Full Special Bitter | Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

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7 Ratings

Brewed by:
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Kentucky, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mrfrancis on 10-27-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 7 |  Reviews: 1
Reviews by mrfrancis:
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3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

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look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Its tough to see today's craft beer drinkers snub their noses up at English-style ales. The simple and subtle character that makes British-style hoppy beers different from American-style hoppy beers are simply not appreciated anymore. But thanks to Against the Grain, making Brit-worthy ESBs like this helps the style out a lot!

Hazy brass in its color, the ale comes to the table with a firm off-white cap with strong retention and lacing patterns that leave a collar of foam with each sip. Its simply a strong looking ale that takes on cask ale-like appearances with its mere moderate carbonation.

Aromas are lead by hops but have a sweeter underpinning. Its light toffee, nutty and lightly toasty scent is the classic character of English ales. Lightly biscuity- or cookie-like, those nuances are quickly swallowed up by those noble English hops. Spicy with woody notes that have mild citrus tones, but its hops give more of a fragrant grass scent than anything else.

Its taste is toffee and biscotti with its malt and bready sweetness. Though the ale is reasonably balanced throughout, the hops steal the show in the middle. Its grassy taste comes to life with peps of citrus to remind the taste buds of sassafras teas. Its herbal character develops into a smooth but broad and woody balance to cap things off in the end. A slight cast of fruitiness pulls from the citrus in a lightly marmalade fashion that could actually be propelled a bit for better enjoyment.

Medium bodied from head to tail, this "FSB" is creamy, toasty and malty-dry to start. Its mild carbonation allows the malt structures to ground themselves nicely on the tongue for a slight bready weight. But its residual sweetness slowly fades and the ale builds into a bitter-focused taste that's exceedingly dry, soothing warmth, and comfortable drinkability. Again, a trail of lemon tea extends in aftertaste and outlasts its bitterness ever so slightly.

The tell-tale of English "bitters" are that they are more balanced than bitter to the American IPA drinker. But suspend that preference just for just a moment and the subtleties of this Extra Special Bitter... er- Full Special Bitter win you over.

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Full Special Bitter from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 7 ratings