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Phoenixx Double ESB - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Phoenixx Double ESBPhoenixx Double ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

309 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 309
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.97%
Wants: 7
Gots: 40 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TPoling on 12-31-2005

"Double ESB", Rotating/Seasonal
View: Beers (43) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 309 | Reviews: 127
Reviews by omnigrits:
Photo of omnigrits
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is definitely *not* retired - had on tap at the Ginger Man in Austin, Feb 25th 2009.

Dark amber colour with a full off-white head that takes a long time to subside and leaves a thick film of bubbles resting on top of the beer with plenty of lacing.

Somewhat fruity in the nose with a vague hint of toffee, but the toffee comes across more on the tongue, along with that floral hop bomb. Very nice finish. A good body - if this beer was a movie star it'd be Ellen Barkin... but that's just cos I think Ellen Barkin's got a great body.

A very good ESB in my opinion and something I'd order several pints of in an evening.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copperish color with a white head. The aroma is hops with some toffee and biscuit malt. The flavor is earthy hops along with caramel malt and toffee. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Another good seasonal beer from Real Ale that was recently released in bottles for the first time.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass brownish red with a one finger white head. Good retention and great lacing all the way down the glass. Smells strong of green hops. The taste is much the same as you get a hop bite upfront. It is well balanced and mellows out as other flavors roll over your tounge. The mouthfeel is perfect, making this another Real Ale seasonal that I wish were a year rounder. I can't wait for their next bottled seasonal.

Photo of LXIXME
2.79/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A lot of sediment is suspended with the rich honey reddish amber colored ESB. A medium white head settles into a pretty small lacing on the edge of the glass with a nice little bisquity dome in the middle of the glass.

A very light sweet malt aroma dies out as the beer sits between drinks.

A lightly bitter hops taste is blended well with a light sweet caramel malt.

A light almost bitter dry aftertaste on this medium bodied double.

I wasn't really impressed with this as a double ESB, but what the hell do I Know.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.08/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes.

A: Pours a clear brown with a small white head with moderate retention and minimal lacing.

S: On the closed side, some toasted malt and some faint earthy hops.

T: On the boring side, with some toasted malt, light caramel, a touch of wheat, and a hint of coffee.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Not a whole lot going on with this one. Nothing bad about it, but for a 7.2% abv ESB, I was hoping for a bit more.

Photo of Stigs
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, served in standard pint glass

A - pour yielded about a finger of light tan foam, fell within a couple minutes to a thin layer and ring with quite strong lacing all over the place. the beer is slightly hazy and a bit dark for the style, bold dark amber/copper.

S - caramel, biscuit/dough, semisweet chocolate, faint earthy hops

T - kicks off kind of sweet, both fresh cracker and deeply roasted malts, caramel, chocolate comes in stronger and near the end. big bite of grassy hops at the end adds some nice complexity and balance.

M - lightish body but hugely oily...for once i feel a beer is a tad undercarbonated. a few more bubbles would help deliver the second half punch rather nicely - though the current level isnt detracting much.

D - another pretty impressive beer from Real Ale. felt that it needed half a point bonus for great complexity and balance, something a lot of ESB's struggle with. quite enjoyable.

Photo of dannydetox
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a hybrid style beer from the real ale folks in texas. poured a slightly hazy orange/copper color from the 12 oz bottle. smelled like an esb with clear notes of toffee and caramel greeting the sense first. english hops lend that british fruitiness and a bit of earth rather than the dank pine or citrus from the west coast varietals. i don't detect the over 7% abv on this ale; a touch watery, if anything. finishes with lingering bitterness - a plus in my book. the phoenixx is labeled a seasonal release, but my bottle claims to be good until september of this year.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottled poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Small off-white head tops a dark amber body. Clear and very dark. Not much lacing on this at all.

Smell - I don't get much hops. I get some pine aroma, but it's second to the malt, which is quite toasty.

Taste - Follows the smell. Not much hops up front. Goes right into a burnt toast malt flavor. Very bready. It's accentuated by a strong bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Heavier mouthfeel than I was expecting. Strong bitter finish makes it feel heavier than it really is as well. It's not really smooth or easy drinking at all.

