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Full Sail ESB - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Full Sail ESBFull Sail ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

209 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 209
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 5
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 12-28-2011

'A nicely balanced small batch bitter concocted by our own Barney Brennan, featuring five different specialty malts and aromatic Challenger hops'

35 IBU

Originally a pub-only beer, Re-released in January 2012 as part of the Brewer's Share series.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 209 | Reviews: 71
Photo of Beeeeeerman
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice to see an ESB every so often. Tasty but not like my fullers.

Photo of delta490
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I had a review. It was pretty good. Somehow it did not upload despite hitting "Review". The beer is amber and has a white head. Smells mildly of malt. Tastes about the same with a nutty quality to the finish. Nice body weight and feel. Decent but nothing exciting.

Photo of KTCamm
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

8/10 review....Pours amber medium dark, light layer of white. Light malty nose, caramel hints. Toffee sweet, quite toasty. Slight spices in there too. Very light carbonation and a mild hop burn. Starts strong, bitter a little too pushy.

Photo of MarkNoseBeer
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Great, easy to drink, crisp. Bitter, but not overly so. Great with a burger or sub. One of the better ones from full sail, comparable in quality to the Amber I think.

Photo of seedyone
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

05/14/14 On tap. Now this is what a beer should taste like. It hits all the right spots. Not wanting to ruin the magic w/analytics I'll just say this is a great example of a well rounded & balanced beer.

At 6.5% I'm going to have to exhibit some restraint...not a strong point.

Funny...I find myself thinking this is just short of great, but only because it's so solid in appeal. Nothing sharpish or spiky. Solid is what I'm left with & there's nothing wrong with that.

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good session ESB from Full Sail. Pour a reddish amber with medium white head that dies down to thin clinging lacing. Nose of is subtle with hints of caramel malts, light herbal hops, and some light bread qualities. Flavor is mild caramel malts with light hops bitterness to the back, mellowed out by the malt. Very nice mouth feel with light bittering hops on the aftertaste. Nice all around session beer for the more novice beer nut or a good one for large get-togethers.

Photo of allengarvin
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours out a clear walnut amber color with a small very white head. The nose offers a moderate malt scent, a little grainy, with a faint hop presence. And though faint in aroma, bitterness comes through well to taste, providing a good offset to the strong malt flavor. It's too bad hop flavor is a bit lacking. This feels more like a generic amber American ale than an ESB. It's drinkable enough, but not worth a special release.

Photo of KYGunner
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A great deal of carbonation bubbles teamed through the body of bright copper. This was capped by a dense head that thickened across the top and laced well.

The aroma is crackery, almost biscuit like, with barley, and Pilsner cereal malts.

The flavors are dry and malty. I get good barley notes with a cracker, toast, cereal grains and even a rice like taste.

The feel is nicely dry, smooth with a moderate carbonation.

This is a typical example of the style with a good grain profile it simply does not set itself apart from say a Fullers ESB.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a thin head on a dark red colored body.
The aroma is rich malt and caramel. Wonderful.
The taste has a nice malt sweetness all the way through, broken up a little in the middle by some lemon bitterness. Great profile.
The texture is soft with moderate carbonation.
Quite enjoyable.

Photo of Zorro
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colored ale with a small tan colored head.

Smells of caramel and scorched sugar. Mildly sweet smelling with some grassy hop. Light fruity scent of pineapple. Fainter scent of plum.

Starts out mildly sweet with a sharp bitter finish. Some tobacco leaf and leather with a stout bitter finish. Carmel and some burnt sugars with a little hard water flavor. Grassy hop flavor doesn't taste as fruity as it smells.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is pretty tasty, I will have to get another six pack of this for the weekend.

Photo of mikeg67
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours amber with a long lasting, white, fluffy head. Aroma is of piney hops and caramel malt. Body is medium and smooth. Piney, earthy hops dominate the flavor, with caramel malt and some fruity esters in the background. Finish is long and hoppy. Overall it is good session brew.

