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 | website

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: 241
Photo of mikesgroove
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the pleasure of trying this one on tap at Mellow Mushroom in Asheville tonight. Ordered as my second beer and served in a pint glass. This one was consumed on 11/08/2008.

The pour was relatively decent with a very hazy and cloudy yellow hued amber. Some light carbonation could be seen streaming up inside the glass. A small head of maybe an inch was present on first pour, but this quickly subsided and left a bare top.

The aroma was light, a mixed bag here of light grain, some touches of bitter hops and a light, somewhat grape like fruit aroma. Not much carried over to the flavor as it came off a little bland to me to be honest. Light grain and a bready malt like flavor coming through, but the hops were too muted. Almost watered down in their nature. Mellow finish on this one left almost no flavor at all and really just was less then inspiring to be honest.

Overall it was decent, ok maybe, but nothing i would really go after again anytime soon. I have had worse though, and much better as well if I am being honest.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.04/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass a clear, light amber color. A white head forms of about two fingers in size but is quite airy and not really dense. Falls as slowly as a feather from the sky leaving generous lacing.

Aroma is a bit off with this one. Sour and grainy. Chalky as well. Not a whole lot oaf caramel or biscuit which I expect from as ESB.

Pretty decent flavor. Some fruity sweetness in the beginning. A good dose of caramel and a touch of sweetness with the hops contributing the slightest bit of bitterness making this one fairly balanced. Slight touch of hop bitterness in the end as well. All of these profiles are completely seperate from each other and offer no uniformity or cohesiveness. Erratic.

Pretty thin on the body; too thin. Finishes really dry as well. Extraordinarily ordinary. Nothing special here.

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

I remember liking this, and all the French Broad products I tried while out in Asheville last year. The appearance is pretty underwhelming, with a medium golden color and just a thin wisp of head. The nose has a slight bit of graininess and not much else.

The taste is full and broad, if not very deep in scope. The hops are more a diversion than anything else but the balance it creates makes this worthwhile. The doughy and bread-like qualities make it satisfying and almost filling. It's not overpowering but has enough to fulfill the style.

Not a terrific beer, 13 Rebels keeps plugging away and before you know it, the whole bomber is gone. Not a great ESB, but you could do much worse.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Federal, Durham, NC. Served in a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A clear, pale yellow beer with hints of orange. A foamy, one-finger head sits atop the body, has average retention, and leaves above-average lacing once it recedes. A perfectly pleasant-looking beer.

Aroma: Lots of doughy malt, light, grassy, slightly spicy hops. It's faint, and sort of basic, but it's exactly what it should be - balanced and pleasant.

Taste: Grassy, grainy, with lots of sweet biscuity notes. Bitterness is mild, hop notes are spicy and herbal. It's balanced and it's crisp, which is again precisely what you want from an ESB.

Mouthfeel: Best part of the beer by far for me. It's fantastically silky and smooth, expertly so. Very creamy without being milky or thick. Impressive that it could be so smooth while still maintaining its crispness in the carbonation profile. Very, very nice feeling beer.

Drinkability: A very nice, crisp, well-balanced beer. North Carolina is a craft beer haven, and if they keep pumping out beers like this, they'll remain one for years to come. What a lawnmower beer should be.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Broad pours a light amber color with a good head of white bubbles. Decent lacing is left behind.

The aroma is almost nonexistent. I pick up some malts and some spicy floral hops, but both are faint.

This one makes up for it in the taste, though. Maybe a bit above average in the bitterness for the style, but overall a solid, tasty brew. Green, spicy floral hops mix well with the toasty malts. A touch of bready sweetness in the middle. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste.

Medium body with active carbonation. The bubbles help create a foamy, creamy feel on the tongue. This bomber is going down quicker than I imagined. I wouldn't hesitate to get this again...especially if I found it on-tap. Maybe a fresh one from the tap would improve the smell rating.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.21/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber into a Duvel chalice.