Overall - Interesting take on an ESB. The flavors are overwhelming in a negative sort of way. Too bitter of a finish and the malts are too burnt tasting. I get that it's a double ESB, I just don't love how it comes together.

Photo of F2brewers
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for this extra. Trying to get back into the reviewing thing...

Poured into a Sam Adams glass by my wife following a long day. : )

A: Thin white head (one to one and a half fingers high) that fades quickly. Minimal lacing in the glass. Translucent amber-copper color.

S: Slightly muted. Earth, biscuits and bread dominate with a hint of toffee and caramelized sugar. Citrusy hops are present but hidden behind the malt.

T: Citrusy hops are present up front and linger throughout. A solid malty backbone is present with flavors that mimic the nose. Finish is mostly clean with a slight residual sweetness remaining. Malt dominates, but the hops are not hidden.

M: Properly carbonated for the style. This beer is medium-bodied. Neither hops nor malt sticks to the tongue.

D: Above average considering the ABV. I enjoyed the beer and would certainly be interested in another.

Photo of alleykatking
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to gratefulbeerhead...Eric you rocked with this one.

A- Pours a amberish orange color. One and a half finger white head that dies down almost as soon as it rises. No lacing left behind on the glass.

S- The aroma is kind of muted. Light citrus hops in the nose but seemed kind of faded. Light bready caramel bready malts in the backend of this as well. Nothing really wows me in the aroma at all.

T- Light grapefruit hops in the front end of this. Follows the nose pretty well in my opinion. Light caramel malts in the middle to end. Unexpected wood flavors coming through in the back of this beer. Aroma made this seem a little less complex but flavor brings big changes.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light hops in the palate with some woody flavors and malts in the aftertaste. Nothing really else going on in the mouthfeel.

D- The drinkability of this is amazing. It went down very smooth and the alcohol was very well hidden drinking like a 4% beer. I would recommend this to everyone to try...as I will be looking for this one again.

Photo of UTCengOwl
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought a sixer of this at Central Market. Gotta support Texas breweries. Served in a Great Divide balloon glass.

The beer is a clear, deep brown with orange notes. The off white head isn't impressive, though I remember it being a bit better in a previous pour.

The nose is mostly caramelly sweet. Some lint pine hops and a medicinal tinge that goes along with the fruitiness. I could go without the medicinal element.

The taste is sweet, borderline cloying. There's a slight hop presence and a fruitiness that goes along with it. Unfortunately, that fruitiness is at times medicinal. I'm not a band aid fan. This could have used a bit more care and a bit more subtlety in almost every way.

Overall, I'm not a huge fan of Real Ale and this offering didn't help that impression.

Photo of BeanBone
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A murky orange-brown body capped by a little over a finger of off-white head that leaves great lacing.

Aroma: Brassy hops and some vegetal notes over a slightly earthy caramel malt body.

Flavor: Brassy and mildly bitter hops over a rich caramel malt body with the same earthy tones found in the nose. Just a bare peek of alcohol from time to time. Balanced rather well, though tipped a little towards the malt side. Biscuity malt and mild bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A medium body with medium carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: While I'm not sure why Real Ale label it as a "Double ESB," Phoenixx is solid, friendly, and easily drinkable. I'm looking forward to seeing more of their seasonals show up in bottles.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Adouble for the local goody!

Pours a nice light mahogany color. Clarity is pretty good, there may be a hair of haziness to it. The collar is a nice finger and a half, light tan/off white in color. Retention was good, and the spongy, sticky lacing left on the glass was quite nice.

Slight bits of resiny hops, and touches of pine. Mostly, there's a big bready malt aroma with notes of caramel and candied sugar. Aroma is a bit sweet, but not bad.

Taste is a bit more bitter, than hoppy, which is nice. It's mellow, but definitely more intense than a typical ESB. There's a nice malt presence and backing, not too sweet, a bit caramely. The finish is a bit bitter and lingering. Overall, quite nice.

The feel is a bit thin, but there's a creamy texture to it, almost velvety. Carbonation is low, and could be a hair crisper.

Drinkability is solid. Nothings bad about this at all. It doesnt wow, but it's a nice brew to sip on!

