Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

471 ESB | Breckenridge Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
471 ESB471 ESB
210 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 210 |  Reviews: 117
Photo of HardTarget
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark amber glass holds a mostly cloudy head with slight chance of lacing trails.

S: A deep, earthy, leathery smell with a sweet caramel twist.

T: First sips were very metallic, and I still get some penny tastes after I get used to it. Under that is a great chocolate toffee sweetness that is cut by the metallic edged hop oil bitter of English hops. The web site lists Target, Fuggle, Northern Brewer hops, and I'm surprised at Fuggle, as I normally strongly dislike that hop, but there is plenty of flavor here to mask a lot of it.

M: Creamy texture, lower carbonation, both true to style and really help the total package.

D: For a style that doesn't normally inspire (unless on cask or in the proper setting, like London) this is very enjoyable. Generally clean, I guess the hops are lending that metallic taste that started me out. Solid brew and worth a shot.

 878 characters

Photo of elniko
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Rich mahogany coloring, half finger of head, nice lacing. Good looking brew.

S: Strong hops on the nose, slight tons of sweetness and caramel.

T & M: I really enjoyed this beer. Haven't had very many ESBs before so I don't have a lot of comparison. Bitterness is there in the finish but balanced with the malt sufficiently. Nice caramel notes up front.

D: This is definitely a sipping beer, not sessionable. Good brew overall and I look foward to trying other ESBs.

 510 characters

Photo of jwinship83
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- dark copper colored body with a small off white sticky head.

S- hops. toffee, and caramel malt.

T- toffee and caramel malt upfront with a nice bitter finish

M- light, crisp, clean, and refreshing

D- if it wasnt this potent it would be a great session beer. very refreshing and easy to drink. the alcohol is well hidden.

 326 characters

Photo of biggred1
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish brown with a creamy tan head that leaves nice lace on the glass. Good fresh roasted caramel malt aroma, faint grassy hops. Tastes like I think an ESB should, big and malty sweetness balanced with a fresh floral hop bite and warming alcohol that lingers on the finish. Medium bodied mouthfeel and highly drinkable. Well made.

 337 characters

Photo of Rayek
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep nut brown color has good clarity. Nice sized cream color head is firm and has above average retention. Leaves a very heavy lace down the glass.

S: Spicy and sweet with a whiff of alcohol. Lots of pepper, coriander, with an oak and grape background.

T: The taste buds are greeted with a wall of spicy hop bitterness that is dominated by pepper and coriander, plus a faint bit of citrus. Bitterness lingers through the entire experience. Sweet malts in the back have a nice grape and oak character that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. Finishes with an alcohol warmth going down.

M: Medium heavy body feels somewhat syrupy. Carbonation level is just right.

D: Nice nightcap beer. Too powerful for me to want more than one. I didn't like this beer at first, but it slowly grew on me.

 802 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.19/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a mostly cloudy burnt orange color with a very small (1/8") head of small tan bubbles that faded back into the beer quickly to leave just a thin layer of sporadic bubbles across the top. The bubbles rose slowly through the liquid indicating that it may have a pretty high TG.

Aroma: I get a bit of Toasty British malt accentuated by a very liberal amount of grassy aroma hops. Also noticeable up front is a dark cherry aromatic. As you get deeper into the aroma, you can definitely pick up an "acidity" that I associate with high bittering hops.

Taste: Wow! Boy they sure didn't miss the kettle with the hop bucket! You get a blast of flavoring hops that leads straight into a very bitter balance and the hops run the show after that. There is some syrupy sweetness that I am getting on the back of the throat, and that is about the only contribution I got from the malt. After the palate gets used to the flavor and the onslaught of hops, the beer gets a bit more drinkable. I am definitely stuck drinking hoppy beers for the rest of the night.

