Arcadia Lake Superior ESB | Arcadia Brewing Company

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Arcadia Lake Superior ESBArcadia Lake Superior ESB

Brewed by:
Arcadia Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Name was changed to Thunder Trail ESB ~2012, though the recipe is the same.

Added by Wildman on 10-03-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 63
Photo of merlin48
3.17/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazed copper body with a small head that vanishes in seconds. Minimal patch lace. Aroma is buttery toffee with a hint of floral hops. Light to medium light body with high carbonation. Taste has a bready malt feel and some funky yeast. Minimal floral hops bitterness. Taste has a ringwood yeast note, for sure. Not very impressive.

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Photo of maxpower
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy copper-orange with a smal off white foamy head that doesn't last long, not much lacing either. Bready, buttery aromas, has butterscotch and bread flavors, it is medium bodied with a smooth and slick mouthfeel, finishes a bit sour, not all that great, where is the bitterness?

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Photo of redmosquito
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear amber brown, served with a nice white head that left lace all along the glass. Aroma is of malt and yeast with a mild floral hop in the background. Flavor is toffee malt with significant bitterness and toasted yeast. There is some body here and definate carbonation. This is a good example of the style

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Photo of ken3c
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick head with huge bubbles. Hazy Reddish brown. The big bubbles stay around in full layer and stick to the glass creating beautiful patterns.

There is an aroma of bread but also of spicy hops.

Taste is quite sweet with a noticable taste of butterscotch. The finish is only slightly bitter but it lasts a while.

Medium body and low carbonation.

I know it doesn't taste bitter enough, but I like it.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
4.27/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

barely visible best-by notch on Jan. No year. Bit of sediment at the bottom. Bottle-conditioned? or merely unfiltered?

Brilliantly clear caramel with an enthusiastic fluffy white head rushing to the top of the glass during the pour, throwing off billows of sweet floral hops. The head spends itself quickly, sighing down to a light froth skimming the surface with trails of lace on the glass.

Strong bitterness embraces toasty caramel malt with lingering resin and yet more mouth-coating tingly spice. Very yum.

Mellow mouthfeel. Easy to drink. More kind like this one, please!

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Photo of soper2000
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A new tap offering at Chumley's. What kind of BA would I be if I didn't try it? Plus I could use something a tad milder after a bottle of fresh 90 minute IIPA. After a nice looking pour from my favorite barkeep, this beer arrives in front of me with a perfect 2 finger creamy off-white head guarding a copper/orange body. Smell is faint. It's hard to recognize precise aromas, but some nice malty bread scents are present. First taste reassures my nose as there is a huge bread crust taste to this brew. The bread crust eventually fades into some soft toasted malt/nutty notes with just a tad bit of hop bitterness. Not a bad ESB at all in my opinion but it's just not my style. Not a bad choice to cool down from an intense IIPA though!

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Photo of cokes
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murky orange caramel with a clinging bone foam.
Nose of rubber and iron and oranges.
Begins with a full bready malt canvas. English muffins, dry and toasty. Glimmers of toffee sweetness. Buttery, and Ringwoodesque. Thus far, it is fairly archetypal of style. The middle, though, sees this become disjointed. Coriander? Orange peel? Acetic Acid? Green apples and pepper. This is some funky ass yeast. Then it ends, again, per style guideline and full of rusted iron bitterness and dessicated herbs. There is a bit of noticed alcohol fume on the finish. Lingering sour fruits.
Medium hewn, low carbonation.
Decent. Wrong-seeming. Weird.

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Photo of trumick
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber clear nice head that sticks around for a bit.
Smell is of carmel malts, and floral hops small amount of citrus.
Taste is a bit sweet for a bitter but nice. Sweet carmel malts that finishes with citrus hops slight yeast flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied nice carbination.
Drinkability is high. This is a beer I will buy regularly.

I like this beer, although it is a bit sweet for the style it is still nice.

