Phoenixx Double ESB | Real Ale Brewing Company

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Phoenixx Double ESBPhoenixx Double ESB

Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Double ESB", Rotating/Seasonal

Added by TPoling on 12-31-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 316
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 3/12/2009 (Tap @ Flying Saucer, Houston, TX):

Pours a medium brown colored body, clearish with a big creamy off-white head. Hoppy grapefruity aroma, very bitter and dry smelling. Creamy, hoppy bitter dry taste. Some strawberry maltiness too. Letting it warm up a bit for some more flavor...Some more flavor. Not too bad. Much more flavor. No aftertaste, it just fades.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with a freshness date of 03 29 10. Pours a clear, dark crimson color with a large, fluffy beige head. Retention is pretty good, as is the lacing.

Nose is citrusy and grassy from the hops. The malt portion of the smell is pretty faint, I was imagining more sweet caramel might be nice. There is also some slight fruitiness and hints of alcohol.

Malts come out to play more in the flavor, plenty sweet and somewhat toasty. Still a hop-forward beer though. Grassy and citric, as lime peel and wheatgrass juice come to mind. There are some chalky, mineral flavors as well as a light fruitiness that give it a bit of British feel to it, but the hops seem to be copiously added in true American spirit. The bitterness on the finish is particularly bold...resinous and long-lasting. A bit over-the-top compared to most ESBs, but I guess that what they were aiming for with the 'double'. I prefer mine more on the sessionable side, still a fun beer to try though.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes

Brown pour with a nice finger of persistent head. Aroma is light earthy hops on top of a bed of biscuit maltiness. Some nuttiness and sunflowers are also present. The flavor is bitter nuttiness. I'm not sure on the age of this but the hops are not very well defined right now. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with high levels of soft carbonation. Drinkability is solid if you are wanting to have a lighter beer with a meal, but as a standalone beer there isn't too much interesting going on. Still, a good example of the style.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a thick, foamy head that sticks and laces with purpose

Smell: Resinous, piney elements intermingle with the caramel malt; a touch medicinal

Taste: Opens biscuity, with an increasing caramel dimension; by mid-palate, the piney, resinous hops take over and also provide the medicinal element that was detectable in the aroma; after the swallow, the sweeter, caramel malt elements add a balancing dimension

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A fairly decent effort at an ESB; not sure about the "double ESB" concept, however; needs a bit more fruity character and a bit less of the medicinal aspect as well

Thanks, ericandersnavy, for the opportunity

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Photo of angelmonster
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to trader Air for this one

Pours a huge 3 finger off white head. Body is a dark copper in color. Head retention and lacing are great

Smell is of roasted malt, earthy hops, and very faint corn. Alcohol isnt detected. The nose is very restrained and boring

First taste is of slightly piny and floral hops. Copper malts and honey sweetness balance the bitterness throughout. Aftertaste is of bitter lime peel and slight alcohol.

Mouthfeel is good. Ample amount of carbonation, semi light body. Head stayed throughout glass and contributed to the beer

Drink ability is good. Semi sessionable, alcohol was hidden nicely. Wouldn't say that this is a run of the mill ESB but its nothing to write home about. Still nice to see more good beer coming out of Texas in bottles. Just wish more breweries would distribute outside the state.

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Photo of jale
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dirty copper with a dime of white head.

S: Sweet malt aroma and slight caramel. Just a hint of piney hops.

T: Sweet roasted malt upfront followed by caramel. Piney hop bitterness in the middle leading into a hint of citrus finish.

M: Heavier than I expected and somewhat sticky and a tad cloying.

O: Soild ESB. Would drink another.

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Photo of waldoiverson
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into nonic

A: a somewhat flat toned dark copper with moderate carbonation, good cling to the lace but the head didn't stand for too long

S: yeasty with bread and light hint of carob sweetness, fairly dark sweet aroma that almost suggests there is rye in there

T: fruity, hint of cherries, def. tasing the play on a bitter but much more sweet, leaves a strong but not unpleasant aftertaste of currant...reminds me of a bock at times in the experience.

M: very full but cracker dry in the mouth but only ends in a semi-dry spot. carbonation isn't too present.

O: this beer seems to fall in a weird spot. there are moments that you feel like you're drinking a bock for the body, darkness, and alcohol but the taste is def. a reference to a bitter. it's worth giving a try but probably not a daily drinker for me.

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Photo of dubinsky
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from Turfy. Poured from 12oz bottle into a Crate and Barrel snifter. Best by date of 8/21/11.

A - Pours a slightly hazy dark amber, almost like rust. A two finger foamy head tops the beer. The foam sticks to the edges leaving behind some huge lacing patterns.

