471 ESB | Breckenridge Brewery

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471 ESB471 ESB

Brewed by:
Breckenridge Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Style is Scottish Ale according to brewers website.

Added by Bierguy5 on 03-25-2007

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Ratings: 210 |  Reviews: 117
Photo of manahansf
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Toasted malt aroma flows from a light brown brew. Medium carbonation levels help spread the toasted maltyness around the palate. There is only slight bitterness to it with the flavor of fresh piney hops. The finish is smooth and malty sweet and ends with a nice but subtle warming sensation.

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Photo of Longhorn22
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This is the "Small batch series" of this beer.

A - The head is medium, but lasts for a long time. I left it in the bottle so I don't really know what the color is. It looked a little cloudy when I held it up to a light though.

S - The smell isn't anything special. It's pretty much what you would expect from an ESB. It smells like a standard beer. It is just the right strength.

T - I was actually surprised that this isn't that bitter. I wasn't expecting to like this beer, since I usually don't like bitter flavors. They weren't over the top bitter, and there was a sweetness to it.

M/D - This was sort of weird, because it had a good strong thick mouthfeel, but it was oddly not easily drinkable.

Bottom Line: This mostly what I expected from an ESB. It is pretty good, and it is probably the best beer I have had from Breckenridge Brewery.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.12/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I drank this from the 22oz bottle into a chalice.

Just to clarify this batch doesn't say 471 but the Extra ESB is the same as 471 Extra ESB.

The beer pours a clear medium copper with about a finger of light tan head that has decent retention. The lacing is light.

The aroma is light mostly some bitter hops with a tiny bit of skunky, not your normal ESB.

The taste is not great to me its like a bad IPA. The hops are all over the place very strong but nothing else to reward you. Not a normal bitter.

The feel is watery and not very drinkable.

Overall, I wouldn't qualify as an ESB and I wouldn't drink it eiter. Not a great effort overall.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Hop City in Atlanta.

Pours a brownish-copper color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted and slightly grainy caramel malts with somewhat faded citrus and herbal hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The hops are a bit stronger than the smell intimates, joining toasted caramel malts midway through the sip. The hops then carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this was a good ESB although I'm a bit curious as to how fresh it was. Still, either way it's worth a shot.

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Photo of Riccymon
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a hazy, rust brown color with a half inch of off-white head. A host of floaties are suspended throughout the body of the beer, making the beer look more like a jar of jam through the pint glass. Smell is bizarre and makes me wonder if this was intended, or if the beer is old/was poorly stored. It's not bad, just odd: tremendous oxidation notes that are spot-on for old pennies, a little vinegar smell, and some creamy malt notes that are more what I expected from an "extra ESB."

First sip causes the scotch ale style to spring to mind. There's a strong earthy caramel malt note that coats the mouth, cocoa powder, and some vanilla flavors. Body is extremely thick and creamy, and really a treat to drink. Hop presence just barely shows up in flavor, but there is a slight ending bitterness at the end of each sip. While the flavor isn't really boozy, I can also sense the presence of alcohol at the end of each sip.

About half way through the glass, the odd aromas faded into a light mineral note (thus the bump in "smell" score), and this became an even better beer. I enjoyed drinking this beer. Very full-flavor and bodied, and something a little different than I've encountered in a while.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into New Belgium Globe Glass.

A. 1 finger head. Pretty thick lacing. Good head retention. Dark mahogany color.

S. Smell is almost all malt. A caramel malt blast. Some hop bitterness under the malt. More hop aromas come out as it warms, as well as a more biscuity malt smell.

T. Dominant on the malt taste. Sweet caramel malt that overpowers any hop flavor. The hops do come out a bit more as it warms. There is a hint of dark fruit, and raisins.

M. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation.

D. This is a unique beer. It might be best described as a Double ESB. As such it is hard to compare to anything else. It is a good beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkest bronze with bright tangerine highlights... that becomes burnt orange when backlit. A vigorous pour resulted in almost half the glass being filled with bubbly golden beige foam. The head has plenty of character to start and looks even better as it starts to melt. Finely perforated lace is abundant and looks fantastic too.

