Lord Rear Admiral
3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Lord Rear AdmiralLord Rear Admiral
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Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #2
Ranked #3,323
4.13 | pDev: 8.47%
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States
Lord Rear AdmiralLord Rear Admiral
Notes: Three Floyds version of an ESB, this deep amber ale has a complex malt sweetness and pronounced apricot hoppiness. Named after Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.

55 IBU
Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 676 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent/hazed amber with a thumb+ sand colored head. Not a lot of head retention or lacing

S: Breadyness, fruittyness late

T: Dry biscuitty malt, leafy & woody hops up front. Woody bitterness, a little caramel, plus leafy hops as this warms, some pear notes on the edges that builds once this gets near room temperature. Finishes a little dry with fruittyness & some leafy hop bitterness

MF: Medium body, delicate carbonation, good balance

A good stab at the style, but lacks the malt depth of let's say a Fuller's ESB on cask

Jan 26, 2020
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This mighty fine ESB pours a muddled
lightly cloudy orange tinged brown color with a nice head of white foam that settles
to a thick ring, thin dusty layer, and sports light lacing. Nose of light fruit notes
of cantaloupe and light tropical notes of mango amongst herbal hop and
sweet caramel elements. Flavors nail the style with a light melon and
caramel malt with herbal hops, light pine, and mild citrus notes of
pineapple, mango, and lemon zest....unique to be certain. Excellent mouth
feel; medium light body, smooth, medium carbonation that is lively, and a
moderately bitter hop tinged finish that is moderately dry.

Overall, SOLID!


Dec 14, 2019
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superspak from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled in 8/2011. Pours slightly hazy deep golden/orange/amber/light copper color with a 1 finger fairly dense and fluffy cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lasts. Nice dense spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big orange, red grapefruit, lemon, golden raisin, peach, plum, pear, apricot, red apple, wood, cedar, mint, peppercorn, pine, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread dough/crust, toasted biscuit, light toffee/roast/nutty, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready/light roasted malts, fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with big strength. Taste of big orange, red grapefruit, lemon, golden raisin, peach, plum, pear, apricot, red apple, wood, cedar, mint, peppercorn, pine, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread dough/crust, toasted biscuit, light toffee/roast/nutty, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate pine, herbal, floral, woody, minty, grassy, peppery bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of orange, red grapefruit, lemon, golden raisin, peach, plum, pear, apricot, red apple, wood, cedar, mint, peppercorn, pine, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread dough/crust, toasted biscuit, light toffee/roast/nutty, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; with an awesome malt/bitterness balance; and no cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering bitterness. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, fairly sticky, and lightly resinous mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 6.5%. Overall this is an excellent ESB. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the mellowly bitter/drying finish; great soft feel and not aggressive. Great balance of nicely rich dark/bready English malts, fruity English yeast, and earthy English hop flavors. Light residual sweetness with lingering dryness. A very enjoyable offering, and impressive well made style example as expected. A lot more dark malt/melanoidin qualities from the age; but held up extremely well for the style/ABV. No complaints.

Nov 13, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap. Might be the best ESB I have ever had. The mostly clear amber brown body catches the light well, beige bubble head is pronounced. Smell has toffee, caramel, dark fruits, a touch of booze and apricot, and floral hops. Taste melds all of this together with the more mild english malting that subtle amongst the other flavors but has plenty of character, the finish gives away the american influence with some citrus hops, but I dug it. Well rounded and medium bodied, good artful bitterness in the feel.

Aug 24, 2019
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, amber color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of biscuity malt, toasted caramel and floral notes. Sweet toffee and caramel with a earthy bite.

Aug 01, 2019
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Welcome to my New Hoosier Daddy Beer Sunday (Week 738)! I know that I should kick things off with a CAN from IndiCANa, but @AyatollahGold threw a monkey wrench into my monkey business.

From the Bottle: "Three Floyds version of an ESB, this deep amber ale has a complex malt sweetness and pronounced apricot hoppiness. Named after Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson."

