Marin Brewing Company

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Beer Geek Stats:
English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Needs more ratings
3.97 | pDev: 6.55%
Marin Brewing Company
California, United States
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 8 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mjl21
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. Served in a pint glass. Comes in at 5.2%.

A-Pours a clear brownish amber with a one finger off white head that has a decent level of retention. Little spots of lace are left on the glass in between sips.

S-A very subtle nose. There is a definite bready aroma along with what I assume are noble hops. There is also some sweet malt in there.

T-The noble hops are apparent early on. It is not as sweet as it is on the nose. I pick up on some fruit in the middled and a flavor that reminds me of a Tootsie Roll. There is a nice roast flavor at the end. There is a tad bit of bitterness and it is a little dry. The taste picks up as it warms.

M-Medium bodied with a pleasing soft carbonation level.

D-An easy drinking low abv beer.

This is an easy drinking beer that would be a good gateway craft beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

This is how I wish more American-made ESB's tasted like. Sure, there's no lacing sticking to the glass of this dark marron colored beer, but the hop profile is soft, the fruity esters are pleasant, and a touch of toasted malt with carmel help this beer go down with ease. I wish Marin Brewing would bottle this offering.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on cask at Hamilton's Tavern 2nd Saturday with Marin Brewing on 4/11/09.

Poured a hazy golden color with a very thin head, probably a quarter of an inch.

It was a little hard to pick up too much aroma since the beer was surprisingly too cold coming from the cask and filled to the brim. After a few minutes and a couple of sips I could smell some lightly toasted malts, crackers, hints of orange, a bit of earthiness from the hops and some yeast fruitiness.

The taste was pretty good with some dry cracker, toast, biscuit malts and an earthy hop flavor in the finish. Hints of orange and marmalade late in the aftertaste. A bit of a mineral flavor which is typical of the style. Low bitterness and low dryness. Low carbonation at first and a tad watery but as it warms up you can feel the body of the beer on the palate. Extremely easy to drink and I wish there were more English-style beers available on cask more often.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a dark gold, medium white head, good retention and lacing.

S: Bready malt, with a bit of herb and honey.

T: Light toasted sourdough bread, and earthy, herbal hops form an interesting mix. A rustic American bitter perhaps.

M: Light carbonation, and light-bodied, good for quaffing.

D: It's nice to see more bitters on cask around here. While not entirely traditional, it certainly has the CA hop flair to it, it was an enjoyable pint.

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Photo of Gusler
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask @ Real Ale Fest
The beer pours a somewhat bemused amber color with an ample head that was frothy and light tan in color, the lace a decent covering sheet. Nose was sweet and pleasant, the start nicely malted and the top middling in its feel. Finish had delectable hop spiciness, the acidity pleasant and the dry aftertaste lingered long on the palate, quite a nice ESB, from a fine brewery.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served up at the Carlsbad Pizza Port Real Ale Festival last weekend in lieu of their White Knuckle Double IPA. Had a double-pour of this one for reviewing purposes and to compare with the Bear Republic ESB I had before.
Marin's take had slightly hazed light amber hue and over which sat a 1" white head. Again, I was taken aback by the generous carbonation. Most cask-conditioned beers I've tried in the past came off as nearly flat.
The nose was well and truly malty, rather like saltine crackers, with some floral hops and fruit aromas playing second fiddle. The same held true for the taste. Solidly malty, with a hardtack flavor throughout. A more pronounced hops bittering and touch of spice in the finish. Really tasty and pleasing. The feel was medium-bodied and smooth.
This ESB was another thoroughly enjoyable, easily drinkable brew from the Real Ale Fest, and another of my top five favorites there. Hops character stood out a bit more than in the Bear Republic offering but that was fine by me. Another brew that needs bottling and has sparked my interest in the style.

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Photo of Mark
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is copper colored and does not have much head retention or lacing on the glass. It does have a brilliant clarity and the copper color is very Fullers like. Aroma is subtle but inviting and has a floral hoppiness. A very different tasting ESB. Malt base and smoothness were a nice familiarity but the floral distinct hoppy taste that one finds from this outfit took me my surprise. I loved it! I like variety within styles. Very drinkable beer. Too bad it wasn't cask, but worse it's not a regular offering. Glad I tried it and regret big time not getting a growler.

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ESB from Marin Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 8 ratings