Houdini ESP | Asheville Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Asheville Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheBierBand on 06-19-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 3
Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really enjoyed this brew. After going for the Marzen earlier, I wanted something with a bigger hop profile. This beer opens with a stongly flavored, but lightly textured Brittish malt base; showing caramelized malts with a peat-ey character to go along with the toffee taste. Bold American hop presence soon countered and balanced well through to the finish. Spicy, floral, and lightly toasty flavors persist and ride on a firm, medium body. Laced well with a thin foamstand even late. Finishes on a slight hoppy, spicy note, but otherwise very clean.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I finally managed to make it into Asheville brewing again, and this time I had a mission. I was going to try their flagship beer, the Houdini! The last couple times I was in there for some reason or another I just did not try it, always went with another brew. This time however, I was all about this, and quickly ordered on up the moment sat down.

A - Poured a very nice, albeit clear golden amber. A decent inch high head was present on the top as it was brought over to the table. This settled in rather quickly and left behind only a touch of lace ringing the top of the glass. Lots of visible carbonation was evident streaming up from the bottom of the glass throughout the session. A tiny bit of a residual side glass lace, but nothing spectacular.

S - Aroma was fresh, a decent amount of hops playing around in there. More of a fresh cut grass or flowers smell more then anything. Some decent wheat aroma could be detected along with some light fruit. It was a decent smalling ale all around, and more hopy then anything, but what probably detracted the most from it was that it was a little weak. You really had to search for this smell.

T - Very clean and crisp. Your classic pale ale from start to finish. he first sip was total hops, but not the deep citrus bomb west coast style, more of a light hoppiness. As it warmed more of a muted grain or cereal like flavor started to meander in and out, but the overall flavor was very light and sessionable. This was a good classic pale ale. Finish was very tight. Good long lingering dry finish, went well with dinner.

M - Very smooth, with really great carbonation. It had that light almost effortless feel to it that just washed down with ease. Not watered nor was it oily in any way. Just a good crisp, clean refreshing pale ale.

D - Awesome, this was so sessionable it wasn't even funny. I could have had a pitcher of this, and was actually tempted to. It was damn fine on a hot day and I am sure would have been a perfect outdoor session beer.

Overall I was quite impressed with this. I love pale ales and it takes a decent effort to impress me with this style anymore, but this worked very well. If you are in the area and can get some, definatly try it. It is a classic session ale.

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Photo of TheBierBand
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at "Broo-er's Village" at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN. This festival occurs every year in Mid June.... 4 days....100 bands... 11 stages... 80,000 people....GREAT TIME! Each year, they have a tent set up with various microbrews to sample. The 2007 "Broo-er's Village" had offerings from Rogue Brewing, Brooklyn Brewery, Asheville Brewery, Magic Hat, Flying Dog Brewery, and a few others.

The Houdini ESP (Extra Special Pale Ale) was served up in a plastic cup with about 1/2" off-white head. The liquid was light amber.

The smell was average.... nothing really leaped out at me. It has a slight mix of malt and hop nose.

The taste was OK. Less hoppy that their IPA but still noticeable as a premium beer. The slight malt balanceoffset the hop bitterness and made for a smooth finish.

Mouthfeel was on the thin side... but appropriate for a pale ale. Light, crisp, refreshing.

Drinkability: One could enjoy this beer all day if that was your thing.... I prefer a more robust beer, but that is not the style of a pale ale. Right on style.... recommended.

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Houdini ESP from Asheville Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.
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