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Green Man ESB | Green Man Brewery

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Green Man ESBGreen Man ESB

Brewed by:
Green Man Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A malty amber ale boasting rich toasted and caramel flavors, Green Man ESB is one of our award-winning signature brews. Our blend of authentic British malts and hops creates a nutty aroma, full body, and a sweet finish. Prepare yourself for a truly exceptional interpretation of a traditional English style.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2006

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 377
Photo of mothmanscott
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear pale brown with a reddish hue producing less than a finger of shortlived, pale tan, frothy head that leaves little lacing. Aroma is toasted malt, roast, caramel, nuts faint coffee& cocoa. Not ESB like at all. Taste is toasty dark bread, roast and nutty notes, earthy hops & thin yeasty/malty fruity esters. The sip finishes with caramel, roast & nuts, fruit, some pepper with little bitterness. Afrertaste is malty, dry & astringent. Again not ESB like at all. Checking the Green Man Brewery website I found that they consider this their Amber Ale offering, which makes sense, but why the ESB designation on the label? The low bitterness is the result of 32 IBUs, also found on the website. With this said why does Beer Advocate list it as an ESB? Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low-medium carbonation, dry, creamy, silky with slight spice.

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Photo of JBowenGeorgia
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Not much experience with the ESB style so can't really compare it to others. Tried this on tap at a restaurant that primarily had the everyday mass produced brews, this was their only oddball so thought I'd give it a try. I liked the appearance, dark copper amber almost clear, not much head and what was there dissipated quickly. Smells of smokey malt and chocolate. Taste is similar with a nutty caramel finish, more sweet that bitter. I enjoyed it, I frequent that restaurant monthly so it has became my beer of choice when there.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chestnut brown with a fingernail of tan. Moderate lacing. Chocolate malt is present in the nose. I taste chocolate malt with a hint of light bittering hops in the back of the palate. The mouth is creamy and smooth.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. It pours a brown-cola color with a thin, milk-white head and very little lacing. It smells of sweet roasted malt, toast, nuts, cocoa, and caramel. The taste is rather bland: mostly malt with nuts. I'm not tasting any sweetness. It's light, thin, and easy to drink with an ABV of only 5.5% Unfortunately, this ESB lacks the character and taste of Fuller's and the other stars of the style. It's simply not very tasty. I did like the green man face on the bottle cap.

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Photo of delta490
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It's a beautiful, almost clear medium-dark brown with just a thin ring of slightly fizzy off-white head. A speckle of lacing is here and there. The aroma isn't huge, but it doesn't have some nice dark roasted malt smells, and little hints of sweetness and earth. The taste is a little more robust than the aroma but with much the same qualities. It is medium-bodied with a little too much carbonation.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz pour from a growler bought at the Casual Pint in Knoxville, TN.

Reddish brown body, with an off white head which doesn't hang around.

good malty aroma coming through.

taste is sweet and caramel, very faint suggestion of hops.

feel and mouth a heading towards thin.

Overall, not a bad pint at all, but there are certainly better options out there

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Photo of daliandragon
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of those beers I've been familiar with forever but I guess never reviewed. Dark color for an ESB, kind of a nut brown with little head. Aroma is malty and sweet with caramel and chocolate notes but not much for hops.

Light in carbonation, which is a plus, but again little hopping to balance the chocolate and even coffee flavors. This is a nice tasting ale but could either use a bit more bitterness or a style change to English Brown or Dark Ale.

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Photo of tillmac62
2.65/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

BOD 2/19/16. Pours clear, and when held to light, a beautiful garnet hue. Poor head volume, lacing and retention.

Very atypical ESB nose that has a bit of char. Underneath is a rich caramel base with hints of plum.

Almost medium body that is quite smooth with creamy aspects. Body / carbonation is very well done - just the right amount of effervescence. The middle is a fair burst while the finish is nice and prickly.

The flavor profile is good, but also atypical for the style. Missing are the robust earthy hop bitterness flavors and an actual bitterness level that is, well...bitter. This is more an amber or brown ale. Compare this to a Fullers ESB...the contrast is quite striking. Caramel with a bit of char encompasses the tasting experience. A light nuttiness lays underneath and becomes noticeable from the middle on. The finish is somewhat clean with a malty note trailing off. As an amber or brown I would rate this around 3.5, but for the ESB style, it is subpar.

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Photo of Myotus
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 47°F from a 12oz bottle (indecipherable bottle date) into a nonic pint glass. Consumed on 23Mar16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of off-white foam that dissipates into a quarter fingers worth within 1 minute and 15 seconds. Copper in color with a moderate amount of cloudiness. Rising bubbles are very subtle in quantity and medium in size. Lacing is moderate in quantity and thin.
SMELL: Mild aromas of toast, plums, figs, floral hops, and earthy hops are backed by subtle caramel, toffee, white grape, and pear aromas.
TASTE: Mild floral hop, fig, and plum flavors first step onto the palate as mild earthy hop flavors quickly follow in their footsteps. Mild flavors of white grapes, pears, and spicy hops along with subtle bitter hop, caramel, and toffee flavors make a late appearance as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Somewhere between full-bodied and medium-bodied. Carbonation is mild. This beer goes down somewhat smooth and creamy. Finishes with a mild and pleasant dryness.
NOTE: A solid brew, however, I have tasted much better (and much worse) from this style. Definitely worth a try if you ever in North Carolina, especially if you love the balanced English styles.

