Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Full Sail Equinox | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Full Sail EquinoxFull Sail Equinox
Very Good
38 Ratings
Full Sail EquinoxFull Sail Equinox

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 04-10-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 36
Photo of magictrokini
2.88/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Full Sail may be one of the more erratic brewers. It is so hit-or-miss it is unbelievable. This beer is a perfect example. Their IPAs tend to be on the English side, so I thought their ESB would be fantastic. Wrong. Copper pour with a decent white head. Malt, caramel, and a floral/citrusy aroma. Bitter, metallic bite with some toffee and caramel. It is sour in the finish, almost starchy. Sadly average.

 405 characters

Photo of klmcmachen
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of JayTheFinn
3.16/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brew in general, but definitely not my favorite ESB.

A - Nice looking hazy gold/orange body with a decent head.
S - There's a lemony citrus smell here. Not bad, but not overly pleasant either.
T - The taste is grapefruity. Little too sour. I don't totally dislike the flavor, I mean, there's some yumminess too it, but it's just not 100% agreeable.
M - The bitterness rolls about for a bit, but it's not very strong.
D - As much as I complain about the taste, it's still a drinkable beer.

 506 characters

Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.21/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a brown bomber bottle of this at Full Sail's pub at the brewery. I poured mine into my Baldwin-Wallace standard pint glass, and I found clear, copper colored beer produced a large, 1 inch plus of head during a standard, 45 degree to straight pour. A nice ring of thick bubbled, lacing left itself around the top ring of the glass. The beer's nose included a surprising amount of what I would consider skunkiness. Some hop presence lingered, but stayed in the background. The flavor too seemed to have a fair amount of skunkiness to it, but, proved to be fairly well balanced: light hops up front with a faint, soft malt back to it. The beer did have a distinctness to it, but within Oregon we have too many high quality bitters, including two from Rogue and Bachelor ESB from Deschutes, to reach for this rendition from Full Sail. The ESB style has quickly become one of my favorites as I have become increasingly more acquainted with it, but I found this beer's nose, and subsequent initial mouth fulls, to be unsatisfactory.

Notes: I picked this beer up from the brewery itself, and expected to find a bottle that was well taken care of, but I perhaps had receieved a poorly cared for bottle. While this may be the case, I chose to review the beer as though it was intended to be this by choice, for it was purchased from the brewery itself.

 1,358 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear yellowish orange in color. Short 1" head falls quickly to surface spots.

Smell: nothing discernable by the nose.

Taste: mild maltiness, soft caramels, pears, and a decent floral bitterness.

Mouthfeel: smooth and somewhat dry. Very short aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: the flavors were a bit subdued, but this grew on me a bit as it warmed. Worth a try, but the aroma needs a kick in the pants.

 434 characters

Photo of kgotcher
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber, amber color with huge pillowy head. Great head retention with long fingery lacings. Aroma is sweet caramel and green apple with piney aroma hops, all the aromas are a bit too distinct, not very smooth. Mouthfeel is a bit dry with a medium body. Very little to no carbonation feel. Taste is a bit to the sweet side but still has a good amount of bittering and nice piney aroma hops. Overall it is hard to say on this one, the bittering and hops flavor was pretty nice but the malt flavor was lacking somewhat with a kind of green apple immature freshness. Not bad but I usually expect a bit more from Full Sail.

 632 characters

Photo of Tupperwolf
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark gold - amber with a thin, soapy eggshell head; It leaves thin, wispy rings of soapy lacing, fed by some rising bubbles.

The scent is somewhat lemony-zest malts and grapefruit hops, with a bit of bready middle.

The taste is actually rather bitter for a bitter, which tend to not be bitter (say that five times fast). The hops are rather fresh in this bottle, lending a grapefruity, steely taste that lingers. Malts are present, being of a zesty, light citrus and doughy quality.

Mouthfeel is smooth, somewhat snappy. It finishes with rather a lot of stickiness.

Final thoughts - an american interpretation that's a little heavier, more alcoholic, and more bitter than I like in my ESBs, but still good.

 726 characters

Photo of freed
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

New and on sale. Pours a clear copper with a slight ruby hue. Foam dances on top and rims the glass, leaving a nice fractal lacing.

Aroma is earthy malt that's aged and funked an authentic amount. Milder hops provide a herbal accessory.

Taste is direct with a rangier yeast fruitiness and sour malt compliment. Hops give it a bitter edge, but are weaker on the flavoring. Thinner body considering the range of flavors, but makes for an easy drink.

I'd love to try this on cask, or even tap. The carbonation gives it just the slightest bit of dryness that detracts from the overall drinkability. Still, nice.

 616 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with an obnoxious head that overflows regardless of how carefully I pour; leaves nice lacing behind

Smell: Bready malt dominates the aroma with a vague fruity hop element

Taste: Starts out with a bready flavor that builds in relatively mild pithy citrus elements by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is an earthy hop flavor with some citrus that is very nice; at the end, however, a grainy, lemony roughness mars what had been a pretty good start

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This beer is standing on its last legs and I think that the disagreeable flavors I encountered are the result of some oxidation

 690 characters

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice head. Light amber. The color immediately gives this beer away to me. It doesn't have the darker tones that mark the appropriate malt tones. And that's the main flaw of this beer.

The hops profile is nice and seems to be spot on. I believe they are using a mixture of British hops. Malt profile is too thin. So is the mouthfeel.

Many thanks to blitheringidiot for picking this up for me while on his travels.

 430 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bomber of the 2006 brewer's reserve. Very good and well malted ESB. Its for sipping and sharing. Golden amber colour. Smooth.Hoppy and piney aroma. This is a mix of hops, and while citrus, there is some British hop in here. Refreshing.Drying finish

 250 characters

Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange amber color with a frothy white head that leaves some lace one the sides of the glass.
The aroma is rich a full of caramel malt sweetness with a touch of a citrussy hop aroma as well.
The flavor begin with touch of a hop bitterness that is both earthy and citrussy and then quickly segues into a rich maltyness that is a bit carmelly yet finishes dry. This allows the bitterness and a bit of a toasty I think it might be aromatic malt flavor to linger on the tongue. A great american interpretation of an ESB as the yeast character that one would find in a classic example of an English ESB is absent and this beer is very clean. A great brew to have but it is sold in 22oz bottles so it is pretty hard to have a session with this one. I would love to try this on cask as i bet it would be excellent. I would buy another one of these if the mood strikes me as this is a great beer though i think it is a one-off so get it while you can.

 959 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear dark golden in color, nice carbonation, nice head, some nice lacing afterwards. Scents of sweet malts, hops, slight citrus, and spices. The taste of hoppy and nice and bitter, slight dry finish with a nice bite. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, very good example of the style.

 310 characters

Photo of loren01
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy orange color, good sized bubbly white head, good lacing down the glass
S: Smells herbal, sweet, spicy/peppery scents
T: Slight maltiness, with an dry bitter citrusy aftertaste. Same as smell peppery spiciness taste as well.
M: Medium bodied, dry finish
D: Damn good ESB, would for sure buy this again

 322 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 pulled from the basement cooler.. shared with a coworker (we SWEAR this is the last brew tonight!). I purchased this brew at either New Vintage or the Coop, but I think this one came from New Vintage (it still has a $3.99 price tag on it.) My half poured into a shaker pint.

HUGE 3" head that just keeps coming.. need to let this one settle down more. Copper colored brew... clear with little floaty beasts that look like a lava lamp.

Big maltiness with lite floral hops.. pronounced yeast fruity esters.

Good balance .... malts and bitterness battle for sure.. not much hop flavor... but what is minerally.. reminds me of a Flintstone vitamin.

This was a much better/great American ESB when fresh, but a little age has done no good.. nice body, but out of control carbonation... notes tell me I "really" liked this one fresh.

I sat on this bottle for way too long... good beer but most of everything special is now muted and the carbonation has reared an ugly head... no pun intended.. too long in the cellar made this one way overcarbonated.

Off of notes, this ESB is much better than Bridgeport, Deschues, .. but not better than Alaskan... etc. I pretty much always like the Full Sail Brewers Reserve... I am balancing this review from 3xnotebook reviews with tonights' tasting... 7-8 months ago, and this one would have been a high 4.3-4.4.

 1,353 characters

Photo of Reidrover
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New Brewmasters Reserve release 2006.
Nice looking beer, clear amber with a great looking frothy /bubbly off white head, that sticks around, afterwards lashings of lace.
Very English style malty aromas backed up with very untypical NW hops ( for the style), but good and fresh none-the-less.
Quite a good job on the taste of this it has very English characteristics in the malting but throws in a bit of American hop enthusiasm, giving a nice bitter twang to the beer, big for an English ESB.
MOuthfeel was odd it started off really nice then sort of lost its way in wateryness..the nice bitter after taste saved it however.
A nice beer sort of a hybrid in my opinion between an ESB and an American Pale..though for me the ESB characteristics edge a win.

 759 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks mike. this esb is delivered in a simply-illustrated bottle and pours heartily with no frills. the maniacally active reddish-orange body maneuvers briskly beneath the pillowy, softly-dimpled head. one whiff and i'm questioning the categorization of this beer.. i'm getting alot of fruity hops and pungent yeast. reminds me alot of the boulder pale ales from first sensory contact. time allows some brown sugar coated malt sweetness to tweak the nose. that's ok. hoppier than i would have expected by leaps and bounds.

diving through the foam gives me a nice cream 'stash. initially peppery and dry with a crusty, bready english malt flavor. ok, here's the esb flavors i know and expect. hops are certainly there and add more bitterness in the absolute west coast finish. something concentrated and dirty, yet sticky sweet, like dried fruit, resides here. remarkably, the brews finish is pure earthy husk cemented in caramel brittle. sure, some citrus rinds contribute a certain something but this beer reeks of old-school influence.

at first, i though i was drinking an xpa. deceptive, yes, but flavorful overall. only complaint, really, is perhaps a little overcarbonated. otherwise easy drinking, full of flavor and very fresh. recommended esb.. something different.

 1,281 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This poured a light, brownish-orange and was very clear. The white head came up just right, showed decent retention, and left some lovely Belgian lacing on the inside of my Maritime pint glass.

Smell – The toasted malts and light yeast are covered in dirt. This is a raw, dried leaf and soil mix that really wets your appetite. The moderate sweetness is like a mix of liquid malt and caramel.

Taste – The toasty malts lead the way at the taste. They are very powerful without being too big or full, which is important for a sessionable style like ESB. The sugary finish is very light.

Mouthfeel – This is a solid medium-bodied with a bitter but not overly powerful body.

Drinkability – A good, all around, ESB session ale. It would be a great one to introduce someone to the style. It’s bitter but not over the top and the toasted malts are just right. I mean, this is a very good standard for a newbie to experience what we mean by, “toasted malt flavor”.

 989 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Simple print label touts employee owned brewmaster reserve 2006.

Released in a glass with a bright amber orange clear hue containing a few rising bubles to an ivory skim island of foam settling into a collar leaving drippy lace in the glass.

Nose says ESB alright! Just a dose of sweetness from a malt profile and a balanced hoppy fruitiness. Lightly toasted malt with a hint of caramel and a touch of lemon.

First swigs: Light crisp fruit and a well balanced malt meets fruitiness. Initial lemon grass clean zest with a touch of grainy malt framework. Gentle touch of soapy floral hops and a hard candy malt.

Feel is dry and well hopped with a lingering floral soapy finish.

Last swigs: Maybe...just maybe this is a touch too American hoppy to be a trad ESB, but ya won't catch me complainin'. A worthwhile ESB to check out and seek.

 853 characters

Photo of Maudite
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found at Roxies Deli on Shattuck in Berkeley.

A- Creamy, off-white head, one thick finger full. No lacing at all, but head stayed for the whole bottle. Body was a rich orange color with a very slight haziness to it.

S- Great nose on this beer with many aromas from wet grass, fresh cut/wet wood, flowers, to a peppery spiciness. Nothing muddled, all very well distinguished. Well crafted beer with a great hop profile. So far, so ESB.

T- A grassy hop bite, a sweet, yet dry, maltiness. Very bitter and sweet, simultaneously. An almost honeysuckle floral quality, a sticky bitterness reminiscent of tree sap, and an aromatic pepperiness akin to cardamom. Very delicious ESB. Perhaps not the best ever, but definitely high in the ranks. Certainly worth everyone trying once or twice.

M- An interesting juxtaposition here... It drinks like a creamy, pasteurised beer, yet it's also acidic. It is sweet and sticky, yet bitter and dry. An intriguing and enjoyable mouthfeel.

D- A great beer to go with a meal, a hot day, or drink it close to room temperature on a breezy, cooler evening like my wife and I did. Really good at 50+ degrees.

 1,142 characters

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of AlexJ
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber rust brown with a dense head of wheat hued froth that laces nicely.

Aroma is fruity malts, scorched caramel, light floral and citrus notes, and hints od powdery cocoa.

Flavor has great fruity malt notes of toffee and brown bread with a perfect balance of almost spicey herbal and floral hops with a touch of grapefruit. Chewy.

Body is medium, with a slippery texture and a chewy, meaty mouthfeel. A balanced and quaffable ESB.

--props to GClarkage for the gift!

 484 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Another from the long lost awesome seasonal series of Full Sail.

A faint orange and auburn color to it, average head, exquisite floral hop bitter aroma.

Taste, very bitter, but more hop mouthfeel than almost any esb I can ever recall having. Finished so dry and crisp, another FS beer that was light, yet so full of hops and bitterness. Grapefruit, lemon and pepper, this one was kind of like a half imperial version of their pilsner, many of the same flavors, just a little amped up (bitterness especially).

 510 characters

Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown with a "enjoy by" date clearly marked.

Appearance: Copper hued amber with a delightful sticky lace.

Smell: Ripe fruit, grain and fresh spicy hop.

Taste: Very smooth with a medium body ... nice full malty mouthfeel. Hops are aggressive with a pungent / semi coarse bitterness. Quick flash of malt with a handful of pale and crystal malt flavour. Oddly enough it does have a faint licorice note within the grainy, hoppy and fruity flavours. Hops linger everlasting into a long drawn-out drying finish along with a grainy taste.

Notes: Great stuff went superb with bbq pulled pork, red beans and dirty rice. Very drinkable ... close to being addictive as an after work beer.

 708 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Personally Full Sail, is a favorite brewery, whose beers always seem to please, just great everyday drinkable beers that "NO" matter which one you pull off the shelf will most certainly be a pleasure.

A nice deep amber to copper color on the pour, the head impressive in size, frothy, lace adequate enough to conceal the glass. Nose is lightly floral, malt, crisp and lemon-lime fresh. Sweet malt start, the top middling and the finish spicily hopped, stinging in its acidity, dry long lasting after taste.

 509 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Full Sail Equinox from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 38 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.