Anvil Ale ESB | AleSmith Brewing Company

very good
676 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: 676 |  Reviews: 332
Photo of avaldivia
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of jrohrbacher
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of vr6corrado
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of andrewinski1
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bendurgin for the tick. Poured into a pint glass. There is a nice quarter inch off-white head atop a nice copper-amber body.

There is a lot of nice nutty malt in the aroma, with a touch of toast.

The taste has a biscuity flavor, but that leads to a grassy hop finish. The balance is perfect.

The mouthfeel is full bodied for the style, with carbonation that straddles between crisp and creamy.

This is pretty enjoyable. I like the great malty flavor.

 464 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint. This one pours a somewhat dark chestnut brown with a rocky tan head that leaves some sticky.

The aroma has a nice floral hop bouquet with some nice toasty malts in the background. A good nutty aroma with a little bit of powder cocoa. More bitter on the pallet than I had anticipated. Nice piney hop flavors with a good nutty malt profile. Nice balance here.

The body is light with somewhat prickly carbonation. Overall a pretty tasty one. Real enjoyable.

 476 characters

Photo of SalMineo
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of rab53
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours somewhere between brown and ruby. Head is minute and not a consistent layer. Head leaves thin lacing stripes. Body is transparent.

S-Smells quite nice. A blend of both sweet and bitter. I am getting delectable floral notes and even a pronounced nuttiness too. Aroma falls within the lines of the style. I am excited to further my ESB knowledge via this brew.

T-Balance again. Initial flavors of sweet caramel and toffee. Behind the sweetness is a light nutty flavor. Then an earthy hop flavor that is moderately bitter kicks in and leaves a grassy finish. The finish is hoppy but the sweet malt is clearly woven around the hops. Quite a tasty brew.

M-Light bodied with nearly too much carbonation. The millions of tiny bubbles attack the surface of my tongue with little remorse. Still, a very easy to imbibe body.

O/D-Anything I have tried by Alesmith is a blast for me. Speedway Stout and their IPA are among the peaks of their respective styles in my opinion. This is an exceptional ESB. And $6 for a bomber is not a ludicrous price either. Success.

 1,064 characters

Photo of kaelingirl
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of PeterIngemi
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 22 oz with a couple of friends, poured into a boulevard tulip.

A- pours a toasted amber brown, with a one finger toasted white head, nice lacing, a good looking brew.

S- smells like black tea, and toast, a bit of toasty caramel, less hops in the aroma then I expected.

T- toasty bread, hints of caramel, not as much tea as in the aroma but tea notes are deffinatly there

M- creamy with medium/high carbonation, very drinkable, very tasty.

O- a very tasty very drinkable brew, I really enjoyed this.

 512 characters

Photo of InfernoBoss
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

App: Dark gold/amber color, nearly clear, with a nice cap of white foam and decent lacing. Good retention.

Smell: Lots of biscuity caramel maltiness, with a floral, grassy, piney hop note underneath.

Taste: Well balanced between sweet and toasty malt and a traditional English-style hoppiness, somewhat grassy, herbal, floral, a bit earthy. Really well struck between the two elements; sweetness and bitterness are both restrained and feel just right.

Mf: Very drinkable, almost a session beer (by American standards). Medium bodied, medium carbonation, smooth, just a touch creamy, but drinks clean, crisp, and dry.

Overall: Really tasty example of a style I used to drink a lot of but barely consider these days in the world of hyper-hopping. A nice change of pace, really well made, as, it seems, is everything Alesmith does.

 857 characters

Photo of agaloco9
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of Mappies
2/5  rDev -48.7%

Photo of hiku7
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is bready, biscuity malt. Reminiscent of cookies. A bit of toastiness. Light fruity esters. Caramel malt definitely present. Low slightly spicy and earthy hop aroma, maybe some floral notes. Slighty metallic aroma as well. Maybe sulfur. Some alcohol smell as it warms.

This beer was way overcarbonated and came blasting out of the bomber bottle. Poured a hazy deep copper to reddish. The head persisted forever and was too big and required patience. Light and fluffy light tan.

Assertive earthy hop bitterness up front fades quickly to caramel malt flavor, with fresh bread and biscuits. Overall, very balanced flavor as it starts with hops and finishes with malt. No lingering hops.

High carbonation with prickly bubbles. Seems over the top for the style. Adds some carbonic bite. Medium-full body. Smooth balanced finish.

Overall, nice ESB, but too carbonated in the bottle, which threw things off a bit and added unnecessary carbonic prickliness and bite. Another bottle properly conditioned could change my mind. Enjoyable ESB nonetheless.

 1,053 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into tulip glass. Pours bcopper color, sparkling clarity, and good foam retention throughout. Deep toasty/caramelly malt balanced by spicy/fruity hop flavors accented by fruit esters resulting. The aroma is subtle and reflects the flavor with malt, hop and fruit (ester)/fermentation characteristics. Smooth, medium-bodied. There were some harsh or astringent sensations with the finish. But, again, this is an ESB. With respect to one of my favorite breweries, this is not my choice of beer.

 517 characters

Photo of funkel81
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to t0rin0 for sending this bottle my way. Served in a Bell's tulip pint glass.

Pours a moderate brown-amber color with a good off-white head and a nice bit of lacing on the way down. Collar throughout. The nose brings some light floral and earthy hops. A bit of bready malt. Flavor has a nice bitterness mixed with light hop flavor and bready malt through the background. Really excellent balance. Light-medium body and a semi-dry finish. Really nicely done ESB.

 470 characters

Photo of silentnoiz
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of rrryanc
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours looking and smelling very much like a west coast ipa. Coppery dark orange appearance, almost virgin white head, 1.5" in range. Aroma of hops hops and more hops. Even hoppier than Anderson Valley's ESB. Look for it, and you can smell what makes this ESBish, the yeast, the mild, mild peat.

Aroma is exactly mimicked in the taste. Same issues, maybe not as hoppy on the palate as in the nose, but still very plentiful. Delivers on the bitterness unlike many traditional esb beers. A little sweeter than any/most ipa's though. Throw in a reasonable amount of caramel and toffee for this one.

Pretty good, and still able to be purchased for $5-6 a 22oz, decent.

 666 characters

Photo of specksnreds
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Everyday is the day that I want this beer. Sweet Wheaties upon sniffing, and do I smell a hop? I do! Lovely that the hop pushes through. Super bubbles, bottle-conditioned. A bit estery but, "It feels right, Brian. It feels right." Bitterness is the perfect counterpoint to the sweetness. Everyday I want this. Every-freakin-day.

 328 characters

Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of pperez38
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Anvil Ale ESB from AleSmith Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 676 ratings.
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