Marshmellow | Oxfordshire Ales

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33 Ratings

Brewed by:
Oxfordshire Ales
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wl0307 on 11-24-2007

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 |  Reviews: 24
Reviews by tubacharlie:
Photo of tubacharlie
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a good head with some lacing and stickling, a dark copper-brown color. Decent blend of malts and hops, with a brown bread and butter kind of flavor.

Good every-day pub brew to wash down some fish and chips while watching the local cricket match.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - This is a nice orangish-brown in color with a very modest head.

Smell - The malts are heavily-toasted and full of whole wheat bread. There's a very faint table sugar as well.

Taste - The toasty notes dominate the taste. The sweets again are like table sugar.

Mouthfeel - This is light-bodied with very modest carbonation and a touch of toasty bitterness.

Drinkability - This was watery and danced around the style.

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Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma: sweet burnt sugar, crème brule aroma, no hops. Appearance: Amber. Flavor: slight astringency in the finish, not a lot of hops, caramel sweetness, red plum fruitiness, doesn’t taste as sweet as it smells, after taste dissipates quickly. Mouthfeel low medium carbonation, slightly creamy, sugary aftertastes but they do not last long. Drinkable but not the best ESB around.

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Photo of chinchill
3.81/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16.9 oz bottle served in a large Harviestoun flute.

A: despite a vigorous pour not enough head was raised to completely coat the top. It died quickly. leaving behind just the attractive red-orange-brown liquid.

S: a load of sweet toffee and caramel with an underlying aroma of baked bread.

T: Plenty of flavor, and not nearly as sweet as the aroma suggests. In fact, there's a mild bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. Nonetheless, as the aroma indicates, there is a good bit of toffee and caramel in the flavor, with hints of white pepper, raisins and dates.

M: very smooth; medium+ body; light but adequate carbonation.

O: interesting variant on an ESB. Would buy again.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a nonic)

A- The gentle carbonation glides through the slightly hazy deep caramel body leaving a good yeast cake in the bottle. There is a head of a few clusters of beige bubbles but it is soon gone.

S- The caramel and toffee notes are soft and a bit oxidized with cardboard hints and a cider note to the finish.

T- The watery taste has some mineral notes to it with some toffee notes in the finish. There is a cidery quality that grows in the finish as the beer opens up. There is some hop bitterness that is almost a warmth it is so soft and a roasted malt touch that lingers in the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a watery texture and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- The nice toffee malt character is soon buried under the cidery notes and watery taste. This beer turns a bit flabby aswell.

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Photo of morimech
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

159 Stamped on the back label. Comes out of the bottle mostly as foam that does settle quickly to a hazy amber colored liquid. A thick cap eventually settles on the beer. Heavy lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma is not what I think of when I think of ESB. It is a combination of Lemon Drops and toffe. A little bit of a woodsy aroma as well.

Light and hoppy flavor. Pale and caramel malt gives a slightly sweet base flavor, and then the hops come in and give citrus and grassy flavor. Also quite bitter for an English ale.

Real ale is used on the label several times. Not quite translated to this bottle offering. Although it is lightly carbonated, it is also very light in body. This beer goes down very quickly because of these qualities.

Interesting beer but it does not bring enough excitement to the glass to want to revisit.

 835 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a rustic orange with a sandy-beige spongey head that was compact and short lived. A good clarity revealed the faintest distribution of carbonation bubbles that rose at a fairly rapid rate. The lacing was weak.

S: The aroma was stale oranges of a faint nature. Other then that I struggled for 5 minutes to divulge any hidden scents, but to no avail. The nose was a complete non-factor unless you happen to be a blood hound.

T: The flavor was sharp and citric of tangerines, a bit tart and a bit sweet backed by a somewhat decent level of maltiness. Dry, fruity and tart with a good deal of acidity, it reminded me more of a poor mans saison. Theres a bit of white grapes that soon reveals itself while the whole thing wraps up with some dry orange grinds of modest proportions.

