Naughty Hildegard ESB
Driftwood Brewery

Naughty Hildegard ESBNaughty Hildegard ESB
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Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #2
Ranked #2,754
4.23 | pDev: 7.33%
Jan 27, 2023
Feb 16, 2010
Naughty Hildegard ESBNaughty Hildegard ESB
Notes: Brewed to honor Hildegard Von Bingen, a 12th century Benedictine nun who allegedly was the first to record the use of hops as an ingredient in beer. While this is open to debate, we like Hildegard's style and we can't imagine a beer without hops. This extra special bitter has lots of hops- Hildegard would be proud. We are! Cheers Hildy!
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Photo of wildvanisle
Rated by wildvanisle from Canada (BC)

4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Dark red-ish amber, very mild but pleasant smell, tastes of hops pine with a mild pleasant mouthfeel. It's quite good.
Jan 27, 2023
Photo of charleskimmle
Reviewed by charleskimmle from Canada (BC)

3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Good but not what i was expecting. I was expecting a completely different experience from their flagship Fat Tug. This is seems kind of like a modified Fat Tug. However in this way it delivers on what it promises, because the description does place emphasis on the hops and west coast style. This basically tastes like a Fat Tug with a darker malt to me. The malt isn't even more prominent in this than the Fat Tug, because that has a very healthy malt presence, but it is darker. I don't have any prior experience with ESBs, and honestly I still don't feel that I do know what an ESB tastes like, because this mainly tastes like an IPA to me. I guess I was expecting something a bit more blunted, and mellow, easy drinking with a dry bitter finish and interesting malt. This has a lot of citrus and tropical going on which I was not expecting. This seems like a very lively IPA with a slightly darker malt backbone to me.
Jan 15, 2023
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Reviewed by WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Can states best before 8/8/22 - received in bif15 from @snaotheus whose kindness and thoughtfulness has brought me too the #1 rated ESB on Beer Advocate. I equate ESB’s with London and I really haven’t had many in recent years. it is a style that I like .

Brewers Notes: Brewed to honor Hildegard Von Bingen, a 12th century Benedictine nun who allegedly was the first to record the use of hops as an ingredient in beer. While this is open to debate, we like Hildegard's style and we can't imagine a beer without hops. This extra special bitter has lots of hops- Hildegard would be proud. We are! Cheers Hildy

Poured into a will becher glass, clear copper liquid with numerous active carbonation streams capped by a light taupe frothy two finger foam cap, good retention , sticky lacings , settles to a frothy ring and islands

I get a piney and then an orange citrus hop aroma. A whiff of malt aroma

taste is piney hops, orange citrus , this beer should be consumed at or near room temperature

Creamy sudsy mouthfeel, Has a tangy hop bite that lingers on the tongue

Good beer …i wish I could drink it bellied up in a London pub, elbows on the bar ..or maybe in a Vancouver version..
Apr 28, 2022
Rated: 3.93 by Roejogan from Canada (BC)

Dec 31, 2021
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Reviewed by LeBron_James from Canada (ON)

4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
From Driftwood's Swashbox 8 pack thing.
Pours dark amber with an amazing full head. Leaves tons of lacing.
Smells a LOT like Fresh Squeeze by Deschutes. It smells like an IPA for sure. Lots of hops, tons of fruity and floral notes, some nice malt here too.
The taste definitely follows the nose. Super hopped up and pretty great. Tastes a LOT like an IPA and actually super similar to Fresh Squeeze. Tons of citrus fruit from the hops and some earthyness too. I really like this beer a lot but I can see why people are saying it's more like an IPA than an ESB.
The mouthfeel is very nice, carbonation is perfect. It's a little on the higher side but works great for this beer.

Overall this is a great beer. I like it a lot and would like to see Driftwood come up with another ESB (maybe more traditional).
Mar 14, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by shigg85 from Japan

Nov 20, 2020
Rated: 4.24 by Teion from Canada (AB)

Jun 16, 2020
Rated: 4.51 by jmdr from Canada (AB)

Mar 31, 2020
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Reviewed by altstadt from Canada (BC)

3.16/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
Clear dark amber color. The head was a light tan and made of larger sized bubbles. It left a lot of sparse lacing on the glass as the head quickly dropped down. There are very few bubbles rising in the glass, mostly larger bubbles.