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Photo of Ahhdball
3.08/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Small white colored head tops a faded orange body that illuminates decently in the bar light.
SMelled small amounts of yeast, floral scents and lemon zest.
Tasted too smooth to be an ESB to flat for a pale and showed no signs of standing up for its style. Small amounts of honey with a little lemon and slight hints of malt and hops tried to show but nothing to write home about (so I wrote here).
Mouthfeel was abnormaly average and didn't impress. Overall i would have this again but I won't aske for it.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a medium brown with lots of haze. Poured with a fairly large beige head and left good lace. Smell of slight caramel with citrus overtones. Taste is similar to smell but add the nice hop bitterness, not too much, in my opinion its just about right ( I'm not much of a hop head). Good drinkability. Not a summer lawnmower beer though. This would be good on a cold winters night, just to sit and sip. Not a great beer, but slightly better than average for the style - worth buying a sixer to keep around.

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Photo of jayb
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a hazy brown color. very much resembeled iced tea in its coloring. There was also plenty of yeast sediment floating around inside the glass. The head came out to be an off-white color, midly thick, but settled down quickly. low to moderate lacing. a faint smell of citrusy hops, lemon pledge? maybe its the combo of citrus and a faint hint of alcohol, Not a bad smell however. Taste corresponded with the smell, citrusy and bitter, minus the pledge though. toward the end there came a slight roasted character. Mouthfeel was light to medium, but possibly on the verge of creamy. A rather dry beer. A fine beer, but not something ill stock up on. Give it a try. good stuff.

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Photo of tavernjef
2.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy peach-light copper color with golden hazy edges, firm finger high head of off-whiteness, good lacing in sheets and fine spotting. Aroma is of highly sour dough sweetness, nearly lambic-like with some barnyard funk which calms down after it warms a bit where it becomes more soft and toasty but that sourness of old white grapes and pale and stale orange skins keeps its presence felt. Way off in the nose. Taste is unique and pehaps not quite fitting what I would think of an ESB. Soft grains, bread crusts, floral hops, toasty middle lingering partially into the finish where it drys out with some smokey malts and corn flakes. A bit of the souring quality from the smell leaks through in certain areas which kept this from being any better on my palate. Feel is just shy of a medium body, overly sweetening with that grasp of sourness that just wasn't doing it for me. Texture was a bit weird to match flavors with as it was lambic/saison-like. Not nearly an ESB as it seemed like some blended version of a saison and a bitter.

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Photo of TheOtherMike
3.94/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a six in South-Western MI and then drove about 5 hours. The beer was in the camper fridge and got fairly agitated. I only let it sit for about 2 hours before sampling. I think the taste, smell, and appearance were affected by the sediment being thoroughly dissolved in the beer, but it was still good. I may need to re-review in a few days.

Appearance - hazy, hazy, hazy. Plenty of sediment to be left in the bottle. Moderate head that dissipated fairly quickly although lacing persisted to the end. Color is orangy-gold.

Smell - appealing. Obvious fruity aroma.

Taste - a good IPA taste. Well balanced.

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Photo of nortmand
3.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typically deep amber hue with an orange-white head. Nicely presented in 25 oz. mug.
Not much to the smell, not good or bad, just average. Mostly just a hint of malt aroma.
Definitely malty sweet flavor, with a mild hop-bitterness on the back of the tongue and hints of yeastiness somewhere in there.
Smooth, light mouthfeel, definitely produced for mass consumption, although I would prefer a little more hop presence.
Nicel done overall, try it on tap if you get the chance.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orangish-copper hue, thin amounts of sediment move throughout the glass, thin light tan head also noticeable. A delicate aroma, malts, hops, some fresh fruit also detected. Distinctive fuggle hops immediately on the tongue, label also states tettnang and Mt. Hood hops, lets not go overboard though. A quick blast of fresh fruit, in the way of grapefruit is welcomed, mild bitterness as expected. Thick and creamy malt based body, very well balanced, rather generous in the hops department. Becomes somewhat thin and faded towards the finish, leaving this ESB just above average.

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Photo of rdailey76
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a really nice red to amber color, with a very minimal head. The smell is not overwhelming at all, probably just average. Can definitely pick out the the aromatic hops. Nice little hit of bitterness with hints of citrus? I could be wrong, but I get that taste. Not at all fond of the aftertaste. It just kind of lingers and begs you to take another sip to get it out of your mouth. Could probably have 3 or so with wanting to switch to something with a different style. Will try again, because the local beer shack where I picked this up at has had it sitting on the shelf for a while. Best if drank by February on the bottle and it is the beginning of April.

