butterscotch and bread flavors, it is medium bodied with a smooth and slick mouthfeel, finishes a bit sour, not all that great, where is the bitterness? (280 characters)

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Birreria Paradiso, Washington DC:

Appeared a brown or dark red with a nice off white head that was well retained.

The beer had a nice malt aroma to it, nothing special, but OK.

Good flavor, nice bitter malty taste, well balanced. Again, nothing special, I have had better ESB's but the flavor is average.

The beer had a medium body to it; it was smooth, creamy and pretty easy to drink. I have had better ESB's, but this one is perhaps slightly better than average. Overall, a decent beer, but there are other ESB's that I would pick up first when choosing the style. (588 characters)

Photo of marburg
3.13/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Darkish, clear copper color. Borderline brown. Thin white head dissipates rapidly. Carbonation is weak, and the brew is a little sloppy. Hardly an exemplary mouthfeel. Exceptionally earthy, bland aroma save some sweet bready fragrance. Flavor is sweet and dominated by the malts. A mid-sized hop presence, predominantly herbal, finishes the brew. Pretty easy, and not bad. But it's not a big winner either. You can get it some spots locally for 2 bucks a bottle at the bar. That's probably worth it. Otherwise...eh. (515 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz poured into a pint. The best before month was not notched on the label.

Hazy copper-brown with a small white head. Lots of carbonation helps the retention.

Smells like bicuits, butterscoth, nuts, and light hops. There's a little sweetness from the malts. The are aromas are a bit subdued overall.

Smooth and malty upfront with some suggestion of green apple. The finish is a bit dry. Thirst quenching.

Light mouthfeel, good session brew for this time of year. (476 characters)

Photo of walleye
2.86/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

from the bottle. poured a dark copper with a off white head that left a small amount if lacing. aroma hops grapefruit and oranges, caramel malts. flavor not mush going on but did get some toasted malts, and caramel was looking for the hop bitterness but I couldn’t find it in this bottle. but it was a drinkable beer. (318 characters)

Photo of jackndan
2.65/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lake Superior ESB, from Arcadia sampler: Copper beer, with minimal head, and what was there was kind of foamy. Kind of a brassy aroma and taste, with burnt malts that were very dominant, and not all that tasty. The hops were understated, and tasted a little flat. Not worth it. (277 characters)

Photo of proc
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The more I drink the ESB style, the more I like it. This one is a very nice offering from Arcadia Brewing from Battle Creek, Michigan. Proof positive that Battle Creek can be known for more than Kellogg's Corn Flakes. Hmm, maybe a little of this Lake Superior ESB on Corn Flakes...but I digress. This one pours out to a copperish-brown in the glass with a decent-sized head. The aroma is is that of malt and bread dough. The taste is very good, with the afforementioned malt, really shinining through to a finish that is easy on the palate with just a light dose of hops. (571 characters)

Photo of hotstuff
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft. This brew had a small white head with small bubbles that was fully diminishing. There was virtually no lacing with this brew. The body was cloudy, there was no carbonation observed and the hue was amber. It had a light hoppy aroma of citrus and the initial taste of this brew was bitter. The mouthfeel was light. All in all, I really enjoyed this brew. (359 characters)

Photo of beermanbrian
1.5/5  rDev -57%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle opened with an explosive burst of carbonation. First glass poured all foam. Managed to get about 8 oz of beer in next glass with the rest overflowing foam. The head is big huge bubbles (like soap bubbles) not the nice thick foamy head you would want. It leaves behind sticky clumpy lacing that is not attractive at all. Beer is cloudy brownish amber color. Overwhelming amount of carbonation bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass. Lots of floaters in this one too that settle to a fine film on the bottom of the glass. This is just a mess of a beer appearance wise. Smell is metallic and harsh. Taste, what isn't covered up by the carbonation, is also metalic and earthy. Not pleasant at all. I don't rip many beers but this is just a mess in every way. Not impressed at all and you would have a hard time convincing me to try this one again. Poured most of it down the drain and it ruined the taste of the next 2 beers i had. (945 characters)

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Arcadia Lake Superior ESB from Arcadia Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.