Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB | Stoudts Brewing Co.

369 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: 369 | Ratings: 670
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 Azurescens
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date, poured into Hair of the Dog tulip, reviewed on 6/25/11.

A: Pours a clear reddish gold with tan head that leaves some lacing around glass.

S: Bready malt, some honey and herbal hops.

T: Bready malt with some hop bitterness, earthy yeast and some herbal notes.

M: Somewhat sharp, medium-light body with moderate carbonation, finishes dry.

O: Decent beer, not bad but far from spectacular. Easy drinking light beer.

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Photo of ebby82
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As promised by the name, it pours a light red into a pint glass with a nice two finger head.

The aroma is a nice burnt caramel with merely the suggestion of hops.

The taste is only a bit bitter. Mostly, the caramel flavors of the malt come through. A light hop presence in the aftertaste.

Very quaffable because of its tastiness and low Alcohol content.

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Photo of Rootdog316
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper pour with reddish hues and a small head. Aroma is quite malt forward, with caramel and biscuit, along with touches of floral and perfume hops. Flavor is much the same, with malt continuing as the primary player. This strikes me as more of an amber or red ale, as opposed to an ESB. Not bad, but not great either.

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

The appearance is a rich amber with a decent had and really nice lacing. The smell is of caramel and a slight sweetness. The taste is really smooth. Smell follows taste and color. Not much more to say about it. The mouthfeel is good with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a really nice amber ESB. Very drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of champ103
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby red (I guess you could say scarlet) color. A minimal, bubbly white head forms at first, but recedes to nothing with little lace.
S: Toasted malt, sweet caramel, light wood aromas. A little to simple and one dimensional.
T: Follows the nose. Mostly a caramel sweetness. Some bready malts and a light bitterness.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A nice crisp body. Easy to drink. I will finish the six pack without a problem.

Not an ESB, but still decent. Nice, simple, and easy to drink. Not a lot to complain about. Worth a try.

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Photo of socon67
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours copper with a tan head. Retention of foam is decent; no lacing.

S - Smells of caramel malt. Kinda sweet.

T - While this is well balanced the bitterness is muted. Not quite the hoppy bite of an ESB.

M - Very easy to drink multiples. Light bodied feel and gentle on the palate.

O - Not a bad beer at all. But I can't compare this to some of the really good ESB's (Propeller for example). Worth a try for the taste, but not recommended for those wanting a standard ESB.

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Photo of dfillius
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Aggressive pour yields 1/2 finger of light tan head with fair to poor retention - it just fizzles away. Clear dark amber-red liquid is pretty. Better head retention please. This beer is 11 months old, could be problems.
S: Caramel, banana. I expect more hops, but only the idea of them is apparent. Age probably
T: A tad like gluten free beer, though better. Caramel, thin grassy hops build. Decent, but not stellar.
M: Flat, slightly bitter
D: Decent, not stellar. Will try a fresher one. Not quite refreshing.

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

Pours a brown ale color, with some darker undertones with a nice rich head.

Smells is nutty, like peanuts mixed with a subtle hops and a nice shot of barley. A little notion of citrus or orange as well.

Nice, easy drinking beer perfect for the spring or fall. Little heavy for summer.

Overall, average beer.

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Photo of Franz4
2.56/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle best by 8/9/11, poured into a pint glass

A- penny copper in color with a 1 finger head that settles quickly leaving a bit of lace suspended above the thin ring left on the surface.

S- nose has some toffee like characteristics, some muted hoppiness is present, and a little buttery toast. Not bad, but nothing stood out in this area.

T- Lots of what I believe is diacetyl. I believe on a good day this might be going for "biscuity" or something similar, but this isn't what I'm getting. They've achieved some balance as there's a bitterness that is balancing the pale malt, but I'm not impressed.

M- light bodied and light in carbonation.

O- This one didn't do it for me, and I'd have to say it's a below average brew, maybe I'm just missing something from the style, but I wasn't pleased with this one.

