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

83 Reviews
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Full Sail ESBFull Sail ESB

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States | website

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
'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.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 12-28-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 240
Photo of movingtrain
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber color, decent head slowly falling to a bubbly film around the edges of the glasses. Carbonation looks active.

Lots of hops in the nose...heavy grapefruit, bitter citrus. This is coupled with notes of warm bread, rolled oats, black pepper, and white grapes.

The flavor offers caramel up front, followed by citrus, and ending with a cereal, oat-like finish. Rounding the beer out, though, is a nice, slightly pungent bittersweetness that really lingers. Somewhere in there, too, are notes subtle notes of banana, though not too prominent.

The body is nice and light, actually, even though there is a lot going on across the palate. The beer is drinkable, giving a slight astringency along the way.

Overall, a good , well-rounded beer...not a bad E.S.B at all.

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Photo of Docer
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice lightly cloudy honey amber/brown. Thick finger of white head settling to a little lace and thin blanket of head sticking around. Slight reddish hue to the beer as well.

Smell: (3.5)
- Smooth smelling caramel malts, with some lovely bread, roasty brown sugars, light alcohol aromatics, and some pine resin hop with a floral touch to it. Smell is a bit tucked away.

Taste: (4.0)
- Lovely sweet malts, bready caramel and brown sugars with a nice touch of esters. Subtle pine and fresh herbal hops balance it out well. This beer is super balanced and just the right sweetness for the style. Little earthy, yet zesty fresh.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Medium bodied with a great creamy texture. Slight chewiness from the bitter dryness, yet waters the palate in anticipation for more. Very good.

Overall: (4.0)
- This beer is solid and is something I will certainly be buying more of while I can. I would recommend you do the same. Solid balance, flavor, and sweetness, and doesn't contain Full Sail's flagship yeast character that so many of their other beers have. Certainly a nice change for them.

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Photo of Spectacularj1
4.52/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 22 oz bottle into a 0.5L glass.

A: The beer has a clear amber appearance. Light foam and little lacing.

Smell: The beer does not have a strong smell, there are hints of malt and bitterness (though not hoppy).

Taste / Mouthfeel: Taste is great. It has been a long time since I had an actual Bitter beer. The taste is rather light, not too thick. Not heavily carbonated, but just enough. The beer is bitter on the back of the tongue bit it doesn't linger like an IPA.

Overall: This is a great ESB, perhaps the best I've ever had. Nice and bitter but not overly powerful. The beer is strong at 6.5% yet still feels very light and easy to drink. I would highly recommend this anyone who otherwise enjoys a strong pale ale or IPA.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
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

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
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)

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Photo of vkv822
2.7/5  rDev -27.4%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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