ESB Amber Ale | Flying Fish Brewing Company

144 Reviews
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ESB Amber AleESB Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Flying Fish Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-20-2001

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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 242
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.45/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had an exceptionally good one of this at the Mexican Food Factory at Cherry Hill, NJ. It seemed exceptionally fresh and was a great experience. It had a beautifully deep amber color with a very good head which lasted for a little bit and with a lace throughout. It had a really good, malty smell. The taste hits you up front with hops, which I knew beforehand was a combination of Yakima Golding, Fuggles, and Magnum. Then, after the hops taste, you get a really good malt flavor, which is also a combination of a lot of different styles of malts. This was a lot better on-tap than my experience from the bottle, but I love it from the bottle as well!

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Photo of Offa
4.4/5  rDev +25.4%
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.

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Photo of stirgy
4.33/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a wonderful appearance. It is bright with perfect clarity. There's a decent carbonation of fine bubbles. Poured an attractive light copper color with a thinnish head that faded into a wisp of a film, leaving a tight lace on the glass. Sweet malt aroma with a definite fruitiness. Medium light malt body with a pleasant sweetness in the taste. Nice fruity hop notes, with hints of oranges and cherries coming through. Pleasant and crisp bitterness. Very good. A delicious ESB and a new favorite of mine.

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Photo of tjd112
4.27/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation - Poured into Flying Fish Pint Glass

Appearance - Copper hue with half-finger white head, well retained, lacing is average

Smell - A lot of sour apples with some breadiness

Taste - Very caramel/toffee taste with some muted sour hoppiness

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied, dry finish

Drinkability/Overall - Preferable to the similar styled River Horse Special Ale

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Photo of Reverand
4.23/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't think that I would like this ESB but it really surprised me. Nice color with a big head that clung all the way down. Smooth taste with balanced hops.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.11/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flying Fish ESB Ale is in my top 10 most enjoyable beers! A beer that's not too heavy, so you can drink several, and yet thirst quenching as well.

ESB Ale pours a beautiful caramel/copper with a nice white head that laces the glass and lingers awhile too.
The smell is slighty sweet with hops present.
The taste is wonderful- light, yet slighty bitter, with a nice clean feel and no aftertaste.

This is a beer that I will keep on hands and will keep an eye out for at the local watering holes!! Delicious!!!

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lighter shade of amber with a thin white head that leaves nice lacing. The flavor is heavy on the esters upfront, along with some caramel and toffee, biscuit, red apple and orange, earthy and floral hops and a touch of alcohol. The flavor is also full of esters upfront, along with some caramel and toffee, floral hops, biscuit, minerals and a hint of alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is really good. This is a pretty tasty interpretation of an ESB, more authentic than most americanized versions.

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Photo of Biscuit033
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear orange-golden, with two fingers of head moderate lacing.

S: Malts and floral hops.

T: Metallic earthiness, malts, and a bit of pine bitterness.

M: Nice bubbles on the tonge with long clinging bitter finish.

D: This beer is balanced the way an ESB should be. It is something that I would order more than oone of throughout the night. A little too much ABV for my idea of a perfect sesion beer.

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Photo of flood
4.06/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bottle of this at a bar in Chadds Ford PA - I was duly impressed started off as a typical ESB, hit a caramel/smokey note in he middle and ended with a little bitter bite - I wouldn't classify this as a true to form ESB but a good beverage none the less. The only problem is the hops are a little muted for the style. The flavor overall is excellent though and very drinkable - had three of them with no regrets.

I would like to taste the draft form of this...

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Photo of thefireman
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle, no date. pours a dark caramel and a half inch head that flattens out, but laces the glass. Smells of malts, a little sweet smell. Great burst of flavor, fruity, malty, and then the hops become evident. Nice snappy finish.

Solid effort by these guys. Always dependable. I drink often, and consider this a great session beer or a good intro for beer "probies". Great with pork barbeque.

