Schlafly Winter ESB | The Schlafly Tap Room

BA SCORE
85
very good
327 Ratings
THE BROS
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Schlafly Winter ESBSchlafly Winter ESB
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room
Missouri, United States
schlafly.com

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by maxpower on 01-09-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
327
Reviews:
157
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
12.89%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
33
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 327 |  Reviews: 157
Photo of BerkM
1.21/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I love ESBs and most “winter beers” in general. This sounds and looks great. I was really looking forward to trying this. I’m from Missouri and I like to support the locals. BUT…. This is Awful, syrupy sweet and undrinkable for me. It seems purposely aggressively flavored to cover up any redeeming qualities. It reminds me of their Christmas Ale. They are both way too flavored and they both taste like how a cheap Christmas candle smells.

 448 characters

Photo of onansalad
1.42/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I was surprised by this beer considering the great balance and flavor of Schlafly's Kolsch style ale (one of the best American Kolsch-styles I've tasted). I've come to expect at least a touch of diacetyl in an ESB (and a bit more than a touch is acceptable in the style), but there is none here. What IS in this brew is a huge mouthful of hops - way more hops than belong in any low gravity english style ale. This is not an ESB; it's an an american "IPA" posturing with a fake accent. If you tried to drink this beer at cellar temps, the hops would saturate your palate so you couldn't taste any malt at all. That's not to say others won't like it. If your idea of craft beer is yet another IPA, you'll probably like this, too. Considering the shelves in my area are overflowing with IPA's, my opinion of this beer is almost definitely in the minority.

 862 characters

Photo of Boblemo
1.71/5  rDev -55%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

just did not care for it.

25 characters

Photo of DevAJ
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm just not all that into bitter beers and while the balance is quite good for being called a bitter, it's just not my favorite.

129 characters

Photo of BogAl
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of InfragilisBrew
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of Kahlstrom
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of mikeherrera
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of crbnfbr
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of 30helens
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

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.

 219 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
2.98/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Slightly hazy orange/amber brew with a big three finger off white head. Some lace sticks to the glass, and the head has really good retention. I took quite a while to drink this beer, and there was always a thick cap on top of the carrot juice hued brew.

S - Big pine hops with a touch of lemon grass. I can't really smell any malt notes, but the Pine-Sol hop aromas are nice enough.

T - Again, pine is the major player here without much support from the malt tones. Christmas tree needles and sap. Grassy, acrid, and very bitter.

M - Light in body with quite a bit of carbonation and an extremely bitter and acidic finish.

D - A very average and uninspired brew IMO. Nothing really wrong with that, but I don't really see why it's considered a Christmas beer.

 768 characters

Photo of Jasoncolliver
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of eggboy
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of cousineddy
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of threedaggers
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of psdonnelly
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of Satan70
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of MattR2014
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not into this one very much at all. I have had better esbs

58 characters

Photo of bigone4
3.07/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a clear light orange yellowish color. Decent carbonation. Thin one finger egg shell white color head that dissipated rather quickly. No real solid retention. Smell was rather light and malty slight hint of rye in the back ground. Mile scent of hop oil and a slight citrus touch. Hints of dough and a mild fold of caramel. Decent taste. Upfront caramel malt flavor followed by a nice hint of rye with a strong dry hop finish. Leaves a nice hop essence in the back of the mouth. Rather light bodied but also makes up for that in the nice after taste. Over all a very drinkable brew.

 587 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.07/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy dark orange with quite a bit of sediment from the bottle making it into the glass. The saving grace is the thick, rocky head. Excellent retention and lacing.

Aroma is extremely fruity. Lots of orange with some grape and cherry as well. Maybe just a touch of biscuit but it is faint behind the fruit.

The taste has even more fruit. I know pretty much every Schlafly beer has this fruit note from what I assume to be the yeast but this is just a little overdone. Heavy dose of orange and cherry along the same lines as what is in the aroma. Lots of malt in the way of caramel and biscuit but it lends a bit too much sweetness. Mouthfeel is quite sweet and sticky.

Overall, this one just doesn't do it for me. Too much fruit and overly sticky make this a bit of a mess. Drinkability is very limited and it just doesn't seem that well put together. I'll pass next time.

 913 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A mix of copper and light brown flow out the bottle. A good amount, 1.5 finger head. Smells like a lot of malt heavy midwest beers.

Taste isn't as sweet as most esb's I've had, tastes a little more earthy substantial instead of the sweet I've come to notice in my fave esb's.

Mouthfeel, begins to take on tobacco notes with the dark, almost doppelbock light feel to it. Remains drinkable, doesn't overwhelm the palate with a negative heavy effect.

 450 characters

Photo of JordanHageman
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%

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Schlafly Winter ESB from The Schlafly Tap Room
3.8 out of 5 based on 327 ratings.
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