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

Not Rated.
Full Sail ESBFull Sail ESB

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BA SCORE
84
good

74 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 220
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 10.16%
Wants: 4
Gots: 26 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 74 | Hads: 220
Photo of thebeergeek
2.41/5  rDev -35.6%
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. (605 characters)

Photo of vkv822
2.7/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into tulip pint.

Pours a very slightly hazy, copper with a foamy off-white head.

The aroma is of mostly biscuit upfront, with faint bitter, spicy, grassy hops backing.

The taste is of more biscuit and grassy hops, though well pronounced then the aroma overall.

It has a medium body, but finishes a bit watery, which also takes away from the flavor profile on the palate. Appropriate carbonation.

The taste could have been a bit stronger, and the mouthfeel finished a bit watery for my liking. Not worth the price, nor do I want 22 ounces of it. (561 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.79/5  rDev -25.4%
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.

(1,837 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is full of biscuit malt, with a hint of pine and earth from the hops. The flavor is very similar. There is a good dose of sweet biscuit malt, as well as some toffee, earth, grass and a hint of pine. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (321 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very hazy, dark golden amber color with burnt orange edges and a half finger off-white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Sporadic spots of lace left behind.

Sweet, slightly earthy aroma with a strong malt character and a subtle crisp hop presence. Hints of bread/biscuit as well as some caramel and toffee countered by slightly grassy hops.  As it warns, a subtle fruit character comes forward.   Not bad smelling but kind of bland.

Medium bodied and much more flavorful and interesting that the aroma suggests.  Surprisingly hop forward providing a nice dry bitterness that counters the strong malt sweetness. Resinous with a grassy/piny flavor along with a slight citrus character.  This is countered mid-palate by sweet malt with hints of caramel and toffee.  As in the nose, the fruit notes become more apparent in the finish as it warms.  Decently balanced and easy to drink with a slightly dry finish.   (943 characters)

Photo of muldersha
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle purchased in Portland, OR with an Enjoy By date of 09/05/15

Sports a clear copper/amber body with a solid tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves a pleasant lacing.

Super estery aromas of banana bread and macadamia nuts with more subtle nuances of citrus, brown sugar, and Christmas spices.

Very soft, slightly sweet, very malty, and medium-bodied with dry, herbal finish.

This is a solid anytime brew, though maybe a bit one-dimensional. (479 characters)

Photo of XCOR
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up for $3.99 at Ben's on Keystone (aka Ghetto Ben's). Brownish color, dark red. Good size head on it, decent lace. Aroma lacked any cognizable lead characteristic, was pretty much just beerish.

Taste, a little bit of bitterness, more than the 35 ibu proclamation would leave one to believe, and its a nice bitterness that isn't grating on the taste buds. So these are Challenger hops? Tastes just like it could be an amalgamen of the usual suspect C hops used in a restrictive manner aiming for style v. hophead trendism. For imparting a discernable amount of bitterness, the beer remains smooth and easy to drink.

Some toffee and caramel malt flavors. Definitely not a flavor bomb type of beer, should be very pleasing to old timers who like tradition and mild flavors. (785 characters)

Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
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. (984 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
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. (535 characters)

Photo of Spikester
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (338 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a very cloudy orange / amber color with a short 1/2" head that breaks down immediately.

Smell: caramel and a load of fruity sweetness is detectable.

Taste: grainy malt profile. Caramel, ripe fruits, and a hint of earthy tones arrive late. Decent bitterness here too.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother towards the finish. Aftertaste is very short.

Overall: an easy to drink beer that leans a bit on the sweeter side, but is brought a bit into check with the bitterness. Sessionable beer. (534 characters)

Photo of StaveHooks
3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (991 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliantly clear deep golden/orange hue with a thin white head which quickly dissipates. Nose is very subtle with notes of fresh baked bread, caramel, and a touch of piney hops.

Very bready like quality with a touch of grape-nut flavor. Thick roasted malts with a touch of butter dominate the middle of the tongue. Decent sized body with a bit of chewiness. Slightly detectable burnt flavors add a nice balance to the richer flavors of the beer. The savory end of the brew is balanced well with a pine-like hop finish making the beer a well blended and clean drinker.

Good beer but this is something I would prefer in a 6 pack rather than a bomber size. Something I could put back a few of. Session worthy without the session availability unfortunately. (764 characters)

Photo of TheMarkE
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (371 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (264 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clean, bright, gold color with 1/2 inch of white head that had good retention and low lacing.

The aroma was a very well balanced blend of sweet, grainy malts and nice floral hops. The flavors were pretty much the same, with the hops having a bit more noticeable of a presence. The body was clean and fairly typical, but had a somewhat sticky finish that I didn't care for.

The drinkability was pretty, I like a nice ESB and I'd happily drink a couple of these. Overall, a pretty nice brew. Full Sail isn't among my personal favorite breweries, but every so often they put out a brew I really like a lot. This is one of those brews. Try it when you see it. (698 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (566 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. Bomber
Best By: 05/13/12

Pours a very nice hazy dark golden amberish color, nice carbonation, with a little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is mostly malty, with a hint of hops, with a nice touch of caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, a touch of hops, bready. Medium body, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall a nice brew for a HOT day. (390 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (547 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (433 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (293 characters)

Photo of coldriver
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours a cloudy deep amber with adequate head and lacing. Aroma is rich toffee malt with light floral and spicy hops. Taste is caramel and bready malt, spicy and grassy hops. Nice smooth clean mouthfeel. Nothing real special here but certainly nothing offensive. Not a bad choice for a good session beer. (316 characters)

Photo of ElCommodoro
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Colour was a beautiful amber to copper colour with a smell of malt and balance. There was no head, but that's OK with me.
The taste was not quite what I wanted. It's more bitter than I'd like for an ESB. I prefer more balance. The variety of hops is not one I'm particularly fond of either. However, given some breathing time, I got a bit more malt flavour out of it. It went well with pork. So, it wasn't at all a bad experience. I just wasn't particularly impressed with it either. It's just got that typical American craft hoppiness to it that annoys me. (557 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Best by 8/16/13.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, grain, and nutty aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think it smells slightly better than it tastes. (553 characters)

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Full Sail ESB from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
84 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.