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Photo of schmitter
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slight amber with a pencil thin head. Smells hoppy and like a marzen. Actually looks like one also. Taste is a toasty/caramel. Not much lacing to speak of, but is smooth and pleasurable. Tastes great, second best flying fish (# 1 is exit 4). . I think i'll have another.

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Photo of williamherbert
4.02/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a carrot orange with a thin frosting of head. Cloudy with slowly upfloating carbonation. More head would have been nice.

The smell is dual malt aromas creating a tug-of-war: the spicy pale malt and the toasted amber malt. The hops are spicy and flowery both. It's a very spring-y beer, with a lot of pop.

The hops in the flavor shine though here, giving a refreshing, spicy and estery taste. The caramel-tinged malt adds more flavor. A real burst of disparate tastes.

The body on this beer is fantastic: it is thick and creamy and whips into a foam when agitated. There is lots of flavor here: spicy, flowery, roasted and yet refreshing.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

picked up in a mixed sixer and poured into a shaker, this was one of about 9 new beers tried on this night.

pour is nice and even amber color with a slightly dark hint of color around the sides of the glass. nice white head has good retention and leaves a rocky and broken top in its wake. aroma is very complex, earthy hops, notes of light fruit, apples, peaches, apricots, an touches of citrus with mounds of fresh grass and grain. again very well put together.

more of the same as i work my way into the flavor. nice and clean with a very well rounded body an even profile. quick hits of hops, earthy malts and a nice and well balanced profile really come together very very nicely. overall a great little beer and really exactly what i was hopping for.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber color with a fluffy white head that descends to 1/4" and leaves occasional splotches of lacing

Smell: Fruity/caramel aroma with earthy hop tones and a trace of minty astringency

Taste: Fruity/caramel up front, with an apricot aspect, that is joined, mid-palate, by an earthy, woody bitterness that also has that touch of minty astringency from the aroma; after the swallow, the tail end is nicely balanced

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This one hits the style very well, with its only flaw coming from the astingent peculiarity

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured clear medium amber. The head was white and fell quickly to the edges of the surface, but laced the glass.

The aroma was slight caramel with a earthy English hop aroma and slight fruitiness.

The flavor was caramel malts and just enough hop bittering to balance. Some sweetness was present in the flavor, but not to the point of being cloying. Good mineral water background profile.

The finish was mineraly and dry with slight hop bittering lasting into the aftertaste. The body was medium.

12 ounce bottle, no freshness dating.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: golden, amber, reddish

smell: loaded hops and citrus aroma, carmamel bread aromas

taste: balanced and very hoppy for a esb. nice toasty caramel malts

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: fantastic brew. great food beer. nice american take on a esb

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a nice malty AAA (American Amber Ale). This beer poured a dark amber colour and it had a nice, white head. The aromas were of malts, hops, and fruits. The taste was very hoppy, fruity and malty. This was a very well balanced beer with a nice, full mouthfeel and an excellent drinkability.


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Photo of jakester
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from a sampler case from FF. Expiration date clearly marked on the label!! YEA!!

Pours a clear light amber/orange with a one finger head of off-white foam. The head drops to islands and a ring in about 3 minutes. Gentle lacing observed. Carbonation evident.

Aroma is fresh, toasty caramel, herbal/grassy hops, clean and delicate.

Tastes clean and refreshing. Flavors of lightly toasted malts, grassy/herbal hops, a good level of bittering. There's a sweet flavor in there I can't identify, but it's pleasant. Maybe from the yeast? A well balanced brew. Aftertaste is lightly toasted caramel and hops.

Mouthfeel is medium sweetness, nice little zing from carbonation, and a slightly sweet/bitter finish.

A damn nice beer. Not really sure it's an ESB, but it's good.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper color. Head was puffy and slightly off-white. Moderate lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is rich and fruity with some hops also apparent. Taste is a pleasant maltiness, with a nice creamy mouthfeel and somewhat more hop bitterness than I expected. Finished is full of maltiness, with a dry ending leaves a nice feeling in the mouth. A very nice beer that is truly refreshing.