Pours a clear amber/burnt copper hue with a thin cap of buff head that retreats to a ring of bubbles. Average lacing & carbonation. The aroma is faint and uninspiring, with notes of wheat & raw grain husks. Lots of pale malts are balanced by a slight presence of earthy, peat hops.

The flavor is much like the aroma: underwhelming. It does get tastier after a few bites of food, however. Some grainy, breaded malts and a mineral note reminiscent of sourdough give way to a bit of sweet fruity esthers from the yeast that add pear and mango. Finishes very dry and bitter. All in all, a fairly unimpressive beer. Goes down easily, but there aren't many memorable or distinguishing qualities.

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Photo of DrJay
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Generously provided by BRoss242 via Dance/Trance/EDM BIF. Thanks!
Slight haze, light copper colour with a thin skim of fine bubbles and a soapy ring from a hard pour. Spotty stickage, good retention for what's there. Fruity aroma with a fair bit of floral/spicy hops, quite malty and toasty. Bitterness sat just underneath the fruity character, malt sweetness provided balance mid-palate. Slightly bready, more toasty though, with an earthy quality. Medium bodied, average carbonation, decent texture with a bit of pop from the CO2 but not enough to overpower the mouthfeel. Good stuff overall, quite drinkable and nicely balanced.

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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.

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Photo of NCSUdo
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle

A: Clear copper under a smallish white head. No lace, OK retention.

S: Smells of malt, very grainy, a little bit of corn. Corn is not too off putting but it could be a little less.

T: Again mostly malty, grainy, toasted. Fairly sweet up front, a little bit of caramel. Corn presence has gone away for the most part. Decent back end bitterness.

M/D: Pretty good mouthfeel. Carbonation is there, medium body that feels a little velvety. Pretty good drinkability as well. Aside from the aroma, this is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of unionturf
2.71/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured for a 22oz bottle into pint glass. Color is dark gold, clear, decent lacing and a very malty smell. Taste was ok but not that impressed, all malt taste with hardly any noticeable hops...not that bitter either. Had a very sharp and not pleasant taste that almost makes me think I got a bad bottle. Might try again if at a tasting but not impressed enough to spend $5 for a 22oz bottle.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light slightly cloudy copper colored beer below a small thin white head that leaves slight lacing.

Smells are some hop aromas of pine with toast like malt.

Taste is bitter enough without being simplistic in the hop character. The body is lighter than other ESBs, but still holds its own. Mouthfeel is subtly carbonated and on the lighter side of medium.

Worth trying, but there are other great ESBs out there.

French Broad ESB is nothing extravagant, but a solid brew nonetheless.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber in to a shaker pint glass.

Light, buttery color with a nice white head.

Smoothe malt smell with hops in the background.

Sharp taste that is light hops and a little sweetness.

Mourthfeel is pretty carbonated.

It is not real easy to drink for me because of the sharpness with every taste. Maybe it will grow on me.

Not that special of a beer.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rusty golden in color, white head caps it off, slightly creamy with decent retention, fading into a ring within a minute or so and leaving spots of lacing down the glass.

Pretty nice smell. An earthy, musty hop presence. Grassy and lightly floral. Hints of fruit, toasted bread, and grain.

More complex in taste than expected, though it comes to an abrupt end. At first it seemed pretty bitter and hop forward but the malts came through as it warmed. Again, very earthy. Floral hops followed by a nice fruity twang and even a touch of caramel. Bready with light grain and a dryness that lingers until the next sip.

A bit too sharp in the mouth and a tad too dry on the tongue. Probably the low point of this brew for me. I think it's the bready aspect that causes the dryness just as much as the hops could be blamed.

Fairly drinkable but not my favorite within this category by any means.

*Note to self: revisit Blue Point's ESB...seems light years ahead of any in recent memory.

