The Physics | BrewDog

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The PhysicsThe Physics
66 Ratings
The PhysicsThe Physics

Brewed by:
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wl0307 on 11-19-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 |  Reviews: 54
Reviews by brewdoc75:
Photo of brewdoc75
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I didn't look at the best before date before I bought this one. Looks like it was best before over one year ago (7/7/09). Oh well, consider this a "cellar" review.

A: Pours out of the bottle a opaque amber color. Low carbonation, I suspect from the inadvertent aging. The head dies down fast to nothing. The upside is that I was able to fit the whole thing into my imperial pint w/o it overflowing.

S: Lots of malt character. Beautiful caramel notes, dark fruits, and toffee. The dark fruit character is that of raisins or prunes. Not overpowering, but definitely adds to the beer. As one would expect from aging, the malts really come through. Maybe a slight hint of butterscotch, but that's ok for the style. The hop character is very muted, but I get a touch of flowers and earthiness.

T: Lovely blend of malty flavors. First I get a strong, munich maltiness. This is followed up by a bevy of caramel malt flavors. These include straight up caramel, some plum/raisin flavors, and a hint of toffee. There is a glimmer of toastiness in the end. The hops are not terribly flavorful, as one would expect from a beer this old, but they provide a reasonable bitterness. Not much in the way of hoppy flavor.

M: Light bodied. Light carbonation. Smooth and light. Pretty decent. The lack of carbonation reminds me of a true English bitter.

D: I have to admit, this beer was old, so I wasn't expecting much. I was pleasantly suprised with the diverse malt flavors. I would have liked to have this when it was fresh.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of magictrokini
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear copper with minimal head. Butterscotch aroma with honey and some earthy/peaty malt. More butterscotch in the taste, but now with orange peel, caramel, and a strange cracker taste; kind of like a buttery Ritz. Never had an ESB that finished like that. Nice.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A 330ml bottle with a BB of July 2017, so it's a little out of date. Purchased a while back from the Brewdog webshop - a re-issue to celebrate their 10th anniversary. The label calls it a laid back amber beer.

A: Poured into a tulip. A very dark brown colour with ruby highlights; holding it to the light reveals plentiful suspended sediment and low carbonation. Produces a large head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Some lacing.

S: Aroma of sweet caramel malt with hints of subtle brown sugar, mild roasted grain, leafy hops, faint hay and ale yeast. Definitely malty - pretty good.

T: Tastes of dark caramel malt with notes of subtle roasted grain, faint brown sugar, stewed husks, leafy hops, mild pine, faint herbal hints and ale yeast. Slightly sweet, though less so than the aroma would suggest. A robust hoppy bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with soft carbonation and good body for the strength. Almost unctuous. Aftertaste of bitter leafy hops, caramel malt and ale yeast.

O: A decent brew that is surprisingly drinkable. Looks alright, while the aroma and flavour showcase plenty of sweet malt and bitter leafy hops. Nice body. The hops and malt sit together unusually well - I think a beer of this kind thrown together less carefully would not have turned out so well. An easy-going beer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A large and expensive bottle. A decent bitterness, with a bit of sourness in finish that is drinkable and some may even seek out, but detracts from the style. A bit of infection or is it just me? An orangey colour, a bit of white head. Carbonation above average. Decent but overpriced.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Clear and copper. Soda like snappy head that left nothing hanging around.

S. Caramel malt and floral hops with some biscuit.

T. Sweet and malty with off balanced bitterness. Bitterness is way too low.

M. Low carbonation and medium thickness. Artificial feeling--whatever that means. Just doesn't feel right to me.

D. Not one to seek out.

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Photo of Gmann
3.02/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy brown copper color with an almost non-existant head that settles into almost nothingness. The aroma is faint, I pick up some bready malt, slightly sweet with a hint on honey. An odd tasting brew for sure. A light bready malt with grassy tea like hops that is infused with smoke flavor. The smoke seems out of place on this one. Not sure why a brew with this malt profile has smoke to it; the smoke dominates the flavor and seems out of place. Similar to smoked mozzarella, just doesn't do it for me. The feel light to moderate with weak carbonation; finishes with a grassy bitterness. The lack of carbonation and the out of place smoke flavor ruins this beer for me. I loved smoked beers but they need a very sturdy malt body to go with it. This doesn't have that.

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Photo of elricorico
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber with plety of rising bubbles to hold up a finger of off white head. Lacing aroung the glass.

Citrus hops hit the nose through a caramel malt base. Smells almost identical to another beer I've smelled, but I can't place which one.