I am named after my grandfathers so I Pop!ped the cap as an homage to my late PapPaps. A slow, gentle C-Line pour seemed to be the standing order of the day. The Lord Rear Admiral came aboard with a flourish, puffing out his medaled chest to form just under two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, tawny head with decent retention that quickly deflated when I demanded that the Petty Officer of the Watch (POOW) see his ID. His color looked to be Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity, so I had him escorted to his stateroom by my watch section's messenger. Good lad! I nosed around in the Admiral's effects, finding him to have a preference for apricot-scented cologne. Hmm. I summoned up a sample of the grog that the Admiral was carrying on his person when he came aboard (good eye on the part of the POOW) & swirled it on my tongue for greatest effect, taking copious notes in the Deck Log as I did so. This is the sort of thing that must be recorded for posterity. I found it to have only a medium mouthfeel at best, Surely, the Admiral could afford better … Did the man spill some of his cologne into his beer?!? I tasted a preponderance of apricot, which I found to be preposterous! I must ponder this. The Pirates of Penzance must have gained access to his stash! I needed another sip to be sure ... Yes, definitely apricot as the predominant taste. Duly noted! By now, I seemed to have drained away well more than half of her majesty's Admiral's beer, so I saw no harm in finishing the remainder. It could all be easily explained away as evaporation or that the messenger stumbled & dropped it or … Well, be that as it may, finish was semi-dry, quite pleasant, with a lingering taste of apricots. Say, who summoned the duty Master-At-Arms? It wasn't me! Hey, don't lay hands on me! Who do you think you are?!? Why am I being clapped in irons?!? I'll have you know that ADM Nelson is a close friend of mine …

Apr 14, 2019
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - From the bottle, the beer poured a dark copper color with a white head.

Smell - The beer had a gentle pine nose with a definite maltiness.

Taste - The fron had a light citrus profile with a malty bitterness. There was a definite bread/biscuit quality. Apricot was definitely present. The dry piney finish left me thirsty for more.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation was somewhat low with a smooth feel.

Overall - I am sad that I just found this beer. It is such a great session beer.

Apr 06, 2019
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TheGent from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Three Floyds Lloyd Rear Admiral

Extra Special Bitter

Look: This beer pours a murky, but translucent dark amber / copper color. A two finger off white her settles to a thin layer across the top of beer while leaving some lacing in its wake. I’ve not had a ton of ESB, but I’ve had some a lot, such as Fullers. That beer is bright, this one is not. Overall, an attractive color with nice head retention. An enticing looking beer.

Smell: The aroma is sweet crushed grains, bready caramel malt profile. Some earthy tea notes and a pleasant fresh apricot fruitiness. Some dried apricot sweetness and hints of vanilla. A touch spicy.

Flavor: This is a beautiful beer. Upfront a bready sweetness with some vanilla, dried apricot and candied orange sweetness as well. Transitions beautifully to a dry earthy and lightly citrusy hop profile of pine and lemon.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and pillowy soft mouthfeel with a low level of carbonation.

Overall: This is an excellent beer that offers some nice malt sweetness and hop flavors. It’s balanced in that regard. This is basically my ideal drinking beer. I would love to drink this on cask. I just love the Bitters.

Mar 18, 2019
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Quackershnoc from Michigan

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: burnt orange murky brownish color; hazy; pillowy white head that films over the top

Aroma: nice grain bill; caramel sweetness; bready; citrus and other fruits; light hop notes

Taste: starts with hints of lemon zest and some hoppiness; moves into a strong malt backbone; bread and caramel; hops come through on the back end with a really strong return to lemon; a bitterbite right at the very end carries through the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-light body; a little fizzy

Overall Impression: this is a great offering of an ESB; exactly what you think of for the style; good flavors; nice and smooth; very drinkable

Mar 14, 2019
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GrumpyGas from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass shows a cloudy orangish-dull-copper colored body and a 1/4" head of white foam sits atop before falling to a whispy cap and leaving just a random haze on the glass.

Aroma is beer! Bready, slightly citrusy, and malty. Flavors of same are well combined for a pleasing, easy drinking malt forward, but not sweet, beer with a clean apricot in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium, and just short of creamy.

