Portsmouth Extra Special Bitter | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Extra Special BitterPortsmouth Extra Special Bitter

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our ESB is a bolder, hoppier pale ale.

Added by Bierman9 on 12-31-2002

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of Danielr26
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of slasich
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Hoggo
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Fettpopps
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of ajcormier
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Boto
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Draught @ Brewpub: this one pours a slightly hazy, amber color. There was a small off white head that left a little lacing. The nose is a little lighter. It has mainly pine and citrus notes to it. Some sweet malts too. The taste is good. It is just a bit bitter. Pine and citrus notes. A decent malt body behind it. A nice, easy drinking ESB.

 342 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of JuliusCaesar
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BPudd
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of JeffDam
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jwps214
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of robwestcott
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Archemedies
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Maxwell
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours the color of honey and sits in the glass similarly, somewhere between red, orange, and yellow in color. The beer pours with a light, half a finger’s width head of medium sized, yellowing bubbles that fade down to a scrim. The head leaves a lacing of slick clouds that swiftly slide down the side of the glass. In body, the beer is clean and translucent with a slight haze and lots of carbonation bubbles racing up throughout the glass. On the nose, the beer smells pleasantly hoppy with a good, minty herbal touch and a strong backbone of biscuity, caramel bread from the malt. On the tongue, the beer tastes lightly bitter yet caramel sweet with the faintest touch of acid on the sides of the mouth. In flavor, the beer begins as herbal caramel bread, moving slowly towards a more toffee flavor before the bitters overwhelm the caramel flavor with hints of English Tea and grass. This gives way to a strong, lightly tannic, bitter ending and finish to the beer that mingles grassy and herbal hops with just a faint touch of bread sugar from the malt. The finish is light, shorter, and quite reminiscent of a black tea. The aftertaste mimics the finish’s flavor in a lesser way, appearing light and bitter tannic on the tongue. In the mouth, the beer feel slightly slick and on the light side of medium in body. Carbonation is of a middling amount, providing a light scrub on the tongue, while not providing any fluffiness and only a touch of crispness. Overall, this is a fairly good interpretation of an ESB. Honestly, it’s a little too bitter for an ESB by my standards, but I’ve really only ever had American interpretations of the style, so my judgment might be flawed. Still, it’s a nice sipper with some good characteristics. As the beer heats up, the malt plays a bigger role on the tongue, and the bread characteristics start to unfurl and become more nuanced, which is great. A solid beer to knock back at the pub, and an excellent beer to pair alongside stronger pub food, like a burger or buffalo wings.

 2,040 characters

Photo of mklisz
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of thegerm87
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of erlenmeyer
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of Celtics76
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of splendidsplinter
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of Mikecap
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of vonnegut21
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of DonFrap
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of rderedin
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of smcolw
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper brown color with a light haze. Starts with a modest head which settles to single layer of minute bubbles.

Strong toast aroma. Low hop nose.

The taste matches the smell until the swallow which is bitter. Lots of biscuity toast with a little malt sugar. The hop is hidden. The body is thin but there's a bit of "roundness" and the carbonation is low like the British versions.

 385 characters

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Portsmouth Extra Special Bitter from Portsmouth Brewery
3.73 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
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