Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESB | Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

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Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESBNickel Brook Equilibrium ESB
48 Ratings
Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESBNickel Brook Equilibrium ESB

Brewed by:
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sammy on 05-09-2014

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 |  Reviews: 10
Photo of Mysticmage
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from can into a tulip. Pours orange amber with minimal collar here. nose is typical for red ale -coffee and burnt caramel. Taste is ok nothing too complex here. Was hoping for more.

 188 characters

Photo of bryanzk
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of nullbort
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bixby1971
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of eberesford
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep amber with a slight haze, a moderate head and lacing. Aroma: citrus, bubble gum, honey. Flavour: slightly tart, toffee, honey, bubble gum, slightly grassy with s bitterness that lingers. Long mouth - a flavour that lingers over slightly effervescent carbonation.

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Photo of Mousel
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of josanguapo
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From Labirratorium. In Ikea's pint glass. At lunch, with rice soup + chicken in sauce. Smooth, with plenty of delicious toffee and a perfect level of strong bitterness

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Photo of GoHabsGo
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of grahuba
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of StormAles
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JavierGC
4.75/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of derdtheterd
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Boo-urns
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of yancot
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jotora
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of andrenaline
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jeffo
2.37/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Got this at the LCBO this past summer

From a can into a snifter
IBU: 43
Hops: Magnum, Admiral, Brambling Cross & Cascade

APPEARANCE: Pours a big, 3+ finger, looser, fizzy and foamy cream head with great retention. Opaque burnt umber with piles of carbonation. Head eventually fades to a full thick foamy cap leaving some foamy lacing on the glass. A full cap remains until the end leaving some foamy lacing on the glass as it empties. Lots and lots of carbonation everywhere.

SMELL: Pale malts, toffee, some bubble gum and earthy hop notes. Some grainy aromas on the nose as well.

TASTE: Grassy flavors with pale malts and toffee up front. A slight tart note with bubble gum at the swallow. A bold and lingering finish of toffee sweetness, bubble gum, grassy hop bitterness and some grainy malts.

PALATE: Medium body and very high levels of carbonation. Overly airy and carbonated on the palate. Goes down foam with a big belch and finishes dry. Some bitterness lingers.

OVERALL: This was mediocre at best. Too grainy and a hint of tartness in the flavor profile, while the carbonation was simply off-putting. These guys normally do nice stuff, but this one was a rare miss. Pass on this.

 1,198 characters

Photo of polloenfuego
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DaveBar
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the brewery but can't pin down the exact cost. Imagine it's in around that $3.00 mark or so for a 473ml can. Served at 5deg C in a draught glass

A- Open well and pours a 1" high off white head that is gone within a minute or two. Medium brown colour and filtered clear

S- Nice malt. Slight citrus.

T- Malty good. Enjoyable bitterness and mellow hops. Slight spices like cinnamon but very little. Just a hint. Nice blend. Well melded.

M- Dry and crisp. Creamy going down

O- Very good brew. Nice balance and easy drinking. Will buy again!

Food Pairing

This nice little brew went well with...... Good 'ol fish and chips! An English style brew for an English style old time dinner.


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Photo of fortyfield
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jadjunk
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"Balance is finding the point between two opposing forces for a more desirable outcome: Equilibrium. We crafted our Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESB with balance as the primary objective. Equilibrium has a great malt character and full body that you expect in an ESB. We balance it with a generous dosage of hops that gives Equilibrium a distinct fruity flavor and appropriate level of bitterness." Brewed in the style of an Extra Special Bitter (ESB), available in 16 oz. tallboy cans as part of a sampler pack.

Poured from a 16 oz. can to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy frothed head of a pastel-white tone over a mildly hazy bright copper body with very light carbonation and high clarity. Retention is average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Biscuity malt body with soft nutty and grainy character, with an understated sweetness, and a very fruity yeast presence, clean and lightly bitter. 3.5

(Taste) The flavor largely follows the nose, with a biscuity, nutty and moderately dry malt profile, complete with a clean but juicy fruity yeast profile. Altogether, it's an enjoyable and very drinkable ESB with quite a bit of dryness to it- the hops are a bit too faint to pick up much on them. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly oily, clean, very dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a mellow frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, shy of medium overall. Balance is slightly nutty bitter and dry malty over sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters to note. 3.75

(Overall) ESB isn't always my favorite style, as I don't often find the balance they seem to tout, with there generally being an understatement of sweetness and a dryness that ranges from spot-on to distracting. The dryness of this ale is slightly above what I'd consider balanced, with the nutty and fruity characters of the yeast drying things a bit, but the cleanliness makes it a very easy-drinking beer. Altogether, I'd place this somewhere in the middle of the road for ESB beers. It's probably not worth going out of your way to buy a variety pack just to get to sample this one. 3.75

Better Bitters Brewing Co.'s
Equilibrium ESB: Extra-Special Bitter

 2,218 characters

Photo of Mack
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rickfos
3.01/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of kelvarnsen
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of thehyperduck
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473 mL can included in their current sampler pack; one of two beers contained within that I've not yet reviewed. Packaged Jun 30 2015 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a foggy copper-amber colour, generating one centimetre of foamy, smoker's-teeth-yellow-coloured head. It fades away fast, leaving behind few remnants - a sickly-thin collar of bubbles here; a few wisps on the surface there. The aroma is relatively subdued in nature, offering up notes of doughy, biscuity malts and some toffee sweetness, along with hints of toasted nuts, candied citrus, red berries and earthy, leafy hops.

Tasty stuff; as the name suggests, this beer's malt and hop flavours are well-proportioned. Some toffee sweetness is joined by a myriad of other flavours - mostly doughy and biscuity malts, with toasted nuts and orchard fruit following on its heels. The back end of the profile features tea-leafy English hops, accompanied by hints of orange citrus, grass and some earthy, roasted malt bitterness. The aftertaste is subtle, with hints of pithy grapefruit astringency lasting beyond the lingering malt sweetness. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, with restrained carbonation levels that gently agitate the palate, resulting in a smooth, slippery mouthfeel. Quite easy to drink; this should appeal on some level to the majority of English ale fans.

Final Grade: 3.9, a B+. Nickel Brook's Equilibrium ESB is an interesting take on this classic British style. It possesses a somewhat more profound bitterness than I tend to expect from this style - with the use of North American hops (e.g. Cascade) empowering it with a citrusy, earthy twist that complements the grassier flavours of the more traditional Euro hops. Throw in some toasty, nutty malts, and I find the combination to be pretty darn satisfying. If they market this as a single at a reasonable price, I could see myself occasionally selecting it over old staples such as Wells Bombardier or Hobgoblin. Definitely worth a look.

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Nickel Brook Equilibrium ESB from Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 48 ratings