Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB | Stoudts Brewing Co.

369 Reviews
Read the review
Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESBStoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB

Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 369 | Ratings: 670
Photo of AtlasBrew
4.84/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass
Freshness date: "Best By 06/10/09" stamped on the neck of the bottle.

Color: Scarlett like the lady herself with a semi-fizzy, off-white head. Descent head retention.

Aroma: Fresh biscuits and toast with sweet malt and lovely fresh floral hops. Hints of molasses come through as well.

Taste: Semi-sweet biscuit malts, toasted steeliness, mildly bitter. There is some bitterness that comes as it warms. A tang or tartness comes out, possibly from some finings used to match that heavy mineral taste of "Burton on Trent" style water.

Overall: She is my favorite ESB, I love the malt flavor and aroma on this one. A wonderful example of what an ESB should be like. Love that Scarlet Lady.

 762 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.59/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Pours a clear copper amber, not much of a head even with an aggressive pour but leaves attractive sheets of lace. Aroma of sweet, buttery malts, floral hops balance, and walnuts. Mouthfeel is light bodied, minimal carbonation, and slightly watery. Taste lives up to the bouquet's promise of a fine ESB. Excellent toffee malt sweetness, nutty walnut, superb mild hops bitterness. Perhaps a bit of "watered down" effect midway through, but this doesn't distract from the exceptional flavors going on here. I've not been impressed with many North American ESBs, but this one reminds of the topnotch Propeller ESB from Nova Scotia. This one has some very minor flaws, but taste and drinkability make this ale one of the best ESBs I've had from North America. Highly recommended to fans of fine ESBs.

 795 characters

Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.55/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color looks amber / copper in color, small hop/floral nose...On the palate it starts with caramel malt up front(so good!), notes of apples perhaps, touch of butter, slightly bitter throughout, tiny hop bite towards the middle, and has a slightly fruity finish. Very enjoyable ESB! I love this stuff!

 303 characters

Photo of Thrasher
4.48/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Watch out, this Scarlet Lady is a temptress! A superb English-style bitter, especially notable in that it comes from an American micro whose specialty is German-style beers. Thick layered head over a clear amber body; good malt foundation if a little horsey and woody. No matter; the rawness adds to the overall appeal. Hops give just the right twist of freshness, amplifying the terrific, medium-thick quality of the liquor (water). Very drinkable, excellent finish, and seemingly thirst-quenching - except that you're never satisfied! This can go head to head with the best of the UK but is distinctly American, perhaps primarily because of the water. I only bought one bottle and now I am very sad.

 701 characters

Photo of psugrad98
4.47/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear medium amber with thick head. Nice hoppy aroma. Full of flavor, and richly bitter. A nice woodsy character floats through, reminiscent of wheatgrass or as I almost put it, it kinds of tastes like dandilions (in a good way). Has a slight sweet character, as this beer finishes and coats the mouth with a full mouthfeel.

 327 characters

Photo of bennetj17
4.45/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Best by 6/24/09 - 12 oz bottle. Nice clear reddish-copper hue. Slight tan foam, carbonation medium-paced. Aroma is decently malty, with a fruit essence, perhaps raspberry. The smell is not real potent, but still inviting.

The malty flavor is not too robust, it's very clean and carries a toasty dryness throughout. The subtle fruitiness sets it off well. I'm pleased that the bitterness is stronger than your average ESB, it hits you right away and lingers nicely. The key here is balance, and no one flavor comes out too strong here which is great. The mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. It's light, and the carbonation is very solid.

Overall a fine ESB, better than many I have tried. Would not have anticipated that I would enjoy this beer so much. Thanks to SkinnyElvis for the bottle...

 791 characters

Photo of goindownsouth
4.42/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comsumed vom Fass at Stoudts on 07.20.02. A very nice ESB. Fantastic colour with a rangy head sitting firmly atop. Freshness personafied. Aromas of biscuity goodness with a solid hop twinge. A good balance of malt and hops in flavor. One of the best domestic ESBs I have had. A session brew for me if there ever was one. Well worth the try.

 340 characters

Photo of allboutbierge
4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

wow!!!! Ive been drinking for awhile now, and this came up on my rotation, and i was disappointed in the fact i didn't have it earlier!!!! an incredible, distinctive beer. pour the ruby tinted amber dark color that every beer lover loves, though it hold a lace on a glass that a convesiour would appreciate, has a mellow taste for a pale ale, considering this brewery which in every instance i have experienced has pushed the taste to the limits for evertype i drank. it seems to me they focus more on actue taste than mellowness, but yet i could easily seem myself pounding these with a happy face; this is yet another approved beer.


