13 Rebels ESB | French Broad Brewing Co.

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13 Rebels ESB13 Rebels ESB

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

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

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Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 242
Photo of jktedder12
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a chilled pint glass.
Appearance: clear amber color with a 1/4 inch foamy head, with minimal lacing.

Smell: sweet toasted caramel malt with a hint of hops

Taste: Tart malty taste with hints of caramel. bitterness at the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Light effervescent mouthfeel.

Overall: Not bad at all. A bit heavier body would make it nicer, but again, not bad. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of tdm168
3.16/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at World of Beer at North Hills on 2/17/12

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark orange with a thin layer of soft, white head. The nose is mildly citrusy and has a big toasty aroma. The flavor is pretty one dimensional with big notes of burnt toast with just a hint of citrusy hops for balance. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with decent carbonation.

This in my opinion was a pretty mediocre beer. It's one dimensional and that one dimension was burnt toast. The hops were noticeable but were unable to tame the intense malt character. I probably won't have this again.

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Photo of Merkur
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Village Pub in Nashville.

Beer pours a nice rich amber color, with a small amount of tan head.

Beer smells of sweet caramel and toffee.

Beer starts off tasting very malty, followed by bitterness with just a small amount of caramel sweetness.

Rather thick.

Overall an OK ESB

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Photo of MacQ32
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice slightly red slightly muddied copper into my Brooklyn shifter, nice finger of barely off white head. Great retention. Nice lacing

S - Lots of slightly toasty caramel malts, pretty sweet. Some nice grassy hops as well. A little citrus kick as well

T - Kind of mild, sweet and citrusy (orange) with a little floral hop kick at the end. A little toasty and dry up front good bitter aftertaste

M - Fairly light,nice and crisp for sure. Appropriate carbonation, very drinkable

O - Kind of wish it was a little bit more bold but definitely a tasty super drinkable brew

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber with a thin, creamy white mousse that makes no effort to stick around any length of time. The beer, itself, looks good, but the lack of head retention underwhelmed me.

S: Very malty on the nose with generous notes of toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and marmalade. I didn't pick up on much in the way of hops.

T: Opens malty and smooth with notes of orange marmalade, lemon jelly, brown sugar, toffee, cream, and caramel. The finish reveals a bit more in the way of hoppiness with gentle citrus flavors joining the toffee, cream, and caramel notes contributed by the malt.

M: Light-to-medium bodied, relatively dry, and crisper than expected. Drinkable, but not all that memorable. I would be curious to see what this beer is like out of the bottle.

O: 13 Rebels ESB is not a bad effort. In fact, it displays many of the classic traits of English ESBs. Unfortunately, the lack of head retention and the lack of a heavier hop profile are not forgivable. In the end, it's not bad, but not great either.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours amber in color with very little head.

S: Smell of lightly toasted malt with floral and grassy notes.

T: Flavor is all malt. Toasted grain flavor with a dry slightly bitter finish.

O: Pretty decent ESB but not spectacular. That being said I would gladly have a few of these.

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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.

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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"

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.39/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Been sitting on this one for a while now...probably over 6 months. My bro-in-law brought it for me at the beginning of the year when he was in town. Have had a few ESBs recently and have also been enjoying some lower ABV beers (not that 5.2 is a true session ale, it is far lower than the 10+ that most brews seem to be sporting these days).

a - popped the bottle and filled my portsmouth tulipy snifter. an interesting thing happened when i was opening the bottle, it started hissing almost immediately which made me open it rather slowly and piecemeal. i poured the first glass (also somewhat carefully and it was nothing but foam. dumped, rinsed and tried again and this time i filled it just shy of halfway and again at least 50% was head, so i let some of the super frothy and crazy head subside a bit then carefully added more beer to the glass. once i had enough to work with i noticed it was a pretty dense orange gold with a glow. to the light i saw insane amounts of bubbling in the glass. not sure what happened with this beer but the carbonation is visibly a problem with this specific bottle at least.

