Fuller's ESB - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
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Ratings: 2,232 | Reviews: 1,246 | Display Reviews Only:
4.39/5 rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Cellar temperature, and in an imperial pint glass, naturally.
A golden-orange amber sort of color here, totally clear, with a one-finger white head that goes away fast.
Its aroma is a light, but very nice one, of caramel, orange, lemon zest, and maybe a dash of vanilla.
The flavor has a real nice little initial citrus bite, with a bit of the caramel coming through in the middle. It finishes outstandingly with a long-lingering bready biscuit aftertaste accompanied by a really clean and crisp, bitter hoppiness. Some of that caramel malt hangs around, too.
I'd have to agree with the label that the ale is full-bodied for sure. It really asserts itself on my palate and stays there, despite the fact that it's somewhat light compared to the imperial insanity being brewed these days.
It's just a ridiculously flavorful and satisfying ale. I can see why it's stuck around as a classic.
Serving type: bottle
06-12-2014 16:47:34 | More by Kuaff
3.98/5 rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
A: Pours a crystal clear copper with a short light tan head. Head fades to a thin coating that hangs around. a little lacing
S: Bold malty, spicy aroma of candied orange with a mild floral/woody presence. Hops are very subdued.
T: Bright notes of orange and caramel with a bit of ginger and English tea supported by a sweet bread undertone. The hops seem to exist almost completely in the bitterness but come through as a bit of a woody note. Semi-dry finish.
M: Low carbonation with a medium light body and a slightly creamy finish.
O: Wow. This is how an English bitter is supposed to taste. The malt profile is bright and distinct with a well balanced bitterness that tingles the back of the tongue as it finishes. The complexity of this beer allows you to pick out the different ingredients which present themselves in a layered fashion. The low carbonation that is the hallmark of English ales allows you to pick up the complex flavors easily. This is indeed a perfect example of an English session ale. I can and do drink a lot of this beer,
Serving type: bottle
06-08-2014 23:24:15 | More by slusk
4.26/5 rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A: A copper color. Very clear with about a finger of dense creamy looking head with nice tinges of lacing making their way down the glass with each sip.
S: A bit of English hops with sweet toffee and caramel malt being most prominent. Maybe a bit of pear and apple esters as well but nothing overdone.
T: My god fullers knows how to make an amazing beer ! Caramel malts that border on toffee like flavors make up the base of the beer while spicy and slightly earthy , maybe woodsy hops provide a nice counter balance to the sweetness. A touch of a light citrus zest comes through with the hops as well. The yeast lends its self to some traditional English esters too. Pear and apple , as in the aroma, are what come to mind. Perfect balance as well. A bit of a butterscotch flavors blends into the caramel flavors nicely as well.
M: Perfect carbonation for the style as well. Low enough to drink a few of ( even though its a bit strong for that) and not prickly or harsh. Fantastic body as well creamy but not overly thick or cloying.
O: One of the best beers I've has in a long time. Complex but easily drinkable. This , as far as I'm concerned, is the definition of an ESB.
Serving type: bottle
06-08-2014 10:13:12 | More by Haydn-Juby
4.34/5 rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
My first review, so I'm going with what might be my favorite. There may be better tasting beers, but I think Fuller's ESB might be the best all-around. It's incredibly drinkable and has balance in every aspect - malty/hoppy, boozey/chuggable, fizzy/smooth...
This not only a great representation of a British Ale/ESB but It might be the finest representation of "beer" in general. I think the ability to hammer down 3 or 4 or a dozen is a critical component. If I had to choose any beer for just one pint, I'd probably take a Pliny or a Stone product. If I had to chose just one beer to have for the rest of time, It'd be this one. There's a reason this brewery has been around forever.
The lingering impression is that this beer is clean. Clean, bright flavors come through because of the way the good, mineraly water carries the classic British malts and hops. Yeast is in there, but it too is balanced and not overly sweaty and estery. Even the bottle and label are part of the experience.
I might babble about the ratings on each aspect at some point, but I really think the whole of a beer is much greater than the sum of it's parts. Hopefully this narrative inspires someone to go out and try this classic for the first time. Do pay attention to the freshness, though. It does decline eventually.
Serving type: bottle
06-06-2014 02:13:38 | More by dieter172
4.38/5 rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Ah, I finally get to review one of my all-time favorites. Here goes:
A: Light-brown with a nice, frothy head. The lacing leaves something to be desired, as the head quickly dissipates, but remember that this is supposed to be a traditional British ale, not an American craft beer with tons of protein.
S: Beautiful. Little hop character but lots of caramel/crystal malt. The malt isn't overpowering, however. Rather, it lightly touches the olfactory system and merely invites you to take a deeper plunge into its heavenly fields of crystal barley.
T: Again, beautiful. Hardly any hop character, which is normal for the style. What little hops this beer has are beautifully integrated into a much stronger malt backbone, one full of crystal and amber malts. This beer tastes of toffee (tons of it), caramel (tons of it), butterscotch and chocolate. It gives one a feeling of warmth as he imbibes on its sweet nectar.
M: Very light yet full-bodied. It's hard to describe. While the beer glides down the tongue with little thickness, the taste of the darker sugars more than corrects any watery characteristic the beer may have.
O: Love it. Highly recommended on tap at a good British alehouse. If they know what they're doing and keep the tap lines clean, you should have a great experience.
Serving type: on-tap
06-03-2014 20:47:08 | More by leantom
Fuller's ESB from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
91 out of 100 based on 2,232 ratings.