1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Phoenixx Double ESB - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Phoenixx Double ESBPhoenixx Double ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

277 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 277
Reviews: 122
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12.27%
Wants: 6
Gots: 16 | 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:
"Double ESB", Rotating/Seasonal

(Beer added by: TPoling on 12-31-2005)
View: Beers (56) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 277 | Reviews: 122 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2010 17:39:15 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
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 womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The pour is a dark copper color with a soapy off-white head and minimal lacing.

S: This one pretty much just smells like toast and toasted malts. I was expecting a bit more hop character at least, but apparently I'm not going to get it. Maybe a touch of earthy and floral hops if you really strain yourself.

T: Like the nose, this beer is all about the toast/toasted malt. Mildly sweet but a fair amount of bitterness is present as well. Not a ton of hop flavor, either. Like with the nose there are just hints of floral and earthy hops.

M: Nice and medium-full in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: Nothing terribly bad about this beer, it was just a bit too one note for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 17:18:18 | More by womencantsail
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev +6.7%

12-04-2011 23:09:32 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev +6.7%

03-10-2013 20:13:12 | More by spycow
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev 0%

02-16-2013 18:20:02 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4/5  rDev +6.7%

11-17-2011 02:38:22 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Thanks to jl28r1 for this bottle!

The extra X means this stuff means business. It pours a hazy sunset amber topped by a finger of cream-white foam. The nose comprises toffee and grass. That is all. The taste holds notes of caramel, burnt grass, musty wheat, and a kinda meek snap of orange-peel bitterness. Ask m'lady sitting next to me while drinking this: my face went negative pretty quickly after this stuff was put on my tongue. Now, I don't wanna exaggerate: It wasn't god-awful, just unpleasant. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a somehow nearly chewy feel. Overall, I did not have a good experience with this beer. The flavors seemed rather sideways, and everything was just too...I guess big would be the word here.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 13:43:58 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from kiltdtxn, courtesy of the Nice Cans BIF so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky light brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts, a good amount of hops and a little bit of citrus.

T: The taste is bready overall and starts with a hearty malt character up front. Then there's a mild but complementary sweetness that comes in from flavors of caramel and citrus. The hops presence is strong enough to be well-noted but it seems a bit subdued, yet it still creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a good sessionable beer that is a little stronger than your normal session beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 02:34:21 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip, received this as an extra in a trade. Thanks! I love a good ESB, unfortunately this one didn't quite do it for me. Beer is copper and has a mild haze to it.

Aroma is a little caramely with a little buttery.

Beer is medium in body and creamy, no bitterness but a mild hoppiness on the midpalate, there is a mild oxidation on the finish, a little papery. Interesting but I've had better ESB and don't think this is a repeat.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2012 19:49:05 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2010 06:21:45 | More by Mora2000
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 04.11.10:

Pours deep copper with a thin tan head that leaves thin lines of lacing.

The smell is of toast, slight caramel and toffee with a floral, earthy, slightly citric hop aroma.

The taste is of cramel/toffee - firm maltiness that is balanced by floral, slightly citric/tropical fruity hops that lead to a bittersweet finish. Juicy English hops and a stong malt presence combine nicely.

It is medium-to-full bodied. At first carbonation is slightly higher than I expected, but it soon relaxes.

An ESB that isn't short on the "bitter" part, while keeping a complex malty character. Nicely balanced. Has an "English" character, with an American craft beer touch. Strong, yet smooth - with a hefty tone, yet alcohol well-integrated/
hidden.
Thanks to Mora2000 for this "extra special" brew!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 01:22:32 | More by jwc215
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark amber in the New Belgium snifter. Lots of foam and pleasantly spritzy mouthfeel. A medium body. Sort of a musty aroma.

Rather rich with lots of deep, dark flavors. A hint of licorice. Ends with a seriously bitter finish. A little buttery with a hint of something medicinal. The first few sips are pretty good, but the dark, tarry bitterness sticks in the mouth after a while. Lots of burnt sugar on the tongue but a dry finish. Hints of fruit, like canned pineapple.

