Mitchell's Extra Special Bitter | Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse

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Mitchell's Extra Special BitterMitchell's Extra Special Bitter
Very Good
35 Ratings
Mitchell's Extra Special BitterMitchell's Extra Special Bitter

Brewed by:
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Recently named “one of canada’s top beers” by Maclean’s magazine, this long time favourite with Spinnakers’ regulars is a copper coloured, classic English pub bitter, brewed with English Pale and Crystal malts, hopped with Horizon & Kent Goldings.

40 IBU

Added by 49degrees on 01-10-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At the Victoria brewpub. Darker golden with a white head. Light mouthfeel, OK bitterness. Acceptable ESB as understated hoppiness.Melange of hops, including Kent, Northern Brewer and Cascade.Maybe better on tap, and a decent cask. Competent as most of the lineup.

 263 characters

Photo of Erik-P
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Derek
3.42/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I sampled this at the brewpub.

A: Copper Bronze, some off-white head, lots of lace.

S: Not a lot of nose, a little bland.

T: Bready, fruity, with a British Bubblegum aftertaste (from the yeast). VERY British. My taste score may be on the low side (I'm not a fan of the overtly British yeast).

M: Light body and carbonation.

D: Quite quaffable.

 358 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml bomber poured into pint glass a few weeks back, from notes

A reddish copper with a slight haze, completely full of bubbles, pours tan foam for 2/3’s of the glass and it just sits there, still three fingers when the beers half gone, big chunks of lace everywhere

S iced tea powder, a handful of pennies, some citrus, spiced apple sauce, spicy herbal hops

T maybe some wet leaves and a little hard toffee added to the smell, a little malty for an ESB but I suppose some would call it “balanced”

M light and explosive, pretty much turns to foam the second it hits your mouth, a little gritty after the fact

O I don’t detect any flaws but its way over carbonated, OK beer but nothing worth buying more of

This one’s popped up a few times over the years on the best of Canada list and has been a long standing want. I didn’t think it was anything special to be honest.

 895 characters

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of papat444
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes accumulated since the birth of Zoe.

Thanks to chickenm for this one.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle (10 notched on the left side of the label and 02 & 7 notched on the right).

Appearance: A dark copper color with red tinges and pours a little like apple cider. The slightest brown in the good sized head with a thick sheet all the way down.

Smell: Orange peel, mineral hops, a bit tea-like and that crisp ESB aroma that i love.

Taste: Very malt forward with the hops riding on the back. Has a not overly citrus profile and the Golding is not overused as the tea aspect is kept to a minimum. Fleshy fruit.

Mouthfeel: Mouth filling from start to finish. Bitterness in the tail end and robust indeed.

Overall: Very satisfying, flavorful and intense for the style. Highly recommended.

 795 characters

Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh from the cask at the guest house. I made it just in time for this one, last call. Figured i'd try the cask, and tackle some cask beers and lunch tomorrow. Dark creamy peachy orange with a nice cascading head of "tiny bubbles". Aromas is very "
in your face" for a UK beer, and you can tell that this is a true ESB, not just some "bitter" imitation. Hops are very prevalent and UK in nature, malts are big natures, sweet, honeyed, and lovely. Taste is big and sweet, with a lovely underlying hop bitterness and an herbal grassiness coming from the use of a lot of UK hops. goldings seem to really shine in this one, unless i'm wrong. Mouthfeel is cask wonderfulness, drinkability is great. The winner at Spinnakers...

 723 characters

Photo of ZachT
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of canucklehead
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of the cornerstone beers in Spinnakers and perhaps in the history of BC microbrewing. The recipe has changed from when Malcolm Faviell and John Mitchell brewed this back in the 1980's in the original Spinnakers but this version is still great. The subtleness of the flavours show the real English roots of this beer. Everything has its place and this is truly one of the great BC session beers. BC may not have the hopmonsters of our neighbours down south but this is a good example of the understated ales that we do best.