s - malty and a bit spicey. smells a bit of sharp bitter.

t - taste is also malty and a bit spicey. hops are definitely there and add a touch of bitterness to the end. not a bad ESB at all, kind of toasted lager-like

m - mouthfeel is certainly vibrant (as expected), but it is a smooth, light and easy drinking beer.

o - overall, this is a style that has been growing on me and this one is pretty decent and worth checking out if you are into the style. mostly malty and spicey, nothing crazy. checking through other reviews, my overcarbonated bottle seems to be an anomaly.

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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

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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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper colored with a finger of cream colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Pears, doughyness & mineral/sulphur hop notes

T: Fruittyness, mineral hop edge, sulphur & slight diacehtyl sweetness up front. Butterscotch, some grapefruit & herbal hops as this warms. Finishes crisp, dry & slightly cloying

MF: Medium bodied, slight carbonation & decent balance

An alright ESB, a few pronounced flaws hold this one back

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

Appearance: hazy orange in color with a short 1" head. No lacing develops.

Smell: caramel and a mild fruit sweetness are all you can pull out of the glass by the nose.

Taste: caramels, red apples, black plums, and a mild bitterness create a simplistic but well balanced beer. The is a slight bready quality to the beer too.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp at the start, smoother at the finish.

Overall: a decent easy drinking ESB. Nothing to blow you away but it hits the spot. A few of these can be consumed in a session.

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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!

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Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy light amber in color and poured with a thin white head that has good retention properties and never completely disappeared. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are fruity aromas of apricots in the nose along with some hints of bready malts and grassy hops.
T: The taste has flavors of bready malts and fruits; there is a slight amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is easy to drink because of its low alcohol content; the sweetness provides for an interesting taste.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass on 1/9/11

Many thanks to PDXHops

The color is a quite nice burnt, golden amber. A fury of rising bubbles results in a 3/4th inch cap of foam. Head retention is thinner. Clumps of bubbly lace remain.

Right after the pour a hodge-podge of hop aromas wafted about: herbal, grassy, earthy pine & orange rind. A few minutes of calm finds the hops move to the back, as the nose exhibits a smooth malt presence of toasted bread & caramel.

The taste is quite similar to the aroma. Hops of the grassy & herbal ilk wash over the palate with a modest sense of bitterness & hints of pine. The malt bill is plenty toasty with an apparent breadiness & subtle notions of caramel. Fairly dry.

The feel seemed thin at first but has compounded upon itself, becoming an appropriate medium body. Carbonation hangs out in average territory. Herbal finish with hints of toasted caramel.

13 Rebels ESB is pretty solid; certainly an easy sipper. The reasonable abv is appreciated, too.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.47/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

It's a funny thing, beer. You hear the name French Broad and you think to yourself "Gee, the brewers must either be hot or sexist pigs". And then you find yourself driving through Asheville and crossing the French Broad river. I guess not all breweries rely on gimmicks.

Pouring a beautiful golden orange with a dense, white head that recedes to a ring, leaving a little lace, this is a pretty nice looking beer. The nose, however, is rather unpleasant. Rather prominently hoppy in the English vein, this initially has a very noticeable soapy, mildly cleaning-solution like aroma. Once it breathes for a bit, it does become better, changing to a rather pungent EKG aroma. A mild toasted white bread-like malt sweetness is present as well.

