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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

2,271 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,271
Reviews: 1,247
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 70
Gots: 83 | 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: 2,271 | Reviews: 1,247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of marcpal
marcpal

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle poured into American pint glass.

A: Auburn and clear with a moderate head and lacing that just holds on enough throughout the beer.

S: Clever mix of malts and some bitter fruits behind it. Enticing to say the least for a mild beer.

T: Toasted malts with the great matching bitterness. The bitter hops are tight and crisp adding tons of texture to this beer.

M: Doesnt get much smoother than this for an ESB.

D: A refreshing and truly drinkable beer.

Well before the freshness date- this is a fine beer, a damn fine session beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 03:38:02 | More by marcpal
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Such a crisp copper colored beer. Very resilient and handsome in nature. A thick coating of white head rests on top with molten bubbles showing forth. Long long retention.

Pale malts aroma with zest hop interaction. A good dose of fruit shows through with some candied type aromas on the end.

Just another solid brew by Fullers. Great sessionability. Almost perfect hop to malt balance. Fruity yet so toffee malty. Bitterness is sustained on the finish with a hint of citrus. Bright lively carbonation really helps out in the overall showing of this beer. I like this much better on draught but eithe way a sure winner.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2008 23:35:44 | More by mcallister
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

clear, coppery amber, decent head, some lacing, although much less than i hoped

fruity and buttery, some caramel/toffee scent

malt is toasty, hops have mild flowery and herbal notes. something like diacetyl/butterscotch, along with a definite bitterness that lasts into the finish.

a bit thinner than i'd like. slight roughness, maybe from acidity?

still, a nice english ale, and otherwise quite balanced.

*re-review 2009 - i want to bump the taste score to 4.5

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 02:53:45 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of udubdawg
udubdawg

Kansas

4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle

pours just lighter than amber in color, nice clarity and the half inch of light tan head leaves nice initial lacing and spottiness later.

Once again I don't know why I really like the nose. The fruitiness and noticeable buttery aromas are up front, with toasted malt and a vague earthiness behind. The first thing that comes to my mind with this is pear - I smell it even as I start to pour. Weird, but whatever - I dig it.

Taste - there's that diacetyl again. More toasted flavors, some caramel. The alcohol that wasn't very noticeable in the aroma shows up here it remains a bit player. Hop profile also flexes its muscles finally in the flavor, a refreshing herbal bite. Body is medium, smooth, carbonation soft, finish lightly bitter, begging another sip. Extremely drinkable.

I'm fully 6 months away from the "best by" date on this beer, or I'd be tempted to call it an aged bottle. Is it the same as it was fresh? I doubt it. Do I love it anyway? Absolutely.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 20:40:16 | More by udubdawg
Photo of TheTrevor
TheTrevor

New York

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a reddish copper color with a quickly dissipating single-finger head. The smell is mostly nice sweet malts and some toffee. The taste starts off with sweet toasty malts that is cut by just a little hop bite and leading to even more sweetness. The mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and pleasant. This is a very drinkable beer that's a great example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 20:16:11 | More by TheTrevor
Photo of Mdog
Mdog

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber, dense head.

Smell: Vague sweetness, toffee.

Taste: Caramel, toffee, hint of bitterness in the finish. A nice mix of flavors.

Mouthfeel: Moderate, not too heavy or too light.

Drinkability: This was one of the first craft beers that I really liked. My tastes have shifted to hoppy beers, but this is still one I could have several of in a sitting.

Picked up a single to see how I would like this after a few years of not having it. It didn't disappoint, still a great beer. Now if I could only find some London Porter around here!

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 16:54:05 | More by Mdog
Photo of sinistermadman
sinistermadman

Oregon

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear copper color with a slight head. Toasty caramel malt aroma. Flavor is of toasted malt, with caramel undertones. Slight bittering from the hops. Medium body with a slick, smooth presence on the palate. Finishes crisp and clean with a slightly lingering stickiness. A definitively sessionable brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2008 21:49:48 | More by sinistermadman
Photo of joekfsu
joekfsu

Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle. Pours copper/amber with a 2 to 3 cm white head that is quickly diminishing. Aroma is very light, mostly caramel. Flavor is balanced between malts and hops, aftertaste is slightly bitter but lasting. Great lacing, no noted carbonation, no hints of alcohol. Very drinkable, but I would prefer the London Pride over this selection.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2008 02:48:00 | More by joekfsu
Photo of Zephenbrewid
Zephenbrewid

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type and Glassware: 1.9 pint bottle poured into 16 oz tumbler

A - Off-white head, not lingering, low apparent carbonation with a transparent copper color

S - Sweet candy-like smell, cherry lolipop comes to mind (corny i know but oh well thats what i thought), really the smell is one of the highlights of this beer

T - Equally as sweet, some toastiness pulling through with a slight bitterness in the finish, a mildly present alcohol taste throughout

M - Stickiness of the malt is the feature to note here, with a medium-light body all around

I bought this beer on a whim and wasn't disappointed. A solid beer all over and also a good ESB by style definition. I'd recommend pairing it with some fries with malt vinegar (thrashers for example)

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2008 00:04:31 | More by Zephenbrewid
Photo of Minkybut
Minkybut

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my tumblker at 50 degrees. The beere was a pretty wood risin color. The bber had a fine bubbly head but went awat pretty fast. The smell was hoppy and I thought a bit sour however I was pleased the tase was not. In fact it was a nice rich taste with a bit of a nuttyness. Ther was just so ever a hoppy note but not bad in the least. I like this breww and am going back to get the rest in the store.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2008 16:05:57 | More by Minkybut
Photo of Traquairlover
Traquairlover

Virginia

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark amber, small to medium off white head, medium lacing.

