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Schlafly Winter ESB - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
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:
Photo of BerkM
1.18/5  rDev -68.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I love ESBs and most “winter beers” in general. This sounds and looks great. I was really looking forward to trying this. I’m from Missouri and I like to support the locals. BUT…. This is Awful, syrupy sweet and undrinkable for me. It seems purposely aggressively flavored to cover up any redeeming qualities. It reminds me of their Christmas Ale. They are both way too flavored and they both taste like how a cheap Christmas candle smells.

Photo of BogAl
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of InfragilisBrew
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of Kahlstrom
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of mikeherrera
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of crbnfbr
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of 30helens
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of Eagleyes
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%

I remember this beer being a lot more bitter last year and having a much better overall flavor. I'm not sure if they changed up the recipe or what but it was definitely better last year. Not much flavor, disappointed.

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 Jasoncolliver
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of eggboy
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of cousineddy
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of threedaggers
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of psdonnelly
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of Satan70
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of rangerred
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy dark orange with quite a bit of sediment from the bottle making it into the glass. The saving grace is the thick, rocky head. Excellent retention and lacing.

Aroma is extremely fruity. Lots of orange with some grape and cherry as well. Maybe just a touch of biscuit but it is faint behind the fruit.

The taste has even more fruit. I know pretty much every Schlafly beer has this fruit note from what I assume to be the yeast but this is just a little overdone. Heavy dose of orange and cherry along the same lines as what is in the aroma. Lots of malt in the way of caramel and biscuit but it lends a bit too much sweetness. Mouthfeel is quite sweet and sticky.

Overall, this one just doesn't do it for me. Too much fruit and overly sticky make this a bit of a mess. Drinkability is very limited and it just doesn't seem that well put together. I'll pass next time.

Photo of taylor714914
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

I’m a schalfly fan boy, but  have to say, this was disappointing.  A rich translucent brown with a thin cap, this beers smells sweet and bready.  The flavor is somewhat off….there is almost a buttery characteristic to this beer midpalate that I can’t seem to shake.  Sweeness starts, but the buttery note cuts right through.  Finish is caramel with a touch of hop bitterness, but the butteriness just lingers forever.  Can’t say I’d pick this up again. 

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 JordanHageman
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of bigone4
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a clear light orange yellowish color. Decent carbonation. Thin one finger egg shell white color head that dissipated rather quickly. No real solid retention. Smell was rather light and malty slight hint of rye in the back ground. Mile scent of hop oil and a slight citrus touch. Hints of dough and a mild fold of caramel. Decent taste. Upfront caramel malt flavor followed by a nice hint of rye with a strong dry hop finish. Leaves a nice hop essence in the back of the mouth. Rather light bodied but also makes up for that in the nice after taste. Over all a very drinkable brew.

Photo of Yetiman420
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Consumed 10 months from bottling date.

Light copper color, foamy one-finger head.

No initial aroma of note. Unable to detect the "plenty of hops to balance the sweetness" as indicated on the label.

Clean finish with a touch of sweetness. Pedestrian for a winter ale - lacked the complexity and robustness I come to expect with this style.

Easy to drink, to a fault.

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 hophugger
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

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