Full Sail ESB
Full Sail Brewing Company

Full Sail ESBFull Sail ESB
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Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
3.7 | pDev: 12.97%
Full Sail Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Full Sail ESBFull Sail ESB
Notes: 'A nicely balanced small batch bitter concocted by our own Barney Brennan, featuring five different specialty malts and aromatic Challenger hops'

35 IBU

Originally a pub-only beer, Re-released in January 2012 as part of the Brewer's Share series.
Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 245 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance has a hazy yet mostly transparent bronzed amber color. The head was about a finger and a half’s worth of white foaminess. There’s a light somewhat speckled lacing trying to show its face, but the head must last for at least a good minute before the lacing can actually be seen. The smell has a fairly decent light apple with a light vanilla and light English maltiness running about my nose in a powerful sort of way. The taste takes those previously mentioned flavors to balance with a slight bitterness very underneath (Fuggles hops, I think, I could be wrong, but I think that’s what they are). The aftertaste is very bitter and dry and has a decent crisp feel into the finish. On the palate, this one really wanted to sit at a light, but somehow showed a quality that wanted to sit at medium. Sessionable, kinda yeah, I could see it. The carbonation is really smooth if that helps. Overall, in my opinion, well, this was a fairly good ESB worthy of having again.

Jun 25, 2017
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stevoj from Idaho

3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Amber ale with thin beige head. faint malty aroma with some piney hops. taste has hops take a more prominent role, and lingers on the palate. Pretty good approximation of the style

Nov 03, 2016
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Mitchmoore12 from Texas

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - 4 – ( color, haziness, lacing, head and color of head, density of head etc)
Pours amber/copper in color, very little off white head. Leaves little vertical lacing.

Smell – 4 - ( Hop smells- citrus, pine, grapefruit, earthy - Malt smell – toffee, caramel, bread, nutty, cinnamon, chocolate, Yeasty spicy, )
Smells of a different kind of bitter, like a malty goodness kind of bitter that I'm not very familiar with.
Taste – 4 – ( Hop flavor, bitterness, sweetness, malt flavor )
Giving very malty flavors up front with some biscuit and toffee. Has a nice bitter kick to it in the end.

Feel- 4 – ( light-heavy body, light-heavy carbonation, smooth, rough )
medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall- 4 – For my first Bitter, it was pretty good.That being said, I am unsure on how to properly evaluate a bitter, please excuse the large deviation. This makes me want to look into trying more bitters in the future.

Jun 15, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Comes out darker than I remember, brown. Aroma was muted hops, northwest c hop variety.

Taste was a hearty bitterness, grapefruit, a little bit of caramel. Finishes pretty dry. I bet your grandpa would be cool with drinking one of these. I am, its good, especially in the springtime.

Dec 23, 2015
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Libeertarian from Montana

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Darker copper, pinkish hues, clear. Very fluffy, pillowy, tan head. Great retention, ringlets of lace. Smells like resin, pine, and raisins. Taste is like this as well, but a bit more leather, dried leaves, with floral to soapy notes. Medium-bodied, slick, sloshy, spritzy and crisp.

Dec 14, 2015
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puck1225 from Texas

3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint jar. Beautiful deep red-gold color with a nice thick head and great lacing. A sort of grassy sweet smell. Taste is crisp and malty but not overly bitter. An enjoyable beer!

Nov 22, 2015
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Foyle from North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Appearance: pours a 1" off white head that falls quickly with just a hint of lacing. Color is mostly clear copper with mild streaming carbonation. Aroma: malt dominate -- bread dough and a bit of toffee. Hops are floral with a little citrus rind as well. Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied with a fluffy ale mouthfeel. Finish is dry and somewhat boozy. Flavor: toasted bread, toffee, raisin and other ripe fruit. WIth a lingering floral, citrus rind, and even a bit of pine hops. Overall: a very good and enjoyable ESB -- although the 6.5% is a little high as the BJCP guidelines top out at 6.2% -- thus the beer is a little too boozy and would be limited for sessionability.

