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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.

2,337 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,337
Reviews: 1,254
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 73
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: 2,337 | Reviews: 1,254 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Garin

Alberta (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

It poured a coppery brown colour, perfectly clear. A nice creamy head formed and stayed, supported by some neat-looking carbonation.

A cleanly hoppy aroma, with a hint of malt.

Lots of bitter hops make my initial impression. Some caramelly malt comes in next, with a lovely hops flavour filling it out. A slight alcoholic warmth and flavour comes through. Some floral fruitiness builds over time. I also begin to notice an almost citric acidity as well.

It feels nice and lush in the mouth. The carbonation is low but sufficient. A nice lace is left on my glass.

Overall: I like it. I like it a lot. This, to me, is ESB.

08-18-2003 05:05:57 | More by Garin
Photo of beerguy101


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Medium brown color, medium head. Medium bodied ale. Matly and hoppy. A nice full malt finish excellently balances the hoppyness. Mouthfeel is full and round. Smooth taste. Finish is clean and slightly dry. Aftertaste is matly with a very slight bitterness.

08-16-2003 02:55:17 | More by beerguy101
Photo of kmo1030


3.8/5  rDev -6.6%

rich amber color with a hint of red, thin tan head. sweet and malty smell, a little fruity with a little spice. The taste starts off bitter then trials off to spicey warming sweet malt flavor and finishes bitter. it has a really nice balance to it. the mouth feel was a little thin in my opinion, but not bad. i'll be buying this again, i feel it might take a few tries to get a good feel for this one.

08-12-2003 19:05:02 | More by kmo1030
Photo of TripelJ


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

*reviewing from notes*

Now Quaffing: Fuller's ESB

Pours a deep gold with a medium tan head. Fine lacing sticks to the glass as the head recedes. The aroma is very faint, but is slightly sweet. The taste is what this beer is all about. In my opinion it is the pinnacle example of an ESB. Incredibly smooth, almost chewy sweet caramel up front. Hops are in the rear guard and balance everything out perfectly. Finish is dry and I'm getting some light peach and a mild bitterness that lingers on the palate.

Notes: ESB does not have to mean in your face hops and bitterness. Balance plays a huge part here and because its not over the top, its highly drinkable unlike some of the bigger american versions of the style.

08-10-2003 13:33:58 | More by TripelJ
Photo of moulefrite


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

A very solid, good brew, no question! The beer pours a lovely dark amber, with some red and orange hues. The head, however faded with alacrity however-perhaps I used the wrong glass? The taste was a delight! sweet, extracted flavors with just the right hop bite, which seems to linger forever on the roof of the mouth-easily a minute! Tasty malted barley and dense, chewy bread dough flavors saturate the palate. What a a flavor packed brew! This beer is highly refreshing and tough to put down. I've heard alot about this beer and am darn glad I tried it. We shall meet again!

08-09-2003 01:31:57 | More by moulefrite
Photo of jcalabre


3/5  rDev -26.3%

Originally sampled on 24 January 2003. I am writing this review from my notes.
on draught, clear copper color w/ virtually no head. nice maltiness up front w /a slightly bitter finish. This might serve as a nice 'escape' beer, to free the BMC knuckleheads from their confinement & introduce them to real beer. This is a decent ESB, but nothing spectacular.

08-08-2003 03:17:47 | More by jcalabre
Photo of Realale


4/5  rDev -1.7%

Full copper, with touches of red. Creamy off-white head settles to a thin complete cap leaving excellent lacing.

Nose is rich crackery malt with a lovely Goldings earthy hop element. Touch fruity.

Rich in the mouth, with excellent mouthfeel. Hops balance the malt well, and there is a nice fruitiness from the yeast. Finishes a touch sweet.

This has passed its peak, as the evidence of the dry-hopping is diminished. This was more like a malted-up London Pride. Still a fine pint. Score reflects the beer tasted on this occassion only.

[edited 4/18/05 to reflect fact that beer was not cask-conditioned, but keg served through handpump]

08-07-2003 14:29:36 | More by Realale
Photo of Elemental


4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

This beer pours great with a nice big head. The color was a nice dark amber color. The aroma was good with its citus and hoppy aromas but there was a slight sour smell to it (could've just been the bottle I had, I don't remeber it being sour smelling before). The taste is wonderful, again with a slight citrus hint to it and a great balance of malt and hops. The initial taste is somewhat tart but it leaves you licking the sweetness off of your lips. A Great Beer!