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Photo of TPoling
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Flying Fish ESB poured an inviting bright amber with an orangish hue, but a head never formed, nor did any lace.

The smell promised a slight toastiness and hops on the mild side. There turned out to be a nice balance of the malt and hops that refreshed the taste buds and really began to pop out as the ale warmed.

The biggest dissappointment was that the mouthfeel was a little weak in comparison to some of the classic ESB examples of the style. Some ESB characteristics, particularly in the malt, but drank much like an American amber.

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Photo of Gavage
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with a medium sized head. The aroma has a nice mixture of sweet, floral tones, and hints of fruit. The taste is less than expected from the smell, but still tasty. Some sweetness is nicely balanced with the hops, but neither is strong. This is a medium bodied beer that has a slight bitter and fruity aftertaste, but does not linger around for long. I found this very drinkable and definitely could be a session beer.

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Photo of yen157
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Orange amber in color with a fluffy white head. Lovely malt aroma was mixed with something musty, like the barely was somehow malted and toasted in a moldy basement. It tasted just as nice. Rich, toasted malt flavor dominates but allows a little room at the end for some fruitiness, green hops, and a very slight astringency.
Very light carbonation gave this beer a fairly silky mouthfeel. Simple but tasty brew from Flying Fish.

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Photo of Phatz
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an amber orange with a frothy white head and scattered lacing and a cap that lasts the duration of the beer.

Smell: Toffee and grain, a touch of caramel and a light dose of hops, in an otherwise malty aroma. I certainly think I smell some butterscotch as well.

Taste: It is a bizarre beer because I keep thinking I detect that buttery diacetyl and then it hides, so if it is there is well masked. The first suggestion on the tongue is butterscotch, and then immediately sweet bread and toasted grains. There is also a fruity overtone that seems like some of the yeast is helping while I was tasting the bread flavor, but again it show up and is gone just as quickly. Like I said; how bizarre. There is a nibbling feeling in the back of the mouth; a sort of hoppyness along with a dryness and a spice kick that almost seems like a bit of pepper nibbling at the cheeks, and maybe some cinnamon too. The finish is short. While I like the flavors they seem illusive. Then long after the swallow a second wave of light bitterness seeps out of cheeks and leaves a pleasant dry aftertaste in my mouth. The next sip; when I hold it on my tongue the beer seems overly grainy and not so much like the pleasant sweet bread, it is a little rough and unbalanced but it pulls together again. The flavors from sip to sip are hit or miss.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is light more like a brown ale than as ESB. Malty and smooth bigger medium than most ESBs and with a spice kick.

Drinkability: this is an interesting beer. It seems to me like an English Brown ale and an American Pale Ale met and conceived this baby in hay stack. The offspring of this unlikely pair is this beer. I wouldn't call it a favorite but it is well worth the taste.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from NeroFiddled, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a reddish hue, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is malty and nutty with spice, caramel a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is loaded with caramelized malt & nuts, some spice and very little sweetness as you would expect. The hops presence is decent and gets slightly stronger as you progress through the glass. The after-taste is mildly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, excellent representation of style, even though I wouldn’t typically choose this style, this is definitely one of the better ESB’s that I’ve had.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rounding out the flying fish variety pack...

Poured into a standard pint glass, presented with a nice off white head and great amber color, good lacing of the head.

Smell is a bit mild caramely malt sweetness with mild hop undertones.

Taste is a well balanced mix of malt and hops. the malt presented as caramely, slightl roasted and grainy/bready. Hops were understated but provided a nice bitter balance.

Mouthfeel is solid, flavors equally through, maybe a bit on the top of the tongue but the bitter hop and sweet malt intertwince nicely.

Very drinkable, really wonder why I don't pick up more flying fish.

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ESB Amber Ale from Flying Fish Brewing Company
3.51 out of 5 based on 242 ratings.
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