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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.

2,225 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,225
Reviews: 1,245
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 63
Gots: 73 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,225 | Reviews: 1,245 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Derranged

New York

3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug from a 500ml bottle. Reads best by 21 Aug 11.

A- Brownish-Amber tea like in color with medium size white head. Lots of retention on the glass.

S- Malty, nutty, floral hops with some raisins.

T- Some complexity there. Very nutty, with a peanut like flavor mixed in with bread, malts, some caramel and slightly bitter after taste.

M- High carbonation with medium feel.

O- Solid beer and I would buy again. Only thing is next time I'd want try one that is fresher.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 03:09:54 | More by Derranged
Photo of rvdoorn


4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: the beer pours a clear orange-copper color, with a nice fluffy light brown head.
Smell: Nutty malts, honey, caramel, grass and pepper hops.
Taste: Malts, caramel and honey with very dry bitter hops. Aftertaste is dry and bitter.
Mouthfeel: low-medium carbonation, medium body.
Overall: Nice brew, very similar to the London pride, only more hops.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 14:46:41 | More by rvdoorn
Photo of

3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - clear copper with a finger of white head that dissipates to a sticky cap.

Smell - Caramel, buttered bread, and earthy British hops with undertone of stone fruit.

Taste - Caramel, butterscotch, plum, sharp hops near the end, and a bitter/sweet caramel hops finish.

Serving type: can

07-20-2011 21:23:14 | More by
Photo of sixerofelixir


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle. Best before date clearly stated on back label.

Pours a very clear, deep amber. An off-white rings patches up the glass. Smell is a blend of rich fruitiness and rich, toasted molasses. A touch of straw keeps it grounded, yet complex. Taste is a lot of medium-colored fruit and something that I can only descibe as agave(!). Finishes dry. And bitter. Feel is the only thing left hanging in acrid/booze-land. A robust ESB for sure, Fullers scores again.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 05:21:38 | More by sixerofelixir
Photo of airforbes1

New York

3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The weak head is offset by the bright, almost luminous copper color. Decent aroma, with a predominant smell of pear. No detection of hop bitterness.

The taste is remarkably smooth, with a hint of butteriness. Again, I get a pear a lot of pear, but this time just enough hops kick in at the end to prevent the beer from being too sweet.

What this beer lacks in complexity is compensated by its overall pleasantness. I ended up drinking this quicker than I expected just because it was so smooth.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 02:43:29 | More by airforbes1
Photo of Slatetank


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this with dinner last night, enjoyed with some steamed cockles in ginger/cilantro broth.

The color is russet with good clarity and thin cap of beige with tight bead. The smell is very fruity and has a moderate amount of caramel from the malt. The yeast gives a nice ester which seems to blend with the slightly twiggy hop aroma. The feel is a good combination of the elements, they seem almost completely integrated with malt sweetness and yeast fruitiness The moderate carbonation is nice with some clean hop bitterness and semi-dry finish.

This is a pleasant strong pale with gentle yeast flavor which is mildly pear/apple tinged and slight herbal quality of the hops giving a nice balance to the sweetness of the malt which is slightly caramel in flavor. I like the semi toasted note which keeps the flavor form seeming sweet and the tinge of woodiness of the hops adds some contrast which is nice. The ale finishes more dry than anything with some yeast flavors lingering. I enjoy this beer a lot, it is a good example of the style and was complimentary to the food without overpowering the flavor of the shellfish I recommend this with dinner or on its own.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 15:11:56 | More by Slatetank
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange color with a small 1/2 inch light beige head that fades to a thin film. Nice latticework of lacing forms on the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smells of biscuit-like malt and citrus zest hops. Taste is of biscuit-like malt, honey, and a very nice citrus and citrus zest hop flavor. A slightly acidic citrus aftertaste lingers after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good and easy drinking beer. I am very impressed with this one from Fuller.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 03:50:43 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1/3" white head which dissipated quickly over dark amber liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Malt, honey, yeast, very nice.

T: Bitter at the front, malty in the middle, with yeast and an almost peanut aftertaste. Very nice.

M: Thin with a low level of very fine carbonation. This is really the most lacking aspect of this particular beer.

O: Very enjoyable ESB. I would get this again.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 22:47:51 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of gabedivision

New York

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11 oz bottle to a Guinness tumbler glass.

Pours a solid copper amber, completely crystal clear with very little carbonation and or head. Looks flat. Big caramel notes on the nose with hints of spice. Dark fruits, raisins, figs, big brown sugar characters. Sugary dark fruits on the tongue as well, mixed well with some cherries and maybe some vanilla. Creamy and smooth on the feel, low carbonation, extremely drinkable. This is a great beer, was very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 02:22:13 | More by gabedivision
Photo of OysterMonkey


4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice coppery color. Two fingers or so of foam subsided fairly quickly but nice lacing.

