Alaskan Brewing Co.

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Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
3.85 | pDev: 9.61%
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 206 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by sprucetip:
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sprucetip from Alaska

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

About time they made this again! It was the best of the lackluster year round beers when it was available. And though it's a better hoppy option, as mellow as it is, than their excuse for an IPA.

Nice looker. Copper, good clarity, and active. Head was modest, white and short lived. No significant lacing.

A bit of boozy esters, a touch of caramel, a bit of citrus, and some light earthy hops blend together well. Not over the top at all, but well balanced with good synergy.

Grainy, a little caramel, a wee hint of sweetness, modest but clearly discernible hop bitterness, and gentle earthy/floral hop flavor play well together.

Well carbonated, light side of medium body, a little bit of stickiness and some lingering hop bitterness.

This is a really nice beer. It's not big and or bold, but it has very nice balance and subtle complexity. As noted above, it has more and better hop character than that beer they call an IPA.

Nov 20, 2011
More User Reviews:
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SvenHayden from Texas

3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I love Alaskan Brewery. I especially love ESBs. And although this beer is quality like everything else coming out Alaskan Brewery, it seems more like an Americanized ESB. Thats not a bad thing. Its just that what i love personally about ESBs is that they are so english in nature, and when done traditionally, they are a fun break from everything typical in american ales, yet palpable to an american palette. It is easy to think an ESB should be especially bitter because of the name, but historically ESBs were considered bitter just because they were so hop-forward for the time they came out. Most american ales already hover around the IBU level of a traditional ESB without trying to be hoppier. In-short this ESB was a little too hop-forward for me for an ESB.

BUT...still a quality-crafted, tasty beer. Keep rocking Alaska.

Mar 06, 2014
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MN_Beerticker from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Feb 03, 2014
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HoptimusMax1mus from Arizona

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Mar 31, 2014
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Asics from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Apr 09, 2014
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unclekeith from Alaska

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Mar 17, 2014
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drinkAK from Alaska

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Apr 21, 2014
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Rand_ale_Thor from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Jan 17, 2014
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tastymug from Washington

3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Oct 19, 2014
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Eaglefan344 from Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Mar 29, 2014
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Braz from Washington

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Jan 08, 2014
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snohojimbo from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Feb 06, 2014
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cliff1066 from Virginia

4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jan 05, 2013
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Jameswoody from Montana

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Apr 26, 2014
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sloelco from California

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

May 15, 2014
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powdersoldier from Washington

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Feb 01, 2014
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Agentveba from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Nov 24, 2014
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Lagerquestrian from Texas

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Apr 19, 2014
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Eighty from Washington

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Jun 05, 2014
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TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear orange-tinged copper with three fingers of very effervescent beige head that quickly settles to a half-inch or so. Decent retention; barely any lacing.

Caramelized and pretty hoppy. Caramel, black tea, citric hop astringency, soap, lemon rind, nuts.

Mellow with a slight musky maltiness. Dry and lightly hoppy up front with a rising caramel malt taste and some slight astringency; dirt, lemon, some more tea-like astringency in the finish.

Medium bodied, lots of carbonation, a bit thin, and very drinkable. There is a longish aftertaste of hoppy astringency but it is pretty mellow.

Pretty good hoppy ESB.
This is a pretty nice drinking beer from Alaskan. I would say that it is one of the hoppier ESBs that I have had, but it is not too powerful. Actually having some noticeable B in an ESB is a kind of nice change. Other than that I feel like it sticks to the style pretty well. It is very nice looking and has a good long-lasting head, the nose is all caramels and citrus, and the taste is unobtrusive and drinkable. It was a little twangy with astringency, but I really liked it regardless.
Wouldn't turn down; worth a try as it is a worthy session beer, good for ESB lovers, and is widely available.

Mar 10, 2014
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prock180 from Arizona

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Feb 03, 2014
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BryantForestry from Texas

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Feb 26, 2014
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Jame515 from Texas

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Feb 17, 2014
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MNBeer1017 from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Aug 08, 2014
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jemarent from Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Oct 28, 2014
ESB from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 206 ratings