Extra Special Ale (ESA) | Yards Brewing Co.

very good
633 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Extra Special Ale (ESA)Extra Special Ale (ESA)

Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 633 |  Reviews: 267
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of wertschy
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of Giantspace
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of roastTHEmost
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of AWS2111
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of MouldyCrow
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of thatdirtymick
1/5  rDev -73.3%

Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of duff247
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of vicsju1991
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of xnicknj
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of CowsCanBark
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12. oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a brown oak hue with a one-finger light tan head. Nice lacing left as I drink.

Smell: Pretty balanced smell of sweet malts and hops, but that's about it.

Taste: Also very balanced, an equally strong taste of dark malts and flowery hops, with a slight metallic tinge at the back, and a light bitterness that certainly isn't cloying. Alcohol is hidden well here.

Mouthfeel: Heavy bodied and creamy, moderate carbonation.

Overall: A very good ale that I'd undoubtedly have again. Dark and robust in flavor, it's definitely a beer that I'll continue to enjoy throughout the holiday season.

 653 characters

Photo of Pharkle
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of cbyrd4088
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of PaBeerLover
4/5  rDev +6.7%

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

A dark amber beer with a lasting head, good lacing, and the same excellent clarity I experienced in all of the brewery's tap offerings. The aroma is full-on toasted caramel malt, mildly sweet and biscuity, with faint herbal hop undertones.

The flavor begins quite malty, with lots of toasted bread and sweet caramel, but finishes with a surprising dose of bitterness. Hops are mostly of the grassy, herbal variety, and are very much in a traditional English style to my palette. This beer has a particularly long and lingering aftertaste with strong bitterness and herbal flavors hanging around for some time. Carbonation and body and both moderate; making this an easy one to drink; although it's a bit higher on the abv scale than its counterparts. Booze is not noticed in the nose or taste.

 795 characters

Photo of HumphreyLee
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of hopsolutely
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of dwaz
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of tedho21
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle from Super Buy Right. Extremely generous off white head on a golden body. Creamy, yeasty on English hops. Great drinkability. Drying finish. Not the style bang on, but a good Englished up ale.Above average mouthfeel. Satisfying, and good by itself or with food.

 274 characters

Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of deapokid
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of dwoolley1
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of mptorpey
3/5  rDev -20%

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More