Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus ESB³ | Rock Art Brewery

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Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus ESB³Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus ESB³

Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
An ESB squared! It’s big! It’s bitter and it’s balanced! Heck, we even dry hopped it with Tettnang hops, but I’ll admit the Tomahawk chewed up the dry hop and didn’t spit it out!

Added by scottum on 08-29-2006

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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 210
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$ 5.84 (including tax)/bomber ($ 0.265/oz) at Max Wine & Spirits, Danbury, CT
Bottled on 28 Jan (No year) at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter, allowed to warm to 50+ degrees
Aroma – fruity hops, almost like a cider, fades but doesn’t disappear
Head – Average (Maximum three cm, aggressive pour), off white, dense creamy layer with rocks, diminishing to an irregular eight to twelve mm ring and rocky heaped partial layer
Lacing – excellent – multiple bands of lacey bubbles which meld into each other
Body – hazy copper, clears somewhat as it warms
Flavor – malty with some hop and malt bitterness, a touch of diacetyl; no alcohol
Palate medium to full, almost creamy, lively carbonation

As this warms up, it smooths out with the bitterness balanced by the malt sweetness. I was hoping for something similar to the now-defunct Warrior Brewing’s (Exeter, Devonshire) Tomahawk. I thought that to be an excellent bitter but apparently not enough others agreed with me. Rock Art’s take on an ESB is still quite good, something I’ll pick up again if I ever see it again. Mine is marked ESB2 while the photo here on BA is ESB3.

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.5.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: hazy; burnt orange in color; 1 finger off white head that receded quickly to a thin collar; very little lacing;

S: malt sweetness joined by a touch of alcohol and a bit of lemon;

T: malt sweetness followed by leather; some citrus and pine at mid-palate; moderate bitterness from mid-palate through the finish; leather and pine at the end;

M: medium to full bodied - a touch syrupy; moderate carbonation; very dry;

O: very interesting; definitely hopped up; worth trying;

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

a colossal esb, as hoppy as any ipa, but still very much done in the English tradition. bronze in color, mostly clear, and holding a white head for quite awhile. also a real affordable bomber around 5 bucks, super fair here. an aroma of grassy bittering hops in aggressive proportion, and enough carbonation to tickle my nostrils as I sniff. malt is big too, some probably 60 crystal, as well as some maris otter or the like, its bready and fat I the middle, and a higher gravity English ale yeast dries it up pretty good. the hops are center stage throughout though, and the balance that the style usually demonstrates is ignored. that's okay through, the magnum is a fun varietal not often used in such hefty doses and I think the result is good. rock art has evolved nicely over the years, and this extreme series is all worth checking out. love the hoppy Vermont stuff, and rock art deserves more attention for its hoppy beers. top quality.

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Photo of jmdrpi
2.76/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

22 oz bottle, August is notched on the label.

appears a clear bright copper color with bright white head that fades. smells earthy, grassy hops and oxidized malt. taste is biscuity malt, bitter finish. herbal flavors. medium body, moderate carbonation. oily mouthfeel. overall a bit disappointing in the flavors.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
2.23/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

I have had a few beers from Rock Art, but nothing I can remember. Actually, I take that back. I shared a bottle of their imperial stout the other night. I was drunk when I drank it, but I remember it having an almost metallic flavor. Anyway, that is the last Rock Art beer I remember. I do like their logo, though. Reminds me of the west. It also makes me think of Dave Matthews Band for some reason. Anyway, I just got done running 3 miles, so this beer better deliver!

In the Glass: This is a lot cloudier than I expected. I don't generally like this style, but the ones I have had, I didn't care for. I expect them to be more bitter. You know, hence the name. The beer did produce a really nice head, and even a few minutes after pouring, it still sits proud on top of the beer. Not much lace, but I am still enamored with the head. You could sit a quarter on this pillow of suds!

Nose: Imagine taking a pine cone and soaking it in a pale ale. Then smell that. Bingo. That is exactly what this smells like. TONS of pine, which make me think of hops, and a nice earthy finish. I hope that transfers over into the flavor, because this smells great. I close my eyes and imagine sitting by a campfire in the middle of the woods… not like I would do that, of course! Let's drink!

