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Fuller's ESB - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Not Rated.
Fuller's ESBFuller's ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,333 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,333
Reviews: 1,254
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 71
Gots: 105 | FT: 0
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-08-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,333 | Reviews: 1,254 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oriolesfan4
oriolesfan4

Maryland

1.7/5  rDev -58.2%

Bought a 16 oz single of this for $0.99

I wanted to like this, I really did. But, this was one of the worst tasting beers I've had. It smelled and looked alright, but the taste was so bitter and rough. I actually couldn't take more than a few sips and I had to pour it, I was actually gagging. I tried another bottle a few days later and got the same result. I hope I just bought some bad bottles because this seems like a well respected historic beer.

09-14-2008 23:30:03 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of callmeclemens
callmeclemens

New Jersey

1.88/5  rDev -53.8%

I never understand why beers like this always come so highly rated here on BA. Plenty of Caramel Taste (and flavour) smooth and a little thick.I drank one cold and one warm to compare taste, niether was better than the other, pretty bland really overall.

06-13-2011 19:05:11 | More by callmeclemens
Photo of Landar
Landar

Pennsylvania

1.94/5  rDev -52.3%

Poured from a bottle. Expiration 4/22/14.
Aroma 4/12

Moderate English hop aroma which gives way to strong caramel.
The expected pale malt character is entirely absent.
As it warms the hops aroma is entirely absent and the caramel dominates.
A faint diacetyl hint is noticeable.

Appearance 3/3

The beer pours to a white foamy head that quickly disappears and leaves behind a thin ring lace that slightly sticks to the glass.
The beer has a deep copper and brilliant clarity as is expected from the style.
A small amount of carbonation is visible.

Flavor 7/20

Caramel flavor upfront with a medium English hop bitterness coming through.
There is a sulfur flavor as expected from the style water profile that permeates and maintains the same prominance even as it warms.
Dry finish.
A lingering medium hop bitterness is in the aftertaste that gives way to caramel sweetness.
As it warms the low levels of diacetyl becomes more noticeable. Additionally, the mineral flavors of the water profile and the English hops bitterness become more prominant, creating complexity and balance.
The expected complex pale malt profile that would tone down the dominant caramel flavor is completely absent.

Mouthfeel 3/5

Medium carbonation and very smooth.
Diacetyl slickness gives way to a dry finish with the expected carbonation bitterness feeling left on the tongue.

Overall 3/10

A tad too much diacetyl for the style.
The expected complex malt profile is completely absent.
As the defining example of the style I expected a stronger hops bitterness and the diacetyl to be completely absent.

01-12-2014 21:19:51 | More by Landar
Photo of Rymish
Rymish

Colorado

2/5  rDev -50.9%

05-27-2012 05:54:13 | More by Rymish
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
Hopheadjeffery

Illinois

2/5  rDev -50.9%

12-22-2012 14:44:00 | More by Hopheadjeffery
Photo of cfalovo97
cfalovo97

Ontario (Canada)

2/5  rDev -50.9%

11-11-2012 01:12:54 | More by cfalovo97
Photo of apanloco
apanloco

Sweden

2/5  rDev -50.9%

06-05-2013 18:27:45 | More by apanloco
Photo of SimplySinister
SimplySinister

Florida

2.2/5  rDev -45.9%

A - Highly carbonated dark copper brew with a moderate head and minimal lacing.

S - A mix between floral, fruit, hops, and malt.

T - I don't particularry care for the taste of this brew. It may be legendary in certain circles, but its mediocre at best for me. The rampant bitterness really takes away from the overall taste. I find it to be far too sweet/fruity in the finish, far too harsh, and extremely acidic.

M - Thin, clean, and dry.

D - Although I would recommend this beer to a hops fan, as far as I'm concerned its not very drinkable. The main problem, for me, is the overall fruity sweetness of this brew. If the sweetness/bitterness of the brew was toned down a bit making it mellow, yet flavorful, I think it could be a winner. Unfortunatly, as is, I am nowhere near impressed. All in all, its not an experience that I wish to repeat any time soon. I mean no disrepect of course; its just my opinion.

