The Specialist
Deschutes Brewery

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English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
4.01 | pDev: 9.98%
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 22
Photo of smbslt
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - Clear burnt orange with mocha head. Limited carbonation but good lacing.
Smell - Alcohol with dried fruits
Taste - The barrel aging comes through, complex and just a little alcohol burn. Overpowering not in a bad way but maybe not true to the style way.
Feel - Slightly more viscous than an ESB should be but based on the aging - reasonable.
Overall - Unique and enjoyable even if it only vaguely an ESB

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Photo of blastoderm55
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Such an excellent beer. The base beer is outstanding and this one takes things to another level. Totally worth picking up if you get the chance. Two thumbs up.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th anniversary snifter glass
From: Chad H.
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A; Received on April 7, 2015
Consumed: May 24, 2015
Misc.: Packaged on Jan. 24, 2015

Thanks Chad!

Poured a caramel, honey, murky color with 1-to-2 fingers of rocky, khaki tan head. Sporadic spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Good retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled a very good mix of toffee, caramel, tobacco, red wine (pinot that I recognized), black cherry, dates, figs, raisins, sour dark cherry, faint bourbon barrels and slight sour fruit. (Smell - 4.50)

Tasted close to as good as the nose, but not quite. Got tobacco, toffee, red wine (port, sherry and pinot) dried fruits (dates, figs and raisins) and sour fruits (cherry). Also caramel and slight woody bourbon barrels. (Taste - 4.25)

Medium body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth, slightly warming finish. (Feel - 4.25)

This was just an awesome beer. Would love to try this again. (Overall - 4.25)

4.30 | 96 | A

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Photo of doberpuppy
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a very complex ale. It is amber in color with a nice creamy head. It has a fruity, earthy aroma with a hint of burnt sugar. It is sweet and tart, with mild to moderate, hoppy after notes (44IBU). The first sip was puzzling, but the last sip left me wanting for more. When can I have more?

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Photo of TATURBO
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty good beer overall. The carbonation is right on. Nose carries a fruity aroma. Flavor is good but not amazing. Worth trying but not sure I'm blown away by anything this offers. The 10% abv is very well hidden as its a very easy drinker.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Oneinchaway for sharing this one at his tasting.

Packaged 1/14/15.

Pours a murky reddish-orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with caramel, toffee, fruit, bourbon, red wine, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour caramel, toffee, bourbon, and red wine flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting use of multiple barrels to age the beer, but the red wine is coming through most to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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The Specialist from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 22 ratings