LunaSea ESB | Empyrean Brewing Company

BA SCORE
83
good
124 Ratings
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LunaSea ESBLunaSea ESB
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Empyrean Brewing Company
Nebraska, United States
empyreanbrewingco.com

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Extra Special Bitter is our homage to the best of English beers. Brewed with imported English malts for a bold, caramel-sweet, yet crisp ale. Brewed with English and American grown barley and American hops.

31 IBU

Added by PhantomVodoo on 10-05-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
124
Reviews:
69
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
13.01%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 124 |  Reviews: 69
Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best enjoyed by October

Pours an effervescent amber/caramel with 2 fingers of tan head. Superior lacing & head retention

S: Biscuitty malt, woody hops & a bit of pear. Fruittyness increases as this warms

T: Follows the nose, along with herbal hops up front along with some apple tartness. More fruittyness as this warms, more woody hops. Finishes crisp & fruitty with a touch of dryness & a bit of herbal hops

MF: Medium bodied, slightly over carbonated at first, calms down as it warms. Good balance

An alright take on the style, nothing to really brag about, but solid & very sessionable. Worth a try

 609 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love me a good ESB... Let's see how this one measures up...

A - One finger's worth of late-to-rise slightly lopsided off white colored head with a couple of big chunky bubbles mixed in... Limited retention gives way to a mostly full lacing that has some carbonation bubbles bursting through the surface... The color is a mix of pale gold and light amber... Loaded with small bubbled slightly sluggish carbonation...

S - Pleasant, but slightly understated aroma... Toasted malts... Warm fresh baked bread... Caramel... Maraschino cherry juice... Perhaps some faint golden raisins as well...

T - A bit fruity to start... Next is an over abundance of malty goodness mostly in the form of light breads and toasted malts... There is also a faint hint of toffee and caramel mix in as well... Lots and lots of bread crust on the finish... Just the faintest earthy hop presence as well...

M - Medium bodied... Some prickly carbonation... Sleek... Perhaps even a bit sticky... Starts a tiny bit lush, but the finish is surprisingly dry...

D - A very respectable and enjoyable ESB from Empyrean... It's a style that I wished more brewer's would take the time and effort to produce... This one is fairly text book... Lots of good things going on, but nothing outstanding... I would gladly drink again, but it's not a must have...

 1,326 characters

Photo of bjohn84
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of beerbrains
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a one-finger, white head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled earthy and spicy. Some caramel and toffee aromas, too.

T - It had a nice spicy bite upfront with some earthy tones. Some caramel maltiness and toffee sweetness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a nice ESB. I'm glad I picked it up at Goebel's in Wichita, KS.

 456 characters

Photo of ssjkyle
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of KansasBeerLover
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had a pint on tap with supper tonight.

Glass was a standard ale pint. Came with little head, but I didn't see the draft. The head quickly disappeared, and left little lacing. Body was a strong wheat, cloudy.

Smell was decent, malty and not too strong.

Taste was malt with some sweetness.

Mouthfeel was smooth, thick with little bitters.

Overall, I was not impressed. While it was a good beer, it was not a bitters. I will second the ESBrown motion.

 457 characters

Photo of mwayne
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy orange-brown color with a white head. The aroma is full of toffee and grass and is fairly sweet overall. The flavor follows the aroma, with a lot of toffee and a hint of biscuit malt coming through up front, and a hint of grass and a very low amount of bitterness coming through from the hops. Easy to drink with a medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 377 characters

Photo of mothman
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a white head. Leaves some nice lace rings. Color is a clear golden bronze.

Aroma: Caramel and bready malts. Grassy hops. More malty than hoppy.

Taste: Grassy, earthy hops. Some citrus. Lots of bready/pale malts.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and smooth. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, an average bitter, but a little too malty for me. Not enough flavor for the amount of bitterness that this beer brings.

 442 characters

Photo of vencad
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of RDW
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of Cramerican
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of danholmberg
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of lawlerj
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. Best by notch is March of 2012.

A - Pours a a hazy amber/copper with an off white two finger width head. Speckled lacing. Appears to be well carbonated.

S - There is a caramel/toffee breadiness coming through from the malt mixed with some citrus and fruity hop notes mixed in as well.

