Moondog ESB | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Moondog ESBMoondog ESB
Very Good
204 Ratings
Moondog ESBMoondog ESB

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jeffmonarch on 06-19-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 204 |  Reviews: 143
Reviews by Blueribbon666:
Photo of Blueribbon666
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of SaltofOH
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Can, enjoy by 12/15/18. GLBC 30th anniversary tulip.

A: pours a crystal-clear, brassy gold with a thick, 2-finger foamy beige head. Roiling small-bubble carbonation. Thick sheets of lacing on the side of the glass I wasn’t drinking from.

S: earthy hops and dry malt. Slightly floral, slightly grainy. Like the inside of a grain silo.

T: dry, malty arrival. Mild sweetness in the middle, followed by the faintest citrus, then a pronounced, but not excessive, floral hop note. Floral hop lingers. Missing the woodsy, earthy dankness present in some examples of the style. Also missing the signature GLBC malt taste.

M: lighter end of midweight; mouth-filling; very well attenuated, but taste lingers, with a little residual slickness on the palate. Invites another sip.

O: I love ESBs, and I always knew GLBC made this beer, but it was a brewery exclusive. I am thrilled they put it into cans, so between my love of the style and love of the brewery, I was willing to buy 12, even having never tried it. It was worth it. Fresh, balanced, malty but not sweet, floral but not medicinal. Classic. The only thing this is missing as compared to the best English examples is the yeast eater character. But since most English ESBs are a year old when you get them, this makes up for that loss by being fresh. This is a must try for fans of the ESB style done by American brewers. I ended up splitting the 12 with a neighbor, but will have no trouble enjoying my 6! Would love to compare to Burning River, side by side.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper color with a light but sticky head,tje aroma ia malty bisciut like aromas.Nice malty beginning to this brew with some underlying fruitiness finish with a nice crisp hopsmack.My favorite style of beer cuzz of brews like this.I would love to have this from a beer engine.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Csmiley from the Virgin BIF.

A-Poured deep golden(slight orange tint)and mildly cloudy with minimal lacey head. Nice looking beer
S-Light Malt, bready, floral hops
T-Bready and crisp light malt flavor, floral hops, slightly earthy yeast flavor underneath, nice bitter finish.
M-Thin to medium body with crisp carbonation-very nice for style
D-Probably wouldn't drink to many of these in a row

Nice beer, but not a typical ESB flavor. Glad to have the opportunity to try but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the bottle a brilliant golden orange with a small bubbly white head that lingers nicely. Lovely clarity with active carbonation. Aromas of spicy cloves, wildflowers, light caramel and green herbal hops. Refined and enjoyable.

First sip brings a fruity peach spiciness that is layered in subtle caramel tones and floral accents. Drops of wildflower honey, a bit of clove and pepper are in the mix. The finish greets me with a spicy herbal, citrusy hoppiness that adds a hint of bitterness to the brew. Fresh yeasty tones throughout. Quite an enjoyable brew here.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and creamy. Goes down smooth. I could drink this brew all night. A nice deep mix of flavors that keeps me coming back for more. Yet another winner from Great Lakes!

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Photo of generallee
4.48/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It has a large frothy white head that has very good retention and make great rings of lace with each sip. The body has a light honey color with a slight haze.

Smell: The aroma is wonderful and well balanced. It has sweet bready malt with some buttery notes as well as some fruity notes and mild floral hops in the nose.

Taste/Mouth feel: The flavor matches the aroma with a solid malty base that brings buttery and fruity notes with perfectly balanced hop bitterness and flavor. Some of the fruity notes include elderberry and black currant and the hops give some floral and herbal notes to the party. The palate has a smooth silky texture with soft carbonation, a medium body and slow lightly bitter fading finish.

Notes: Wow, I really enjoyed this easy drinking and refreshing ESB!!!

