ESB Amber Ale
Flying Fish Brewing Company

ESB Amber AleESB Amber Ale
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
3.55 | pDev: 13.52%
Flying Fish Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
ESB Amber AleESB Amber Ale
Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 243 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.54/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy caramel brown body with a beige head. Sweet fruit esters, caramel, and unnecessary booziness. Taste is way too sweet for an esb, but the malts help dull it by the finish, still one note on the flavor even for this simpler style. Feel is again oddly harsh in the start of the sip, but otherwise malty.

Sep 10, 2015
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gr0g from New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from (brief) notes taken on 9/20/2011.

Poured a one-finger head, quickly disappearing. Pretty solid malt profile, some fruit-like undertones. Finishing bitterness is pretty understated. Good, not great.

Jan 10, 2013
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KajII from North Carolina

2.9/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

[Suggested Glassware: Nonic Pint]

The pour was a clear copper color with an average (1-2 finger) off white creamy head that was mostly diminishing down to a thin film with a small collar, thus producing poor spotty lacing.

The aroma was of a sweet bread malt and an earthy yeast with a note of caramel and a touch of dark fruit (cherries and plums).

The taste was lightly sweet and malty with a good dose of caramel throughout, with the finish being slightly fruity and lightly bitter yet still possessed a rather nice sweetness. The flavor only lasted a short while following the swallow, with a nice fruity malty taste left behind.

Mouthfeel was a step or two above light in body with a slightly watery texture and a somewhat mild carbonation.

Overall this was a pretty decent ESB that had a slight bitter ending, a sweet caramel middle and a very good drinkability...

Oct 14, 2012
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Offa from California

4.4/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent ESB-type.

Pale amber, it has a medium-small off-white head slowly shrinking.

Aroma is dry bread crust, caramelised, with hint of earth; yeastiness, hint of jam and faint chocolate milk.

Taste is nice jammy-juicy-woody-piny-bready-minerally character, balanced firm bitterness and sweetness, fruitiness with strong toasted bread aftertaste. It has a dryish finish. It's lively, engaging, zesty, very enjoyable.

Sep 27, 2012
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claspada from New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper-amber color with only a thin, white head which leaves minimal lacing.

Aromas begin with lightly sweet pale maltiness and delicately toasted white bready maltiness. As it warms you get some underlying fruit esters of dried apricots, a pinch of lemon peel and some light earthiness (hops?).

The tastes begin with pale, toasted, bready maltiness and some increasing toffee and honey candy sweetness. As it warms you once again get the fruity accents of ripe apricot but also some lemony citrus. Earthy hoppiness adds a soft, balancing bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium-plus carbonation. Finish si slighly sweet but ultimately dry.

Overall while this is not the most true to style ESB you will find, it's tasty, easy-drinking, and decent enough to warrent a sample. Can't hold a candle to British examples and probably a bit too malty even for Americanized examples.

Sep 25, 2012
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B967ierhunter177 from Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear copper color with no head or lace. The aroma is of caramel and mild grapefruit and bread crust. The flavor has grapefruit and caramel notes with a good balance of malt sweetness and hoppiness. It's mouthfeel is medium. Flying Fish ESB Amber Ale is a good beer, balanced and refreshing. Recommended.

Sep 07, 2012
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facundoCNB from New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a nice amber pour (clean) with 2 fingers of off-white head (dissipated). smells fruity (raspberry), malty sweet, bready.
taste is slightly bitter up front then very sweet, bready, fruity. a very nice session ale. light to medium body, slightly creamy.. this and climax's esb are probably my 2 go-to's of local stuff. wish it were a bit hoppier/slightly less fruity, but it seriously goes down so easy that it's hard to complain.

Aug 28, 2012
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Oakenator from Pennsylvania

3.64/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden brown and slightly cloudy. Minimal head that disappates quickly. Smell on this one is almost stale - kind of reminiscent of a wet cardboard box. Thankfully the taste is good for this style of beer. It is bitter with a hint of some malt for a tad deeper flavor.

Jul 28, 2012
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a light brown color with a 1 inch head. Smell is malty, some caramel. Taste is malts, up front, a touch of caramel, hops are present at the finish, well balanced. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

May 25, 2012
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JimKal from North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle into a pint glass

Pours a hazy amber with a one finger head. A nice looking ESB.

Aroma is not pronounced.

Taste is quite smooth. Works very well with food as it won't overpower your meal but complement it. It ends on a slight bitter note but not over pronounced.

Mouthfeel is OK.

If you like ESBs, and I do, this is not a bad one to pick up.

Apr 08, 2012
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57md from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours orange-copper with little head and no retention. There is a subtle malty nose with a touch of sour to it. The taste is somewhat bready and malty upfront with a subtle dry finish. This offering is solid, but there is certainly nothing extraordinary here.

Feb 19, 2012
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jman42 from New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Seemed almost more orange than amber. A bit cloudy too. Head retention was minimal even with an aggressive pour. Decent lacing.

S - Predominant smell was malts more than anything.

T - Slightly bitter, with the malt taste prevailing.

M - Decent semi-creamy mouthfeel. Nothing outrageous, but not bad.

O - Decent, but not fantastic amber. Would buy again occasionally.

Feb 18, 2012
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jtierney89 from New Jersey

2.3/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a straw like color. Nowhere near amber. Thin white head that resides quickly. A bit earthy and biscuits on the nose but the smell is extremely subdued.

An oddly corny aftertaste. Dry finish. Extremely clean drinking. Some detectable sweetness upfront semi-bitter finish. Subdued and bland flavors. Drinkable but that's about it.

Feb 15, 2012
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Crass3000 from Minnesota

3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nice dark orange in color with a tiny head with little retention. The head dies really quick.

