Steel Wheels ESB | Blue Mountain Brewery

very good
33 Reviews
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Steel Wheels ESBSteel Wheels ESB

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by argock on 09-05-2011

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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 147
Photo of smakawhat
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real aggressive looking ESB. Nicely foamy and soapy four to five finger controlled head with nice even pinhead bubbles althroughout. Big retention and some speckled soapy lacing. Body color is a deep super crystal clear, but dark copper red, with dark brown hues on the edges. Very big and impressive looking.

Nose is fruity estery large. Hints of caramel and lots of sweet cinnamon alover with some little bit of berried red fruit. A little bit of heat comes off in the background, with some mineral like touches. Some herbal sensing hops but the malt and yeast fruity character seems to be the star. Solid.

Light bodied feel with lots of cinnamon and herbal tea flavors on first sip. Malt action has subdued caramel on the swallow and a hint of faint brown sugars. Sharp. A good hop lingering herbal tea bitterness on the swallow that fits nicely with the cinnamon angles of the malt profile.

Overall, just a solid esb and a good looking one as well.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Blue Mountain, Afton, VA

Coppery-amber pour, clear, with a foamy white head that dissipated almost completely, leaving some trails of lace behind. Caramel malts in the nose, toasted cereal, light spicy/herbal hops. A nicely balanced ESB, caramel malt sweetness, toasted cereal grains, light peppery spice, herbal hops for an mellow but lasting bitterness. Light-medium body, easy drinkability, goes well with about any food, or just on its own.

 466 characters

Photo of biga7346
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Copper, chestnut brown, great big white coning head, lacing

N - Black licorice, rye, spices like cardomom or cinnamon, smoke, lots of breadiness, touch of fresh tangerine, strawberries, grassy hopping; really nuanced, balanced and enticing.

T/M - Rye bread, spices, white peppercorn, more of smoke, molasses, old fruit, bakers chocolate in the finish, slick and thin, drying.

D - Great beer, good to go for all night sessionable at 6.5%. It's nice to discover a fresh, creative look at an old world style. The sad part is that something like this will probably get ignored for the most part.

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Photo of bbeane
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml caged and corked bottle dated best by June 2014

A- Poured into a tulip glass. Starts with a large white head with good retention. Beer is dark copper in color, crimson when held up to the light

S- Lots of sweet malt with a hint of hops

T- Nice caramel malty sweetness, with some hops coming through in the finish

M- Medium body with light carbonation

O- Definitely a quality beer. I'll drink this again in the future

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Photo of DaveBlack
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light, reddish brown colored beer. The carbonation looks more like a soda than a beer, with large bubbles rising to the top and immediately dispersing so that there's almost no head at all, and what there is has a very short retention.

S: Sweet caramel and molasses notes. Smells sweet and toasted, with a slight biscuity aroma as well. There are also some hops, which bring a slight piney-ness to the beer as well.

T: The first flavor is the caramel sweetness from the malts, but the yeast adds an earthy, spicy, and slightly floral element. There is sort of a leather flavor thrown in there as well. The hops are woody and piney, and finish the beer well. My first thought was that it needed more hops to finish, but after a few sips the bitterness sticks around and balances the beer nicely.

M: Moderate body, heavy on the carbonation.

O: An interesting and surprising beer. The more of it I drink the better I like it. There's is a lot going on, and it's not all apparent at first, but the flavors build and others come out as I drink more and it warms. Quite a tasty beer.

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Photo of oberon
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial nonic a rich full bronze with a creamy half finger white head atop that settles very slowly into froth.Caramel/biscuit malt and some spicy hops in the nose,they don't jump out at ya but are pronounced.Fresh tasting with a nice bready maltiness on the palate,lightly sweet caramel provides more layered maltiness,a decent shot of spicy hops in a lingering finish.A full almost creamy feel to the makes it easy going down and a pleasure to drink.I would love to try this on the hand pump,a bigger ESB with a dose of American hops,a very solid offering.

 574 characters

Photo of obywan59
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle corked and wired. British malts, Scottish yeast, and
American hops.
The label shows the band "Steel Wheels" based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia near Harrisonburg, and known for their "soulful mountain music".

Pours nearly crystal clear with a light tan 3 finger head that leaves impressive sticky lacing. Coppery in color.

Fruit and spice and toasty malt on the nose combine to give an impression that approaches mustiness.

The taste is sweet and fruity with light spice and a nice smooth long=lasting bitterness.

Medium-full in body with light prickle on the tongue. Very drying to the point of being almost numbing. Warming in the throat.

Unique in my experience Well balanced and easy drinking. I would definitely try this brew again. This is my second sampling of brews from Blue Mountain Barrel House, (Mandolin being the first) and at this early date BMBH (a sister brewery to Blue Mountain Breswery) appears to me to be the best brewery in Virginia.

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Photo of argock
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the brewery in a Shaker pint glass.

A: Attractive russet-reddish brown with 1/2 finger of light beige head. A few spittles of lacing trail off from the head.

S: Caramel malt dominate but overall everything is in balance with hops providing a spicy counterpoint to the caramel malt backbone.

T: The flavor is very caramel-toffee malty with bready notes to complement the soft herbal, spiced hoppiness. Easy to drink and firmly on target for the style with the balance of sweet and bready maltiness with the earthy hoppiness. I wish there was a unique note I could point to.

M: Softly carbonated with a layering feel with medium body.

O: Blue Mountain has another very nice beer to add to their lineup. I wish this beer was 5.5% ABV with more hop character overall. I would definitely drink this again, but more sessionability would be welcome.

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Steel Wheels ESB from Blue Mountain Brewery
3.84 out of 5 based on 147 ratings.
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