Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB | Stoudts Brewing Co.

372 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 372 | Ratings: 672
Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serviceable bitter, very well malted. Malts and hop in aroma. Amber colour. Smooth, clean finish, with sugary aftertaste A good second drink after my porter, though others may want more strongly bitter brew. Despite mediocre labels, this is a good brewery.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Two finger head on a cloudy amber with golden hues body and some lacing. Aroma is very mild with breads, barely and caramel malts. Flavor is also of breads and caramel with a slight tart fruitness which some ESBs overdue. Medium body that is a bit chewy with moderate to high carbonation. A decent and drinkable beer. Not very exciting and unidimensional.

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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.

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Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy light amber in color and poured with a finger high white head with no signs of visible carbonation. The beer has good head retention properties and left a thin layer of bubbles consistently covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of toasted and caramel malts in the nose along with some hints of citrus from the hops.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has some notes of sweetness and bitterness along with hints of fruit.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a slight amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink--nothing really interesting stands out in the taste but it's quite sessionable.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must admit, this is my favorite beer style but Stoudt's ESB is one of the better ones I've had. Has a nice malty taste to it and it is very well balanced and easy to drink. The appearance is a little drab, just pouring a cloudy reddish orange and smell isn't too prominent. The rest of Stoudt's lineup is much better IMO.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear amber color with a fluffy head that dissipates quickly; decent lacing

Smell: Resinous piney hops aroma with a caramel base

Taste: Starts out with a bready malt flavor with underpinnings of earthy, herbal hops; caramel elements build, mid-palate, with some light fruit character; the finish is a balance between the malt, the fruit and the hops

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: I have had nixed experiences with this beer in the past but now that I have had a fresh bottle, this beer appeals as a good example of the style

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 9/28/2012. Pours lightly hazy orange copper color with a nice 1-2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some good foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of caramel, orange, biscuit, nuttiness, toast, herbal, grass, and light earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of caramel, biscuit, toast, nuttiness, orange, herbal, floral, grapefruit, grass, and light earth. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, and citrus on the finish for a good bit. Very well balanced with nice amount of toasty flavors. No cloying flavors on the finish at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming noticed on the finish. Overall this is a damn nice ESB! Very flavorful and well balanced; very smooth and drinkable. No complaints at all, really enjoyed this.

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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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright coppery brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, citrus, nuts and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts with semi-sweet flavors of caramel and citrus which quickly fades and transition into a bready roasted malt character. Then there's a mild but complementary hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it might not be that absolute best ESB out there, but this is still a nice sessionable beer that is worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.91/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

A decent ESB. Poured into a pint glass, a clear amber color with orange-copper highlights, and small bubbly head that dissipated rather quickly. Light aroma of biscuity malts and resinous hops, some sugar sweetness. Lightly toasted bready malts in the taste, caramel and nuts, easy-going pine bitterness, and a somewhat acrid aftertaste. Not really too flavorful, but not necessarily bad. Light-medium mouthfeel and easily drinkable for a basic beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

$1.49 at Total Wine (& More) in Kennesaw, GA.

Appearane: Pours a clear, cherry wood hued body with a thin, though lasting off-white head.

Smell: Sunbaked biscuity malts, primarily, with a rather understated, light herbal hoppiness.

Taste: Slightly sweet biscuity maltiness with a hint of fruit and even nuts. Again, the hops, with a floral, rose petal taste, remain light. Finish with a brief tea-like bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Makes for light, refreshing drinking!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pristine dark pumpkin with undertones of scarlet and polished brass. The wonderful crown of toasted beige has a moonscape surface and is sticky enough so that sections maintain contact with the glass as it drops. Thick lace remains behind and resembles paint that was daubed on with a sponge.

The nose is pretty good as well, although I can't say that I love it. It consists of a near equal mix of melted caramel and fruity hops. I prefer hop-dominant noses, but can easily concede the point that ESBs should be more balanced. For some reason, I was afraid the English hops would get lost in the mix, but they manage to hold their own.