Oh, and before I forget, there is a funny quote on the label. It says, "This Ain't For No Mama's Boy of Daddy's Girl". Cute.

Flavor: I just took a drink, and had to look in the glass to make sure I wasn't drinking water. There was practically nothing on this at first. Then, toward the back of the palate, a few hoppy flavors show up, and you can taste the bitterness. This beer comes in at 80 IBU. The finish is smooth, leaving nothing to look forward to. I do, however, like the aftertaste. But that's about it. Here… let me take another sip. Same experience. Not much going on.

Mouthfeel: What mouthfeel? Unless you swish this around in your mouth, you wouldn't even know you were drinking beer. There is no carbonation, and it literally drinks like water. Not impressed at all. This style just isn't for me.

Aftertaste: This is the only place where flavor comes in. Remember that pine cone I was talking about? The aftertaste leaves a thin layer of piney goodness for you to suck on, but that's it. The finish is also drying, and the more times I swallow, the dryer the flavor becomes. Not sure what it is about this style, but it feels like an IPA gone bad. These are hoppier than a pale, but not quite an IPA.

Sorry Rock Art, but I won't be buying anything from you anytime soon. I almost wonder why this beer made the list. Some might like this style, but I ain't one of them! (I used ain't twice in this blog post.) The best thing about this beer is the name. Might be the longest beer name out there.

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Photo of Hendry
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Okay, this bomber was a gift and I took a couple weeks to make my way to trying it. Upon opening it and taking in the nose, which is a balance of malty and hop goodness, it seemed to me there was a West Coast vibe to it.

It pours a cloudy amber color with a generous soapy head that lasted quite well. The lacing was also quite good. There is definately an interesting mix of malty and hoppy with the hops slightly edging out the maltiness.

Carbonation is medium as is the mouthfeel, and the interesting part of this ESB is the interplay between the malt & hops. It wasn't until halfway through the bomber that the flavors started to grow on me a bit. Upon finishing, I felt like it took half of this bottle to get me acclimated to the flavors, and by the time I finished it the aftertaste and overall impression of Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus was favorable.

The nose and flavors/aftertaste very much remind me of Gigantic IPA from Oregon, but this is a Vermont product and a decent one at that. A good value and worth a try.

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Photo of negroobserver
2.71/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I bought a six pack of this beer while in Vermont. Sadly, the store where I purchased the beer had extremely misleading labels which indicated that this beer was rated over 95 on BA. Clearly that's not the case and it's truly evident in the beer as well.

The beer pours a dark hazy brown with a significant bubbly head which lingers for only a few seconds and recedes to the edge. The aroma is largely non-existent. There is no sweetness, just a bit of maltiness which transitions into a clean crisp scent. Personally, I find this very disappointing because the aroma is a very large part of the overall experience. The taste, like the smell, is non-existent. I only tasted a profound bitterness near the middle and end, but nothing else stood out. BORING.... The mouthfeel is decent. The beer has good weight and density without being oppressive. There is a little tingle from the alcohol, but not much.

Bottom line, it's not worth the money. More hype than anything else here.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(3.5) A: Hazy deep amber with a peach-hue to it. Semi creamy foam head with very good retention and a decent lacing down the glass.

(4.0) S: Dry pine, citrus, buttered bread, and a fair amount of spice including nutmeg and others I can’t quite put my finger on. Nice damp and earthy quality with a solid malty aroma.

(4.0) T: Similar to aroma with a dry grapefruit and pine taste, coupled with a bit of tart lemon. Hearty malt backbone complimented with spices. Definitely leans towards the bitter side of things with the hop dominance, and I’m enjoying it.

(4.5) M: Medium bodied with a moderate-high carbonation for the style. Resiny and slightly chewy. Dry and slightly acidic (not in a bad way) which gives it enough bite. Everything works together very well.

(4.0) D: Not quite up there with Vermonster, but an excellent Rock Art offering that I always try and grab when I’m in the area. Worth a try.

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Photo of hmph
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received from robtobfest in another awesome trade, thanks again!

