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14'ER ESB | Avery Brewing Company

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279 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.13%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 10-05-1999

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 279 | Ratings: 333
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light orange and an auburn current running through it. The head forms offwhite but stands tall at nearly a full inch of head. Provides impressive lace. Aroma leans with copper and grassy notes.

Taste provided some bitterness without excessive hopping. Lots of crystal malt. Hint of sweetness. Enjoyable beer and style that keeps getting more difficult to find.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Irish pint glass.

Look: A hazy, murky soft caramel colored body. A light cream colored head with a film of retention, very light lacing.

Aroma: A blend of caramel and teal-like hops.

Taste: Much like the aroma, there are two opposing tastes going at it: sweet caramel and tangy, tea leaf hops.

Mouthfeel: Dry, crisp.

Overall: This beer is retired, so i don't know how I got this one sixer, or how old it is. I have a feeling it is quite dated, as freshness seems to be lacking in the overall taste. Still not bad if that's the case, but this could have been better.

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Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy yellowish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that died down leaving a thin film of bubbles covering the surface, a collar around the edge, and some large webs of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of caramel malts in the nose along with notes of orange citrus hops and hints of yeast.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a light amount of bitterness, which particularly lingers through the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit chewy on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: I found this beer quite flavorful and interesting compared to other beers in the style. It’s easy to drink and quite sessionable.

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Photo of secondtooth
2.72/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear copper, with average head of off-white carbonation. No lace.

Fruity malts weigh heavily on the nose. A little citrus hops somewhere in there, but it's pretty well submerged under the malts.

Flavor? Whoah! A malt bomb. Maple syrup, toffee, caramel.

Is this bottle old? No bottle dating, but I suspect so. Didn't manage to get through this one.

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Photo of kellog
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper, brownish orange hue

A: toffee, sweet maple, slight butterscotch and cereal

T: Maple taste gets slights overpowered by grassy bitterness

M: bitterness lingers, medium carbonation

I didn't expect as much hoppiness to come through especially with the sweet aromas on the initial impression, but good overall.

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Photo of bnes09
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy orange color with plenty of yeast. Big presence of white foam with exceptional lacing.

Smell is clean consisting of some grain and caramel notes.

Mild pine and herbal hop. Caramel sweetness. Biscuity malt backbone. Well-balanced.

Medium bodied with little to no carbonation which is slightly disappointing.

Not bad for an ESB. I have had better though.

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Photo of ToddT
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy amber color topped with a one finger off white head. Head falls quick and leaves little lace on the glass.

S- Mild aroma of malt, caramel, and pine hops.

T- Mild pine hops dominate the taste from beginning to finish. There are some nice flashes of caramel malt through out the flavor profile. The dry finish is a bittersweet final note of hops with a little hop oil left on the palate.

M- A little less than medium and lively from the carbonation in the mouth. Finish is not as clean as others I have had of this style.

D- Very drinkable and at 5.1% ABV it could be sessionable, but a little one dimensional.

Not bad but I have had better or more interesting examples of the style.

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Photo of scarfield
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a formidable head which settles out from 1 inch to about one finger in width, a pale amber in color. Moderate lacing as my glass is emptied.

The first smell is a strong hoppy one, accompanied by a malty sweet aroma. Be sure to get a good whiff the first chance you get, because the hoppy smell seems to go away rather quickly leaving just a malty one.

at first taste I get strong bitter hops, but as I become accustomed to them i sense that there is more causing the bitterness. I get a taste of bitterness akin to a not quite yet ripe granny smith apple. The beer also has some malty character show through.

In the mouth it feels quite thick, but it is lively enough that it goes down smoothly.

At the low ABV and ease of drinking I would consider this sessionable.

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Photo of chumba526
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

What this beer is retired? Damn I thought this was a good beer.

It appears light orange color with a small off white head.

It smells slightly of toasted malts, caramel and citrus.

It tastes initially like bready dry malts. There is an ever so slight toffee flavor. There is a slight sweetness but it is not overbearing at all. A nice grassy hop flavor is present. It ends with a nice hoppy bitterness. Overall this is a simple but excellent ESB.

The carbonation is moderate it is perhaps a bit too high for the style though.

This is quite drinkable I could drink these all day.

I am disappointed that this is not made any more. It sucks this is my last bottle. Now it's time to play depressing music, cry and drink the rest of this ESB.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery in August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice crisp golden color with a fluffy who're head and some good lacing. Nose brings some nice bready malt and a bit of earthy and grassy hops. Taste backs off with restrained hops and a bit of dough. Feel is light and slightly bitter. Drinks quite well and was an enjoyable starting point.

