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Phoenixx Double ESB - Real Ale Brewing Company

Phoenixx Double ESBPhoenixx Double ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

270 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 270
Reviews: 122
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12.27%

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:
"Double ESB", Rotating/Seasonal

(Beer added by: TPoling on 12-31-2005)
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Ratings: 270 | Reviews: 122 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ElCommodoro


3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wasn't sure what to expect with this. I'm just glad it wasn't over-hopped. It poured a hazy orange colour and smelled like sour raisins.
The taste also had a lot of sugary raisin-character to it with hop balance taking over the finish. My only problem with this is that the hops taste dry. They give a dry character to an otherwise sweet beer. I like the bitter character, it just brings a little more dryness than I want. I really like the idea, though, of making an ESB that's thick and sugary. I guess that's what makes it "double." I was afraid it would be "doubly" bitter instead, and it is a little more bitter than other ESBs I've had, but not by a whole lot.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2012 03:48:32 | More by ElCommodoro
Photo of Premo88


3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz. pint glass on tap at Hay Merchant (in February 2013)

L: red; fantastic lacing

S: hint of sweetness; lots of yeasty grain

T: bitter up front, good sweet malt finish like an ESB should have

F: solid overall, not overbearing

O: good enough that I'll need to try this again next winter season when it returns

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2013 02:10:40 | More by Premo88
Photo of TPoling


3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first appearance of Real Ale's double ESB, so it isn't certain if this is a one-off or will become a seasonal.

The nose is floral and a bit grassy from the hops. It pours golden to amber with a slight white head.

This is one for hopheads that aren't too concerned about balance between the hops and the malt. The bitterness overtakes the beer, but it is satisfying, nonetheless. The grassy and floral characteristics carry through from the first sip and into the long finish.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2005 00:56:35 | More by TPoling
Photo of dannydetox


3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2012 21:56:06 | More by dannydetox
Photo of Citadel82

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this at the Whole Foods here in Austin whilst visiting on business. Pours a clear dark copper/amber with a thin creamy head that left sparse lacing. To all appearance a classic English bitter. The aroma is caramel and sweet malt with a whiff of alcohol. The taste is quite unexpected the blast of hops seems to utterly overwhelm whatever malty notes one would expect based upon the aroma. The taste is cracker up front with a strong floral/vegetal hop bitterness that fades into a long dry hop finish. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with gentle carbonation that is barely noticable. Overall a good find and a nice way to round out the night.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2011 02:44:53 | More by Citadel82
Photo of aeminter


3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The head is off-white almost cappuccino in color, and has great retention. Light amber in color and very clear.

Nice hop aromas with some light fruity esters.

The flavors compliment the nose with balanced malts...up front malt sweetness with a balanced middle and pronounced hop bitterness at the end. The aftertaste lasts only about a minute. The carbonation is moderate-low. There is some alcohol warming, but this could be overemphasized by my empty stomach.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2011 16:44:32 | More by aeminter
Photo of dngilb


3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: beautiful dark amber. Not much head or lace.

M: Pleasant lighter mouthfeel, but viscous enough to not feel watery. For its lightness, I'd probably want a bit more carbonation.

T: toasted Jewish rye bread crust. Caraway seed. Caramels. White tea leaves. Hint of uncoated Tylenol.

Overall, I wasn't wow'ed... But I certainly drink another.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 23:34:25 | More by dngilb
Photo of Pegasus


3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Clear reddish-amber with a large light tan head of somewhat coarse foam, which retains well. The lacing is scattered, and Belgian-like.

Aroma: Strong notes of caramel malt, brown bread, and grassy and herbal hops.

Taste: Opens with a strong wave of roasted malt, which tends towards toast and nutty flavors. While the malt backbone is a strong presence throughout, as the taste progresses, the hops intensify, particularly offering earthy and herbal flavors. Finishes with a long, lingering moderate bitterness at the back of the mouth. The ABV of 7.2% was not at all perceptible in the taste, although it was mildly warming.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, full and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A pleasing and well-crafted example.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2013 22:41:59 | More by Pegasus
Photo of jasonjlewis


3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a 1 finger head with good retention. ruby red color..

smell is of caramel malts with earthy hops and mild fruity esters.

taste shows a little bit of hot alcohol. bitterness balances nicely. fruity esters and a hint of diacetyl with a caramel malt bitterness balance the beer.

mouthfeel is a tad astringent. carbonation is good though.

decently balanced big esb. give it a try

Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2009 23:53:56 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of beergoot


3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Extra sent in a beer trade with Doph1979. Thanks, Tim...

