14* ESB | Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

very good
29 Reviews
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14* ESB14* ESB

Brewed by:
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Minnesota, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by gatornation on 01-27-2014

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 162
Photo of ipeters1017
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours reddish brown with a white head.

Smells of toffee, earthiness, and citrus.

Taste leads with bitterness before giving way to a great caramel-y and nutty malt flavor. Not a ton of hoppiness, and it doesn't really need it. Finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel is thin and smooth with just enough carbonation to make your mouth tingle.

Overall, a very good, 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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of delta490
3.57/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of hardysf
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of KeithS
1.66/5  rDev -58.6%
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.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.77/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of superspak
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of argock
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
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.


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Photo of Sammy
3.04/5  rDev -24.2%
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.

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Photo of ceanderson
4.37/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of Swindizzle
2.7/5  rDev -32.7%
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!

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Photo of maedhros09
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bent Paddle 14º ESB, Extra Special Bitter Ale, Craft Brewed in Duluth, MN. 5.6% alc./vol.

Appearance: clear, bronze-hued, solid, staying cap of lace-leaving foam. Lookin' good.

Aroma: sweetly malty, lightly spicy & floral, judiciously hopped.

Taste: Clean and smooth, malt-forward, delicate hoppiness, expertly drinkable. Tasty, too. Prime candidate for session or such. Drinks a dream, and leaves the palate well satisfied. Lean bodied, light malty finish. Just an all 'round, well-balanced, right-on English-style ale. Good beer, and you can drink it.

What do they say on the can? "Our well rounded approach to the classic British Ale. There's middle of the road, and there's middle of the river. And if there's one thing that's important in the middle of the river--it's balance."

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Photo of Metalsnota
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bent Paddle's 14º ESB might be the most unique American interpretation of the style. The balance between malt and hops is perfect. I will admit that I wasn't a big fan of this beer initially because the American hops provide the beer with a not so traditional taste. However, after man pints of it, I've learned to love Bent Paddle's take on an ESB.

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Photo of Mdog
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 12oz can:

Appearance: Clear amber, big head.

Smell: Floral, then a bit of citrus, underlying earthiness.

Taste: Nice toffee and caramel, a zingy fruitiness, some sweetness, mild earthy-sweet finish.

Overall: A very tasty ESB from one of the best breweries in Minnesota. 12oz cans are a plus. Nice blend of malty flavors with fruity and earthy hops. Good stuff!

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Photo of larryi86
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Stillyman11 for this!
12 oz can poured into a pint glass

A- A clear amber with a three finger off white head.

S- Pine, toasted malts, bread, a nice herbal quality, very nice balance.

T- Hint of toffee, toasted bready malts, some pine hops, herbal tea, pretty good balance, slightly hoppy for the style, but still very nice.

M- Smooth, medium body, nice carbonation, but a little more than I tend to like in English styles.

O- I really enjoy this beer and could easly drink a few of these in a day. This is a style I haven't had many of and I feel this fits the style well. I would love to get more of this!

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Photo of ZAP
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L-Pour a bit charged up with a frothing big old head.

S-Definitely americanized with some pine and citrus on the aroma

T-Nice toeffeeish malt....nice flavor overall...nice balance which I did not expect from the aroma....toffee, and toasted malts might even edge out the hop presence which is more grassy on the taste than the pine but too much citrus on the taste for my liking.

F-Seems about right...not light in the shorts....

O-Nice drinking beer with an american twist....not a huge fan of the pine and citrus on the nose and citrus on the taste.....would prefer it stay closer to style but that is just me......what it is is a tasty, well crafted ESB with character.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted 4 January 2015. Can poured into a snifter.

Pours a medium-dark coppery amber. Mostly clear, about 95%. About 1 finger of off-white head, a little yellowish. Pretty good retention, decent lacing.

Smell is a little bland. Herbal and grassy. A little bready, toasted. But overall, really smooth.

Taste is subtle but super smooth. Rich, with quite a lot of flavor in there. Characteristics are a lot like the smell. A little bready, a little herbal. Has a low-level bitterness like an APA. But it's not a thin bitterness; it's a full bitterness, like what you find in a DIPA, where it's balanced and smoothed out by the bulk and heft of the malts' sugars.

Feel is clean, mouth-filling, medium to medium-light body. Carbonation is medium-low. Lasts sorta long, but fades out right when I want it to.

Really good. Smooth, smooth, smooth, and well-balanced (just as it says on the can); flavorful. Yum. Super refreshing and clean. An outstanding ESB.

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Photo of Taybeh
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%

From a can into an imperial pint glass

A: rich burnished copper, 3 finger puffy head, terrific lacing.
S: Faint earthy herbal hops, some caramel, some biscuit.
T: Very nice. Nutty, a little cherry, biscuity backbone, and then some earthy hops that prickle on the tongue towards the end, and it finishes with more nuttiness. Fairly hoppy at the end for the style, but it works.
M: a great thing about this beer -- creamy, full body (given the low abv), medium to low carbonation.

Overall: one of my favorite styles, and so hard to find done well on this side of the Atlantic. This is the best one available around these parts (though I like Town Hall's Broken Paddle a lot too). I'd love to try this on cask.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Not a big nose, some biscuit, earthy hop and a touch of nut.
Pours brilliant chestnut with a 1" snow white foam cap. Lacy.
The palate starts with a hint of fruit, biscuit, nuts, slight treacle, a suspicion of chocolate with a light hop accent on the finish. Finishes semi-dry with lingering biscuit, hop and treacle.
Medium body and carbonation.

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Photo of MNAle
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice aroma with both hops and malt evident.

Dark brown color.

Nice cream head, dissipates in a few minutes.

Hops are evident in the initial taste, but the malt taste is also there; a very good balance.

This is a well done interpretation of an English bitter.

Smooth and creamy feel. This beer has a more substantial body and mouth feel than does the Badger Hill Brewing MSB, and is not as hoppy as the Surly Bitter Brewer. In fact, this now supplants the Surly as my favorite Minnesota-brewed bitter, unless I am looking for having several on a hot summer afternoon ... the Surly's lower ABV is an advantage over the 14⁰ ESB when you want several.

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14* ESB from Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
4.01 out of 5 based on 162 ratings.
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