Anvil ESB | AleSmith Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Anvil ESBAnvil ESB
Very Good
680 Ratings
Anvil ESBAnvil ESB

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 03-10-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 680 |  Reviews: 333
Photo of Jeffreysan
5/5  rDev +28.5%

22 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, golden amber color with two full fingers of white head that slowly dissolved into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty and bready, like freshly baked sourdough bread. There’s also some caramel, black pepper, clover.

Taste: Damn near perfect English ESB! Malty, peppery, slightly sweet and slightly bitter. Lots of freshly baked bread, followed by black pepper and caramel-like sweetness, and finished by some mild, nicely balanced hoppy bitterness. As I stated earlier, a damn near perfect English ESB!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth, due to hardly any carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 5.5%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this is a damn near perfect English ESB, and fans of ESBs should definitely give it a try. I’m certainly going to get some more of this!

 963 characters

Photo of ycortez
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of earitt
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of ZAP
4.85/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

nice copper color...bubbly creamy head..english malts on nose and buds...flatish/sweet mouthfeel with malt dominate..very slight smokiness on the nose..spicy..lovely soft, sweet, grainy taste...This is really outstanding ESB...

 241 characters

Photo of waughbrew
4.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rusty red with creme colored head that stays and sticks tightly. Beautiful. Aromas of cherries, strawberries, and light citrus hops. Caramel and chocolate covered fruits. Flavor starts with sweet nutty caramel balanced with a burst of fresh floral hop flavor when a small bite of grain kicks in and takes it to a sweet roasty chocolate finish. Extremely delicate and soft with its medium-light body.

Absolutely wonderful. The only more I would ask for is some additional yeast character. Maybe hints of phenolics or diacetyl even could bring this beer over the edge. As it is, though, it is something I really wish I could have all the time.

 644 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Biscuity malt aromas joined by light citrus, a touch of toffee, hints of chocolate
Pours a brilliant ruby garnet mahogany under a pillowy 3" reddish orange tinted finely bubbled foam cap that slowly descends and leaves thick lace.
Malt driven palate with biscuity malt, a touch of fresh baked bread crust, light fruit finished with a moderate, balancing earthy, spicy hop bitterness.
Very creamy medium body and medium very finely bubbled carbonation

 451 characters

Photo of pathman
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of mikepcarney
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - reddish color with hints of orange and brown. Mocha-tinted off-white head of 1 finger settles quickly. Refilling from the bottle instantly regenerates the head which retains better towards the bottom of the bottle. Lots of sludgy stuff at the bottom, I let some of it into the glass, but not much.

Aroma - malty and bready with a biscuity, hoppy thread. Notes of alcohol peek through as well.

Taste - toasty, dry, richly malted start that is equally flavored with a slightly citrus, slightly bitter hop feel. All mixed together, I get this sometimes orangey, sometimes chocolaty sensation. Aged for an ESB, but well cared for, this is one tasty brew. Larger gulps do not do this beer justice, smaller sips work the palate much better. A touch of alcohol shows through as it warms. Finishes warm, toasty, and slightly juicy. Does it get any better than this?

Mouthfeel - smooth and creamy, carbonation starts out about average, but the levels drift off a bit with time, in step with the increased levels of yeast towards the end of the bomber.

Drinkability - at 3.19 per 22-ounce bottle, this is one of the best values for an extremely tasty, most drinkable beer.

Major props to drewbage for this hand trade, giving me a chance to experience some West Coast brews not always accessible in these parts.

 1,328 characters

Photo of jonnylieberman
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

nice and copper out of the bottle. Great head.

smelled like a good beer. Good malt aroma.

This is a very salty beer. Oh wait, those are my TEARS OF JOY! Hands down the most scrumptious beer I ever tasted. Good good good! Really good! A revelation. We were drinking Arrogant Bastard and I grabbed a 22 of this and all four people agreed this beer was far superior. Superb. Incredible. Get some.

If this beer was all I ever felt in my mouth I would be OK with that.

I could drink a keg in one sitting and still be thirsty. For reals.

 543 characters

Photo of BrewMaster
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured from a bomber into a 23 oz sniffer. The head is rough and a bit uneven in bubbles size. Very nice tan color on the head that is easily revived with some swirling. The beer is a semi-cloudy brownish red with an orange tint to make it seem light,

Smell: The aroma is simply lovely on this beer. Crisp caramel malts along with brown sugar that is nearly seductive. There are notes of orange that come from the hops. It is not over hopped but nicely hopped to balance the malt.

Taste: Very big caramel flavor to start with a big helping of brown sugar sweetness. The flavor is very toasty, From the smell I would not have expected such a toasty, nearly coffee-like, flavor from such a beer with this color. There is a lot of flavor packed into this simple looking, seemingly lighter beer. The hop bitternes shows up in the middle of the flavor in an earthy, piney, perfumed sort of manner. The hop flavor is delicate and short lived but perfect. It does not over-stay its welcome and it does not try to steal the show from the rich malts. The ending of this beer is a refershing and clean watery flavor. It does not taste watered down in a poor way, but rather a nice water flavor sends you palate off and bids a dieu.

Mouthfeel: Velvety and very well carbonated. Toasty aftertaste that is washed clean and left un-sticky by the watery ending.

Mouthfeel: All around this is a truly remarkable beer. The flavors are well crafted and balanced to provide a wonderful drinking experience. Nothing is overdone while nothing is also under represented. Excellent in the true sense of the word. This beer excels in flavor where others simply cannot.