If only the flavor matched the rather modest bar set by the aroma. Unfortunately, the Scarlet Lady is something of a looker, but is shallow and bland underneath it all. I'm unimpressed by the amount and the quality of the flavor delivered by the malt. It's lightly caramel-like with an overly sweetened tea flavor.

It looks like my fears of a less than stellar hoppiness have been realized after all. Minimal hop flavor coupled with minimal hop bitterness is not a recipe for success for any ESB that I've ever had. It tastes like there are the outlines of a good flavor profile in here somewhere, but they haven't been filled in with anything substantial. Has the Lady been dumbed down or was she never that bright to begin with?

The finish is surprisingly long and allows at least some hop flavor to be appreciated. It's too little too late though. I have no complaints about the mouthfeel. It's medium for the style and is pleasantly smooth, modestly carbonated and clean. This is an easy drinking beer, I just wish that it was more interesting.

Unfortunately, this isn't one of Stoudt's better offerings. An infusion of hops is the obvious fix. If nothing else, that would put some much needed 'B' in this ESB. As is, the Scarlet Lady isn't worth a one night stand, much less a prolonged affair.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barleys in Greenville last night. I opened my night there with this one. Served cold and consumed on 02/27/2010.

The pour was decent, nothing incredible, but nice for the style. Light amber in color with a smooth, even, head of white on top that faded off after a couple of moments. Light lacing was left by the side. Aroma is bready, hints of caramel and grassy notes and warming brought out tons of grains. Light, crisp and clean taste, light grassy hops and a smooth even caramel malt base made up the bulk of the profile. Light body, nice carbonation and a smooth even and clean finish.

Overall a pretty good ESB, nothing crazy but very drinkable for sure. Not a bad way to open up the afternoon that was for sure.

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Photo of smcolw
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber color and clear. Pours with a three-finger head. Recedes slowly in a rocky fashion. The lace slides down the glass easily, leaving only a hint of each sip.

Excellent blend of creamy malt and muted hop. Smells more like an American Amber.

Harsh flavor of a very dry beer...astringent. The hop is surprisingly subtle. It doesn't match the typical tastes I expect for an ESB. The body is as expected. The aftertaste dies quickly, but it is initially dry-ish.

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Photo of Jason
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thin lacing on a clear garnet coloured brew. Big aromas of toasted malt, fruitiness and a brush of herbal hop. The smoothness is spot on within the medium body. Toasted malt flavours seem to overwhelm the palate and shadow over the hops. Barely enough bitterness and hop flavour to balance, finishes a tad sweet and very little lingering hop.

I personally like my ESBs to have a big and bold fresh hop character ... sadly this one did not.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, first I must say that this beer on cask improves it so much. I have had in the bottle on tap, but on cask this is a different animal alltogether. Appears copper amber with an off white toffee toned head leaving full even wonderful rings of lace around my pint. Aroma is heavenly with buttered kent goldings the mixture of the malts they use with the English hops in this English style ale blend to form one full inviting aroma. The tste is mellow with hops and rich with mallt yet it remains hoppy just not to hoppy, very balanced session brew that I is a treat to all. Very creamy silky texture to it with the oily resins trickling lightly on the palate giving this medium bodied true to the style ESB one amazing mouthfeel. Wow I could have easily had at least three of these wonderful creations, great representation of an awesome style thanks Carol.

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Photo of WoodBrew
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was my first beer from Stroudts, saw the name on the menu and I said "what the hell, I'm in Johnstown kickin it easy". The beer has a red tint to it, but it could also be the hugh from the red mahogany bar. Razor thin head leaves a lot to be determined. It certainly can be session ale if nothing else is available. Don't get me wrong it is far superior to standard lite beers, but not your major micro-brews....hey an oxy-moron right there!

