Organic ESB
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Organic ESBOrganic ESB
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English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #311
Ranked #46,379
3.3 | pDev: 15.45%
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States
Organic ESBOrganic ESB
Notes: Organic E.S.B. (Extra Special Bitter) Ale
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Reviews: 229 | Ratings: 383
Photo of woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I seem to have a recent penchant for running through the bottle portion of my backlog. I realize that I have been neglecting The CANQuest (tm) as a result, but at the same time, purging these pesky bottles is satisfying.

From the bottle: "Brewed with Organic Malted Barley & Organic Hops"; "Certified Organic by the Oregon Tilth"; "Brewed in Milwaukee for people who like beer."

I like Milwaukee, I like beer, I like people & I like to Pop! the cap on a bottle of beer. Once this was accomplished, I used a gentle pour to fill my glass, followed by an in-glass swirl. This raised a brief finger of foamy, tawny head with low retention. Color was Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a hay-like, grassy, bready quality, reminiscent of home-baked bread during the summer at my grandparents' house. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was a bit sweeter than I might have liked, but it was definitely malty with a light, grassy hoppiness to go with it. Finish was semi-sweet, which is a part of the style. It caused me to realize that I do not drink all that many ESBs, but I had no problem with this one.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.89/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Auburn, light, thin white head, smallish. Not much going on smell wise.

Taste was dull, lifeless for an esb. Needs more bitter, hops. Too much wet newspaper.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.48/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From a single into a NB globe glass
A: hazy amber/copper, 1 finger head that quickly subsides
S: biscuit, earthy hops, fruity esters, crystal and toffee malts
T: follows the nose. not a lot of subtely here...pretty big rich flavors that don't entirely cohere
M: pretty heavy for the style, felt like a higher abv.

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Photo of Foyle
4/5  rDev +21.2%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: pours a 1" frothy cream colored head. Color is rich, cloudy amber with plenty of evident carbonation.

Aroma: potent malt forward aroma -- bread dough and some caramel, also some pleasant floral and earthy hop spice.

Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied and sticky with a quite dry, slightly astringent finish.

Flavor: strong malt presence -- rich roasted barley, some butterscotch and caramel, ripe fruit, raisin, the bittering earthy hops round out the finish.

Overall: well done and enjoyable. Fits the style well.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.43/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a rich amber color with a white head and good retention. Clarity is fine and some lace is left behind. The aroma is toffee like and bready. Slightly toasty, a bit of herbal hop, spot on nose.

In the taste, toffee and nutty notes from the malt, a bit of toast, and fairly dry. The organic hops dry this one to the bone, but its kind of nice. Malty, bittersweet flavor, perhaps even butterscotch to go along with the earthy, herbal hops.

Overall, this is a pretty good ESB with solid flavor, and crisp, dry finish.

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Photo of superspak
3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 7/10/2013. Pours fairly cloudy deep orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of orange peel, apple, caramel, toast, biscuit, brown sugar, herbal, grass, light nuttiness, and toast/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester notes; with decent strength. Taste of orange peel, apple, caramel, toast, brown sugar, biscuit, light toffee, light nuttiness, herbal, grass, and toast/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of orange peel, apple, caramel, toast, brown sugar, biscuit, light toffee, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good balance and decent robustness of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with no warming present after the finish. Overall this was a good ESB. Well balanced dark/bready malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A pleasant and enjoyable offering.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.07/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Bottle: a standard 355mL brown bottle with a pretty ordinary farmyard label with a dodgy cow-dog hybrid (meant to be a cow I guess).

Appearance: copper-orange in colour with big carbonation. A white head pops up and fluffs away to a half-finger cap, decent lacing. Looks decent.

Aroma: a fairly demure nose for an ESB - some orchard fruits and light caramel. Still, it offers some promise.

Taste: again a fairly plain orchard fruits and caramel across the palate - certainly nothing special. Not special enough for the price.

Aftertaste: doesn't really pick up too much on the aftertaste either. Oh well.

Mouth feel: lighter in feel with lower to mid carbonation.

Overall: not a bad beer, but it certainly isn't good enough for the price of AU$110+ a case. I also wouldn't say that I hate the "organic" scene that has been sweeping the globe of late, but I absolutely cannot see the difference in taste or quality with either beers or food. The sooner that "organic" products that are no better than standard but twice the price disappear, the happier I'll be.