Oct 27, 2015
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SitkaSteve from Idaho

3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a golden amber color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about less than a minute. Light lacing wove around the glass adequately.
The smell had some breadiness with a mild earthy to grassy hoppiness sliding into some citrus.
The taste was bready sweet with the earthy and grassy hops becoming a bit mild. The citrus part shows the bitter side and that is pretty good. There's a light grassy to earthy aftertaste and mild finish.
The mouthfeel was about light to medium bodied with a decent sessionability about it. Carbonation runs good with a creamy smooth sweet feel clinging to my tongue.
Overall, for the most part, I'd say Full Sail did a good job with this one. I'd have this again.

Oct 27, 2015
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DrMullet from Florida

3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a medium copper color. Begins with a modest caramel and bready malt taste. Followed by an earthy/citrus flavor. A bit of pine at the end. Finishes with a mildly bitter aftertaste. I found it enjoyable.

Oct 18, 2015
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BenwayPHD from California

4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, dark, orange brown with a very thin, foamy head. The nose is full of caramel and butterscotch. Is bready and nutty and sweet. The flavor is nice. It's similar to the nose but with an added roastiness and more emphasis on the caramel notes. The mouthfeel is buttery and delicious. This is my favorite beer from the folks at full sail.

Sep 30, 2015
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barczar from Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one got lost in the cellar. 2012.

Aroma is caramelly sweet, with light fruity specialty malt character and floral hops accompanying.

Flavor is very caramelly and slightly oxidized, with notes of cardboard and sherry throughout.

Rating set to average due to age.

Sep 05, 2015
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TX-Badger from Texas

3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear coppery color with off-white head. Caramel malts, toffee, and some spice on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with more caramel and toffee flavors, with the sweetness balanced out with just a bit of bitterness.

Aug 30, 2015
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a golden amber color with a one finger head of billowy white foam. The head fades relatively quickly leaving just a trace of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a slightly bready smell mixed with a moderate showing of a hop aroma of a citrus and light grassy nature. Along with these smells comes some dank notes of pine and a decent fruity aroma, which when mixed with the caramel, bread, and hop create a rather nice smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice creamy bready taste with a decent showing of a caramel sweetness. Upfront there is also a bit of an earthy and citrus hop, which create a nice hop taste to complement the sweet. As the taste advances the sweeter and malt stay strong, but the lighter hop upfront is joined by more hop of a floral and grass nature, which create a nicely moderately hopped and balanced taste overall.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. The feel is fantastic for the malty sweeter flavors of the brew and make for a rather nice sipping brew overall.

Overall – This was a quite enjoyable and rather tasty brew overall with a nice blend of hop and malt with a sipping feel overall. A rather tasty and enjoyable ESB.

Aug 06, 2015
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muldersha from New York

3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle purchased in Portland, OR with an Enjoy By date of 09/05/15

Sports a clear copper/amber body with a solid tan head that dissipates slowly and leaves a pleasant lacing.

Super estery aromas of banana bread and macadamia nuts with more subtle nuances of citrus, brown sugar, and Christmas spices.

Very soft, slightly sweet, very malty, and medium-bodied with dry, herbal finish.

This is a solid anytime brew, though maybe a bit one-dimensional.

Jul 10, 2015
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archyquaffer from Montana

4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a longneck into a shaker pint. A semi-aggressive pour produces a good frothy, chunky pale tan head that sticks to the sides of the glass. The beer is a crystal clear pale amber color with light carbonation.

The aroma is fairly subtle and melds into the flavor such that it is scarcely discernable after awhile. There is a good deal of pleasant bitterness in the aroma-flavor, with nutty and citrus notes balancing a malt base with caramel notes. It seems rather more bitter than the stated 35 IBUs but is quite smooth overall and has a creamy mouth feel.

This is a very quaffable brew that strikes me as true to the English style with a twist of northwestern American intermixed. Excellent plus.

