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Sweetwater ESB | SweetWater Brewing Company

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Sweetwater ESBSweetwater ESB
22 Ratings
Sweetwater ESBSweetwater ESB

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of BeerDawgs
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sweetwater 420fest 2017 - vintage beer tent

L - bronze with 1 finger of head. Minor clarity

S - sweet malts, nice hash hop aroma

T - like the aroma - malty and well balanced

F - medium carbonation, light body

O - great to have this one again. One of the better esb's I have had And a classic Sweetwater brew

 314 characters

Photo of harpus
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Yoda22
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of eskimojoe
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of kjmass
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of KMitch
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of horshack7
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearnce: It pours a nice amber color with a very slight orange hue.

Smell: Hints of coffee as well as chocolate malts.

Taste: Very evident choclate malts with a slight bit of hoppiness but more malty than hoppy other wise great.

Mouthfeel: Only a little bubbly yet more towards the smooth side.

Notes: This one is not so bitter as the label says which is not a big deal with me I like bitter beers. The balnce between hops and malt is very nice. A well crafted brew. Cheers!

 488 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear, amber/bronze color, short-lived/non-existent head.
Aroma: mild, few hops, big on sweet malty/breadiness, pitch perfect for the style.
Taste: fruit, cherries, berries, etc., but mildly played, very full and tasty in the mouth, though. Bright and yummy, full of malty delciousness. Drinkable as they come, an easy quencher, but doesn't impress much beyond that. For an ESB, though, this is near-perfect, methinks.

Cheers to Rajenda82 for it!

 451 characters

Photo of ElGordo
2.97/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light amber hue, almost golden, with a very light, pure-white head. Nice aroma of sweet malt, toffee, and a touch of oak. Slightly foamy body holds a malty palate, containing notes of oak, malt, and lightly bitter hops. Oakiness and hoppy bitterness linger on the palate long after swallowing. Not exactly Sweetwater's best offering.

 341 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright, clear, copper with a 1/2 inch egg-shell colored head. Nice thick lace. Smell is lightly fruity, hints of citrusy hops.

Tastes of sweet malt. A nice hop bite but very subtle and balanced. Problem is, you would like an ESB to be a bit less balanced, a bit more hoppy. Light citrus flavors. Crisp in the mouth. A light hops aftertaste and very smooth. Very easy to drink and a tasty brew. The sixer says that this is their "most complex" beer. It's good but this recently transplanted Atlantan hoped that is not their most complex offering by a long shot.

 571 characters

Photo of Southernbrew
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It seems that I like this beer more than some other people, oh well.

Amber with a nice bubbly head.

Full aroma, strong hops presence with a slight sweetness and some bitterness.

Slightly chewy mouthfeel with a nice fruity sweetness with a weak bitterness and a bittersweet finish. Possible weak chocolate flavors as well.

This is not what I would expect from an ESB but I still think it's a very fine brew, definitely something I could drink a few of.

 464 characters

Photo of rajendra82
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice and clear orange-amber color with highly effervescent head that disappears faster than Harry Houdini from a box. Slightly off-putting grassy aroma. Tastes are attempted to be balanced between hops and malt, but lean a bit towards hops. The body is also a tad bit thin, as the beer is too well attenuated. This leaves the beer insufficient body and complexity for the style. Not bad, mind you. Just disappointing from the lofty standards set by the other beers from Sweetwater.

 481 characters

Photo of jlervine
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy brown with a white foamy head that fades back into a nice Belgian lace. The smell is very malty with hints of chocolate and a nice hop aroma. The taste is pretty good, but not quite what I'd consider an ESB - it's lacking in the flavor profile. Quick hints of malt and a dominant hop character. There's a little bit of residual malt sweetness left behind for the mouthfeel. Great session beer, though, very easy to drink.

 435 characters

Photo of BierReise
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really smooth brew. Deep amber with small but lingering head and goosd retention. Sweet malty aroma with a slight citrusy hop presence. Medium bodied and very smooth on the palate. Flavors are well balanced and complex with different malt grains coming through even more than the hops. Overall a decent ESB.

 317 characters

Photo of Wildman
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a orange amber color and formed a white head that left trace lace as it subsided. An aroma of hops, caramel and citrus was present. A flavor of malt, hops, caramel and citrus. A bit sweet in the finish and while not a bad beer, not representative of a good ESB style.

 284 characters

Photo of BeerGlassesCollector
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks fly out to fattyre for sending me a bottle and giving me the chance to try this beer. Pours an amber orange-like colour topped by a huge head . Aroma consists of caramel hints. Also my nose caught some citrus notes. Taste is malty and caramelly. Mouthfeel is quite acceptable although it could have been better (taking into account the style of the beer). A well balanced bitter.

 386 characters

Photo of purplehops
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sweetwater ESB pours an amber orange with a white head that leaves pleanty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is a blend of citrus and caramel with a wee bit of floral notes wafting by. The taste starts with a bit of malt and some flavors of caramel and perhaps vienna malts. The finish is a bit drier than the begining with some sweet grain flavors and caramel malt with a bit of hop bitterness coming through. Aftertaste is a light sweetness and some grain flavors. Mouthfeel is medium to medium light for an ESB.
Overall a fair to good ale. A little weak in the hops department for me. Also weak in effervescence for an ESB in my opinion.

 641 characters

Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is a nice somewhat murky brown, the head mountainous, the lace glutinous and long lasting, both a pleasant beige color. Nose is floral, malt, a tad citrus like, light hits of caramel. Sweet start, the top middling, the finish is titillatetingly hopped, contently acidic, amusesingly dry, another great beer from a great brewery, mores the rub that it is not available in Arizona.

 388 characters

Photo of aracauna
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a bit light for an ESB and extremely clear copper color (like copper-colored glass). Some of the expected British hop aromas with some american citric hops added in. Flavor lacks the chewy malt of a good ESB and really a lot of the hop character of a typical ESB. It's mostly a light sweet toasty malt flavor with mild pear-like fruitiness. Not the best example of the style, but I like the beer. It's easy drinking and not bad by any stretch.

 449 characters

Photo of tigerpaws
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is not one of my favs from Sweetwater, it had no scnet to it and tasted very bland. All of the other brews from this brewery have been excellent I can't say the same for this one.................CHEERS

 212 characters

Photo of Jason
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This ESB is bordering on the brown ale style in flavour. On the sweet side with just enough hops to keep the malt in check, quick suggestions of chocolate and coffee flash on the palate. Real easy to put a few of these down.

 224 characters

Sweetwater ESB from SweetWater Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 22 ratings
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