Houdini ESP | Asheville Pizza and Brewing Co.

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Very Good
10 Ratings

Brewed by:
Asheville Pizza and Brewing Co.
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 08-28-2005

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10 |  Reviews: 7
Photo of jrob21
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of DrMindbender
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of beer2day
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark gold with no head. Nothing to retain, but does leave decent lacing.

Very weak nose. Pale malt dominates. Really needs more aromatic hops.

Clean, crisp malt profile in the taste. Nice dry hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is just right.

An easy go-to beer when visiting this pub.

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Photo of Norfawkers
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A versatile, light beer but nothing especially noteworthy

Appearance: Dark golden, minimal head but decent lacing

Smell: ?, very faint if there at all

Taste: Smokey, malty, very faint

Mouthfeel: Smooth, almost creamy

Drinkability: There are flavors there worth sipping but they need to be brought out a bit more

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I finally managed to make it into Asheville brewing again, and this time I had a mission. I was going to try their flagship beer, the Houdini! The last couple times I was in there for some reason or another I just did not try it, always went with another brew. This time however, I was all about this, and quickly ordered on up the moment sat down.

A - Poured a very nice, albeit clear golden amber. A decent inch high head was present on the top as it was brought over to the table. This settled in rather quickly and left behind only a touch of lace ringing the top of the glass. Lots of visible carbonation was evident streaming up from the bottom of the glass throughout the session. A tiny bit of a residual side glass lace, but nothing spectacular.

S - Aroma was fresh, a decent amount of hops playing around in there. More of a fresh cut grass or flowers smell more then anything. Some decent wheat aroma could be detected along with some light fruit. It was a decent smalling ale all around, and more hopy then anything, but what probably detracted the most from it was that it was a little weak. You really had to search for this smell.

T - Very clean and crisp. Your classic pale ale from start to finish. he first sip was total hops, but not the deep citrus bomb west coast style, more of a light hoppiness. As it warmed more of a muted grain or cereal like flavor started to meander in and out, but the overall flavor was very light and sessionable. This was a good classic pale ale. Finish was very tight. Good long lingering dry finish, went well with dinner.

M - Very smooth, with really great carbonation. It had that light almost effortless feel to it that just washed down with ease. Not watered nor was it oily in any way. Just a good crisp, clean refreshing pale ale.

D - Awesome, this was so sessionable it wasn't even funny. I could have had a pitcher of this, and was actually tempted to. It was damn fine on a hot day and I am sure would have been a perfect outdoor session beer.

Overall I was quite impressed with this. I love pale ales and it takes a decent effort to impress me with this style anymore, but this worked very well. If you are in the area and can get some, definatly try it. It is a classic session ale.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Outside of the Shiva, my favorite of their beers. Lighter than the Shiva and not as hoppy, but with a zing nevertheless from the hops and wonderfully frsh tasting and drinkable. Pours golden with good lacing and okay head. The smell is fresh and with gentle floral hops. The taste has more of the floral and slightly citrusy hops, bubblegum, cherry, and enough fruity malt to balance the restrained hops. Nicely balanced bosy and quite drinkable. A great session beer even if a little higher on the abv than normal for that purpose.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yea, I thought so. I figured it was more of an APA than an ESB. The American maltiness with full caramel and fruity tones helped to give it away. So did the citrusy hops. Though the malts and hops were a bit subdued, they still came across strictly American. Good flavors though: a good bready / yeasty undertone was a bit unexpected, so was the spiciness and herbal qualities. Could have finished a bit crisper; got a bit watery, leaving the hops a little metalic tasting. Pretty good though.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably my favorite offering outside of Shiva from this place,poured deep copper with nice tight one finger head that sticks for quite awhile.Well balanced aromas caramel and biscuit malt underneath nice floral,piney hop.I would saay this beer is as balanced as it can get sweet bready caramel malt melding into piney citrus hop finishin well.This one I drank alot of in my visits to the two brewpub locations,very nice.

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Photo of finepaws
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice amber/red color. Good carbo through whole pitcher. Had a good combo of citrus hop smell with nice malty flavor. Having 3 beer choices, I kept heading back to this one. Good balance of sweet caramel malt flavors, and floral/citrus hop bite. This was a smooth, refreshing beer. Especially fine with pizza. Because of the hoppy bite, I wish I had ordered a sweeter pizza, instead of spicey. By itself, this was a nice session beer. Flavorful, without being overpowering.

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Houdini ESP from Asheville Pizza and Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 10 ratings