Fuller's ESB - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Not Rated.
Fuller's ESBFuller's ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,660 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,660
Reviews: 1,308
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 112
Gots: 242 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-08-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (35) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,660 | Reviews: 1,308
Photo of Gajo74
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark copper, good lacing and carbonation visible. Caramel sweet aroma, malts and dark fruit. Bready and malty sweet taste, alcohol and a slight alcohol and hops bitterness. Medium bodied, low carbonation, dry alcohol finish and very drinkable. This was my first experience with the English bitter style. I was impressed.

Photo of Chris_Burton
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fuller's have a reputation as one of the best traditional British breweries, and with good reason. This ESB has a lovely amber body with a finger of head. Smells of marmalade on toast. The flavour is rich, fruity, slightly woody and spicy, with enough hop presence to avoid an intense sweetness from the malt. Perfectly balanced, as a good ESB should be. Mouthfeel is smooth, fairly low carbonation but not flat, and fairly full.

It's easy to see why this beer is seem as the quintessential ESB. It's a fantastic example of the style, and highly recommended.

Photo of PorterPro125
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type: 500 mL Can

A- Clear and clean amber topped by a silky white 1 1/2 finger head that doesn't seem to want to disappear! Light lacing on the glass.

S- Creamy orange with a great backbone of sweet malt. Earthy bitterness from the hops balances things out to perfection.

T- Same as aroma. Extremely pleasing.

M- Creamy but not overly thick mouthfeel and medium high carbonation. Perfect for a bitter.

O- Absolute classic of a beer. In my opinion (and in the opinion of many others), this is the beer by which all other ESB's are put up against.

Photo of msquared36
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bit of an averaged score. Sometimes it is a near perfect beer. Sometimes the taste is dull.

Photo of tillmac62
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

BBD 8/3/15. Pours a clear amber with a slight garnet cast. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Rich world class complex nose of citrus hops (orange), herbal hops (coupled with an airy spice note), huge caramel malt and the classic mineral water. As it warms, a touch of diacetyl (butter) is noticed.

Medium bodied with a silky smooth texture that approaches creamy. Soft, but perfect, carbonation that releases an effervescent undercurrent from the middle on.

The flavor profile is world class and is the standard to which others are judged. It is intense, complex and balanced to perfection. Some ESB's take the bitterness too far, this one takes it to perfection. It begins with a wave of sweet citrus (mostly orange), but no hint of rind. Then the other hop aspects (earthy, with only a hint of being dank) appear. Underneath is a rich malt base of caramel and light crystal that balances to perfection. The middle is mildly bitter, but he bitterness is smooth and retains it's varied flavor components along with a hint of toffee. The finish is where the classic mineral aspects of the water shine and add the final layer of complexity. The finish is a slow fade of mineral sweetness with just a touch of bitterness. Sometimes the original is the best version. Such is the case, here, with the ESB style.

Photo of Mark66
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The King!!! There is none better.

Photo of Sixpoint
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

it is a world of difference when drinking in the UK...

Photo of captaincoffee
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pretty classic English brew here. Copper with medium head. Nose is muted, but has a good English hop presence. Flavor is fruity and bready, although I would have liked a bit more substantial mouthfeel. A classic ESB. A beer you find yourself drinking much faster than you planned to.

Photo of sokol_1993
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Intense floral and hoppy note, very balance between hoppiness and maltiness.

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.91/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Awesome beer, I loved it. Complex, strong, not too bitter, not too sweet, perfect balance.

Photo of baldini
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fuller's ESB sets the standard for which all others are judged. Nearly all American versions miss the mark.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

really interesting to have this one side by side with the one from breckenridge here in colorado. they are so different, but yet so similar, and as the label says, this is indeed the esb by which all others are measured. honestly i like this one a little less. its not quite as rich in the malt build, this is a maris heavy version, and although its awesome beer, it doesnt quite have the grain depth as the breck one does. that said, i like the yeast better here, its more traditional and it speaks louder in the overall reverberation of the beer. that is to say its more flavorful, and it takes me to england the way the breck one never could. its also well balanced with a healthy hopping for the style, much more bitter and bright in the hops than others, with just the right amount of caramelization to balance it in the boil. carbonation is also high for an enlgish pub ale type, it feels so much more alive than some of the crusty old ales of england old. i like this a whole lot, and when its fresh, it truly does set the standard for the style coming out of europe. also, definitely one of, if not my single favorite of the fullers beers.

