Extra Special Bitter Ale | Zion Canyon Brew Pub

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Extra Special Bitter AleExtra Special Bitter Ale
11 Ratings
Extra Special Bitter AleExtra Special Bitter Ale

Brewed by:
Zion Canyon Brew Pub
Utah, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 04-28-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by JoeCeez:
Photo of JoeCeez
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received via trade with Wasatch, thanks John!

A: pours a slightly hazy copper with a thick three fingered white head that sticks around for a while and leaves some thick lace, a good looking ESB for sure

S: mostly cereal grains, a touch of caramel and toast but not much in the way of hops.

T: crisp and clean almost lager-esque and far more bitter than alot of its British counterparts, slightly toasty caramel to start, nutty and earthy yeast with a spicy bitterness and a very dry finish.

M: thin body with mild carbonation, however it was fairly substantial considering the low ABV

D: very sessionable, the bitterness and dry finish begs for another sip, I was impressed by the two Zion Canyon brews I tried and I wish more American brewers would make session beers like this. It's nice to drink flavorful beers that are under the 5% mark

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #32 (Sep 2009):

While there are state-imposed restrictions on the level of alcohol for beer in Utah, the brew- ers make due with nearly every beer style.

Bubbly, off-white head floats on top of a pale copper-colored brew, while peppery, citric hops collide with a biscuity malt in the aroma. Solid crisp bite kicks things off; smooth light to medium body. Seems to be aimed right at the ESB style with an American twist, which could easily be mistaken as an American Pale Ale or a hybrid Pale Ale. Malt is a bit wet, but quite flavorful. Hops have a modest but intricate bitterness of wild herbs and citric zest. Toasted grain and nutty yeast battle it out with the hops and come to a pleasant stalemate. Tasty linger of toasted bread from the malt and more citric zest from the hops.

Very well balanced and without a doubt a session ale, and an American version at that!

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Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of cokes
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear burnished orange brass with a compact buttercreme head with whittles down to a skimming and then endures the duration.
Modest aromatics of honey roasted nuts and dried herbs. It's a decent aroma, but so quiet as to be next to non-existent.
It's considerable more assertive in the mouth. Caramel-tinged grains and a trail mix of golden raisins and roasted nuts, along with a brisk nut-skin astringency. Hops enter with dried prairie grass and herbs, and a lingering pulpy bitterness.
Medium-light bodied, but it carries a sense of heft and structure on its capped 4% frame. Carbonation is low and unobtrusive.
It's cut from very much the same cloth as their IPA (which is essentially a Bitter also).
A quality Utah quaffer that succeeds in spite of its state-imposed restrictions. Well done.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz received in my most recent trade with Wasatch... I've been fairly impressed with this brewery so far... poured into my Smokestack goblet.

Surprising 1" head ... brew is slightly hazy honey colored.. I am pretty sure the only reason it is hazed is because I didn't notice there was a little bit of yeast at the bottom of the bottle... is this bottle conditioned? Nice lace and a solid cap for the entire brew.

Nose is bready malts with a little bit of caramel.. a little bit of fruitiness and a nice albeit a little light shot of grassy hops.

Flavor has a nice bitter bite out front.. more yeasty fruitiness than the nose and some earthy hoppy flavor.. tied together fairly well with toasty bready malts.. and some mild caramel.. light/medium body and a smooth carbonation... really refreshing and very drinkable... I could session this no problem and not get too bored... just very drinkable.

Thanks John... trade #5 with my beer drinking buddy to the South.


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Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wasatch for sending me this one!

Pours slightly hazed golden with a white head that descends and stays as a thin cover.

The smell is grainy, slightly caramelish, a bit yeasty with a general bitterness. There's an "English" character to it, fitting ESB, I suppose, though it is a bit more bitter than the typical ESB from England. It has a dry, somewhat woody, finish.

Light-to-medium bodied, it is easy to drink and well-balanced. May be closer to a bitter than an ESB, but it fits well enough. A brew with a nice taste to it!

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of tburkhart
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of Wasatch.

Poured into a pint glass

Pours a very nice golden color with 2 fingers wide head that disappears slowly. Very nice lacing throughout.

Smell is of grains and not much else.

Taste is a bit bland for an ESB. Not a whole lot of flavor on the palate, but what is there sticks around for a little while.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid.

A bit under character for what I consider an ESB, but very drinkable. I look forward to trying more from Zion Canyon in the future.

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Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: amber/straw body with light movement and an impressive thick and frothy white head with good retention and light lace

s: light grains; tobacco; light hoppiness; light toffee; actually not too different from their hop-lacking IPA

t: dry grain; light tobacco; sweet and warmer caramel/toffee malts; a pronounced and sharp bitterness that i feel is ok in an esb

m: pretty aggressive for my tastes but still maintains some substance and smoothness

d: not too much going on here but ok and worth a try as you look at the beautiful mountains

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Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice cloudy golden yellow color, very nice carbonation, nice two finger foamy white head, with lots of nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malts, slight citrus. The taste is hoppy/bitter, slightly malty, very slight citrus notes. Medium body, this brew is very nice, with a nice bitter, slightly dry finish. Very drinkable, I really like this one, a nice ESB, with a twist.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with Wasatch. Thanks John!

It pours a light yellow gold with a 2 finger plus head of foam.

The smell has notes of citrus hops and a light touch of bready malt and some caramel.

The taste starts off with some citrus that is bitter but not overly so. It's followed by some graininess, caramel sweetness and some bread that cut into some of the light bitterness. Right near the finish, I notice some light grassy notes that lasts through the finish. In there somewhere, I get a touch of fruitiness. If that were more obvious, I'd like this one evn more. As is, very tasty.

This has close to a medium mouthfeel and the carbonation, though it loks spritzy in the glass, is more on the light side.

To follow up on appearance, this has *great* head retention..look at that billowy head! Lacing is good as well.

Bottom line: This is a very good ESB that could be helped by a bigger fruity presence but I'm not complaining much..

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Extra Special Bitter Ale from Zion Canyon Brew Pub
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 11 ratings