 1,669 characters

Photo of rowew
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 22 oz bomber. Lengthy description of the style on the back, but no freshness info to be found.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy red orange color with a bit of haze. Medium sized head that fades, but leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt aroma dominates, with a nice amount of fruity hops in there too.

Taste: Nice smooth mouthfeel and low carbonation which seem appropriate for the style. Bready malt flavor, with quite a bit of hops balancing things out. Very smooth and drinkable.

Overall impression: Highly drinkable, and nicely reminsecent of cask conditioned beers. Very well done - wish I could get it locally.

 649 characters

Photo of ThemThangs
4.59/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my top 5 beers. 22oz. Dense glorious head that glistens. Smells great. Has an awesome sweetness to it, not overly hoppy like a lot of beers these days. A pleasure to drink.

 184 characters

Photo of hyuga
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice looking beer here. Dark reddish brown with a nicely sized off-white head. Leaves lots of lace, and head retention is pretty decent. The aroma features floral hops galore along with a healthy dose of biscuity and grainy malt. Quite nice. The flavors are even more impressive. Starts off with just a little bitterness, then goes to a nice biscuity maltiness. In the middle, the bitterness returns, showing more hop character. It's oily/resiny and slightly leafy. The leafiness increases in the back and in the aftertaste. Malt is a little sweet and grainy in places. The mouthfeel is very nice and smooth. Finishes with a final stroke of bitterness. One excellent ESB right here! Grab it if you can!

 707 characters

Photo of freed
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stumbled (not literally) onto this gem on tap at Blue Monk last week and had to go back and have some more.

The beer is a lovely deep copper approaching brown. It has excellent clarity. There is a small amount of foam when served and it remains through the pint.

The aroma is old world in its malt smells. The smell is a little huskier, a little mustier, and the yeast compliments with a mild apple tart.

The taste is benevolent with its flavors. Sweet malts finish in a toffee and caramel kiss. The mouth is left immediately wanting. It takes a second sip to realize that the flavor wants to hide, but can't quite fully. What's amazing is this beer is so uniuqe - not only as an ESB but as any beer, and it emplores you to pay it all the attention it deserves.

 771 characters

Photo of MJR
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber.

Appearance: Pours a color somewhere between dark copper and light amber that seems to glow on it's own. Crystal clear body with lots of carbonation bubbles. Capped with a thin, off-white head that is standard for the style.

Smell: The aroma is an amazing balance between the grains and hops. The grains are very fresh with lots of breadiness. There's a nice touch of fruitiness in there as well, most noticeably apricot. The hops are very leafy and green. Great aroma!

Taste: Very full flavored with the same balance from the aroma. Nice breadiness from the malt, and lots of firm bitterness from the hops. There's a faint hint of caramel and toffee. The hop flavor is both leafy and green, and fruity, with suggestions of apricot and grapefruit. There's a touch of an herbal note in there too. Very nice!

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a highly carbonated mouthfeel that's velvety smooth from being bottle-conditioned. Finishes dry and bitter.

Drinkability: Top notch drinkability! I could drink this one all night. The fantastic balance and bold flavors make this one bad-ass American-made ESB! Spot on for style...

Well done Alesmith! I wish this was available in the Midwest. More please...

 1,225 characters

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, my first AleSmith.

Pours a rich chestnut color with a thin, lacy off-white head. Clean aroma of hops and biscuity malts. The first taste is just...awesome. Incredibly well-balanced and flavorful, with mild hops, caramel/toffee and biscuit, with maybe a hint of fruit. Smooth and creamy -- just a delightful beer to sip. Wow. I'm blown away by the delicate, well-crafted nature of this beer.

I'm so glad I ordered 3 AleSmith beers from LetsPour. This is just outstanding.

 479 characters

Photo of garthwaite
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at Father's Office in Santa Monica. Appeared a deep copper with a sticky white head that converted to a creamy ring & left an intricate web of lacing down the pint glass. Earthy hops, caramel malt, & sweet fruit in the nose. Rich malts everywhere...loads more caramel with toasted almonds & toffee. Fantastically balanced by spicy, peppery, in-the-ground floral hops. Beautifully balanced, seriously complex ale (especially for a fairly low gravity brew). Medium to light bodied, almost airy in the mouth. It was tough for me to have just one of these, what a treat. Without a doubt, one of the best ESB's I've had.

 630 characters

Photo of beeritron
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, amber color with yeast sediment floating around. Anvil has a big tan head with lots of little bubbles and effervescence. The head shrinks to a substantial covering on the surface. A nice lacing down the glass is present as the head stays on top of the beer all the way to the bottom. The smell is sweet with a pleasant yeasty sourness. Notes of caramel and roasted malts are present too. A nice hop aroma is there as well. The taste is sweet with a slight bitterness that balances well. A fruity taste is apparent with cherries being the one that comes to mind. This medium bodied beer fills the mouth and tickles the tongue with mini bubbles and a perfect carbonation level. Roasted flavors on the back of the tongue give Anvil a pleasant smokey/bitter aftertaste. This is one I'll be drinking again.

 815 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bright copper with purple highlights.

Tons of fruity esters in the aroma accompanied by lots of toasted malts, a smoked woodiness and some spicy notes. Smells like a fruit shake.

Top is a gliding caramel and toffee sweetness. Unbelieveably smooth. Fruity hop flavor. Spicy, citrus-like notes. Moderate carbonation.

A great beer. Easily the best of the style I have ever had.

 385 characters

Photo of JupiterJesus
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of Chugs13
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of ColdOneKev
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of kevgod
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of Rosquin
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Anvil ESB from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 680 ratings