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Phoenixx Double ESB | Real Ale Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
84
good
128 Reviews
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Phoenixx Double ESBPhoenixx Double ESB
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company
Texas, United States
realalebrewing.com

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
128
Ratings:
316
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
12.1%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
43
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 316
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 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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Photo of elNopalero
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I remember enjoying this beer immensely. Now that I’m no longer living in Texas I appreciate it even more. Thanks to XicanoBeerRun for this one. And for the Bruery tulip I inaugurated with it!

This pours a rich, caramel color with tight foaming. There’s a rich aroma on this, of caramel and some syrup-thick green-citrus hop, and in a way it reminds me of barleywine-lite because of those similar notes.

The flavor has a rounded bitterness to it, with a piney, citrusy character. Caramel malt comes across, and maybe some onion-garlic. Am I imagining it or is there some coconut on this as well?

I like it. Enjoyed it immensely on an unexpectedly chilly spring night.

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Photo of MentalZombie
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A. A fingers worth of off white head that dissipates rather quickly. A little patchy lacing. Beer is copper in color. Sort of hazy.

S. Pretty sour at first. Upon second whiff I catch a little sweetness that contrasts well with the bitterness.

T. Starts out fairly even. I like how subtle it is before a nice lingering bitter finish. Sticks around for a bit. I like that. Defiantly makes me want to keep drinking it. Haha

Mf. Pretty thin. Noting real special happening here. Which in this case, that's good. Any thicker it would lose some of its drinkability.

O. Not the most unique ESB out there. But it does what it's supposed to and delivers without being overly bitter(which is what I was originally thinking). Real ale does a good job at providing consistency. They have never amazed me, but I can always count on them to always be good at providing something decent that doesn't completely break the bank. Will drink again.

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Photo of Ford
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Just had a wonderful early afternoon snack of summer sausage, extra sharp white cheddar cheese and a pint of Pheonixx.... really hit the spot.

This beer certainly has a bitter finish, but not nearly as bitter as an IPA would be. A bit sweet but not much.

Color is copperish. This is a really good beer. The more I drink from Real Ale company, the more I am impressed. They really know what they are doing there in Blanco, Texas.

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Photo of mactrail
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark amber in the New Belgium snifter. Lots of foam and pleasantly spritzy mouthfeel. A medium body. Sort of a musty aroma.

Rather rich with lots of deep, dark flavors. A hint of licorice. Ends with a seriously bitter finish. A little buttery with a hint of something medicinal. The first few sips are pretty good, but the dark, tarry bitterness sticks in the mouth after a while. Lots of burnt sugar on the tongue but a dry finish. Hints of fruit, like canned pineapple.

Definitely a peculiar brew and it's one for the adventure seekers. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Pinkie's in San Angelo.

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

Real Ale’s Phoenixx Double ESB has a thick, creamy, cream-colored head and a hazy (which gets more-so with swishing of the bottle), copper appearance with some bubbles and a few lacing splotches. The aroma is of sharp hops and a little sourness. Taste is of piney, mentholated hops, and some brown bread (Roman Meal brand). Absolutely no alcohol is detected. The mouthfeel is light to medium, and Phoenixx Double ESB finishes mostly dry and fairly drinkable. Overall, this beer is really good and interesting, and I strongly advise giving it a try!

RJT

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Photo of ElCommodoro
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wasn't sure what to expect with this. I'm just glad it wasn't over-hopped. It poured a hazy orange colour and smelled like sour raisins.
The taste also had a lot of sugary raisin-character to it with hop balance taking over the finish. My only problem with this is that the hops taste dry. They give a dry character to an otherwise sweet beer. I like the bitter character, it just brings a little more dryness than I want. I really like the idea, though, of making an ESB that's thick and sugary. I guess that's what makes it "double." I was afraid it would be "doubly" bitter instead, and it is a little more bitter than other ESBs I've had, but not by a whole lot.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled longneck into a 12 oz. shaker. Best by date 8.16.12.

