14* ESB
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

14* ESB14* ESB
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Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #14
Ranked #14,129
3.92 | pDev: 10.46%
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Minnesota, United States
Very Good
14* ESB14* ESB
Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 192 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Mindcrime1000
Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a tulip.

Pours a clear dark copper. Moderate head. Excellent lacing.

The brew has caramel malt sweet aromas mixed with fruity and earthy hops.

Caramel malts on the tip of the tongue. Mild citrus fruit flavors in midstream, with earthy and floral hops finishing the show.

The feel is great. Medium bodied, well carbonated, and drying at the finish.

One excellent ESB.

Jun 07, 2020
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drdiesel9483 from Ohio

3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - cloudy light brown color slight head and some sticky lacing
Smell - malty caramel sweet smell
Taste - about the same as the scent with a slight bitterness
Feel - medium body and carb. Slight bubbley
Overall - pretty tasty esb

Jan 05, 2020
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a can of this beer from a beer store in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It poured a slightly hazy amber with off white head that is leaving some lace. The scent had bold caramel malt notes. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with caramel malt base and maple syrup and molasses highlights. The mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall its a solid beer.

Dec 21, 2019
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defunksta from North Dakota

3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark amber color that is clear. SRM of 16. (4.00)

Aroma: Light citrus aromas followed by some lightly roasted nuts & brown sugar. Some caramel and toffee. But then an overwhelming phenolic & orange Belgian spice to it. (3.25)

Flavor: Flavor follows the nose with light, vague citrus followed by a phenolic and Belgian-spiced finish. Milder flavors. Lots of caramel with basked orange. (3.25)

Feel: Light and clean. Mild carbonation. Clean on the palate. Alcohol shows through. (3.75)

Compared to Summit's Extra Pale Ale 4/13/20: Pours a darker color. Lighter aromas. More malty, alcohol and phenols. More Belgian spice. Less flower, citrus, and caramel malts. Maybe more nuts too. Finishes slightly sweeter.

Overall: This second-review on this one is not hitting me. Much lighter than I expected. Crisper and tamer flavors. Has a distinct alcoholic and Belgian spice to it that I often get in cheap beers. Can't say for certain, but I detect it. Lots of caramel and sun-basked orange. This is a gateway beer in the darker beers of the craft spectrum. Not hitting me on this one. (Final Rating: 3.64)

Oct 27, 2019
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smcolw from Massachusetts

4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Light brown color with a definitive haze. E excellent blanket lacing from lasting head.

Lots of caramel/crystal malt aroma.

Sweet and dry in equal measures. The brew starts dry but the malt sugars show up in the swallow with the mild hop bitterness. The flavor is rich while the body is above average. Higher carbonation as well. The finish has a caramel flavor with white pepper-like hop spice. The aftertaste approaches chocolate but doesn't quite get there. I get a bit of treacle as well.

Overall, this is a special beer. Perhaps it's more dark and bitter than a traditional ESB, but the flavor is full with darker toasted beads and light pepper.

Sep 04, 2018
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Strix from Wisconsin

3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper, good head

Bready, malty nose

Nutty, bready malt that finishes with a cascadey hop bite. Nice balance.

Medium carbonation and mouthfeel

Solid and drinkable.

Jun 12, 2018
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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured all types of hopped-up beer down my gullet whilst in Minneapolis and this special bitter, when compared to those hop-monsters, was one of my faves. Probably benefitted from cutting through all the lupulin clutter with a totally different (and welcomed) taste profile, but still - it's a great brew. Love the style when it's well done.

Earthy brown pour with a moderate head that hung around for the full pint.

Bitter hops accentuated by an earthy, floral and nutty undertone. Light spiciness with hints of tobacco beneath it all. Slightly sweet caramel hops and a kiss of candied pear.

Crisp but dry, refreshing but not overly carbed; a true sipper of a beer.

Apr 22, 2018
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into glass. Stamped on can bottom is '030-18'.
Deep amber colored body. White islands and ring. Rings of lacing.
Subtle aroma of malt and citrus.
Taste of malt, floral hop, caramel/nutty. Bitterness is balanced.
Medium mouth feel.
A good representative of style. Rather dry, but full of bolder, sweet malt and citrus hops.

Jan 14, 2018
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

14* ESB pours a darker amber color, almost brown, with a big lacing and long lasting head. Big malty aroma, with hints of nuts. Taste is malty upfront, hints of smoke, with a creamy and slightly bitter aftertaste. Good body and feel,but feels just a bit flat. Overall, its a bigger take on a traditional ESB style.

Jun 10, 2017
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ipeters1017 from Wisconsin

4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer pours a clear reddish brown with a tall off-white head. Smells of toffee, earthiness, and grass. Taste leads with bitterness before giving way to a great caramel-y and nutty malt flavor. Floral, earthy hoppiness with a slightly sweet finish. Mouthfeel is light and smooth with just enough carbonation to make your mouth tingle. Overall, a great, well-balanced beer that makes me want to try more ESB-style beers, if this is to be a true representative of it. My favorite Bent Paddle release, and my favorite beer.

Feb 09, 2017
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a clear copper color with a pillowy, white, one-finger head. It smelled of pine, citrus and malt. It tasted spicy and hoppy. Also a good sweet maltiness flavor. There is a slight bitter kick. It was very crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

Jan 02, 2017
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can into a nonic ten ounce glass.

Deep caramel color approaching raisin. I guess I'm surprised for an ESB but it looks clean, has sudsy head and and a healthy film that stays atop the beer.