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Photo of brentk56
3.71/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a hazy amber color, no head (and cannot jiggle one up) and no lace

Smell: Modest stone fruit aroma with a touch of earthy hops

Taste: Caramel and stone fruit flavors up front with an earthy hoppiness appearing after the swallow to complement the sweeter flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Drinkability: Very nice flavor profile, although closer to a Best Bitter than an ESB; could stand a bit more malt and hops to take it to the next level

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Photo of dojobrewco
3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The boys and I poured this ESB from the growler into the souvenier mini-pilsners from the Brewgrass Festival the day before. It poured a golden hue with a tad of oranginess to it. Tons of head but I think that this was due in part to the mini glasses that we were werving them in. However the head did hang around for a good amount of time. This was the first ESB I had ever tried so I'm not totally sure if it was 100% true to its characteristics. Overall though it had a great mouthfeel and a good maltiness to it with very sweet overtones. Not much on the aroma side but did have a distinct hop character in it flavor.

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

Bright lighter gold with a low off-white ringed head and low, slow carbonation. Decent earthy English hop aromas with maybe a touch of sulphur. English hop character dominates the malts. Light-medium bodied with a dry bitter finish.

A bit too light for the style ... nice enough as a session beer but not a regular go-to brew.

Per FB website: 4.8% ABV

Tasted: 09/02/06

($9.99 / Growler)

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Photo of veech
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a standard pint glass @ Union Jack's English pub. A: Light cuperic orange with mild carbonation and light head, but decent lacing. S: Not a lot there very mild, light malts with a few finishing hops and florals. T: A mild ESB that doesn't overly disappoint nor impress, a little light in the ass compared to what I usually expect from an ESB. This isn't a bad beer, just nothing too memorable.

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Photo of rustymoore
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orangish amber with a massive head and good lacing. Smells very feint of anything at all. I was reviewing this beer in a smoke free bar as well and I still could barely detect any scent at all. Taste is watery with the flavor of spice and wheat. Somewhat bitter but mostly just watery mouthfeel. Overall nothing I would order on a regular basis. Perhaps trying from a bottle might change my opinion.

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Photo of sinistrsam
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the staples at the Federal, and on the first real nice weekend in Durham this spring, I couldn't help but give this a try while taking in the good weather out on their patio. It poured a light golden body with no head to speak of. It did, however, leave good lacing about the glass. The smell was of honey and possibly some hops but everything was very muted and mild. The taste was extreme on the hops, both bittering and floral up front. Honey, some malts and alcohol followed which faded into a pleasant semi-sweet finish. The mouthfeel was bitter at first with a very smooth aftertaste, mild carbonation and a good round semi-sweetness that tied things together well. Overall a very drinkable local brew and a great way to enjoy a lazy afternoon.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good ESB. Very clean and easy on the palate. Aromas are bready and biscuity on the malts end and pleasantly herbal and floral from hopping. Color is solid copper with moderate carbonation and and off white persistant head that laced well. Tastes biscuity and toasty without becoming yeasty. Mildly grassy and piney with a floral, spicy roundness to the taste. The body is medium but softens (without weakening) into the finish, leaving a pleasant bitterness in the aftertaste. Very clean brew.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer arrived on the bar murky yellow golden with a white long lasting head which laced the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a light caramel note and a citrusy and earthy hop presence.

The flavor was fruity with light caramel flavors and more of the citrusy and earthy hop bittering and flavors.

The finish was dry with a light lasting bittering into the aftertaste. The body was medium and very appropriate to the style. This could be a bit more to style with more bittering and more malt, but it was easy to drink.

Pint at Speakeasy in Carrboro, NC.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep golden color with a nice, fluffy white head. Floral aroma of hops with a touch of spiciness. Up front, the palate is almost more like a Belgian ale, with notes of allspice and fresh hops. Finishes very smoothly, with a biscuity malt character that mellows out very nicely. Nice, full-bodied mouthfeel. Interesting, but not quite interesting enough for me to stick with it for a session.

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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.

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13 Rebels ESB from French Broad Brewing Co.
3.54 out of 5 based on 241 ratings.
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