Overall a great version of an underappreciated style, in the States anyway.

Mar 10, 2019
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jkblr from Indiana

4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled 2/6/19 (27 days ago) poured into a 3F tulip pint glass at fridge temp, no ABV listed on bottle. The beer pours light to medium amber with some chill haze. The head is light khaki in color and recedes to some puffy islands leaving thick lacing behind. The aroma is dominated by British malt, maybe Maris Otter, and a subtle sweetness along with British hops. The taste is toasted malt, with the earthy tea-like addition of British hops. The beer stays nuetral throughout each sip, never striking a sweet or bitter note. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with less than medium carbonation and a semi dry finish. Overall, excellent. I expected this beer might be overly bitter or Americanized, but it's not. Traditional malts and hops are used in a very nice package.

Mar 05, 2019
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 2/6/19. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a glowing amber with some haze to it; creamy light khaki head that falls slowly leaving great retention and nice lacing. The aromas are malt forward along with some hints of citrus, caramel and toffee. Some fresh bread and crackers. The flavors are bold. Some orange and grapefruit. More caramel and toffee. Solid bitterness. Nice malt backbone. Finishes juicy and dry at the same time. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's medium-bodied with active carbonation. It's extremely fluffy and creamy, but still very sharp and crisp. It's smooth and easy to drink.

This is a very nice brew. It's not quite your traditional ESB, but it ultimately stays true to the style and doesn't come off as an IPA. The craftsmanship is on point. It's very enjoyable and fun to drink. I really like it. Well done.

Feb 24, 2019
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.54/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taste: crisp, subtle hops, malt, fruit, notes with clean finish. Same with the nose. dark amber hue, mostly clear with nice head and lace. Medium body. Hopper than most ESBs but very drinkable.

Sep 14, 2018
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AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring from a 12 oz. bottle into a whiskey tumbler glass, this beer pours a tea like brown. It forms a pinky width of dense and creamy, tinged yellow crown.

The nose brings some bitter and fruity hop presence, some toasty malts and a butter/oil presence.

The taste comes in with a butter presence like movie theatre popcorn. Transistions into slightly bitter notes and finishes showing some fruity hops. In between that is toasty notes of toffee and caramel.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, some bitterness.

Rating by style. This is very good.

Dec 10, 2017
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Hackattack from Indiana

4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

There's another review of this from a fellow traveler to England......pretty much nails the flavor here. ESB was a huge new experience for me......every little village in the UK has at LEAST one local pub with their own cellar temp. bitter pulled up to the bar from the cellar.... very low carbonation...and sweetly bitter/hoppy... AWESOME STUFF.

Oct 19, 2017
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F1Rumors from Illinois

4.79/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An American brew that is finally a really good take on the classic British pint of "Best". Really well done Three Floyds - world class.

Look: dark ale with a decent head; head disperses quickly , and leaves laces on the glass.
Smell: full on ale, hops and malt to the front
Taste: classic English bitter style ale, sweet and malty. Flavour is best at cellar (nor fridge) temperature, don't drink it too cold!
Feel: full bodied, plenty of mouth feel but not in the same league as a stout.

Thoroughly enjoyable, reminded me of being 'down the local' in the old country!

Nov 08, 2016
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waterski from Indiana

3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a bottle that aged nearly two years. Carmel colors with a full white head. Surprised it still had that much carbonation after two years. Nose of strong malt with dried fruits-fig or date. Malty taste with mild flavors accented by baking spices. Some light hop notes at the end. Heavy lacing on the glass.

Sep 29, 2016
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DancoJoe from Indiana

4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A slightly malty smell, world class head 2 fingers. Carmel Sugar and molasses sweet but not too sweet. High carbonation fights off the overly sweet for a very smooth bitter. Very Bready. Full Body.

