HotShot ESB | Great Divide Brewing Company

169 Ratings
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HotShot ESBHotShot ESB

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 01-06-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 169 |  Reviews: 156
Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of JTomczak
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of dgherm
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of JamLand
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of jaxon53
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of hokieguy95
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of kobeer
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of DrFunkenstein
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of rab53
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my shaker glass. The ESB appears a hazed dark golden amber color with two plus fingers of white foam. Nose and flavors are of red grapes, slightly floral, honey, a bit spicy, sweet malt, biscuits. Light bodied with decent carbonation. Seems a bit sweet for the style and that carries into the aftertaste. Glad I tried it, not sure if I'd go for it again.

 389 characters

Photo of cadenwhitaker
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this the same time I picked up their Denver Pale Ale, I let them cellar for about 6 months and am just trying them now.

Just like their DPA I'm getting loads of honey in the smell.

The taste has more honey, just like the DPA, but this has a bitter aftertaste that cuts away the sweetness of the honey. Actually, I'm enjoying this more then the DPA because of that... finishing their other brand (with all that sweetness) took a bit of effort.

Would drink again

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Photo of natasharai
4.01/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: One of the best looking beers I have ever seen. Poured with a 1 inch creamy thick off white head that dissipated to a thin layer (1/4 inch) leaving amazing lacing all down my glass. The beer is a beautiful dark gold color. The head stayed at 1/4 inch through out the whole beer.

Smell: Sweet flowery smell up front, and a nice caramel malt backbone. Small alcohol smell.

Taste: Less of a floral hoppyness than expected and more of a spicy hop. Some sweet malty notes. Leaving a crisp slightly citrus taste in the mouth. Not as much hops as I would have liked.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy! Also has a nice hop tingle on the tongue. Leaves the mouth feeling very refreshed and clean. No alcohol burn.

Drinkability: Really easy to drink. Very refreshing and delicious. Great session beer, will be one of my go-to beers!

 831 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.01/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The whole damn 6 pack I bought of this stuff ended up gushing. The head would not go away, either! Looks like it might have some slight chill haze.

Big, sweet and fruity nose. Smells like a fruit roll-up, red grapes and plums. Not much mineral scent.

A bit spicy, like a four-peppercorn blend. Fruits are there as well. More mineral taste than the smell indicated. A bit of funk is detectable in here as well. Lingering resinous aftertaste.

Nose was a bit of a turn-off. Tasted ok, but was a bit disappointed considering some of GD's other fine beers.

Since all of my bottles gushed, I can only imagine that the batch I got had some sort of bacterial contamination. Would try this again to see if that was the case.

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Photo of champ103
3.09/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Even before I begin to pour the beer out, white foam comes rushing out of the bottle. The head is so massive, that I can't really pour this beer into a glass. The color is a nice reddish/orange with gobs of chunky lace. The massive amounts of foam detracts from the appearance of this beer. Obviously a beer should have a good amount of foam and lace, but I can't even try to pour the beer correctly.
S: Very sweet and candy like. A bit of some cooked veggie aroma. Malty with a hoppy backbone.
T: Lots of caramel malt with a bit of hop spice to it. Candy flavors again though it is not to sweet. Average ESB flavor and aroma.
M/D: Smooth, creamy, and a light to medium body. Pretty easy to drink. It would not be hard for me to session a couple.

A sub-par to an average beer. The only thing that truly stands out is the massive amounts of foam from bacteria I assume, and that is not really something to write home about. I have given this a couple of trys (in two different states non the less). Every time I have had a gusher. Looking at some of the other reviews, I am not the only one. Purchase at you own risk.

 1,120 characters

Photo of Pencible
2.91/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This poured a hazy reddish brown with unbelievable amounts of head (even with a slow, careful pour there was twice as much head as beer). It smelled like rich and sweet caramel, cotton candy, and some floral hops. It tasted super sweet as well, with dominant caramel malt flavors, and a bit of honey and floral hops. It was fairly thick with so much carbonation that you could barely drink it, and had an aftertaste that was obscured by lingering carbonation. Overall this was a crazy beer. I feel like it would have been good if they totally removed the carbonation (which would also solve the ridiculous head problem), and added a lot more hops to give the flavor some balance. Afterall, this is supposed to be an Extra Special Bitter, not Extra Carbonated Sweet.

 765 characters

Photo of rye726
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light amber color with a nice fluffy head. The nost is very malty with spicy hops and rich candy. The flavor has nutty malts with some caramel or toffee and bitter hops. Good balance amd a middling body. This is somewhat mild for the style but is smooth goes down well with a meal.

 281 characters

Photo of peck95
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a nice light orange color with a small head and little lacing
the smell ice very nice a good caramel malt with a decent hop backing
the taste of this beer doesn't quite fit the smell a much sweeter beer than i was expecting and the hops are barely noticeable
the mouthfeel coincides with the taste a very syrupy that is offset
mostly with a little bit of bitterness and some decent carbonation
like the bottle says this is an easy drinking craft brew but imo not an exceptional esb actually more reminiscent of deschutes cinder cone red (amber) but not as hoppy or balanced malt and texture wise.

 598 characters

Photo of Greggy
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Poured a massive head, it took quite a bit of time to actually get this poured... lesson learned. After I got it all in the glass it was a 3 finger head.

Smell- sweet citrusy hops with a small amount of sweet caramel. Pineapple comes through as well.

Taste- Less hops than I was expecting from the smell. A nice apple, citric hops taste that is pretty smooth.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation that works well with the nice smoothness of the brew.

Drinkability- Although the nose is a bit overpowering, the taste is great and easily sessionable.

 558 characters

Photo of dsa7783
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Single, 12 oz bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
A hefty pour resulted in a dark-copper colored hue with a moderate-sized head that lingered on for a bit before slowly dissipating and leaving a fair amount of lacing around the glass...
Fresh, clean, clear aroma bursting with hops, vanilla, and caramel...
Clean, lucid taste bursting with a slight, subtle, non-cloying flavor - very mellow, yet at the same time, flavorful and very full of character with noticeable flavors that strongly complment the aroma with an added addition of fresh florals, grapefruit, and pears...
Slim, thin, moderate mouthfeel was complemented by an ultra-easy, super level of drinkability that went down as easily as water...
Overall, pretty good stuff from Great Divide...
A good representation of the style...

 834 characters

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear golden with a thick rocky head. It had a predominately caramel and malty aroma. The taste is also malty, but not sweet. There is a bitter flavor in this brew that is not overpowering - nice balance. The mouthfeel is full and slightly creamy with a dry/clean finish. Another delight from the guys in Denver!

 331 characters

Photo of brantadid
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy honey color into a pint glass. 1 finger white head formed and diminished quickly.

Smelled of sweet malts initially and then floral hops. Some citrus notes.

Tasted of clean hops. Not overpowering. No real citrus flavors. Lots of vegetal and earthy flavors. I got asparagus on the far back palate.

Mouthfeel was light and somewhat watery. However, the hops fill the mouth with so much flavor that it give the beer a creamy quality. Very interesting.

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HotShot ESB from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 169 ratings.
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