Photo of thebeergeek
2.41/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Wow, Full Sail. What went wrong here? I am a fan of your "amber ale", so, I was expecting something good with your ESB. I've been a homebrewer since 1992, so, I can tell when something has gone wrong in the brewing process, The beer starts out well enough, fairly malty and dry. But, then, uh oh. What is that WEIRD after taste, that lingers and lingers? I can only figure the brew was fermented at too warm a temperature, or something is not right with the yeast strain. I was hoping for an English style (Fullers') or American (Anderson Valley) ESB taste. Not even close. Please reformulate your recipe.

Photo of arizcards
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from Total Wine (received by Total Wine on 7/8/13) in late September for $1.49. Best before 8/16/13...oh well.

Beer poured orange with an off white head that dissipated quickly.

Nose has hints of citrus.

Taste is very well balanced, caramel malts and citrus hops merge nicely. Lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a really smackable beer despite it's age. Ages well LOL! The brewers at Full Sail nailed the style on this one. Definitely worthy of a shot and I will look for this next spring!

Photo of StaveHooks
3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

A - Pours a clear copper with a dense off-white head

S - Sweet bread, caramel, very sweet and bready, tangy fruit, apple, nutty yeasty, hints of alcohol, very British aroma.

T - Hops upfront, grassy with a hint of citrus, caramel malt rushes in providing a full balanced sweetness, notes of toffee and toasted grain as well. Some weird artificial notes come up but are very faint. Hints of apple and creamy vanilla come in giving way to a strong tea tannin bitterness. Grassy and herbal hops sing into the finish. The finish pushes heavy tannins that linger on the palate long after.

M - Low carbonation, medium full body, creamy feel with a tannin dry finish

Great stab at the style. Nice homey caramel malts that showed grain notes with some fruit notions. Everything worked except for the hints of artificial flavors that faintly showed up. Very good but not quite what you'd find in the UK. I would pick up a six of this anytime.

Photo of puboflyons
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 06/24/13-66. Sampled on September 17, 2013.

The pour is a good looking medium amber with reddish hues and a moderate off-white head that becomes a ring.

The aroma has some of the qualities of an ESB that I am used to with caramel toasted malts, fudge, and butter. Hops are downplayed.

The body is medium and creamy.

The taste most definitely begins sweet and malty and ends nice and bitter with a quick lingering finish. At the same time it seems to be missing something that I like about ESB's but I can't pin my finger on it.

Photo of kennymule
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Red amber with one finger head that dissipates quickly leaving light lacing.

Smell - Slight caramel nose.

Taste - Caramel sweetness right up front leading into some biscuit and finishing with a semi-dry hop dryness. Pretty well balanced.
Mouthfeel - Medium body with a semi-dry finish.

Overall - I'm not an expert on ESB as a style, but I tend to rate beers on how they taste, not if they have held to tradition for the style. FS ESB is a good beer that is easy to drink and definitely can have more than one without feeling bombed, boozed and busted. Buy it, drink it, share it.

Photo of Spikester
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I have had a couple of six packs so far and have a few conclusions to pass along. Tasty beer though a bit on the sweet end of the ESB spectrum. Hops are a bit less prominent than I would have expected. Since Deschutes and Bridgeport have quit bottling ESB's this will have to suffice for now. Always on the lookout for this style of beer.

Photo of BobN
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - poured into a pint glass. Honey colored, pillowy cream-colored head with very good retention throughout tasting.

S - starts with a nice biscuity profile, sweet caramel and toffee, and maybe a floral hint

T - malty, sweet caramel which is balanced with a nice clean hoppiness that trails to nice lingering bitterness

M - light to medium carbonation

O - Very nice ESB, Would definitely enjoy this again.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by date of 08/16/13

Appearance - Pours a clear, bright red amber with a light tan finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin layer of suds across the surface. Lacing is small, spotty and with fair stick.

Smell - Toasted malt, hints of caramel. Very light floral and grass notes.

Taste - Follows the nose; toasted bread or biscuit upfront and throughout. Light caramel notes. The hops hit on the back-end with grass and light floral character.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth. Semi-dry finish.

Overall - A commendable ESB from Full Sail. Nothing special, but its full flavor and ease of drink makes this a beer I wouldn't mind having again. The kind of beer you'd drink and watch baseball with, or maybe that's just me.

Photo of brewcifix
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- ESB pours my absolute favorite golden amber color with a cream colored frothy head that dissipates to a thin film that remains for the session.

