Seven Giraffes
Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Seven GiraffesSeven Giraffes
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Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #69
Ranked #25,963
3.81 | pDev: 10.76%
Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom
Very Good
Seven GiraffesSeven Giraffes
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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 82 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Dentist666 from Russian Federation

3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into pint.
Pours clear golden with off-white head. Good retention.
Smell - lemony, elderberry, floral.
Taste - malty with lemon zest, elderberry tones and thin hop finish.
Light body and soft carbonation. Decent.

Dec 28, 2015
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle with a BB date stamp of July 2016.

Pours with a bright, clear body topped by a good head that leaves fine lacing.

Aroma: Floral and herbal, but dominated by earthy English hops and lemon zest. .

Flavor: like the aroma, but with a nice, bready malt base.

O: this ESB is much like a pale ale.

Apr 16, 2015
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StJamesGate from New York

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright brass with stiff, steady white carpet. 4
Fresh white pan crust with stewed peaches on the nose - mouth-watering. 4
Sold honey and Digestives up front, some orchard fruit, then floral, nectar, spicy hops. 4
Peanuty end and long, numbing sandalwood linger.
Halfway to medium, oily, smooth. 4

-- Malts stay light and cookie-light and there’s dimension to the Brit hops. Elderflower is seamless. A bit thin and summery, and I don’t get the zest, but a quality best bitter. 4

Dec 16, 2014
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thierrynantes from France

3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beer bottle (50 cl.) purchased from Cavavin, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : golden amber color, with white foamy head.
Smell : malty, hoppy and grassy aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : malty and caramel flavours, dry and fruity finish.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Extra Strong Bitter (ESB), brewed with 7 varieties of malted barley.

Mar 09, 2013
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mick303 from Canada

4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass this is a nice copper gold colour with a compact foamy head, showing really good lacing.

Smell straight-off has a nice fresh piney hops, mildly citrusy. Definitely smell like American West Coast varieties. Strong apple and floral character also. Delicious. Some solid malt backing it up, very well balanced.

Taste is fresh and mildly spicy. Hops have a really strong bitter contribution. Malt shows some bready character, apple, and a strong citrus and floral contribution. All quite intense flavours, with a respectable depth of complexity. Finish tends toward a full bodied bitterness.

Mouthfeel is appropriatly carbonated, with a good bite to it, but very good balance, it has a moderate body buy is refreshing and highly drinkable.

It is definitely a bit more raucous and hop-forward, sacrificing some balance for some bitter IPA character, but deliciously enjoyable. This is really interesting and quality stuff. Balance is pretty good, mellows nicely. Satisfying, refreshing and worth a try if you come across it.

Nov 19, 2012
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Hanglow from Scotland

3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle Aldi.

Pours clear copper with nice head.

Floral, leather, sweet caramel nose

Taste brings cereal malt, touch of light toffee, some zestier hops, elderflower is there.. Lowish bitterness, good body.

It's a very nice, restrained beer and a good example of what Williams Bros have done well for decades now.

Edit: Bought a fe of these recently on a whim and 7 years later still a very well brewed beer. Good if you like your stronger bitters lighter in colour and a bit more vibrant in taste than some.

Nov 13, 2012
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flyingpig from Scotland

3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light amber orange colour with a massive, foamy white head about two inches tall and with good retention and some nice lacing.

Sweet malts right off the bat with a good hop aroma following close behind. There is some caramel malts and some roasted sugar along with some toffee and spice. I can also detect an earthy malt base and some sort of nutty aroma.

Strong, sweet malts to kick things off with along with some caramel and toffee as well as a touch of light hops. There is some citrus and a tiny hint of fruit as well. There is plenty of bitterness towards the back end of the beer along with some biscuit and mild earthy malts.

Medium, almost full in body but with medium carbonation and a lot of bitterness to it towards the end which seems to linger for an age and feels quite dry.

A nice bitter with great malts and a solid taste that hints ever so slightly at fruity undertones and goes down well.

1001 Beers:

Jun 19, 2012
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CwrwAmByth from England

3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a light-ish amber colour with a head that quickly disappears.