Dark golden body with a very good, sticky off-white head. Great lacing down the glass.

Aroma is rich and malty. Toffee and caramel. A touch of hop bitterness accents the nose.

Medium-light body with a bit of smoothness due to the sugars. Clean and wet.

Light, toasted malt flavors, soon overtaken by a mid-grade bitterness.

This was a bit of a toss-up between a 3.5 and a 4.0 overall. As this beer seems to have some decent flavor and aroma, I would imagine drinking this beer again and again would warrant the slightly higher overall score, depending on freshness and serving origin. It also hides its alcohol content nicely. A good, malty, bitter beer. I'd definitely go for some more...

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2012 20:25:27 | More by beergoot
Photo of champ103


3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at The Petrol Station in Houston.

A: Pours a hazy reddish/orange color. A minimal, bubbly, white head forms and recedes in a second. No lace is left behind.
S: Grapefruit hops are present, but not dominate. A substantial sweetness in the nose. Caramel malt and a dry wood aroma as well.
T: Follows the nose. Light grapefruit bitterness up front, though very well balanced with some sugary caramel malt. A really dry wood flavor lingers. That gives this a little more depth of flavor IMO.
M/D: A little lighter than I would like. Thin and watery. This is also a little under carbonated. Easy to drink. I quaffed a few throughout the night with no problem.

This is interesting on cask. A little more depth of flavor here than in the bottle or on tap. Though the under carbonation almost kills this beer. Not bad, but Real Ale has much better cask versions.

Serving type: cask

03-12-2010 19:16:29 | More by champ103
Photo of htomsirveaux


3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 7 Apr 2010.

Served in a Lakefront shaker pint. Medium sized fizzy off white head. Clear dark ruby brown in color. Well carbonated. Smells lightly of cocoa, roasted malt, toasted almonds, brown sugar. Lightly flavored to start, sweet and malty, then turning much drier and bitter. Warm boozy finish, lingering bitter and nutty aftertaste. Medium body.

Decent beer but a little pricey ($9.50/sixer).

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2010 02:04:01 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of dubinsky


3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from Turfy. Poured from 12oz bottle into a Crate and Barrel snifter. Best by date of 8/21/11.

A - Pours a slightly hazy dark amber, almost like rust. A two finger foamy head tops the beer. The foam sticks to the edges leaving behind some huge lacing patterns.

S - Floral hops give way to a huge malty, biscuit aroma. Quite nice. Its not the hugest smelling beer, but it smells good.

T - The hops come out swinging hard but quickly yield to the huge biscuity malt backbone. I distinctly pickup the Munich malts. It has a well rounded bitterness with a sweet malt presence.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Good bitterness in line with the style.

O - Although this is not a style a usually like, this is a great beer. I would buy and drink this again, often, if it was available here in CA.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 03:58:52 | More by dubinsky
Photo of JDV


3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the draught house. Pours a dark maroon color with a medium beige lasting head. Nice looking beer. Smell is fruity, hoppy, gummy, with big hop presence for the style. Not what I expected from something called an ESB or labeled as an ESA. Either way, extremely drinkable, fruity and hoppy but smooth with alcohol hidden well. Very nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2008 21:35:30 | More by JDV
Photo of azdback


3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my personally etched "dead man's hand" Marlboro pint glass. Beautiful dark burnt orange color. Creamy off white head. Sticky lace.

Smell is earthy, grasses, yeasty. Some burnt sugar smells. Not real hoppy or much alcohol.

The taste is better than the smell a bit. Much more hop in the taste. The sweet I'm still trying to nail. Maybe a candied orange?

Mouth is great. It is carbonated well. A bit sticky and sweet long at the end.

I had to remind myself that I am not reviewing a Double IPA, but an Amber( well Double Amber). So with my pallet so far to the left I had to reel it back to center and realize how good this beer is to the common non pallet wrecked man (or woman). Thanks to BgThang and turfy for this. Very enjoyable and recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 06:10:32 | More by azdback
Photo of vdread


3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Phoenixx Double ESB is a beautiful dark amber with an ample, sticky head that leaves some splashes of lace behind. smells of caramel malt and strong fruity hops.

the taste is dripping with thick caramel malt and fruit (apples, raisins). resinous hops bring grassy, earthy tones. there is a slight taste of black tea as well. as it warms, the caramel malt becomes richer and deeper, the hops tastes of grapefruit becomes more apparent.

highly carbonated, palate is nearly gone after a sip. ends dry.

this is a good beer that i would probably drink again. i wouldn't buy a 6 pack, but i might pick up another single before they stop selling them for the year.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 19:34:31 | More by vdread
Photo of jale


3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dirty copper with a dime of white head.