04-30-2009 17:38:39 | More by SimplySinister
Photo of DrewZ926
DrewZ926

New York

2.3/5  rDev -43.5%

my first go at an ESB style beer, was not impressed though.

A- pours a translucent copper body with virtually no head. some sporadic soapy lacing.

S- malts are very overbearing. multiple swirls present the faintest hoppiness. smells of bread, yams, caramel.

T- first few sips are tasty, big bold malt profile, very rich and sweet with a nice body. however, the taste to me gets overwhelming very fast. the lack of balance between hops and malts throws me off here. again tasting a lot of yeast, yams, malt, caramel.

M- a little too thin on the palate. very minimal carbonation.

D- would not drink more than a half bottle again. perhaps on cask would be better? the flavors were really too out of balance for me.

11-03-2010 18:17:54 | More by DrewZ926
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

2.35/5  rDev -42.3%

Copper, clearish color with a small head. Smell is mostly caramel like malt with a hint of alcohol at times with the caramel. Tastes like lightly bitter smooth liquid caramel. Almost a light burnt sugar taste because of the light bitterness with a touch of alcohol. Decent, drinkable beer, but not my preferred style.

02-13-2008 22:25:09 | More by JDV
Photo of Rod_J
Rod_J

Kentucky

2.5/5  rDev -38.6%

07-13-2014 01:40:23 | More by Rod_J
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

2.5/5  rDev -38.6%

06-03-2013 18:42:27 | More by beernads
Photo of TheCzig
TheCzig


2.5/5  rDev -38.6%

06-27-2012 23:14:16 | More by TheCzig
Photo of TrickKnee
TrickKnee

Connecticut

2.6/5  rDev -36.1%

NEver have been a big fan of British beer but I heard so many good things about ESB. Smell and color were great however the taste and mouthfeel were horrible. I cant even explain the taste because halfwaythrough the bottle I gave up. Would not recommend, however I know to many people who like this so give it a try, if only for one bottle.

04-05-2006 14:34:50 | More by TrickKnee
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis

Illinois

2.68/5  rDev -34.2%

Light brown brew with almost no head. Only a few soapy suds sit on top of this slightly hazy brew.

The nose is chalk full of warm caramel and vanilla malt aromas. A little nutty smelling. Smells really smooth and appealing. There is a slightly funky off smell that has me wondering if I got a bad bottle or something.

Warm and nutty tasting with a big malt taste. I tatse pecans, wet hay notes, and grassy hops. This one is bitter, but not in the way that I would like it to be.

Mothfeel is very thin and highly carbonated with a trace of alcohol.

I don;t really like this one to tell you the truth. Maybe I got a bad one, but it's thin and dank tasting. Not terrible, but I'm disapointed to have something so mediocre from such a respectable brewery.

10-02-2006 03:01:47 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of BrewitYerself
BrewitYerself

Florida

2.73/5  rDev -32.9%

11.2 oz bottle poured into pint glass @ 54 deg. F.

Pours a clear dark copper, with a modest (<1 finger) off-white head, which dissipates quickly. No lacing.

Moderate aroma of rich sweet malts, honey and caramel. Slight ester presence. No hops.

Taste is of sweet malts, honey and caramel. Not particularly rich or complex. There is a touch of bitterness upfront, accompanied by a slight sourness, which gives way to the sweet malts. Finishes with a sour bitterness, followed by a lingering sweetness. Slight to moderate mineral presence.

Slightly overcarbonated; a bit too thin to showcase the malt.

Overall a good beer, but I was unimpressed. Aroma promises more richness than is delivered. Malt profile is overly sweet, yet it's a pretty dry beer - that was odd. By the end of the glass I would have had another, but I wouldn't get up and drive to the store for it.

11-01-2009 22:25:37 | More by BrewitYerself
Photo of ngandhi
ngandhi

Illinois

2.73/5  rDev -32.9%

Amber, good head retention and lacing. A little too fizzy.

