Extra Special Bitter | La Conner Brewing Company

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Extra Special BitterExtra Special Bitter
17 Ratings
Extra Special BitterExtra Special Bitter

Brewed by:
La Conner Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 06-18-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by RedDiamond:
Photo of RedDiamond
2.74/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Spoiled by bad yeast mayhem. Too bad. The full, chewy body and lace to the last suggested there might have once been a fine ale lurking nearabouts. But this beer just hurts to drink. Its ghoulish ginger aroma has no business hanging around an ESB while the taste evokes citric pain. Carbonation is absent and not by design.

Not entirely ruined, but it tastes like a 30th generation yeast strain desperately past its prime.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one is brown and clear with a modest head, which is typical of the style.

Smell – The complex hops and caramelly malts mix together to give this ESB a nutty character.

Taste – The hops and nuts are big at the taste. The caramel comes on big as well.

Mouthfeel – This medium-bodied beer is big and bitter. It is very smooth on the palate and leaves a bit of drying at the finish.

Drinkability – This is a big, powerful ESB that goes down incredibly well.

Comments – Thanks to skyhand for letting me split her pint of this after gagging on my glass of IPA.

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Photo of masikon
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a subdued amber with a frothy, thin white head which leaves plenty of lacing. Smell was malty and full. Taste was somewhat toasty on the malt end yet the emphasis here is definitely the bitterness. More bitter than many with a bit more hop character, as other have said bordering on a sort of malty IPA. A good offering from a local brewery that I woud drink again.

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Photo of Gusler
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The pour a slightly bemused copper color with the head smallish in size, bubbly in texture and the color a toothsome light tan and the lace a thin veil to drape the glass. Slight hint of the hop flower but the malt dominates, sweet, crisp, fresh and pleasing to the senses with the start lightly sweet, satisfactory malt presence, and top light to middling in feel. Finish is mild in carbonation, the hops spicy and pleasing to the palate, aftertaste dry as a desert bone. This is a style where I like the lighter body, as it let’s the flavoring hops shine through, quite quaffable, a damn fine session beer me thinks, and I thank RoyalT for this bottle.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from waldowin, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy, light amber color with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: Up front you can smell the bitterness that you’ll eventually taste, along with a decent malt character and a little spice.

T: Smooth, nutty, roasted malt flavor hits you first and is quickly followed by a bitter hops backbone. The balance remains present all the way through to the after-taste which is only slightly bitter and maintains the nutty malt presence.

M: Crisp & very smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is dry.

D: This is a nice representation of style and a good beer overall and one that you can pound pretty well, however I might look for something with a little more flavor.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy brown like Chocolate milk with amberish tones on the edges. A light brown head. Aroma was a strange one but can only describe the initial aroma as similar to chocolate syrup..? Aroma over time was not pleasant but couldn't put my finger on it. Powerful malt front with a strong bitter finish was a pleasant suprise after the aroma. Medium-Full bodied (leans Full) with a creamy milk-ish character.

 407 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent ESB, though a bit on the bitter side. Closer to an IPA. Pours a light amber, clear, with a thin head. The aroma is pure hop, but it smells fresh and inviting. The taste is far more balanced, but still leans heavily to the bitter side. Very good body with proper carbonation.

If you enjoy the hop, try this beer. The malt may be sheepish, but it provides a good, but minimal, balance.

 399 characters

Photo of jreitman
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color with a light white head. Very bitter yet still has a good bit of malt sweetness. Some fruit flavors hidden. One of the better ESBs that I have had.

 162 characters

Photo of packetknife
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure if it should be but it is awfully similar to their IPA. Except more bitterness and a bit more strength on the nose. Just strong enough to deserve the extra half point on the taste.

 193 characters

Photo of Donkster46
3.29/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of mactrail
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery restaurant. For some reason they list it at 5.3%. Dark amber with a modest foam in the pint shaker. Some warm malt and a nice nose of roasted grain. The finish, though, like too many La Conner beers, is just plain bitter and on the harsh side. Fairly spritzy on the tongue. Rather more sharp than mellow.

 326 characters

Photo of beertaster13
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A perfect session beer, pours a nice darkish red brown with off white cream head that is decent then resolves into glass. The smell is of pine and bitter citrus hops, a nice fruit aroma brings up the rear along with thick syrupy hints. The taste is a bit on the bitter side, the malts don't blend well with the hops, the hops don't pack the punch as well, overly piny without much taste, more light watered down syrup taste but still not bad, hints of apple cobbler crumb as well. Medium bodied and cleanses the palate well, reasonable.

 536 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown color, medium head. A medium bodied ESB. Malty and very hoppy. Malts are smooth and slightly sweet. Hops are spicy and bitter. Good balance, nice flavor. Nice malts. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty and slightly bitter.

 276 characters

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a hazy amber color and and a one finger head that retains well, leaving some lace behind

Smell: Balanced aroma of caramel malt and earthy hop, with tones of vanilla and tobacco

Taste: The caramel makes its presence felt immediately, along with the subtle undertone of vanilla; by mid-palate, the earthy hop flavors have come into the fore, however, adding tea and tobacco elements after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very drinkable, though slightly sweet, but the balance between the malt and the hop elements is winsome

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Photo of canucklehead
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a beer served too cold which made me change my review after 15 minutes. There is a bakery nose that suggests malts and good hops. This is English in profile and a nice contrast to the PNW IPA. Very drinkable with a sweeish finish this is a good beer that stays true the style.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a brown 12 oz bottle, it's a bright golden-orange with a very small head that disappears almost immediately. The smell is quite hoppy with just a trace of butterscotch. It's more bitter than most ESBs but not totally out of balance. Once the mouth adjusts to the bitterness, it goes down well and overall is a nice beer. Thanks to RoyalT for the sample from up north.

 379 characters

Photo of Sound_Explorer
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Extra Special Bitter from La Conner Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 17 ratings
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