Alaskan ESB | Alaskan Brewing Co.

very good
205 Ratings
Alaskan ESBAlaskan ESB

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 08-20-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 205 |  Reviews: 87
Photo of Musineer
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of shelby415
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of kew
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep amber color with a frothy, off-white head that leaves little chunks of lacing.

Smells of bready caramel malt.

Tastes of the fairly full toasted malts with some nice hop overtones. Toasted malts lead off with bread and toffee notes along with a little sweetness. Malts are full of bread notes with some nice caramel notes. Hops come in and add some earthy and grassy bitterness along with a bit of citrus.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a nice ESB and hits all the notes I want.

 548 characters

Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ChopsMeister
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of BKotch
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Hruska
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Fatehunter
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a finger of head on a cloudy dark straw colored body.
The aroma is wet grain with mild lemon. Nice.
The taste is balanced moderate lemon bitterness with mild honey sweetness.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
This ESB has a great balance and is quite drinkable.

 281 characters

Photo of MooseBoose
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Braz
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Kopfschuss
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of cliff1066
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sprucetip
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 934 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.09/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No but al-ask-ya later. Pours a crystal clear amber color with a light orange-red hue throughout. A fizzy white head that hid to the edge of the glass and stayed there. Decent lacing.

The nose is limited. A mostly caramel malt backing with some lighter nutty and complexity. Not much on hops but some minimal earthy notes. Would like a bit more hop character. No yeast character, has more of a cleaner US version. Would like to see a bit more English character overall.

The taste is a bit more on style versus the nose but still looking for more. To start the grain comes out with lighter caramel and nutty notes. There is a boarderline astringency thing up front but this is hidden by the hops. The hops come out with a light piney and flavor hop flavor. Some minor earthy notes but light. Some fusel note which is odd for the ABV.

The body is odd. Some sweetness up front but finishes dry. Carbonation is light but good for style. Overall I would like a bit more English character in the malt, hops and yeast. But still an easy drinking beer.

 1,047 characters

Photo of Ragingbull
2.72/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark amber or light brown in color. It has an autumn orange type of hue similar to some wood furniture you see. Some prickle and little to no head. Malty nose with a faint hint of hops. The attack is clean, but then the flavor hammers you with a strong bitter nut flavor. The nut and the bitter would be fine in the correct proportions and balance, but it seems that the nut overpowers the bitter and I don't feel that its a good thing. The aftertaste is consistent with the flavor. It sort of reminds me of when you get the nuts in the mixed nuts around Thanksgiving that are dried, or gone bad and they give a huge tart flavor that dries the mouth. I am appreciative that my father hauled this beer to me from Alaska, but its not my favorite of those he brought me.

 767 characters

Photo of anchordrinker
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear, dark amber appearance, with very little head (on a relatively slow, careful pour).

S- Toffee/caramel malt aromas dominate with some citric, orange-y aromas in the background.

T- Toasted maltiness upfront and then fruity flavors that become increasingly bitter up to the finish.

M- Light to medium bodied, with a medium level of carbonation. Very clean and crisp on the finish.

D- Very drinkable, definitely one to session on.

 439 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample in the Alaskan tap room. This brew is a lightly hazed copper color with a medium thin and foamy off-white head that diminishes steadily. Rings of lacing on the glass. Hops, citrus and earthy malt aroma. Medium-bodied and moderately bitter with hops, caramel and biscuity malt flavors. The finish is hoppy and lingering, with a touch of sweetness in the mix. Above average overall.

 387 characters

Photo of hopdog
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a dark amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of toffee, floral, toasted malts and caramel. Tastes of caramel, oranges, and toasted malts. Nice creamy and smooth body.

Notes from 11/27/05

 270 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It began with two finger's worth of rocky, medium-tan head with low retention, but a good bit of lacing. Nose had a good bit of caramel accompanied by a mild bitterness. Color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with a bitterness softly tempered by a caramel/malt sweetness. Finish had the same commingling of bitter and sweet that I got on the tongue. In fact, as it warmed, I got a really pronounced biscuitiness on the extreme finish. A very good ESB and a beer that nicely offset their Amber.

 523 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought back an Alaskan Brewery 6 pack with this beer and the Pale Ale, IPA, Oatmeal Stout, Amber Ale, and Summer Ale. The ESB is a solid, sessionable beer.

Pours an amber color with a pillowy big white head (on a hard pour). Leaves some lacing.

Smell and taste is of biscuity malt. This is a simple but tasty treat.

The ESB is crisp and smooth, rich enough mouthfeel for the style. There is a slight bitterness in the finish that balances everything out. Drinkability is really good. This is a good tasting beer that goes down real easy. An ideal session beer and a good transition from swill to a well constructed beer with an actual flavor!!!

 650 characters

Photo of wspscott
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in pint glass

A: fluffy off-white head, lots of lace, crystal clear, copper colored
S: slightly fruity yeast and a hint of malt (maybe biscuits)
T: bready malts, with an English (fruity) yeast flavor (no idea if this is a different yeast than the Amber, maybe higher fermentation temps).
M: crisp, with a little too much carbonation for the style if we were in England, since this is America not unreasonable
D: Very nice beer, not overpowering. Thank you, I will have another :)

 492 characters

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this is an excellent concoction by AK. It has incredible hop flavor, and all the bitterness the hopheads like. Pours dark yet transparent amber, with good carbonation. I like the initial hop taste that really kicks your ass! suprisingly drinkable for an esb, many will mistake it for an IPA aside from the color. The finish shows a little malt but still very hoppy. Great brew.

 377 characters

Alaskan ESB from Alaskan Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 205 ratings.
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