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Phoenixx Double ESB | Real Ale Brewing Company

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Phoenixx Double ESBPhoenixx Double ESB
Very Good
318 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 318 |  Reviews: 128
Photo of Fenris244
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
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 +1.9%
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 -8.2%
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 -6.1%
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 -18.9%
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 +18.4%
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 +17.6%
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 -18.1%
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 +8.5%
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 -6.4%
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 +22.3%
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 +14.9%
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 +5.6%
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 -6.1%
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 -6.1%
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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Photo of srandycarter
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark honey/amber, not much head, ring left with spotty lace. Cascading bubbles along rim.

S - Deep malty goodness. I like it.

T - Malt is described wonderfully. Sharp bittering, which I did not get in the nose, appears here.

M - Medium bodied, good balance, carb, coating.

D - Like it. I would session this without tiring.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
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 EPICAC
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on cask at Anvil in Houston.

This ESB pours a lightly hazed, copper-amber color, and is topped by a thick, creamy, beige head. The aroma is citric and malty, which gives an impression of orange cream. There are caramel and bready notes, grassy hops, and an almost cinnamon-like spice.

Mildly sweet, bready and toasty malts upfront move into a lightly-citric center. The finish has a rough, hoppy bitterness and a slight spiciness. This beer is smooth and creamy upfront, but moves into a rough, coarse finish.

I thought that this was an amazingly balanced beer.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
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 try...as I will be looking for this one again.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 04.11.10:

Pours deep copper with a thin tan head that leaves thin lines of lacing.

The smell is of toast, slight caramel and toffee with a floral, earthy, slightly citric hop aroma.

The taste is of cramel/toffee - firm maltiness that is balanced by floral, slightly citric/tropical fruity hops that lead to a bittersweet finish. Juicy English hops and a stong malt presence combine nicely.

It is medium-to-full bodied. At first carbonation is slightly higher than I expected, but it soon relaxes.

An ESB that isn't short on the "bitter" part, while keeping a complex malty character. Nicely balanced. Has an "English" character, with an American craft beer touch. Strong, yet smooth - with a hefty tone, yet alcohol well-integrated/
Thanks to Mora2000 for this "extra special" brew!

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Photo of northaustin
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark copper/amber with a beautiful hop oilyness creating some haze. two fingers of even off white head which has long retention and leaves a solid coat of lacing.

smell is a big bitter hop. very piney slightly citrusy.

taste: smooth two row and a slight crystal malt presence followed quickly by a palate blasting wave of very bitter hops.

mouthfeel: leaves me with a very crisp dryness.

drinkability: very refreshing. big crisp hop flavor with a high session abv that is perfectly masked. this beer fits many occasions.

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Photo of whoneeds8
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass brownish red with a one finger white head. Good retention and great lacing all the way down the glass. Smells strong of green hops. The taste is much the same as you get a hop bite upfront. It is well balanced and mellows out as other flavors roll over your tounge. The mouthfeel is perfect, making this another Real Ale seasonal that I wish were a year rounder. I can't wait for their next bottled seasonal.

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Photo of champ103
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
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 alcstradamus
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
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 -4.8%
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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Phoenixx Double ESB from Real Ale Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 318 ratings
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