1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

The Wise ESB - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Wise ESBThe Wise ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

195 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 133
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 17
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-14-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 133
Reviews by grs8313:
Photo of grs8313
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1pt 6oz bottle with no bottling ir best by date. Pours a reddish copper color with a thick tan head that has great retention, Lots of really nice lacing as the beer gets lower in the glass.

Smell: Malts, hops and citrus.

Taste: Hops, citrus, mlats, toffee, water, cream, and a watered down hop finish.

Mouthfeel. Carbonated, a little to much for my taste. Creamy, the mouth is left feeling slightly watery.

Drinkability: Drinkable, bt a little to carbonated for my taste. This is an okay beer, but I would be curious to try some of Elysian's other offerings. This bottle may have been bad, because I got an extreme amount of head when I poured the second half of the bottle.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a great clear copper with a big fluffy/sticky head leaving globs down my pint glass,Pacific NW aroma of pine and grapfruit aong with some underlying nuttiness.More of a hop tilted ESB very resiny and herbal with a sweet caramelness to balance out the hop bitterness keeping the hops from taking over to much.Nothing really bad to say hear very nice beer very northwest highly hopped and tasty.

Photo of RoyalT
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Nice, light brown body with a good head that left a little lacing.

Smell – I’m picking up the hops (of course) and orange peel along with some pine.

Taste – Much more citrus in the taste than I anticipated with the nose. I thought from the aroma this was going to be more like a heavy IPA, but instead it stays true to the style. I can sense a tinge of malt as well, but mostly it’s that citrus hop flavor.

Mouthfeel – This has a very pleasant mouthfeel. The carbonation is light and the brew is easy on the cheeks.

Drinkability – The smoothness of this ESB allows it to go down quite well. I found myself taking big, hearty swallows. Nicely done. I thought that this was its strong point.

Update – I decided to re-review this for 2004. The Appearance was definitely up a notch as the tanned head forthed up nicely, held well, and left some great lacing. The aroma was much bigger than I remembered it, too. All it all, it came in a few notches higher and I’m glad to live so close to the brewery.

Photo of steve86
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Guest tap at the Snoqualmie Falls Brewpub Taproom.

Aroma - Blast of caramel malt and hops. Slightly fruity notes in the background.

Appearance - Deep Amber verging on Copper, large off-white persistent head. Brilliantly clear, Belgian lace sticks to the glass.

Flavor- Up front bitterness is higher than I would expect for an ESB, verging on IPA bitterness, but certainly not unpleasant. Lots of caramelly malt but this is a hop forward beer. Clean hop flavor with long lasting hoppy bitter finish. Maybe a tiny touch of diacetyl butteryness and alcohol warmth.

Mouth Feel- Medium body, slightly slick on the tongue. Medium carbonation is higher than I'd expect for the style, more like an APA or IPA than an ESB. Slight alcohol warmth on the tongue.

Overall impression- Delicious beer- Pushes the envelope between an ESB and IPA.

Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Malty, fruity and oh so sweet. A complex and evenly bodied beer with a soft hoppy flavour and feel that balances out the malts, while also letting them do their own thing. I thoroughly enjoyed this ESB.

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper hue with reddish tones, straight up off white lace that sticks to the glass. Malty, fruity and mildly placed hop aroma. Mirror of aroma in the taste of fruity, malty and a hop presence that balances. A down right good n' solid ESB.

Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving info: 22 oz bomber w/o freshness info

Pours: Typical medium amber, with an orange glint, fairly clear, off white head, showing moderate retention and then leaving nice splotchy lacing.

Nose: just a hint of bready malt

Body: medium bodied and nice and smooth

Flavor notes: Light toast and malt, grainy hops provide the balance and quite a dry finish. Not bad, decent take on the style, drinkable, "everyday" kind of beer.

Photo of warriorsoul
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to skyhand for this rare gem...pic needs an update according to what is in my hands.
Honey amber in color with a full finger of bright white head...1/4 of it still sticks around and leaves behind some decent lacing.
Real pleasant aroma...fruity hops, green apple, and caramel malt.
The taste is just as nice...spicy yeast, bittering hops that work their way off the pallet rapidly to avoid crushing the pallet.
Mildy sweet and quite balanced for the style...super clean finish with no lingering aftertastes.
Mouthfeel is thicker than average and the carbonation is great...very refreshing brew and perfect for the season as a hophead.
Easily consumed with wishes I had another...solid across the board.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to 5000 for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the papaya with some biscuit malt and grassy hops mixed in. The flavor is full of hop flavor. I get a lot of juicy orange notes, but the bitterness from the hops is negated by the biscuit and toffee malt. Overall, the bitterness is pretty low. There is also a little bit of grass from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very well balanced ESB. Very nice.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a sampling glass.

Pours a red/amber with almost no head but some light smooth lacing. Nose is a bit sweet, hard to get a lot from this glass but I can tell it's nice.

Wow, easily and one of the best ESBs i've ever had, very sweet and creamy a nice hopbite to balance it all out. Overall very tasty and super drinkable!

Photo of masikon
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy amber with a nice rocky white head with sticky lacing everywhere. Nose was mild and fruity with the hops taking center stage. taste was nicely balanced between some bready malts in the beginning which are followed by a fruity/piney hop zing which enhance the dry mouthfeel and make you reach for the next swig. Overall a very strong effort from this brewery which is a local favorite for me. (btw- i think they changed their bottles from the one shown, my bottles label is green with some type of female warrior image)

Photo of Soonami
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finished a bomber tonight while playing cards with friends. This is a very nice ESB with molasses and toasty malt and jammy fruit flavors augmented with pungent and assertive hops. The Wise ESB was definitely malt forward, but with enough hop balance. It's a very good example of the style and judging from the GABF awards the label brags about it's been a good beer for a very long time. Delicious

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- Nice medium size head that is very creamy. The body is a hazy deep orange color with a strong carbonation.

