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Schlafly Winter ESB - The Schlafly Tap Room

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Schlafly Winter ESB
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BA SCORE
86
very good

293 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 293
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 6
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our Winter ESB (Extra Special Bitter) may have the word “bitter” in its name, but the key to this style is balance. The combination of malts and hops creates a toasty, fruity flavor. Our ESB is dry hopped with a US grown hop varietal called Williamette, which has a pronounced spicy, lemon flavor.

In the early 1970’s, brewers in London and the south of England expanded the range of beers available in pubs, reacting to the wave of European lagers moving into the British pub scene. In addition to the ordinary bitters and pale ales, brewers developed recipes for stronger premium ales like ESB, special bitter and special pale ale. These beers contributed to the English traditional ale revival of the 1980’s, making their way into the beer portfolios of many American craft breweries.

30 IBU

(Beer added by: maxpower on 01-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 293 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BedetheVenerable:
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Classic Schlafly 12oz brown pop top...the ditty on the bottle says this brew contains a small amount of rye as well...clearly marked "bottled with love" date of 11/24/08.

Appearance: This beer pours a dark golden color with a slight orange tint and the slightest haziness. The cap is white, fairly fluffy, and has good retention and leaves nice chunks of sticky lace.

Smell: Nice ESB-style mix of malt and hops, but the hops tend to dominate here...they're earthy and pungent, yet delicate at the same time...there's an incredible freshness to the hop character, much like hops right out of the light barrier bags I use to homebrew

Taste: Awesome balance between malt and hops. The malt character is bready and not overly sweet, and the hops lend a medium bitterness and a very nice earthy twang on the finish...this finishes somewhat dry and crisp...simple, straightforward, and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied

Drinkability: I dunno the abv, but this could be sessionable

Conclusion: This reminds me of England and all those English beers (I was something of a novice and not a true BA at that time) that I couldn't remember the names of once I got home, but the impression of which I'll never forget. This beer is like a trip to a Yorkshire pub...classic English ESB...I know this is utter blasphemy, but I like it better than Fuller's by a wide margin

More User Reviews:
Photo of Shagator
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a sixpack of this at a Schnuck's(St Louis based) grocery in Evansville. Bottled Dec 14 2006, according to a stamp on the label. Pours a lightly hazed amber body with a small offwhite head. Very good retention with some spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma is toasty malts, citrusy and floral hops, and a hint of spicy rye. Medium carbonation supports the light medium body. Taste is ruled by a floral hop bitterness that is complimented by toasty toffee maltiness, some citrus, and a welcome bite of spicy rye. Nice! Not exactly an English style ESB but very nicely done and highly drinkable.

Photo of woodencardboard
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle. "Bottled with love" on 11/6/03.

Appearance: Poured a clear dark orange in color. Thick and creamy off-white lace gurgles up then quickly subsides to a respectable finger thick layer. Patchy and sticky lace on the glass.

Smell: Hoppy in the nose. Some caramel sweetness, too. A bit of an earthy character.

Taste: Falls off a little here. Well-balanced but not very "bitter". More like an IPA to me. Finishes with a gritty aftertaste, slightly puckering.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Low-medium bodied. Fairly smooth. On the thin side. Still, it tasted very fresh and was easy on the palate.

Thanks to winomark for this offering.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light brown hued with a good half inch head of khaki colored foam. Brussels lacing. I get a bit of biscuity malt and faint pine like hops in the nose. I get some dark malt on the front of the palate and it is quickly followed by sharp bittering hops. I get a bit of a dry chalky mouth. I get more hops and a copper penny like malt fade.

Photo of boatshoes
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this in an awesome package of generosity from rsyberg01 as a received in the recent holiday sponsor a BA. Thanks again Ric!

Appearance- Pours a darker shade of amber with about a half finger of beige head sitting on top. Dies back pretty quickly but leaves a coating across the top of the beer that lasts throughout. Lots of beading and some mild amounts of lace left.

Smell- Fairly muted nose with a mixture of sweet malt and some piney hops showing through. Somewhat understated.

Taste- Very mild. Lots of sweet caramel and bready malt showing through initially. However, a fair amount of balancing piney bitterness shows through on the finish. Pretty straightforward and not the most impressive example of the style I've had but nice all-around.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is good and adequately carbonated. This one is a little strong to session, and I find the flavor a little to lacking to drink too many, but it did go down easy.

Overall, an unoffensive and fairly easy drinking beer. Not my favorite ESB however, and I would have hoped for more in the flavor. Nonetheless, nothing really off about this one.

Photo of Dusty278
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Copper gold with small head, slightly lingering lace.

A- Pleasing fresh hop aroma.

T- Nice malt and dry hop flavor. Great balance of sweetness, hops and a bit of pine.

M- Medium body with good carbonation and a little heat.

D- Great session beer. I wish it was around all year long.

Photo of far333
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light apricot color with a thick and frothy head that sits atop the glass, and creates deep craters as it sloooowly sinks. It leaves foamy webs of lace around the glass. Aroma is mostly floral hops, some sweet malt, and some honey. Flavor is hoppy, a bit tart and tingly. Some light malts shine through, followed by a citrusy pine finish, tinged with alcohol warmth. Bitter piney hops linger. Thanks to MJR for sharing.