S = Strong piney hops scents, but underlying that there are also hints of almonds, toasted oats, some citrus fruits, mostly grapefruit.

T = Smooth light malt flavors, strong hops flavors, quite bitter, but clearly much of the hops has gone towards flavor, since the pine and citrus flavors are prevalent and this is not just a bitter bomb. Finish is long and bitter but the front of the tongue continues to taste the sweeter malts so there is still an interesting lively balancing act going on.

M = Medium bodied, light (but perfect) carbonation, and medium mouthcoating.

D = This is a very drinkable ESB. It is bitter but there is also a lot of flavor and good balance between sweeter, nuttier malt flavor and the hops sharper, bitter tones.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 00:43:39 | More by Traquairlover
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep copper color with a large foamy white head that fades fast. Leaves a bit of patchy lace.
S: An aromatic beer and overall very pleasant . Manley dominated by toasty sweet malt. Some caramel as well and some hops towards the end.
T: Follows the nose, as an ESB should. Very malty and a good hop balance. Toasty, earthy, and some caramel again. I love ESB's and this is the benchmark for them all.
D: So smooth and easy to drink. Well balanced and not bitter at all. This is something I could drink all day.

Another great Fuller beer. This is one that should not be missed.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 23:26:24 | More by champ103
Photo of IgnatiusReilly
IgnatiusReilly

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle to pint glass. Home.

Pours nice clear copper, touch of a haze. Very large thick head, 2 fingers, with lots of lace staying on the sides of the glass. Lots of malt in the aroma, with a hint of fruit in the nose, also some citrus hop flavoring. Taste is dominated with malt sweetness, earth tones, along with a large amount of grain flavors. Hence the name, lots of good hop bite towards the finish, Kent Goldings and Fuggles flavors. Hops linger after finish, with a hint of alcohol. Clean full mouth feel, extremely drinkable. Excellent representation of the syle.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 22:18:34 | More by IgnatiusReilly
Photo of AlexF
AlexF

Quebec (Canada)

3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

La Fuller's ESB, une fois versée, offre une mousse abondante et persistante ainsi qu'une magnifique couleur caramel. Une odeur conséquente caramélisée et un peu houblonnée s'ensuit.

Même portrait en bouche, une amertume loin d'être extrême, accompagnée d'un caramel brûlé et de quelques arômes fruités. Bon, équilibré, mais rien d'extraordinaire.

Quelque peu déçu vu le prix de la bouteille.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 22:02:51 | More by AlexF
Photo of Atron67
Atron67

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the BBC last night

A- came a crystal clear reddish amber with a small off-white head on top, the head didnt last long.

S- maltieness mainly with a little hops, the maltiness is nice, complex with delicate biscuit notes

T- Has a nice malty flavor throughout, biscuit malt delicate flavors ending on a mild hop bitterness that is lightly balanced for the maltiness

M0 has a full body thickness with a light carbonation that was just right for the flavors to come out.

D- pretty solid ale, not as bitter as i was expecting but the maltiness made up for it

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2007 13:30:46 | More by Atron67
Photo of DaveUK
DaveUK

United Kingdom (England)

3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Light reddish brown, a generous head on the initial pour with lots of lacing present on the way down.

Aroma - Pears and citrus fruit hops immediately. I also found marmalade and yeast with a slight medical (phenol?) tinge.

Taste - A little cardboardy, fresh juicy malt, a surprisingly subdued hop character compared with the aroma. The finish was bitter but not overly bitter and retained a yeasty note to it.

Mouthfeel - Dry and thin, not what I was expecting. The carbonation was perfect however.

Overall - Refreshing and light, with very well disguised alcohol. I must say that this bottle that I rated was not how I remembered ESB from the cask. I think perhaps that this bottle was a little offish. Im almost tempted to increase the rating based on my past experience of this beer, but I will leave it for now and re-rate when I try it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2007 00:39:46 | More by DaveUK
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

English Style pint bottle picked up at the Boise Coop for about $4.50... shared with a buddy... my half poured into a shaker pint.

Sudsy white head quickly drops leaving nice crusty lacing for the entire glass... Soft pour shows a crystal clear copper amber brew.. good looking for sure.

Aroma is big caramel/toasted malts and earthy/grassy hops.. to really get the smell, swirl the glass and let sit, then bury your nose in it... a little underwhelming... but still very appealing.