Smells grainy but refreshing and hoppy. Can't get the elderflower.

Tastes very wholesome, which must be the wheat, and overall very balanced and refreshing between the hops and malts.

Overall a very nice wholesome drink.

Mar 09, 2012
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charlatan from Scotland

3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent slightly off white head above gold to amber beer with loads and loads of visible bubbles. Hmmm...well, the wife picked out elderflower in the nose straight away (without looking at the bottle) but I merely came up with grassy and lemon. Smells sweet and refreshing.

Tastes very sweet but there is a very pleasant floral hoppy element and a refreshing degree of carbonation. Not a beer I'd like to drink a lot of (too sweet) but definitely a pleasant brew.

Mar 04, 2012
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smcolw from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a decent head that collapses in the middle. Leaves plenty of chunky lace on the glass. The broth is a golden color. Clear. 

The nose is a little more earthy than the Harvest Sun.  Otherwise, I'd say it is very similar: more grainy than hoppy. 

Despite the color, this has a darker malt flavor than one would expect. Quite dry with elements of a musty barn (in a good way). The hop shows up at the swallow and creates a lasting aftertaste.  Impressive fullness in the mouth; the carbonation, a bit on the high side, provides compensation for this. 

Sep 04, 2011
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was pretty good I thought. The beer poured as a golden yellow color, the head was foamy and white. The smell was kind of floral and citrusy. Not what I was expecting for this beer. The taste of the beer is smooth and has a nice bitterness to it. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side. Overall pretty good brew, worthy checking out.

Jun 21, 2011
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CanuckRover from Canada

3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice gold. Big foamy head stays around for the last sip. Looks like moderate carbonation.

Big garden aroma. Piney, herbal, citrussy, grassy, seems to cover all the standard hop aromas. A wonderful hint of sweet, lively, malt behind all those aromatic hops.

The aroma is a pretty good tell for this one. It's a very hoppy beer, but incredibly well balanced. The hops mingle effortlessly with the floral notes and bitter zest creating a flavourful bitterness that keeps things interesting. Just as the hops seem to be taking things a tad far all that lovely malt kicks in, providings a good mix of deep caramel and biscuit with some good grainy notes. A satisfying dry fruity finish.

This is a very good beer. Well made and, like all the Williams' beers it has a wonderful sense of place.

Dec 27, 2010
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bark from Sweden

3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The smell is fresh bitter and hoppy with American citric flavours. Sweet malty notes with some flowers/fruits.

The colour is gold (16 EBC), the liquid clear. The finger thick head is white and airy. Some lacing occurs.

The taste is sweet and a bit earthy. Some flowery notes and a growing clean bitterness. Fresh hoppy flavours of pine, resin and green apples. The bitterness fades a bit in the aftertaste, leaving room for fruity notes of elderflowers, green apples and coconut. A light bitterness and a dry hint of green bananas in the finish.

The carbonation is strong and lager-like. The small bubbles are fresh. The liquid is a bit light.
An interesting take on the blond ale style. There are fruity notes there, but they stay in the background.

Nov 19, 2010
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Evil_Pidde from Sweden

3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is dark golden with a large white, kind of soapy head. Nice lacings.

S: Light roasted somewhat sweet caramell malt together with bitter hops as well as floral. Kind of dry fruityness - green apples and citrus.

T: Dry bitter hops together with sweet caramell malt. Toffee. Spices. Some butter and nuts. Lots of citric floral notes.

M: Long dry bitter aftertaste. Full body and medium carbonation.

D: ESB is usually a nice style - this beer is no exception.

Nov 12, 2010
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Zimbo from Scotland

3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Because this beer, like the entire Williams Brother range, is so easy to find here I have in the past been guilty of not giving them their deserved do.
Full white frothy thickish head. Not much beading whatsoever making the head retention a bit of a mystery. There is some orange/lemon rind on the nose holding back some malt.