S- Very nice. Biscuity aroma with some subtle spicy or floral notes.

T- Very good. Full flavor of malty sweetness up front with a really nice hop bite on the back end.

M- Nice again. Creamy, but not heavy. Smooth.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2011 04:08:25 | More by OysterMonkey
Photo of Thads324


4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite styles, excited...

A : Pours a very clear copper, light amber color with a very thin white head that disappears almost immediately. Gotta love the english pint bottle, looks regal IMO.

S : smells like a lot of sweet biscuit and candi sugar. A nice toffee-esque aroma with little to no hop scent at all. Although unusual compared to US versions, it smells really enticing.

T : Very much like the smell, except there is hop here. It starts a bit sweet, with a caramel an mild toffee flavor. The sweetness becomes very subdued and yields to a long and very easy going hop flavor that is mild, musty, earthy and then ends with a really nice bite of hop. clean finish that leaves a tingle of hop.

M : seems to have a low carbonation level, but drinks very wet, clean and finishes easy. There is a nice linger of hop tinge on the tongue and lips.

One of the very finest beers I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. I don't often buy imports since no beer travels well, but this stuff is unbelievable. I will be buying more of this, and enjoying it thoroughly. The aroma is very odd and very enjoyable. The taste is complex and balanced. Simply amazing.
The next time I am in the UK I will be all over this...

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 03:24:38 | More by Thads324
Photo of scottfrie


4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into SA perfect pint glass. Best before 8/6/2011.
A: Pours a dark honey-copper with two fingers of fluffy off-white head that faded into a fuzzy film that laid down some good lacing.
S: Sweet notes of caramel malts, honey, roasted grains and a touch of earthy hops. Very bready smelling.
T: Follows the nose with a big, sweet, honey oat bread taste. The hops are spicy and round out the finish. The aftertaste is sweet with honey and caramel and just a touch of tobacco. Flavors are very balance, and there isn’t a trace of alcohol. Upon further reflection, this tastes a little like peanut brittle.
M: Chewy medium body with a good heft to it and a fairly slick and oily mouthfeel. Carbonation is full and creamy with just a hint of prickliness.
O: A very solid drinking beer which I imagine would be heaven on cask. I can see why this is so popular.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 20:08:43 | More by scottfrie
Photo of Knapp85


3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as copper color with a thick looking white head on it. The lacing was nice on the glass. The smell of the beer was malty, not much else really but had plenty of malts and some other fresh grains. The taste of the beer was sweet and had a nice caramel like flavor with a slight bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel is very smooth and easy to drink. Overall it's one of the better ESB's I've had over the years. Worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2011 04:56:29 | More by Knapp85
Photo of calcio360jrd


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the beer that actually got me into import beers over 10 years ago. ESB is one of my fav styles of beer that many american breweries don't seem to do anymore. Pop open a bottle of this and you won't be disappointed. That wonderful smell of malt and hops gets me everytime. But overall, the best way to have this beer is on cash, which they do at the blue anchor in delray beach, fl. It comes out with a wonderful creamy head that lingers on the glass and leaves nice lacing. Still in my favs of all time this beer, it has a special place in my heart for bringing me into the beer world!

Serving type: cask

06-28-2011 16:23:13 | More by calcio360jrd
Photo of NWer


4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the 74th Street Ale House.
Appearance is red. Clear. Nice head. Poured into a tulip.
Served a little too cold for the style but blossomed nicely as it warmed.
Taste is balanced with smooth maltiness and a mild hop feel that balances out very nicely in conformance with the style but not overly bitter.
Will definitely keep an eye out for this beer in the future.
A very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2011 01:23:07 | More by NWer
Photo of Roke87

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL can, chilled and poured into a pint glass

Appearance- Pours a clear dark amber colour with two fingers of fluffy off white head that takes a little while to reside down to bubbly head that never really goes away till finish, leaving minimal spots of lacing throughout the glass.

Smell- I’m getting lots of sweet fruity aromas coming from this one right away, also lots of caramel/toffee malt with a very mild hop presence in there as well, very bready with a touch of yeast.

Taste- Very similar to the smells although the bitter hops come through a lot more on the palate, nice sweet fruity flavours as well paired with the caramel/toffee bready malt; finishes a little bitter with a mild yeast touch in there as well.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied this one has minimal carbonation that somehow forms a lasting bubbly head right till the end, very smooth and crisp going down.

Overall- Pleasantly surprised again by this one, not as bitter as I thought it would be but it is well balanced, I actually liked this one although the smell was a little better than the taste overall it was still a very quality brew, again thanks Fuller’s you have shown me that you really do actually make very good beers.

Serving type: can

06-27-2011 05:01:53 | More by Roke87
Photo of StaveHooks


4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber with red highlights. A foamy 1.5 finger of off-white head that provide loads of tightly knit lacing.