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Photo of plfahey
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance-Medium brown with golden orange highlights.
Moderately clear. Modest off-white head with decent retention.

Aroma-Nutty, toasty malt with some green, earthy hop character.

Flavor-Toasted malt, with hints of nuts and breadcrusts. Moderate hop bitterness shows through in the finish, with very light earthy hop notes. Slightly stale, oxidized notes show in the finish as well, but this could just be an older bottle. Moderate sweetness up front dries out a bit, but not entirely. Slightly sour note in finish as well.

Mouthfeel-Medium light to medium body, with moderate, smooth carbonation.

Nothing earth-shattering here. I was not too impressed by this one. ESBs are supposed to be uber drinkable and yet still relatively complex, I think this one falls short in both regards.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear medium orange with a sticky off-white head. Some lace, bubbles rising.

Some tart notes mingling with toasted malt, some caramel, herbal hints.

The tart element is a bit like apple skin. Struggles between sour and bitter, but is more bitter as it warms. Finishes on the bitter side, but pleasant, like good brown toast. Some caramel. Not what I'd expect in ESB.

Medium bodied, good carbonation.

1 and done. It works but not true to style. Could not do a 6 of this. Didn't hate it, but I wanted something different.

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

12 oz bottle into SA Perfect Pint

A - Clear chestnut brown to copperish pour with an inch or so off-white head, scant retention that settles to the edges with a loose lace.

S - Toasted malts with a bread crust quality

T&M - A malty brew for sure with a healthy and biscuity dose of toasted malts. Has a medium bodied and somewhat thick but smooth feel to it. Hints of caramel pop up every now and then, and the bitterness is lighter, but certainly present and enough to balance out the malts a bit. Low carbonation, as I think it should be. Mostly dry in the finish with just a bit of a woody flavor.

O - A very nice brew, with good balance and a whole lot of flavor for 5%. I'll revisit for sure.

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

12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info noted on the bottle.

A - Pours a vibrant and translucent copper with a 1 finger off-white head. Sticky lacing is left on the glass.

S - The smell is a full malty aroma. Light grassy scents.

T - Grainy, light toffee, and a small hop presence. Very dry up front and on the finish. Moderate hop bitterness.

M - Light mouthfeel with a crisp carbonation.

D - Very "sessionable" beer. No presence of alcohol. Fairly simple beer, but an easy drinker.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.26/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip pint: Nice red-amber body, transparent with bright copper highlights. A finger of khaki head that falls to a bubbly coating fairly quickly. Plenty of small, fast nucleation.

Some earthy hops in the nose, a slightly fruity malt profile that's also kind of rubbery, like a balloon, or maybe burnt orangepeel. There's some nicely restrained toffee in there, too, but that plasticky smell just gets in the way. Some mineral character.

Hops & burnt orangepeel up front again, not having much luck getting around it. Ends with a little toffee/caramel again, not bad. But in the aftertaste, that plastic taste rears up again. I'd say several small plusses & one big minus here, kind of evening out to zero. A little graham cracker shows up as it warms.

Nicely crisp with just a little roundness. Ends with a snap, lingers nicely on the palate afterward. This is probably the highlight.

Like I said in the taste, kind of equally good & bad aspects to this. Can't say I love the taste, but overall the beer's not strong enough to make the negatives show too brightly. Decently drinkable, goes down pretty smooth. Can't say I'd rush to try it again, but I'd still take it over non-craft alternatives.

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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 BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #39 (Apr 2010):

Rich and bright copper-colored brew with a creamy and sticky lacing. Fresh biscuity malts in the nose. Earthy, with an underlying damp, herbal character. Medium bodied with a crisp carbonation that breaks through and provides some creaminess. Bone dry from the start with some grainy malts, hint of caramel, wood and biscuity finish. Hops aren't overly bitter (nor should they be), but there's a grassy snap that rides in on the carbonation to perk things up. Some dark fruitiness pulls through, especially as the beer warms. Nicely bal- anced. Biscuity and a bit tannic in the finish, which is very dry and moreish.