S- Caramel, toffee, sugar candy, and sweet malts delight the nose! This stuff smells just as beautiful as it looks!

T- The "bitter" is comprised of a roasted malt front that comes in strong, followed by caramel, sugar, and a note of honey that mellow the flavor nicely. Mild hops sweep in on the finish, balancing this brew perfectly. Roasted malts linger long on the palate. This is a proper Bitter that rightfully claims to be "Extra Special".

M- Light to medium weight and hardy carbonation make this beer lively and refreshing. This beer can be enjoyed in Spring, Summer, and Fall. It has characteristics that would compliment all three seasons.

Overall, this is easily one of my favorite Bitter styles. It's robust roasted malts and lack of over-the-top sweetness make it manly as hell. This concoction reminds me of unfinished wood, tough leather, and black iron. WARNING: This beer may accelerate mustache and/or beard growth.

Photo of TheMarkE
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Caramel colored with a decent head.

Smell: Toffee, caramel, toasted malts, with hints of citrus and pine.

Taste: Sweet malts, pine, and citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, syrupy. A bit of hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

The Verdict: Not bad. Taken on it's own merits as a fairly balanced brew it's just fine, but compared to a quality ESB it falls short.

Photo of XCOR
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a little sweeter and a little less bitter than I expected, especially with the title "Extra Special Bitter." Was that supposed to be "extra bitter" beer that was special, or "extra special" beer that happened to be bitter?

Either way, it was pleasant.

Photo of kojevergas
2.79/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

"Available for 90 days only." Doesn't trouble me, as given the style and brewery I'm expecting it to be subpar. Orange label and standard branded pressure cap. FS Pub Series. 6.5% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle acquired at Trader Joe's Culver City and served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are low.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of beige colour. Slight cream, nice thickness, nice (~2-3 minute) retention. No bubble show Light even thin lacing as the head slowly recedes.

Body colour is a clear textbook copper. Translucent. Fair vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's rather average.

Sm: Badly executed toffee and candy floss. Heavy diacetyl. Sweet malts. Minimal floral hop character. Some cream. Extremely light toasted character. Bubblegum. The general character of the beer is a turn-off. Not looking forward to trying this. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Mild in strength.

T: Toffee, candy floss, and bubblegum right off the bat. Malt body is mainly caramalts and pale malts. Balance is okay. No complexity or subtlety. Not very flavorful. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. I'm not a big fan. Nice cream. Quite underwhelming. Too sweet.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and of decent carbonation. Unrefreshing. Okay thickness. Okay presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile in a generally okay sense. Not oily.

Dr: Drinkable but largely unimpressive. I wouldn't bother with it again. Another disappointment from Full Sail. Hides ABV decently. Wouldn't recommend it to friends. Underwhelming. I definitely wouldn't buy this again, even at its relatively low price point.

C

Photo of tempest
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label says, "Enjoy by 7/20/13," and "available for 90 days." That's a shame (about the availability). Mmm. Big malty aroma that's rich enough to remind me of a maibock. There's a mix of sweet toasted bread with mild cherry and a touch of strawberry. Then a mild lemon spice hop character kicks up as the beer finishes to give a lovely balance to the fruit and barley. Very nice beer overall. Fruitier than other ESBs I've enjoyed, but well balanced, if a touch thick. I'd love to try it from a cask.

Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- The head is light and doesn't retain for more than a minute, The carbonation seems light. The color is a dark red to amber.
Smell- I can get strong malty notes out of this A rich candy-like malt is what I get followed by a hoppy, resinous or piney, aroma. I also might get some toffee notes, but that could e a result of the malty tones as well.
Taste- Finally! IT's got a good balance for the style. The malt is downplayed by the hoppy finish which takes over the flavor. It tastes like a hoppy beer with a medium long finish but it balances nicely on the palate.
Mouthfeel- Medium light body. It's nice for the style.

Overall- I'd say a solid 7/10. For the most part, I feel Full Sail offers a good quality for a good price. THis beer is just that. It follows the style, is a good beer, but I prefer to drink ESBs in either early Spring or Autumn. I think for the rest of the public, this beer's idea to offer for the summer months may not be as profitable as possible.

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Full Sail ESB from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.