Fuller's ESB
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Fuller's ESBFuller's ESB
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English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #3
Ranked #3,437
4.08 | pDev: 10.78%
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
England, United Kingdom
Fuller's ESBFuller's ESB
Notes: Twice named World Champion Beer, Fuller’s ESB is one of the most decorated ales of its time. A winner born and brewed, it’s a strong, full-bodied ale that has delighted drinkers for decades with its smooth, mellow bitterness and superbly satisfying finish.
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Reviews: 1,395 | Ratings: 3,071
Photo of octortus
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL Can. ABV 5.9%
Appearance: Copper, Clear, Centre pour yields half a finger of off-white head, dissipates fairly quickly, Low-Medium carbonation.
Aroma: Lightly toasted malts, Lots of apple, Pear, Perceptible diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Above medium body, Smooth, Very slight alcohol warmth.
Flavour: Caramel malts, Not as fruity as aroma, Slight alcohol.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

$ 3.29 (Including tax and deposit)/11.2 oz bottle ($ 0.294/oz) at Alkies, Massena, NY. Reviewed 7/31/19.
“Best by 01 Apr 19” stamped on bottom of back label. Stored on shelf in store. Traveled in my ice chest, then refrigerated overnight in hotel refrigerator before being served in a hand washed and dried shaker.
Appearance – 4
First pour – Light orange, clear.
Body – Orange, clear.
Head – Large (Maximum four cm, aggressive center pour), off-white, medium density, average retention, diminishing to a two mm crown and rocky cap.
Lacing – Poor. Only a few tiny islands remain on the glass.
Aroma – 4 – Light spice, seems to be nutmeg with a hint of mace.
Flavor – 4.25 – Flavor is subdued with a barely detectable malty fruitiness. Never bitter. No alcohol taste or aroma (5.9 % ABV), no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3 – Medium, almost creamy, soft carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 4.25 – Despite being a bit past date and served a bit too cold, this still puts up a respectable showing.

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Photo of KentT
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice English ale. Has a wonderful, smooth taste with notes of caramel, some fruity notes of pear and apple, has a little bit of biscuit incorporated, with a nice rich malt finish, with a slight bit of butter incorporated. Enjoyed my examples in a Duvel glass, in 11.2 ounce glass bottles. Needs to sit 4-5 days after bringing the bottles home for the flavor to be best. Expensive, but very good.

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Photo of mshanecrowe
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper color, thin head, light bodied feeling but still high in flavor. Well balanced mild citrus on the front end and mildly hoppy aftertaste. This is a super well balanced beer. Seems to be some of a number of things but not real heavy in anything.

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Photo of Bluecrow
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

-clear, copper colored bottle pour with a 1 cm tan, foam cap. The aroma is of sweet malt and a tad pine hop note. The flavor is toasted malt with a bit of caramel and beech in the finish. The mouthfeel is clean. This is very well crafted.

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Photo of good_to_sea
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Reddish brown with a small but persistent head.
Smell: I smell a predominantly apple fruitiness -- like a sweet apple jelly. Toasted bread. A bit of caramel, a bit of citrus.
Taste: Toasted malt, caramel malt. Some apple, some lemon. Slightly burnt flavor. Some minty hop flavor on the finish. The flavors here are all mild, pleasant, and balanced.
Feel: Clean, thin-bodied. Low carbonation.
Overall: This beer is really nice. Clean, balanced, and tasty with interesting flavors and aromas. I'll definitely be picking this up again in the future.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Best before 6/22/16"; drank 3/13/16 @ the Yarchives.

Semi-opaque red/orange appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small khaki head; frothy lace.

Sweet malt, caramel & faint candy corn notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Rich caramel flavor up front; sweet corn notes on the finish.

Not quite cloying, but one's enough...fairly enjoyable.

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Photo of Junior
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - amber, dark copper color with a thin white head.
S - toasted Bready malt and a bit of spice.
T - sweet and Bready with hints of caramel and toffee.
F - light bodied, moderately carbonated
O - solid, balanced and easy drinking.

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Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing as part of BJCP training. 11C strong bitter. Best before Sept 01, 2019
Pours a decent but smaller fizzy bubbly head with poor retention, fair lacing, crystal clear pale-copper color

Nose fair malts, caramel and toasted bready malts, little toffee, touch of diacetyl I think, fair hops too, little earthy herbal floral, little fruity note, and hint of sulfates

Taste more of the same, medium bitterness with earthy herbal and mild fruity hops, malts bring bready mild caramel toffee and touch nutty, general fruity notes possibility esters with the hops, a touch of alcohol warmth, drier but slight sweet finish, lingering fair bitterness and caramel toasty malts

Mouth is medium bodied, decent fizzy carb, touch of warming alcohol

Overall not bad, not as enjoyable as the London pride, but within style, should be a little bit more bitter though

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Photo of beersampler6
3.54/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice crisp ale but just a little too metallic and bitter for me. Yellow-orange color with a little foaming head and very scant lacing. Smells of malt, grain and some caramel. Tastes similarly, along with some toffee and biscuit. Smooth thin mouthfeel, good carbonation. This style of beer is a little too bitter for me - with a stranger metallic taste - but still quite drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of Beer_Rabbit66
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: deep amber almost chestnut, creamy Guinness look when pored settles quick with with good head that dissipates soon.
S:strong caramel and toffee smell crisp and fresh, certainly inviting
T: subtle sweetness and rich in malt, ever so smooth on the palette
F: creamy and smooth, goes down a charm leaving plenty of flavour, delightful malty sweet marmalade aftertaste.