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Photo of ordybill
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the tap into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear, dark brown color with a small white head. The aroma is malt driven with some nuttiness in the background. The taste is pure malt heaven with some toffee tossed in.

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Photo of tlema1
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: mahogany color with a thin tan head
S: very faint malt, caramel nose
T: malty, some chocolate a little sweetness
F: medium body, good tongue coating
O: I call this a really good gateway craft beer

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Photo of hman43
3.02/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Look: It pours black, but there is some that makes it through. It has a full head with lacing.

Smell: It has a strong malt aroma that features chocolate. There are some dark fruit aromas and hints of floral hops.

Taste: It has roasted malt flavors with chocolate, floral hops, and hints of fruit.

Feel: It has high carbonation with a moderate feel to is. It is moderately bitter on the palate.

Overall: It is a bitter finishing beer that highlights the malt backbone with some fruit and floral elements.

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Photo of chinchill
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with a bottling date of 29 July 2015.

Appearance: clear, dark brown body with a somewhat weak head that still manages to leave a bit of lacing.

Aroma: appealing; nutty and malty.
Flavor: follows the aroma but with less strength and more toffee than the aroma suggests.

Feel: near medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: aromatic but slightly too weak flavored ESB.

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Photo of DrMullet
3.22/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper color. Presents with a roasted malty smell. Flavor is dominated by roasted malt with coffee overtones. More a brow ale than an ESB. Very disappointed.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated July 17, 2015 into pint glass. Hazy amber with an off-white head. Malt predominates, with an unusual nuttiness (peanuts?) and a slight hint of hops. Medium mouthfeel. Not much bitterness. Good but not outstanding.

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Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draft at Harrahs Cherokee casino. Poured a dark brown with little head. Smell was nearly indistinguishable, I don't know how else to describe it. Taste was alright but to be fair, I had just come from another brewery and enjoyed several top flight IPA's, so my palate may have been wrecked. So suffice it to say, this isn't a beer to follow an IPA. I'll give this another try one of these days.

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Photo of avalon07
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark copper color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, off white head that lasted an average amount of time. Not a whole lot of lacing.

S: A nice aroma of malt, caramel, and light hops.

T: Tasted of a good amount of malt, a little bit of hops, caramel, and a slight nuttiness in the finish. A pretty solid flavor considering ESBs are rarely overly complex beers. The caramel is a good touch.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth, lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole this is a well done beer. It won't blow you away, but it is worth trying.

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.71/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very dark amber color. Has a small white head. Has a grainy, hoppy smell to it. Taste has the perfect mix of malts. It gives a nice roasted taste to it.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours copper with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of earthy hops, bready malt and some caramel. Body is medium and smooth. Earthy hops, bready and caramel malt and ripe fruit nicely balanced on the palate. Finish is long and spicy. Great brew.

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Photo of lastmango
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Root beer color with tan thin head. Faint oak/chocolate smell. Nice malty flavor with almost no bite at the end. Expected more bitterness.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer has a nice dark amber color to it that makes it appealing. When it comes to the taste and smell, the beer is a very smokey ESB but still pretty good. The hops could be stronger and less earthy but is still enough to give it a nice hop bite.

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Photo of Griffin2
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- dark brown with a nice white head.
S- Roasty smell.
T - very nice beer. Seemed like a light version of a porter.
F- medium carbonation.
O - very easy drinking beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Deep copper red, with a big chestnut brown tone to the entire glass, deep and rich. Virtually no visible rising carbonation, even through a somewhat clear body. Head is two fingers barely tall, with a very light tan appearance. Settling with a soapy to creamy top, a little bit of ring initial lace, but fairly small. Fairly ok and solid. Very impressive body color.

Lots of toasty notes almost bordering towards classic brown ale nutty quality for the aroma. A good mild sense of caramel, even a little bit of soft vanilla wants to poke out with a bit of sweet brown spices and sugars. Fairly straight and simple but also inviting and nice. Great simple nose.

Palate comes nicely, simply, and very light with lots of airy toast. Hinting brown ale toasting bread crust aromas pop in the mid palate. A wash of cream and vanilla flavors come out nicely, but with subtlety and a simple light ale body. Crisp but also dense finish with a good coating malt feel. Nutty finish and aftertastes of brown bread wash and linger long, fresh and clean. A bit of a playful feel to with a little bit of prickly carbonation just to tease and keep it lively.

Overall, a very fun ESB and hints towards nutty English Brown with a little bit of spunk and play. Very nice.

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Photo of mchegash
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Hazy dark orange brown, with a finger of off-white head.

Smell: Dark malts, slight fruit and hops

Taste: Dark, almost porter-like malts. Slight fruit, metallic, and hops.

Feel: Medium-full bodied, smooth and crisp. Medium carbonation.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fills a Dogfish Head Fish-eye pint with clear, deep copper (SRM 18-19), while a half-inch, beige froth quickly settles to leave rings of lace.

The malt is strong and pronounced with toasted notes while hops are subdued. Lots of caramelized sugar, but otherwise lacking complexity.

Balanced between light bitterness and sweetness. Some burnt sugar supports wheat bread and tar flavors. The finish is modest and lingering. Warmth brings out cashews and butter.

A medium body with light carbonation and no alcohol. Somewhat dry with a cotton texture.

While rather simple, this is a beer to sit back and enjoy while watching a ballgame with bar food.

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Green Man ESB from Green Man Brewery
3.7 out of 5 based on 377 ratings.
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