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 UA8
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep amber color with a tall off white head.

S- Toasted malts, english hops, touch of lemon rind. Nice but fairly simple.

T- Leads with light citrus and herbal hop notes along with some semi sweet malts. Finishes with bitter herbal and pine euro hop notes.

M- Medium body with big and soft carbonation.

D- Overall a beer that does nothing to offend but also doesn't do too much to step away from the pack. Good balance but doesn't come off as smooth as many other top ESBs.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jmu500 for this brew.

Pours a very nice hazy golden orange color, nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy two-finger off-white head, which leaves some very nice thick/creamy sticky lacing. The nose is hoppy, with a nice malt note, nice little citrus note. The taste is sweet, malty, with a nice hop note, citrus, and caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a very nice brew. My bottle has a 2 on it.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

Murky amber/brown pour with a full finger of head. Smell is dominated by floral hops and some waxiness. Hints of caramel and biscuit.

Taste is extremely bitter...this one lives up to it's reputation. Not really enough juicy hop flavor to go along with it though, so it becomes a somewhat empty bitterness. Medium bodied with good carbonation levels. A very interesting beer. I wish there was some more depth and complexity to keep the bitterness from completely taking over. Definitely a beer worth checking out though. A true extreme ESB.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into .5l Swiss Boot. 8&, 80 IBUs.

A- Incredible head on a golden, tawny, orangey beer. Caramel in color. Head lasts for days, took about 5 minutes to pour a full glass. Lacing from the pour and all the way down; spectacular.

S- Hops on parade! Judging by the name, it's a safe bet that Tomahawk hops are the main note. Piny, resiny, very octane-like in aroma.

T- Wow. Bitter doesn't even begin to describe this. Hops are overpowering, choking, strangling my tongue. Malt profile is pretty hefty to counterbalance and pretty sweet. Does a nice job playing between the two, with the hops coming through in the end. Peppery, pine sap, resin, and maple sugar malt. Interesting. Like a DIPA mixed with a barleywine.

M- Scathing from the hops... but I'm a sucker for that kinda feeling. I like it. Medium body, decent carbonation. Solid all the way around.

D- Moderate, but enjoyable. I think this is one 'ell of a beer, with major points for style and originality. Rock Art has really started to impress me. Not sure if I'd call it a triple bitter, but it's a malty DIPA with some fantastic hops. I'll be buying this one again.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep orange/amber color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a think lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with a strong burst of hops bitterness that is quickly followed by some citrus and caramel sweetness. Although the sweetness isn't that strong, if the label didn't tell me otherwise I would think this beer was a 2IPA. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and there's a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter and hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style, this is a good stronger than average beer with some good substance to it that makes it worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of u2carew
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber
A) Tight, creamy head. Sticky lacing. Hazy. Upward carbonation. Copper - amber in color.
S) Floral. Sweet. Grapefruit.
T) Mellow caramel sweetness up front then moves to an earthy and floral hop bite.
M) Creamy. Smooth up front then into hop bitterness. Tingle on the tongue.
D) A decent ESB. I'd drink another.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this one as part of a BOF recently. Having only had a couple other offerings from Rock Art in the past, I jumped at the chance to try another. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed 08/23/2009.

Appearance 4 - Very nice pour here, deep copper in color with a nice head of white coming up and over the top quite nicely I have to say. Rich side glass lacing that leaves spider like webs all over the sides and bottom of the glass.

Aroma 4 - Lots of caramel malts right up from, balanced well against a pine tar like touch. As it warms some more grassy and herbal notes begin to show their nose and provide some really nice balance to the overall profile. As it warms more and more come through and it actually picks up a great deal of hoppiness by the end.

Taste 4 - This one was much bigger then I thought it would be if I am being honest. Huge malt bomb at first, followed the aroma quite nicely, becoming hoppy and bitter as I progressed though. Nice touch of boozy in it as well now. Overall very nicely done, well balanced and nice and strong.

Feel 4 - Cannot really complain about this at all really, quite solid I have to say and really very well done. Rich carbonation and a medium feel, a bit thick toward the end, but overall it was very nicely done I have to say.