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Photo of claybeer
3.26/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Avery 14er's ESB has a dark golden color. There is a presents of a burnt yellow but very clean and clear. The head has an off white and some of the best lacing I've ever seen. The nose has a clean but bitter hops. It's very earthy and grain like. It drinks like a heavy Pale ale with a little pine. It is not as bitter as I anticipated from the nose. It has scratchy grit on the back of the tongue. There are all the bitter hops that come through on the finish and linger medium to long. This beer is moderately drinkable and in between an IPA and a Pale Ale. It's a nice change of pace.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good auburn color with hints of light orange, ample offwhite head, good lacing. Dry grass bitter aroma.

Taste, good and bitter, was hoping for more hopping, but still is probably on the heavy side for style, on average. Caramel all over the place. Just the right amount of sweetness. Could have been sturdier down the stretch. Remains drinkable, although this variety seems to be lesser available every year.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a nice dark golden color with a white 1.25 inch head. Wow. Very active carbonation coming from the bottom of the glass. The head is quite sticky and retentive with some nice chunky qualities.

S - Nice malt, bread and spice character up front with a nice citrus hop character surrounding it. Quite grainy aroma that isnt too complex but simple and pleasant.

T - Starts off pretty bitter with some slight hop character very reminiscent of other English produced ESB's. Some nice grassy and earthy tones with good malt backbone that isnt complex but present and delicious. Delicious American take on the ESB style with some good hop bitterness that is quite more intense than other ESBs but still very good.

M & D - Nice and light body with great flavor profile and good bitterness. Very drinkable and dare I say it sessionable.

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

Served in a pint glass. The beer is a dark golden with a nearly white head that thins to a ring, no lacing.

Aroma is faint, some malts and a bit of peach, and some floral hops. Flavor is fairly bitter with some malt and fruit flavors balancing it out. Not as much malt complexity as I was expecting. Carbonation is low, with a medium body.

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Photo of udubdawg
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a mildly hazed copper color, topped with a large frothy off-white head. Retention is good.
Aroma is close to classic ESB, lots of floral hops, quite a bit of fruitiness, mild caramel. No diacetyl.
Taste is a mild disappointment, and in general isn't big or full enough. I'm not saying every ESB has to have Fullers' big complex malt bill, but I expect more than this. Mild biscuit, more fruit, even more bitterness. Finishes with just a bit of bitterness and not much else to remember the beer by. Not a lot of caramel, and no diacetyl that I noted.
Body is thin, carb relatively high, just seems closer to a best bitter. An average example to my palate.

 661 characters

Photo of stimulus
3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle.

A: Pours a cloudy amber with very little white lacing.

S: Smells of bread without much else really going on here.

T: Slightly sweet and malty with very little hop flavor.

M: Smooth with a well carbonated finish.

D: A solid, if unspectacular session beer.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brownish-amber color, with a big, rocky white head. Very nice hoppy aroma, piney with some caramel. Nice piney/spicy hop flavors, mixed nicely with some pleasant malt sweetness. Nicely carbonated and easy to drink. This is one I could drink a lot of.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.13/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a thick and frothy head that retains impeccably. The aroma is also really nice, with a big fruity presence upfront redolent of green apples, orange zest, apricot, along with some biscuity malt, caramel sweetness, some earth hops and a little alcohol. The flavor has some orange zest, minty and floral hop notes upfront, along with some biscuit and caramel, fruity esters (green apple and apricot), toffee and a little alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is excellent. This is a very good ESB, and Avery surprisingly doesn't overdo the hoppiness.

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Photo of bump8628
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper with an adequate amount of white foam.

Bready, biscuity malt is the dominant flavor with a touch of caramel character and a bit of earthy, herbal hops to balance.

A flavorful ale for sure. I think more delicacies would emerge if served from a cask, but on draught it still provides a nice drinking experience.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info per the usual Avery custom (my only complaint with this great brewery). Was a slightly hazy copper color with lots of carb streams. It had an average sized head that settled into a good collar and thin surface film. Good lacing with good amount sticking.

The aroma was biscuity malt, caramel and floral hops. Slightly bitter. Not bad but not one that I want to sniff over and over. The taste was good with the biscuity malt complimented with a slight bitter hop bite. Others described more of a bitter bite so either I'm used to the bitter after my hop bombs these days or this one has faded a bit (hard to tell with no dating info). Again, the taste is good but not something that I want to sit down and have several of at a sitting. Mouthfeel was crisp with lots of carb. Medium. Neutral after-taste.

