Winter ESB
The Schlafly Tap Room

Winter ESBWinter ESB
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English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #57
Ranked #25,683
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 acrawf6:
Photo of acrawf6
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 10/23/08, so app 4 months old.

Pours out a just slightly hazy orange amber with a white head that drops to a thin layer over the beer.

Smell. Malty with caramel notes and a little bit of a yeastiness. There is a small metallic similar to a hoppiness, but i wouldnt consider the aroma hoppy at all. It's a bit boozy to me.

Taste. Good balance, but definitely in the maltier side. Sweet with some fruit notes and caramel. It seems the hops are present just enough to balance the flavor out, as it does seem to have a nice balance to it. Aftertaste is a little spicy of bittering hops.

Mouthfeel. Body is at a solid creamy medium. Good balance and good amount of carbonation.

Overall, a solid, but kinda forgetful esb. As it warms, i get more of a fruitiness in it. A good one to try, and one i wouldnt mind having again, but i will not seek out for it, and would pick others ahead of it. Maybe the 4 months have worn out the hops in it, but i was just hoping for something just a little more hoppy.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of swfraser
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of OldhouseRecs
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Eagleyes
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.

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Photo of Dieck
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of woodencardboard
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Kubrickx
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of KYGunner
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.

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Photo of smlmeyer
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of bzach
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Jasoncolliver
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of Eaglefan344
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of JesseLara
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of DubbelTrubbel
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Boone757
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dt_gbpackersfan
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Filabee
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Mattyb79
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Steamer
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jfalco
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jkrich
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.

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Photo of jmccullough108
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of John1985
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.

 683 characters

Photo of TheArmadillo
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of budgood1
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!

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