Very malty on the nose with some caramel. A ton of solvent. Bocky. Light hops marry well with the malt. The hoppiness is very fresh. Homebrewers might appreciate this a great deal.

Taste, too, opens with solvent and, later, finishes with it. Unpleasant, this note lends a bit of medicinality as well. Otherwise, the malts have the sweetness of a maduro cigar. The hops are indistinct and lend a pathetic, hesitant strike at the back of the tongue. On the tongue, as on the nose, however, they seem quite fresh; the hop oils are well preserved. Also, light dry cider on the finish.

Overall, I find this beer largely confused. The solventy nose, which is really just an incongruity of malt and hops, carries over on to the tongue and suppresses most everything that might be good about Fuller's ESB. I don't know how it ranks up against ESBs, this is my first, but the maltiness makes it reminiscent of a poor attempt at the bock style. The dry finish is odd because the beer is rather sweet at first; it makes the carbonation (which I find a touch heavy) overbearing. I can think of no appropriate occassion for this beer.

Relax, relax.
ng

09-25-2003 19:54:19 | More by ngandhi
Photo of Eucrid
Eucrid

Ireland

2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

03-10-2013 20:17:24 | More by Eucrid
Photo of braican
braican

Massachusetts

2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

01-11-2014 01:09:26 | More by braican
Photo of rudy0908
rudy0908

Missouri

2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

12-21-2012 00:16:35 | More by rudy0908
Photo of beeroclock
beeroclock

United Arab Emirates

2.8/5  rDev -31.2%

Amber in color w/ a nice frothy head, smells slightly sweet. The sweet smell may be part of it, but I taste caramel then it finishes very bitter. Almost too bitter & too sweet for me. Its well carbonated. I wasn't really fond w/ the taste, but I was in a hurry and this beer seemed easy to down when necessary. The beer is just ok, not a great Fuller product.

05-26-2006 17:26:03 | More by beeroclock
Photo of anakar
anakar

Israel

2.8/5  rDev -31.2%

This is an overpriced beer from an overhyped brewer to my taste.

App - It poured beautifuly into my glass, a bronze-ish foggy beer with a small head.

Smell - it was nothing exceptional, just a good beer smell - no flavor or anything

Taste - well, here's where it loses it. For a
beer that says "Extra Special Bitter" all I can say is that it wasn't bitter - it was mild. It wasn't special, I can get a stronger, more bitter, tastier one for a cheaper price, and there was nothing extra about it.

Mouth - It seems to lack ditinction, the feel goes away as soon as you swallow

Drink - See Mouth

02-03-2011 08:23:54 | More by anakar
Photo of twi1609372
twi1609372

Florida

2.83/5  rDev -30.5%

To me i should like this beer more than i do, yet i only think it's ok. Yes it has a medium body, bold taste, yet if having a taste was all that mattered i could drink motor oil. this beer's flavor to me was overall poor. normally i appritiate this kind of beer, yet i found myself unable to order another. Justa matter of opinion and personal taste i guess.

10-15-2006 09:20:13 | More by twi1609372
Photo of hollicetales
hollicetales

New York

2.9/5  rDev -28.7%

poured a sipid coopery yellow, perhaps i drank the last bit before the keg was kicked for the other review hold this alot better than i do. was very thin and no head....had beautiful color, not much of an aroma....very weak bodied and thin....it did have a decent bite and the after taste was much better than the inital though slightly metallic...nice and bitter.

02-04-2004 20:58:10 | More by hollicetales
Photo of thinkbreakfast
thinkbreakfast

New York

2.9/5  rDev -28.7%

App: This beer poured a standard dark amber color with a standard head.

Smell: One whiff of this brew revealed what I found to be its underlying theme: Maple syrup smelling malt.

Taste: Thick syrup/malt up front. Slight bittering into the middle and end. I did not find this particularly enjoyable, however I haven't been overly impressed with the ESB style in general.

Mouthfeel was a bit on the thick side, which hurt the drinkability.

07-01-2004 21:24:32 | More by thinkbreakfast
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Fuller's ESB from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
91 out of 100 based on 2,333 ratings.