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Phoenixx Double ESB - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Phoenixx Double ESBPhoenixx Double ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.

126 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 126
Hads: 309
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 7
Gots: 41 | 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 (47) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 126 | Hads: 309
Photo of Crispy34
3/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

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Photo of beergod1
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copper color with a nice foamy head. The aroma is sweet, fruity, light fruity hops. The flavor is smooth, spicy and light naturally fruity flavors, earthy, toasted malts, slightly hot. A great example of an English Strong Ale. I have been getting some brews in trades from Real Ale, and I have been pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of Dope
3.39/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A dark brown/red pour, with a huge dense tan head atop. Retention is quite excellent. Lacing is nice as well.

S: Some bready malt, a bunch of caramel and almost a little wheaty (not sure if there's any wheat in the malt bill though). A little bit of grassy hops? That might be a reach, honestly I detect little/no hops.

T: Big caramel malt. Again, a little bit of wheaty presence. Kinda toasty, I assumed toasted malt was used.

M: Mid-range mouthfeel. Pretty standard.

O: A semi-big malty brew. Pretty much all malt, no real noticeable hops. Toast and caramel more or less. Not bad, but nothing special either.

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Photo of gtermi
3.45/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of waldoiverson
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of billab914
3.29/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
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.

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Photo of starrdogg
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque caramel color with a pretty substantial fluffy white head.

S: Smell is caramel, not too powerful though. If it smelled like this but stronger I might give it a higher score, it's a good aroma, just not powerful enough.

T: Right off the bat, this is a bit roastier than I was expecting. There's also a little bit of caramel sweetness (though not as much as I was expecting from the smell), and some bitter hoppiness in here. Not like any ESB I've ever had. None of the flavors are particularly strong, but the roastiness lingers more than the rest, so it stands out as the dominant flavor, which I don't think is really what's best for the beer.

M: Medium-bodied and carbonated. I think it would actually be better with a little bit thicker of a body.

O: Well, I'll give this one points for originality, I've never had a beer quite like this. Unfortunately it kinda ends up tasting like a watered-down porter.

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Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Town Hall globe on 6/26/11. Bottle has a best by date on 07.26/11.

Pours a dark hazy amber with a huge head that leaves no lacing.

Smell is all carmel malt and zero hops.

Taste the same with tons of carmel malt sweetness and barley any hops. I was expecting more bitterness but it was abscent.

Mouthfeel is moderate but it does have a decent aftertaste.

Overall this is a one and done for me. I like it but when you say double bitter I expect bitter not an IPA.

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Photo of jale
3.61/5  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.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.08/5  rDev -17%
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.

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Photo of gkunkle
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a warm ruddy brown, with a thin head that quickly recessed. Smell is of dark malts and a hint of hops. Taste starts with smooth dark malts, then in the second half if the taste I get notes of chocolate and coffee. Mouthfeel is medium with light carbonation. This I an interesting take on the ESB, but I am not sure if inwill re-visit it again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of dubinsky
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly hazy dark orange copper colored with a lingering, thin, whitish head. Little lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malts with a noticeable piny hop aroma. Light alcoholic smell as it warms. Subtle dark fruity character.

F/M - Bready malts with caramel and light dark fruits. Earthy resinous hops are not front-stage but noticeable with a moderately firm bitterness. Estery yeasty finish. Dry with a medium mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Slight astringency in the finish.

O - Ok, but the astringency and firm bitterness are distracting and its kind of a chore to drink this beer when it gets warm.

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Photo of THECPJ
3/5  rDev -19.1%
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.


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Photo of beeragent
3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a medium copper, forming a 1/2 inch off-white head. Light spots of lace on the glass.

S - Caramel malt aroma and a hint of alcohol.

T - Heavy toasty malts coat the palate, caramel, and slightly grainy. A bit of spicey hops in the finish. Alcohol is hidden more in the taste than the aroma.

M - Medium bodied, a bit thinner than expected, and very clean. Low carbonation.

D - Malty flavor and overall balanced but leaning more towards the malts than hops. Not a bad beer but not really being a fan of ESB's, I didnt have much to compare this with.

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Photo of gford217
3.97/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. Thanks Dajtai007, for including this extra!

A: Pours a dark copper hue with great clarity, and fine carbonation. Head is off-white, to eggshell in color and retains very nicely. Lacing is sticky, and dries rhick on the glass.

S: Faint, nose, but very malt-forward. Caramel and biscuit are most prominent, along with some fruity notes from the yeast. Hops linger in the backround with a floral aroma.

T: Like the smell, but oh, so much more! Caramel and toast, along with a hint of toffee and raisin. Almost a slight woody character as well. Alcohol lends a bit of warmth in the middle, followed by a crisp, floral hop finish.

Notes: Phoenixx is a stellar beer of this style. Very well-balanced and full-bodied, with a complex flavor profile. I could almost mistake this beer for a session brew, despite it's ABV. A rock-solid brew, and one that I wish I had more of.

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Photo of jdense
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from Gabe's SAT, poured into new St. Arnold's shaker pint glass 4.21.11.

One finger white head, fairly quick dissipation with some lacing. Reddish clear amber body, some dispersed trails of carbonation rising to surface. Big dose of crystal malt in the nose, fruity, tropical hops, some bready malts for dryness. Taste mirrors nose, though the alcohol is quite prevalent. Medium-light mouthfeel, fairly dry finish for style. Too boozy for the style and my liking, unless you are a fan of Double ESBs (not sure if such a style exists or will in the future) a novelty worth trying once, but I won't be having this again any time soon.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Haven't had an ESB for over 3 years. Last one was from Saranac in a holiday mixed pack. 1.79 for a single, why not try this.

Appearance-Very deep copper with a 1 inch tan head. Head quickly dissipates leaving some decent lacing.

Smell-Sweet malty aroma. Also get some earthy tones. Kind of reminds me of an IPA aroma only a few days past its freshness.

Taste-Immediately feels like a Brown Ale off the bat with some sweet caramel and malt. Once the beer creeps to the back of the tongue you get some IPA characteristics nice bitter hop kick, very earthy. A nice bitterness lingers, very nice.

Mouthfeel-Very smooth beer. Nice carbonation, really pleasant. Pretty thin, but very drinkable.

Overall-This beer suprised me. Considering I haven't had an ESB in a long time and was able to really enjoy this one I applaud this beer and Real Ale. Not going to compare this to my "A" IPAs/IIPAs, but for a reasonable ESB It's great. Nothing from Real Ale has really wowed me, including this beer, but I will absolultely drink a few more of these while they are still around.

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Photo of thatlongname
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy medium amber color with a decent cream colored head. Seems to stick.

Smell: Some malts in the nose and some sweetness. I'm not getting much in the nose.

Taste: Some light malt tones at the beginning of the sip that makes it taste like toffee or caramel. Strong bitters to finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied low carbonation.

Overall: A pretty good beer. It's rather refreshing and has some bite.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
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!

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Photo of LittleDon
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pint at Billy's on Burnet.
Apple cider in color and clarity. Fair head retention and fair amount of lace. Bready malt aroma. Flavor has elements of apples, bread crust, and hazelnuts. Medium carbonation and body. Strong non aromatic bitter back end.

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Photo of aeminter
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Phoenixx Double ESB from Real Ale Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.