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 LittleDon
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pint at Billy's on Burnet.
Apple cider in color and clarity. Fair head retention and fair amount of lace. Bready malt aroma. Flavor has elements of apples, bread crust, and hazelnuts. Medium carbonation and body. Strong non aromatic bitter back end.

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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 stageseven
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Ecrassipes for sending me this one as an extra.

Ar - good caramel malty aroma, more bready than fruity, some hops coming through with an earthy quality, and a little floral.

Ap - copper hue, off-white head that's very thin, but stays with a dusting on top through the glass. A little hazy but mostly clear. Leaves some lacing.

T - Caramel malt flavor right up front, with a surprisingly strong bitterness in the back. Earthy hop quality again in the flavor. Some breadiness to the beer as well. It's got a little phenolic quality, but not overwhelming or off-putting at all. Instead it adds a little complexity to it and keeps it from being at all bland.

M - Moderately low carbonation, definitely in a good range. Medium body, substantial feel to it. A little coating left in the mouth.

D - Good balance between the hops and malt in this one. I expected less hop bitterness, but I wasn't disappointed that it was there. Only a bit of warmth to indicate its strength, which took me a little by surprise. Overall a very good tasting ESB even if it doesn't really fall inside the style guidelines.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The pour is a dark copper color with a soapy off-white head and minimal lacing.

S: This one pretty much just smells like toast and toasted malts. I was expecting a bit more hop character at least, but apparently I'm not going to get it. Maybe a touch of earthy and floral hops if you really strain yourself.

T: Like the nose, this beer is all about the toast/toasted malt. Mildly sweet but a fair amount of bitterness is present as well. Not a ton of hop flavor, either. Like with the nose there are just hints of floral and earthy hops.

M: Nice and medium-full in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: Nothing terribly bad about this beer, it was just a bit too one note for me.

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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 OakedCanuck
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass

The Phoenixx pours a reddish to deeper amber colour with good white head formation. The lacing was minor but sticky. Smells of pine, grapefruit, lemon and some minor herbs. Taste is very good bitterness but not over the top. Piney, grassy, some whole grains are mixed well with the citric aspects (lemon, orange, grapefruit). The mouthfeel is medium and drying, classic ESB. A very drinkable, dry, ESB. Very nice representation of the style.

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Photo of JMad
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a glass mug...

The beer is a reddish, brown color with a thin, soapy white head. It smells of roasted caramel malt with some grassy and citrusy hop aromas. The taste is bitter and sweet with flavors of toffee, lemon and grapefruit. Phoenixx is medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation and a pleasant, lingering finish. Real Ale did good with this one, it's very balanced between the malt and hops, I could drink this all the time.

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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 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 bens0n
3.31/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear orangey/brown with a fair amount of off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

On the nose its pretty subdued, not too much going on here. Can't really pick up on any hops, but there is a piney note to it.

Flavor wise it starts out mild with an earthy piney note then finishes with a bitter kick. It is light to medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. It has a slick quality to it and goes down easy and smooth. More of a sipper to me though, couldn't session this beer, alcohol is pretty prevalent in the taste for only being 7.2% abv.

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Photo of Fenris244
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep red, amber in color, thick 2 finger head, decent retention. Thick lace is left on the surface of the beer and on the glass. The beer is very clear and the carbonation looks to be light.

Smell is pretty earthy and grassy with a big apple note and a hoppy pine not as well.

Fruity and almost a pomegranate flavor, grassy and herbal notes on the finish a slight bread like note is also present as the grassy note subsides. The bitterness is very well balanced with the fruity sweetness and the subtle grainy sweetness.

Medium in body, smooth and quite refreshing, I would put the drinkability as high, the alcohol feels nonexistent, pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We purchased a bunch of Texas brews for Texas Independence Day (March 2nd, look it up) last week and ended up with several stragglers left over.

I like the label. Not a bad start.

Pours a dark amber color. Decent two finger head with nice sticky lace. The nose is hoppy but with a nice muted fruitiness to it. Pleasantly herbal. The taste has a faint bitterness to it, and is slightly medicinal, but is also mellow with a caramel maltiness. Slightly peppery in the finish. Mouthfeel is sturdy enough.