Apr 24, 2016
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farrago from New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tops off around two fingers of tan foam, mostly even surface, sizzles off at a slow and steady pace, the stickiness of the lacing is below average. Murky brownish-red to orange colored liquid, can’t see any particulate so not sure where the film is coming from, makes it hard to see what seems to be a bunch of active tiny bubbles. Molasses, caramelized brown sugar and cigar leaf and ash in the nose, a whole lot of doughy breadiness as well, the malts have a burnt quality, bittersweet dark chocolate, orange marmalade, mild dried fruit nature to the peach, apricot scents, overall it’s “big” in the sense of affectionate steamroller. Full-bodied, same basic approach in the mouth with the benefit of aggressive carbonation to relieve some of the sweetness. That said, the honey, molasses, caramel, pine sap and brioche styled breadiness rule this tribe. The very thickness of the liquid makes pounding it unlikely and in the same vein muffles the hops. Apricot, pear, mango fruit with, once more, a more dried fruit than fresh juice nature. It’s pretty much a meal unto itself and perhaps best utilized as a post-dinner/dessert relaxer.

Apr 12, 2016
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Marius from Netherlands

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a tasting. Dark orange pour, hazy, thin tan head. Smells like malt sugars and burnt caramel. The taste is bitter-sweet, with notes of malt sugars, citrus hops, some pine.

Mar 26, 2016
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Ciocanelu from Romania

3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber color with beige head. Aroma is floral with caramel malts. Taste follows with caramel, some fruity esters and hops, finishes on the bitter side. Medium body and carbonation. Really nice and easy drinking.

Mar 20, 2016
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RickS95 from Indiana

3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a beautiful beer. Pours out a dark, opaque Amber color with a thick head of light khaki bubbles. The head resembles an IPA with its frothy peaks and valleys and thick lacing.

Very malty nose for a bitter, but the hops come they with waves of floral and fruit. There's something else in there, apparently the apricot notes, though I couldn't have picked the exact fruit without it being on the label.

The taste is very malty as well, but the apricot notes are more pronounced.

Not the most complex beer in the world, but it's fairly well balanced. There's bitterness but it never overpowers the palate and the fruity component helps with the balance. No real alcohol presence, there's a sourish, moderately bitter finish that lingers.

Not my go to for style, but something that is very drinkable.

Feb 29, 2016
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zonker17 from Texas

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with thicker foam that laces somewhat. Smells malty, carmely, toffee. Sweet and hoppy. Carmel flavors competing with the bitterness and citrusy hops. Heavy mouthfeel and above average carbonation.

Feb 15, 2016
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joeseppy from Illinois

4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Burnt sienna pour with paper mache off white head. Spider lacing throughout. Aroma has great balance of malt and hop. Fruit zesstiness of grapefruit and orange. Dried fruit. I would almost mistake this as borderline a barleywine in regards to heavy fructose. Taste is extra strong bitter that accentuates the malt. Sappy pine cone and dried fruit, esp. in apricot, prominent. Hop flavour arrives next in form of rind citrus. Medium body with hop and sugar in the raw layering on the tongue. Carbonation wanes. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and Zombie Dust in the middle. Drinks also as a DPA and barleywine. The experience here is in the taste. Well it delivers as their label says. This is tradition with interpretational flair. I give props to those going a bit off center.

Feb 14, 2016
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tillmac62 from South Carolina

3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

BOD 9/24/15. Clear amber pour with a slight garnet cast. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Rather light but nice nose of citrus (orange), a touch of spruce spiciness, tea and grainy biscuit with a bit of caramel.

Light medium body that is smooth with a touch of oiliness. Normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence in the middle and a stronger burst in the finish.

Quite nice flavor profile, but not quite up to snuff compared to the outstanding classic English bitters, such as Fullers (which is world class). Hop flavors present are predominately tea, whilst light citrus floats around a bit. The rich heavily caramel background is a bit out of balance lending the bitterness to not cut and slash in a sharp crisp fashion characteristic of the style. Do a side by side with Fuller's ESB and you'll taste what I'm saying. The middle bitterness is a bit muted for the style and does add apricot flavor, as advertised. The finish is a slow sweet fade. This beer is quite nice and very flavorful. As a pale ale I would score it outstanding, but as an ESB - it misses the mark.

Jan 22, 2016
Lord Rear Admiral from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 676 ratings