Photo of DypsoBubble
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours from the bottle a copper colour. Head dissipates quickly with a few bubbles raising to the surface after the initial pour.

Smells of hops, lemon and caramel.

Tastes of apples, lemon and sherbet with a caramel base. Low carbonation and being pretty strong, is almost wine like with a touch of sharp acidity.

A lighter mouth-feel than I expected and does not cling. Hoppy after-taste.

Overall
Light, tasty and refreshing and yet pretty high in alcohol.

Photo of drmeto
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L:
-clear copper with almost no head
-low carbonation visible
S:
Huge toffee,grassy,plums,raisins
T:
-caramel,big sticky toffeeplums,raisins,slightly nutty,slightly toasty finish
-medium grassy hop bitterniss
F:
medium-high carbonation,medium-full body
O:
Really nice brew

Photo of Tman27
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very well balanced beer, not as bitter as I had hoped. Similar to Bass but a little more malty

Photo of franklioni
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A good solid easy drinker

Photo of supervike
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm unsure really what a 'bitter' is. I do know, however, that this one is damn tasty.

It's a caramel color, the smell is slightly copper. it's light on both hop and malt, but both are balanced nicely. It has a clean finish. The only thing I do not like is the lingering metallic taste on my tongue. But ,another sip fixes that. Good stuff.

Photo of Beeeeeerman
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had my first one of these in 1990 and MANY since. Outstanding extra special bitter that is easy to find.

Photo of pat61
4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brilliantly clear gold, 1” frothy head reduces to thick film, pencil lead to pencil eraser sized bubbles, ledges of lace.
S: moderate light fruit – grape, slight maltiness, moderately low hop and malt. No DMS, no diacetyl.
T: Moderate earthy hop flavor, noticeable hop bitterness well balanced by the malt. Rich well attenuated malt, not sweet. Suggests nuttiness and biscuit.
F: Medium full body, medium low carbonation
O: Drinkable higher strength session ale with well balanced hop, fruitiness and malt with the balance tilted slightly to the hop. Could drink all day.

Photo of coltonbrimhall
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

-looks like a IPA but the head dissipated
-smells is mostly a tart note
-taste is smooth but with a weird tart taste
-almost feels watered down for a beer with big complex flavors
- i was sadly not very impressed with this must just not be my style

Photo of BTobin85
4.82/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great beer, not too heavy

Photo of teddibrewski
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this one, not sure if it outsanding. I had it from a bottle this time I will re-rate when I have it from the cask. In my experience british ale is a much better from the cask than the bottle.

Photo of MichaelProcton
2.99/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

I'm willing to believe I'm not familiar enough with the silly to be fair, but I just don't like this.

Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
2.94/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Best before July 24 2015

Look - Pours light amber with fluffy white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Medium bubble distribution. Head fades to absolutely nothing. 3 paws.

Smell - Huge aroma of apples, almost smells like a cider. That's about the only aroma I'm picking up, maybe a little bit of bitter hops. 2.75 paws.

Taste - Apple taste present as well, slightly bitter finish. 3 paws.

Feel - Medium feel, slightly wet, tingle on back of tongue. 3.5 paws.

Overall - Not sure if this is how the beer is supposed to taste, just tasted like unfiltered apple juice to me, which usually means acetaldehyde is present. Label says marmalade fruitiness, but again, nothing but apple for me. Since it's well before the best by date and was properly stored, I can't give it a good score. 2.75 paws.

Photo of Ghix
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfection. Top favorite of mine

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Fuller's ESB from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
91 out of 100 based on 2,660 ratings.