S - Floral hops give way to a huge malty, biscuit aroma. Quite nice. Its not the hugest smelling beer, but it smells good.

T - The hops come out swinging hard but quickly yield to the huge biscuity malt backbone. I distinctly pickup the Munich malts. It has a well rounded bitterness with a sweet malt presence.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Good bitterness in line with the style.

O - Although this is not a style a usually like, this is a great beer. I would buy and drink this again, often, if it was available here in CA.

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Photo of azdback
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my personally etched "dead man's hand" Marlboro pint glass. Beautiful dark burnt orange color. Creamy off white head. Sticky lace.

Smell is earthy, grasses, yeasty. Some burnt sugar smells. Not real hoppy or much alcohol.

The taste is better than the smell a bit. Much more hop in the taste. The sweet I'm still trying to nail. Maybe a candied orange?

Mouth is great. It is carbonated well. A bit sticky and sweet long at the end.

I had to remind myself that I am not reviewing a Double IPA, but an Amber( well Double Amber). So with my pallet so far to the left I had to reel it back to center and realize how good this beer is to the common non pallet wrecked man (or woman). Thanks to BgThang and turfy for this. Very enjoyable and recommended.

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Photo of vdread
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Phoenixx Double ESB is a beautiful dark amber with an ample, sticky head that leaves some splashes of lace behind. smells of caramel malt and strong fruity hops.

the taste is dripping with thick caramel malt and fruit (apples, raisins). resinous hops bring grassy, earthy tones. there is a slight taste of black tea as well. as it warms, the caramel malt becomes richer and deeper, the hops tastes of grapefruit becomes more apparent.

highly carbonated, palate is nearly gone after a sip. ends dry.

this is a good beer that i would probably drink again. i wouldn't buy a 6 pack, but i might pick up another single before they stop selling them for the year.

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Photo of champ103
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at The Petrol Station in Houston.

A: Pours a hazy reddish/orange color. A minimal, bubbly, white head forms and recedes in a second. No lace is left behind.
S: Grapefruit hops are present, but not dominate. A substantial sweetness in the nose. Caramel malt and a dry wood aroma as well.
T: Follows the nose. Light grapefruit bitterness up front, though very well balanced with some sugary caramel malt. A really dry wood flavor lingers. That gives this a little more depth of flavor IMO.
M/D: A little lighter than I would like. Thin and watery. This is also a little under carbonated. Easy to drink. I quaffed a few throughout the night with no problem.

This is interesting on cask. A little more depth of flavor here than in the bottle or on tap. Though the under carbonation almost kills this beer. Not bad, but Real Ale has much better cask versions.

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Photo of JDV
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the draught house. Pours a dark maroon color with a medium beige lasting head. Nice looking beer. Smell is fruity, hoppy, gummy, with big hop presence for the style. Not what I expected from something called an ESB or labeled as an ESA. Either way, extremely drinkable, fruity and hoppy but smooth with alcohol hidden well. Very nice beer.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 7 Apr 2010.

Served in a Lakefront shaker pint. Medium sized fizzy off white head. Clear dark ruby brown in color. Well carbonated. Smells lightly of cocoa, roasted malt, toasted almonds, brown sugar. Lightly flavored to start, sweet and malty, then turning much drier and bitter. Warm boozy finish, lingering bitter and nutty aftertaste. Medium body.

Decent beer but a little pricey ($9.50/sixer).

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Photo of dngilb
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: beautiful dark amber. Not much head or lace.

M: Pleasant lighter mouthfeel, but viscous enough to not feel watery. For its lightness, I'd probably want a bit more carbonation.

T: toasted Jewish rye bread crust. Caraway seed. Caramels. White tea leaves. Hint of uncoated Tylenol.

Overall, I wasn't wow'ed... But I certainly drink another.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a 1 finger head with good retention. ruby red color..

smell is of caramel malts with earthy hops and mild fruity esters.

taste shows a little bit of hot alcohol. bitterness balances nicely. fruity esters and a hint of diacetyl with a caramel malt bitterness balance the beer.

mouthfeel is a tad astringent. carbonation is good though.

decently balanced big esb. give it a try

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Photo of Pegasus
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Clear reddish-amber with a large light tan head of somewhat coarse foam, which retains well. The lacing is scattered, and Belgian-like.

Aroma: Strong notes of caramel malt, brown bread, and grassy and herbal hops.

Taste: Opens with a strong wave of roasted malt, which tends towards toast and nutty flavors. While the malt backbone is a strong presence throughout, as the taste progresses, the hops intensify, particularly offering earthy and herbal flavors. Finishes with a long, lingering moderate bitterness at the back of the mouth. The ABV of 7.2% was not at all perceptible in the taste, although it was mildly warming.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, full and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A pleasing and well-crafted example.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of beergoot
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Extra sent in a beer trade with Doph1979. Thanks, Tim...

