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

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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 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)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle - $6.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. The printed date near the Enjoy By section of the label is, regrettably, illegible.

Appearance: Very lightly hazed, golden-amber body with a finger or so of just off-white foam. A few smudges of lacing here and there.

Smell: Esters interlaced with hop accents smelling of spice, citrus, and dried flowers atop a bready, biscuity, crackery malt base given a flash of toastiness and a hint of light brown sugar.

Taste: Toasted bread slices and biscuit tops with lightly sweet hints of caramel light-colored brown sugar. Then, some moderate esters before the spicy, earthy, lightly hinting of lemon zest hop profile. Medium bitterness. Things dry out rapidly, in plenty of time for the lightly fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Smooth, faintly creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: It's just a nice, balanced, tasty beer. Sometimes, it's a long, wearying road to finish off a bomber, but not the case here, as it was gone before I knew it. (1,024 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy fluffy almost 1 finger head that fades at a med pace with bits of lacing, fairly clear amber honey orange color.

Nose had some toasty malts but light overall, with some earthy slight grassy hops, light juicy sweet malts, with light caramel and toffee.

Taste starts semi sweet with more malts, reddish slight creamy and toasty caramel toffee malt flavors. Hops come earthy and slight grassy with a touch herbal, a decent bitterness, and some mild mint and tobacco coming later on the palate. Finish is slightly drier but not a lot, fairly bitter with earthy grassy hops lingering, a bit more mint, slight caramel creamy malt lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, better than a lot of other esb beers, decent copper reddish malts, toffee and caramel, and decent earthy hops, fairly drinkable with interesting hop characteristics that get a bit interesting and weird and a bit bitter. (929 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Deep amber hue, good lacing that leaves some stickage on the glass. Malty aroma, faint ripe fruit and caramel ... earthy hops in there as well. Smooth, medium bodied. Leafy, earthy herbal hop flavor, balanced bitterness. Grassy with mildly toasted bread maltiness. Hint of sweetness, dried apricots and mild alcohol. Finishes semi-dry.

Pretty big for and ESB, but coming from and American brewer it is nothing new. Balance is this beers most noticeable trait and it works from start to end. (533 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 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 tempest
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (499 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 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 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 JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up tonight at Brewforia on the way home from work.... Pretty pricey at $5.50ish, but still "new to me" sounded good.

Pours a fairly clear amber... only okay looking off white head... nice lacing.

Aroma is a good mix of spicy/earthy hops and medium caramel and deep toasted bread.

Nice bitterness balances a near perfect malt profile.... caramel malts and toasted biscuits ... Hops are pretty earthy .... a bit of fruity esters on the finish.

Medium bodied with the expected lighter carbonation.

Very very well done... I am impressed.

All 4's. (576 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 LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. Pours a medium copper amber, nice two finger very light tan head with good retention and lacing. Looks good. Aroma dominated by bready malt with surprising faint hop and Belgian spices. Flavor also full bready and biscuity malt with slightly citrus hops and light fruit. Finishes with malt, a nice hop kick and a bit of drying citrus. Nice mellow flavor progression and finish. Medium bodied with some creaminess. I really enjoyed this take on a ESB. (498 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 HuskyinPDX
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a reddish dark orange with a very thin light tan head that fades almost instantly.

S - Sweet fruity malts.

T - Malty, slightly sweet.

D - Average body, good carbonation, sweet, but just about right here.

O - Hard for me to place, but it tastes pretty good. (309 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 Cyberkedi
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Strong aroma is malty with fruity, earthy and woody notes. It pours a clear coppery with a pale yellow-tan head of about average thickness and persistence. Flavor has a woody core with a fairly, but not fiercely, bitter overtone and hints of caramel, grass and horehound. Smooth, firm texture is quite fizzy and lively. This "initial pub offering" is worth an investment! (371 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes, drank this one a while back when fresh. 22 oz bottle pours a superbly clear light copper color with a great looking cap of beige head. Nice retention and lacing. One of the best looking beers I have seen in a long while.

Toast and astringent alcohol hit the nose first with some sugar coated fruit in tow. Grassy, herbal hop tone is lurking in the background. I hope it tastes better than it smells.