 643 characters

Photo of jgasparine
4.31/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Poured from the bottle with a 1/2" white foamy head, which quickly evaporated-away. Lacing was negligible. Body was a moderately carbonated dark orange-amber color. Not overly impressive in the 'appearance' department.

S- Smells of sweet malts and melanoidins. Slightly nutty and doughy aromas were also present on the nose. Very promising aromas.

T- A distinct nuttiness hits the palate first, followed by some prominent melanoidins and sweet crackerlike malt. Some low-alpha hops emerge in the middle and into the finish. The finish itself is largely bitter from low-alpha hop additions. Super-tasty!

M- A nice medium body... slightly underattenuated, which works very well for the style... and the carbonation is adequately soft.

D- Good aroma, fantastic flavor, and good mouthfeel combine with a sessionable alcohol level to make this brew exceptionally drinkable!

 876 characters

Photo of jakester
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is from a new sampler case from Stoudt's. I drank this in a pilsner glass. Date is clearly stamped on the bottle. (Yay!)

Pours a beautiful reddish/copper with a one finger head of off-white foam. The head drops to islands and a ring with good lacing on the glass. Carbonation is evident.

Aroma is fruity, earthy brown sugar, toasted and caramel malts, and a barely there floral hop smell. The aroma is about the malts.

The first flavor is toasted malts and brown sugar, very clean, balanced by an appropriate level of hop bitterness. The floral hop flavor is kind of pushed back by the malts, but it is there. Aftertaste is toasted caramel, earthy and crisp, with a lingering hop bitterness. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is malty, but not sweet, with a soft to medium level of carbonation. Hop bitterness is there on your throat and tongue. Finish is crisp and pretty dry, nice.

The expiration date on this bottle is 12/20/05, so this is very fresh. Beers like this change fairly quickly. This is an exemplary representation of the style, and the freshness had something to do with that, I believe.

 1,114 characters

Photo of bcm119
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cloudy copper color with a memorably delicate, lacy head. Delicious nose bursting with over-ripe oranges and tea, while the finish is amazingly English. Hops are fairly mild in bitterness but lend some super-complex flavors, while the mouthfeel beckons you to slug it down like lemonade. If you can't have a good time with this beer you're out of luck.

 352 characters

Photo of ChowHound
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A burnt amber color with a dense head of firmly packed baby bubbles that produces a head of ample froth. Aroma is laden with caramel notes and toasty nuts. Mouthfeel is medium, flavor is sweet and then followed by enough bitterness to make this a good example of a real ESB. Great beer here.

 291 characters

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite pleasant. Copper amber color. Quick and moderate head. Lasting lace.

Taste is quite exempalary for an ESB. Biscuity malt. Check. Caramel. Check. Balanced with noticeable hops bitterness. Those hops are also readily apparent on the nose, esp. once first poured. Slight metalic taste could be my imagination, since I noticed another reviewer mention it, but it fits in in a pleasant way. That taste I think is from the hops (?) and I've noticed it in the style before.

On further tastings, I may be convinced to go higher with the rating for the taste. But the score isn't as important as this: of the many ESB's I've tasted this easily, in my mind, is in the upper tier. It has the complexity only the best in the style can pull off.

Darn fine ESB which is definitely worth giving a try.

 801 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Best by (no date) bottle at 40 degrees into snifter
Aroma of malt
Head small (2 cm), off white, frothy, diminishing to 2 mm ring and broken layer
Lacing poor – few tiny island of tiny bubbles
Body medium amber, chill haze
Flavor malty with a trace of diacetyl, slightly sweet, ends with slight hop bitterness; no alcohol
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.25.
A very pleasing ESB which hits all the characteristics. Don’t know if this ever won any GABF awards but it should.

 542 characters

Photo of bpw28
4.26/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Very small bleach white head, dark orange/light copper, decent lacing

Smell: Fresh red and green apple, yeasty, smooth light roast smell, pear, light floral, cherry, light caramel

Taste: Smooth but good body, amazingly tasty bready, lavander, light roasted, floral, less fruity then the nose but I get some peach and red apple, just enough hop backbone to round it out.

Final Thoughts: A nice little brew. My only complaint is the lack of head I got and the lacing, but its not bad. Just like a fine woman, this is a fine brew.