Dark golden body with a very good, sticky off-white head. Great lacing down the glass.

Aroma is rich and malty. Toffee and caramel. A touch of hop bitterness accents the nose.

Medium-light body with a bit of smoothness due to the sugars. Clean and wet.

Light, toasted malt flavors, soon overtaken by a mid-grade bitterness.

This was a bit of a toss-up between a 3.5 and a 4.0 overall. As this beer seems to have some decent flavor and aroma, I would imagine drinking this beer again and again would warrant the slightly higher overall score, depending on freshness and serving origin. It also hides its alcohol content nicely. A good, malty, bitter beer. I'd definitely go for some more...

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Photo of aeminter
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The head is off-white almost cappuccino in color, and has great retention. Light amber in color and very clear.

Nice hop aromas with some light fruity esters.

The flavors compliment the nose with balanced malts...up front malt sweetness with a balanced middle and pronounced hop bitterness at the end. The aftertaste lasts only about a minute. The carbonation is moderate-low. There is some alcohol warming, but this could be overemphasized by my empty stomach.

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Photo of dannydetox
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a hybrid style beer from the real ale folks in texas. poured a slightly hazy orange/copper color from the 12 oz bottle. smelled like an esb with clear notes of toffee and caramel greeting the sense first. english hops lend that british fruitiness and a bit of earth rather than the dank pine or citrus from the west coast varietals. i don't detect the over 7% abv on this ale; a touch watery, if anything. finishes with lingering bitterness - a plus in my book. the phoenixx is labeled a seasonal release, but my bottle claims to be good until september of this year.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this at the Whole Foods here in Austin whilst visiting on business. Pours a clear dark copper/amber with a thin creamy head that left sparse lacing. To all appearance a classic English bitter. The aroma is caramel and sweet malt with a whiff of alcohol. The taste is quite unexpected the blast of hops seems to utterly overwhelm whatever malty notes one would expect based upon the aroma. The taste is cracker up front with a strong floral/vegetal hop bitterness that fades into a long dry hop finish. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with gentle carbonation that is barely noticable. Overall a good find and a nice way to round out the night.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to gratefulbeerhead...Eric you rocked with this one.

A- Pours a amberish orange color. One and a half finger white head that dies down almost as soon as it rises. No lacing left behind on the glass.

S- The aroma is kind of muted. Light citrus hops in the nose but seemed kind of faded. Light bready caramel bready malts in the backend of this as well. Nothing really wows me in the aroma at all.

T- Light grapefruit hops in the front end of this. Follows the nose pretty well in my opinion. Light caramel malts in the middle to end. Unexpected wood flavors coming through in the back of this beer. Aroma made this seem a little less complex but flavor brings big changes.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light hops in the palate with some woody flavors and malts in the aftertaste. Nothing really else going on in the mouthfeel.

D- The drinkability of this is amazing. It went down very smooth and the alcohol was very well hidden drinking like a 4% beer. I would recommend this to everyone to I will be looking for this one again.

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with orange red hues. Very thick foamy head with great retention. Lacing is good as well. In the smell there is a grapefruit bitterness along with some slightly toasted caramel malts to sweeten it up a bit. Ends pretty clean with nothing lingering. Taste is sweeter than the nose suggest. There is still the grapefruit bitterness but the toasty caramel notes come through a lot more with even more sweetness. Taste almost like an America Strong Ale just with a more toasted quality. Mouth feel is medium to full bodied with medium to high carbonation. Its a little up there but not quite. Feels good though. Not bad. Good flavors however pretty strong and with a substantial amount of alcohol. This is one that I will be picking up again next year.

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Photo of thatlongname
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy medium amber color with a decent cream colored head. Seems to stick.

Smell: Some malts in the nose and some sweetness. I'm not getting much in the nose.

Taste: Some light malt tones at the beginning of the sip that makes it taste like toffee or caramel. Strong bitters to finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied low carbonation.

Overall: A pretty good beer. It's rather refreshing and has some bite.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, mostly clear copper color, barely a head, some spotted lacing.
Smells like some wheat and sweet malts, and some hints of tropical hops.
Tastes the same, with some pine, honey- like at times, and pleasantly bitter.
Smooth and medium. Creamy feel. Some bitterness.

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Photo of Premo88
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz. pint glass on tap at Hay Merchant (in February 2013)

L: red; fantastic lacing

S: hint of sweetness; lots of yeasty grain

T: bitter up front, good sweet malt finish like an ESB should have

F: solid overall, not overbearing

O: good enough that I'll need to try this again next winter season when it returns

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Phoenixx Double ESB from Real Ale Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 316 ratings.
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