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Photo of metter98
3.43/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving some lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel and toasted malts as well as earthy yeasts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except it is maltier and there are less of the earthy yeast flavors. A very slight amount of bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink, but seems like it could use stronger aromas and better head retention.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

DATE TASTED: November 22, 2013... GLASSWARE: Howard's Pub pint... OCCASION: Shark Tank Friday... APPEARANCE: another handsome ale from Lakefront--a dark copper body with a slow,, steady carbonation; milky, thick head again, formidable lacing... AROMA: nice buttery, toffee fragrance floats easily through the nostrils; pleasant malts and sugars balance reasonably... PALATE: strong backbone belies the alluring scent; medium-bodied and a bit stronger than the average ESB, I would suspect...TASTE: impactful at the teeth--some fruit suggestions and malt that stacks itself rather earnestly--a rather thin profile, overall...OVERALL: I prefer my ESBs light, buttery, nutty and drinkable; Lakefront's edition offers little engagement in these areas, coming on a bit too strong for my expectations...

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.56/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a nice red with a fluffy white head. Smells of some grassy and flowery hops. Tastes of nice grain with some grassy hops, bitter, but not overly so. Beer is carbonated nicely light bodied and goes down great. Overall an above average beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.19/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at the brewery. Pours a deep murky red with some head and nice lacing. The nose comprises of a light caramel malts with touches of earth and toast. Also picking up some metallic notes. The taste is light with leafy herbal notes, light grain, and light bitterness. The body is... you guessed it, very light with high carbonation. Overall, this beer is pretty bland with dull flavors. Wouldn't come back to this one.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.16/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz standard pressure-cap bottle into a conic pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- One-finger white head with tiny bubbles and quickly eroding retention. Amber body with thick, slow-moving carbonation.

S- Amber malts with crisp, grassy hops. Interesting dichotomy in this beer. Not great, not bad.

T- Crisp, amber flavor. Grassy hops with slightly darker malts.

M- Light bodied but biting carbonation. It's alright.

O- Mediocre beer, but not bad for organic stuff.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.32/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

8 beer variety pack. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours orange hued amber/copper with fizzy white foam. Sits nicely. Very lite orange peel nose, some malt. Taste is a light bitter, juicy. Conflicting bitter, Earthy. Fast finish, then aftertaste. Uneven. Ends up ok, but not standout.

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Photo of 57md
3.39/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light and cloudy copper with well over a finger of head. The head retained well and left nice lace rings in its wake. The nose is both floral and bready, but also soapy. The malt flavors are not as pronounced as a top shelf ESB, but they are certainly present. The bitterness increases on the finish, but does not really pack a noteworthy punch in the end. This is a light and drinkable offering that is good, but clearly lacks the attributes of the best versions of this style.

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Photo of Ri0
3.56/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

poured 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A - Dark red brown color, with a 2 finger dirty white head that fades slowly and leaves a ring and some lacing on glass.

S - Caramel, toffee, light roasted malts. Honey, fruit, nuts and floral hops.

T - A nice sweet malty caramel and toffee with bits of honey and fruit. Floral hops are in the background and provide a very subtle bitterness to go with a slight nutty flavor. Pretty good.

M - Medium body with light carbonation. Somewhat sticky sweet finish.

O - A nice offering if hops are not your choice. It is a nice beer to drink with almost any meal. I would definitely get this beer on tap at a restaurant, but would not buy it in the bottle to drink at home as a stand alone.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice, soft, soapy head that has nice persistence and leaves great lacing. Sweet, nutty aroma is almost tart with caramel in the back. Lovely burnt umber color. Starts with an almost tartness, sweetness, and floral hoppiness. Becomes medium bitter as a nuttiness melds with toasted malt behind the hops. The finish is lingering toasted malt with floral hop bitterness, and a hint of caramel wafts in and out. There is a bit of a biting carbonation to it, I almost dislike that.

Overall, this isn't too bad. It's a nice mix of toasty malt and hop bitterness. Not my favorite, but not terrible. Fairly average.

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Photo of waitforit
3.16/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Beautiful, rich russet red. A reasonable amount of cream-colored head. Decent lacing.

S: Very faint. Caramel and cherries.

T: Biscuity and burnt, with just a little spice.

M: Average. Rather clean finish.

O: One of the more piquant ESBs I've had, slightly different from the run of the mill.

Try it again? 4 - Probably

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Photo of baos
4.13/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured out of bottle into pint glass.

A: Nice translucent amber color. Two finger head that dwindles to a nice sheen with bits of lacing here and there.

S: Nice floral hops and light malt character makes for a fresh smelling esb!

T: ESB's aren't one of my favorite styles, but this one seems a bit different. The lighter malt character makes for a great flavor. A bit of malt sweetness and floral hops at first this evens out into a pleasant bitter hop flavor.