The aroma is nicely balanced between malt and hops. The former is modestly caramel-like and the latter is citrus fruity. Sort of like Alpha King or Celebration Ale, except with more caramel and fewer hops. Malts include pale, amber, crystal and roasted. Humulus lupulus include Chinook, Centennial and Fuggles.

Extra ESB is a beer that is seriously confused where style is concerned. The Breckenridge website calls it a 'Strong Scottish Ale' and the label calls it an ESB. It has the malting of the former and the hopping of the latter (55 IBUs). Oh well. The only thing that really matters is whether or not it's good beer. Let's find out.

Yes it is, as long as this metallic quality fades before too much longer. I'm still reminded of the hoppy IPA masterpieces mentioned above, although this ale isn't in their league. It's also much darker flavored, while still stopping well short of being porter-like. Brown ale-like? Sure.

There's too much hoppage for Scottish ale to get any serious consideration. Just because the brewers used a Scottish ale yeast strain doesn't mean squat. In the end, putting all considerations of style aside, this is good beer because it has plenty of malt flavor and sweetness, balanced by plenty of hop flavor and bitterness.

The metal shavings vibe fades by the third mouthful and alcohol isn't appreciated. The mouthfeel is right about where it needs to be for the ABV, and counts a gentle bubble smoothness among its finest features.

Extra ESB is only the second Breckenridge beer to earn a flavor score of 4.0 from the likes of me. The brewery needs to do a better job of defining this offering for would-be buyers, but the contents of the bottle are fine just the way they are.

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Photo of ToddT
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear dark brown liquid with a slight ruby tint topped with a three finger light tan head. Head falls slowly to a cap and leaves some nice rings of lace on the glass.

S- Sweet malt and caramel dominate, there are some mild pine hop notes going on in the background.

T- Light caramel and molasses malt start things off and builds to a dark candied fruit mid point. This then drops down to a slightly bitter hop finish, which is nice a counterpoint to the sweetness. Finish is somewhat dry with a lingering bitter citrus note of the hops.

M- Medium in body and high in carbonation, not overly so but it is noticeable. Some heat from the alcohol as well.

D- Pretty drinkable the 7.8% ABV is a little noticeable in the finish and it does have a little more punch than a regular ESB.

Not what I was expecting from an ESB. Maybe they were aiming for an Imperial ESB, overall a decent beer.

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Photo of kegger22
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish brown with a modest head that quickly faded to a collar. The aroma was malty sweet. The taste was also malty as in caramel with a citrus aftertaste that came through more as it warmed. The feel was surprisingly full bodied with light, but adequate carbonation. Drinkability was good.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, deep, deep dark brown--nearly black! So dark you have to hold it up to the light to see any ruby color. Big frothy head that's got some staying power. Looks BIG for an ESB.

Seems in line for an ESB with the faint mineral qualities and toasty and caramel notes. Slightly fruity, floral, and grassy hop notes too.

Taste & Mouthfeel
It's definitely packing a bigger punch than a regular ESB, but for how heavy it actually is, it's managing it pretty well. The body is surprisingly spry, though the initial texture seems pretty viscous. Flavors are complex and layered, with earthy hops, scorched sugar, toasted grains, milk chocolate, raisins, and more. Finish is dry, but there's a slightly off-putting aftertaste, which makes me think they've treated their water in some way to mimick the kind found in the ESB-makin' regions of jolly ole England. It's almost a bit stale tasting (hopefully it's not really a stale beer!).

A big American take on a big English style. I think it works pretty well and is interesting and tasty for what it is. It's not something I could drink all night (like a regular ESB), but is something I would enjoy again and would recommend to others.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce silk screened bottle poured into a shaker glass. The ale appears a deep copper color with about two fingers of lingering off white foam. Nose and flavor are of toasted bread grain, fruity, sweet malt, earthy hops, slightly nutty. Decent body and ample carbonation. Worth trying if you stumble upon a bottle.

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Photo of LyonsHead
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very deep amber with a creamy off-white head that stuck around for seemingly ever.

S: very bready and biscuity with dark fruits and a hint of alcohol. Reminds me of Sam Adams Double Bock

T: The taste follows in line with the smell and it begins with a complexity of melanoidan rich flavors and moves to a darker fruit flavor. The aftertaste gives you a warming sensation from some hot (maybe just warm) alcohols.