Mostly a vegetable hop scent with a tiny bit of barnyard that quickly faded away. Swirling the glass kicked up a stronger barnyard.

Mostly vegetable hop flavor with a medium bitter level. It is actually quite bitter for an ESB. Half way through, a floral hop flavor pops up. Some malt underpinnings get stronger as it warms. There is a light barnyard throughout. The aftertaste is mostly the hops and bitter.

Some light tongue tingling; more than would be expected from the visual carbonation level. Doesn't foam up much.

This is much more like an IPA than an ESB, so not very true to style. My notes from a couple of years ago describe a floral hop scent and make no mention of the barnyard. The aggregate rating now is more than a point lower than what I recorded a couple of years ago.
Mar 11, 2020
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Reviewed by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
An absolute surprise of a beer - ESB - a rarity in itself.
This pours a mildly hazy/chill hazed caramel orange-amber with creamy pale tan head.
Aroma jumps out with a floral piney hop on caramel malt backbone and some citrus - orange, tangerine.
Taste starts with a malty caramel sweetness that transitions into notes of orange, floral hops, and piney bitterness (actually made me think of Troeg’s Nugget Nectar).
Medium mouthfeel with active carbonation leaving with a deliciously refreshing piney bittersweetness - IPAish ESB.
Dec 16, 2019
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Reviewed by patre_tim from Thailand

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Copper orange with light haze and carbonation. Topped with 4 fingers of light beige head.

Smells of orange, toffee and a hint of evergreen.

The taste follows the nose.

Medium body with little carbonation.

I got this near Windermere, BC, and am drinking it in Radium Hot Springs, Aug 21st, 2019.
Aug 21, 2019
Photo of kemoarps
Reviewed by kemoarps from Washington

4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Rich amber body with a light chill haze. Maaaaassive soft pillowing head. As it languidly works back towards the liquid it concentrates into a powdery soft appearance and clings to the walls like spray in insulation.

Nose is a nice balance of malts and hops... lightly bready and sweet caramel with maybe some spice and a bridge between all that and some earthy and lightly nectar-floral hops.

Similar impression on the tongue. Toast and almost rye-like spice with toffee in a rich vein meet with a surprising amount of bitter earthy/grassy/floral hops. Big pine bitter finish.
This is heavily hopped for the style, but that's warned on the label. You could make the argument that this could easily be a big midwest or west coast style basic IPA and I wouldn't argue, but it's labeled an ESB and it's damn delicious.
Smoothe with appropriate carbonation and very easy to drink despite the big pine bitter ending.
Irregardless of style guidelines, this is a fantastic beer and I'm really glad I picked it up when I was in Vancouver. I will gladly snag another any time I'm up there.
Apr 15, 2019
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Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from can at fridge temp. Pours golden yellow with little tan head. Nose is resin, wheat, spice, coriander, and citrus peel. Taste is awesome. Super piny - lots of aromatic pine, tree sap, citrus peel, and a bit of vanilla. Really nice. Mouthfeel is light and dry. Overall, a really nice IPA.
Mar 24, 2019
Rated: 4.54 by IPAnicked from Canada (BC)

Feb 16, 2019
Rated: 4.42 by KevinHildahl from Canada (BC)

Sep 17, 2018
Rated: 4.22 by NickNVBC from Canada (BC)

Sep 04, 2018
Rated: 4.02 by Nunya from Ohio

Jul 07, 2018
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Reviewed by grover37 from District of Columbia

3.61/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Pint at Beer Bistro in Toronto. This is not a good beer, not sure why it rates so highly. Very confused between ESB and PacNW IPA. Way out of style (way too hoppy) and not a very good IPA either (way too sweet and caramelly). I don't appreciate it for what it is, though I could see people liking it.
Jun 06, 2018
Rated: 4.13 by booby_hill from Canada (AB)

Apr 28, 2018
Rated: 3.96 by CurtisD from Canada (NB)

Apr 21, 2018
Rated: 4.16 by knowyourown from Canada (ON)

Feb 27, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by StormAles from Canada (ON)

Feb 13, 2018
Photo of HipCzech
Reviewed by HipCzech from California

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Serving: 650 mL bottled (“bottled on Oct 23, 2017”) poured into a small nonic glass.

Appearance: Bright, clear copper with a dense, cappuccino foam head and thick, sticky lace.