Photo of jmarsh123
2.91/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to texasclimber for the bottle.

Pours light brown with a 2 finger off-white head retaining about 1/2 finger with good lacing.

Smells of toffee and rich bready malts with a little bit of hop spice character.

Flavor is similar although the hop spice character turns into a dirty flavor. The grainy chewy bready malt is presence, but there's a bitter earthy presence that is completely off putting.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side with medium carbonation.

This one had some off flavors. Really didn't enjoy it much. A below average beer in just an average style.

Photo of gtermi
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A; The beer has a nice redish brown color with a decent thick head.

S: I am picking up a good amount of caramel sweetness. Some green apple sourness and it sort of pierces the nose.

T: I enjoy the strong amount of malt of the beer. It is very nice and has a good amount of caramel and a little hop flavors.

M: The beer has a good amount of carbonation. It isnt anything special.

O: I think this is a very solid beer. I wont say that it is an amazing beer by any means, but it is worthy.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was thrilled to see this one come in as an extra from my man Miguel with the latest shipment from Texas. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/04/2010.
 
The pour was very nice, dark, dark amber, nearly an orange color to be honest with a nice foaming white head that took its place on the top of the glass, and rightfully so. Thick cloudiness obscured most of the look of it, but it had a nice and very full appearance. Aroma was a nice mix of balance between rich piney hops and a rich, caramel filled malt backbone. Seemed the more it warmed the sweeter it happened to get, which I was not going to complain about at all. First sip was so full and smooth, rich medium to full carbonation and heavy hit of caramel malts and earthy hop notes took over. Delicious. Rich and smooth with creamy texture that only released its grip after the last sips had gone and a nice smooth, and delicate dryness took over. Very session able even at nearly seven percent.
 
Overall it reminded me a lot of an aged big hoppy monster. Just that super sweet, and dripping caramel flavor malt that balances it so well. Would love to have this one again any day.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Real Ale’s Phoenixx Double ESB has a thick, creamy, cream-colored head and a hazy (which gets more-so with swishing of the bottle), copper appearance with some bubbles and a few lacing splotches. The aroma is of sharp hops and a little sourness. Taste is of piney, mentholated hops, and some brown bread (Roman Meal brand). Absolutely no alcohol is detected. The mouthfeel is light to medium, and Phoenixx Double ESB finishes mostly dry and fairly drinkable. Overall, this beer is really good and interesting, and I strongly advise giving it a try!

RJT

Photo of Crispy34
3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer when a Real Ale Rep stopped by and dropped off some of their beer. I poured it into a pint glass, of course.

A:Honestly, this beer has a lot of crap in it. It is not a tame beer. The color is a thick bronze.

S: I really didn't catch much aroma from this beer. I kinda figured that could happen with an ESB.

T: The taste is alright. It is not awesome, and it is not bad. I find it to be a decent beer.

M: For how thick this brew appears to be, I find this beer to be pretty light. I like how there is no crazy aftertaste/ feel left in my mouth.

O: I have always supported this beer, cause I am partial to ESBs and to beers made in Texas. I have found that if I was going to buy any real ale beer for myself, it would be this one... Fireman's four is over rated.

Photo of HoustonTX
3.27/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Phoenixx Double ESB

Was strolling down the beer aisle, when I spotted one of the most eye-catching labels I've ever seen. Reminds me of Stone packaging, yet, with more glossy gold.

Pours with a light burnt copper body, and thin lacy white head.

Smell is fairly unique, has a very fresh grassy hop profile. Reminiscent of wet hopping. With just a hint of buttery toffee malt backbone.

Taste is a mixed bag for me, and here is why.
It never provides really any sweet fruitiness, that I've come to love in my ESB's.
The hops are definitely there, but without sweetness, or a big malty backbone they appear one dimensional.
On the other side, it does provide a solid, enjoyable beer.

It starts out with an infusion of caramel/toffee/roasted malts. The malts don't produce much, but they do provide some what of a backbone. Creating a semi sweet dialectal note. Hops really take center stage near the middle and end. Providing a twisting of dry grassy florals.

This beer is no where near what I was expecting it to be. It's not a bad beer, but honestly it didn't deliver what it could have. The malts were a mess, but the hopping was pretty spot on for the style. I would have liked more fruity esters, malts, and or sweetness. The beer as a whole came off kind of flat and one dimensional.

