Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

ESB Amber Ale | Flying Fish Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
ESB Amber AleESB Amber Ale
243 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 243 |  Reviews: 144
Photo of Bighuge
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed orangish copper tone. Slight bubbly ivory white head. This recedes to a bubbly collar quickly that leaves nice strings of lace. Some light whiffs of caramel and toffee mixed in with some herbal spiciness. The malts give this ESB a really nice toffeish base. It's a little buttery too. And peppery to a small extent. Nice flavor profile. The mouthfeel is light to moderate in its carbonation. And the body is almost medium. Nice tasting beer.

 456 characters

Photo of Ego
3.42/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on the sixer it says "amber ESB ale".. so I am guessing it isnt meant to be a pure ESB in the 'Fuller's ESB' sense.

nice clean looking amber hue, good carbonation action, good white head, nothing spectacular but nothing overtly bad either

hard to detect hop florals, coffeeish tone but more like a sweet coffee not expresso etc, like the look, nothing bowling you over but good nonetheless

buds and tongue surf...
a bit more carbonated feeling than traditional ESBs, not much bitter to back up the "B", almost a mild chewing gum flavor in the aftertaste (pleasant) The bitters pronounce a little more down into the pint..but still not much. It has a nice dry/crisp finish.

a very pleasant and enjoyable beer but not really a good representation of the style. it's tasty and I would get it with food out at a restaurant for sure.. probably cajun food or the like would go nicely paired with this brew. If you are looking for any sort of bitter flavor, don't look here.

 1,015 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.36/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber hazed hue with a nice foamy off white head elaves nice intricate lacing not bad at all let's do some tasting. Aroma: Caramel malts and hops interlace very nicely in the aromatics of this brew. Taste: Biscuit caramel malt sweetness represents with an undertow of flowery hops not bad at all similar profile to the Extra Pale which is a bit weird. Spices appear a bit stronger as the beer warms which catches me off guard , I guess the folks at Cherry Hill are using prepackaged spice and similar yeasts in each of their brews. Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a bit rough in this medium bodied ESB, becomes a bit cloying after awhile. Drinkability: Not bad not my type of session brew but interesting for an ESB not true English style in any way classified as a hybrid, it's ok.

 788 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer after extraction from the 12-ounce bottle sets in the glass a lightly misty golden amber color with a generous white frothy head that after decomposition leaves a thin but concealing sheet of lace upon the glass. Nose malt dominated and sweet with a light hint of hops, quite crisp and fresh, start is sweet with a fair to middling grain presence and the top moderate in feel. Finish as a stern acidity with a nice pleasant hop spiciness that lingers long on the palate, quite dry and a nice drinkable beer.

 516 characters

Photo of TongoRad
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale copper color with a white head that quickly dissipates.

There is a faint aroma of sweet caramel and hints of pears and floral hops, perhaps even a touch of butterscotch.

Caramel dominates the flavor and finishes with a clean bitterness.

This is an unexceptional but enjoyable session beer.

 303 characters

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!

 653 characters

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.

 554 characters

Photo of WesWes
2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours an amber color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is decent. It has a fine malty scent with a bit of bitterness to the nose. The taste is a little above average. It has a very intense malty flavor, but it is soured by a strong off-taste. There is something wrong with this beer. It tastes like it has an elevated abv., but it says it's only 5.5%. It is bitter and dry on the finish. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. This beer drinks hard. The flavor does nothing for me. I also need a little more carbonation here.

 594 characters

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.

 401 characters

Photo of Foxman
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a clear copper, with a thick creamy off-white head rushing up, and settling slowly, retaining well. A frilly lace adorns the side of the glass.

There's a moderately floral dose of hops aroma, distantly fruity, with a yeasty maltiness underneath, and a slight caramel note as it warms.

First taste brings a fruity wash of hops, melded nicely with a pretty fair malt sweetness and an indistinguishable flash of spice. It finishes with a hops dryness along with a slight malt toastiness.

It's light bodied, yet with a light, buttery feel. It goes out with a mild dry hops glow at the back of the tongue.

This beer is straightforward and independently assertive; it doesn't confuse the palate with countless dimensions, it just tastes good. It's honest, it is what it is, some sweetness, some bitterness, and lots of good ale flavor. Very drinkable, it goes down smooth, with enough presence to turn the corners of your mouth up with a grin after each sip.

 977 characters

Photo of PSUDREW
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours amber, with massive amounts of head. I am honestly suprised this much head poppped out. Minmal risidual head. It is a clean taste with no real aftertaste. Hop presence mixed wiht sweetness, but the hops winning in the end. Very light, somewhat peppery overall taste. Smells rather nice, but no real indication of taste. I do not know if this could be considered a session beer, but it is a very nice beer ot cap off a night of FF tastings, and, I would consider a further go. Cheers!

 489 characters

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!!!

 516 characters

Photo of Loki
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Deep golden honey color that produces a huge, biege head. Had to stop pouring and wait for the head to receed before finishing the pour.

Smell: Malt and floral hops. Some malt, but fairly muted and very faint hops.

