ESB | Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery

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15 Ratings

Brewed by:
Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A coppery-coloured “Extra Special” in the British style. Robust in flavour, it is balanced by a pleasingly creamy texture, a clear maltiness & long, hoppy finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-26-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 15 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by JanM:
Photo of JanM
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Swan's priced beer poured in copper colour with some foam, smelling of caramel and something chemical. Surprisingly the initial taste was of red berries, maybe blackcurrant. Then a bitterness turning dry at the end. I thought I could detect a hint of smokiness too. Maybe it was a bit too fruity for a bitter, closing in on an amber instead? Nevertheless it's a good brew.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BashOnABike
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in 20 oz pint glass at Swans.

A: Pleasant, slightly-cloudy orange-gold hue, foamy, witha nice white head, big retention and smooth, clean lacing.

S: Almost Pine-sol..but in a good way! Lemon, lime a little hop, and a candy-esq sweet-ness. Then again, I hadn't eaten supper yet, so this may have been mere hallucination.

T: Pine, lemon, a little hop, with some pear and nut after. Like a nice Bartlett spinach salad, but boozier.

M: Creamy, low-carb, with a moderate retention. Somewhat avg.

O: A nice beer to be sure, certainly a thirst-quencher, and with that distinctive Swans character in spades.

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Photo of spark3148857
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of LampertLand
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Swan's Brewpub 'Buckerfield Bitter ESB' @5.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $6.50

A-pour is gold from the bottle to clear amber in the glass with a decent size off white head leaving a frothy lace

S-very mellow smelling ESB , dissapointing

T-so mild for a local ESB , definate bitter finish

MF-ok carbonation , medium body , very dry on the palate

Ov-ok beer , I was expecting much more , or at least better for a local ESB

prost LampertLand

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Photo of Voonder
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pourd deep copper colour with 1 finger white-ish head. Smell - malts mostly, some dryed banana flavor as well. Taste - really nice combination of malts and hops with slight bitterness. Very balansed beer, very smooth and refreshing. it's very drinkable too. Taste a lot more impressive than smell, very well done!

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Photo of HipCzech
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving: On tap at Swans Brewpub, hand pulled, served in a 16 oz nonic pint glass.

Appearance: clear copper brown. Nice frothy head of off white foam; leaves decent lacing.

Smell: Malt nose with caramel and a bit of fruity yeast.

Taste: Round malt, caramel, slightly toasty, but not overly sweet (less than Swans' other ales). Some nuttiness, earth and yeast notes. Emerging herbal bitterness towards the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, creamy feel and gentle carbonation.

Overall: Fairly well balanced and drinkable - consistent with Swans' offering.

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Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I sampled this at the Wild Saffron restaurant, adjacent to the brewery.

A: Copper/bronze, clear, no head.

S: Bready, caramel malt, hint of northwest hops.

T: Well balanced. Bready, caramel malt with NW hop flavour.

M: Lightly carbonated, light to moderate body.

D: Quite drinkable.

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Photo of Grunewald
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured from a 650ml bottle into a tulip glass. It's clear copper with an off-white head. The head leaves large islands of lacing.

S - malt, light berry, strong esters

T - malt, fruit, turns hoppy before carbonation dissipation, then buttery and bitter hops that mellow

M - medium-light carbonation, medium body, viscous and a finish is dry on the throat yet oily on the tongue

D - the bitter finish of the hops is kept in check by the mouthfeel that keeps it from becoming astringent

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Photo of harrymel
2.44/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Verbatim from notes 16JUL11

Pours a light brown with brilliant clarity. No head, no lace. A bit dark for the style. Nose first impression is of a connecticut wrapper on a cigar with high oils; otherwise wood, tobacco, some molasses. This is nice, but doesn't smell like an ESB. Tastes sweet and malty. This does not taste like an ESB, more like a brown. Thin and flat for the style with a semi dry finish. New recipe require for this one if it wants to be an ESB IMO.

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Photo of Graham5161986
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep copper orange with a healthy, 2 finger, rocky, off-white head that has good retention and leaves some nice sticky lacing. Lots of larges rising carbonation bubbles.

S: lots of northwest hops and sweet caramel malts. a bit of fresh baked bread too.

T: light, crisp hops up front switching to smooth caramel sweet malts in the middle and finishing quite abruply with a subtle bitter hop aftertaste.

M: medium to heavy bodied and very creamy, not overly carbonated and a creamy, dry finish.

D: this is a pretty good ESB. Nice hops, but the flavour could be a little better balanced and round. Still, an enjoyable beer that I would buy again. It's certainly quite drinkable. I look forward to more from Buckerfield's.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Swans in Vancouver finally. What I love about this beer is that it stays true to its English roots and has that UK hop flowery notes with the subtle complexity on the finish. A very pretty dark brown colour with a big head , the nose is hoppy and yeasty. The beer seemed really bitter at first but after a few sips a smooth caramel note appeared on the finish. Great beer and true to the style.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another quality brew from Victoria. Though this intially looks to be a classic ESB, the colouring actually has a very strong red tone to it with almost a gold finish. Looks almost like a red ale.

The smell comes of more like a standard bitter than an ESB. A bit on the malty side, with some yeasty hints to it. Bread, very faint citrus and pale malts hit the nose.

The taste is a bit more on the traditional side for the style. Good hop-malt balance with yeasty hints. The flavour is complemented and enhance by a good meal or something like a ploughman's lunch.

A good brew, but I find it not as drinkable on its own. This really is a beer to accompany a meal.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a full pint right on-site at the Swans. A brownish orange color, much like weak iced tea, sporting a nice creamy beige head that leaves a speckled lacing on the glass as it subsides. Sports a classic Goldings hop aroma, floral spice and apricot, along with bread-like caramel malts and lemon that lilt upwards but do not overpower. Classic English aroma and taste. Evokes orange marmalade and well-steeped black tea, mellow sweet molasses, lemon rind, walnut ... Classic earthy bitterness, citric fruit, nutty malts, and a super-smooth creamy mouthfeel accompanied by just the right degree of carbonation for the style (on the low end but shy of flat). Thin to moderate body and a dry finish. One can taste the hops but the whole article is pleasantly malty and everything fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. I haven't traveled to England to try the legit article yet, but I can only imagine this is comfortably in the ballpark.

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Photo of 2beerdogs
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of schopenhauerale
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

ESB from Swans Brewpub / Buckerfield Brewery
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 15 ratings