Winter ESB
The Schlafly Tap Room

Winter ESBWinter ESB
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Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #57
Ranked #28,170
3.8 | pDev: 12.89%
The Schlafly Tap Room
Missouri, United States
Very Good
Winter ESBWinter ESB
Notes: Our Winter ESB (Extra Special Bitter) may have the word “bitter” in its name, but the key to this style is balance. The combination of malts and hops creates a toasty, fruity flavor. Our ESB is dry hopped with a US grown hop varietal called Williamette, which has a pronounced spicy, lemon flavor.

In the early 1970’s, brewers in London and the south of England expanded the range of beers available in pubs, reacting to the wave of European lagers moving into the British pub scene. In addition to the ordinary bitters and pale ales, brewers developed recipes for stronger premium ales like ESB, special bitter and special pale ale. These beers contributed to the English traditional ale revival of the 1980’s, making their way into the beer portfolios of many American craft breweries.

30 IBU
Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 327 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Bierwolf:
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Bierwolf from Missouri

3.34/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured quite a bit cloudy with a lot of suspended yeast and such. Slightly off white foam that laced nicely. The cloudiness was a bit much for the style.

The aroma was more sweet and fruity than anything else. Not much in the hop area and a light malt aroma was evident.

Tastes more sweet than bitter, mildly hoppy, fruity with a dry finish.

Medium light body, slick and smooth

This is apparently an Americanized version of this style. I will say this is the only brew of this style that I have had but I would bet a weeks pay that I would find a better one pretty easily.

Jan 11, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of swfraser
swfraser from Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Jul 02, 2012
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OldhouseRecs from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Dec 19, 2012
Photo of Eagleyes
Eagleyes from Missouri

2.88/5  rDev -24.2%

I remember this beer being a lot more bitter last year and having a much better overall flavor. I'm not sure if they changed up the recipe or what but it was definitely better last year. Not much flavor, disappointed.

Dec 08, 2014
Photo of Dieck
Dieck from Missouri

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Aug 30, 2012
Photo of woodencardboard

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Nov 14, 2012
Photo of Kubrickx
Kubrickx from Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.3%

Nov 23, 2012
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner from Kentucky

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a stiff creamy head that stayed for some time there was limited lacing and an amber hue.

The scent was a little too subtle. I might have detected cinnamon, nutmeg and malt but it was a struggle to find these notes.

The taste was a perfect winter variety. Cinnamon and nutmeg with a sweet malt backdrop the taste was well placed and well balanced. Very nice subtle tones this drank easy with little heaviness in the finish.

Jan 21, 2013
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smlmeyer from Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Jan 05, 2013
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bzach from Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Oct 12, 2012
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Jasoncolliver from Kentucky

3/5  rDev -21.1%

Jun 22, 2014
Photo of Eaglefan344
Eaglefan344 from Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Nov 23, 2012
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JesseLara from California

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Mar 27, 2014
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DubbelTrubbel from Georgia

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Jan 07, 2013
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Boone757 from Virginia

3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 29, 2015
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dt_gbpackersfan from Missouri

4/5  rDev +5.3%

Jun 03, 2013
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Filabee from Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Apr 05, 2014
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Mattyb79 from Virginia

3.72/5  rDev -2.1%

Dec 04, 2014
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Steamer from Missouri

4/5  rDev +5.3%

Dec 20, 2012
Photo of jfalco

4/5  rDev +5.3%

Dec 23, 2012
Photo of jkrich
jkrich from Florida

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle bottled on November 5, 2007. The beer poured an orange,clear light amber color with an attractive sustained half inch white head; nice prominent lacing.

A faint grapefruit odor was evident as soon as I opened the bottle; it almost reminded me of a fruity white wine.

This was a remarkably balanced, nuanced bitter with that slight grapefruity taste as well as an ordinary grape like flavor. A little bitterness lingers on the tongue. This ale's flavors are enhanced as the ale warms in the glass as more of the maltiness comes through with the hop bitterness. I am not sure I could detect the rye flakes the bottle label stated were in the ale. Perhaps this is what gave this ale such a unique flavor.

This is a solid medium bottled ale with an appropriate amount of fruity hop flavor on the tongue.

I expected a darker, more robust ESB as this was a "winter" ESB; but I was certainly not disappointed as this would make an excellent year round bitter. This brewery makes very solid beers.

Feb 24, 2008
Photo of jmccullough108
jmccullough108 from Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Jan 20, 2013
Photo of John1985
John1985 from Tennessee

4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Schlafly has made Nashville's limited beer selection much more bearable.

A-Amber color with a half inch white head that settles and laces nicely.

S-Distinct malty aroma, I can already taste the rye!

T-starts off with sweet malt and the rye comes in the middle to rough you up and make things a little more complex. Finishes with a tingle of hop bitterness on your tongue. Yum

M-I found this to be full bodied and satisfying without being too filling. Good balance.

D-I could easily have three of these (my limit) and enjoy every drop.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It is a drinkable ESB session-ale that would be enjoyable sitting by the fire or watching a bowl/playoff game.

Dec 21, 2007
Photo of TheArmadillo

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Jan 05, 2013
Photo of budgood1
budgood1 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a clear dark amber. a big fine foamed head leaves a great deal of lace. aroma of citrus hops and earthy, smoky caramel malts makes for a wonderful nose. full bodied. big tastes of malt and juicy hop... the touch of rye adding a nice complexity. finishes hoppy, leaving lots of juicy bitterness dancing in the mouth. this is a damn fine brew. balanced. unbelieveably drinkable. the level of hops pleasantly surprised me. a beer worth seeking out!

Dec 12, 2002
Winter ESB from The Schlafly Tap Room
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 327 ratings