Taste shows none of the astringency I was smelling...just a nice, toasty bread-biscuit malt with a nice sidecar of hop flavor. Finishes balanced and mild. Mouthfeel might be the best part of this beer; Full Sail nailed it. Its full-bodied but not sweet and has a awesome creamy mouthfeel. I really like this one. It is one of my favorite beers in the ESB category and also one of the better Full Sail offerings I have had. Good price as well...I'll have another please, sir! (888 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.5 A: Mildly hazed dark orange color. A little over one finger of frothy off-white head. Retention doesn't quite meet average, but a small ring of lacing is left.

4.5 S: Solidly malty with a deep toastiness. A touch of yeasty breadiness. Good caramel presence. Fairly simple, but really nice.

4.0 T: Like the nose, this has only a few flavors, but they are done really well. Caramel, lots of toast, malty sweetness. Light bready yeastiness.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Savory light chewiness. Super smooth.

4.0 D: Well made beer. No faults and great flavors. (619 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from Lamb’s Thriftway in Wilsonville OR. $4.49 Love the label ..with the share motif, very nice. Also proceeds go to educational charity Dark amber/red ale with a very nice looking thick,creamy eggshell white head. Nice aromas of resiny and floral hops..balanced by caramel malts. Taste is very balanced between the hops and the extra chewy caramel/toffee malts..slight bitter after taste. Nice The mouthfeel is were ,for me,this really gets great..its so balanced ,yet so smotth,carbonation just right..slips over the tongue yet still leaves great sensation .Excellent. A tasty well balanced beer very English in its palate that i could drink a few of without doubt (681 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (287 characters)

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yay! Impulse buy. Grabbed this, along with many others, for my nieces graduation gathering at OSU. Listened to a great commencement speech given by our First Lady Michelle Obama, and followed her advice about "being present" with those who are special to us.

Well, I was very present sharing this ESB. Very well recieved, which I enjoyed because I was explaining the differences betwwen the beers I brought ranging from this easily approachable treat to Parabola.

This beer pours a beautiful dark copper meets brown. Slight head retention. Nose is light and mildly sweet...caramel, maybe a hint of fruit.

The taste comes through with a pleasing malt, a bit of caramel coupled with a hint dark brown bread. Mouthfeel is fairly typical of this type, but I prefer a a bit more of a fullness--just my bias. Finishes clean with a lightly sweet aftertaste that makes you want to lick your lips again.

Very good session beer. Very approachable and good to meet the range of a broad beer audience. It went over well, and now there are a few more people who declare themselves interested in ESB's. My job as a BA was done. (1,117 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 22 oz. bottle from the brand new "Brewer's Share" release (a program where Full Sail employees brew small batches with the possibility of a wider release if successful). Poured to an Adnams nonic pint.

First of all, an A+ for packaging: LOVE the ornately detailed 'stock certificate' look of the label, the 'spirograph' cap, with the note '1 Brewer's Share' in script underneath. Full Sail nailed it here. Brew conceived by Barney Brennan; his charity, to which a portion of proceeds go to: Columbia Gorge Arts in Education.

A: A gorgeous rusty-coppery hue, mildly hazy without a fleck of sediment. Not much carbonation, a few roughshod bubbles rising with varying urgency. Lovely finger-thick head of sudsy ivory, one that drops to a mottled film and sticks in broad sheets and rings on all sides.

S: Big malty scent: crusty bread with a musty dryness. Oyster crackers, wet hay, pretzel dough. It's a bit on the simple side, but is plenty strong. I, as a grain/malt lover, really enjoyed every deep inhalation.

T: Malted grain is ever-present (loads of caramel and cereal grains) but there's a zippy/zesty bitterness that counterbalances really well. What starts as almost 'too sweet' finishes with a lip-smacking dryness, a 'mineral' twang to boot. It's toasted bread/crust that turns into biscuits/crackers and then to salted pretzels: an interesting transformation that's both refreshing and slightly cloying. Mild fruity hints, too... but tough to determine exactly what they are.

M: Wish this had a bit more sturdiness in the body. Starts a little thin and watery, never builds much. What's nice?? The velvety smoothness (carbonation having the slightest prickle) with a spicy, almost zesty, bittering. Long-drawn finish, dashes of pepper and rye, ending a tad sticky.

O: Very enjoyable, an enlightening glimpse at what an ESB could/should be. Remarkably easy to drink. Above 'sessionable', in standard terms, at 6.5% - but the type of beer you want to keep drinking, regardless. A very solid choice for an introduction to the series, and one I'll certainly be buying/consuming more of in coming weeks.

(PS The other two previous griped mildly about price. $4.19 at our neighborhood Fred Meyer is completely reasonable to me) (2,243 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)

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