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Photo of tdm168
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber with some ruby edges; there is a nice, soft, off white head that leaves a thin lacing

S - juicy dark fruit,faint baked apple, caramel

T - caramel, fruit, bitter, earthy, faintly medicinal

M - medium bodied, crisp, a tad overcarbonated

This a decent ESB, but it has a few off notes. The medicinal underpinnings I'm not fond of. It's also a bit more bitter than I would have liked. I did the big fruity notes provided by the yeast and I thought it had a decent grain bill. If you're a fan of the style, then you definitely have to check it out.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly clouded ruby brown with a lighter tan head. Nose is hopped and slightly cherry sweet, with a stronger overall sugary tone to it. Flavor is lacking. Seems to be a bit too traditional, but it falls off way too fast. Almost tastes like semi stale pretzels...or just pretzels in general. There is an overall bitter tone to it, but I just think it lacks. Feel is nice with a decent carbonation. Drinkable, yes. Isn't horrid, but it's definitely not the best ESB you've ever had.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A nice off white and fluffly head, manages maybe just a little over a finger, sitting on a very dark red amber body, kind of dull a bit, not much noticeable carbonation but pretty clear.

Nose is a real nice toasty cinnamon and malt. Subdued sweetness and an appealing baked sense. Seems like a nice smelling brew.

Mid palate seems a bit wet, and all the flavor is in the swallow. Faint toasty malts and bread, with a good mix of herbal tea like finishing. Very light palate though, almost nearly nothing to taste upon first sip. A nice hop English IPA like finish on this so slightly. Palate after some time brings out some milky chocolate.

Overall not bad, you could do worse fairly enjoyable. I could have this again, but don't desire it.

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Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish-amber with virtually no head, just a thin swirl and even that soon vanishes. Decent color/clarity.,,head retention? not here.

The smell is of caramel/honeyish sweetness. Very soft and mild.

The taste is of caramel. Earthy in character, there is just enough bitterness to offset some of the caramel sweetness. Some toasted grains also come through (almost hinting more at an amber ale rather than an esb). More hops are detectable in the finish, but not quite enough to tie down the sweetness enough. I think that their idea was to restrain the hop profile to make it more English than American ale, and while it was an idea, it didn't quite come through as an ESB. More of a sweeter ale with enough earthiness to make it lean towards English is what the taste amounts to, IMO.

It picks up in the feel, which is smooth - malty smoothness - in a firm, medium body. Somewhat drying.

It doesn't fit with style well, but is a decent beer, especially if you are in the mood for a sweeter beer with just a subtle hop bitterness. It does go down pretty easily, and though sweet never becomes cloying. In all, they nearly missed the mark completely on style but turns out to be a decent, easy, "sessionable".

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Photo of Gavage
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber to bronze in color with a 1/2" head. Some mild lacing develops during the drink. The aroma is slightly bland as only some malt is detectable. The flavor is bolder than the aroma, as toasty caramel, bread, raisin, and a hint of nut are up front. The bitterness is mild and not very noticeable.

The mouthfeel is smooth at the start and finish. The toasted caramel tones linger briefly. A decent brew that could be better with a touch more bitterness.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Best By: 10/8/07

Pours a nice golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing. The nose is malty, very slightly spiced, and caramel. The taste is too watery for me, malty, with some caramel. Light body. Almost drinkable, this is a disappointment to me since I've had better brew's from Stoudts.

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Photo of tempest
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Clark's Ale House

Nice dark orange and amber body with a creamy white head and decent retention. Looks great, but smell and taste are too light. Sweet ringwood aroma with a little hops, but faint. Similar taste is nice but very light. Its hard to pick out the hops at all. Mouthfeel is watery, but it is fairly drinkable.

Does Clark's just have an old keg here? What gives?

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells of malts, some hops. Taste is malty up front, hops kicking in at the finish, slightly bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an easy drinking and pretty good beer.

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Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB from Stoudts Brewing Co.
3.6 out of 5 based on 672 ratings.
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