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Phoenixx Double ESB - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Phoenixx Double ESBPhoenixx Double ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

289 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 289
Reviews: 122
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12.27%
Wants: 6
Gots: 25 | 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 (42) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 289 | Reviews: 122 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmbranum
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delightful amazing beer.

Dark brown/amber beer. Short head. Very hazy (you can't see through the glass). Quite pretty when held to the light, almost glows.

Aroma is awesome. Some spices and maybe some licorice?

Flavor is rich but balanced. Malty with a fair bit of spice and hops. Nice alcoholic warmth (this beer is 7.2% ABV according to the brewery website)

Mouthfeel is nice and full with a nice bite.

Highly recommend this beer. I'm glad I listened to the clerk at Wheatsville Coop in Austin (where i bought this beer). His recommendation was spot on.

Photo of vdread
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of webbcreative
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ligth amber color, with off white 2 finger head, that left nice lacing.

Aroma is really neutral, can't pick up anything, if i try and think about it really hard I would say I smell just a hint of caramel malt.

Taste is biscuity, a tad sweet, and finishes just slightly bitter, that doesn't hang around longer than I can type this sentence.

Mouthfeel is a nice medium.

Overall this is a good beer, not sure I would consider it a Double ESB, nothing seemed amped up to me to warrant that label, but it was a good refreshing drink.

Photo of Riccymon
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
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 osterlorp
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first ESB so I have no frame of reference...

A: Cloudy golden brown - Coppery. Creamy slightly off-white head which lingered till about halfway through.

S: Roasted Malts and Nutty. Hops are a bit more than subtle in the nose.

T: Sweet malts and caramel at the front along with a bit of roasted bitterness. This beer is balanced really well with some tasty grassy hops. Overall it tips more in favor of the hops, obviously. The hop bitterness is left to tingle the tongue on the finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Immediately strikes me as having a buttery smoothness. Slightly thin in the mouth but satisfying. Could use a bit more carbonation.

D: I could happily down a couple.

Overall I loved this beer and I think Real Ale is putting out some solid brews here in TX.

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.

Photo of diamondc
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Didn't really enjoy this beer on tap that much, but decided to buy a six pack ($9.49) for comparison and to hopefully be surprised. Best By 05/04/10.

A: Dark and murky with some good head. Every sip leaves another ring of lacing. Nice.

S: Shoe leather, moldy peaches, burnt paper, 90% dark chocolate, old pine tree needles, with some hot nuts in the mix. Quite baffling.

T: The hops are really aggressive here with some heavy, bordering on Pine-Sol flavor. Roasted malts clash with the weak fruit esters afterwards. Too astringent.

M/D: Kind of thin and watery. It is unlike any other ESB I've had where I got more of a fruity flavor. A rare 'miss' from Real Ale.

Photo of Stigs
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
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 hiikeeba
4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours up a slightly hazy dark amber with orange highlights and a tan head that lingers a while.

S - Aroma of caramel, some chocolate, and a bit of roast. A hint of piney hops.

T - subdued malt background , some dark malt flavors, but accented with dank piney hops that brighten in the finish. Interesting but balanced blend of hops that lingers, but doesn't over power.

M - Light to medium bodied with strong carbonation.

D - Extremely drinkable, with a nice hoppy finish. This could replace their Rye Pale Ale or the Coffee Porter as my favorite beer.

Photo of mikesgroove
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.

Photo of hoplover82
4.58/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just want to point out that this beer is way better in the bottle rather than on tap.

A-Pours a very inticing clear amber with a huge off white creamy head that has very good retention and excellent lacing. Outstanding appearance indeed.

S-This beer has lots of wafting, sweet toasted malt and bright fruity esthers. Some earthy hops come into play in the end. Beautiful aroma.

T-The flavor reflects the aroma very well but with a healthy helping of very clean earthy hop bitterness. And also the hops come through more in the flavor. Lots of sweet biscuity toasted malt.

M-Full and creamy is the body. And very smooth.

D-Very drinkable. I highly recommend this beer. I was suprized and expecting something dissapointing but got a wonderful beer.

Photo of zdk9
3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a crystal clear dark ruby- the color of a blood orange. A full finger of head puffs up and leaves circles of foam around the glass. A good looking beer.

S- Sweet malts. Some viniousness- like carmalized grape musk.

T- Roasted and slightly burnt grains- sort of taking the harsh part of burnt and leaving the charred caramel part out. More malt character coming out as the beer warms. Warm wheat bread. Definitely a dirty character- hops? I'm not really enjoying the taste of this one to be honest.

M- Pretty bitter. Alcohol is more present than I would expect.

D- Overall this beer underwhelmed me.

Photo of jwillcourt
3.44/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a cask at the Draught House into a Real Ale souvenir pint glass.

A - Cloudy, cider color. There is little or no head, with a few spots of large bubbles. There is no visible carbonation or lacing.

S - Slight smell of caramel malt, but mostly a strong medicinal hops smell.

T- Follows the smell. There is a slight caramel malt flavor but it is immediately overwhelmed by the medicinal, bitter hops. The hops provide some spiciness in addition to the bitterness.

M - Lighter body than I expected. Very little carbonation. Slight grainy feel. Little residual mouthfeel. Keep in mind this was a cask.

D - Well, I finished the pint fairly quickly and enjoyed it, but I was ready to try something else. The alcohol feels and tastes stronger than it really is. My palate was pretty skewed, which is something to keep in mind if this is not your last drink of the night.

Photo of AlexMunse
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 53 degrees into a 21oz imperial pint glass.
Appearance is a dark brown with a little head that sticks around for a while and leaves nice lacing. Darker than I thought it would be for an ESB.

An interesting smell for sure. Pleasant, with hints of roasted...something. I cant quite put my finger on it. It almost reminds me of what my house smells like when I'm home brewing.

The taste is a letdown! It seems very light and watery. Its not at all what I expected. What little taste there is, is good though, its just not what I expected.

The mouth is very thin and theres not much carbonation. Also dissapointing.

As far as drinkability goes, I would say this is a sessionable beer, but I would rather have something with a little more "oomph!"

Photo of allengarvin
4.24/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The new bottled version--only had on tap before now. Appearance is a dark, murky brown with but little head, but it has nice lacing despite this. Lots of malt in the nose, with hints of dark fruit, and a load of resinous hops. Good flavor as well, starting sweet, with light caramel, a touch of roast, giving way to lots of grassy, resinous hop flavor. Bitterness doesn't seem as high as it used to be, but it makes a good balance. Finishes a mix of sweet and bitter that never quite dries out.

Excellent beer from Real Ale. Too bad it's a limited released. This supplants their Rye as a favorite bottled offering, for me.

Photo of elniko
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into SA perfect pint glass.

A: Rich amber coloring with nice off head and some heavy lacing. Quite good looking.

S: Quite hoppy with the nice toffee malt tones backing it up.

T & M: Nicely balanced, mouthfeel just a little thin. Bitter throughout with a nice somewhat fruity finish.

D: A very well done brew and quite drinkable for an ESB. Kudos to Real on this one.

Photo of natelocc787
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark for an ESB. Nice head, dark malts in the nose with some hop love too. Aroma and taste are very similar, mild chocolate notes with raisins and faint toffee. Worsens as it warms and becomes borderline unpleasant. Average mouthfeel, nothing special or standout. Lacking compared to other fine examples, what do you expect from a mediocre Texas Brewery trying to brew a European classic? Good beer overall, nothing to seek out.

Photo of fjordhook
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been waiting to try this beer, so I was excited to finally find it at the Central Market in Ft Worth. Pours with a dark amberish color, almost brown. The head was fizzy, very light, and it dissipated quickly.. faster than I expected anyways. It smells nice, a good blend of the hops and malts. Nothing too fancy. At first I wasn't a big fan. I had a few the other night and didn't appreciate the taste, but after giving it a second chance and writing this review it has grown on me. I've always loved supporting Real Ale and I've enjoyed both of their seasonal beers so far. I can't wait to see what is next.

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

Has a nice copper color, and a decent little head.
Smells of hops with a little something extra... maybe some greens?
Tastes like some serious hops, nothing real floral but bitter mainly.
I really enjoy this beer since it does not follow the plain and boring that many other breweries do for winter.

I cant wait for next years!

Photo of Mora2000
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.

Photo of greenpumas
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There comes a time when one walks into their favorite store expecting to purchase another one of their go-to brews and, instead, finds a jewel. Today, folks, was my day.

A: Copper-brown body makes way for a very thin, yet ever-present head. Lace on this beer is above average considering it's overall ABV

S: Slight hint of phenols coupled with a unique sweet and sour sort of scent. Very different from a run of the mill ESB.

T: A bit thin. I need more up front flavor to pair with what I am smelling. Though it does taste like it came straight from a cask, I need a bit more body with an ESB.

MF/D: Certainly a "session" brew, Phoenixx comes up a bit short on body for me.

Photo of sayerofthelaw
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The new Real Ale seasonal, a double ESB.

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

A - A very pretty dark red. About a 1/4 inch off-white head that gradually dissipates, this beer leaves a lot of lacing down the glass.

S - Mostly just hops for me, but a nice smell that is mildly fruity.

T - Well, its hoppy, but not overpowering. There are some ild caramel malt flavors that combine well with the hops. Overall, it isn't bitter.

M - Good carbonation in an overall smooth mouthfeel.

D - Not sure if I would call it sessionable, I would imagine the hoppy notes of the beer would build up on the tongue after a few of them.

Overall, a decent beer. Not nearly as bitter as some ESBs I've had.

Photo of HoustonTX
3.27/5  rDev -12.8%
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 wagenvolks
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Austin Flying Saucer.

Served in a Flying Dog pint glass a rich, rosy copper color with a caramel core and a lively carbonation level. Excellent retention to the khaki head, which manifested itself as a thin, rocky patch of bubbles that left behind a few splotches of lacing. Great aroma, too, with succulent toffee malts and powdered chocolate balanced perfectly by a resinous, almost medicinal hop presence. Took a few swirls to really get the nose acclimated to the aroma, but well worth the effort.

As for the taste, the hops were ripe-tasting and juicy, almost as if this were a fresh hop beer. Nice balance of toasted caramel and toffee malts with fruity yeast esters and a hint of that medicinal-ESB twang that added some pep to the finish. The medium body is perfectly carbonated and quite smooth given the style, making for an easy drinking ESB. Real Ale is churning out some excellent beer these days, and the seasonal offerings (Real Heavy, Lost Gold IPA, and now Dbl Phoenixx) are all worth seeking out.

Photo of DeathbySexyBT
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep amber meets blood crimson. A finger and a half of head with excellent retention.

S: This beer started with a medicinal or chlorophenolic aroma that was quite off-putting. Fortunately, that died off after about 2-3 minutes. The smell from that point on was a very doughy caramel malt with a good hop punch. Once the hospital smell left, the aroma was splendid.

T: Diacetyl and alcohol hit on the front side. But, much like the smell, once you get a few minutes in this becomes quite tasty. Estery flavors blend nicely with the bitterness (almost burnt) caramel malt taste.

M: Medium body and good carbonation for style. This is a 'big' version of an ESB.

D: Happily, this is produced locally. Sadly, it is not bottled and a seasonal effort at that. I like this beer. There are better in the style, to be sure, but still a strong effort.

Phoenixx Double ESB from Real Ale Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.