M: Medium-light body, finishes slightly sweet

D: the alcoholic aftertaste makes this a little harder to drink, but i personally think this is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of sgoodship
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a 1pt 6floz bottle of this. It's a beer that is interesting to me because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
- Their website says it's the 471 ESB Small Batch but the new bottles have done away with any reference to 471 in the design
- It's called an ESB but apparently it is not. Their site identifies it as a Scottish Ale and reviewing it shows it to be a Scottish Ale.

OK, let's forget the 471 and let's forget the ESB. Here's my review of Breckenridge's Small Batch Scottish Ale

A: Deep dark copper. Almost dark brown at the top and copper colored at the bottom. There is a good amount of clarity except for the top where it is very dark. It delivered a good finger cream colored head. It dissipated to a dusting and a ring and then to nothing toward the last third. There was some spotty lacing at the early part of the drink but it disappeared.

S: A hint of diacetyl and almost metallic initially but this was not apparent as the drink progressed. Nice caramel malt. Very bready too. Creamy, slightly smokey and nutty. Some alcohol was present as the drink progressed which was a nice balance to the malt.

T: Very bready initially. Some tart diacetyl. Some sweet plum and sweet caramel. Slight roasted malt smokiness in the finish. The second pour tasted much more watery although the alcohol taste became more prominent.

M: It's on the full side of medium bodied. There is medium carbonation that keeps it lively. It's very dry on the palate.

D: Nothing to write home about here. It's a decent beer but I won't be re-visiting it.

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Photo of hossua34
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark, nutty brown. Small head which pretty quickly recedes to a ring of bubbles. Lots of lacing, however.

S - A big, bready, slightly sweetened hoppy smell. Carmally and burnt-sugary with mild bitterness.

T - Hops kick in right off the bat, with more bitterness than I'd expected from the smell. Caramel-like malty sweetness is present too, but somewhat overpowered. A touch of chocolate, or coffee perhaps? The aftertaste is clean hops as well, which I didn't really like.

M - Mouthfeel is average to pretty good; certainly not watery.

D - Not my style (and I thought this was supposed to be an ESB??). I'm glad I tried it but I'll probably pass on this one in the future.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.54/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 7/17/2009 (bottle):

Pours a chestnut reddish brown colored body, with a big foamy, frothy off-white head, somewhat lasting. English maltiness in the aroma. Some bitterness too, citrusy. Earthy. Earthy taste, some slight bitterness. Malty sweet. Pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2 1/2 finger off white head that is real creamy and shows a few moments of retention.
Lacing is left behind.
Deep reddish/amber color with decent clarity. There are quite a bit of floaters in this beer. Fairly large.

Aroma is slightly sweet, some roasted malt notes. Burnt sugar almost.

Big malt flavor, lots of roasted notes, some fruity esters, a touch of dark caramel. Assertive bitterness towards the end. Lingers for a minute then trails off. I get a sense of some alcohol, more than I would have expected. Either a touch of almond or coconut.

Medium bodied, low carbonation fairly smooth in feel.

Nice beer and one I enjoyed. I would say this does drink and feel like an English beer. Clearly that was their goal, so I say they achieved it.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to goatgoat for the extra

12oz bottle. printed at the base of the neck is "821808", with the first "8" being smudged and unclear whether it's even an "8" in the first place...

tasted in mid/late april 2009

coppery amber. almost clear, with some sediment sneaking through before i stopped pouring - still 1 inch left in the bottle. frothy 1.5-finger head fades very slowly to thin layer. great lacing.

aroma: caramel malt foundation meets grassy, mildly citrusy/piney hops. estery apple and trace of diacetyl.

hops pop out more in the flavor, a bit more resinous with pine and citrus notes. still nicely balanced with the malty caramel and toffee character. fruity esters (apple) meet up with diacetyl note and phenols which clash slightly with the otherwise moderate bitterness.

medium body, starts smooth, then has astringency into the finish, with phenols. mild to moderate carbonation.

a bit too americanized for a scottish ale - is that really what this was trying to be? as an americanized ESB, this would fare better, i think.

