Extra Special Ale (ESA) | Yards Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
85
very good
633 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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Extra Special Ale (ESA)Extra Special Ale (ESA)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
yardsbrewing.com

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our first ever and most beloved brew, ESA helped establish a following for cask-conditioned beer in the United States back in the ‘90s. East Kent Golding hops give this English style ale a subtle spiciness, which compliments its strong malt backbone. Hints of chocolate and caramel round out this deep chestnut colored ale. Floral, earthy, smooth.

Added by stirgy on 12-01-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
633
Reviews:
267
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
12.27%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
96
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 633 |  Reviews: 267
Photo of doc17325
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of VaporDome
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of dbl_delta
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from cask into standard pint glass at standard tap in Philadelphia. Pours a nice see through brown golden with creamy head. It looks awesome...but how can a brew poured from an engine look bad...
Smell is strong noble hop and nice sweet malt. Taste is smooth easy hop and malt. So smooth and drinkable. Really nice brew on cask. Just not sure how it would translate to bottle...very worth it from cask.

 409 characters

Photo of cwelder
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of dan027
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of CraftBeerGuild
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of WDJersey
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of gr0g
3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Review from notes taken on 01/15/2012.

Dark mahogany in color with a one-finger white head. Some lace curtains are left behind. Aroma is primarily of caramel and toffee notes from the malt, while a floral hop note backs them up.

Toffee malt and fruity esters on the palate. Hops contribute a a pronounced bitterness, but one that's well below IPA levels. A slight solvent presence on the finish detracts from the experience. I think I'd pay a little extra and pick up some Fuller's ESB over this.

 498 characters

Photo of gnikola
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of brez8791
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of FishFrank
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of FrankShirley
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Peyton5410
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of cbutova
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a few bottles of this out of my variety case so far. Yards is a solid brewery most definitely.

A- Poured into a pint glass with a very dark red, brown-looking body. A small light tan head forms to about a finger in size with decent retention. The foamy, creamy cap ends up with nice thick ring leaving nice webs of fairly thick lace.

S- This beer certainly has the feel of an English Ale. An interesting toasty, nutty and roasted malt profile is inviting. The yeast gives a nice dark fruit aroma along with bread and spice notes.

T- Fairly malty and yeast forward here too but the hops join in on it all. Dark fruits with a very slight medicinal taste are the main flavor I get along with a mix of yeast bread, spices, raisin, toast, roasted malts and some buttery caramel malts. Hops give off that European herbal, spicy and floral taste.

MF- Moderately thick body with a creamy and smooth overall consistency. Moderate level of carbonation with a silky feel. Slight spicy bitterness on the palate in the finish.

A fairly solid ESA/B but the dark fruit seems to get a bit more medicinal feeling than I would like it to be towards the end of the experience. Still another addition to a solid Yards lineup from what I have tasted.

 1,238 characters

Photo of Darkapocalyptica
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Headgoober
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear dark amber with one-and-a-half-finger, off-white, creamy, foamy head that lasted several minutes and left a nice film. Pretty good lacing.

S: Caramel malt and a hint of dark fruit.

T: Light sweetness and light to moderate bitterness. Toasted malt. Light butter and nut flavor.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Slightly smooth.

O: Pretty good ESB. Looks nice in the glass and has the right flavor. A bit mild though.

 463 characters

Photo of barczar
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep amber with a frothy half inch cream head that dissipates slowly, leaving spotty lacing.

Deeply toasted malt, dark fruit, and caramel form the initial aroma. Nuttiness, a touch of roast, and earthy and floral hops round out the profile.

Floral hops abound in the flavor, carrying throughout, into an earthy, fairly bitter finish. A backbone of toasted malt ties in with fruity esters and a minerally character, adding complexity.

Body is moderate to full, with moderate carbonation and noticeable alcohol warmth. There's a bit of astringency at the finish.

Kind of an odd combination, with fruity esters and floral hops really dominating. Don't think I've had a beer with more floral hop flavor. The minerally quality and pretty bitter finish make things even weirder.

 790 characters

Photo of Sipchue
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Electros
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Penn State is different, even coming from Canada, when it comes to beer sales. I picked up a 2-4 mixed, and actually, it was a sound investment for the hotel after Sesame Place. LOL.

Honestly, all of there beers were steller including this one. Colour, taste, smell, and mouth feel I wouldn't put at a traditional ESB (British), but for a American take, 'pretty spot on eh'. This had a great balance of the malt and hops as per par, and for most British ESB's in the 5% - 3.5% range, at 6%, they hid this very well!

 516 characters

Photo of jjd315
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of ZCoale
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of trplx81
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Extra Special Ale (ESA) from Yards Brewing Co.
3.75 out of 5 based on 633 ratings.
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