Rainbow Trout ESB | Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub

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Rainbow Trout ESBRainbow Trout ESB
28 Ratings
Rainbow Trout ESBRainbow Trout ESB

Brewed by:
Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
North Carolina, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-21-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite of the four beers I had the chance to try today at Foothills,pours a nice deep burnt orange with a tight one finger head that left a generous amount of lace behind.Very fruity aromas along with some lighter caramel but I really like the big bursting fruitiness really woke up the senses,incredibly well balanced beer lightly sweet and very fruity with just enough hoppy dryness to round this beer out fantasticly.Session ale oh hell yeah,just very well crafted and highly quaffable a real winner.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this one as a new selection at the Flying Saucer in Charlotte. Chose this one as my "lighter" beer to start with in a build your own flight full of high gravity choices. This one hit the spot from the beginning but tailed off in the end. Nice medium body and feel. Could not grasp a distinguishing smell. Fruity notes and a bit of hops, okay choice but nothing remarkable. I think this is my first brew from Foothills.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had tonight at barleys. Poured a rich amber, with not too big of a head but a decent lacing. Smell was definatly hoppy, but in an English sorta way, none of the piney hops. Taste was very well balanced between the caramel malts and the hops. Very drinkable and went down super smooth. I would definatly have this again.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Kind of a glowing amber color with a nice sticky head that lasted the duration of the beer. Citrus fruits with an earthy and piney smell. Taste goes from bitter to sweet to piney. Good complexity to this beer. Mouthfeel is not bad but it is missing a certain bite that seems like it should be there. It's a drinkable session beer. Not a beer I'd drink regularly, but one I'll drink again.

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Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: The beer comes to me in a tumbler pint with a khaki head that slowly recedes. The head has decent retention, as it takes quite awhile to fade to just a ring. The beer itself is medium brown in color.

smell: Light smells of toasted malt with not too much depth. Some subtle English hop aromas.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the higher side of the medium range, and the body lighter, but not thin.

taste: Light, toasted malt...slightly nutty. There is a light-mod English hop flavor and a moderate cleansing bitterness in the finish. The beer seems a little watery or bland, and could use a little more malt character.

drinkability: Pretty easy. It does need some work, but it is not bad and quite drinkable. Nothing off, just needs some depth.

On-tap at the Village Draft House in Raleigh

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Photo of MTNboy
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: It is a bronze colored body. There is not much for head or lace.

Smell: A very strong floral hoppy aroma with little citrus tones.

Taste: It start off sweet with tones of caramel and toffee malts. Then the hops kick in and it gets citrus like, bitter and earthy,

Mouthfeel: A little acidic in the aftertaste and very carbonated.

Drinkability: Just average. The taste is good but I think it lacks in all other areas.

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Photo of DrMindbender
2.75/5  rDev -23.2%

Photo of Enola
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a bitter beer. It was a good beer for the style. The color was a bit darker than typical. It had a very hoppy smell. The taste was very bitter with a lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel was fairly sticky. I could drink this beer again. I would probably not session this beer due to the bitterness but overall a good effort of the style.

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Photo of kels
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour a coppery-red shade, totally clear, with no head nor lace whatsoever. Lightly visible carbonation runs throughout.

There's really no smell to speak of - just some dry, powdery malt.

Exceptionally malty, grainy and dry with a very hearty and bready profile. Slick and syrupy taste gets sweet without cloying. Aftertaste yields a berry-fruity finish. Feel is carbonated enough to stay bright and light.

Definitely highly drinkable, but not particularly exciting. Just a nice, good beer.

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Photo of cadaugherty
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Strix
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown with a decent head.

Smells quite floral and nutty.

Depth of flavor is good on this, though I'm not a huge ESB fan. Lots of hop, spice and nutty notes in this. Fades off in a bitter finish reminiscent of tea.

Mouthfeel adequate.

Nothing earth shattering, but interesting.

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Photo of kkipple
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this on tap in my hometown.

This is really a basic beer, so the review will be short. Showed up with a good-sized bone white head that stuck around a while, capping a delectable looking pint of deep amber bitter.

I get a slightly musty malt smell, along with a good dose of hop bitterness and a vague mineral water characteristic. Not much smell here, typical of most bitters.

The taste is fine: roasted caramel malts and bittering citrus hops balance this crisp, dry beer. Rather unassuming, could use a bit more hop character in my mind. Finishes light and clean, quite drinkable, but nothing special.