Caramel spread on toast flavour is imparted by the malt, with a strong balancing hop finish that is mostly grapefruit in character. Hops overpower the malt in the finish, but it isn't totally one sided.

A little bit of body and a touch of oily feel. Carbonation on the high side, could probably be toned down just a touch.

Easy drinking beer, just enough balance to keep it in the sessionable range.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very bold clear medium dark bright orange color.

A very light floral nose; a couple of good swirls does not break out a nose of any distinction. A very scant nose of stone fruit.

Mouthfeel is thin and with a light and elegant carbonation that is quite nice and quite drinkable.

Flavors are much more distinct than nose promises, although light flavors are somewhat complex. Nice light and almost elegant juxtasposition of sweetish malt and stone fruit with bitter grapefruit skin hops. A nice balance and really good integration. A nice flavorful though "elegant" beer. More carbonation, for me, would improve it a bit.

Batch 002; A "best before" date on bottle of 7/7/09; tasted 10/3/09

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.69/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a light clear amber color ale with a small bubbly head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma of dry and bitter hops with some English dry malt. Taste is also a mix betwen some dry malt with some slightly dry and bitter hops. Some presence of caramel malt would have brought sweetness to offset some of the dryness. Carbonation is almost non-existent with a light body. Not the most interesting beer out there.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got as extra in trade with phyl21ca - many thanks! Poured from a 330ml bottle into a pint glass. Back label had a best by date of Oct 09. Was a clear orange amber color. A few carb bubbles. Quick sliding lace that doesn't stick. Had a small fizzy white head that never completely covered the top. Immediately evaporated into a thin, partial collar.

The aroma was pretty weak. Biscuity malt, caramel malts and a touch of hops. Not much there to get excited about. Taste was pretty much exactly like the aroma. Was weak and watery. Did have a decent bitter finish but this one just didn't do much for me. This isn't one of my favorite styles to begin with so wasn't expecting much.

Overall, a fair to decent offering. Can't really recommend. One and done for me.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep orange amber. A very dark color which took me a little by surprise to be honest. A very nice three inches of head formed on the top in a good light tan to off white color. Great retention had this thing hanging around for what seemed like forever. Some sediment actually poured out of the bottom and graced over the top of the foam at the end. A very hazy and cloudy brownish amber this was and it had a very full look to it. A very nice aroma of deep caramel malts was the first thing I noticed. A nice subtle hoppiness as well, though sweet. The flavor was very full, almost a hoppy scotch ale of sorts. Very big with a grainy and chewy kind of feel to it. Medium body with ample carbonation led to a great rich feel and this was just a superb drinker

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Photo of Amalak
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a 12 oz. bottle of this brew.
A- Very clear and amber in color. Slight head with a little lace.
S- Definitely has a malty scent to it with perhaps a slight bit of fruitiness, citrus?
T- Just like the scent, the malts and citrus (toward the end) come through. There is a touch of bitterness to it, but it's very well balanced.

A solid, smooth, well-balanced beer.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful clear bright polished copper hue, tall frothy off-white head that settles to a slick cap.

Toasted, earthy malt first on the nose, accompanied by some floral and herbal hops.

Earthy, nutty malts that are balanced out by equally twiggy and astringent hops comprise the flavour profile. The wood and astringency lingers on considerably in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and silky smooth, with a short perk of carbonation on the finish. Very dry.

A predominantly earthy and herbal amber, no real sweetness to be found. Lingering flavour of dandelion on the palate long after the glass is empty. A decent sipping ale, but not in the ranks for a sessional.

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Photo of Foley67
4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of joecast
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

batch 004 best before 30/5/09. really like the label.

the actual beer is not quite as attractive to look at. quite hazy, almost murky, amber color with just a bit of a tan head. a bit of lacing and very low carbonation.

sweet malty toffee aroma. light floral hops which presumably have faded out a lot by now.

enough bitterness to balance the considerable malt profile. i would guess a bit of hop flavor would have faded as well, but there is a little there. the malt character is considerable though and even fresh i would expect this to be malt dominant.
mouthfeel is smooth and on the full side.

not the best example of an esb, though im not sure thats what they were going for. i could be wrong. probably more of a scottish amber if it were a proper style. enjoyable regardless and i would love to find a fresh bottle of any of their beers.

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Photo of slimspady
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice, fat white head on a crimson brew.

Intense and complicated aroma. Some oak notes.

Great taste. Not as good as some other red/amber ales. Nice caramel and roasted malty goodness.