S - Rich caramel malt, hints of fruit.

T - Caramel malt, floral, toasted bread, some berry fruits, salty hops on the back end.

M - Medium bodied, smooth feel.

Rich and robust. This beer is packed with flavor and a very smooth drinker. One of my favorite ESB's.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 03:22:00 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of MrVonzipper


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice crystal clear amber color with an eggshell colored short bubbly head and very little retention and lacing. Noticeable carbonation.

Caramel, caramel, and caramel malt. A touch of chocolate and light leather.

Obvious caramel flavor notes with a touch of light chocolate. A touch of pale malt and a slight bitter aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall this beer is not very complex by any stretch. But it a very good, easy drinking, well balanced with good flavored beer. I remember the first time I had this beer about 10-11 years ago when I was first getting into craft beer. I absolutely loved this beer. Now, I wouldn't say it's my favorite. But just a very good go to beer to keep around for an everyday beer or for friends that aren't huge into beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 23:39:01 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of icecube


4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled poured into warm glass

A: beautiful nice amber color

S: big caramel malt with faint cedar hops aroma

T: great malty sweetness with balanced hop finish

M: medium/light bodied with smooth enjoyable finish

O: a great beer with a nice balance that you don't see very often. The malt and hops go very well together. One of my all time favorite beers.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 17:22:25 | More by icecube
Photo of fx20736

New York

4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle Poured into a pint glass. Served at fridge temp.

Color is a beautiful hue somewhere between copper, amber and mahogany.Minimal head, not much lacing,hardly any carbonation in this beer.

Aroma is malty and fruity in a Jolly Rancher sort of way.

Mouthfeel is ok.

Taste is all malt upfront with a restrained hoppiness on the finish that leaves a dry, slight sting on the tongue with just a touch of bitterness in the throat.

Notes: I am a daily London Pride drinker but not so much with the ESB. This is a slightly maltier, slightly fruitier and slightly more bitter version of London Pride. This is an excellent beer and I plan to drink it more often going forward.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2011 18:40:32 | More by fx20736
Photo of callmeclemens

New Jersey

1.88/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 19:05:11 | More by callmeclemens
Photo of hiku7


4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle to a nonic. Pours clear copper with a creamy to almost tan head and moderate carbonation. Sparkling very nice appearance.

Smell is toasted and caramel malt, very biscuity, with a bit of yeastiness. Taste is also toasted and caramel malt, with a mild earthy hop finish. Slightly tart lemony taste in the finish as well.

This is a very smooth and drinkable beer with moderate at best carbonation. The creamy head adds a bit of creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Overall, you can't go wrong with the original ESB. Very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 17:46:33 | More by hiku7
Photo of yeahnatenelson


4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance -- Pours a polished copper hue with a finger of creamy lily-white head. Gold highlight around the edges, somewhat red in the heart. Handsome.

Smell -- Caramel, doughy malt, faint cocoa-like roast, dark fruit, whiff of flora hop aroma, and a bit of booze. The alcohol note is a bit out of place, but otherwise this is delightful

Taste -- Malt sweetness is toned down in the taste, lending a mild toffee flavor, along with doughy yeast and amber malt. Hop bitterness is well in proportion, slightly earthy and with nice floral flavors as well. Finish is gently sweet with earthy hops to balance.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body, perhaps a hair lighter, with moderate carbonation. Lively, but not at all harsh.

Overall -- Good to the last drop. Really exceptional. One is hard-pressed to name a better, proper ESB. El Puta Madre, really hard to find faults in this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 00:01:43 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of smakawhat


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Best before July 11th 2011.

An off white three finger head is produced kind of soapy which subsides slowly. Body is very clear with large stuck bubbles to the glass and the color is a very nice amber somewhere between orange and brown. Looks good, with hardly any lacing.

Very interesting nose of malts and a small smell of cinnamon. Clean it seems, I am liking this very faint sweetness not sure exactly but some cinnamon or mixture of sweet brown spices.

Great simple bodied malt, very dry in the palate though after the swallow. Super easy drinking with a great feel. Small light whole wheat or brown bread on the finish. Slight prickly carbs but nothing jaring though which is nice. Cinnamon like spices, perhaps some sweet clove tastes throughout, especially in the aftertaste and lingering in the palate.

Overall this feels like a good solid malty thirst quencher. Before I knew it and was trying to figure more about it, I drank the thing in seconds flat. Guess I'll have another someday!

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 03:24:41 | More by smakawhat
Photo of thierrynantes


4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (5O cl.), tasted in 2011.

Appearance : amber color, with white foamy head (not persistent).
Smell : malt and caramel aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : robustly malty and hoppy, medium bitterness in finish.
Drinkability : a good beer in the English style Extra Strong Bitter.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 19:10:40 | More by thierrynantes
Fuller's ESB from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
91 out of 100 based on 2,225 ratings.