These days, and especially in the US, ESBs seem hard to come by. This is a good introduction to the style for those looking to broaden their beer experience--a flavorful session beer.

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Photo of tchenery
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber hue with a bone white head.

Smell is pretty faint and non-existence.

Taste is pretty malty with a faint hop presence. Slightly fruity and bitter on the end.

Very smooth and very crisp. Totally drinkable. This might be the best session beer I've had in a while.

It tastes to me like more of an amber ale, but very good nonetheless.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.57/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Pours amber in color with a large off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind only a few tiny spots of lace.

Smell: Lots of sweet, buttery malt with some grassy, herbal, and floral hop notes in the background.

Taste: Begins sweet, with an apple hint. It rounds out to butterscotch and some caramel with a slightly earthy but still sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with light carbonation and a light, watery finish that leaves almost no signs it was ever there.

Drinkability: A good beer, but it still leaves something to be desired. I would drink this one again, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

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Photo of OnThenIn
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Very slightly tan head that is a finger high with a ruby body. Just beautiful.

S: Floral and slightly grassy hops are prominent followed by a bit of malt sweetness, like caramel.

T: The beer lacked complexity and didn't really have assertive flavors. The beer opens up with a bitterness that is also seen lingering on the tale end of the taste. A lot of the flavor is nutty and caramel malt flavors. Not really bready as I expected, but the hop bitterness and nutty flavors come together to create a roasted malt flavor that I was really not expecting.

M: Thin to medium body with lighter carbonation than I would have liked to experience.

D: Drinkable and tasty, but the lower carbonation than desired is somewhat disappointing. A nice drinkable sixer non the less.

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Photo of cbutova
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 11/19/2010

A- Light brown with some red shining through. A small off-white head builds to about half a finger but dies soon afterwords. The small ring leaves a good amount of creamy lace.

S- Dark fruit up front. Malt is right behind it lending a nutty, caramel and slightly roasty profile.

T- Dark fruit comes to mind in my first wig. Malt comes soon, giving off nutty, slight cocoa/roast, caramel and grainy notes. Some hops in the finish are earthy and a bit floral/herbal. A bit buttery.

MF- Moderate body with a nice amount of cream and carbonation to it. Just a tiny bit of bitterness.

DB- I usually enjoy ESB's and this is no exception. The malt profile is multi-dimensional and what I find to be most enjoyable. A good example of the style.

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Photo of callmeclemens
2.78/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Order a bottle at a local bar and poured into a glass.

Upon pouring with no head, I checked the bottle for freshness date and none was present. Smelled very herbal slightly sweet with a hint of malt, and tasted mostly the same. Flavor was rather bland Herbals, malt and a hint of fruity bitterness, but not to much. As previously stated there was no head upon pouring, and no lacing whatsoever.

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Photo of BillyBob78
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this at a 6 pack shop.

Color is a nice bronze/brownish color. Nice head with great lacing. Nice carbonation.

Smells some carmel and toasted malt. Mixture of hops.

Taste is a sweet malty flavor up front. Bready. Taste the hops but nicely balanced.

New to ESB's but I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of paulozanello
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown color with some red hues. It is pretty clear in the glass and forms a medium bege head that persists pretty well. Not a dandy to look at but it does its jobs and I definitely have seen worse.

Aroma starts out with citric hops (grapefruit and apricot) but that soon disappears to make room for burned malt, caramel and toffee notes.

Taste starts with the malty, nutty/caramel profile and ends with bittering hops that don't linger for too long. No sign whatsoever of those citrus hops that I got in the aroma.

Body is medium and carbonation is medium to high. This is a chewy beer.

Overall i'd say this is an ok session beer but i felt that there is too much malt and too little hops here for an ESB.

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Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB from Stoudts Brewing Co.
3.6 out of 5 based on 670 ratings.
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