Feels thicker than 5%. Not a bad thing, just not expected. The malt sticks around with a citus finish.

Good beer. I rarely buy beer twice (there's just too many to try!), and this one of those. Glad I tried it, liked it, but not so much that I'd have it again.

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Photo of jwc215
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before 01/06/09:

Pours hazed orange amber with a head that forms after a second or two pause, then folds to a bubbly thin fim. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel, light citrus, earthy spicing and some toast.

The taste is of caramel/toffee with a light citrus/herbal bitterness to balance it. A bit of light roast mixes in.

Medium-bodied, though carbonation is a bit uneven and mild, giving something of a swishy/almost watery feel, though it does coat the palate.

A nice, subtle/mild brew. "Laid-back amber" self-description fits it well enough.

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Photo of BringusKilkenney
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a nice golden brown color to it with a tall head when poured straight into the glass. The head disappeared quite quickly after first drink.

The smell is very hoppy with some Carmel malt notes. It smells quite pleasant and inviting.

The taste is definitely bitter but good I can also pull a little citrus out of it. It tastes very good and is a great amber beer offering.

The mouthfeel is great and smooth with just a hint of carbonation the malts mix very well. the drinkability is definitely where this brew excels with the low alcohol content and the smoothness you could drink this all night.

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Photo of bcdees47
4.04/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: a nice amber, with not too much carbonation going on in the glass and little to no head. Smell: Malt and sweet carmel nose, toffee, biscuits. Really quite nice. Mouthfeel: feels light and carbonated, but also fairly smooth. Taste: Not nearly as sweet as the smell would lead one to believe, though there are some toffee/caramel malt notes. It dissolves into a somewhat bitter aftertaste. No taste really overwhelms, though there is some nice malty sweetness in the middle.

Drinkablility: definitely drinkable, though I found the smell somewhat out of sync with the taste and expected more of an overt toffee experience.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.04/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured a completely crystal clear nice coppery orange colour. Creamy head poured small but quite thick then faded fairly quickly to wispy coating with thick edging... very sparse, but large, carbonation bubbles drift slowly to the surface... some thin lacing...

Aroma - Loads of lovely strong and slightly toasted caramel maltiness, brown sugar... fig, raisin and light orange peel fruitiness... some butteriness, toasted malt loaf, nutty sweetness, some faint vegetal notes, faint oakiness, salt and black pepper, some wet grassy hops...

Taste – Lots of toasted breadiness, peppery and grassy hop bitterness, lots of sea salt notes, roasted nutty sweetness, tart fruits (bitter oranges, apples, light figs), faint metallic hints, light ginger spiciness, some dried fruit also...

Feel - Quite sharp and dry... light bodied... an extremely refreshing and quaffable brew..

Overall - My first Brewdog beer and i must say i was very impressed... it lived up to all i've been hearing about these beers... recommended...

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Photo of Voonder
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours nice deep amber colour with no head.Nice strong better smell of malts with touch of caramel. although nice deep malty taste with a smooth bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Very nice beer and it's pretty drinkable too. I would have another one for sure.

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Photo of Avant_Garage
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of mulder1010
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 8 with a best before 1/1/9. See how this goes.
330 ML in a tulip.

A-- Poured and orange reddish color and very cloudy once it settled. No real head or lacing, a little bit of a white film on the top of the beer and not much else. Shows no real carbonation on this at all.

S-- Floral smell with pine and lemon. Also a good sized malt background in this with a little bit of a biscuit sweetness to it. Honestly smells like the Great Divide DIPA.

T-- Malt biscuit taste upfront followed by the floral, pine, and citrus tastes.

M-- No carbonation, fairly thick and coats my mouth. Feels a lot more thicker than it should. More citrus than I thought. Get a lot of lemon in this in the aftertaste. Once it warms up it does have a bit of sour in it.

D-- Was quite good for being WAY out of date. Was surprised how much citrus was still in this and that it seems to want to be a DIPA more than an ESB. Low ABV means very sessionable but I think the negative is that it gets samey after it warms up and kills taste buds. Also has a bit of soap quality in the finish when it warms. Solid none the less.

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Photo of smcolw
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good head that leaves chunky lace. Slightly hazy; light amber color.

Fresh hoppiness; light, dry malt.

Creamy malt start that gives way to a solid amount of hop. Classic ESB. Smooth body but it's still spritzy. Great malty finish, although it is short lived. The aftertaste leaves some mildly bitter hop. An above average ESB.

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The Physics from BrewDog
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 66 ratings