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Cambridge House Old Mill Pond ESB | The Cambridge House Brewpub

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14 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Cambridge House Brewpub
Connecticut, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-10-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 13
Photo of johnnnniee
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub.
Comes to the table a hazy medium golden brown color with a small white head that leaves lots of lace. Nice sweet caramel and toffee and brown bread with light earthy hop aroma. Rich malty dark sugar and brown bread with a solid shot of earthy hop and hints of light fruit. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. This was the highlight of the night for me and from a style I usually don't gravitate towards.

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Photo of sailorastro
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of DNICE555
3.49/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Happy to try a new pint out from the CBH. Mahogany appearance with very little head. This batch may have been toned down as the ABV is listed at 5.9% on the board. Pale malts in the aroma with some copper and bitterness. Taste is much better than the aroma. Nice bitter finish to it. Very pleasing to the palate. This offering was nice but nothing that made it really stand out. Probably wouldn't have more than one, especially when their IPA is on tap.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint at the pub. The color was a dark, copper brown, which is a bit darker than I expected. The head was big and fluffy with excellent retention all the way to the last sip. It's color was white, with a slight sandy yellow tone to it.

From the aroma you can tell this is a rich, malty beer. You get a big, fruity malt and yeast character first, you can certainly tell this is an English beer. I also picked up a bit of brown sugar. The hop character in this beer is pretty low on the aroma, this is all about the malts.

As predicted, the beer is robust and malty. Sweet and satisfying in the middle, reminding me of pumpernickel bread. There is a wood-like bitterness that finds its way in the finish from the English hops. The beer is balanced more towards the malts, so this isn't really all that bitter.

There is a good amount of thickness to this beer, accentuating the malt flavors and aromas. The finish is sweet and mouth coating. I noticed that the keg was really pressurized and took a careful pour to produce the big head, but the beer was not fizzy at all. The carbonation was low, which helped accentuate the maltiness.

This beer is a bit big for multiple pints. As far as ESB's go, this beer is more like a meal than an English session ale.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Cambridge House Brewpub in Torrington, Conn.

A: Poured a deep amber color with mahogany and ruby highlights under a thin head of tan foam. Decent carbonation and great sticky lace.

S: Smells, frankly, like old library books. Musty wheat, grain and dead leaves. Ummm?

T: Taste, thank GOD, isn't like the smell. A slightly sweet and roasted, nutty malt flavor coincides nicely with a deeper roasted malty bittersweetness. A little cocoa and fig undertone, but just nice and smooth with a bitter finish.

M: Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied and a little creamy.

D: Once you get past the aroma, this is a nice session brew and complimentary with a vast array of foods. Hold your nose and swig it down!

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a growler of this over the summer but just got around to reviewing it now. This is by far the best ESB I've had, as usually the style isn't one of my favorites. Looks great in the class with nice lacing, has a great caramel and bitter taste to it, and finishes smooth and clean with a nice body to it. One of the better ones I've had at CBH, with exception to the IPA.

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Photo of scottg
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass at the brewpub.

Pours a clear medium amber with a thin white head with good retention and spotty lacing. Lemon/tea aroma hops mixed with toasted malt and a light smoke. Up front flavors of mild smoke and chocolate which lead to lemony/tea hop bitterness. Great balance to this medium carbonated, medium bodied beer. Very smooth drinking with a chalky mouthfeel. Excellent example of an ESB, highly recommended.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a draft of this brew in a pint with dinner on a recent visit to the pub. Arrives cold and with a clear chestnut color with creamy eggshell white head othat fades to an edge layer quickly. Aroma is grainy malt and slightly roasty as well. A bit of caramel and some light earthy hop notes too. First sip reveals an average body with fine tingly carbonation. Flavor is clean with some caramel and roast male finishes with some drying and herbal hops. QUite an easy drinking beer.

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Photo of bigone4
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice pint with a creamy light tanish white head. Smelled of roasted malt with a light smokey aroma with some hop floralness intertwined. Coloration was a brilliant brownish amber color. Mild head retention and light lacing of my glass. Tastes malty roasty and chewy. Nice balance from the bold malt flavor and the smooth mild hint of hops in the finish. Some faint hint of maple or brown sugar. Great flavor and drinkable. Good mouthfeel I would drink this brew when ever I revisit the Cambridge House. Very well crafted example of what an ESB should taste like. Enjoyable and hope to enjoy a few more really soon.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is one of my favorite ESB's. a very rich, thick bodied brew. it pours a rich polished mahogany brown, with a moderate but sturdy head. this beer hits the tongue with a burst of flavors. doing this without notes, from memory so i cannot remember the exact flavors, but i can remember the exhiliration of having a new favorite brew. i will return to the Cambridge house on many occasions so I will have many chances to refine the flavors this ESB contains. i recommend it highly and thoroughly.

Cambridge House's wings are awesome too.

edit 239 reviews later, ok rookie review i know, will re-review ASAP

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

German-style refillable growler filled at the brewpub.

First pint glass pours with an airy 1" light tan head, which lasted nicely, over a cloudy dark amber brew. Lacing was heavy and sticky, with a biscuity aroma, touched with fruit. Taste is grain husks, coupled with lightly floral hops bitterness, with a slight chalky close. Mouthfeel is smooth and easy over the tongue, with superb drinkability. Would be a dream on cask, I expect.

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Photo of sraimondi
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler last week. Did not drink for about 5 days, so I was worried that it would still be ok. No worries as it turned out. I am a big fan of ESBs, with Fuller's of the UK being the one I judge all others by. Steve S. has scored big time with this one, fer sure!! Color, taste, lacing, head retention--all first rate. The one thing that was a bit odd was absence of any real aroma, but doesn't matter in the end. I am so pleased with this rendition of the style, and disagree with some who think that it is not representative of the style. Keep it up Steve. The Mild is still my fave, mostly due to the low ABV and great taste; but I might be persuaded to move the ESB into first place.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mellow and creamy white head that fades after a moment. Some condensed lace with good retention around the glass. A slightly hazy light light maple in color.

Moderately sweet, roasted caramel malt character. Some carefully placed tones of pine and pepper. Surprisingly sweet smelling for the style.

Big roasted maltiness with touches of caramel, light coffee, almond, and hazlenut. Some pepper, light saffron, and even pine are intermingled throughout the sip. The bitterness is joined by the alcohol presence; at 6.7% abv, the flavor is full and malty. The aftertaste is nutty with a touch of sweet caramel.

For an ESB, this is practically full bodied. Lingers on the palate in the same way a porter would.

This almost resembles a heavy brown ale if I had to guess, but the characteristics are all there for the Bitter style. Very impressive brew for a newcomer in CT.

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Photo of Boto
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught: This was nice. It pours a very nice slightly hazy coppery amber color. There wasn’t much head on it at all, as well as little carbonation. The aroma was slightly caramel and piney hops. There were also hints of coffee and roastiness. Slightly above a medium bodied beer. The taste was quite pleasant. Good caramel and hops balance. The coffee and roastiness just peeks its head out also. A very tasty brew. A little high on alcohol for a session beer, but then again I can walk home from here!

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Cambridge House Old Mill Pond ESB from The Cambridge House Brewpub
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 14 ratings
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