A totally drinkable beer in my opinion. I'm not entirely sure ESBs are the best beer style to "double" but I don't think this is a bad beer at all. I'm a fan of most of the Real Ale brews, and this is another solid outing by the gang in Blanco.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one as an extra in a trade with atxdelivery. Thanks a lot!

Appearance: Phoenixx pours a slightly hazy amber color with copper highlights, and about a finger of white head. Retention is not great, and neither is the lacing.

Smell: A bunch of caramel and biscuity malts are present on the nose. This is definitely the predominant smell for this beer. Also I get some herbal and floral bitterness to balance things out a bit. Nothing real complex.

Taste: Caramel and biscuity malts are very prevalent up front. On the back end I get a good deal of herbal and floral bitterness. The finish has some lingering bitterness that is mostly herbal.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is a bit over medium bodied with a good deal of carbonation. Reasonably smooth drinking. Overall, it's a pretty good representation of the style. Nice herbal qualities, and probably a bit more flavorful than most due to the higher ABV.

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Photo of BrewsCrewSA
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a loyal fan of Real Ale, but this one didn't quite hit the mark like I thought it would. Here goes:

A - Cool label. Pours a dark amber, akin to old, automotive rust. Shimmers. Thin, latte-colored head and retaining foam, dissipates rapidly, but leaves rings throughout the snifter.

S - Floral, hoppy, shallow. Not much to the scent.

T - Hits hard with strong hops flavor, but suddenly drops off. There's biscuit notes on the back side, but it's as if something's missing. What's missing is the hefty malt profile that's typical of UK ESBs - completely missing here. Moreover, it tends to carry a strong hop profile, but again, not throughout. And what's with the "Double" tag? It resembles more an IPA than an ESB, and much less a "double" at that. Carries a decent malt undertone much throughout, but compared to regular ESBs, not as prominently. Thankfully for me, it also lacks the copper bite of your standard, American IPAs.

M - Refreshing against the taste buds, palatable, and creamy.

D - Invites for more as long as you're not under some presumption that this is a "Double ESB".

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Photo of UTCengOwl
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought a sixer of this at Central Market. Gotta support Texas breweries. Served in a Great Divide balloon glass.

The beer is a clear, deep brown with orange notes. The off white head isn't impressive, though I remember it being a bit better in a previous pour.

The nose is mostly caramelly sweet. Some lint pine hops and a medicinal tinge that goes along with the fruitiness. I could go without the medicinal element.

The taste is sweet, borderline cloying. There's a slight hop presence and a fruitiness that goes along with it. Unfortunately, that fruitiness is at times medicinal. I'm not a band aid fan. This could have used a bit more care and a bit more subtlety in almost every way.

Overall, I'm not a huge fan of Real Ale and this offering didn't help that impression.

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Photo of deadliest
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Slightly hazy light brown. A finger of off-white head.
S: Light alcohol, caramel malts and and some piny hop bitterness. Well balanced. Not strong smelling overall, but pleasant.
T: Malt sweetness and alcohol more upfront, followed with hops in the middle and has a bready finish.
M: Smooth, well carbonated, good after taste.
D: Awesome drinkability. Flavorful but not too filling or heavy, so it's refreshing and packs a punch at the same time.

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Photo of climax
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed several months after drink by date***
Found it hiding in the back of the fridge, oops. If the overall outcome seemed dismal because of this, it would have been deleted. However, this was not the case....

The color was a caramel brown, very cloudy with a large tan head leaving an impressive lace decoration.

Nose is bold, and balanced well. The hop intensity is probably subdued a bit due to age, but it still delivered. The sweet and toasty caramel backbone sat proudly behind earthy/citrus hop notes. Ripe fruit and cinnamon flavors surfaced as it sat.

The flavor was very spicy. The hops come through even more in the taste, with grassy and grapefruit flavors and a very dry finish. The malt is no slouch either. Roasted nuts and chocolate make up a flavorful, sturdy backdrop.

The body is medium with abundant carbonation. The finish is very dry, thus excellent drinkability. This was drank 3 months after the drink by date, which went against all instructions for this one. Didn't matter, it was still excellent. I would love to try it brewery fresh.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by twig86 - thanks, Derek!