08-02-2003 15:32:34 | More by Elemental
Photo of hotstuff


4.53/5  rDev +11.3%

I found this beer to have a good combination of flavor and bitterness. The hue was amber. It had a good malty aroma as well as a good malty and hoppy flavor. The more I drank of this beer, the more I liked it. I did not find this beer to have a lingering taste to it which is what I look for in a beer.

07-11-2003 13:50:58 | More by hotstuff
Photo of AtLagerHeads


4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

This is just plain great bitters. Subtle and effective hopping make this beautifully bitter while retaining plenty of malting throughout. The nose gives off nice floral and herbal hop aromas and the taste follows with good bittering. There is very little aftertaste as it ends with a very dry finish, clean and bright at the end. Dark amber color and creamy full ivory head with superior lacing. Superb beer. Thanks, Fuller's.

07-09-2003 20:39:36 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +12.5%

This is one of the nicest looking ales I've ever laid eyes upon. Poured from a hefty 500ml brown bottle, it had a foamy off white head that left a lot of lace, and receded to a thick ring. Very rich, intense copper hue, makes me wonder if I have a fetish for copper (perhaps I should change my favorite style....). Nose is primarily hops, some caramel malt, a touch metallic, very faint spice. Flavour is a whirlwind of hops and malt, very nice blend, although the hops stand out far more. Thick buttery mouthfeel, but goes down very easy. The aftertaste lingers long after the glass has been emptied.

07-09-2003 16:24:55 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of edchicma


4.03/5  rDev -1%

Appearance a nice coppery gold color with minimal carbonation. Smell suggests alcohol with slight malt aroma. This tasted like it has more than 5.9% alcohol. Mouthfeel also suggested alcohol content, but no major lingering sharp aftertaste. Very drinkable, except for the initial tang of alcohol.

07-08-2003 15:34:46 | More by edchicma
Photo of TheDM


4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

This brew has a very nice malty aroma. The pour yielded a medium white head full of small bubbles with a nice transparent amber color with little to no lacing. My initial taste had no foretaste, but some bitter aftertaste and a very mild flavor. A very easily drank brew that I found much to my liking.

07-05-2003 12:42:07 | More by TheDM
Photo of BierReise


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

This is a superior ale that has been in my opinion a most consistent one. I used to drink this one hand-pulled in an English pub years ago, and the bottled version is nearly as good. Super clear amber with a frothy head and light lacing. Aroma is outstanding, sweet, hoppy and malty all at once. Boy is this ale balanced! Smooth and full bodied with an incredible mixture of English hops that bitter so tenderly. Malt is sweet and fresh providing a perfect counter to all of the different English hops used. The original and in my opinion the best ESB out there.

07-04-2003 15:13:46 | More by BierReise
Photo of mapman97


5/5  rDev +22.9%

This is one of my favorite beers in the world, if not my all time favorite. Pours clear redish amber with a nice but not to big head. Taste is wonderful with a hint of sweetness and a hoppy bitterness that is very refreshing. There is a distinct maltyness as well. Give it a try, you'll like it. Very smooth if on tap but you don't want it to cold. This keeps the full flavor from comming out.

07-01-2003 15:06:21 | More by mapman97
Photo of DarrellK


4.7/5  rDev +15.5%

I've tried this both in the US and in the UK and must say that it travels well as it is the same in both places. The rich amber color of the brew is quite inviting and is accompanied but a nice sort of malty aroma and a thick head for an ESB. The head continues quite well through the finish. Taste is warming with perhaps a buttery taste and a lingering finish. This is a polished brew that is always near the top of my list

06-30-2003 08:04:01 | More by DarrellK
Photo of woemad


4.47/5  rDev +9.8%

Big bottle, 1 pint, 2.6 fl. oz., with drink-by date clearly marked. Beautiful, orangy-reddish amber. Big head, moderate lacing. Foam never completely disappeared as the beer retreated down the inside of my glass. Wonderful aroma of malt and honey that I have never smelled before. Beautifully balanced tast of honey and malt, with a hop bite that adds citrus to the background yet doesn't intrude. Very creamy & thick mouthfeel, better than some beers with "cream" in the title.Drinkability? "Oh, no! I only bought one!" I'll be buying more of these very soon. To think I didn't drink this while I was in the UK (I was young and foolish)!