To taste a pretty dry lingering bitterness which is never intrusive or demanding but firm and strong. Can't really detect much of a morish quality as claimed on the label but it is very tasty and the distinctive bitterness is a real grower as it goes down. Those Williams Brothers have another winner on their hands.

Nov 05, 2010
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rarbring from Sweden

3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is clear, light amber, an off-white head, some curtains and lacing.

The smell is sweet, lemon red grape-fruit and some nuts.

The taste is upfront toffee sweet, the rather pure grape-fruit juice and peel.

Medium high carbonation, rather spritzy and watery, a light dryness.

A good thirst quencher.

Oct 17, 2010
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BeerShirts from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Golden yellow, had about an inch or so of head on it after pouring, it drops slowly but does not stuck to the sides or anything
S- hops, lightly roasted malt, spices, tad bit of a citrus in the end of it lightly lemon smelling
T- Very complex tasting, it is hard to pic just one flavor. Citrus hoppy taste, the main body of the taste is spices and malt, then almost a caramel and bitter after taste.
M- A lot thicker then expected. Not much on the carbination which works probably better for the complex taste, you can have more at once while trying to figure out what all your tasting
D- This is an interesting beer to say anything. I have enjoyed it and if I come by it again while shopping I will for sure be buying a couple more bottles

Jun 17, 2010
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mdagnew from Northern Ireland

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from The Vintage, Antrim...

Poured a nice amber orange colour. Slightly off white head poured nice and thick and meringue like then faded slowly to a decent light covering.. barely any carbonation.... some very light patchy lacing..

Aroma - Quite a lot of resiny hop notes, spicy / juicy fruits (grapefruits, oranges, apples and some pears), light toasted biscuity maltiness, light caramel sweetness, some woody / nutty notes, earthy traces, some saltiness, quite floral...

Taste - Good peppery / spicy hop bitterness, toasted biscuity maltiness, light caramel sweetness, honey, faint nuttiness, spicy bitter fruits (oranges, apples, some figs), light medicinal notes, strong floral / perfume hints

Feel - Pretty sharp and dry... light / medium bodied...a pretty sessionable brew at just 5.1%...

Overall - An OK ESB.. There are much better examples out there... worth a try...

Dec 16, 2009
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tatoodkelt from Maryland

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My buddy and fellow BA 46and2 scored me a couple of Williams Brothers brews that arent normally available here since he works for the importer. Thanks again Dan!

Consumed 9/13/09- from notes.

Brown 500ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Light, clear amber with a tight one finger whote head. Great retention and lacing. Some mild carbination bubbles fueled the head the whole time.

S- Wow! Alot more going on here than I can identify. Very deep, floral, light citrus fruit, almost a molassas sweetness.

T- Same as the nose but more fruits, more hops and and over all roasty flavor. Everything seemed very well balanced and blended.

M- Medium bodied, slick yet kind of chewy. Mild carbination tingle gives it a little bite at the finish.

D- This would make a good session beer. Perfect for a late summer day.

I have to note that I am not normally a fan of hoppy brews but this one was definitely an exception. Another winner from the Williams Bros.

Sep 15, 2009
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wl0307 from England

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Tesco supermarket, this beer claims to win the "Best Beer" status in the "Tesco Drinks Awards". Coming in a slim 500ml brown bottle, BB NOV 09, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.
Note: "7 Giraffes" apparently means this beer being brewed with 7 types of barley malts, on top of "fresh cone hops from around the world" and such interesting ingredients as elderflower and lemonzest.