Good effort, but unfortunately it falls short. Oh well, at least the packaging is kick ass.

Photo of Riccymon
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours from the bottle a transparent brown color with a nice two fingers of head. Head dissapates after a bit, but some decent lacing sticks around. Nose is actually more like a pale ale than an ESB, with some grapefruit hops and a fresh-cut grass/alfalfa aroma. Vigorous swirling brings forth a little caramel about halfway through the beer.

Taste is similarly hoppy, and I found just a little watery grain in the finish. Phoenixx is medium-bodied, well-carbonated, and dries the mouth in its bitterness. I'm left a little disappointed not because the beer was awful, but because I wanted more caramel-malt goodness from this ESB, and less of an American pale ale.

Photo of WeisGuy
3.08/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by twig86 - thanks, Derek!

Very hazy, deep copper color on the pour. A quarter-inch white head dissipates pretty quickly and leaves little to no lacing. Caramel and toffee aromas fill the nose and not much else. The alcohol is barely noticeable in the smell as well. The flavor has a little more depth with the strong caramel malt sweetness gaining balance from a dry graininess and toasty malt. The alcohol is pretty well-hidden. Not a whole lot going on here. Medium-bodied with a creamy texture. Finish is moderately sweet with only a hint of alcohol warming. Lack of complexity or anything really interesting keeps this from a high drinkability score. That said, it is easy on the palate, the alcohol is well-hidden, and there's nothing offensive about it. Overall, just a forgettable beer.

Photo of TBoneJones
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, mostly clear copper color, barely a head, some spotted lacing.
Smells like some wheat and sweet malts, and some hints of tropical hops.
Tastes the same, with some pine, honey- like at times, and pleasantly bitter.
Smooth and medium. Creamy feel. Some bitterness.
Nice.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with a freshness date of 03 29 10. Pours a clear, dark crimson color with a large, fluffy beige head. Retention is pretty good, as is the lacing.

Nose is citrusy and grassy from the hops. The malt portion of the smell is pretty faint, I was imagining more sweet caramel might be nice. There is also some slight fruitiness and hints of alcohol.

Malts come out to play more in the flavor, plenty sweet and somewhat toasty. Still a hop-forward beer though. Grassy and citric, as lime peel and wheatgrass juice come to mind. There are some chalky, mineral flavors as well as a light fruitiness that give it a bit of British feel to it, but the hops seem to be copiously added in true American spirit. The bitterness on the finish is particularly bold...resinous and long-lasting. A bit over-the-top compared to most ESBs, but I guess that what they were aiming for with the 'double'. I prefer mine more on the sessionable side, still a fun beer to try though.

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.41/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a slightly opaque reddish gold color that has a nice off-white head that is moderate, settles slow and leaves a faint lacing down the glass.

The nose is earthy in nature with bread, hops, pine, grass and camphor as the dominant traits with some moderate floral notes underneath.

The taste is pleasantly crisp, sharp and rich. There is a nice exceptionally dominant hoppiness that is buttery pine with some grass, bread and nutmeg in the mix with a mild medicine like finish that is well balanced on the bed of sweet to dry malt underneath.

The mouthfeel is surprising rich for such a style and really does a great job of delivering the complexity of the flavors to your entire palate.

Overall this is one of the better offerings from Real Ale, which is saying a lot. Real Ale is an accomplished brewery with some great offerings. I would put this in their top 3.

Photo of Fenris244
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep red, amber in color, thick 2 finger head, decent retention. Thick lace is left on the surface of the beer and on the glass. The beer is very clear and the carbonation looks to be light.

Smell is pretty earthy and grassy with a big apple note and a hoppy pine not as well.

Fruity and almost a pomegranate flavor, grassy and herbal notes on the finish a slight bread like note is also present as the grassy note subsides. The bitterness is very well balanced with the fruity sweetness and the subtle grainy sweetness.

Medium in body, smooth and quite refreshing, I would put the drinkability as high, the alcohol feels nonexistent, pretty tasty brew.

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Phoenixx Double ESB from Real Ale Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.