Opinion: I got this beer at the recommendation of a good friend of mine that has a very sensitive palate. I was hesitant to get an ESB as I normally don't care for this style. I guess this one is true to form as I don't really care for this beer either. I am not saying that is because it is a bad beer. I have never really had an ESB that I liked, and this is no exception. I guess that makes it applicable to the style.

 1,488 characters

Photo of number1bum
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of NEPA BC split #16.

Pours a reddish copper color, good clarity with a big, creamy two plus fingers of light beige head. Keeps a nice lace and leaves a ton of stick all over the sides of the pint glass.

Smell is citrus and floral hops, some caramel and toasted malt, along with some butterscotch and toffee.

Taste is also quite malty and sweet, with lots of caramel, as well as some toffee and butterscotch. There is some toasted malt, as well, but it could use a bit more. Also some citrusy hops but again, could use some more. A little out of balance and too sweet, but pretty good.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth, on the plus side of a medium body. The sweetness makes it just a bit cloying. As I near the end of the pint the sweetness really starts to get to me, which affects drinkability.

This is a bit on the sweet side, but is still quite enjoyable. Could use some more toasted malt and hops for balance, but still a beer worth trying. I was surprised when I finished this review and noticed that the abv is 7.8% - it doesn't feel that strong.

 1,068 characters

Photo of dohastmich
3.16/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A - Redish brown colour, head quickly become lace

S - Maltly smelling, you can tell its higher in alcohol

T - the higher alcohol is visable, not enough hops for my taste, still it could be considered balanced by some im sure

M/D - slight hop aftertaste

 268 characters

Photo of champ103
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark reddish brown color. A white head forms and leaves a good coat of lace behind.
S: Malty and fruity. A good toasted aroma. Not very complex, but what I would expect for an ESB.
T: A musky metallic flavor up front. Nice roasted and toasted malt with some fruit as the taste lingers. Not bad at all, but typical.
M/D: Light to medium body that is a bit watered down. A good creaminess though. This is not a hard beer at all to session.

Not a bad ESB, but one I find a bit typical. Something I would not hesitate to drink again though.

 548 characters

Photo of Phocion
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Hopsleeroy via Virgin BIF. 12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass a dark amber with a thin but resilient pale tan head and a decent amount of lacing.

Rich malty aroma consisting of buttery, bready, caramel, and roasted malts. Slight floral/piney hoppiness, somewhat strong for the style but overall not overpowering. Mildly sour.

Bready malts and a very dry hoppiness. Slight hints of alcohol. The sweet malts are not nearly as evident as in the nose.

Chewy mouthfeel and very dry aftertaste for the style. Overall, definitely a decent beer, but somewhat over-hopped for the style and not quite the "truly authentic ESB" the label on the bottle advertises.

 669 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 12 oz bottle at Total Wine & More back at the end of February for $1.59.

Beer poured a dark amber with a little bit of frothy head. Nose is quite lively, malty, piney, and a bit citrusy. Taste is fairly balanced. It is quite malty up front, dominated by the crystal malts, finishing with a piney/citrus hop. Mouthfeel is full and it is quite smooth for the style. Drinkability is good. There was a hint of alcohol warming with the initial sips. The brew glides nicely across the palate making this quite easy drinking despite the higher abv.

 554 characters

Photo of ppoitras
2.73/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle obtained via NoBS BIF v3 from Vancer. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" light beige head over the slightly cloudy reddish amber brew. Head dwindles at normal pace, with average to good lacing. Aroma is hearty grain husks and hints of sour. Taste hits fast with the deep hearty grain character, goes a bit sour in the middle, and closes with some muddy hops bitterness. Mouthfeel is quashed by the off aftertaste, and drinkability is really not that exciting. A disappointment for me here.