M: The mouthful had a modest carbonation factor. Not bad except it borders more on the lighter side of things with a dry tart coating.

D: Moderate drinkability. A bit acidic and comes off a bit flat carbonation wise and flavor wise. Just not exciting, rather dull and fails to leave an impression making it easy not to accept another.

 1,129 characters

Photo of mrcraft
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kkmiller76
2.5/5  rDev -24.7%

Photo of biggred1
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber with a thin skim of eggshell foam that leaves some splotchy lace on the glass. The aroma is herbal and mildly spicy with some bready notes. Mild earthy and herbal hop notes with a touch of pear, buttered toast, allspice and sweet malt. Medium bodied with mild carbonation. Nothing to write home about here but nothing off either.

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Photo of His_Royal_Hoppiness
2.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of jwc215
3.47/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangeish copper amber with an off-white head that immediately becomes patchy, then wispy. Vanishing dots side down the glass.

The smell is of pear, a touch of lime, slightly woody with a caramelish maltiness and butterscotch.

The taste is of a caramelish sweetness with pear and butterscotch - there's a hint of tropical-like fruitiness. Finishes with a butterscotch, caramel sweetness mixed with a touch of herbal, tea-like bitterness.

A bit harsh at times, but not at others. Something "strong" about it at times, and a bit thin at others.

Something of an odd brew - "traditional" yet "different". Something cask-like-ish, yet a bit astringent and prickly. Lands between a bitter and an ESB. Seems to change between sips - but not quite in a complex way. Mixed feelings, here...

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Photo of nighthawk
2.76/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle poured into nonic pint. Best-before date on back label.

Pours a clear, deep orange with a finger-and-a-half of dense white head that takes a few minutes to fade.away. once it's gone, however, it's gone.

Aroma is mild orange and fruit eaters with a touch of toasted malt. Not very aromatic.

Taste is a pleasant, if mild, blend of sweet fruit esters and lightly toasted malt. Bit of orange, bread and sugar in there.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but still acceptable, and mildly carbonated. Refreshing and smooth.

Overall this beer is a pleasant ale that tastes fine and was refreshing on this hot day. Probably won't purchase many more times, though.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.2/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Been eying these boys for a while now, and watching some YouTube reviews from the Kingdom finally pushed me over the edge. This stuff pours a clear tawny-copper with no real head to speak of. I initially thought this was one of those "cask-conditioned a bottle!"-type o' deals, but the lack of bottle-conditioning made me think otherwise. Hm. The nose comprises toffee, biscuit, some sherry-style oxidation, and a touch of vague berries. Something tells me this bottle is past its prime. Looking to the label, though, all I can find is a three-digit number, and even that's barely perceptible, let alone legible. And, to boot, I haven't been able to get onto the website (from a couple different sources, now), so I have no idea how old this bottle is. Dammit. The taste holds notes of biscuit, watery tea, cardboard, and light grass. My suspicion concerning over-aging persists, but, then again, I've had fresh cask beer that tasted somewhat similar (if brighter, so to speak), so, again, I have no idea. The body is a light medium, with barely a kiss of carbonation and a subsequently oily feel. Overall, this was just a sad experience all around. I'm actually hoping this was an old bottle, as that would explain away the off-flavors and whatnot, leaving hope or fresher stuff in the future, but, thanks to the lack of information at hand (and my unwillingness to give this stuff another go in the near future, lest I come upon a repeat performance), I can't be sure. All I know is that this beer was absolutely no joy to drink as is.

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Photo of Long813
2.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BBE: 12 APR 12

A: Dark copper-orange body with one finger of off white head. Retention is minimal as is lacing.

S: Mix of roasted malts, some graininess and a very odd smell. Not sure what it is, but I don't like it.

T: Light malts with some hops. Not much I can pick out, subtle notes at best.

M: Light bodied with mediuum carbonation. After taste is light malts and has a water like texture.

O: I can't get over the odd smell, even besides that though, it's not a very exciting brew.

