Anvil Ale ESB | AleSmith Brewing Company

very good
677 Ratings
Anvil Ale ESBAnvil Ale 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 677 |  Reviews: 333
Photo of Brad007
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice reddish-ruby color with a thin head into my glass. I love the color and it matches up as expected.

A mix of light, grassy hops and sweet, buttery malt greet my nose. Malt-forward as opposed to hop-saturated.

The taste reflects it too. Just the right amount of bitterness that compliments the sweet, buttery toffee malt.

Crisp, clean aftertaste with a good amount of carbonation. Nothing harsh to nitpick over.

I haven't had an ESB in a while so this is a treat to behold. No-frills, easy drinking. Not too high in ABV either.

 545 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yummy malty goodness on the nose! Nice sweet caramel, toffee, nuts and baked bread. It smells like a confectionary of the best kind.

Beautiful dark amber in color with big carbonation bubbles slowly rising to the surface. The head is a light tan that holds fairly well and laces in really nice rings as you sip away.

The flavor mimics the taste incredibly well with big emphases on toasted almonds and cashews. Smooth and surprising light, with a medium carbonation level, this beer is easy to drink, refreshing, and completely satisfying.

 541 characters

Photo of kendellmarie
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of pmarlowe
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No date but it's in one of the new bottles. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark caramel color with a cap of dark tan head, receding quickly to a ring and some splotches.

S: Toffee, graham cracker, nuts, some cream.

T: Kind of an offish malt toffee flavor, almost like red pepper without the spice? Very dry. Doesn't quite come together.

M: Light, pretty easy drinking. Light smooth carbonation and body.

O: Not bad, but I remember this being better on draft. I'll take the standard British import ESBs over this.

This is a pretty good ale, better its counterfactual as a lager.

 577 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a dimpled mug. I really loved the AleSmith Nut Brown, so I have high hopes for this!

Appearance: dark brown hue with a basically haze-free body and a finger of frothy tan foam. Head has decent retention and leaves a nice lacing on the glass. I like it.

Smell: nice, rich, malty aroma with a touch of earthy hops. Objectively, it's well-crafted and appropriate, but the malt character is really quite biscuity and it just rubs me the wrong way a bit.

Taste: much like the aroma, there's a good malt-hop balance here and this beer strikes me as very well-crafted, but the flavor choices in the malt bill are just not to my taste.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a big carbonation and a nice, big, mouth-filling creaminess. Bam!

Overall: I had high hopes for this beer. Its quality doesn't disappoint at all, but I'm really not a fan of this really biscuity malt bill.

 902 characters

Photo of jasewaaang
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Flounder57
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz beer was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head that has reduced to a small puffy layer. It is a copper brown color with some clarity and visions of carbonation coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: sweet and bready malts, biscuit, toasted oats, yeast notes, and some fruitiness.

Taste: chocolate, bready malts, grainy, slight bitterness, nutty, and some roasty and toasty flavors.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, a little watery, light to medium bodied, a little chewy, and enjoyable on the palate.

Overall: Pretty solid ESB. Fullers and Hobglobin I have had a lot, but happy to add this one to the mix.

 693 characters

Photo of alecvdpoel
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of BeerTruck
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of beerpadawan
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Naterobsnyk4
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of seand
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent amber with a fair amount of light tan head. A ring around the edge retains, as well as some spots of film on the surface, and there are some pretty good walls of lacing.

S: Sweet fruit and grain, with just a bit of malty thickness.

T: Mild caramel and brown sugar sweetness, with a fruit-like touch.

M: Medium to light body, medium carbonation; a little watery near the finish.

Overal, an enjoyable if not exception ESB. There's a decent chance I'll buy it again.

 490 characters

Photo of Googs
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of mwayne
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of RussBecker1
2.25/5  rDev -42.3%

Photo of WillCarrera
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, no bottled-on date, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights, produces a finger of tan head, nice retention, spotty lacing.

S- Caramel malt aroma complemented by earthy, herbal hops, nice mineralic water quality.

T- Similar to the nose with sweet caramel and bready malt, some herbal, earthy hops with a bit of citrus. The mineralic quality of the water works really nicely here. Has a nice finish of caramel and a bit of herbal hop bitterness.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, creamy feel.

O- A nice ESB, very tasty and extremely drinkable.

 583 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin broken rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some earthy and herbal hop aromas. Taste is of toasted malt and some nice earthy, herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

 505 characters

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Valhalla, New York, NY

A: The beer is clear but dark reddish garnet in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thick ring of bubbles around the edge and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of earthy hops and biscuit malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is earthy and malty and has hints of mineral water in the flavors.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and slightly clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish leaves a little dryness in your mouth.
O: This beer seems more flavorful and fuller-bodied compared to other ESBs but it is still very easy to drink.

 726 characters

Photo of ChulaVistaBarista
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of caverog
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of JamFuel
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of inlimbo77
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Purchased in June 2012, but this could be old considering it's brewed in the Fall. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Caramel brown, chestnut color. About a half finger of light tan head. Looks to be good carbonation.

S: Smells nutty. Sweet malts. Some piney hops hops.

T: Nice ESB. Nice roasty toffee notes, on a mild scale. Bready malts. Some nice lingering hops still in there to balance it out.

M: Medium bodied brew. Low ABV I assume.

 450 characters

Photo of spamages
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of polishkaz
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Anvil Ale ESB from AleSmith Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 677 ratings.
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