 548 characters

Photo of Big78CJ
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

murky brown look from the cool haze on the glass, i will let this warm a tad first.

smell is dark and malty with a nice fruity backing. there is almost a light sugary sweetness.

sweet malt is everpresent yet subtle. it is not overly sweet but is cut nicely by the mild hop profile bittering things up. a bit of alcohol taste is so mild it is quite pleasing.

mouthfeel is a bit thicker and chewier than most ESBs I have had, maybe from the higher abv and extra malt?

is this america's example of an esb? we take every style to an extreme, is this it?

whatever the answers, i enjoyed this beer and am sad it is a limited batch release.

 639 characters

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy reddish brown color. Nice sized off white head. Decent retention. A little bit of lacing on the glass. Lots of sweet caramel and toasted malt in the aroma along with some herbal hops.

Pretty well balanced beer as an ESB should be. Nice herbal and spicy hoppiness that doesn't over power with more caramel and toasted malt in there as well. I like this beer a lot. nice mouthfeel, medium-full, smooth mouthfeel. Goes down easy.

 441 characters

Photo of badleroybrown
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark copper with a nice head of small bubbles.

S - Has a nice mixture of malt and hop aromas. Let me know I was going to taste a little of both.

T - Has a malt flavor at the beginning and ends with the hop bitterness expected from a bitter. Very smooth drinking.

M - Honestly did not pay much attention to this because I was enjoying it so much. It has good body.

D - This was very enjoyable drink. As it warms the flavors really come out. I enjoyed every bit of it and will look forward to drinking the other five in the six pack.

 547 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from West Point Market in Akron. This beer pours a clear deep amber color with a medium thick and fluffy off-white head that has decent retention. Thin sheet of lacing on the glass. Earthy malt and sweet caramel along with a bit of floral hops in the nose. Medium, smooth body with rich and sweet malt and toffee flavors backed up by floral hops and spices. Hops bitterness begins to assert itself a bit more as it warms, as does the alcohol. The finish retains the sweet malt and caramel base, and leaves a lingering hops aftertaste. Overall this is a fairly sound ESB across the board.

 594 characters

3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 1/2" beige head. Retains at 1/4" Reddish-brown good clarity. Full lace

S - Thick with malt...earthy, chocolate. Piney hops underneath.

T - Malt dominant with piney hop notes long in the finish. Some prevalent alcohol. Chocolate, dry cocoa powder, tobacco leaf.

M - Full bodied and slick. Medium carbonation.

D - Good drinkability one or two at a time. Flavorful beer

 374 characters

Photo of JDV
1.75/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

In one word, Awful. Woulda much rather had the Sapporo I threw out before this. Pour is a nice dark maroon, clear, and the positives end there. Unique, malty licorice like, very belgiany smell for some reason. Oh and lots of alcohol. Taste is like a dark belgian, but with a load of alcohol ruining what pleasant qualities lots find in the aforementioned part. Metal, some light bitterness and the drinkability on this is horrendous. Couldn't stomach more than about 3 ounces. One-of-a-kind, and thank god for that...

 517 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a pretty good beer. Funny what people try and pass off as an ESB these days, however. Anywho....

The beer pours to a dark mahogany color, fairly clear when held to the light. No visible carbonation. The head is about 3/4 inch, though it quickly falls to a film in less than a minute. Just a little bit of lacing.

The smell is the best part of the beer. Has some very spicy, herbal, piney, herbal hops the likes of which my nostrils haven't taken in for quite some time. Only a small hint of the juicy, citric hops that have been dominating the hoppy beer scene lately. The malt has some depth to it as well. Dark toasted caramel and toffee with a bit of molasses and fig. Sweet with some doughy biscuit aromas as well. I would probably call this one a winter warmer as opposed to an ESB (and not just because it is grossly overpowered for the style).

The taste itself seems kind of underwhelming when compared to the nose. The hops that are present in the nose are almost completely devoid the flavor. The malt is still there, and it's still very interesting, but without the hops there with it, it just isn't as good as I had expected. Sweet with molasses and fig, a cabinet full of spices, and toasted biscuit, caramel and toffee. A light bitterness in the finish. A hint of alcohol burn as well. Definitely more of a winter warmer than ESB (even if you tack on the ever-convenient "Imperial" moniker).

The mouthfeel is good. Obviously thicker than your regular ESB, but I like a full body. Just a lightly crisp carbonation. A good balance of sweet and bitter, though I would like to see more of a balance between aroma and flavor hops on top of that. Afterall, the aroma is very good and hoppy, but it tastes more like a malt bomb. It would definitely be much more drinkable if it were built more like a traditional ESB.

 1,835 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a burgandy color with a small, tan, pillowy head. It left small amounts of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and a grassy/mossy aroma.

T - It tasted quite spicy. There was a strong roasted malt flavor and it was quite bitter.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer with a slight warm alcohol presence.

D - This is one of the better American ESB's that I've had. It packs a pretty good punch.

 423 characters

Photo of MerkinMan
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a pretty shade of red with a very small head, which is to expected from an ESB.

The beer's smell is hoppy, which is a little surprising to me. I suppose the more pronounced hoppyness is the American touch on this English style.

Beer tastes very good, but not quite what expect from an ESB. Once again, I should not be so tied to English terminology when drinking an American beer.

Mouthfeel is good, but nothing worth making special comments about.

I would drink a sixer of this, and I would probably go back for more.

 535 characters

Photo of benito
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

I'm not sure why Breckenridge markets this as an ESB--even if they do call it Extra ESB; it is clearly an old ale, and a very good one at that. Even the beer specs on the Breck website--55 IBUs and 7.8% ABV--put it squarely within the style guidelines of an old ale. Ironically, it's far better than their Autumn Ale, which they market as an old ale.

I'll dock them a few points for the style confusion, but know that this is a great beer.

A: Dark amber with a thin, persistent head and low carbonation.

S: Wonderful mix of aromas--grain, stewed cherry, port, wood, and alcohol. Light oxidation.

T & M: Sweet, chewy and thick mouthfeel, with malt flavors dominating from start to finish. Again, stewed fruit flavors, wood, and light bread grains stand out. There's a nice hop balance so that the malts don't get out of control, particularly in the finish which has a crisp, citrusy bitterness. Alcohol warming on the far end and a long-lasting bitter aftertaste.

D: This is a sipping beer masquerading as a sessionable style. Knowing the ABV ahead of time will prevent you from jumping into this too quickly.

Overall, this is a great old ale--up there with GD Hibernation and Dry Dock HMS Bounty as one of the best of this style in Colorado. Search it out, sip it, enjoy it; just don't expect an ESB!

 1,306 characters

Photo of Onslow
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

an extra extra special bitter? i love esb's but i wasn't expecting much coming from this brewery, which frankly puts out some really low end stuff!...

pours a dark rust golden shimmer brown ...

lacing is quite outstanding. the aroma is very nice too. belgian malt, toffee, dark honey, chocolate.. very good in the nose

the mouthfeel is abit thin but for a 7.8 beer, i am happy, glides down the throat and leaves a good aftertaste!

a shock brew from this brewery that has never wow'ed me, well, this beer is a saving grace and honestly, a pure joy to drink!

 560 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a ruddy ruby, nonexistant bubbles and head. Great aroma though. Lots of deep malts, with some concentrated fruit cup aromas, peaches, pears, black cherries. Stats with bread, then goes to a hot, syrupy fruit. The alcohol sticks out quite a bit in this beer. Even when its straight from the fridge. A bit hard to drink from the burn of alcohol. Lasts a little to long to want another one.

 393 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean deep copper with hints of orange in the color, with a light tan head. In the aroma, a mix of citrusy and piney hops. In the taste, a sweet malt and lots of piney hops. A smooth and very small bite in the mouthfeel and sweet piney hops in the aftertaste. Hoppy more than bitter, almost IPA-ish more than a bitter.

 326 characters

471 ESB from Breckenridge Brewery
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 210 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.