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Photo of merlin48
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm thinking that this is the same as their Moondog Ale, just renamed. Twelve ounce bottle pours a clear amber body with a small offwhite head that leaves a bit of patchy lace. Aroma is toasted malt, peppery hops, and a hint of florals. Light medium body is well carbonated. Taste has some caramel sweetness, toasted bread, peppery hops, and some fruity pear. Bitterness is tame but assertive. Very nicely balanced and highly drinkable. One of the better American stabs at an ESB.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Buckspin for this one of many from the boys at GLBC...
Pours a vibrant golden orange color with a full finger and a half of the most pillowy head I've seen...bright white and tremendous amounts of lacing forms.
Smell is very nice...a splendid balance of juicy fruit hops and sweet malt. A nice addition of honey adds to the flavors.
A very tasty brew indeed...perfectly balanced with a bitterness that makes this ESB right up my alley. A citrus punch with a slight sweetness quickly following...finishing up a touch dry and again, quite bitter.
Mouthfeel is average for the style and the carbonation is good.
This is one of the best I have enjoyed in this style...very drinkable.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle with a "best by" date of 10/9/03. A little bit of information (characteristic of the GLBC beers) is listed on the side of the bottle as to how the beer was named. Also noted that this beer is a Gold Medal Winner at the Beverage Tasting Institute and Great American Beer Festival.

Appearance: Poured copper in color. Thick and sturdy off-white head quickly dies off, leaving a slight rim of froth at the edges. Good lacing of the glass.

Smell: It's safe to assume that you'll notice the hops. To quote a previous review..."It smells bitter." Very appropriate. Slight sweet malty aroma also detected.

Taste: Starts of with a quick hop jab to the palate, followed by an uppercut of malty, doughy sweetness. Just before you hit the canvas, you are once again pummeled by a flurry of hoppy blows, ones that remain on your tongue long after the 10 count.

Mouthfeel: Very well-balanced. Good mix of hoppy bitterness that is supported (but by no means overshadowed) by the malt.

Drinkability: Smooooth. Excellent aftertaste leaves you wanting more.

Want great beer? GLBC. 'Nuf said.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap from my draft system,my second sixtel of it. the first went so fast i didn't get a chance to review it. The first sixtel was a tad better. One to get while fresh i would say.

Clear, golden amber,nice whiite creamy head,effervecent,leaving curtians of lace down the glass.

Fruity aromas,floral with light sweet malt,English style nuttiness with hints of toffee.

Clean taste fruity with a light candied malt flavor,some nice citrusy notes mid-taste with a pleasing grassy finish.

Light mouthfeel,peppery,with a mouthwatering drying finish making for an exceptional drinker. Not a huge ESB fan,this ESB makes my feel different about that. I'll be looking for this one next year,as soon as it comes out.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: A copper blazoned hue with a resilient white colored head, leaving nice rings of scattered lacing a wonderful presentation from this great brewery. Aroma: Sweet honey like tones blended with full floral hop bouquets what a well balanced beer, brown sugar like sharp malted barley tones very nice solid all around aroma. Taste: Probably the most favorable attribute of this brew not over the top in anyway perfectly awesome at the same time due to it's subtle flowery hops and light refreshing yet packed full of flavor malt profile with fruity tones in the finish making for one excellent session beer. Mouthfeel: Has a creeping carbonation slightly silky smooth mouthfeel with a lighter medium body that paris well with the flavors. Drinkability: Just mindblowingly quaffable enticingly good, and easily one of my favorites from the lineup from the brewers of Cleveland's Great Lakes.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a nice light copper colored crystal clear body with a big white frothy head. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles all racing to the surface.

S- The smell of pale malt and very lightly toasted malt has a flower but not sweet quality to it. There is a smooth soft noble hop hint in the finish.

T- The taste of fresh dried pale malt has some nice complexity to it but it is quickly stepped on by a green noble hop bitterness with a slight citrus note. The bitter hops have a nice crisp finish to them.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel that is really helped by the carbonation.

D- This beer has some nice big hops with Noble and American qualities but the great malt flavors are lost to quickly in the hops.

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Photo of pwoods
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at Krogers in Finneytown, poured into a pint. 7/28/08

A: Pours an over ripened banana yellow with some orange tinting. 1 1/2 fingers of white, lightly fizzy head forms and drops to a fat skim within a minute. Some decent wisps of lacing.

S: Mild, crisp hops. Light, grainy and earthy malts. Not overly complex but I don't really think it needs to be.

T/M: Very crisp hops, lightly bitter, grassy, and floral. Malts are light, grainy, oat-y, and earthy. Extremely clean and smooth throughout. Body is light and carbonation is on the higher side.

D: Very crisp and refreshing. Perfect for summer, sessions, and converting :)

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Photo of BamfBacon
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale copper with an ample white head.
Doughy aromatics offset by the earthy, leafy hops.
Begins dry and bready and sparce. Rolls along and picks up buttery caramel traits, and wetness. Doughier now. Touches of raw grain. Hops enter midway and never relenquish control. Grassy, herbal and dry with mild metallic hues.
This never really caught my interest until it warmed to near room temp, and some fruity esters of caramelized apple peel appeared. The increased sweetness pays off in spades.
Seems a hair thin, but solid session stuff. One doesn't do this justice.