A: dark reddish amber, very mild carbonation supports a rather thin layer of off-white foamy head lasting throughout the drink.
S: extremely hoppy with a complex profile that rings of bell of so many different kinds of hops - peaches, flowery notes, citrus, honey, lemon-juice candy, caramelised lemon slices, sweet herbs, and elderflower on top of an integrated malt backdrop that somehow retains a good level of sweetness with plenty of biscuity elements to enjoy. Overall, intensely hoppy notes come before the sweet maltiness, showing a good structure.
T: grapefruity and elderflowery tastes come first, zesty bitterness follows with rightfully pronounced flowery taste, plus some faint hints of raisins or sour-sweet dried berries, powdery herbs, and a flow of deepening aromatic bitterness creeping down the palate... Malts are quite significant in playing a solid but never imposing backbone with more biscuity flavour than other characters from, well, "6 other giraffes", while a firmly premium-bitter-like autumn-fruity maltiness as well as some random nuttiness also linger in the background. Throughout the drink, the bitter edge of lemon zests and elderflower do make their presence deeply felt, but never OTT.
M&D: softly carbonated, medium-bodied, very easy-drinking for a 5.1%abv. premium bitter. This beer is as tasty and enjoyable as Williams Brothers' other product using elderflower - "Good Times", and, although it's hard to discern whichever "giraffes" are packed in this ale, the malt mixture echoes the nicely blended hop profile just nicely. Truly deliciously hoppy IMO!

Sep 28, 2008
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Stephen63 from Scotland

3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Yellowy body, very thin head.

S - Certainly can confirm that the nose is pretty amazing. Pine cone and berry very prominent.

T - Fruity and flowery with noticable hops in the finish, quite pleasing.

M - A bit flat on the whole.

D - Ok but not really the moreish described on the bottle.

Interesting beer and the aroma is the standout here.

Jul 18, 2008
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Baileyuk from Michigan

3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured exceptionally well, perfect head and great lacing. Amber color with a slight cloudiness.

Smell was a little light but developed after taste was introduced. If agitated there is a burst of floral smell

tasted good. A lot of barley. A very pleasant but subtle hop presence in the aftertaste.

Whenever this touched my mouth I got a sensation of flatness. This limited my enjoyment but it was actuallly well carbonated. A good beer, this was the first of 7 that my brother brought me from England and it was a great start!

Jul 14, 2008
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kmacphail from Scotland

3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Having been a big fan of the Willaims Bros beer previously I was intrigued when I saw this appear on the shelf in the supermarket.

The beer poured a light amber brown colour with a decent sized head that displayed good retention and lacing.

Wow, is this a beer or soft drink??? The nose is very fruity, some hops between scents of blackberries, cherries, citrus and various others.

These continued through to the taste but, thankfully, there was a good dose of hops to accompany this.

Whilst I enjoyed the first half of the pint, these tastes became a bit sickly by the end of the drink. I thought that there were just too many sweet flavours going on with this beer to have more than one. It is a nice beer, but reminiscent of a Christmas ale: nice but one will do.

Jul 13, 2008
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DaveUK from England

4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Clean burnished amber, with a small head containing large white bubbles. The retention was fair with lacing present to the end.

Aroma - A bouquet of grapefruit and citrus fruits with floral hops dominates initially. Creamy roasted malt soon becomes apparent providing a complex and refreshing aroma.

Taste - Roasted malt is immediately noticeable with a subtle floral and spicy hop presence. The hops become increasingly obvious with more floral and citrussy notes continuing into the moderate but bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Excellent balance between carbonation and smoothness. Lively but gentle, no sourness and minimal stickiness on the lips for a beer of this flavour. Medium bodied.

Overall - An excellent bitter/golden ale. Strong in flavour and smell yet light on the palate and refreshing to drink. The interesting mix of aromas keeps you sniffing all the way to the end and leaves you wanting more!

Apr 12, 2008
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BlackHaddock from England

3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 500ml bottle, best before May 2009, drank April 2008.

Poured into a Gordon thistle shaped glass (twice), well it is a Scottish beer!

Fairly pale amber, clear body with a good deep white head which stayed the distance. I like my beers a bit darker, but it still looked OK.

Seven different malted barleys, some wild elderflowers and lemon zest ensures the aroma is a heady mix of smells.

The aforementioned ingredients obviously don't just impart aroma, the taste reflects them too. This is a summer beer to me, the colour and flavours are 'Country Garden', very pleasant.

The hops come into play as the beer warms in the mouth and add to the overall enjoyment, a fine Scottish beer from the old heartland of their brewing industry.

Apr 01, 2008
Seven Giraffes from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 82 ratings