A - wow , beautiful dark golden orange and yellow with a large (3 fingers +) off white head that dissipates quickly, leaving a frothy haze on top

S - very very strong hope presence , smells more hopped than most ESB's I've had, some creamier notes as well and a hint of candied rum (think malibu rum)

T - Some thick layering of bitterness, very bold tastes with hop bitterness leading to some malt notes in the finish, linger taste of sweet grass, mellows as it warms, alcohol is well hidden

O - This is a really bold flavored and hop forward ESB, not like any other I've had. It was well done and had a good layering of flavors with a sweet bitterness on the end. Good beer, glad to have tried it!

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Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not your typical ESB, This one poured out with a nice deep orange color with a cream colored head on top. The smell of this beer was definitely dry hopped and gives off plenty of floral hop aromas in the nose. The taste of the beer was nice but again not a traditional ESB flavor. Big amounts of bitter flavors dominate the maltiness of this brew. The mouthfeel of the beer is medium bodied with a nice smooth texture with a sharp crisp finish to it. Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a bit but if you're expecting a true ESB style beer look elsewhere because this one is more like an IPA.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.27/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from bottle into a pint.

Appearance: Darker golden color with about 3 fingers of an off white head that lasted a few minutes and left almost no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Sweet smelling citrus, with alcohol.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied and smooth, a delightful strong punch of bitterness after a sweet taste upfront. After taste was a bitter and I could taste the alcohol.

Overall: It is what I expected from an ESB, I enjoyed this brew from begining to end. I would buy again if I was in the mood.

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light amber color with a good 2 to 3 finger bright white head that dissipates slowly. Good carbonation as well.

S: Very unique smell to this beer. Im getting some earthy, resinous hops, followed by a slight citrus and caramel. I also get a hint of spice and rum aroma.

T: This has a flavor that sticks right in your mouth. Has some hop bitterness up front but not like an IPA. I get some molasses or a syrup flavor along with some bready notes at the end, which give this a dry finish.

M: Mouth feel is lots of sticky bitterness upfront and then mellows out a little. Medium bodied beer that definitely sticks out as an old English pale ale type of beer.

O: The saying on the bottle says it all, "this ain't for no mama's boy or daddy's girl". This is my first Rock Art and I am a bit impressed by the complexity of this beer. Not something I would seek out again, but good to experience at least once.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip. Pours a dark orange, with a one inch white with some floaties, leaves some lacing. Smell is pear, pine, hard candy, and some grass. Taste is better, a good amount of grapefruit in the finish, some carmel in the beginning to go with the flavors detected in the nose. Body medium large, plenty of life, not dry, and for a hop lover very drinkable. Not really sure what style this reminds me most of, but a nice somewhat different beer.

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Photo of jtierney89
1.3/5  rDev -65.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Semi hazy golden color with a quickly fading off white head.

Tastes like copius amounts of pale malt extract. Nose is the same. Very litter carbonation borderlining on none. Body is big up front but thundering out big time on the swallow. Earthy English hops provide some fleeting bitterness but there's no malt sweetness to balance it just malt blandness. Seriously tastes like unfermented home brew. Probably not finishing this bottle. I had high hopes for this beer getting mostly good beer from these guys but this and infusco are gross.

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Photo of neophilus
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours bright yellow-orange, thick cream colored head. Hazy with thin streams of bubbles marching to the top.

Resiny, citrus aroma can be detected from 2 feet away. Hoppy goodness drifting in the air around the glass I just poured. I lean in closer and catch a whiff of caramel malty backbone. Complex, nuanced smell with a little bit of spiciness, sweetness from the malt, and definitely bright hops.

Sticky hop bitterness washes across my first sip. Crisp and clean up front, although the flavor flattens out a little as it progresses. The bitterness is ringing the roof of my mouth, the IBUs are not hiding. As the beer warms it mellows out a bit. The bitterness is toned down but still string enough to cover flavor from the malt.

Thick and chewy mouthfeel but cleans up right away from the hops. Lingering flavor of spicy hops.

The aroma was great but the flavor was a little bit one dimensional. Luckily that one dimension was a heaping platter of hop bitterness. Still would have liked to see some nuance from the malt to balance it a bit.

Really enjoyed this brew though, great take on an ESB, definitely "Extreme" as the label promises. Dial up some English Malt flavor and you've got a serious winner here.