Smell is sweet with some decent malts in the background. Taste is ver similar. OK beer. Not very good really. Mouthfeel is OK - not real great but not bad. Just an OK beer.

Jan 19, 2012
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micromaniac129 from Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter amber color with minimal head formation and light carbonation. Head is light with very little lacing and fast fading.
Lightly malty in the nose with very little hop presence.
Taste is quite malty with maybe Vienna or Munich malts. hops are quite low and settle into the background.
Medium feel smooth.
Drinks like your basic Octoberfest, ordinary and weak in flavor.

Jan 14, 2012
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jhartley from Florida

3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint tumbler.

A-Light copper color of course it's amber! Lt. tan head than quickly dissipates even after an aggressive pour. Very nice bead.

S-Not picking up on a lot here...? Light fruit smell.

T-Bitter start on the tongue than leads directly into some sweet malts finishing again with some nuttiness.

M-Nice carbonation. Dry finish, but yet mouth is watering for more.

O-Very decent drinking beer, nothing too flashy. This is one I would definitely need again when I was eating some pizza and watching a baseball game. Wouldn't mind drinking this one over and over.

Jan 10, 2012
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keanex from New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle with no freshness date poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

A: Clear amber with a thin white head that quickly disappears. Slight carbonation activity.

S: Slight sweetness from the malt with some light fruit notes.

T: Very slight bitterness throughout with some light fruit and toasted malt notes. Very clean, but a bit bland at the same time.

M: Very clean throughout, medium bodied with sharp carbonation, very fresh tasting.

O: Despite the bland smell and lacking taste, I still really enjoy this. It's a very drinkable beer with subtle flavors that leave me sipping for more.

Dec 28, 2011
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metter98 from New York

3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear yellowish orange in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down and left some bubbles on the surface and around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of fruity yeast and sweet caramel malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of caramel with some sweetness and hints of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is easy to drink and somewhat sessionable. I could definitely have a few of these in one evening.

Sep 09, 2011
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SolipsismalCat from Pennsylvania

3.47/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy light orange with a one-finger fizzy, white head that disappeared in less than a minute. Some, but not much lacing.

S: Toasted malt and fruit aromas. Very faint hops.

T: Moderately sweet malt flavors and just a bit of hop bitterness. Well balanced, but not very strong flavor.

M: Light to medium bodied with soft carbonation. Somewhere between thin and watery.

O: Kind of bland flavor and mouthfeel. Not much to look at either. Just an average Amber ale.

Aug 24, 2011
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Halcyondays from California

3.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, my 30th state reviewed,

A: Pours a hazy translucent copper with a mild white head. Average head retention, no lace.

S: Nice caramel like nose of Munich malt, almost has an Oktoberfest feel with a hint of sulphur and cove.

T: Munich malt dominates with just a hint of crystal. Nice minerality/salts, mild hopping with a light earthy finish.

M: Medium-bodied, frothy, mineral rich.

O: An odd beer, it says ESB, listed on BA as an American amber, but really comes off to me like an altbier. I enjoy the minerality, but the overall flavour especially the malt isn't making me go crazy. A nice beer, at the price, I'm happy.

Aug 09, 2011
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warnerry from Michigan

3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a cloudy yellow/orange brown with one finger of light brown head.

S - Some sweet malts and a faint amount of hops, but very subdued aroma. Pleasant, but hard to pick out specific aromas.

T - More bitter hops in the taste than were apparent in the smell, but they dissipate off the tongue pretty quickly. Also, pick up a faint amount of citrus and some caramel malt.

M - Mouthfeel was on the thin side, but not exactly watery.

O - Overall, this is a drinkable brew, but not particularly memorable.

Jul 25, 2011
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JoeBCBC from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Weiss glass because that's all I had.

A- Copper color with a small head and barely any retention. Never had an "ESB Amber Ale" before. Excited to try this.

S- Sweetness from the malt and a hoppy crispness.

T- Tasted good but I expected more from an ESB. Sweetness from the malt comes through but is not overpowering. I liked the balance of this beer. Tinge of hops in the aftertaste.

M- Felt a little thin. Not very carbonated either. I think I would have enjoyed this one more if it were fuller.

O- Not a bad beer, just a little too thin and bland for my taste. I like the balance though. Not sure this one is up to style.

Jul 18, 2011
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PhageLab from Virginia

3.72/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had some difficulty figuring out what this was while I was drinking it. I'm settling with ESB because it tastes far closer to that as opposed to an amber ale. Poured into a pilsner glass.

A - Red orange colored brew, small head on this one, retention was rather poor.

S - Biscuity malt aroma, quite rich. Slightly sugary.

T - Decently bitter malt body, a little sweetness balances it out. There is also a slight citrus tone that adds a refreshing quality.

M - Light bodied with a dry finish. Mellow carbonation level.

D - As an amber ale? Not too good. Take the label at face value and consider this an ESB, and it is spot on, well, at least for an American spin on it.

Jul 11, 2011
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UDbeernut from Florida

3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a cheater pint

A: amber color, 1/4" slight off white head with fair retention, visible carbonation

S: hint of sweet malt, slight flowery hop in the nose

T: flowery hops with some light caramel. Nice balance.

M: light to medium bodied, slightly chewy.

O: good beer for hanging out with friends.


Jun 18, 2011
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a reddish copper color with a cream colored head that faded away pretty quickly. The lacing doesn't really show up too well either. The smell has a lot of grainy malts on the nose and not too much in way of hops. The taste had a pretty good ESB flavor to it but wasn't as good as the real thing. The mouthfeel was light on this kind of felt waters down.

Jun 01, 2011
ESB Amber Ale from Flying Fish Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 243 ratings