Extra Special Bitter Ale
Climax Brewing Company

Extra Special Bitter AleExtra Special Bitter Ale
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Climax Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #9
Ranked #14,489
3.93 | pDev: 12.47%
Oct 21, 2021
May 08, 2002
Very Good
Extra Special Bitter AleExtra Special Bitter Ale
Notes: None
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4 by paulish from New York on Oct 21, 2021
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

Deep amber appearance with a large, cream colored head and good lacing. Sweet, malty aroma backed by herbal hops. Sour notes in the aftertaste were distracting instead of enhancing. Moderately bitter, tart, subtly hopped flavor. Average carbonation. Finish was short-lived.

Aug 21, 2020
Photo of MacMalt
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by MacMalt from New Jersey

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. It pours a clear, honey-orange color with a half finger of creamy, ecru-colored head and spotty lacing. On the nose there is toffee, vanilla, nuts, and very light hops. The first taste is vanilla, toffee, and molasses. But it quickly turns nutty, earthy, and quite bitter. There is a hint of spice at the finish. All of the flavors blend nicely. It is medium-bodied with a fairly creamy feel and easily drinkable at 5.5% ABV. I took it out of the fridge about half an hour before opening the bottle. I'd recommend against drinking it too cold. Overall, I'm pretty impressed with this local offering. Not many craft brewers attempt an ESB and for an American example it's really quite good.

Jan 20, 2019
Photo of dsa7783
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by dsa7783 from New Jersey

On tap at Outback. Pours a ruddy, copper hue with minimal frothing. Mellow aroma replete with hints of bread and butter. Similar overall flavor profile.

Jan 09, 2019
4.57 by Vylo from New Jersey on Mar 06, 2018
3.64 by Jjmj51 from Rhode Island on Jan 21, 2018
4.85 by Kric from New Jersey on Jan 19, 2018
3.63 by jeffmck09 from Connecticut on Sep 17, 2016
3.84 by Dinkel from Texas on Jun 16, 2016
Photo of KTCamm
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by KTCamm from New Jersey

12/6...served on tap. Pours dark copper with high fluffy white foam. Bready malt nose. :Light caramel. Rich toffee and bready caramel flavor. Sweet first and then cemented on with a tasty bitter. Chewy. Really darn good.

Feb 06, 2016
3.59 by kwjd from Canada (ON) on Apr 12, 2015
Photo of nmann08
1.74/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 2
by nmann08 from Virginia

From a bottle, pours a dark gold copper color; super carbonated with a big head that fizzes above the rim of the glass.

The nose is a mess from the start. It smells like rotten flowers and melted plastic. That is all I can pull out. I barely get any hop content. The flavor is tropical fruit, but more like fruit by the foot than fresh fruit. It is very sweet.

This is gross, I wish I could be nicer, but this is terrible. I am assuming I had a bad bottle given the high marks on here, but cmon?

Dec 22, 2014
Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by Doctor_Bogenbroom from Pennsylvania

Loaded with hops, not great but definitely drinkable.

Dec 06, 2014
3.75 by koopa from New Jersey on Oct 27, 2014
3.5 by djrn2 from New Jersey on Oct 22, 2014
4.76 by roconnor from Maine on Sep 16, 2014
3.5 by IPAchris from Pennsylvania on Sep 06, 2014
4 by ahernandez2003 from New Jersey on Aug 29, 2014
Photo of MikeWard
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

On tap last night at Funcks inn Palmyra, PA. Part of a 4.5oz flight.

When I ordered this, I was asked if I understood what "cask" meant. Being a Brit, I had a fair idea. Was very impressed that the beer was served at room temperature. In looking at it, there were quite a few floaties. Body was yellow with a small white head which dissipated quickly and left only a small ring. Lacing was minimal. Got some bread and a sour vinergary tone on the nose, which carried over into the taste. I'm guessing this is not how it should be. However, It was actually a quite pleasant taste, and I've found that in the summer, I quite like a sour beer.

Overall, was okay with this beer. Would be interesting to try one fresh and see how different the taste is.

Aug 15, 2014
3 by ColdWaffles from Pennsylvania on Aug 13, 2014
3.5 by EnthusedAboutBeer from New Jersey on Aug 09, 2014
3.75 by Vogt52 from Maryland on Aug 03, 2014
3.75 by lobos62 from Pennsylvania on Jul 31, 2014
3.75 by BeerForMuscle from New Jersey on Jul 13, 2014
3.5 by podes from Pennsylvania on May 17, 2014
Photo of MDDMD
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by MDDMD from Pennsylvania

A-orange amber color with a large off-white head and great lacing

S-caramel, toasted malt, slight herbal, slight floral

T-caramel, orange, bready malt, floral,moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and smooth

O-very nice ESB with great flavor and balance, easy drinking

Jan 01, 2014
3.5 by tbeer40 from New Jersey on Sep 15, 2013
3.75 by dgherm from Pennsylvania on Sep 13, 2013
3.5 by Varkias41 from New Jersey on Aug 22, 2013
4.25 by abcdefghijkyle from New Jersey on May 14, 2013
3.75 by blmar311 from Connecticut on Mar 25, 2013
4 by sfsean28 from New Jersey on Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Jacobier10
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by Jacobier10 from New Jersey

On-tap @ Barcade in Brooklyn, NY.

Deep Orange, copper color with a pillowy one-finger white head. The sweet, caramel and toffee aroma seemed to jump right out of the glass. Loads of caramel malt in the flavor with a slight roast to it. A buttery smooth finish that rivals any ESB I've had. I don't know if I could drink this all night long as the sweetness might get to me, but I could easily have more than one.

This is one of the best beers in NJ, hands down. Spot on representation of the style and more importantly, just delicious.

Jan 05, 2013
Photo of chicagoish
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by chicagoish from Pennsylvania

Climax- ESB

A- Light dark/ orange with a frothy rockey meringue like head. Thick chunky lacing.
S- Light hints of caramel/ toffee malt. Not too hoppy
T- Mildly sweet caramel and toffee malts. Buttery shortbread biscuit and light floral sweet hops. .
M- Smooth! Buttery smooth malt, crisp sweet hops. All evenly balanced. Envelops the mouth with a creamy malty aftertaste.

Overall- I nice ESB

Dec 23, 2012
4 by mdillon86 from Pennsylvania on Dec 12, 2012
3 by barneysdad from Pennsylvania on Dec 02, 2012
4.25 by lauries444 from New Jersey on Sep 05, 2012
3.75 by jnardone235 from New Jersey on Sep 03, 2012
Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by claspada from New Jersey

Pours a hazy amber liquid with a white head drops quickly to a ringlet that leaves some splashy lacing behind.

Aromas begin with toasted bread and equal caramel maltiness. Earthy hops are more apparent as it warms but by no means as up front as you would expect for an ESB.

The tastes begin with big caramel maltiness with some toffee complementing the toasted bready base. I don't get much bitterness or flavor hops except for a hint in the aftertaste of earthy Goldings style hops.

The mouthfeel is medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Finish is less than stellar; could really use some more balance of hop bitterness to counteract the malty sweetness.

Overall this is a very tasty, sessionable beer but a bit off in style for me. Sweeter, more malty than any other ESB I can recall in recent memory. More like a Scottish mild/Amber style than an ESB.

Aug 22, 2012
4 by JaeTea from New Jersey on Aug 18, 2012
Extra Special Bitter Ale from Climax Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 93 ratings