Drinkability 4.5 - While being a bit up there in ABV, it was still very drinkable. The flavor really grew on me after a while and I really found myself liking this one more and more with each passing sip.

Overall - Not what I was expecting but very, very solid. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again any day, this was one of the highlights of the weekend for me

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rock Art- Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus

A- Deep cloudy brownish orange with a big thick ringed lacing head.
S- Strong pine hops with a sugary citrus and sweet caramel backbone.
T- Thick sweet caramel malt which quickly is overpowered by an even sweeter citrus and pine hoppiness. Very sweet throughout.
M- Starts of malty but the hops take over and dominate. Very smooth and sweet. Alc. well hidden.

Overall- Smoother than I was expecting and too easy to drink. Awesome beer, and my favorite from Rock Art!

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange color with a generous,foamy head and decent lace.

The aroma of fruit/citrus,malts and pine notes.

The taste starts off mildly bitter with a sweetness that rushes in right after. Herbal hops and caramel with a spicy touch. The alcohol is present,but not in your face.

The feel was medium to heavy in body with low carbonation and a really smooth finish. It had a good balance which I thought was essential for everything to work.

Notes: The drinkability is not for session. I like big beers and I love beers that are between 8 and 9% and have the booze well masked,but two of these would be fine for me. Not hard to drink,not a sipper yet this could sneak up on you. A fine beer.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is very nice an hoppy, it's got a bit of a piney taste to it. Nice lacing and a good head along with a deep amber color. It's got a fairly light mouthfeel with a good bite from the higher abv.

I will mention that the beer I had (12oz bottle) had a lot of yeast in it. A lot settled out after a couple mins but it was surprising how much there was although it didn't effect the taste.

Update: I did a better pour on the next bottle clear of all yeast, it looks great! A nice deep amber with quite a bit of carbonation! Just be careful when you pour from a 12oz bottle!

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Photo of Durge
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one had been aging for the better part of a year before I finally tapped it. It's a cloudy amber color with a modest off-white head that quickly fades to a ring with a modicum of random lacing. The aroma is a thick piney hops and licorice alcohol, grapey malt, beautiful. The flavor is malt-wheat, along the lines of a barleywine with a mellow herbal hop bitter edge and some nutty warmth. It really improves as it warms. Smooth and viscous, mildly carbonated. Very good overall, especially for a barleywine guy like me. Fair drinkability at the least, depending upon your alcohol criteria.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle, emptied in phases to my trusty Abita pint glass. Pulled from the fridge and warmed up for a good 20 minutes or so before pouring. I like the label's tagline: 'ALE! at least we think it is...'

A: Lovely color, a chestnut-auburn crowned with a rocky tuft of eggshell cream, about 1-finger high. Dense haze is cut by steady carbonation (but I found it only by holding the glass in front of the setting sun. Perfect lace, thick sheeting bands from top to bottom.

S: Wake up, nose! Expected a big burst of hops and/or malts from this hefty brew...not so. Mild orange-citrus hopping, fair bready malts, smells a bit like an orange scone.

T: Loads of spiced bread (earthy nutmeg) and a heap of hops (orange citrus, tangy herb, bitter greens) make for a balanced ESB. Building bitterness is extinguished with each sip, but returns with a vengeance; it's not too harsh, but the tangy, mineral/metallic sharpness does catch up after a while.

M: Smooth body, medium weight. Carbonation is limited, but there's a crisp bite in the finish, followed by building dryness (almost chalky). Alcohol heft is hard to find.

D: Sort of bends the rules, sidling up to 'strong ale' territory with a big 8% ABV, a chewy feel and mouth-watering hopping. Likable brew, but a little heavy for most occasions. Even so, well-balanced, bold flavors and gorgeous look make it one I'd buy (or in the case of an Oregonian 3,000 miles from the source, trade for) again.

BA Pamola gets a nod for the intro to this VT brewer, a first taste for me...thanks, Kyle!

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

Pretty good lacing, first thing I noticed. Almost like it's sitting in a thin cradle of foam. Cloudy orangey-brown colour, no real head of which to speak. Can't see much carbonation but when it's tilted, thin bubbles form near the top. Looks great - heavy and full-bodied.