Definitely a peculiar brew and it's one for the adventure seekers. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Pinkie's in San Angelo.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 02:26:33 | More by mactrail
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

1.98/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

"Double ESB." "Extra special bitter ale." Okay; expectations are very low. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with uninteresting label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local bottle shop and served into a conical Pinthouse Pizza pint glass in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. "Best if consumed by this date 07.01.14."

Served slightly chilled. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Fairly thin. Lacks creaminess and frothiness. Complexion and consistency are lackluster. Head retention is about average - ~2 minutes.

Body colour is a transparent translucent copper-brown of below average vibrance. No yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it doesn't look like much. Far from unique or special. Appears adequately carbonated.

Sm: Caramel. Toffee. English biscuit malt. Diacetyl/slight buttery character. Light breadiness. It's on the sweeter side.

I don't notice an overt hop profile. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

It's an inoffensive aroma of below average strength. I can't say I'm looking forward to this one much.

T/Mf: Buttery. Caramel. Toffee. English biscuit malt. That's about it. Painfully simple, with an obnoxiously shallow depth of flavour. It's not all that well balanced, nor is it cohesive. Not a gestalt build. Lacks any complexity, subtlety, intricacy, or nuance whatsoever. I'm not liking this much at all.

Below average duration and intensity of flavour. It's pretty boring.

Mf: Buttery, coarse, and weirdly dry. The buttery character really drags this beer down. Well-carbonated. Medium bodied. Good thickness. Poor presence on the palate. Should be softer, creamier, and pleasing, Poor execution. The texture does not suit the taste well.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or rough.

Dr: I'll finish this bottle with effort on account of the low quality. I wouldn't recommend this to friends. It's yet another unenjoyable American attempt at an ESB . Hard to drink. I don't know what "double ESB" is supposed to indicate, but this is pretty terrible.

D-

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 15:12:42 | More by kojevergas
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via Local BIF from kiltedtxn. Thanks for the opportunity. <Jeremy2002 = bad trader>

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/4" beige head above the clear orangey amber brew. Head holds on alright, with average lacing. Aroma is moderately sweet, with a touch of vegetal. Taste starts malty, a peek of citrus in the middle, and then bitterness comes on, and keeps on keeping on. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good. Wouldn't mind having this one again.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 02:41:47 | More by ppoitras
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 00:09:46 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

2.83/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2012 00:05:19 | More by LXIXME
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper brown orange with a 1 finger off white head

smell: very little aroma, slight corn, malts

taste: not a whole lot going on here. malts, little hops

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: not exactly what I would call Extra Special. But hey I like trying out new breweries.

Cheers,
The CPJ

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 15:16:25 | More by THECPJ
Photo of dmorgan310
dmorgan310

Panama

4/5  rDev +6.7%

07-15-2012 20:49:13 | More by dmorgan310
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into my Otter Creek glass. Dark caramel in color with a modest frothy white head. Very nice head retention and lacing. Great looking beer overall.

Big malty profile, with a good amount of caramel presence in it. Slightly crisp with some tart fruits as well. Interesting, but felt a little one dimensional at times.

The taste also shows a lot of malty character to it throughout the beer. It gets sweeter towards the finish with some caramel and toffee coming through. I get some herbal, earthy hops to it in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side for the style with carbonation being below average. Overall a decent beer but not a great one. The flavors just didn't come together that well for me and the malty base just seemed a little overpowering and one dimensional. Decent beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2011 18:47:10 | More by billab914
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

4/5  rDev +6.7%

12-07-2011 23:19:31 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.45/5  rDev -8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 23:57:24 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

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 gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from jefferz5000.

Pours a hazy caramel with a soid foamy head that recedes to a swirl along the top.

Heavy caramel malt sweetness with some toast and lit earthy hop bitterness. There is a bit of pine resin and medicinal character as it warms.

The taste has lots bitter hops up front, especially for an ESB. The caramel malts dominate the backbone with a more prominent biscuit flavor than in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is pretty full bodied for an ESB, prickly from the hops and with strong carbonation.

This is an amped up ESB to be sure and I wouldn't call it terribly drinkable for the style but it more complex than most, so I would certainly recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 02:14:50 | More by gford217
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Phoenixx Double ESB from Real Ale Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 277 ratings.