S: Sweet malt aroma and slight caramel. Just a hint of piney hops.

T: Sweet roasted malt upfront followed by caramel. Piney hop bitterness in the middle leading into a hint of citrus finish.

M: Heavier than I expected and somewhat sticky and a tad cloying.

O: Soild ESB. Would drink another.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2011 21:53:43 | More by jale
Photo of waldoiverson


3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into nonic

A: a somewhat flat toned dark copper with moderate carbonation, good cling to the lace but the head didn't stand for too long

S: yeasty with bread and light hint of carob sweetness, fairly dark sweet aroma that almost suggests there is rye in there

T: fruity, hint of cherries, def. tasing the play on a bitter but much more sweet, leaves a strong but not unpleasant aftertaste of currant...reminds me of a bock at times in the experience.

M: very full but cracker dry in the mouth but only ends in a semi-dry spot. carbonation isn't too present.

O: this beer seems to fall in a weird spot. there are moments that you feel like you're drinking a bock for the body, darkness, and alcohol but the taste is def. a reference to a bitter. it's worth giving a try but probably not a daily drinker for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 21:58:59 | More by waldoiverson
Photo of angelmonster


3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to trader Air for this one

Pours a huge 3 finger off white head. Body is a dark copper in color. Head retention and lacing are great

Smell is of roasted malt, earthy hops, and very faint corn. Alcohol isnt detected. The nose is very restrained and boring

First taste is of slightly piny and floral hops. Copper malts and honey sweetness balance the bitterness throughout. Aftertaste is of bitter lime peel and slight alcohol.

Mouthfeel is good. Ample amount of carbonation, semi light body. Head stayed throughout glass and contributed to the beer

Drink ability is good. Semi sessionable, alcohol was hidden nicely. Wouldn't say that this is a run of the mill ESB but its nothing to write home about. Still nice to see more good beer coming out of Texas in bottles. Just wish more breweries would distribute outside the state.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 06:34:14 | More by angelmonster
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 05:13:49 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of BeanBone


3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 02:16:21 | More by BeanBone
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a thick, foamy head that sticks and laces with purpose

Smell: Resinous, piney elements intermingle with the caramel malt; a touch medicinal

Taste: Opens biscuity, with an increasing caramel dimension; by mid-palate, the piney, resinous hops take over and also provide the medicinal element that was detectable in the aroma; after the swallow, the sweeter, caramel malt elements add a balancing dimension

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A fairly decent effort at an ESB; not sure about the "double ESB" concept, however; needs a bit more fruity character and a bit less of the medicinal aspect as well

Thanks, ericandersnavy, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 00:55:47 | More by brentk56
Photo of alcstradamus


3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes

Brown pour with a nice finger of persistent head. Aroma is light earthy hops on top of a bed of biscuit maltiness. Some nuttiness and sunflowers are also present. The flavor is bitter nuttiness. I'm not sure on the age of this but the hops are not very well defined right now. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with high levels of soft carbonation. Drinkability is solid if you are wanting to have a lighter beer with a meal, but as a standalone beer there isn't too much interesting going on. Still, a good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 00:18:18 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of F2brewers


3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 01:41:54 | More by F2brewers
Photo of BrewsCrewSA


3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a loyal fan of Real Ale, but this one didn't quite hit the mark like I thought it would. Here goes:

A - Cool label. Pours a dark amber, akin to old, automotive rust. Shimmers. Thin, latte-colored head and retaining foam, dissipates rapidly, but leaves rings throughout the snifter.

S - Floral, hoppy, shallow. Not much to the scent.

T - Hits hard with strong hops flavor, but suddenly drops off. There's biscuit notes on the back side, but it's as if something's missing. What's missing is the hefty malt profile that's typical of UK ESBs - completely missing here. Moreover, it tends to carry a strong hop profile, but again, not throughout. And what's with the "Double" tag? It resembles more an IPA than an ESB, and much less a "double" at that. Carries a decent malt undertone much throughout, but compared to regular ESBs, not as prominently. Thankfully for me, it also lacks the copper bite of your standard, American IPAs.

M - Refreshing against the taste buds, palatable, and creamy.

D - Invites for more as long as you're not under some presumption that this is a "Double ESB".

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 02:43:02 | More by BrewsCrewSA
Phoenixx Double ESB from Real Ale Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 270 ratings.