Lovely smell, lots of ripe tropical fruit with a hint of freshly cut grass. Smells of a candy sweetness and the best and prettiest spring flowers. As a smell it's divine but I'm not sure I wholly approve of beer smelling like this - I'm just thinking it will be too sweet if it tastes like it smells.

Wow, it doesn't. It in fact is very, very bitter, quite a 2IPA bitterness, not at all like it smells. It grows, but rapidly, from a mild hoppy front to an enormously potent bitterness on the mid palate and then settles off for the back. Hiding at the back are the tropical and malty characters I detected on the nose, but they're overpowered by the hops which are a bit too gritty and metallic to make this as delicious as it could have been. Mouthfeel is viscous and a bit clunky.

This is a very respectable brew, not for the faint-hearted or for everyday. But certainly interesting and pleasant enough for sipping. It falls slightly short of greatness.

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

On tap at TJ's Everyday in Paoli, PA. From notes, 8/13/08:

A: Golden. Hazy. White head. OK retention but good lacing.
S: Hops dominate over a basic malt base, citrusy, resinous, grassy, leafy and herbal.
T: it appears as more of an IPA than an ESB. There's no real caramel to it. Good hop flavors though: Grassy, leafy, citrusy. Solidly bitter. Aggressive even, given the malt backing. Finishes dry and hoppy.
M: Medium bodied. Median carbonation.
D: Average. It's a big beer but it doesn't really feel it. If it actually is 8%, and I doubt it, it will slow you down without giving you a real run for your money.

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

Pours a hazy, translucent honey color. Lots of slow moving bubbles emanating from the glass bottom--must be thick. Medium white bubbley head with good retention. Minor lace spattering up top.

Smells of floral, earthy hop and poundcake.

Thick, pineapple birthday cake malt hits first then gives rise to a springy floral hop bouquet with honey and jasmine. Very balanced and very refreshing for something so strong (both abv and ibu). Mouthfeel is thick and relaxing, I almost want to just hold it in my mouth for awhile. Aftertaste lingers just long enough to beg for another sip. Overall this beer rocks my socks.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Okay first of all, mine is labeled "ESB2" not "ESB3" so I'm not sure what in Sam Hill is going on here.

This one pours a hazy dark orange, with millions of tiny bubbles. Lots of icy lace. Looks awesome.

The smell is bitter malts and flowery hops. A richness in the malt that smells a bit dark. Hops are bitter and, as the brewers themselves say, "aggressive."

The taste is first bitter woody hops, then pine oil and perfumey flowers. It's an overhop; strong like an Imperial IPA.

The feel is thick and creamy with a bitter bite on the way down. It's a little too bitter with no balance as a respite. Good taste but a tad too much.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle with a sticker on the bottom marked Dec. '08. I sampled it on Feb. 25, 2009.

A - The pour is amber and extremely cloudy. There are small chunks of sedimentation floating around the glass. It must be unfiltered.

S - It is powerful with floral hops and yeast. The aroma reminds me a bit of that "fresh-brewed craft beer" like you get with a good homebrew.

T & M - The flavor hopped like an IPA and rather sour, tart, and citrusy. I don't get much of the traditional English Bitter that I like. The mouthfeel chewy and of medium body.

If this was labeled "IPA," I probably would have believed it more than it being labeled an ESB. So in that respect it was a let down for a Bitter fan like myself. Hop fans will love it.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown longneck bottle from Abe's in Bethlehem for $2. Poured into a dimple mug

Color is a fairly cloudy apricot--I see this one is bottle conditioned. Head is an impressive 2-3 fingers, off-white, thick and solid looking. Very stick and leaves lots of lace, pretty good retention.

Smell is piney and hoppy, slight malt to keep it from tipping overboard. Maybe a bit of a weird, wet dog type of smell but it was impossible to pin that one definitively on the beer.

Taste is very good, very IPA-like in my opinion. Bitter, a hoppiness that is dominated by piney/resiney characteristics. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky as the abundance of hop oils seems to coat the mouth. Not sure if I can describe it helpfully but it is a common occurrence while drinking hoppy beers. Medium-bodied with ample carbonation.