M: A bit watery, just a bit more would be nice, however, this would make a great brew from a hot day.

O: Not a bad bier, try one on for size!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, fruit, nuts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with some mildly sweet flavors of caramel and fruit that fade quickly. Then a hearty but not too heavy malt character comes in. There are some background flavors of honey and nuts. The hops good for the style and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it’s not a bad beer but there are others in the style that I would choose first.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.78/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another bottle from my favorite brewery tour. Copper pour, thin off white head that is below .5". Lacing and retention are decent though. Aroma imparts almost nothing but a mild undercurrent of breadiness and bitterness. Very miniscule, very far from robust.

Bitterness and cardboard are the heavy hitters in the flavor profile. Cardboard lacks any caramel or toffee notes. Kind of a headscratcher. A tiny bit of old closet mustiness. Copper + cardboard doesn't make for the best of beers. I've had better bottles than these, but even those weren't awesome by any means. There's just a void of hops in this beer, and even when viewed through the most stringent (I should mention the beer is also astringent, without hops, like it was dry hopped with cardboard and pennies) traditionalist viewpoint of an old school English esb.

Kinda hurts to give a brewery I really like a negative review. I think for some, the word 'organic' on the front is license to charge a bunch for an underwhelming product.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, pours copper-brown, with a foamy, beige head that leaves a little lace. Aromas are malty with toasted grain, brown sugar, spicy/earthy hop. Tastes are lots of brown sugar with caramel, toffee, toasty grain, bready, earthy, complementary spicy hop, some fruity notes in there as well. Mouth-feel is creamy and smooth, with a little over-carbonation, but it does allow for the flavors to meld on the palate. Overall, it seems to be that I liked this one more than most. I thought it was good, regardless of whether it was organic or not.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up, er...actually, I was given this. Free. No charge. Left to drink on my own. After having the fabulous Wisconsinite and Local Acre Lagers recently, I wasn't sure what to expect here and now that I've nearly finished downing this, I'm not sure exactly what I had. Many reviewers on here wondered what was missing on here and it comes as no surprise that the ingredient lacking in this is none other than HOPS. If you're expecting this to be bitter, keep expecting. This is unlike any other EB that I've ever had.

This poured like a Weizenbock with an apricot hue, cloudy appearance, and somewhat decent head that lasted for a little while. Not much of an aroma to this and the taste was bland and uncarbonated. Lots of brown sugar, apricot, and crystalline sweetness here with the sugar holding on for a while after each sip. Maybe some signs of a light Ale from Belgium here without the alcohol, or dark fruit that would categorize this as such. A slight earthy bitterness was found here but was this anything like Fuller's, Goose Island, or Red Hook? No way...

I can't quite tell where this missed but I wish the alcohol was a bit stronger, if for no other reason than to giver this beer some teeth. I downed it pretty quick but I prefer to savor my beer as I search for the distinctions in it. Unfortunately, there's not much memorable to this, even if "organic" was printed on the bottle. A disappointment, to say the least.

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Photo of waldoiverson
2.82/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz into nonic

A: amber with moderate carbonation, soapy head, and light lacing

S: sweet sugary malt, lightly hopped green apple, toasted grain

T: very malty body with grassy hops, ritz cracker sugary overtones

M: overly sweet and juicy, no heavy body so missing something to justify the malt base

o meh, it's fine but all components are just a a tad shy of exceptional

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Photo of MadScientist
3.72/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This is a somewhat hazy medium amber having a thin, persistent and creamy, light tan head.

S: Mild fruity esters of apricot and orange with a mild floral hops and a biscuity malt aroma.

T: The flavor is mostly a mix of fruity easter, a caramel and biscuity malt flavor with a moderate hops bitterness taking over at the end. The balance is mostly towards the bitter. The finish is dry with a malt aftertaste.

M: A crisp, medium-light bodied with a moderately-low level of carbonation.

O: This is a nicely balanced ESB with a a bit of fruitienss and a nice malt flavor. A little cloudy for an ESB it lost a bit on appearance.

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Photo of jsprain1
2.09/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Red-copper with golden highlights. Head is half a finger, just a shade off white. Decent retention, light lacing.
S- The aroma is minimally there. There is some malty notes. But where is the bitterness? It really is missing that.
T- Not very flavorful. There is some generic sweetness up front with a touch malty caramel. But the bitterness is really really lacking.
M- The body is lacking depth and the carbonation comes off fizzy.
O- This was an absolute disappointment for me. All around lacking, unfortunately.

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Organic ESB from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 76 out of 100 with 383 ratings