Smell: Biscuit caramel malt, mango, wet rocks and slightly dank pine.

Taste: Slightly grainy, toasty malt with toffee, mandarin oranges, pine needles and earthy notes. Nicely balanced with good fruit notes and just enough bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, creamy feel and lighter carbonation.

Overall: A decidedly West Coast take on ESB with juicy hops kicking up the fruit notes usually provided by estery ale yeast.
Nov 24, 2017
Rated: 4.11 by BcCraft710 from Canada (BC)

Nov 06, 2017
Rated: 4.35 by csmrx7 from Canada (AB)

Nov 06, 2017
Rated: 4.12 by CWVegas from Nevada

Jun 03, 2017
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Rated by spinrsx from Canada (ON)

3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Bottle thanks to Sylvain. Tasty but more of a American Pale Ale taste wise than a ESB?
May 29, 2017
Rated: 4.03 by mistahmojoryan from Canada (SK)

Apr 20, 2017
Photo of jrenihan
Reviewed by jrenihan from Canada (ON)

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Nice nose, a mix of biscuity caramel malts and citrus and pine scents from the hops. The nose is a good indicator of the flavour, which is hoppy but very much balanced by a strong biscuit backbone. Mildly bitter. Medium bodied, moderately carbonated. The boost of hops make it a fairly nontraditional ESB, but that works in its favour.
Apr 18, 2017
Photo of leaddog
Reviewed by leaddog from Canada (AB)

4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Appearance - Pours a warm amber copper with three fingers of foamy cream coloured head.

Smell - floral and leafy hops, caramel malts, and tropical fruit (mango).

Taste - Starts off with bitter floral and leafy hops. The caramel malts come through next followed by the tropical fruit (mango). There is also pleasant orchard fruits present in the taste primarily apple and plum.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied light to moderate carbonation. Finishes smooth with the hops lingering.

Overall - A well crafted ESB. I was surprised with the nice bitterness from the hops in this brew. The malts added a nice balance to the brew which makes it very drinkable and refreshingly bitter. A unique and stand out brew from the folks at Driftwood.
Mar 06, 2017
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Reviewed by dillybarrrrr from Canada (BC)

3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
Naughty Hildegard from Driftwood Brewery. 6.5% Poured into a pint purchased at 6.99
Picked up because my co-worker wasn't a big fan so thought I had to try aha.
L: Not quite amber but not quite golden, right in the middle of this spectrum. Poured a perfect head and has light thin lacing, doesn't stick around long. 4.5 for the head and intriguing color
S: Piney. Hops come through first and foremost.
T: Where is the bitter? The hops are nice, I mean it has a kick of bitter but very little. I feel like the malt and yeast comes thru more than the bitter which is unfortunate. Green apple touch.
F: Definitely medium bodied, not super smooth but not thick. Hops stick around in your mouth.
OV: I mean I'ts good and drinkable, would I pick up another? Probably not. very mediocre :S
Feb 23, 2017
Rated: 4.4 by Blaxn420 from Canada (BC)

Feb 13, 2017
Rated: 4 by SmithyAlan from Canada (QC)

Sep 26, 2016
Rated: 4.24 by mattsander from Canada (AB)

Aug 20, 2016
Rated: 4.19 by yancot from Canada (ON)

Aug 01, 2016
Rated: 4.07 by joemcgrath27 from Canada (AB)

Jul 30, 2016
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Reviewed by Bunman3 from Canada (AB)

4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Oh me oh my. I love ESB and this hopped up version is absolutely smashing. It's gorgeous and naughty, what every mysterious nun should be. I will definitely be seeking this one out every chance I get!
Jul 11, 2016
Photo of MaltyPythonsHopCircus
Reviewed by MaltyPythonsHopCircus from Canada (BC)

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Fluffy white head that lingers. Very fresh hoppy aroma. Hints of tangerine and pine. Flavour is doughy, slightly sweet and English malty. Hops come through as fruity almost pineapple like. Mouthfeel is slightly chewy. Excellent ESB
Jul 11, 2016
Rated: 3.97 by likeablepaper from Canada (AB)

Jul 09, 2016
Rated: 4.17 by Tivlavrie from Canada (AB)

Jul 03, 2016
Naughty Hildegard ESB from Driftwood Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 146 ratings