 536 characters

Photo of simmons
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a great feel to it when you are drinking it. This is defiantly the best ESB that I have had yet. This ESB has the perfect blend of hops and it isn’t too bitter, it’s just right. The head that you get when you pour it out is there but it isn’t too great. As for the aroma nice and strong. When I first opened this bottle up I just knew that it would be good. After I showed this to my buddy who loves ESBs this is for the most part the only ESB that he drinks now. This is highly recommendable.

 510 characters

Photo of beergeek279
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was impressed with the APA, so I figured I'd give the Scarlet Lady a try, and I wasn't disappointed. The beer pours a dark amber color with a fair bit of head. The smell is a nice mix of wheat and flower and simply smells wonderful. Fortunately, the taste of the beer doesn't disappoint either. The original taste fades into a lovely bitter, wheat aftertaste. I could certainly have more than one of these if I wasn't testing, as it seems to overwhelm the pallette with flavor. I'd buy another of these any day!

 513 characters

Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper color with well retained medium head,smell was sweet and malty and biscuity.Really appetizing on the palate,malty with a touch of friuty hop,ending with a very biscuity quality.Firsy beer from Stoudts and was not let down,I really think Iam gonna enjoy this area's selection of beers.

 306 characters

Photo of tugdriver7
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've hear others say that, as ESBs go, this one isn't as hoppy. I'm not a hops fanatic, though I love a nice hop flavor. This one delivers. Stoudt's makes some great beers, but this one is unique in their lineup--at least among those commony found. Nice red/amber color with decent head of foam; hops in the nose, but the taste is at first malt--flavorful, carmel malt--and then the hops hits you. Like a mild chili sauce that keeps delivering a punch, the hops stays with you for awhile. But it's definitely not overpowering and very drinkable. Very good.

 556 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is the best offering I've had from Stoudt's thus far. This beer pours out as a crimson red color with a clear look to it. The head is fizzy and white but leaves a pretty good lacing. The smell of the beer is very inviting, lots of malts and a pretty good smelling hop aroma too. The taste of the beer is a little sweet with some caramel malts upfront that fade into a much more bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is crisp and sharp on the tongue. Overall I find this beer to be a very good one from Stout's, I haven't had another one since that has even come close. Worth a try in my opinion.

 600 characters

Photo of HawkGP
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great ESB. Still learning how to describe things - malty? Caramel? Just a well done, consistent ESB and different from any other local offering. Stoudts does a great job crafting distinct flavors across their offerings.

 222 characters

Photo of canoehornpoint
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Colorful bottle, pours a nice amber with little head but nice lace. The aroma is a nice mixture of sweet malt and floral hops. This starts sort of crisp and light then the hoppiness kicks in. It is a sort of cherry, currant fruit hoppiness that is mellow but certainly present. This is truly a session beer that is easy drinking but has great qualities. If your looking for mega hops and flavor, it's not here but if you want a quality drinking beer, this is it

 461 characters

Photo of Clydesdale
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: An attractive reddish-bronze color, with a tan-tinted, medium sized creamy head. Retention was decent, with a few scraps of lacing here and there.

S: Quite fruity in the nose - orangey citrus and some lighter berryish notes to go along with some toasty, biscuity maltiness. A definite caramel note as well. A bit of herbal hop character is also detectable.

T: A moderately sweet toasty malt presence up front. Primarily bready, with lesser caramel notes and a vaguely tealike flavor. A kiss of herbal and lightly citric hops provides a solid bite before fading into a rather fruity finish of sweetish citrus and berries.

M: Medium-light body. Carbonation is soft and somewhat creamy, leading to a clean, slightly dry finish.

D: A winner from Stoudt's - this is a pleasant drinker with surprising complexity. Definitely flew in under the radar.

 854 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After all this weeks discussion of growlers, bombers,and minikegs, I have to start with a 765ml bottle direct from the brewery. Pours a bright red copper with gold highlights. A lively free form off white head, which settles down. Fine carbonation. A very strong, fruity nose highlighted by apples and pears. Taste is mostly malt, with some butter, and just enough hops to give it balance. Wonderful full, rich body. Very British. Could easily do another bomber of this in a sitting. Extra Special Indeed. She is quite a lady.

 526 characters

Photo of PSUDREW
4.14/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sometimes I really don't know what to expect from ESBs. Just inconsitence in taste I suppose. Pours nicely, looks like yuengling lager (don't ask), oddly enough. It has a crisp clean taste, with more malts then hops present, IMO. It has a very clean and easy drinking flavor, very crisp through and through. It is not a bad beer to sit down with and relax. need to try some more

 378 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB from Stoudts Brewing Co.
3.6 out of 5 based on 670 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.