Theakston XB | T & R Theakston Ltd.

BA SCORE
84
good
118 Ratings
Theakston XBTheakston XB
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
T & R Theakston Ltd.
England, United Kingdom
theakstons.co.uk

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-29-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
118
Reviews:
62
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
9.33%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
11
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 118 |  Reviews: 62
Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. had a copper color and a clear texture. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A very malty aroma, with hints of hops as well.

T: Tasted predominantly of malt and a little bit of malt. Not a particularly dynamic flavor, but it is likable enough. It does what an ESB should do.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry, crisp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A solid, but not necessarily mind-blowing beer.

 476 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dinner is ready, and so is a 500 ml bottle waiting for me. On to the beer:

Lovely amber orange color with reddish hues and a thick sopay head on top. Retention is good, and its aroma is a mix of esters, buttery tones, and toasted malts. A light pinch of bittering hops gets noticed underneath.

Classic England all the way. Its toasty and estery flavor with a hint of strawberry and diacetyl are never overpowering. There seems to be a lot more flavor intensity than one may expect from a 4.7% brewed in the US. The mouthfeel isn't shabby at all, medium bodied and somewhat buttery.

I was glad to see Theakston back in the US market, and even more glad to try another of their products with my ribeye steak. Very pleasant ale.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark amber, with a medium white head, good lace.

S: Quite complex with mandarin orange, spiced winter cake, almost a light barleywine feel at times.

T: Direct malt flavour, lightly sweet. Hop notes of lemon and grass make an appearance.

M: Light-bodied, crisp and pretty smooth.

O: The nose is inviting, but the overall flavour while good, isn't going to wow anybody. A good beer, but Fuller's ESB is still the class in this style.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rather nice looking amber ale when poured into a clear glass. Very clear, low carbonation.'

Has a nice size foamy tan head.

Aroma is of sweet malts and hints of toffee.

drinks rich and malty with a sutle underlying sweetness. Some leather notes as well as molasses but very sutle.

Drinks smooth and creamy some buttery notes.

A very good easy drinking beer.
I first had one right from the frig and that was bad move. First let this beer warm up say by half an hour before drinking. It's much better when left out to warm.

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Photo of Brad007
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice shade of copper with a thick, frothy head into my glass. Been a while since I've had a proper bitter.

Sweet and flowery (?) in a manner that suggests something other than the style.

Sweet, bready malt followed by just the right amount of hops. Lots of flavor but nothing too special.

Buttery malt lingers with a touch of hops. Very solid. Carbonation is very good too.

A decent bitter from an actual British brewery? Are you nuts? This is decent regardless.

 477 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dirty penny copper with a white head that reduces to a ring of bubbles around the rim. No lacing.

Trying to get more out of this. Earth notes, some light fruit, minerals.

This one tastes of the remnants of overbaked breadcrust from breakfast. Browned crust, a touch of fruit (but what kind? date, fig?), maybe a bit of butter, but in the end, as your palate clears, the bitterness shines. Not overdone and non-descript (no rind or pine, just clean balanced bitterness). As your mouth clears, the beer dries out a touch and you get some malty notes, non sugared, on the tongue. Decent complexity here.

A bit astringent, medium bodied -- seems thinner than it really is.

A good drinkable brew. I like the character of this beer.

 738 characters

Photo of pleasewearpants
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Makes me want to go on a fox hunt.
Smells, looks, and tastes British.

Deep copper color with extreme clarity. Nice tan-tinted head. Aroma is very rustic, with caramel, oiled boot, and hearty bread notes. Good carbonation accentuates the caramel and wood flavors. Finishes clean with a slight malt aftertaste.

Very pleased by this one. Would like to check it out on cask some time.

 383 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep amber to red colored ale with a good sized tan colored head.

Smell is earthy with medium level of butter aroma. Strange something in this smells like aqua velva aftershave, if you remember that stuff. Scents of chocolate and leather with some Balsa wood thrown in. Slightly smoky with a little ash scent.

Starts out dry and distinctly mineral in flavor. Gets a little sweeter as you drink it but this is one bone-dry beer. Slight flavor of oxidation, spent a lot of time on a ship. Medium bitterness level and hard water flavor that punches up the hops bitterness.

Mouthfeel is Average.

Overall this is OK but nothing real exciting.

 641 characters

Photo of seanyfo
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half pint served by the handpump at the Paisley Beer Festival

A- Nut brown copper body with a 1 finger head reducing to a crown. Poor lace

S- Butterscotch, toffee, rum

T- Butterscotch and a toffee sweet maltiness, hint of coconut - Wurthers Originals comes to mind! Faint hop bite underneath in the finish.

M- Low carbonation, medium body

D- Pleasant interesting flavour profile making this a drinkable brew.