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.08/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the big red beer fest after a nice discussion about it with the 'pourer' I think he was a brewer, at least he knew a lot about it. He said made with all Maris Otter and the Ringwood yeast. It definately had the distinctive ringwood buttery nose. Not super appealing. But the flavor was really nice. While there was some butteryness, there were a bunch of nice really fruity flavors, really nice pear, that made this beer not only authentic but nice and complex and tasty. A beer where a little diacetyl is quite nice.

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Photo of proc
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The more I drink the ESB style, the more I like it. This one is a very nice offering from Arcadia Brewing from Battle Creek, Michigan. Proof positive that Battle Creek can be known for more than Kellogg's Corn Flakes. Hmm, maybe a little of this Lake Superior ESB on Corn Flakes...but I digress. This one pours out to a copperish-brown in the glass with a decent-sized head. The aroma is is that of malt and bread dough. The taste is very good, with the afforementioned malt, really shinining through to a finish that is easy on the palate with just a light dose of hops.

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Photo of Sixpack595
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Copper colored with a thin, long lasting head. The roasty, malty aroma is nice. Flavor is bready and malty but there is an unpleasant metallic after taste. Creamy mouthfeel. Overall a fair brew. Not impressed with the taste, but if not for the aftertaste I could drink quite a bit of it.

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Photo of putnam
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Citrus funk to the nose.
Piles of board-like chalky, iron-dust hoppiness that parts occasionally to reveal tea ... black tea, steeped for hours with brown sugar. Very bitter and scraping tannins cleanse the finish of the artifice. I am thankful. Where's my Speckled Hen?

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Photo of BitteBier
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A murky copper-amber color with sediment that is suspended perfectly. Topped off with an average but quickly fleeting tan head that leaves minimal lace. Sweet, caramely malts are balanced to a point with floral hops. Nose also contains a spicy-sweet hint that invokes ginger. Taste starts out surprisingly tart. The taste is opposite of the smell in that the hops are stronger on the tongue than are the caramely malts. This unexpected hoppiness makes for a lighter mouthfeel and wonderful drinkability. This is easily the best beer I've had from Arcadia.

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Photo of Jon
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, I couldn't find too many flaws with this ale, even though it doesn't really conform to style. It pours a reddish copper tint with a small, but staying ring of white head. Leaves traces of lace down the glass. Bouquet is an equally inviting combination of fresh, aromatic hops and sweet, caramel malt. Actually smelled (and tasted) quite a bit hoppier than I'd expected. Taste was a two-sided attack of some mildly citric, mellow hops and caramel malt, with an herbal yeasty flavor on the finish along with notes of toffee. Smooth, easy drinking, I think this is a solid American interpretation of an Extra Special Bitter. A good beer all around. A nice find on draught.

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Photo of marburg
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Darkish, clear copper color. Borderline brown. Thin white head dissipates rapidly. Carbonation is weak, and the brew is a little sloppy. Hardly an exemplary mouthfeel. Exceptionally earthy, bland aroma save some sweet bready fragrance. Flavor is sweet and dominated by the malts. A mid-sized hop presence, predominantly herbal, finishes the brew. Pretty easy, and not bad. But it's not a big winner either. You can get it some spots locally for 2 bucks a bottle at the bar. That's probably worth it.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft. This brew had a small white head with small bubbles that was fully diminishing. There was virtually no lacing with this brew. The body was cloudy, there was no carbonation observed and the hue was amber. It had a light hoppy aroma of citrus and the initial taste of this brew was bitter. The mouthfeel was light. All in all, I really enjoyed this brew.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber body topped by a small, but stubborn tan head. Great lacing effect down the glass. Nice aromas of malt with hints of the bittering hops. The taste is a bready and lightly hopped, more lightly than expected. The feel is a tad thin and under carbonated. Smooth, to be sure, but rather vacant of interest. Interesting but not impressive ale.

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Arcadia Lake Superior ESB from Arcadia Brewing Company
3.46 out of 5 based on 63 ratings.
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