Look- Clear amber-brown with two fingers of fairly dense off-white head. Good retention, nice lacing. Some suspended particulate visible.

Smell- Very, very faint. Hints of biscuit and vanilla, perhaps cream soda.

Taste- Toast and light herbal bitterness. Very one-dimensional, but it's uniquely tasty as well. Malt flavor similar to toasted sunflower seeds. Again, where are the hops? There's definitely a touch of clean bitterness, but if you're going to call it a "Double Extra Special Bitter", there should be something moderately bitter about it.

Mouthfeel- Crisp, clean, good quench factor. Medium body. Very drinkable. Probably the best thing about this beer. You'd never know it was over 7%.

Overall- It really comes off like an Alt. Well balanced, exceptional drinkability. It's got something of the "imported English-y" character, but I would expect a fresher/domestically produced beer to taste... well... fresher. It's certainly a good beer, and I hate to knock it, but it seems like (from my perspective) they are attempting to mimic the "spent three months in an unrefrigerated cargo container" flavor common to most import beers- I'm sure it comes down to customer expectations. That being said, it's very reasonably priced, pretty darn good, and I'll certainly pick it up again.

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Photo of obrike
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A sixer at Round Rock Specs for 4.99? Sign me up...i bought two.

Poured a dark orange/brown amber in my pint glass...a decent head that left lots of good sticky lacing throughout the drink.

Not getting much here on the scent...maybe some caramel malt, but little else...not sure if this is the norm for the style or not.

Big toasted malt on first taste...some dark fruits. Bitterness lingers a bit...a bit dry too. This is certainly not what I would call a refreshing beer. A bit too dry and biscuity. I can see this being a one and done winter warmer type of beer, but not recommended for a hot day.

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Photo of charlzm
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Consumed May 13th, 2012 at The Drafthouse, Austin, Texas.

Beer is a caramel, brass colored affair. A one-finger off-white head settles into almost nothing pretty soon.

Slight resiny aroma with a touch of sweet malt.

Caramel malts up front that could charitably be described as toasty and a strong bitter finish.

Very well carbonated. Prickly, even.

Nothing to go out of your way for, but a nice enough brew. It really is like an ESB turned up a notch, though that doesn't automatically make it any better than "good".

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Photo of LXIXME
2.79/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A lot of sediment is suspended with the rich honey reddish amber colored ESB. A medium white head settles into a pretty small lacing on the edge of the glass with a nice little bisquity dome in the middle of the glass.

A very light sweet malt aroma dies out as the beer sits between drinks.

A lightly bitter hops taste is blended well with a light sweet caramel malt.

A light almost bitter dry aftertaste on this medium bodied double.

I wasn't really impressed with this as a double ESB, but what the hell do I Know.

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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 jmarsh123
2.91/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to texasclimber for the bottle.

Pours light brown with a 2 finger off-white head retaining about 1/2 finger with good lacing.

Smells of toffee and rich bready malts with a little bit of hop spice character.

Flavor is similar although the hop spice character turns into a dirty flavor. The grainy chewy bready malt is presence, but there's a bitter earthy presence that is completely off putting.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side with medium carbonation.

This one had some off flavors. Really didn't enjoy it much. A below average beer in just an average style.

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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 drabmuh
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip, received this as an extra in a trade. Thanks! I love a good ESB, unfortunately this one didn't quite do it for me. Beer is copper and has a mild haze to it.

Aroma is a little caramely with a little buttery.

Beer is medium in body and creamy, no bitterness but a mild hoppiness on the midpalate, there is a mild oxidation on the finish, a little papery. Interesting but I've had better ESB and don't think this is a repeat.

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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 Crispy34
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer when a Real Ale Rep stopped by and dropped off some of their beer. I poured it into a pint glass, of course.

A:Honestly, this beer has a lot of crap in it. It is not a tame beer. The color is a thick bronze.

S: I really didn't catch much aroma from this beer. I kinda figured that could happen with an ESB.

T: The taste is alright. It is not awesome, and it is not bad. I find it to be a decent beer.

M: For how thick this brew appears to be, I find this beer to be pretty light. I like how there is no crazy aftertaste/ feel left in my mouth.

O: I have always supported this beer, cause I am partial to ESBs and to beers made in Texas. I have found that if I was going to buy any real ale beer for myself, it would be this one... Fireman's four is over rated.

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Photo of beergod1
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copper color with a nice foamy head. The aroma is sweet, fruity, light fruity hops. The flavor is smooth, spicy and light naturally fruity flavors, earthy, toasted malts, slightly hot. A great example of an English Strong Ale. I have been getting some brews in trades from Real Ale, and I have been pleasantly surprised.

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Photo of Dope
3.39/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A dark brown/red pour, with a huge dense tan head atop. Retention is quite excellent. Lacing is nice as well.

S: Some bready malt, a bunch of caramel and almost a little wheaty (not sure if there's any wheat in the malt bill though). A little bit of grassy hops? That might be a reach, honestly I detect little/no hops.

T: Big caramel malt. Again, a little bit of wheaty presence. Kinda toasty, I assumed toasted malt was used.

M: Mid-range mouthfeel. Pretty standard.

O: A semi-big malty brew. Pretty much all malt, no real noticeable hops. Toast and caramel more or less. Not bad, but nothing special either.

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

A; The beer has a nice redish brown color with a decent thick head.

S: I am picking up a good amount of caramel sweetness. Some green apple sourness and it sort of pierces the nose.

T: I enjoy the strong amount of malt of the beer. It is very nice and has a good amount of caramel and a little hop flavors.

M: The beer has a good amount of carbonation. It isnt anything special.

O: I think this is a very solid beer. I wont say that it is an amazing beer by any means, but it is worthy.

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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 billab914
3.29/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into my Otter Creek glass. Dark caramel in color with a modest frothy white head. Very nice head retention and lacing. Great looking beer overall.

Big malty profile, with a good amount of caramel presence in it. Slightly crisp with some tart fruits as well. Interesting, but felt a little one dimensional at times.

The taste also shows a lot of malty character to it throughout the beer. It gets sweeter towards the finish with some caramel and toffee coming through. I get some herbal, earthy hops to it in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side for the style with carbonation being below average. Overall a decent beer but not a great one. The flavors just didn't come together that well for me and the malty base just seemed a little overpowering and one dimensional. Decent beer overall.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.73/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Thanks to jl28r1 for this bottle!

The extra X means this stuff means business. It pours a hazy sunset amber topped by a finger of cream-white foam. The nose comprises toffee and grass. That is all. The taste holds notes of caramel, burnt grass, musty wheat, and a kinda meek snap of orange-peel bitterness. Ask m'lady sitting next to me while drinking this: my face went negative pretty quickly after this stuff was put on my tongue. Now, I don't wanna exaggerate: It wasn't god-awful, just unpleasant. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a somehow nearly chewy feel. Overall, I did not have a good experience with this beer. The flavors seemed rather sideways, and everything was just too...I guess big would be the word here.

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Photo of starrdogg
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque caramel color with a pretty substantial fluffy white head.

S: Smell is caramel, not too powerful though. If it smelled like this but stronger I might give it a higher score, it's a good aroma, just not powerful enough.

T: Right off the bat, this is a bit roastier than I was expecting. There's also a little bit of caramel sweetness (though not as much as I was expecting from the smell), and some bitter hoppiness in here. Not like any ESB I've ever had. None of the flavors are particularly strong, but the roastiness lingers more than the rest, so it stands out as the dominant flavor, which I don't think is really what's best for the beer.

M: Medium-bodied and carbonated. I think it would actually be better with a little bit thicker of a body.

O: Well, I'll give this one points for originality, I've never had a beer quite like this. Unfortunately it kinda ends up tasting like a watered-down porter.

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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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