Rainbow Trout ESB | The Blue Ridge Brewing Co.

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25 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Blue Ridge Brewing Co.
South Carolina, United States

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Rainbow Trout ESB is a traditional medium bodied pour that includes just a hint of a chocolate thing hidden in there...you find it! Our ESB utilizes English Hops for a sweeter more malty character than a Pale....thus it's dark amber hue.

38 IBU

Added by John on 12-18-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by PhillyStyle:
Photo of PhillyStyle
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the brewpub, May 2011:

Per the menu, 38 IBU. The beer appeared a nice red/dark amber color (it was a tough to see as they had the lights lowered at the bar) with an off white head that was retained well, but eventually faded into a very thin cap. Some lacing to note. The beer had a nice malty aroma, as expected. The beer had a malty taste to it, sweet and bready, not bad, maybe slightly better than average. The beer had a lighter feel to it than expected of an ESB. The beer had a nice finish with a little bitter aftertaste. Overall, nice drinkability, given the lower ABV and the lighter feel, but not a beer that I would drink all that often.

 667 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of rugbycritic
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this one. It's a good ESB, which are kind of rare actually (at least in my experience). With Fuller's being the standard, this measures nicely, with an American twist. It's more hoppy than the English, but what would you expect in a brewpub?

Lovely deep golden red copper, rich head, some lace, good firm maltiness with good hops. A bit of hop aroma that doesn't distract from the malts.

This one is my second fave here, after the good Colonel of course.

 468 characters

Photo of dirtysanchez843
4.25/5  rDev +25.4%

Photo of thagr81us
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the brewpub into a Blue Ridge/Foothills shaker in the company of PDXHops. Poured a nice dark brown with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt and a nutty note. The flavor was of malt, nutty, and earthy notes. It had a medium feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a very nice ESB. I am not usually a fan of this style, but could see myself having quite a few of these and not getting tired of it. Definitely a must try from Blue Ridge if you are in the area.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice dark orange brown with no real head and no lace. Smell was musty with hint of english hops. First impression of this was that it was a tad watered down, slightly slick and not carbonated enough. Flavors were very nice, lots of english bittering hops and a great balanced malt sweetness. This could be a really nice brew, it just needs that little bit of extra to put it over the top. Maybe some more carbonation or a little more ABV, just seems to be missing that fullness to really make it stand out in a crowd/

 526 characters

Photo of MTNboy
3.44/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- It is a dark brown almost amber color. A little lace.

Smell- Fruity and citrus like aroma .

Taste- Not really that bitter if you ask me but fruity and is followed by a sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied.

Drinkability- It is easy and fun to drink and I would go as far to say it is not your usual ESB .

 327 characters

Photo of DrMindbender
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of JohnBender
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of woodychandler
3.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It had a foamy, medium tan head upon arrival. The nose had a mild, malty sweetness. The color was a light-amber with NE-quality clarity. It had a light light mouthfeel with a malty sweetness on the palate. The finish had a nice bitterness, making it a decent accompaniment to my lunch of barbecued meats on a platter with sides of collard greens and macaroni and cheese.

 370 characters

Photo of PDXHops
4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edit- Lowering scores all around, as there are some definite batch variations (range being from good to stellar). Worth a shot in any event.

On tap at the brewpub in a shaker pint.

Pours a nice clear brownish amber with a finger of off-white head. The head recedes to a quarter inch skim after a couple of minutes, but the lacing left behind is pretty wild- ring after ring with spiderwebs in between, all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Apparently this will be no mild-mannered brew. Big crisp, clean, lightly sweet malt profile with a crisp, leafy character. The hops, meanwhile, are so earthy and pungent that the only way I can describe the smell is "sticky". Fuggles and UK Goldings sez the menu; I'm guessing a lot more heavy on the Fuggles.

The modest 4.7% ABV is quite deceptive, as this is a bold, hearty and substantial brew. Big bold maltiness, nutty with hints of charred wood, tobacco and half-dried apples. Bitterness is puckeringly pungent and earthy, and is joined by a nice dose of diacetyl mid-swallow. Carbonation seems just the right level to keep everything flowing. The moderate sweetness is snapped off pretty quickly at the finished, chased away by a final sting of bitterness and replaced by a lingering crisp, leafy aftertaste.

Overall impression: A rather unexpected find here. Easily my favorite local beer I've found so far since moving to Greenville.

 1,390 characters

Photo of roux_broux
3.11/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of sirsteve42
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of TylerKitchens
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of m1ked
3.4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My growler from Mikesgrove for the final Growling at the Moon. Hope your baby is delivered safe and healthy, cheers.

A- Pours a rusty brown, that is opaque. An off white head that satcks up to a whopping 1/2", fading to some minimal lacing. Looks like a heavy iced tea.

S- Sweet, malty, bready but almost bready like a pretzel. Touch of caramel. All very subtle though.

T- A slight touch of bitter up front that fades into a bit of a watery bready sweetness. There is that touch of caramel again.

M- Watery, low carbonation. A nice lingering sweet, bitter flavor that I enjoy.

D- Overall avery easy beer to drink, in fact I drank 2 glasses poolside yesterday. I know I beat it up a bit, but an easy mild drinking beer.

 723 characters

Photo of John
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice deep amber color. Impressive head. Medium roasted malt and a curious peat smokey aroma...hmm strange for an ESB. None of the usual fruity character of an ESB. This seems more like a blend of a Scotch ale and an American amber ale. Don’t get me wrong this is good beer, just not typical of an ESB. Good sturdy mouthfeel and medium body. With very low bitterness, the hops are here for balance only. Hop flavor is modest. To save scrutinizing the ESB label by geeks like us, (hence the below average smell & taste score) BRBC is probably better off just calling this an amber.

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Photo of buckyp
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer arrived on the table mostly clear deep amber with a white persistent head which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was mostly caramel malt but also contained a fruity and earthy character.

The flavor was malt in the front, caramel, with a strong woodsy and earthy bittering and a lightly toasty flavor.

The finish was dry with a lasting bittering long into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the beer had a good carbonation level for the style. A good ESB!

4.7% ABV, 38 IBU.

 506 characters

Photo of RochefortChris
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Nate2034
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ddriban
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.97/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber color with a minimal head that dissapears almost immediately.
Malty and smoke are the most prevalent smells. A slight detection of some caramel and even a touch of fruitiness, maybe prunes.
The taste was a bit weird. There was actually a lot of hop bitterness. A bit too much and definitely more than should be in an ESB.
Little carbonation which is to be expected but too much hoppiness. I am sure this is Blue Ridge Breweries take on the ESB but I was looking for something more traditional.
A very drinkable beer but I think out of style of the ESB.

 579 characters

Photo of AlexJ
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany pour with a frothy, sizzling tan head that is quickly gone.

Aroma is scorched caramel, hints of smoke, buttery diactyl, and floral and fruity hops.

Flavor follows closely; plenty of caramel malts, hints of charcoal, and some pleasantly bitter floral hops in the finish. There's definately an off note to it though. Slightly metallic and diactyl.

Body is barely medium and not well carbonated. Tastes flat by the end of the pint.

 451 characters

Photo of erlcampbell
3.04/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Buck6196
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of eddiechilton
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Rainbow Trout ESB from The Blue Ridge Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 25 ratings