Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

13 Rebels ESB | French Broad Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
81
good
102 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
13 Rebels ESB13 Rebels ESB
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
French Broad Brewing Co.
North Carolina, United States
frenchbroadbrewery.com

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierguy5 on 05-18-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
102
Ratings:
241
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
19.77%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
25
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 241
Photo of woodychandler
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

One of the overlooked CANtributors to The CANQuest ™ is one of my local beer people, soon (eventually) to be a “Character” in my column – Justin C. He does a good job of looking out for new and different CANs for me in his travels and this is one with which he recently returned.

From the CAN: “13 Rebels ESB Ale is an Ameri[CAN] interpretation of Britain’s Extra Special Bitter.”

I would love to know the story behind both the beer’s name and its label, but it was time for more important things, like the Crack! I love a brimful CAN and when this one revealed itself, I was ready to go. I initiated an inverted Glug, leading to a near-rebellious two-plus fingers of dense, tawny head with good retention. I sat back as the battle raged, sticky lacing appearing in the wake of the fighting. Rebellion should not be without casualties. The first rule of The CANQuest ™ is to talk about The CANQuest ™. Color was a slightly hazy Amber (SRM = 7.3, thanks to the brewery for providing that bit of 411). Nose had a grassy honey-sweetness that really put me more in mind of a lager. Mouthfeel was medium and although I was still getting that honey flavor, it was accompanied by an earthy maltiness and an intensely grassy hoppiness (IBU = 42). Holy rebelliousness! I CAN drink this all day! The grassy bitterness was offset nicely by the biscuit maltiness on the tongue. It was on the finish that it really came together, though. It was like summer in the country with biscuits and honey after mowing the grass. I really am a fan of this one and wish that it were more widely available.

 1,604 characters

Photo of Enola
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good ESB. Poured with a small head. The color is a very cloudy orangish yellow. The beer had a citrus like bitter smell. The taste was very hoppy. I also detected citrus in the taste. It is a very smooth beer for the style. A very drinkable beer. My growler did not make it through the night. Probably my favorite beer from French Broad. I will have it again. Top of the style in my book.

 403 characters

Photo of tbmurphy89
4.27/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-copper color with low carbonation and a non existent head.

S- Sweet malt with a floral-fruity aroma

T- Slight bitterness with pronounced earthy hops

M- Coats the mouth but finishes smooth and clean at the finish

O- an easy to drink beer. Not as heavy on the hops like an IPA but they still let you know they are there.
Overall I'm very satisfied with this interpretation of an ESB
and would add this to my "must try list"

 429 characters

Photo of Brianbosox
4.27/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I may not be getting too deep into details, but this tasted really good - a hoppier version of the ESB. Great color, great taste. It really made folding the laundry, doing the dishes, and making lunches for the kids go smoothly. Overall, I would say that you will enjoy this and be happy. It's the golden age of American brewing!

 329 characters

Photo of drunkboxer1
4.27/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the second time I've had this, the first time was a few years ago out of a growler, and this time its out of a bomber. Pours a hazy brown/copper. Thin head. Smells faintly like sweet malt and caramel. Earthy flavors from the hops are very prominent with a warming sweetness and mild alcohol. Fairly malt forward and really on target for the style I think. I feel like a lot of other breweries overhop their bitters, which doesn't really make sense to me. This ones an exception.

 486 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.17/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to gford217 for this bomber, along with three other from French Broad. The first was one of the better kolsch's I've had, so I was looking forward to this one.

Amber golden and such & so forth. Smell is oddly hopped, forest fire, mixed with a faint background of acrid bitterness. Never smelt anything like it.

Never had a beer like this. The taste is over-ze-top burnt toast, & not just the toast, but more like the black stuff you scrape off when your kid moves the lever too far to the right. The caramel biscuit is burnt too, & the hops are muted, coming in a distant third, just to add another layer of dryness to a pile of dry on the tongue.

Luckily, I love burnt stuff - toast, pizza, brats, dinner rolls, I always felt the darker the better (my wife often says "THAT one is for you..."). 13 Rebels fairly rolls down my throat & leaves my yearning for another sip, right away.

Very, very good beer! I can see how this would not appeal to everyone, it's unique & quite a bit off the beaten path. I'll be sad to see this glass go, & it's moving off at quite a pace.

 1,085 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Barley's, Asheville, NC.

Poured a medium copper hue with a two finger dense frothy head. There was very good lacing and retention.

The smell featured toasted biscuit malts and herbal and slightly piney hops.

The taste was extremely well balanced with a sharp toasted breadiness complimented by a clean herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was clean with a vigorous carnonation.

Overall a very good and balanced ale.

 426 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on cask at The Borough during Raleigh Beer Week, dry hopped with Cluster hops. Served in a standard pint glass a very murky dark orange with a thin diminishing head. The aroma was a nice amount of floral hops with sweet malts noticeable as well. The taste was a very nice balance of sweet caramel malts, Earthy mild citrus hops and a dash of sweet fruits. The beer is very well balanced, smooth, and enjoyable. As much as enjoy a good hoppy cask IPA, like the 2 Hearted cask I tried the other day, this is what cask beer is truly all about!

 553 characters

Photo of gabe23
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep amber color with a rocky white head. Very nice lacing coats the glass.

S - Mild aroma of bread and sweet malt. Just a touch of earthy hops in the background.

T - Toasty and sweet, with just enough hop bitterness to balance things out. The finish is very clean. Not a lot of strong flavors here.

M - Creamy and smooth, but the moderate carbonation keeps it from being too heavy. Really coats the mouth for an excellent mouthfeel.

D - With the low ABV and mild flavor, I could put away several at a sitting. Nothing amazing with respect to the flavor or aroma, but this is a solid ESB that I'll likely buy again.

 623 characters

Photo of beerdown77
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured copper and was average in appearance. It had a very bitter feeling throughout. As described by a friend also drinking this brew, it has the qualities that you crave in an IPA…minus the sweetness and syrup qualities. I really like this beer as a session choice. It was an easy to drink medium bodied bitter beer that provoked continuous sipping. It is a great beer, and great for the style.

 408 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light brownish-orange color, transparent. A light tan head with good retention fades to a thick ring and some small islands of foaming. Some lacing remains upon quaffing.
Smell is a decent balance of malt, caramel and hops.
Taste is of roasted malt, a somewhat more assertive hop note with the caramel aspect less pronounced.
Not a harsh bitterness but more of an assertive hops astringency with a drying finish. Medium bodied with a medium effervescence.
A good example of the style, not a heavily hopped Americanized version. Good stuff. I had several bombers of this over several days.

 597 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Newton Farms while on Kiawah Island.

Pours with very little head and what’s there fades immediately. The slightest haze and a straight amber color with a touch more sunset orange. Head vanishes and no lacing left behind.

Aroma is of light toasted malt a touch of pepper and some fruit. Peach or nectarine perhaps.

Pretty fruity along with a toasted bread crust flavor. Fairly assertive bitterness comes in for the second half of this flavor profile. More fruitiness here towards the end. Pretty well balanced beer.

A tingle of carbonation with medium body.

A pretty decent ESB… It’s no Rye Hopper, but not too shabby

 647 characters

Photo of GPHarris
3.96/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick off-white and billowy head into a snifter that left good lacing throughout. the body was a bright copper.
s - caramel and toasted bread.
t - caramel, bread, toffee, spicy and grassy hops.
m - creamy and medium mouthfeel.
o - one of my favorite ESBs and i think this is FB's best beer.

 314 characters

Photo of gosurfobx
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber. Beers pours a hazy dark golden color with a 2 finger head. The nose has malt, fruity esters, and some hops. Taste has upfront malt with some background notes of banana and apple. The backbone of this beer is a delicate hop flavor, that is not overly aggresive. The mouth is nice with a medium level of carbination. A good and very drinkable ESB.

 372 characters

Photo of McNealc31
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a sticky beige head. Smells of butterscotch and toasted bread. Toasted malt dominates the palate with hints of orange and butterscotch. Citrusy hops are noticeable, but not overpowering, in the finish, which is long, dry, and a tad bitter, but pleasantly so. It's a little oily and slick in the mouth, but that dry finish is a nice contrast.

Overall, it's a very solid beer. Plenty of flavor, good balance, nothing overpowering. Fun lacing, too.

 477 characters

Photo of wcudwight
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright golden color. Small fading white head that leaves a rim of white lace on the top of the glass. Smells fruity and bitter in a citrus way. Taste is very mild up front and then the bitterness hits you in the back. The malts balance the bitterness out well. It leaves a citrus aftertaste. Feels very good in the mouth with a very nice mild burn and bite on the palate. It's a very drinkable ESB. ESB is not one of my prefered styles, but I could drink a few of these. One of the more balanced ESB's that I've tried.

 526 characters

Photo of gford217
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Ding at the Brick Store.

Pours a crystal clear amber with a short-lived off-white head that recedes to a ring and leaves only traces of lacing.

The aroma has a clean bready malt presence that competes with an earthy hop presence - grassy with hints of lemons.

The hops hit up front in the taste but are fairly mild and gives way to the dominant bready malt backbone. The finish is crisp and clean with a slight hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is smooth with good carbonation and dry and crisp in the finish.

This is a decent, slightly-hopped-up ESB that I quite enjoyed. Thanks Ding!

 603 characters

Photo of Mojo
3.86/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter

A - Medium gold pour with an initial one finger head, ZERO retention, ZERO lacing.

S - very weak nose, mostly floral and bread

T - caramel malt with a tangy and spicy twist and a big bitter finish (although the stated IBU of 142 is laughable)

M - adequate with a bit of an aftertaste

O - Taste is not bad, but otherwise unremarkable.

 376 characters

Photo of glid02
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this courtesy of Ding - much obliged!

Pours a clear orange-straw color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes pretty quickly into a patchy layer of bubbles on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of buttery toasted malts with slight hints of grapefruit aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells - though with more bitterness. The lightly toasted malt flavors kick things off, giving way to a solid bitterness halfway through the sip. Light hop flavors are there throughout, but dwell in the background.

Mouthfeel is good - good thickness and carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I'm not a huge fan of ESB's to begin with, but I could have more than one of these.

Overall this was a pretty good beer - it doesn't go very far off of the path of a traditional ESB, but where it does it succeeds.

 802 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

French Broad 13 Rebels ESB has a fairly thick cream colored head with heavy lacing and a murky, bubbly, orange appearance. The aroma is of toffee, light fruits, English hop resin, a slight nut, and citrus acidity. Taste is of all that, with mild bitterness, sweet bread dough, and a grass or weed note. Mouthfeel is medium, and French Broad 13 Rebels ESB finishes fairly crisp and odd. It’s one that the drinker would really have to try to appreciate, because it’s difficult to describe.

RJT

 497 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmmm. Well, this is definitely an American style ESB. There is the typical nuttiness and dry biscuity malt, but also far more hoppiness than usual for the style. That being said, it works here. Unlike Ding, I won't be hung up on the style parameters here and simply enjoy the beer for what it is. Pouurs a nice coppery color, but the head fades a little too quickly. Nice slightly nutty aromas with some of that biscuity malt and some earthy/spicy hops. The taste, to my mind, nicely balances the classic ESB flavors with a nice, and surprising, jolt of hops. They by no means dominate the beer, but merely add another dimension and take the beer into a more indeterminate style. Good carbonation, and a very nice drink.

 720 characters

Photo of Tone
3.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of caramel malt, sweet malt, hint of pale malt, hint of earthy malt, hint of yeast, slight hops, hint of tea, and a hint of sugar. Fits the style of an Extra Special / Strong Bitter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of earthy malt, caramel malt, sweet malt, hint of pale malt, slight subtle hops, and a hint of yeast.

 469 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22-ounce bomber poured into a shaker pint glass yields a clear golden orange-tinged amber body with a finger of fluffy, off-white head atop. The soft pudding of foam retains well and leaves satisfying fat rings of lacing at the sip-lines of the glass.

The smell of the drink is mellow and malty with a fruity character and a bit of spicy hops.

The taste has a note of a floral-nectary sweetness, with a nice malty mix of dry, toasty, and caramel flavors. There is a crisp bitterness to hold the sweetness in check, and a long, very dry, somewhat earthy finish.

Nicely balanced and lightly carbonated, 13 Rebels is exceptionally smooth beer on the fullish side of medium-bodied, and an easy drinker to boot.

 709 characters

Photo of oberon
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this before the Pop the Cap event over at Barleys Taproom yesterday.Pours really light for an ESB I think,a lighter copper shade with not much head to speak of,aroma of fruity malt with a touch of caramel.Taste hit the style better than the appearance nice biscuit malt and big fruitiness with a touch of hop to let u know its there.A decent rendition of an ESB,I have had better but this was solid.

 403 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Copper colored with a quarter inch of off white to tan on top. Light lacing. I smell dark bready malt, not unlike the Outback Steakhouse bread which is more of a honey wheat. The taste is more of a dark bready malt flavor with a gentle hop bitterness at the back of the palate that breaks up the sweetness. The mouth is lightly mineral with a light carbonation.

 365 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
13 Rebels ESB from French Broad Brewing Co.
3.54 out of 5 based on 241 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe