Elora Special Bitter | Trafalgar Ales & Meads

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Elora Special BitterElora Special Bitter

Brewed by:
Trafalgar Ales & Meads
Ontario, Canada

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Extra Special Bitter is a term used by British brewers to signify their strongest and most expensive hopped or “bitter” pale ale. Consistent with the style, the flavors from Willamette and Fuggles are not allowed to dominate this ale. The malt rules! Foods with full flavor and heavy spices are an excellent compliment to ESB.

Added by shamus on 08-16-2008

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 24
Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear medium orangish amber colour, with 3 fingers of foamy, creamy off-white head, which a few pillars of lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of bready, cracker-like grain, and wild grassy hops. The taste is dry, bitter cracker grain, a little bready, and mildly bitter English hops. The carbonation is fairly sedate, the body medium weight, smooth, and a bit creamy, and it finishes mostly dry, the soft, but enveloping bitterness slightly overshadowing any residual maltiness.

I quite enjoyed this very drinkable bitter, at the end of a soul-sucking, but ultimately satisfying work week in my home away from home.

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Photo of Sammy
2.95/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Better when originally brewed by the Old Mill in Elora, This is a watery rendition of an ESB, with a faint bitterness in the finish. There is a tad of a scent of malt and clear washed out redness in the colour. The mouthfeel is close to that felt by water alone.
Consistent with most beers from this brewery.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
3.81/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light bodied burgundy in color with shy carbonation with some golden hues.

Smell is sweet and hoppy, shy bitterness, it is blanced in between hops and malt. Shy caramel flavours that tickles the palate.

the mouthfeel is watery, very smooth, some bittersweet, and a shy bitterness, very blanced, not overwhelming, buttery in mouth

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.55/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased from the LCBO, been almost dreading opening this because of warnings against Trafalgar, but here it is.

Pours a dark golden brown/orange, almost looks like an IPA. A finger of foam that doesn't have much staying power.

Nose is toasted bread, a leafy/herbal-ness, and a hint of something citrus.

Has an almost medicinal bitterness at first, a little off putting but it slowly opens up into a decent, though slightly under-whelming bitter. A grassy, leafy hop profile layered on a sweet caramel, honey on biscuits, and buttered toast, a hint of pale malts. Follows through with a dry bitterness that teeters on being "off/soapy" but comes down on the side of pleasant. Faintly thin body but nothing overly disappointing. Too carbonated, could easily be toned down a notch.

While this is certainly nothing to write home about this also isn't the trainwreck I was half expecting. Looking at the other reviews perhaps if you want to try one from Trafalgar, this is the one. I would drink this with a meal, would pair well with pub food. Nothing too bold but enough character to make it through a meal.

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Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.9/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 650-ml bottle into a large pub ale glass.

Appearance - a light amber-copper colour that produced about a 1/2-inch head as a result of an aggressive pour. This subsided and there are foamy large bubbles at the surface and a coating of lace.

Smell - a dense, concentrated malt with a streak of caramel of all things. Not a lot of hop presence, but I'm anticipating the taste.

Taste - good smooth start, followed by a good hoppiness over the malt flavours. The wave of hop taste outlasts the malt and alternates with a mild sweetness on a wet finish.

Mouthfeel - this ale, in part due to the lower carbonation, is smooth. The balanced effect of the hops keeps it interesting throughout.

Drinkability - this is an enjoyable beer, good to unwind with after a busy day or week. Good on its own or with a light snack.

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Photo of bobsy
3.65/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased with some trepidation at the LCBO, because in the past Trafalgar have been known to have quality concern issues. The best before date on the bottle indicates April - a full three months away. Pours a light amber colour with a generous off-white head that laces well. Smells fine - some lemon, bread and earthiness. Yay, this beer is not ruined! In fact, the flavour i very solid. The hops seem slightly soapy, but transition through to citrus, and leafiness. This is all played out against a subtle background of honey-slathered toast. Under-carbonation has also been a big issue for me with this brewery, but this one is just about perfect, with a refreshing stream of bubbles accentuating the bitterness on the tongue. The body is a light-medium mouthfeel, which I think is correct for the style.

Surprisingly good. Definitely more than a rebranding of the Elora ESB, this beer has seen more than a few tweaks, and has arrived in good bitter territory, and is now on a par with most other offerings. After two straight nice Trafalgar beers I'm officially removing my red flag from this brewery.

 1,114 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

650 ml bottle from LCBO.

Pours a clear amber orange, some light brown hues, decently thick and rocky white head forms, drops a decent amount of lace, nice layer is formed, good retention, this is Trafalgar? Smell is decent, some light toasty malts, bread, honey, earthy, some citrus, nothing exciting but not infected, so a step up from normal Trafalgar, nice malty aroma. Taste is similar, very light flavour, very toasty, bitter burnt bread, honey, corn syrup, malty, earth, light bit of sourness, some fruit, nothing exciting, solid bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with high carbonation, much too carbonated and sharp for the style. Sourness works okay, maybe they've kind of fixed their beers.

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Photo of shamus
3.75/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This being the first review of this one is a bit intimidating. I've not been impressed by previous offerings from Trafalgar/Old Mill, but I quite like this. It's not got much head but it is fresh and thirst quenching. it has a bit of a tea taste to it which I like. I can really smell the malt; it almost smells of bran and honey. Another sip and yes i quite like this; an interesting balance of sweet and bitter.

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Elora Special Bitter from Trafalgar Ales & Meads
3.2 out of 5 based on 24 ratings.
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