The drinkability of this makes it dangerous. I will probably be getting a couple more bottles of this on my next visit to break up the stranglehold that the dark heavies seem to have on the winter months. Highly recommended.

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Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a clear amber color with a thick, foamy beige head. Aroma mostly consist of floral hops with a very slight malt presence. Flavor is once again dominated by hops, but not too bitter. Slightly sweet with a dry hoppy finish.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a nonic.
Note: the bottle that I am reviewing is clearly labeled Magnumus ete Tomahawkus ESB 2 (not ESB 3) as the BA name indicates or the photo displays. After some investigating, I'm pretty confident that this is the same brew.

Somewhat hazy, two-toned copper: dark oak and light camel beneath a massive 1 1/2" of dense, white foam showing no signs of receding. Dense rings of sticky lacing down the entire nonic.

Bright, fresh floral hops with a nice balance of citrus and pine that cut the floral aspect rather well. The pine aroma is mild, but very clean giving a nice freshness. Faint hints of must over a mild, balanced caramel malt backbone.

Metallic-heavy caramel malts that give a mild sweetness. As a result of the metal off-flavor, the malt character is almost watery. The hop flavor is nearly all spruce and pine with a stiff, somewhat artifical fir flavor. Solvent-like lemon flavors in the slick, burnt hop finish. The lemon solvency and intense off-balanced hop profile linger in the aftertaste.

Almost a full, medium in body; filmy and slick, especially leading to the finish and the aftertaste. Not quite balanced in an unusal way: watery, malt character and over-the-top, artficial spruce/citrus hops.

Unfortunately, a pretty typical "Extreme Series" offering from Rock Art: bulky and over-the-top just for the sake of reaching the previous VT maximum ABV. This one demonstrates an inability to brew a well-crafted, balanced big ESB/IPA. I get it: sometimes you have to take risks to succeed, this one just isn't a success.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish tinge to the orange brew - head is pure white with large bubbles. This is very sticky, with really good retention. As usual, a nice looking brew from Rock Art.

Obviously lots of Tomahawk hops, a little earthy and herbal. Not great, I wouldn't mind more assertiveness, but the hops are definitely more powerful than the malts.

A little diacetyl malt flavor with plenty of herbal bitterness. Some citrics that emerge as well, lending a measure of complexity to the hop-centric ale.

There is definitely a prick of alcohol, but it's pretty well hidden overall. A little thin in the mouth, not a terrible characteristic, but a little heft would help.

Pretty solid offering, not the best but an interesting take on the style.

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Photo of Applesauce1
4.65/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap at The Independent in Somerville, MA, while visiting my friend in Boston.

Appearance: hazy, copper-orange with a nice white 1/2" white head on the pour

Smell: hops and lots of them

Taste: hops dominate with a tinge of some caramel malt in the background....good balance though

Mouthfeel: medium to full body

Drinkability: goes down well for being pretty high in alcohol....could do two glasses of this in a night

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Photo of mcallister
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very clear copper with a huge frothy head that last and lasts leaving thick sticky lacing behind.

Spicey citrusy hops slightly offputting in nature with some fussel alcohol in the finish. A stagnant nature ensues that throwns things off as well. Now don't get me wrong it's not that offending however something is just off.

Caramel, toffee, bitter chalky hops, hints of acidity, pine, grassy spicey character, moderate spice character with an almost belgian approach.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger white head that fades slowly to a thin layer, leaving a good lace. Nearly cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Slight grapefruit nose. Flavor is sweet piney/grapefruit. Lingering grapefruit aftertaste. Higher ABV is hidden. $3.49 for a 22oz bottle from Cabot Quechee Store Quechee, VT.
FWIW this is now only ESB squared and not ESB cubed.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

What a name! Good thing this one lives up to that mouthful. A cloudy (unfiltered) straw gold Extra Special Bitter with orange hues. Developed a creamy, glass-crawling white head with good retention that left some nice lacing. Strong, hoppy aroma with a medium-heavy body. Malty bread, apricots, butterscotch, citrus notes. Yum. A great example of their Extreme series, bold and complex.

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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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