 535 characters

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

Photo of IronDjinn
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Spinnakers liquor store, as they were completely out of it on tap at the brewpub itself the whole time I was in Victoria.

Came in a 650 ml brown bottle. Pours out a transluscent mahogany hue, picks up red oak highlights when held to the light. Light tan creamy head on the pour that recedes to a thin dense cap.

The aroma is a surprising deep toasted malt, with nuts and carob, even smells a bit creamy. Light coffee notes as well.

The toasted malt carries over predominantly into the flavour as well, along with bitter, woody nuts, while everything mellows out towards the finish, with the faintest astringency provided by light hopping. Creamy, silky light bodied mouthfeel helps turn this into one helluva session ale. I can see now why this was sold out, and why the brewpub was letting the upcoming batches age properly. Looking forward to sampling the draught version someday soon.

 916 characters

Photo of chickenm
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thin tan head that leaves a bit of lacing. Subdued aroma with malt and a little hops. The taste is very British with caramel malt, bread, honey, and a hoppy finish. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Nicely balanced and quite drinkable, this is a nice session beer.

 299 characters

Photo of Offa
4.72/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an outstanding, characterful, balanced ESB, overall very English in character and balance.

Deep red amber, it has a medium tan head steadily shrinking to a foamy ring and leaving some decent lace.

Aroma is strong toasty, caramelly malt - rich toasted bread with caramelised barley and bread crust - firm fruitiness, full-bodied earthy-woody hops, hints of jam and pepper.

Taste is as above largely, lots of varied toasty bread crust, caramelised barley, some spicey fruitiness, lots of peppery-earthy-woody-leafy hops with good complexity giving characterful bitterness balanced with sweetness of caramelly-toasty bread and fruit, the sweetness just barely dominating until the the hop bite just takes over at the finish and dominates the aftertaste gently. It is in some ways similar to Old Hooky, a favourite.

 822 characters

Photo of LampertLand
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Spinnaker's Brewpub 'Mitchell's ESB' @ 5.2% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $5

A-pour is a burnt orange from the bottle to glass with a big off white head that is leaving a spotty lace along the pint

S-certainly doesn't have the powerful smell I've been acustomed too , way to mellow

T-clean , mellow tasting 'ESB' , no wow factor

MF-low/mild carbonation , medium body

Ov-ok beer , below average local 'ESB'

prost LampertLand

 443 characters

Photo of Jotora
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Mack
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BDTyre
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spinnakers does not disappoint.

The look of this beer is classic ESB. Solid copper colour with a fine, white head. The scent is a bit malty, but other than that, I could easily think this beer was a true English ESB.

The hops do not overpower, and the malt taste does not make the beer too sweet.

I can't wait for the opportunity to try this on tap.

 358 characters

Photo of kelvarnsen
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of KStark
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of ritzkiss
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A pint from the cask at Spinnakers.

Arrives a dark, copper color with a finger of light, fluffy foam that sticks around through the drink.

Smell has a light sweetness to it, some caramel malts, hints of fruit, maybe even some citrus.

Taste is a light, light sweet caramel flavor. Hints of bittering hops in the finish, on the watery side (light, light body).

Really, just not that impressed. Drinkability is there but the flavor and the body just had no depth to it.

 470 characters

Photo of KalanM
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Goldorak
3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Stephenlouis for including this Beer in his CanBIF package!

Appearance: Opaque copper with bubbly, soapy dishwater-like head.

Smell: Hops are quite fruity, in fact it smells exactly like a can of Del Monte peaches in syrup! Now there's something you don't find every day in a Beer!

Taste: Very quaffable, British-like flavor profile, fruity hops with only a slight astringency in the tail end make this a very refreshing brew. Some cookies in the body but was a little weak. This stuff must be awesome on cask, but this bottled product tastes pretty close to the real deal.

 592 characters

Photo of EskimoDave
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of rodrigueZflyingf0x
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

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Mitchell's Extra Special Bitter from Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 35 ratings
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