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Photo of Nerudamann
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – light amber color, a little hazy, with good carbonation and about half a finger’s worth of light tan colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell – definitely more on the hop side. There’s an interesting addition that I can’t quite identify. I don’t think it’s the caramel that they add, it smells like something earthier than that…maybe maple syrup?

Taste – also tastes pretty hoppy. You can taste the hops in the beginning before you feel their bitterness in the middle. That same interesting quality that was in the smell is also in the taste. I still think it could be something of a maple syrup that’s added. Subtly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – pretty well-rounded in the texture, not leaning more toward the watery or creamy sides.

Overall – very decent brew. Interesting to think about and good-tasting.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle. No freshness date noticed.
Served in a SA perfect pint glass.
It pours a tan-hued amber color with a thin to medium-sized off-white head. Some patchy and webby lacing rim the glass.
This is where Old Ale meets ESB. It has traits of both styles.
The first smell is sweet rummy malt, followed by fruity esters and citrusy and resinous hops. A slight musty, beer-spilled basement smell lingers in the background.
Flavors of sweet toffee, caramel malt, molasses, citrus, fig, pine, and white rum create a bit of a confused mix and balance, but the end result is pretty damn tasty.
It's a fairly heavy brew for an ESB, or thin for an Old Ale, but again, what does it matter if you enjoy it?
I will try to braise a little bottom round roast and create a Beef Carbonade with it. Maybe add some root veggies and wild mushrooms into the mix.

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Photo of threeviews
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber (no freshness date) into a snifter. Purchased from a liquor store about 1 hour away from the brewery (with a substantial craft-brew selection), so I assume this is a fresh bottle.

A- Pours a hazy amber with a huge (2"+) white head. Looks delicious!

S- Suprisingly, not much in the nose. Some earthy hop aroma and hints of caramel from the malt...nothing outstanding.

T- Very bitter (hence the name) without a substantial malt backbone for support. Finishes dry with a sticky, pine-like quality leaving my tastebuds buzzing. To me, if feels like this brew is overdone with bittering hops and underdone with flavor/aroma hops. Although I think this brew is exactly what it states, I am definitely more a fan of the American Imperial IPA rather than the English Special Bitter.

M- Having sampled a number of English brews, I feel this was a bit overcarbonated for the style. I would have preferred much less, as if it was being pourd from a cask.

O- Although I am a HUGE fan of Rock Art (check out my other reviews), I just don't think the ESB style (especially this hyped-up interpretation) is pleasing to my palate. However, I encourage fans of ESB's to give this one a try and rate it for just might find something wonderful in this brew. However, I will stick with other offerings from Rock Art.

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Photo of SickGnar
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Robust Orangey Copper with a touch of haze and a few good size bubbles swirling to the top. Head is leaning big with a cream color and course texture. Good retention and fair lace.

S: Citrus & resin for sure - but not quite as pungent and dank as I was expecting with Columbus and Magnum in large amounts. Good character though with the main notes rounded out by spice, lemon, & herbal notes. Firmly biscuity pale with a touch of sweetness & a hint of caramel. Ghost impression of sweet boozy alcohol.

T: Much more aggressive than the nose. Firm pine and resin bitterness right out of the gate. Citrus arrives in the middle mostly as lemon and grapefruit – quite rindy with just a brief flash of the softer, sweeter fruit. Again, as the main notes linger you start to pick out all sorts of interesting notes at the margins – spicy, herbal/medicinal, woody, and leafy/grassy/floral. Pale base has a great biscuity depth to it which is rounded out by some malt sweetness, toasty grain, a touch of caramel, and a hint of melanoidan/breadcrust. The last pour from the bomber yields some nutty yeast notes. You do get the idea that this is a bigger beer, but alcohol stays in the shadows.

M: A bit over medium with CO2 just a hair under matched. Tons of texture from dextrins and hop tannins (very coating and a touch oily), and just some slight sugary tack. Hops and alcohol take this one quite dry, but never harsh. Very faint alcohol warmth.

D: A very well done job of pushing the envelope. You can definitely see the IPA comparisons with the significant hop punch. However, I feel that this one demonstrates the style differences quite well. An IPA this size would be more flabby – more lip coating sugar tack, more sweetness, more caramel – and hopefully with a more forward hop nose. ESB2 is still robust, but more taut and less decadent.