Overall, a good ESB but not something that would make it into my fridge. Maybe on-tap when in Colorado. A lot of that is style preference though so if you like ESB's then give this one a try. Rotation - not avail here in TX so shipped myself from CO during my trip. If here, this one is enough - again more style thing than being bad. [SB]

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Photo of feelmefoam
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky caramel color with muted orange highlights. Only put up about a finger of off-white head that didn't last a long time at all, but it did leave some nice lacing down the side of the glass.

For me, the nose is the most unimpressive part of this beer. I smell some caramel maltiness and a little bit of citrus, but although they're both there, they both lack in fervor and overall fragrance.

The flavor is much better. A sweet, slightly gooey malt and fruit combo up front, a bit like a caramel apple, followed by a citrusy and slightly earthy hop presence. This has a good mixture of flavor and complexity, Avery just needs to intensify the flavors a little bit and they'll have a winner. A bit mellow, but still good.

Pretty good mouthfeel, too. A medium body with a relatively low amount of carbonation; there's just enough to show up and give it a bit of crispness before fading away.

Overall this is a pretty drinkable ESB that could be vastly improved with the addition of a little more hops, not just for the flavor but also for the aroma. Still, despite some shortcomings, it's not a bad brew.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-very hazy amber orange color, nice looking glow to it. A thicker slightly off white head that lingers for quite some time and leaves a ton of lacing on the glass

S-the nose is quite big and seems well balanced. A light toasted malt sets a foundation with some sweet caramel up front, some notes of grain comes in next as a sublte transition into some nice hops comes in. A touch of pine, lemon, and orange peel. There is a light phenol aroma accompanying the hops that detracts from the overall aroma slightly

T-the taste follows the nose although it brings more grainy metallic taste the the aroma had sent off. The toasted malt carries through with just a hint of caramel up front, the grain sets in next with a light citrusy hop, lemon, orange peel, grass clippings. The finish has the metallic taste and a little too much bitterness.

M-it has a light body and a lot of carbonation creating a very crisp, biting finish. Slightly drying towards the back

D-not the best ESB in the world, a little too bitter and thin for my taste. I was hoping for less carbonation to make it more smooth; but, it does have a fair amount of taste happening.

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Photo of diechipmunk
3.09/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep brassy-golden color from a bottle into a pint glass.

One finger of creamy head diminished quickly, leving a persistent lace.

The appearance is a clear brassy-golden color.

The aroma was a mild blend of malt and bittering hops, a little nuttyness, not floral or fuity. Nothing pronounced.

The taste is balanced, but favoring hop bitterness, with a long moderately bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, mild carbonation with a slightly resinous finish. A very easy drinker.

It's a very drinkable beer. Moderate ABV, smooth mouth, balanced taste.

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Photo of khinman7
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Small head of foam that diminished quickly. Nice lacing persistent throughout the drink.

The appearance is a clear caramel-amber color and the smell is really mild and not very noticeable.

The taste is bitter and hoppy as an aftertaste, but is crisp and has a clean soapy mouthfeel.

A good beer to drink a few of, but not something I would consistently search for in the beer room at Tipsy's. Would choose this over other standard tap-fare for sure!

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.9/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a flat orange with a disappointing sandy colored head that lacked incentive and retention to stick around and impress. The head leveled to a spotty bubbly topping that left little or no lacing worth mentioning. A slight haziness along with a sputtering micro-bubbly carbonation presence rounds things out in an otherwise mediocre display. Found the coloring to be a few shades lighter the style expectations.

S: The nose was quite strange, a blend of oranges and lemon bread. The lemony bitterness stands out the most here, and much like the appearance was lackluster and uninspiring. What was missing here was a sweet caramel presence and toasted malting, coming off much like a lemony flat pale.

T: The flavor was a mixture of sweet dried caramel grains and lemony bitterness. There was a warmth of lemon juice, bread and warm oranges along with a presence of dried tropical fruit of pineapple chunks. There was a touch of sourness on the finishing swallow of wet dry lemon juice, which much like the rest of the drink was average at best. The malting was unpronounced, lacking a good hearty toasty caramel presence, while the hopping was more of a flat pale ale. Overall a bit disappointing and uninspired.

M: The mouthful was medium bodied, slightly oily texture wise with only the smallest traces of carbonation. A rather boring hold.

D: I could continue my trend of mediocre rating here but considering all the aspects of this beer combined, it comes in less then the sum of its parts. If I had a choice to take it or leave it, I would probably leave it, on the shelf. Not particular to style and seems like a style filler here. Sad considering that this brewery turns out some decent ipas with good malt presence that they fall flat on their face with this style.

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14'ER ESB from Avery Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 333 ratings.
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