Overall am excellent and extremely enjoyable ale! Must have

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Photo of Vyacheslav
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Compared to the Hobgoblin a better beer, checks out as the best beer in the style I tried, the style itself being a little hoppy- bitter and maybe even a tinge of sourness, very balanced and pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the tall boy bottle in a snifter via a friend from work---Cheers Randy!
This classic ale pours a beautiful copper bronze with a nice English head of
white big bubbled foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin subtle light pool,
and shows subtle lacing. Nose of light toffee, subtle light herbal malts, and
subtle citrus. Flavors hit the crush-able---nay---decimating level of drink-ability.
Light toffee and caramel malts dance about light notes of a good English
marmalade with subtle orange peel and mild herbal notes with the trademark
English yeast flavor in the background with a hint of bitterness from the hops.
Very nice mouth feel; low carbonation, medium light body, and a lightly sweet
subtly bitter finish.

As always and ever since I had one---a classic and worthy of praise.

Like English----LOVE THIS.


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Photo of lastmango
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a copper brown with a one finger tan head that dissipated quickly. Light lacing was present. Mild winy floral aroma. Slightly malty caramel flavor ending in slight citrus peel with a bit of booze. A tad oily and wet with low carbonation. As someone else described . . . this is poundable. I would definitely buy this again. Well done Fuller!

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Photo of jjamadorphd
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Almost didn't pick up this beer because the bottle looked 'weird' to me. Boy am I glad I though twice.

The beer pours a rusty copperish color, very appealing to the eye, though there is no head or lacing to mention. The smell was very much the marmalade advertised, along with light hops and some honey notes added in. Mouthfeel was somewhere between light- to medium-bodied, lightly carbonated as well. The taste had no hint of booze, slightly sweet, but definitely drinkable - even poundable in my opinion. Overall, I think this is very good, will be on the lookout for more Fuller offerings, regardless of packaging...

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle best by 1 Sep 2018. Nonic pint.

A: pours a rich, crystal clear copper amber with 1/2 finger white frothy head that settles to a thin cap of white that sticks around. Streams of visible carbonation rise to the top of the glass. No lacing to speak of; who knows how old this is.

S: familiar floral, dank, sweet citrus English hops, malt, and yeast eaters combine for an effect that is, as the label describes, remarkably like orange marmalade. With chunks of peel.

T: arrives mildly sweet, delivering that sweet orange peel citrus, then bready malt, fruity apple and pear esters, then closing out to an earthy, floral hop finish.

M: lighter end of medium bodied, less carbonated than the appearance would suggest. Cleaner finishing than the sweetness and body would suggest.

O: this is nothing short of remarkable. It is the standard by which all ESBs should be judged, and honestly I can’t say I’ve ever had a better ESB. I knocked a couple of points for what is clearly a lack of freshness. I can only imagine what this is like fresh, on cask. One day...but in the meantime, whenever I can find this, I plan on buying it.

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Photo of bmaslakov
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fullers ESB pours beautiful bronze color with a minimal head that swiftly disappears. The smell has cognac, some citrus, and metal in it. Tastes caramel, yeast, soybeans. Round body, oily mouthfeel, low carbonation. Overall: good, but not impressive.

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Photo of Jbbdrinker
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

There is a strong liceroice wine aroma, with a pleasing off-white head that fades to a bubbled skin. The brew has the color of an old copper penny. Very low carbination, but enough to waken the tongue. The mellow, yet full flavor is of toasted, biscity malt and over rippened plums. There is a touch of bitterness to balance the beer's sweet alcohol taste.

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Photo of MECove
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.75

The aroma is almost like wine. It's strong, rich, and promising. The flavor certainly follows through. There's a full roasted flavor as you swallow, but the aftertaste is too strong for my liking. I guess that's what you get with the ESB style. I do like the wetness so there's a satisfaction that doesn't make you keep drinking from thirst. The after-aftertaste lingers like a rich piece of cake.

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Photo of 57md
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light copper with about a finger of head. The nose is bready, malty and slightly herbal. The flavor has a touch of caramel and a mild but tasty dose of hops on the finish. The body is a little lighter than I would like to see in this style.

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Photo of markjknowles
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of those beers that is why craft beer exists. For many of us, American beers were awful and exemplary of a cultural norm we didn't identify with. We looked to exports and found a world that just didn't exist for us at home. A handful of those exports drove s to create more. To do better. This is one of those defining beers for me. A master class in subtlety and balance, this is how one harmonizes the components that make up beer. Simply perfection.

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Photo of RescueKitty
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this ESB for beer sensory homework. I was supposed to observe a butterscotch or sweet butter aroma and flavor which is due to diacetyl - something built in it's flavor profile. This would help me identify the buttery taste. The aroma is slightly sweet like a toffee but I mostly sense the grain. The carbonation is low which makes it feel thin, but I've read that's to style. Over all this is a balanced beer. The mild, very drinkable malty then bitter taste is a for cry from the hop-bombs I have been drinking. 6% ABV well hidden.

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Photo of gvickery
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Look is really nice, clear copper with off white head. Smell is sweet, malty grain. Taste is a sweet malt followed by an almost toffee flavor finished with a nice bittering. What is a downer for me, I know the style is supposed to be this way, is the lack of carbonation. It feels almost flat. Very off-putting.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330ml bottle into glass, Label is stamped best before '01 JUL 18'.
Medium amber color, clear body. Minimal head settles to thin ring and slight head. No lacing.
Aroma of malts and hops to marmalade finish.
Taste and aroma of amber/malt balance.
Medium mouth feel to type.
Beer is totally balanced to type by appearance, aroma, taste, and appearance.
Totally good beer but balanced to type.

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Photo of rex_4539
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Clear amber color, half finger white head, messy lacing, medium carbonation.

S: Light hops and caramel. Smells almost nothing.

T: Hops, lots of caramel, malts.

F: Light to medium bodied.

O: OK beer, quite drinkable.

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Fuller's ESB from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 3071 ratings