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Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice cross-style. A yeasty delight with a supporting bitterness and well malted. Initially large head that evaporated to a crown of yeast. Nice yeast aroma and creaminess. Easy satisfying drink at the end of another hot summer day. Malted milk aftertaste. Second botle on incredible hot day a year later and agree with everything. Very drying aftertaste.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Lakes Brewery is the BOMB...not everything is a homerun....but in business....base hits are desired. The Moondog ESB is a good beer. The appearance is an rich amber. Thin white head was apparent to start, but dissapated over time. The scent included spome sweet malts that are matched with citrusy hops that are mild in bitterness. The taste is slightly bitter. The malts and sweetness provide a good balance to the hops which are citrusy and strong, having a touch of earthiness to them. The finish smacks of the hop profile, leaving the pallet a touch of bitterness. The mouthfeel is good, much more than a reserved ESB that I was expecting. Overall a decent beer.

D: At 5%, this is a quaffable ale. The hop profile will keep the hophead happy while the low alcohol pleases the sessioners.

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Photo of prototypic
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's clear and a nice looking amber color. An vanilla colored, one and a half finger deep head is perched atop. It dissipated quickly and left a very light coat of lace on the glass.

Smell: The nose is a tad weak, but does feature a nice, light citrus fragrance. There's a little orange and grapefruit there to liven it up a bit. Smells nice and malty. There is a better hop presence than I expected. I'm unsure of the varieties, but it leans floral. A slight toasted smell rounds it out.

Taste: This beer impresses once you taste it. It is malty and sweet. There's a sweet fruit aspect to it that's a nice touch. It is mostly orange and grapefruit. Very subtle, but strong impact. Hops are very lively and provide a really nice bitter bite. It's not a strong bitter flavor, but just enough to make it interesting. The hops are mostly floral and give it an earthy/grainy vibe. Finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Surprisingly, it feels medium bodied and is very, very smooth. Carbonation is very well done and gives it a slight crisp bite. Drinkability is very good. At 5% abv, it's really easy to drink. Too easy.

Moondog's a very solid ESB. I'm not traditionally a huge fan of ESBs, but this is a good one. Frankly, it's pretty impressive save for the nose. It's just too weak to really impress in that department. Otherwise, very solid beer.

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Photo of jay_schrock
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of zimm421
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PhantomVodoo
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brownish gold color with an off-white head.
Aroma shows fruit and caramel malt.

Good toasty, caramel malt backbone. Solid hop balance. Malt upfront, then finishes with a nice level of bitterness.

Good mouthfeel.
Good drinkability.

Overall, a good best bitter.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(part of a sampler at the Great Lakes brewpub)

Least memorable beer of all the ones I tried, for some reason. Does have a kick on the tongue and loos nice, but everything else was just above average. Relatively speaking, my least favorite Great Lakes brew, but this is coming from a great brewery. My 5 ounce taster was enough for me.

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Photo of beveritt
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Label depicts the outline of a wolf howling at a very large moon.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 inch of nearly white head. This settles slowly to just a thin coating of white foam, but leaving behind a complete covering of lace where the head had been. The beer itself is pale yellow, completely clear, and shows slight activity. Absolutely no sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Sweet butterscotch malt aroma with sugary, bubblegum esters in the finish.

Taste: Starts with a noticeable hop bitterness, this lingers throughout the beer and well beyond. Finishes with a slight caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Average to slightly higher than average carbonation. Body is good.

Drinkability: Much lighter in color than I would expect from an ESB, but is does deliver in flavor. If this were a little darker and a little less carbonated, it would be spot on. As it is, it is still pretty good.

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Photo of bashiba
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poures a nice light copper with a thick white head, good lacing.

Smell was a light bit of malt with a touch of grassy hops.

Taste had a good bit of light toasty malt with a bit of Diacetyl butteryness, a light crisp citrusy hop finish.

Mouthfeel is light and slick.

Not bad, an enjoyable easy drinking session beer.

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Photo of Chinon01
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Honeyed color with soapy spotty head.

Smell - Not much picked up other than some hop and malt character.

Taste - Grainy with rich malt backbone and semi-assertive hops.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability - Great

This to me is a solid version of a uniquely American session ale. Easy to drink yet has serviceable complexity and hop presence.

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Moondog ESB from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 204 ratings