The palate opens with a blend of the moderate malt sweetness and a rather big hop character. As with the nose, the hop character just isn't to my liking. Moderately soapy, intensely earthy, almost mineral-like, this is very, very green. Bitterness is on the lower side of medium, there's an almost resiny hop character here. Grain and yeast are secondary here, especially the latter. Medium-light in body with fairly high carbonation, this finishes with plenty of hop flavor on the finish. Decent, though not particularly enjoyable.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle courtesy of BucketBoy. Pours a translucent copper with a quarter inch, loose, cream-colored head embedded with ringlets. Head eventually dissipates into a cluster of foam around the edges of the glass. Thick slashes of lacing were revealed during the tasting. Nose suggests toasted, light malt with a trace of fruit. Taste expresses quite a but of grain - somewhat close to a sour mash flavor, but not quite. It's also slightly tart with perhaps a trace of caramel malt and a light lingering bitterness between quaffs. The mouthfeel is the best aspect of this beer. Consistency is medium-light with a pleasant carbonation and a semi-dry finish. A decent ESB. Not my favorite example of the style, but quite respectable nonetheless.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. LIght copper see-thru body with a modest bubbly off-white head that leaves a bit of patchy lacing as it disappears.

Nose is pleasantly toasty if lacking in earthy and leafy qualities. Malty flavors dominate, toasty and nutty (rather reminiscent of wheat toast with peanut butter at times, actually). A bit of fruitiness, a quick hit of bitterness and a flush of carbonation at the swallow, but otherwise a fairly smooth drinker. Not bland, but not exciting.

Overall impression: Really like the malt profile, but really would love to see an injection of earthy and leafy hop goodness.

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Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden brown color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: An underplayed aroma of malt, grain, and a sweet element.

T: Tasted of malt, with a bitter finish. Slightly hoppy, grainy and fruity. Not a super-dynamic flavor, but good enough.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A solidly made, drinkable E.S.B.

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Photo of Tilley4
1.9/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into my SA Perfect Pint..

Pours a dark golden appearance without so much as a whiff of head at all... Nothing... Nada...

Aromas of rancid malts and a slight floral hoppiness.... Hmmm..

Yep, this ones toast.... Oily and buttery with a strange slick finish... No hops to speak of... slightly sweet I guess but not in a good way...

Drain pour after a few sips... Not what I was hoping for here....

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

#400, woohoo! 22oz brown-glass pry-top bottle. No freshness date. $4.25 from Bruisin' Ales, Asheville, NC.

Pours a hazy orange amber with almost no head at all - how very British! - even with a rough pour.

Nose is flowery with some aged hop dustiness. Palate is wide with pale malt, but snaps dry from some bitterness that tastes like it might be malt related (like black patent, but not that obviously). There's a fair amount of that flowery character to the hop profile, and some faint bitterness. Some sticky sweet dried fruits are there too. Finish is fruity.

Notes: Well, definitely leaning British heavily, but it seems like it might not be so fresh... Ah, well. Decent beer, but not great.

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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!

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Photo of argock
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Peabody's Wine and Beer Merchants (Boone, NC) for $4.29.

A: Slightly hazy light copper with skimpy iced tea head that dissipates quickly and leaves rare specks of lace.

S: Strong butterscotch immediately post-pour with some settling out to a more buttery lemon biscuit aroma. A lot of toasted malt was in this brew and the hops are way behind the scenes and mainly herbal and a little citrus. Diacetyl is way too much for this style.

T: Flavor is more complex than the nose with toasted malt sweetness with toffee character filled in with more lemon, herbal, tea-like notes.

M: Medium bodied with anice coating quality and clean finish with sweet toasted malt and herbal hops aftertaste.

D: Not a bad beer but the toasted aspect of the malt needs toned down to allow more bitter hoppiness to at least pull even in the aroma and flavor departments.

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Photo of Wasatch
2.42/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Got this one from gford217.

22oz Bomber

This is my first BIG TIME GUSHER! What was left.

Pours a cloudy dark copper color, tons of carbonation, HUGE foamy off-white head, with lots of sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty with lots of caramel, and some spice notes. The taste is malty, slight spice note, and some caramel. Medium body. Not Drinkable, would not seek out again. Very dissappointed in this brew.

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13 Rebels ESB from French Broad Brewing Co.
3.54 out of 5 based on 242 ratings.
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