Jun 25, 2015
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ricke49 from Oregon

3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's getting harder in the IPA crazed northwest to find domestic (read: fresh) ESBs. Full Sail is to be commended for helping to fill the void left by Deschutes when they dropped one of their original 3 brews (ESB). Full Sail achieves a good classic hop malt balance with this offering. Helpfully freshness dated as 'by Aug 9 2015'. Appearance is spectacular. Taste and smell certainly passable. Enjoyed this British inspired homegrown version of one of my favorite styles. A "working" persons beer at a great price.

May 28, 2015
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delta490 from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I had a review. It was pretty good. Somehow it did not upload despite hitting "Review". The beer is amber and has a white head. Smells mildly of malt. Tastes about the same with a nutty quality to the finish. Nice body weight and feel. Decent but nothing exciting.

Oct 03, 2014
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

8/10 review....Pours amber medium dark, light layer of white. Light malty nose, caramel hints. Toffee sweet, quite toasty. Slight spices in there too. Very light carbonation and a mild hop burn. Starts strong, bitter a little too pushy.

Sep 01, 2014
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MarkNoseBeer from Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Great, easy to drink, crisp. Bitter, but not overly so. Great with a burger or sub. One of the better ones from full sail, comparable in quality to the Amber I think.

Aug 17, 2014
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seedyone from New York

4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

05/14/14 On tap. Now this is what a beer should taste like. It hits all the right spots. Not wanting to ruin the magic w/analytics I'll just say this is a great example of a well rounded & balanced beer.

At 6.5% I'm going to have to exhibit some restraint...not a strong point.

Funny...I find myself thinking this is just short of great, but only because it's so solid in appeal. Nothing sharpish or spiky. Solid is what I'm left with & there's nothing wrong with that.

Aug 13, 2014
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good session ESB from Full Sail. Pour a reddish amber with medium white head that dies down to thin clinging lacing. Nose of is subtle with hints of caramel malts, light herbal hops, and some light bread qualities. Flavor is mild caramel malts with light hops bitterness to the back, mellowed out by the malt. Very nice mouth feel with light bittering hops on the aftertaste. Nice all around session beer for the more novice beer nut or a good one for large get-togethers.

Jul 25, 2014
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allengarvin from Texas

3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours out a clear walnut amber color with a small very white head. The nose offers a moderate malt scent, a little grainy, with a faint hop presence. And though faint in aroma, bitterness comes through well to taste, providing a good offset to the strong malt flavor. It's too bad hop flavor is a bit lacking. This feels more like a generic amber American ale than an ESB. It's drinkable enough, but not worth a special release.

Jul 03, 2014
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KYGunner from Kentucky

3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A great deal of carbonation bubbles teamed through the body of bright copper. This was capped by a dense head that thickened across the top and laced well.

The aroma is crackery, almost biscuit like, with barley, and Pilsner cereal malts.

The flavors are dry and malty. I get good barley notes with a cracker, toast, cereal grains and even a rice like taste.

The feel is nicely dry, smooth with a moderate carbonation.

This is a typical example of the style with a good grain profile it simply does not set itself apart from say a Fullers ESB.

May 16, 2014
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Fatehunter from Oregon

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a thin head on a dark red colored body.
The aroma is rich malt and caramel. Wonderful.
The taste has a nice malt sweetness all the way through, broken up a little in the middle by some lemon bitterness. Great profile.
The texture is soft with moderate carbonation.
Quite enjoyable.

May 04, 2014
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Zorro from California

3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colored ale with a small tan colored head.

Smells of caramel and scorched sugar. Mildly sweet smelling with some grassy hop. Light fruity scent of pineapple. Fainter scent of plum.

Starts out mildly sweet with a sharp bitter finish. Some tobacco leaf and leather with a stout bitter finish. Carmel and some burnt sugars with a little hard water flavor. Grassy hop flavor doesn't taste as fruity as it smells.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is pretty tasty, I will have to get another six pack of this for the weekend.

Apr 29, 2014
Full Sail ESB from Full Sail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 245 ratings