Fuller's ESB | Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
2,927 Ratings
Fuller's ESBFuller's ESB
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
England, United Kingdom
fullers.co.uk

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 07-08-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,927
Reviews:
1,357
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
11.08%
 
 
Wants:
150
Gots:
377
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,927 |  Reviews: 1,357
Photo of edward_boumil
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Burgundy colored, clear, light head.
S: Pretty light aroma, mostly grain. Not all that different from a bock beer IMO
T: Great flavor, grape-like grain, slightly toasted granola. Lots of dark fruit like raisin and plum. Also some toffee/caramel. Touch of earthy hops to finish off the palate. Slightly bitter but very mildly so
F: Smooth, easy drinking, and balanced
O: Great beer. Can definitely get down with this.

 425 characters

Photo of Magsmyth24
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

This beer has an amber color, very light coffee smell, and crisp caramel flavor. It was not my favorite beer, but I enjoyed trying it.

134 characters

Photo of Reddanm1
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The Fuller's ESB Beer is very beautiful in color. It is a beautiful amber, caramel color and appealing to the eye. The Aroma is very light and not overpowering. The taste of the beer if very unexpected because it has a coffee and wheat taste. The aftertaste is wheat as well. Overall, I'd say the beer if fair.

 315 characters

Photo of jmarod7
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fuller's ESB. Fuller Smith & Turner PLC. Little hints of toffee with a great balance overall. The colors are a clear darker gold with a good head of foam. Crisp and refreshing beer I would drink it again.

 204 characters

Photo of williamphelps
4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Foams up nicely with medium bubbles when swirled. Settles to thin foam around rim. No lacing. Light amber color. Aroma of rich dates, orange, apple juice, orange blossom, toffee, caramel, kettle corn. Palate of toffee, caramel, sweet malt followed by some bitter hop character of grapefruit, pine needles, lime blossom then going mildly sweet again with pleasant grainy texture and flavor, caramel, bittter-sweet balanced finish. Pros balanced, refreshing, crisp, awesome flavor and intensity, cleaner and brighter flavor than sawtooth ale. Cons of some graininess in finish, not much head or lacing. 94/100.

 609 characters

Photo of needMIbeer
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dankabier1
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SGR1220
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of QuakeAttack
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kuhndog
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dannycohen62
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of VoxRationis
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Decanted into a tulip pint glass; best before 04 April 2017. Poured a light copper color with a 1/4 inch head and good legs. Nicely fragrant with fresh hops, sea salt, and honey; tastes of medium roasted malt with carrot/turnip notes. Medium bodied with nice retention of effervescence. Very nice example of bitter.

 320 characters

Photo of thoglund
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Rollmeaway2loadout
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of windowside
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of duvel1979
2/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of LeftHanded666
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of griffey123
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of SuomenAmerikkalainen
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: pours clear amber with a small white head that fades fast.
S: malty, sweet and some hops.
T: orange peal, malts, hops. Starts sweet then gets a little bitter. A good balanced beer.
F: thin, high carbonation.
O: not my style of beer, but a full flavored seasionable beer.

 274 characters

Photo of migleskun
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Darthmaul
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sephyrott
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of FreshYeti
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Gorgeous, clear copper-amber color. As expected, it appears to be less effervescent than most American beers. I just bought a new beer fridge and it seems to be running way too cold, so I’ll need to wait a bit and let this guy warm up.

Personally I’m a huge fan of noble hops - they lend a drier, earthier bitterness, as opposed to the citrusy, juicy hops we grow around here. But they’re often showcased in German-style brews and pilsners. ESB is probably my favorite style of beer because it combines these great hop flavors with the perfect malt profile for my taste. As flavorful as you can get while still remaining quaffable.

Alright, I’m done waiting for this to warm up. The nose suggests tangerine and preserved fruits. Not getting much of that noble hop at this point.

The taste starts where the nose left off - orange, jam, rose petals, balanced with biscuity malt. Then the noble hops come to clean up the palate, narrowly saving this beer from becoming too sweet. There is a lightly toasted note on the aftertaste, but it’s pretty tucked away under orange flavors. I find myself wanting to say it’s too sweet and fruity, but after each sip the palate gets cleaned up and dried out by those hops.

This is a must try for anyone seeking the definition of balance. Americans commonly hear the term “special” or “strong” bitter, and then criticize brews like this for not being particularly bitter at all. You have to think of “bitter” as the British term for pale ale, but before the west coast hop craze happened. And special/strong just refers to the ABV, which you can expect to be a percent or two higher than a standard pub ale. With that in mind, this is the canonical representation of the style, and it’s now one of my favorites.

 1,777 characters

Fuller's ESB from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,927 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe