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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 (46) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 126 | Hads: 309
Photo of EPICAC
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on cask at Anvil in Houston.

This ESB pours a lightly hazed, copper-amber color, and is topped by a thick, creamy, beige head. The aroma is citric and malty, which gives an impression of orange cream. There are caramel and bready notes, grassy hops, and an almost cinnamon-like spice.

Mildly sweet, bready and toasty malts upfront move into a lightly-citric center. The finish has a rough, hoppy bitterness and a slight spiciness. This beer is smooth and creamy upfront, but moves into a rough, coarse finish.

I thought that this was an amazingly balanced beer.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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/
Thanks to Mora2000 for this "extra special" brew!

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Photo of northaustin
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark copper/amber with a beautiful hop oilyness creating some haze. two fingers of even off white head which has long retention and leaves a solid coat of lacing.

smell is a big bitter hop. very piney slightly citrusy.

taste: smooth two row and a slight crystal malt presence followed quickly by a palate blasting wave of very bitter hops.

mouthfeel: leaves me with a very crisp dryness.

drinkability: very refreshing. big crisp hop flavor with a high session abv that is perfectly masked. this beer fits many occasions.

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Photo of whoneeds8
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of champ103
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
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

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Photo of BeanBone
3.56/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of phillipzayas
2.91/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Nice rich dark appearance. Ok, head on the beer.

S - Smelled a bit musty to me. Maybe I got a bad bottle. I didnt pick up any kind of hop or malty aromas. I just got that musty aroma. I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt since I am going to assume a bad bottle.

T - Not bad, but I just couldnt get around the musty aroma that imparted itself a bit in the flavor. I definitely picked up the nice hoppy flavors. I am giving it a 3.5 out of benefit of the doubt.

M - Ehhh....thats all I really feel like saying. Left a bit of a funny aftertaste in my mouth.

I am going to have to try another one. I think this was somehow a bad batch. I like Real Ale products, but this was just sub par for them.

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Photo of jmbranum
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

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Photo of vdread
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of webbcreative
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of Riccymon
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

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Photo of osterlorp
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of diamondc
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

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Photo of Stigs
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of hiikeeba
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
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.

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Photo of zdk9
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

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Photo of jwillcourt
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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