Smell is a mix of sweet bread and caramel and floral. Kind of subdued.

Floral and grassy hop flavor with caramel and a nice toast flavor.

Dry and bitter but in a mellow and low-key way and there's a good sweetness.

Apr 16, 2016
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delta490 from Virginia

3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can, a lightly clouded medium brown with gold tint. There is a big foamy light tan with great retention. The lacing is sticky and small and coats the side of the glass. The aroma is mostly malty, bready and slightly crisp, with just a faint hint of hops. Unfortunately, there isn't much of either. You really have to breathe in deep to get it. The taste is much the same, much more malty than hoppy and while good, nothing really stand out. The body is lighter and very smooth with just a slight tingle from the carbonation.

Feb 21, 2016
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hardysf from Michigan

3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Credit is definitely give here for thinking outside the box. An extra bitter amber? sign me up. Wish the end result lived up more to the promise. The malt characteristics were the star of this show and the hops weren't as prevalent as expected. This was pretty one note, and more sweet than bitter. The amber qualities of this beer were pretty good though. Lots of toffee and bready malts.

Feb 09, 2016
Photo of KeithS
KeithS from Minnesota

1.66/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

ESB = Extra Special Bitter. Clearly this is nothing of the kind. Even as a brown I found it overly sweet and generally unimpressive. Put me off Bent Paddle completely until I tried their Black Ale at an event.

Feb 05, 2016
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Wer34truh from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a calm red/amber color, with a small white head which retains fairly well.

Smells of herbal malts, fruits, general earthiness, and citrus.

Taste is relatively subtle, which fits well within the European tradition of the style. Sweet malts, with an almost biscuit flavor dominate. The bitterness makes an appearance in the aftertaste, but the initial taste is fairy conventional for a regular red amber. Mouth feel is quite light, with great carbonation.

Jan 20, 2016
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SD-Alefan from South Dakota

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the can a clear light brown with an off-white head that sticks around and leaves spotty lacing down the glass.
The aroma is toffee and biscuit with some earthiness, spice and light citrus notes.
The beer hits my buds as initially a bitter bite, then some spiciness and a hint of lemon with some caramel mid-sip and a finishing, somewhat mild, bitterness. A bit of earthiness and biscuit as it warms.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth and well carbonated.
Tasty, goes down easy.

Dec 22, 2015
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superspak from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can into pint glass, best before 11/8/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, lemon, orange, light pine, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, floral, grass, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/earthy hops, dark/bready malt, and light yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, lemon, orange, light pine, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, floral. grass, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/piney/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, lemon, orange, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/earthy hops, dark/bready malt, and light yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Americanized ESB style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/earthy hops, dark/bready malt, and light yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. This had a great balance between English and American hop flavors; and still fit the base style extremely well. A very enjoyable offering.

Dec 17, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

we are a little light on esb here in the states, so its always nice to encounter a good one.this has a nice rich caramel color to it, two inches of tan head, and is very clear. smells like sweet english malt and a bakery early in the morning, almost a bran muffin thing going on, a little darker on the grain than is custom i think. it has all the caramelized malt flavor, but almost none of the sweetness, which i really dig. i would like to taste and feel a little more of the english ale yeast on this one, it doesnt have much of a yeast profile, so its like its only half way there for an esb. its missing to me for sure. that said, it has a nice spicy grassy hop profile, a little higher than normal i think, and it really rounds it out nicely. great carbonation and plenty of body, i sort of see this style as the original fall seasonal, and its an excellent take on it here, especially in that context. my first beer from these guys was a little safe here, but its a well made brew, and the other stuff i had from them was equally tasty.

Oct 27, 2015
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argock from Virginia

4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz can into a clear glass pilsner glass. 252-15 stamped on bottom. Supplied by and shared with Mpls bro Greg.

A: Burnished dark amber with frothy 1-finger light beige head with good retention and a few thin wavy lines of lacing.


Aug 21, 2015
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Sammy from Canada

3.04/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

On tap at The Happy Gnome. Not so great hop taste, and not much taste to begin with. Overcarbonated as well. Not so drinkable.Do not like all the beers they make.

Aug 09, 2015
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ceanderson from Minnesota

4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stouts Pub. Very nice amber color, beautiful thick head that stuck to the glass as the volume dropped (which was quick). Slight hoppy malt smell, not much citrus. Very little to no bitterness, a great ESB. A growler of this is on my list.

Aug 04, 2015
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Czequershuus from Minnesota

4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a rich royal amber with a sizable head. The aroma is light, but I can detect a little toasty malt and a minor amount of earthy hops. The taste is creamy and toasty, with a pleasant sweetness, not really a caramel sweetness, more a direct, meaaty sweetness, supported by an accent of earthy hops. Really this is just lovely example of an underdone style. The creamyness is very comforting, but is is not so thick is to overwhelm. This is a beer I could drink year round.

Jul 31, 2015
Photo of Swindizzle

2.7/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Very very bitter. Not personally a fan, however if you like bitters, go for it. Bent paddle is spectacular so for dark and bitter fans, this ones for you!

May 05, 2015
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maedhros09 from Minnesota

4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Lovely amber with generous tan head with good retention and nice lacing
Smell: light citrus
Taste: Lightly sweet maltiness balanced with light citrus hops. Simple yet refreshing.
Feel: Smooth, medium body

Overall: A very refreshing, balanced, and easy drinking ale. A definite repeat.

Apr 08, 2015
14* ESB from Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 192 ratings