Very hazy, deep copper color on the pour. A quarter-inch white head dissipates pretty quickly and leaves little to no lacing. Caramel and toffee aromas fill the nose and not much else. The alcohol is barely noticeable in the smell as well. The flavor has a little more depth with the strong caramel malt sweetness gaining balance from a dry graininess and toasty malt. The alcohol is pretty well-hidden. Not a whole lot going on here. Medium-bodied with a creamy texture. Finish is moderately sweet with only a hint of alcohol warming. Lack of complexity or anything really interesting keeps this from a high drinkability score. That said, it is easy on the palate, the alcohol is well-hidden, and there's nothing offensive about it. Overall, just a forgettable beer.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hd this in Fort Worth Flying Saucer which i heard was the orignal pub to start.

They pulled this out of the back after I requested if they has something special not on the menu.

This was the bartenders favorite beer. Very simlare to Left Hands Chainsaw. This is a winter seasonal so it's nearly 8 months old. Copperish red in color and lots of hop flavors still lingered. nice and balanced. Very nice beer.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A. Pours a hazy amber with a creamy tan head that stuck around for awhile.

S. Smells of sweet caramel malt with a bit of smokey bitterness.

T. Caramel malt flavors abound upfront. The roasted bitterness and hops come in on swallow and linger in the aftertaste.

M. Fairly thin with some sharp carbonation.

D. Smooth and refreshing. Without knowing the abv, I would definitely consider this a sessionable beer. With the abv, it becomes a refreshing afternoon beer.

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Photo of marc956
4.6/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For a bitter, this isn't terribly so, but you can
definately notice the hoppiness. I cannot give it
a high grade on drinkability due to a relatively
high alcholic content (7.2%) it's worth a try and
having lived in CA, close enough to Lagunitas IPA
that I'm less homesick than before. Real Ale is a
good product this being one of their better ones.

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Photo of armock
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is mostly of citrus hops some malt comes out

T - Follows the nose citrus hops upfront with some caramel malt trying to add balance in the finish

M - This beer has a creamy smooth body with light carbonation to it

D - This beer is way better to me on cask over CO2 the flavor profile changes in a way for the better and you just can't beat the mouthfeel that cask conditioning gives a must try if you see it on cask

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from kiltdtxn, courtesy of the Nice Cans BIF so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky light brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts, a good amount of hops and a little bit of citrus.

T: The taste is bready overall and starts with a hearty malt character up front. Then there's a mild but complementary sweetness that comes in from flavors of caramel and citrus. The hops presence is strong enough to be well-noted but it seems a bit subdued, yet it still creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a good sessionable beer that is a little stronger than your normal session beer.

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Photo of F2brewers
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for this extra. Trying to get back into the reviewing thing...

Poured into a Sam Adams glass by my wife following a long day. : )

A: Thin white head (one to one and a half fingers high) that fades quickly. Minimal lacing in the glass. Translucent amber-copper color.

S: Slightly muted. Earth, biscuits and bread dominate with a hint of toffee and caramelized sugar. Citrusy hops are present but hidden behind the malt.

T: Citrusy hops are present up front and linger throughout. A solid malty backbone is present with flavors that mimic the nose. Finish is mostly clean with a slight residual sweetness remaining. Malt dominates, but the hops are not hidden.

M: Properly carbonated for the style. This beer is medium-bodied. Neither hops nor malt sticks to the tongue.

D: Above average considering the ABV. I enjoyed the beer and would certainly be interested in another.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I do not try ESB very often, but imperial ESB? I will try that. Thanks to Mar for adding this as an extra. Copper in color, with about a half inch of white heading, this looks like a rustic type. Nice hop profile comes through in the nose, along with some sweet grains and light fruit. The malt is more forward in the taste, and steps forward to overpower the hops a bit. Besides that, there is some good biscuit like flavors, and a bit of pear too. Mouthfeel is on the medium side, and really does not taste boozy at all. If you told me that this was a regular ESB alcohol wise, I would have believed you, so kudos to the, for hiding the higher ABV so well. Good stuff here from Real Ale. Cheers

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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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