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Photo of coz
3/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of chicagoabbot
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a classic English style...taking into consideration the style it belongs to, this is a decent beer, certainly better than the aggregate rating implies and it really does live up to the name and have a marsh-mellow-y aroma and flavor, a decent nuttiness and is quite sessionable. The head does subside quickly on top of the amber body, but this is appropriate for an ESB. Not too hoppy, but bitter, with a good balance on the malt. Mouthfeel is quite good. Price was reasonable at $1.99 for a pint bottle. Altogether, a decent brew, I recommend trying it.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.37/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

disclaimer: maybe this was an old, past prime bottle, because their website shows newer label designs....

A glitch in the transfer - only a few clustered large bubbles after the pour - real ale for real, I suppose. The liquid was a deep amber-copper color, clear but with a smidge of sediment.

Sort of an old (oxidized?) aroma - faintly leathery and dusty - not all that bad. Hints of medium-rich fruity esters and light aromatic alcohol. As it reached lukewarm, some pleasant toasty caramel notes released as well as a touch of earthy hop trailing behind.

I can't help but to suggest that the flavor is nothing special - a bit bland and dull compared to most English ales I've had (imagine that). Is 'thin' (one-dimensional) an appropriate description here? The character is no doubt English but it really leaves me desiring a few notches more malt depth and bitterness (which is scant). There's a subtle, I wouldn't say 'sherry', but perhaps dried cherry flavor when warm.

Its light, smooth-ish, roundish body and slight dry finish makes it easily sessionable, but its deficit of carbonation was a letdown, and rendered this brew lifeless.

Time in transit, lack of gas, yeast too fresh, a tad skimpy on recipe - any of these could have contributed to a (bottled) ale that failed to make a memorable impression.

 1,317 characters

Photo of MEP
3.75/5  rDev +13%

Photo of Zekenyce
4.75/5  rDev +43.1%

Photo of mattipt
2.89/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - A dark red-brown colour; pours with a good head. Served quite warm which may account for this but which seems to suit it.

S - Malts dominate over hops. Other than that, the nose isn't very complex as doesn't reveal too much.

T - Dry maltiness, almost like a digestive biscuit. The taste is more balanced than I was expecting from the smell; the hops are definitely more bitter than floral. A hint of diacetyl.

M - A tad lighter than I would've liked for something as malty as this, but overall an enjoyable mouthfeel.

D - It seems to have all the right characteristics of a good ale of the style, and it's local to boot. It's certainly an enjoyable drink but somehow it doesn't sing to me. A good effort nonetheless.

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Photo of ATPete
2.64/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500ml bottle?

Pours a very unattractive and light orange brown color with a thin bubbly "head". Sweet bready malt in the nose, grainy but balanced with a light bitterness late on the palate. Mouthfeel hurts this beer, it lays nearly still on the tongue. Overall pretty boring and not something id revisit.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New to the Atlanta market, I decided to pick up a bottle. Pours a copper color with a fairly slight head. A bit of minerality in the nose, but overall a bit too malty. I like to smell at least a whiff of leafy hop aromas in my ESB- this one is on the sweet side. The taste is similar, with some mineral notes, a biscuity note, and a modicum of bitterness without any particular hop flavor. The finish is a bit sweet. Fairly decent, but nothing special.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I let this bottle warm up after I got it out of the fridge. 500 ml bottle bought at Total Wine, on to the beer:

Little head is formed on the pour, but it sticks around for awhile. The beer's color is hazy brownish orange color. The aroma reminds me of a caramle cookie, like a Twix without the chocolate. There is a trace of astringent malt in there too.

The first few sips didn't wow me, but time brings this beer up to respectability. This is where the caramel cookie flavor and light toasted note come to play. Fruity esters, while light, add another piece to the picture. Among the negatives, there are traces of phenol and astringent grain. It's light bodied with low carbonation.

Pretty solid beer, whatever style it's trying to be.

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Photo of tomgoehring
4/5  rDev +20.5%

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Marshmellow from Oxfordshire Ales
Beer rating: 3.32 out of 5 with 33 ratings