 413 characters

Photo of rockyfire
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle

Deep amber color with a white head which fell away quickly.

Toffee aroma and sweet.

Good bitter sweet taste, typical good quality English Bitter. The molasses from the aroma are also in the taste and mouthfeel.

Not a bad beer at all.

 250 characters

Photo of fullsweep
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL brown bottle poured into a pint glass.

Nice, reddish color with a bit of brown. 1.5-finger, very foamy head emerges, with lots of carbonation bubbling up underneath. Almost looks like a nitro pour, but it's not. Those active bubbles are very appetizing for me personally.

Has a nice, rustic (earthy?) smell to it.

Very nice full-flavored ale with syrupy undertones, brown sugar, and a nice hoppy/citrus balance to it.

Awesome mouthfeel, just the right amount of carbonated bite.

Would definitely drink again.

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Photo of jwc215
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask at King's Head, London:

Pours dark copper, near brown, with a tan head. Lacing sticks. It has a beautiful colour!

The smell is of toffee/caramel with an herbal/earthy spicing.

The taste is of toffee/caramel with orange, herbal spicing. Very well-balanced and delicious! It has a woody, tea-like, herbal finish.

It has a creamy, medium body.

This has a nice, subtle complexity. Malty but with a hop bitterness that mixes in well. Very drinkable!

 454 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown 500ml bottle, drank two weeks after its Best Before Date. I really must cataloge my beer stash one day.

Poured into a Batemans half pint sleeve and my new La Chouffe tulip glass.

Good looking deep amber colour with an off white head which fell away to a wisp and then to a thin collar around the glasses.

Treacle and toffee aroma, pleasant more than sicky sweet.

Good bitter sweet taste, typical good quality English Bitter. The molasses from the aroma are also in the taste and mouthfeel, they hang around a while.

You must remember that most British Bitters' tend to lack a rich heavy mouthfeel, this is no different. Overall, not bad at all.

 655 characters

Photo of kmacphail
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pored a slightly hazy amber-bronze colour with a slightly off white head that gave good retention.

The aromas were dominated with yeast and malts, a slightly citrus afternote.

These notes proceeded through to the taste. Again initially malty with a bitter hoppy aftertaste.

The body is a bit weak for a dark beer, too wattery.

A nice beer, but a bit too average to be among my favourites.

 409 characters

Photo of Daredevil
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Theakston is famous for it's 'Old Peculier' but this is a worthwile 'bittter' alternative ... ruby colored, smoky, leathery however very pleasant tastes followed by a finish of fine hoppy bitterness ... another exceptional brew from Yorkshire ...

 246 characters

Photo of GreenCard
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: copper, great clarity, spongey layer of off-white foam, good head retention

Aroma: lightly bready malt, faint whisp of brown sugar, herbally hops

Flavor: smooth malt sweetness rounded out by that "Theakston" quality (same as in all their beers... that very particular ester which must be from their yeast), hint of almond essence, very mild herbally hop flavor, finishes semisweet with little aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, mild carbonation, quite soft texture

 485 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A new offering at the Sainsbury's where I bought the bottle. It's 4.5%abv. in strength, BB 31 OCT 06, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a very clear and beautiful amber colour with some reddish hues; coming with a thick and creamy/frothy off-white beer head with pretty good retention; lively carbonated body.
S: sweet toffeeish malts and a hint of caramel dominate the nose, while a pineapple gum/candy-ish edge closely follows; a deeper cherry-fruity and slightly resinous hoppy note hides at the back. Overall, the creamy, coconut milk, and buttery note from rich maltiness is so profound that it somehow reminds me a lot of Scottish malty ale. Nice~~
T: light-bodied and delicious toffeeish maltiness hits the palate upfront, bringing with it reserved but concrete floral English hops, very light, watery-tea-ish bitterness and a touch of preserved berry-fruits/rasins following the hoppyness at each step. The flat-textured, tea-ish hops make a more assertive presence in the aftertaste, turning slightly dryish until the very end of the palate.
M&D: pretty lively on the mouthfeel, but the overall flavour doesn't match the nose too well, which is common to several other malty bitter I've tried; somehow, a balance is retained here, with a more assertive hoppy body on the palate to underline the floating malty theme, which reverses the usual pattern of English bitter. It could use more body and more flavour, IMO, otherwise it's easily prone to a lack of consistency due to the sharp contrast b/w the nose and palate.

 1,555 characters

Photo of rastaman
2.74/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sweet toffee/caramel malts, and a silky smooth palate, pretty easy to drink, but not really my cup of tea, but not bad. Probably too sweet and smooth for me, lacked bite/bitterness on the finish, and nothing much was happening after the sweet malts at the start (Cask -GBBF 03')

 278 characters

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Theakston XB from T & R Theakston Ltd.
3.75 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
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