S- Strong pine and citrus hop aroma with a light maltyness aswell.

T- Nice big green hops taste with a strong honey malt supporting them. The hops are slightly earthy and a bit resiny but don't really taste to much citrus. It finishes with a nice tanginess.

M- medium body but the high carbonation makes it a bit fizzy and it finishes with a slight astringency, which covers any alcohol warmth up until the very lingering end.

D- Very nice built beer it has a good hop profile with many dimensions and a nice sweet malt to really make them pop. I wish there would have been a bit less carbonation as it added an extra fizzyness that got in the way. Very good beer.

Photo of biboergosum
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Capitol Hill location.

This beer appears a cloudy dark golden amber colour, with a thin cap of fizzy off-white head (due more to the right-to-the-top pour than anything), which leaves a skewed spiderweb pattern of lace around the glass as things drop away. It smells of faint grapefruit and orange, supplemented by some mild biscuit malt. The taste is bitter earthy and pine needle aura hops, caramel cream, and more subtle biscuit malt. The carbonation is moderate, the body slightly edgy, but inoffensive on the whole, coming withing a chip shot of smooth. It finishes clean, the malty character lording over a now relatively subdued floral hoppiness.

The ramped up hops are nice, sure, but an ESB needs a corresponding strong biscuit malt, which is lacking here. Good beer, just a little too off-style.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Elysian- The Wise ESB

A- Nice golden copper brown with a huge frothy heavy lacing head.
S- Sweet buttery caramel malt with a big pine hop aroma.
T- Thick buttery malt, hints of caramel and brown sugar. Big oily pine hops fromt eh body to the finish.
M- thick malty and creamy/ buttery. Slightly bitter oily hops are big and bold.

Overall- Very good! Big thick and flavorful! This is a must!

Photo of Metalmonk
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle says 5.9%, not 6.21%, but that's splitting hairs, isn't it? Label is also what I assume is a more recent design than currently shown on this site--a cartoony Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom.

Pours a burnt amber/ruby color, with a big soapy head that pops and bubbles like lava in slo-mo. Lace already appearing in seconds as the head slowly drops. Very nice!

Maybe it was because I just had an offbeat English ESB (Monkman's Slaughter), but this is so clearly a Pacific Northwest version of the style, judging from the aroma, which is crispy with hops. But true to style a hefty maltiness shares room with the holy bud.

A toasty flavor hits right off, with rind-like, mildly piney hops backing up the toffee/caramel malt taste. A fruity roundness adds depths and rides through each sip. It's also alive with modest carbonation riding nicely along a creamy, full-bodied smoothness.

If we're being picky, this is a lot like some of the bolder pale ales out there, but it's got just enough of that English ESB character to convince. In any case, a very drinkable and enjoyable beer, with a big, bold flavor that Anheuser-Bush are currently advertising but not delivering. Seek it out here instead. (Reason for the A-B angst: their Bud commercial playing during baseball playoffs is ludicrous. "Think of the best beer you've ever had...now get ready to top it". Are they serious???)

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to SuzyGreenberg for this extra.
Pours a dark red amber with great head and nice lace. the nose is very malty and creamy with only slight hop flavors. The first taste is real malty (suprisingly). Creamy flavors and a very interesting malt taste. the hops come around through the middle, and finish strong. The mouthfeel is very creamy and thick. Goes down smooth. a very drinakble ESB. Good offering from elysian.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Immediately liked her because its named after my company. West Coast micro so hard to get out of here. Amber, Insane amount of head. Pretty hoppy bitter. I could drink more of this. I would make this a regular. Thanks Oakes, number 20 at Radekfest 05.

Photo of ElGordo
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright orange hue with a small tan head that subsides almost immediately. Wonderfully enticing aroma of crisp floral hops and light, biscuity malt. Well-balanced palate is excellent - smooth, biscuity malt and crisp, grapefruity hops blend amazingly well. Finish is a little fruity and sweet, yet also dry. Body is nice and smooth. A great beer for sessions - not too strong, and highly drinkable.

Photo of cjgator3
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Different label than the one posted on BA, also states 5.9% ABV. 22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark amber color with an off-white head that leaves a pretty good amount of lacing. The aroma is sweet malt a touch of caramel, and some citrusy hops. The taste is very nicely balanced with a good amount of malt backing the stronger than typical bitter hop finish for an ESB. The drinkability is extremely high, I could see myself enjoying a couple bottles of this in an evening without getting bored. Overall, a very nice ESB with a nice west coast twist.

Photo of russpowell
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one as an extra from RoryGilmore, cheers Rick!

Pours a chill hazed caramel/orange with 2= fingers of fluffy sand colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Some breadyness & fruittyness

T: Grapefruiity & earthy hops, plus fruittyness up front. More of the same as this warms. Finishes with earthy hops & some apricot, plus dryness

MF: Light/Medium bodied with low carbonation & fair balance

Drinks pretty good, a bit too Americanized for me, plus I was looking for more malt depth. This one could sneak up on you

Photo of DOCRW
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of cletetron
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of bum732
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darkish red, decent bubbly head. Smells of citrus hops, caramel malt, apple, some toffee. Tastes of caramel like malt, nice moderate citrus hoppy backbone. Nice lemon rind like bitterness. Touch of tropical fruits near the finish, mostly pineapple. Decent carbonation and mouthfeel.

A solid American version of an ESB, i like the addition of American citrus hops to compliment the caramel like malt. Nice balanced flavors, solid.

Photo of Chimchim
5/5  rDev +28.5%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
The Wise ESB from Elysian Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.