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Photo of nandemo1
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear amber with a finger and a half of off white, cream colored foam. Head dissipates quickly but leaves a lot of lacing. Carbonation is very good.

Smells of sweet malts and a little floral/fruity, not a lot of citrus. Taste is also mildly sweet but there's also a good amount of hop bitterness that balances it out and then some.

Feel is medium bodied but bubbly thanks to good carbonation.

Is this an ESB, I don't know. The hoppiness is right in your face. It is however a very good beer.

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Photo of plinymafia
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First of all, it's not esb^3 it's esb^2. Second of all, this may be the best of the best in bottled VT bombers. Nothing McNeils produces can touch the flavor this beer leaves on the palate. Anything from Long Trail, Magic Hat & Wolaver's (Otter Creek), simply don't compare, and should all bow to this absolute monster. All in all a great beer, and vastly overlooked. (Hill Farmstead not included, as, they don't really bottle yet)

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice looking amber/copper with orange gold high lights. A thick dense and bubbly head is produced on a slightly vigorous pour. The ivory colored head leaves long spotty lacing as it receeds.

I guess Magnum and tomahawk hops are used in the making of this brew.
A fairly aggressive hop bouguet here with aromas of
citrus and fruits peaking through. Pale malts have a buttery essence to them.

Taste is of pale malts, sweet and buttery at that. Hops have a lemon citrus tartness maybe some grassy aspect also.

Mouthfeel is medium but smooth and does a great job masking the 8 abv. There is alittle tiny warming at the end but this beer drinks more like a traditional esb. Carbonation and attenuation could be boosted alittle bit I think.

My first offering from the fine folks at Rockart.
This extreme beer is well made and highly drinkable and is a fine example of an esb be it amped up that is. I wonder how this would be on cask.

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Photo of beerphan
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

** My bottle says ESB2 also.**

22oz brown bomber -> american pint
no date

Pour bubbles over off a medium pour. Let it sit for a bit and did a slow pour. Thick pungent head pulsates with life as it dwindles to thick clumpy pillow of lace. Appears a clouded pale orange with golden highlights. Ringed patches of sticky lace. Carbonation appears abundant and rapid.

Nose: Grassy funk. A nice balance between hops and malts lets each stand out as the beer is drank. Dank tobacco?

Thick juicy body. Thick malts base with a touch of burnt smokiness from those abundant malts. Hops are large and balance this beer with an aggressive bitterness that lingers. Grassy, herbal and bitter, what a great compliment to the expanded malts.

Imperial ESB anyone? Swap out the hops for Cascade and Columbus, and I'd give it an American Imperial ESB, Rock Art you reading this :)

Picked this and few other Rock Art beers up in VT for the Phish Phlood benefit show. Glad I got this one for sure. Get it if you can.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: cloudy orange body, 2 finger head, wonderful lacing

S: pine, orange peel, malt, grapefruit

T: grapefruit, pine, malt, long sticky/ oily finish

M: med/heavy body, sticky/ oily mouth

O: Wow, look forward to enjoying more
from this small VT brewery. This is like
ESB+Imp IPA hybrid.


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Photo of caddybuyer
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My bomber says ESB2, not 3 but the rest of the label is the same, so I assume it is the same brew.

A-Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. Veiled peach pour with a minimal head that settles into a thin ring after a few minutes.

S-Aggressive pungent malt backbone present with some hops in the background.

T-Amped-up ESB is right. Pale malts are present in abundance at the beginning of the palate and grassy, pine tar bitterness kicks in shortly thereafter and carries through to a lasting finish. There are lots of styles that shine as an imperial...I'm not sure that an ESB is one of them. This one kicks you in the teeth with a rather lackluster flavor, that is not terribly refreshing or satisfying.

M-Full mouth...slightly sticky and resinous. Well balance carbonation.

O-Another one of those answers to a question that nobody asked. I dig extreme beers, but this one just didn't have any reason to make me want to try this again.

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Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus ESB³ from Rock Art Brewery
3.77 out of 5 based on 210 ratings.
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