T- More or less follows the nose. Mild hops and prominent bready malt body is the main story here. Finishes with a nice dry burst of hops. Pleasant aftertaste - a bit astringent on the back end but not in a bad way.

M - On the lighter side of medium. It is well carbonated, as I suspected by looking at it, and give it a nice crispness.

O - Overall, nothing crazy going on here, but just a damn fine beer. Highly refreshing, highly drinkable. Nothing really to complain about. I really like this one, and it might be one of my favorites from Empyrean.

 899 characters

Photo of TippySelenoid
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured intoa pint glass.

Hazy,copper color with a resilient, white head.
LOTS of bubbles can be seen in the beer.

Smells like an Irish red. Peppery? Bready malts?

It tastes like an Irish red only better. It's got some of the same flavor profiles. Not much for hops though.

Medium bodied or perhaps thinner. Pretty smooth for all the carbonation.

Overall this beer is more than the sum of its parts, but its just pretty good.

 429 characters

Photo of TrojanWheels
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of mthalman
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A special thanks to Kris in the service, for lugging it to Zach's, who provided me with this well traveled sample.

LunaSea ESB
Empyrean Brewing Company

Pours a hazed bright amber in color, with a creamy, well retaining head. In the aroma, floral and citrusy hops, with a bit of toffee. In the flavor, more mellow flavors of toffee and caramel, with slight citrus and toasted notes. Pretty well balanced and easy drinking, anyone could find a brew like this approachable. Medium bodied, smooth feel with moderate carbonation. Overall, a touch more American than English, but still a fine ale, worthy of the brewer's pride.

 623 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of FreshmanPour77
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of budgood1
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the 12 oz. stubby bottle a hazed glowing bronze colour with a bit of a head and some slight wispy lace. aroma is malt heavy with notes of cocoa, nougat, caramel and some green apple. definitely some "box of chocolates" smells going on. flavour profile reinforces the malt-centric profile...after having the brown last night...it doesn't seem like the malt profile has changed much...these brewers like the choco and caramel malts a lot. certainly it has the traditional english bitter characteristics...justed ramped up a bit with a cleverly hidden boozy note. hops are all flowery and herbal without adding much bitterness...very nice. it all works well in making a tasty brew. medium bodied with a well rounded mouthfeel. it has a nice drinkability...questionable sessionability due to the malt heaviness...lingering sweetness is another wild card.

overall....i can see where this might be a popular choice amongst the thirsty Nebraskans. this breaks the mold for an ESB. tasty...i keep thinking that this could be an Extra Special Brown...whatever that is.

 1,073 characters

Photo of Forb
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle best before September...

Appearance: An amber color is seen here with with a think solid white head.

Smell: Sugary spice inside of a biscuity malt essence.

Taste: Tastes of a sweet breaded malt with very faint terra quality to the hops.

Mouthfeel: A medium leading into a full body with this one accompanied by refreshing carbonation.

Overall: A good solid beer. Nothing extremely special here for me but definitely not something to shun.

 469 characters

Photo of dbossman
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brownish amber with a large and steady head--great retention and lacing

S: A sweet bready malt backbone with a touch of lemony, grassy, and earthy hops; pleasant but fairly subdued and simple

T: Nice grassy hop bitterness with a touch of lemon followed by a strong burnt, grainy malt flavor; the charred malts are a bit harsh but the sweet, toffee breadiness works to balance things out

F: Carbonation borders on too much up front and then the beer doesn't quite stick to the mouth as you would wish but in the end a decent amount does cling to the roof of the mouth making for a pleasant all around mouth feel

O: A decent, balanced interpretation on the style; not my favorite but an easy-to-drink, pleasant session beer nonetheless; I am sure I will return to this on occasion

 790 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks goes to a77cj7 for this extra. Poured from a bottle into a standard pint.

A: Crystal clear amber orange. Solid two fingers of cream hued head. Good retention, thick sticky lace. Looks great.

S: Plenty of biscuity malt and mild hops. Some sugar dusted toasted bread crust with a little cinnamon.

T: Earthy malt and a mild hop bite. Faint astringent bitterness holds my tongue as it finishes.

M: Light to medium body. Mild carbonation.

O: Not bad, easy drinking although it really lacks in complexity.

 514 characters

LunaSea ESB from Empyrean Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 124 ratings.
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