06-25-2003 18:15:48 | More by woemad
Photo of tar


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

Pours a clear, reddish amber in color. A nice thick (one finger) off-white head caps the beer in the glass. A very nice smell of malt and something sweet--possibly honey, is present. The taste is also of malt, some sweetness is present as well. A bit of fruity hops make themselves known in the finish. Overall a very nicely balanced taste--not overpowering in any one aspect, and very pleasant. This beer is very smooth with a light to medium body and highly drinkable; I wish I had more of these present in my refrigerator, but alas I only bought the one.

06-25-2003 12:54:21 | More by tar
Photo of nomad


4.85/5  rDev +19.2%

Pours a ruddy copper color with fair amounts of carbonation, a foamy head, and some bits of stain. A fair looker.

The smell is of fruity hop scents, nuts, and a British session-ale malt. Taste is of an unbelievably edible bitter, a hearty barley and earthy flavor, yet it is also a beer with some tang. Builds up delectable toasty and nutty flavors, too. Has a good malt backbone and a long citrus-bitter finish of the highest quality.

Smooth going moderately thick mouthfeel. This beer is fabulously drinkable, impressive given its bitterness. Much better on draft than in a bottle. A personal favorite.

06-14-2003 09:32:10 | More by nomad
Photo of Reidrover


4.53/5  rDev +11.3%

Bought in the1 pint 2.6 ox brown embossed bottle..nice simple ,yet impressive label
Pours a wonderful crystal clear dark amber colour with a good sized slighly off white head..fades fast.
Some marvelous smells of hops and slight malts pretty good stuff
Well balanced flavour to the beer..nice malt sweetness and a good bitterness ( but not over the top)..leaves a buttery taste on the back of the tongue,which I liked.
Pretty good on the palate.not dry at all..nice aftertaste that lingers
An excellent drinkabkle ESB..one to sample again and again

06-09-2003 17:21:18 | More by Reidrover
Photo of Boto


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

Well, it took me a whole week of drinking cask beers in London to find one that at least had a bit of distinction from the rest. While they all were good, this is the first one that really stood out! Poured a slightly reddish brown. Fair amount of head to it: it really depends on how it is pulled. Fairly good aroma of malts and hops. The taste actually has some hop bite to it, with maybe a hint of chocolate? Very smooth. If you are going to be sold in a pub called "Hung, Drawn & Quartered", you better be good!

06-05-2003 14:08:48 | More by Boto
Photo of Indybeer


4.58/5  rDev +12.5%

1pt 2.6 fl oz bottle. This pours a deep caramel color, with a head that doesn't last long. You can smell the hops and the malt. The taste! Now this is what I remember bitter to taste like when I was in the UK sitting in a pub drinking pint after pint. Not the over hopped American versions. This is what bitter should be. Just the right amount of bitter that finishes clean and dry. I could sit and drink this all night. I need to find this on draught!

05-28-2003 18:04:13 | More by Indybeer
Photo of SheepNutz


4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

I had this brew in a 12oz. bottle poured into a Fuller's nonick pint glass. It pours an orange-red with one finger of head that dies down to a little ring pretty quickly. There is a bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell seems to be a mix of caramel, pine, and hops. The taste is a good bite of hops, but not so much as an IPA, with a mixture of sweetness and spicy flavors together. The mouthfeel is a little weak, but this is still a smooth ale with a good drinkability.

05-23-2003 21:03:44 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of wyllder


4.53/5  rDev +11.3%

Amber in color with a mild aroma, Fuller's ESB is deceptive in appearance. Like most ESB's, Fullers hits you with an initial blush of bitterness. Surprisingly, this ESB quickly backs off and finishes smooth and lets you appreciate its complex character more than most ESBs. This smoothness lends to an immensely drinkable beer. An ardent fan of ESBs, I often have a hard time winning my freinds over. Fullers is the first bitter I've found that even non-ESB drinkers can appreciate.

05-19-2003 10:27:46 | More by wyllder
Photo of Viking


4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

Copper-hued amber body, fairly clear with faint traces of CO2. Big, fat, sticky, cream-colored head. Head retention is moderate, leaving thick, foamy patches of lace on the glass. Wonderful base of lightly bready caramel malt with spicy and floral/herbal hop notes in the smell. Bready caramel malt flavor, with a bigger presence of hops than in the aroma. Hops are herbal, slightly spicy, and fairly bitter. Aftertaste is hoppy, spicy and piney. Moderate bodied beer, and pretty smooth. Leaves a thick oily hop coating on the tongue. Truly an excellent beer, and makes me wonder if ESBs are taking over as my favorite style...

05-14-2003 13:31:42 | More by Viking
Fuller's ESB from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
91 out of 100 based on 2,337 ratings.