Blue Heron Extra Special Bitter | The Port Gastropub / Sea Level Brewing Company

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Blue Heron Extra Special BitterBlue Heron Extra Special Bitter
Very Good
18 Ratings
Blue Heron Extra Special BitterBlue Heron Extra Special Bitter

Brewed by:
The Port Gastropub / Sea Level Brewing Company
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This full flavoured ESB is inspired by the Blue Heron on our tidal river. The complex hop flavour is a combination of four different hops in addition to being dry-hopped in the serving tank. Add the signature smooth “maltiness” and there is no wonder why the Blue Heron is a favourite amongst the “Hop Heads!”

Added by Seanstoppable on 04-30-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by Ralphus:
Photo of Ralphus
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as part of a BIF. Thanks cjbmcdon! His group rates it as a very good example of the style, and that it is.

Looks a gorgeous copper amber colour with nice white head. Unfortunately the head dissapates a bit quickly although some lacing is evident down the side the glass.

The smell is light fruit, malts and a touch of butter. It's pleasant but not in your face. The taste is a bit hoppier than I expected, but starts off right with lots of fruit and malts up front transitioning well to a hoppy finish. It's quite good.

Mouthfeel is right on.. smooth and refreshing. Drinkability is also good..the glass is drained in no time and you would do well to have a few more in the fridge.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of chinchill
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewery taproom.
Clear amber body topped by a decent head. Spotty lacing.
The fruity aroma is quite nice. The flavor reflects a nicely balanced mix of hops and malts, with a well chosen hop mix. High hop load for a beer, even an IPA, from Nova Scotia. Medium-light carbonation. Body seems slightly too thin. Moderately bitter.

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Photo of souvenirs
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Of the four beers I tried while at the Port Pub, this was the standout for me. Pale gold. Fragrant hops. Citrus, tropical fruit, grass. Hoppiest beer I've had from the Maritimes. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of CurtisD
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of ritzkiss
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bomber, courtesy of bobsy - thanks Rob!

Pours a coppery amber hue with a thin head. Light caramel and minerally malt in the nose, hint of pine. Real pithy bitterness to it, citrus rind and pine, nice drinkable caramel malt body with a touch of dryness and cocoa. Nothing earth moving but a really drinkable offering with a moderate/strong bitter finish. Grows on you.

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Photo of papat444
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cjbmcdon for this one. Split with my wife over our supper which was lasagna,

Poured from a 650ml. bottle.

Appearance: A bit of a gusher which worried me a little. Lots of foam, easily 3-4 fingers that eventually receded to reveal a slightly clear amber body.

Smell: Sweet aroma with hops and caramel malt.

Taste: Nice sweet edge with a good hop profile and a strong malt backbone. A piney aftertaste mixed with some orange and caramel. Assertive and good.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation but with a good balance as the bitterness is kept in check. Solid stuff.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink and i'd have this again for sure.

Overall: Awesome summer brew that delivers some hop bitterness without compromising drinkability. Highly recommended.

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Photo of nighthawk
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650mL bottle from Bishop's Cellar with no freshness date poured into pint glass.

Body is a a translucent brown, with lovely orange hues throughout giving it a slight copper tone. Head is a scant one finger high upon initial pour, and retains as a slightly chunky ring. Lacing is left as I sip.

Aroma of sweet and bitter hops, citrusy and floral, and lots of bready, cereal malt scents. Well balanced.

The balance continues in the taste; sweet citrus and spicy floral hops are met with bread and biscuit malts and a nice touch of buttery diacetyl. Starts fairly sweet, and slowly winds its way to a semi-dry finish.

Mouthfeel is a nice medium body that feels nice and light, with very smooth carbonation. Just a hint of astringency on the finish.

The drinkability is sky-high on this one. Great balance in the aroma and flavour profiles, and a nice feel in the mouth. I go through many of these bombers in the course of a month; great stuff and one of my favourite regional beers.

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Photo of JohnnyForeign
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lgmol
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of wordemupg
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into pint glass 15/6/11

A light copper with lots of tiny suspended particles being moved around by lots of tiny bubbles that produce a thin film that leaves a few random patches of lace

S lots of hops in this one both citric and leafy herbal hops, with some hard toffee not overly complex but quite strong, I could smell this glass on the table a few feet away

T what I smell but with more herbal hops and a metallic flavor that works well for it

M good bite to it and the flavors linger but the visible bubbles I see in the glass are nowhere to be found, this ones a little flat

O great taste and smell go along way and I'm liking this bitter bubbly or not

There's room for improvement and that's good news for these guys. With some fine tuning I could see this one being a truly great beer. The only real complaint I have is the lack of bubbles affecting feel and look but the main components of this brew are sound. Thanks cjbmcdon for sending this one my way

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Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MrLoganC
4.26/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jrempel
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Seanstoppable
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug a dark amber color, with just a thin ring of head. Smell is somewhat fruity, kinda like a cross between citrus and melon. Starts out a bit sweet, but quickly evolves into a bitter taste, with a hint of citrus. Very smooth with very little carbonation (which explains the lack of head). Leaves the mouth somewhat dry with the bitterness lingering. Thinking about heading to Port Williams to try it from the source!

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Photo of IanSpindler
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of deonreds
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Molson2000
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Stubborn goat, 4 oz taster: Hazy dark gold color. Decent legs. Flavors of lemon, grapefruits, sweet grains dominant barley, and herbal hops. Medium strength finish, grainy while tropical. Quite yeasty with a light cheese effect. Not a true ESB interpretation, closer to a Saison or IPA. Overall pretty good craft.

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Blue Heron Extra Special Bitter from The Port Gastropub / Sea Level Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 18 ratings