*note - well, on their website, they do indeed say this is a scottish ale. interesting... http://www.breckbrew.com/beer/smallbatch.html#ESB

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Photo of kels
3.29/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So I was surprised to pull up this beer and find it listed as a Scottish Ale. I definitely bought it in an attempt to find a new ESB in replacement of my no longer available GLBC Moondog. The 471 didn't taste much like any ESB I've ever had unfortunately. Bottle pour into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a lovely dark amber color with moderate clarity and a well-retained 1/2 finger foamy off-white head and solid rings of white, thick lacing.

Smell: Only the slightest aromas of toasted, slightly chewy malts creep through. Very little smell at all.

Taste/Mouthfeel: This beer doesn't taste at all like an ESB in my experience. It isn't awful - it just isn't what I was looking for in buying an ESB. There is a huge chewy malt presence, slight piney hoppiness and a hint of saltiness. The alcohol is slightly present and the feel is moderately carbonated and very sticky.

Drinkability: Eh, not so impressive. Overall just okay.

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Photo of Trappistfan1
4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a deep amber color with a two finger head that dies down in a minute or two. Nice, persistent lacing as I proceeded through the glass.

S - Nutty, malty aromas come out strongest, followed by citrus and hops.

T - A (IMO) well balanced hop / malt character with some interesting citrus notes. At one point I think I got a little cantaloupe (!) taste. Mildly bitter finish, though less so than an IPA.

M - Very pleasant, almost creamy. Makes mouths happy.

D - Very drinkable, seesionable even.

I love this stuff. I admit my experience with the style is limited to this beer, but I think this would hold its own against all comers. I keep this in my regular rotation.

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Photo of omnigrits
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a straight pint glass I found it hard to get much of a head on the beer, even with a vigorous pour. The aroma is correspondingly thin, but what there is ain't bad - citrus, caramel and malt. Maybe even a little tobacco. Pretty good dark amber colour on it.

The taste reminds me a little of rum and raisin toffee with a hint of bitterness. I've never been a fan of rum but I'm enjoying this beer. There's a very slight bitter finish to this beer. Personally I like a bit more but that doesn't detract from it. It's still very pleasant and drinkable.

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Photo of Fnord
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is sample is almost a year old. Hope it's still good.

Appearance - Opaque amber with a dense off-white head that left rings on the glass.

Smell - Caramel, hops, grapefruit, alcohol, pine.

Taste - More grapefruit and caramel, plus toffee, with a lingering bitter finish. It's lost most of its upfront bitterness, not surprisingly.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and low carbonation.

Drinkability - Its alcohol is well hidden. It'd be easy to overdo it on these if you weren't careful.

Notes - I drank one from the six-pack every couple of months to see how it aged, and this is the last one. I let this one sit too long. I'll have to amend my review when I get a fresh sample.

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Photo of armock
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark amber color with a tan head that leaves lacing

S - Is of sweet caramel malt

T - Is well balanced between the caramel mat and the bitter hops

M - This beer has a creamy smooth body with light carbonation to it

D - This was a very enjoyable beer thats very easy to drink with a nice balanced taste worth trying sometime

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Photo of hoplover82
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clear amber color with a medium off white creamy head that dissapates in a flash, but leaves very good lacing.

Smell is of dark roated malts almost burned malts mixed with alcohol. Some dark fruits and tobacco with earthy hops and cherries. Some faint caramel.

The flavor is mainly sweet roasted malts with a very nice bitterness to balance. In the aftertaste is funky tasting hops (which isn't bad). Boat loads of caramel as well. WOW... No alcohol.

Mouthfeel is meduim-full bodied and smooth, a little dry in the end.

OK drinkable.

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Photo of hopdog
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: On tap.

Poured a deeper amber/copper color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, caramel, and floral. Tastes of caramel, citrus, toffee, and some pine. Nice an hoppy (especially for a bitter, this one was hoppy)!

Notes from 9/19/07

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Photo of kmeves
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with a decent sized off white head. The aroma in medium sweet caramel malt, nuts and earthy hops. The flavor leans more toward the bitter side although there is a good malt presence. Medium bodied, creamy texture. Long bitter finish.

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471 ESB from Breckenridge Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 210 ratings.
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