Taste: Solid malt profile with a hint of sweetness. Nice hop balance on the backside. Good mouthfeel. A very solid beer over all, just needs a little more aroma.

 426 characters

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.

 516 characters

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.

 442 characters

Photo of nomad
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a good roasty caramel color, clear with nice carbonation, a thin soupy head, and solid thin lace. Smell was bready, and both hard-wood cask smelling and slightly of nice caramel malt. Hada floral and bitter green Kent-ish hops scent that turned grapefruity with time.

Taste was malty with an oat smoothness and a nice grain to it. Hops began quaint and built on my palette to slight snips of grapefruit and Kent-ish fruity-tart bitters. Even more, its soft twang became endive-like in sharp, talc bitterness, taking away some of the great flavors displayed earlier. Needed better malt though it was good. A bit watery on the mouthfeel, but it helped the drinkability.

A nice ESB, and a good choice in the region.

 726 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.64/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: bright, deep crimson color, nice 1/4" , bubbly, off-white head.
Aroma: clean and airy, with underlying fruit (grapes, cherries) that flowers, then crisply closes.
Taste: easy entry on the palate, very little standing out, with a swift, forgettable finish. Fruitiness detected in nose recurrs in the flavor, comes back taste after taste, although body and texture are fairly light.
A nice ESB, not bad at all.
Thanks to jcalbi for this one.

 455 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

flying fish used to be my favourite NJ brewery, until heavyweight came along. while their brews may not be as fierce as heavyweight's overall, they still produce some pretty solid brews. the esb, while not amongst their best, is certainly a solid, if only average, brew. it pours a light amber/orange colour with a moderate to minimal head that leaves a nice lacing but dissolves rather quickly. smells of caramel and a bit fruity, and the taste is immediately creamy and somewhat citrusy, i would say. again, as this was a fairly creamy brew, it was quite smooth and easy to drink and could potentially be a good session beer. i would have liked to have seen something a little bolder from flying fish, but this will do.

 721 characters

Photo of BitteBier
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, orangish amber color with a nice head. Sweet, malty smell with some spice present as well. Certainly more sweet than bitter in taste. This is a tasty beer but doesn't strike me as an ESB. Soft mouthfeel with a bit of cling. Quite drinkable and pleasant but, again, doesn't strike me so much as an ESB.

 308 characters

Photo of beernut7
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep honey brown with a delicate head. The aroma is quite malty with just a hint of floral hop spice. The first sip brings out a biscuity flavor and sweetness that are both quickly shoved out of the way by a moderately sharp bitterness. The flavors of dark malt and caramel come through ever so slightly in the finish, but for the most part the bitterness takes the cake. Complex and tasty.

 398 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.22/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium amber color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and biscuity with a touch of cinnamon. A medium bodied ESB. Malts are sweet and nutty. Hops are sort of mild for an ESB, there is still some bitterness going on but its kind of subdued. Somewhat sweet. Smooth taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

 350 characters

Photo of oberon
2.77/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was happy to try it on the machine but once I did,not impressed.I asked the bartender if this was the ESB because it didnt have any qualities to it and it was.Poured a golden color with a slight malty aroma,the taste was bitter not a good malty,fruity balance.Just not impressed at all I must say.

 299 characters

Photo of Boto
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is a bit of a coppery color. Somewhat of a head, but little retention. Slightly citric/hop aroma. A bit of maltiness to the taste. Tasty, but lacking the stronger hop characteristics of a true ESB. There are better ones are definitely out there.

 254 characters

Photo of bditty187
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Translucent brownish-gold hue, bubbly small beige head which is rather quick to fade… no lace. Weak nose… pleasant hints of hops, a kiss of malt... ultimately it is too clean. Decent palate, it is thin and watery though… the hops bitterness is negligible but satisfactory, the malt is slightly sweet & biscuity (this seems like a consistent trait for this brewery), there are some other subtle flavors like clove, fig, citrus, yeast, and organic/earthy essence. The palate might not be a true ESB but it has its moments… fairly enjoyable to drink. Medium-light body, minimal carbonation… smooth mouthfeel. Simplistic.

 622 characters

Photo of marc77
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bronze hue with brilliant, filter derived clarity. Ivory white, fluffy head persists well and leaves tight lace. Toasted malt and light lovibond caramel sweetness upfront in aroma couples with berryish fruit esters and vaguely floral hops to lend a ripe raspberry like impression. Buttery diacetyl undertone. Sweet caramel initially in flavor is quickly ensued by a mildly drying combination of cracker like, grainy malt and mild hop bitterness. Hop flavor is lightly earthy, but has a tinge of agreeable spiciness that brightens the overall flavor profile. Faint fig like fruit esters add token yeast derived character. Medium, almost full bodied and heavily dextrinous from the apparent copious use of speciality malts. Approaches creamy in mouthfeel. Finishes lightly minerally, and both savory and sweet with a brief suggestion of sugar dusted salty biscuit. Certainly a decent amber that falls only a bit short on balance. Malt sweetness is pervasive, and remains only partially contested throughout. Innocuously enjoyable.

 1,028 characters

ESB Amber Ale from Flying Fish Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 243 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.