ESB Special Ale - Ska Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
ESB Special AleESB Special Ale

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BA SCORE
81
good

358 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 358
Reviews: 177
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 13.45%
Wants: 15
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bitterbill on 10-26-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 358 | Reviews: 177 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pascilla
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of EvanWilliams
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.19/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Excellent white foam disippates into excellent white lacing on top of the beer. Beer is copper like all good ESBs.

Smell: Fruity molasses and caramel. Very syrupy. Heavy notes of vanilla.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Brown sugar in the head. Some raisins and other dried fruit in the background. Finishes with a spicy sizzle of black pepper. Feels a bit flat, but has enough body.

Overall Drinkability: I didn't expect a whole lot out of this, since ESBs normally don't wow me, but I would drink a few of these with no problem.

Photo of linnymtu
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of gleemonger
4.58/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear organge yellow color with a super effervescent look and a large creamy white head that dissapates quickly, but leaves a small cap of head throughtout and some good lacing.

Grainy and sweet malts, with not much of a hop aroma. Very English from first impression, as it should be with this one. Light and refreshing smelling.

Like the aroma, very light biscuity and grainy malt taste, not as sweet as I thought it would be. Just a touch of some good citrusy malts to balance it out. Very nice for the style.

Light body with moderately heavy carbonation. Very refreshing and makes me want to sit out by the pool with a six pack of these for sure. Very creamy, which is a nice bonus.

I've come to really love this brewery and this was no disappointment at all, given the subdued nature of this style. They totally pulled it off as far as I'm concerned - it tastes very refreshing and very British from start to finish. I could easily drink this one all day given the desire. I don't understand the low marks on this one, frankly, unless people were just expecting something other than an ESB.

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +19%

Photo of denver10
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an orange golden with a nice foamy cream colored head and decent lacing. Aroma is floral, doughy, caramel, light toffee,a little lemon and a kiss of some grassy hops. Flavor is bready and caramel along with some mildly bitter grassiness and maybe a littler herbal. A crisp, somewhat creamy, medium bodied. Overall, surprised I hadn't rated this prior but at least finally getting around to it. Definitely a solid brew by Ska one of my favorite of their regular offerings.

Photo of timontheroad
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of sooner961
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Craft in a can: the unskunkable beer. Unfortunately, there’s no birthdate on this beer, so I’m still not sure this one is in perfect condition; at any rate, it’s good to see a can of Ska in Indiana.

A: Crystal clear golden-orange, kissed by the light no matter the angle. A rush of fizz produces a meager head of tan bubbles, which disappears almost entirely in a matter of seconds; globs of lacing all the way around.

S: Sweet malts give off a candy-like aroma; with notes of caramel, candy corn, butterscotch, and the unmistakable toffee aroma of Maris Otter all acting in harmonious intensity, there’s no denying that this is a malty, malty beer. Complementing the heavier syrup flavors are some hops: cherry and lemon-lime, adding to the candy character.

T: A strong base of toasted malt, oak, and butter-brown sugar, all reminiscent of autumn food and drink – a distinction cemented by allspice and toffee flavors. This palate is unapologetically malt-forward, relishing in the thick sweetness of such a low alcohol beer. After a fading transition of crisp cereal grain and biting vanilla liqueur, a dry spell comes on, with hops tasting of astringent black tea and catty lemon peel. Finishes in that subtly dry state, but with an air of burnt toast aftertaste.

M: Considering the ABV and the packaging, this has a relatively full texture. While it’s by no means as creamy as a many ESBs, it’s certainly not watery. Low carbonation.

O: An enjoyable can of English-style ale, packing a ton of flavor into just 12 oz. of low-alcohol product. If getting a six-pack didn’t involve crossing state lines, I’d have no qualms about buying a good bit of this.

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of dmlasp
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of ButterflyBethie
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of StaveHooks
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz can served in a Sam Adams perfect pint

A - Pours a clear amber body with fleeting head.

S - Grainy biscuit, cereal malt, red wheat, clean bread, slightly toasted.

T - Follows the nose with cereal grains, lightly toasted caramel, moderate citrus hops wrap around providing a solid bitterness. The grainy malt holds strong against the semi-aggresive hops. Some floral hops and vanilla come out when warmed up. Finishes dry.

M - Creamy carbonation, grainy, wet the dry on the finish. Light to medium body.

A solid all around ESB. Hops are more pronounced than it's English counterparts. The citrus plays off the malt well and makes for a hopped up bready ESB.

Photo of Hollanthropist
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of facundoCNB
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

a clean copper pour with a finger of bright white head which left behind some nice lacing and a nice white foamy ring around the rim of the glass. the smell is of malt mostly, tea leaves, slight bitterness reminiscent of grapefruit peel. the flavor, again is mostly malt, not getting much of the bitterness until the aftertaste, but it isn't of grapefruits this time around it is subtle and almost grassy herbal like from the hops. medium in body with mid carbonation. this is a decent esb from ska, i can see this honestly being excellent on cask, however out of a can (which i think is a bit too cold) is not as great as it probably could be.

Photo of williamjbauer
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of blakelive784
2.75/5  rDev -23%

Photo of Duvel
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of nzerbe
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of ssimpson89
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of alexipa
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of blinker97
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of L_E_X
4/5  rDev +12%

ESB Special Ale from Ska Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 358 ratings.