Photo of briandaube
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A mix of copper and light brown flow out the bottle. A good amount, 1.5 finger head. Smells like a lot of malt heavy midwest beers.

Taste isn't as sweet as most esb's I've had, tastes a little more earthy substantial instead of the sweet I've come to notice in my fave esb's.

Mouthfeel, begins to take on tobacco notes with the dark, almost doppelbock light feel to it. Remains drinkable, doesn't overwhelm the palate with a negative heavy effect.

Photo of chinchill
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle filled 11-15-2013.

Pours lightly hazed, medium amber with a fine, durable creamy beige head.

Aroma of baked bread, light spices and fruity hops.

Flavor: conservatively spiced, the fruity citrus character seems to be the more unusual feature in this ESB.

Feel: smooth with medium but very soft (natural?) carbonation.

O: This winter ESB Schlafly Winter ESB is lighter than your average Winter Warmer, providing another good choice for the holidays. If found it to be enjoyable on a hot Spring day as well.

Photo of navband
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of drn
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of Skycarp33
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of rastaman
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nose is intense sharp hops and it shines through on the palate. Syruppy, sharp hoppyness, and a bit one dimensional, not really elegant or rounded or anything, just a bunch of phat, syruppy, cloying hops that kick you in the face. Let down by the lack of balance and complexity, there is lots of flavour there, but its a bit ugly, not too bad though.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)
Brewed on Dec. 14th 2006
A- This beer has a warm golden orange body that is clear showing of a strong carbonation of big bubbles. There is a thick film of yellowish-white head that last and last through the beer.

S- This smell of smooth pint hops dominates the smell with notes of lightly toasted malt buried in the background.

T- This beer has a nice flavor of dry lightly toasted malt with a slightly tart pine hop flavor in the finish. There are notes of dark toasted malt that comes through as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slightly creamy texture for a bit.

D- This beer has some nice malt flavors but not much depth. This is a nice ESP that is very drinkable and there is no palate fatigue even after a few pints.

Photo of Schlafly33
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of dannyj56
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of IntriqKen
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear golden orange amber with an amber tinged full 2 finger head that slowly melts to a ring of very sticky lacing of large bubbles.
Aromas are caramel with lager<?> yeasts scents and light citrus hops.
Taste is toasted amber malts that evolve to the citrus hops. Actually nothing overpowers...they just blend one to another.
Mouthfeel is creamy smooth with tiny carbination to keep it from becoming sticky.
Aftertaste is the same blend as the flavor with only a slight drying.
Slight alcohol warming as you swallow that fills the chest cavity with warmth.
Nice.
Thanks jpm30 for this wonderful example of an American ESB

Photo of SMark
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was poured into an Imperial pint glass at 55° from a 12 ounce bottle. A 'Bottled With Love on' date was on the bottom of the label. Three fingers plus of an off white head were produced from the pour. A lingering lacing effect was left on the glass as the head dissipated into the clear, amber colored beer.

I sensed more malt aroma than hops. There were no off odors and the combination of the malt and hops kept me sniffing away more than once.

This was smooth and not as bitter as I would expect an ESB. There was a little bit of bitterness on the tongue with a good grainy sweet taste developing.

The hops were more evident in the aftertaste once the beer had been swallowed. They found their way into the back of the throat and then exited through the nose. The beer stayed slightly bitter with a bit of syrupy taste at the end.

This was a comfortable beer with a good marriage of the hops and malt. It is smooth and easy to drink but could sneak up on you at 6.2%.

Photo of mtparty37
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of pmcadamis
2.98/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Slightly hazy orange/amber brew with a big three finger off white head. Some lace sticks to the glass, and the head has really good retention. I took quite a while to drink this beer, and there was always a thick cap on top of the carrot juice hued brew.

S - Big pine hops with a touch of lemon grass. I can't really smell any malt notes, but the Pine-Sol hop aromas are nice enough.

T - Again, pine is the major player here without much support from the malt tones. Christmas tree needles and sap. Grassy, acrid, and very bitter.

M - Light in body with quite a bit of carbonation and an extremely bitter and acidic finish.

D - A very average and uninspired brew IMO. Nothing really wrong with that, but I don't really see why it's considered a Christmas beer.

Photo of RickS95
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium white head, fluffy. Copper in color, just dark enough that you can't see through it.

Hops and rye in the nose, malt in the background, along with other cold weathers spices.

A crisp feel in the mouth, leave it too long and you'll feel a burn.

Taste is similar to most bitters, but the rye element adds a little something. Like all bitters, I could drink and enjoy one, but no more than one in an evening.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured golden color into a snifter. Once there it was more amber colored, transparent with a nice 1.5 inch white head.

S - Muted dry hops and rich malt. Grapefruit and a bit of pine on the nose.

T - Spicy and sweet. Great combo with a low profile of bitterness throughout. Finished clean. Great balance overall.

M - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

D - Great ESB. The rye comes through nicely and spices it up almost perfectly.

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Schlafly Winter ESB from The Schlafly Tap Room
86 out of 100 based on 293 ratings.