Flavor is much better.. complex for such a low ABV brew (bonus points!).. toasted malts and caramel/lite toffee.. some raisin.. very low brown malts mix into the earthy hops... from there the lite spicy hops finish with a lingering pale malt palate... suprisingly lite butterscotch.. bigger body than expected.. very drinkable for an experienced beer drinker, but I believe if you were trying to convert a macro person, it would be a hard sell.. just too much going on to be saleable to an inexperienced palate.. That being said, I need to pick up the Fullers more often. I often don't because of the increased ticket price, but in the grand scheme of things.. I probably should be enjoying more English brews.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 09:42:50 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of techdiver
techdiver

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper color with a modest head, yet shows a lot of initial carbonation.

Sweet caramel to the nose, very inviting.

Caramel malt taste with hops evident in the finish. A delicious balance here.

Very smooth, medium bodied with a little fine carbonation.

Very drinkable, an excellent example of this style, if not the best.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2007 04:45:20 | More by techdiver
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty clear copper color. Bright white head holds together for a few minutes, leaving a few nice patches of lace.

Faint toasty, caramle malt in the nose, along with some equally faint floral hoppy nites. Maybe a hint of fruit in the background.

Toasty caramle malt, balanced by some earthy and floral hops. Very balanced, very little bitterness. A bit of a metallic, mineral flavor. Clean, but a bit of fruit does linger.

Medium body, very soft on the carbonation. Very easy to drink. A great, classic session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2007 01:27:21 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of praufs01
praufs01

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Clear copper color with an off white head and a good bit of lacing.

Smell – slight malty and citrus hop notes.

Taste – Nice caramel taste up front followed by a mild hop finish

Mouthfeel – Very smooth with light fizzy carbonation.

Overall: Very sophisticated well crafted brew. This is one of my favorite English bitters.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2007 02:46:04 | More by praufs01
Photo of joeplyr
joeplyr

Missouri

4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep copper color, not much head produced. Light amount of carbonation in glass.

Aroma: Bursts with flavor. Initially, very sweet molasses malts exude from glass. Then, a candy/fruitiness comes out which is very appealing, which is balanced by caramel throughout.

Taste: Complex taste to say the least. Sometimes I get the fruity hops, other the malty-caramel and molasses flavors are pronounced. Part of me wants to say there is a caramel apple, but there really is no apple flavor, it tastes like a darker, sweeter fruit.

Mouthfeel: The sweet malts linger for awhile. It goes down pretty bitter, which it should. Robust sweet flavors splash all around the taste buds.

Drinkability: This is definitely a session beer for me. The flavors are very pronounced, but they are not overwhelmed. Consider me impressed.

Notes: This is one of my favorite styles. This brew was my first venture into ESBs and it was a good one to start with.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2007 02:07:59 | More by joeplyr
Photo of Daredevil
Daredevil

Switzerland

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this one to go with a lunch in a City pub .... the food (battered cod and chips) wasn't worth the mention, however the brew was .... a medium to full bodied strongly flavored ale, with quite strong bitterness ... quite strong in alcohol too, which you will not feel while drinking, perhaps afterwards ...

Serving type: cask

11-26-2007 19:50:00 | More by Daredevil
Photo of Mandrake
Mandrake

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours the deepest shade of copper, burnished and gleaming. Head is big and billowing, just a shade off of white and leaving great lacing behind. Surfacing carbonation leaves trails of bubbles running up the side of the glass. Smell is bang on ESB, as one would expect from the archetype of them all. Light caramel and a hint of hops with breadiness and nuts. A hint of light fruits and berries. Taste is more of the same, malty at first. The toffee and butter come first and lead into a dry nuttiness. Hops aren't assertive, but they're ever-present and provide the lightest spicy/citrus backdrop to everything. Finish is nice and long. Mouthfeel is exceptional, plenty of body with great levels of carbonation, and drinkability is perfect. An excellent beer and deserving of its reputation.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2007 19:13:39 | More by Mandrake
Photo of jayb
jayb

Iowa

3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a deep gold/copper color with excellant clarity and a thin light tan head. Lace sticks around in a few places but overall settles to a thin film. Pleasant.

Smell: Sweet, malty, and citrusy. Kind of like caramel and with a grapefruit tinge and a faint hint of chocolate.

Taste: First taste is again the caramel and citrusy with a funny husky flavor. Kind of metallic also. It leaves a plenty of bitterness at the back of the mouth. Tangy aftertaste with a slight alcohol bite. a little unpleasant, but not bad.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, very smooth.

Drinkability: Enjoyable. My first ESB. I am hoping that this is not my last but it is certainly a pleasant first experience. A pleasant and nonabrasive brew. After the beers warms up a bit, the taste mellows out quite a bit to make this a great tasting, easy drinking beer. More so than to begin with, if possible.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2007 03:19:00 | More by jayb
Photo of rodenbach99
rodenbach99

Quebec (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bouteille brune de 500ml acheté à la SAQ

belle couleur cuivré, la mousse est blanche consistante au début mais se dissipe assez rapidement. le goût est parfaitement équilibré entre le malt et les houblons, la finale houblonnée est particulierement bonne et longue. un classique dans le genre.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2007 22:29:40 | More by rodenbach99
Fuller's ESB from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
91 out of 100 based on 2,271 ratings.