Rainbow Trout ESB is an easy beer to session, but didn't wow me like some of Foothills beers have.

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Photo of ncstateplaya
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of methtlcai
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Missed the BA Event at Foothills so I went the week after as a make-up...The first beer I tried was the ESB, and I wasn't really impressed. Poured a medium amber, but with practically NO head and NO lacing to be seen. Aroma was ok, faintly sweet and bready malt witha hint of herbal hops but I had to keep sniffing it and sniffing it to get an aroma, nothing leapt out at me. Tasted kind of watery and bland, you really had to work and concentrate to pull out distinguishing flavors of bready malt. The bitterness of the beer was a delight, and really grabbed at you, but it seemed like there was lots of bittering hops used, but not enough aroma/flavor hops at the end of the boil. Overall a lackluster ESB- musta gotten a different batch than oberon and AK

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the brewpub the other night. It is an amber colored beer. It had a small head, that dissipated quickly and left some minimal lacing. It smelled very pine like, so I was excited about the hops. It tastes hoppy at first and then just at the very end I tasted some maltiness. It left some aftertaste but nothing unpleasant. This beer is clean and refreshing, very enjoyable. I would highly recommend trying this one. Of the Foothills regular line up this is one of my favorites along with Hoppyum.

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Photo of brentk56
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a hazy rust colored body; small head and little lacing

Smell: Slight grainy aroma

Taste: Mild caramel flavors on the front end are joined by some piney bitterness after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A well-made beer but on the low end with respect to ABV for an ESB; the nice bitter finish is very enjoyable, however

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Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Onenote81
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Came out a deep amber color with no head at all. Some spotty lacing stuck as I sipped, but otherwise, pretty unremarkable. Smelled of slight hoppiness, earth, and caramel. Mouthfeel was crisp like all their other brews. Flavor was decent. Some subtle hop bite that finished dull and earthy as well. Aftertaste was slightly sweet from the malts I assume. Not a bad beer, but pretty average.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer arrived at the table crytsl clear light brown with a wispy and almost nonexistent head that did nothing for the glass in terms of lacing.

The aroma was malty with a strong cramel and a lightly earthy aroma which was also slightly fruity.

The flavor was nicely bittered with a light caramel and a mineral flavor profile and just a bit of harshness to the bittering. The beer was also lighly fruity.

The finish was dry with a lasting bit of bittering into the aftertaste. The body was medium and nicely done. The bit of harshness on the palate at the end of the flavor and into the aftertaste really detracts in the drinkability of this beer.

Pint at Flying Saucer in Charlotte.

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Photo of Squacher
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of EasyReader
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of Oxymoron
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tried on site in Winston-Salem. Rainbow Trout ESB came out with coppery brown color. A clear color with a bronze glow that was especially noticeable when held to the light. A great head retention and decent lacing, although both did not last throughout the tasting.

The smell was noticeable with a good representation of more earthy and toned down hops. Some limited malt aromas with more base scents then anything.

The taste was good. A bit of a surprise with more complex malt tastes then the smell would indicate. I could taste some limited crystal and lighter roasted malt flavors. Gave it more of a bready quality to it. The malt was present at front but mixed at the end with some toned down hops. Although the hops were not very strong and were overshadowed by the malt. What taste at the end was slightly fruity.

The beer had a medium body. I think I would have liked to see more balance between the malt and hops but overall it is a still an enjoyable beer. It suppose to be an ESB but it still could be a good English Pale.

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Photo of jmaninacan
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz draft pour on biggie beer night at Charlotte Saucer. Served a crisp copper with a thin head that diminishes to a ring and leaves spotty lacing. Aroma is caramel malts in front of subdued hops. The taste provides a nice balance of caramel and sweet malts and subtle pine hops. The beer is light, smooth and easy-drinking. This is certainly an enjoyable session beer.

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Photo of khiasmus
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Slightly cloudy dark amber with a tight, fluffy white head that settles too quickly...

S- Some caramel malt supported by distinctly piney hops, to balance the nose quite nicely.

T- Some slight caramel maltiness, but not nearly as well-balanced as the nose- the hops are strong and overbearing, and are added to by overcarbonation, for the overall effect to be a very gassy, citrusy, hoppy beer.

M- Overcarbonated, but clean into the dry, astringent finish.

D- Too effervescent to have several... a decent slow-drinking beer, but after other Foothills offerings, this one is not as good.

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Rainbow Trout ESB from Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 28 ratings