Beak's Best | New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House

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Very Good
35 Ratings

Brewed by:
New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House
Indiana, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Viking on 01-29-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by Viking:
Photo of Viking
4.72/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark coppery/amber brew with a finger-thick cream-colored head. Pretty good head retention with rings of lace to the bottom of the glass. Smells of toasted caramel malt, with some herbal hops. Very well balanced taste - toasted caramel malt blends perfectly with the herbal/slightly spicy hops. Combination creates a smooth bittersweet flavor. Finish is moderately bitter, with a slight lingering taste of what I can only call 'toasted hops'. Smooth, oily-yet-light mouthfeel. Quite possibly the best ESB I've ever tasted. Excellent session beer. Hopefully, I'll be able to find this one locally again, if not it's time for a little road trip to New Albany.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of freewill35
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of zonker17
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of cwd
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of alleykatking
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap...

A- Poured a golden caramel color. One finger white head shows good retention. Nice streaks of lace on the sidse of the glass.

S- Nice underlying nutty aroma with a settle biscuity malt covering it. Hints of a light caramel malt toward the middle with a faded wet grain aroma. Ending shows the biscuity malts once again along with the nutty aroma ending with some light earthy hops. No real alcohol presence in the nose.

T- Biscuity malts with a strong overtone of roasted nuts right off the get go. This is the opposite of the aroma. Middle of the beer calms down with a dose of semi-sweet caramel malts that add a little depth to the beer itself. Biscuity malts are on the backend with hints of caramel and nuts. Earthy hops are in the backend which adds a nice bitterness to this beer without going overboard. Light alcohol helps to mute the flavors in the ending.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Biscuity malts, caramel malts, nuts, and hints of earthy hops are left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly biscuity malts, light alcohol, and hints of both roasted nuts and earthy hops. Flavors were very well put together for the style I thought. No real off flavors were present. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- A fantastic ESB. The flavors are light but pack a nice overall rotating lineup. ABV is light and brings a crispness to this beer. A fantastic beer from New Albanian which seems to be the norm with them.

 1,468 characters

Photo of bkonk10
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of oracle
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium copper color with small head that sticks around for a while. slight lacing on glass for entire duration.

Smelled primarily of hops, with noticable alcohol in the nose as well.

Tasted absolutely fantastic. Good mix of carmelized malts and hops that drinks suprisingly smoothly for an ESB. Good hop bitterness in the finish.

Absolutely outstanding. My hats off to Roger and Michael for another outstanding beer

 425 characters

Photo of smellandsip37
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jtd335
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of billgulch
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Nctide
2.86/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Had on tap. Tasted like a poor version of an English bitter with none of the flavorful malts. Overall it was disappointing.

124 characters

Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tom Tap Room. I am really blown away by the beer from New Albanian, and this is one of my very favorite beers from them, and a beer I seek out if I know it is somewhere around town.

A: Clear golden color with a nice cap of bone white foam on it
S: Grassy hops, cereal grains, and hints of biscuit malt. This smells like a brewery on brew day. I love it!
T: For 5% is packs a wonderful flavors of caramel, grassy hops, and a touch of those cereal grains found in the nose.
M: Smooth and medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation.
D: I would always love to have this on draft at the house. It is a little over defined session beer ABV, but that wouldn't stop me from many pints over several hours.

This is one of my very favorite just every day beers. I would reach for this beer anytime I could get it.

They just started bottling their beers, and hope they will somehow do this beer in six pack form one day. Great job NABC!

 952 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of robwestcott
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

cold from the tap at tavern on south, poured a semi translucent caramel brown to a standard shaker pint with a thin, short lasting off white head leaving minimal and quickly fading lace.

fairly subtle aroma of dark nuts and piney hops.

hops forward, but not in your face and distracting. dark nuts, caramel brown malts, nice side by side subtle hops and sweet malts.

low carbonation, subtle bitter to the tongue, light bodied.

drinkable - yep.

overall - enjoyable, not knocking your socks off, but a good, solid beer.

 522 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Quite an impressive beer. New Albany's beers all have a dough-ey and caramel-ey note to them anyway. This sets up to be a very solid brew. Still, the head retention and carbonation seem to be lacking from the tap, but the aroma is full of caramel, vanilla, maple syrup, and a bread / yeast flavor that creates richness and fullness, but without a thickening texture. The hops (American) adds spiciness that kicks it out of style, but still a very good beer. The hop flavor is assertive and pronounced without comanding the beer. New Albany's best brew!

 552 characters

Photo of HopsMatt
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of kuestegg
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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

(Tomlinson Tap Room) Poured a very nice light copper color with some decent head and a bit of decent lacing. Nice hoppy scent (slightly piney with a bit of earthiness beneath it) and a good sweet malt backing. Excellent pine and citrus flavors in the hops, with a good earthy/jerky hop finish (Fuggles?); had a very nice malt backing. Went down well, with a slight twinge.

 372 characters

Photo of MSandahl23
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of drmarcusmobley
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Photo of Rempo
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jkrich
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper and slightly opaque with a very nice fluffy off-white head. The aroma was spicy hops with faint malt odors. The initial taste was malty and slightly buttery with a good hop flavor in the aftertaste. There were some fleeting bready flavors as well. Good level of carbonation with a solid, thick mouthfeel. One could easily put back a few pints of this american style bitter. The butter flavor was the only drawback.

 421 characters

Photo of neckbracesub
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of phishbone23
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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Beak's Best from New Albanian Brewing Company - Pizzeria and Public House
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 35 ratings