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Extra Special Bitter | Moylan's Brewery

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Extra Special BitterExtra Special Bitter
40 Ratings
Extra Special BitterExtra Special Bitter

Brewed by:
Moylan's Brewery
California, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mark on 10-10-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of Offa
4.65/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was fortunate to get this cask-conditioned at Toad in the Hole, Santa Rosa, on their weekly cask/real-ale night. It's among the best US ESBs I've had, at least from the cask, with great balance, restrained but very flavourful.

Faintly hazy light amber, it has a smallish off-white head slowly thinning to a lasting ring and some nice lace.

The aroma is malty with grain, lightly caramelly and lightly toasty, a little clear grapefruit, hints of fruit, a bit flowery overall. It's good but seems a bit too grapefruity and hints at an all-too-common grapefruity character.

On taste, however, the actual character is only lightly grapferuity and has a lot more. It is very balanced in malt/hop and sweetness/bitterness, it is well-rounded, lightly complex, light in character, yet flavourfull with sweetness and bitterness, a lot of lightly toasty grain, raisininess, light caramelly toast, light grapferuit with some lemon, pepperiness, light spicey leafiness, and faint hint of yeastiness. It has a definite Engish quality to it, especially in the restrained but flavourful, subtley complex and well balanced character. It is less richly/darkly toasty and fruity than the likes of Fuller's and in overall nature of the flavours is a little more along the line of Old Speckled Hen or the like. It is light, crisp, and very drinkable. So far this is by far my favourite bewer from Moylan's, which to me has produced some real duds.

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Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +32%

Photo of Mark
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this offering at the Moylans pub. Poured a medium amber with a white head that lasted pretty long. lacing was in clumps and scattered about the glass. Nice aroma of malt with some slight hopping, kind of reminded me a bit of some offerings I've had in the U.K. Nice malt based tase profile with some long lingering hop finish. Not quite as smooth as most U.K. ESB's but very nice. Mouthfeel is just right and it's nice and drinkable. I had two. Went well with my salami pizza, which was excellent as well by the way. Go Moylan's.

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Photo of carln26
4.18/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the brewpub in Novato, CA. It’s served as a nitro tap. It poured bright copper very clear with a light off white head. There wasn’t much in the nose, possibly because it was served just a touch cold. Light caramel and toffee with a little orange. Maybe a little bit of date. Flavor is rich caramel and toffee, light bitterness carries throughout in the form of a tangy orange. Light and slightly slick mouth feel. Excellent ESB. Not enough brewers deliver on this style. This would be an excellent session beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle - $4.99 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden-copper body with a rather frothy-looking, whitish head. Thin smattering of lace on the way down.

Smell: Sweetish toffee, though not overly aromatic, with notes of day old, toasted, buttery biscuit tops, tea leaves, and a bit of fruitiness.

Taste: Lightly toasty, biscuit-hinted malts with a low caramel sweetness. Herbaceous, black tea-like hops with a light balancing bitterness. Small hint of fruit, some citrus, too. A bit more toffee coming through as it warms. Drying, slightly minerally on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-light carbonation. Fairly soft mouthfeel.

Overall: Benefits from some warmth and patience. Light (both in terms of body and flavor), tasty (for being light), and easy-drinking.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewery. Pint. Reviewed from notes.

A: Light amber colored liquid with a finger of dense cream colored foam on top. Great film retention; rings of thick lace.
S: Light straw nose, peaches, cracked grains and apricot come through on the nose.
T: Sweet and clean taste. More caramel than the nose suggested but there’s still a dominating cracked grain taste. Malt and light with hints of hoppy fruits and pineapple. Clean crackery malt.
M: Medium-light body, light and smooth carbonation, with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Lightly drying.
O: A very nice drinking beer that one could indulge in for hours.

 623 characters

Photo of megahurts4
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moylan's Special Bitter
On nitro at The Avenue Pub, New Orleans, LA

Appearance: honey, medium head, and a lot of lacing.

Smell: fruity and hops.

Taste: barley, hops, and faint citrus fruit.

Mouthfeel: light and silky smooth.

Its very light, but the flavors a good and well balanced. It is watery in feel, but not taste.

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Photo of Kromes
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy gold color with a finger's width white head.

S: Herbal hop, toasted malt, a slight citrus fruit aroma.

T: A nice mix of toasted malt and herbal hop. There's a slight citrus fruitiness in the finish along with a faint mellow smoke flavor.

M: Light in body with a good level of carbonation. Refreshing and very drinkable.

O: Overall a solid ESB. Good flavors and goes down easy.

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Photo of wrightst
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.69/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this beer is a lot better than its ratings, at least it is on tap at the brewery anyway. a little haze to an otherwise pale caramel colored brew with a full inch of white head on it. its not quite as intense on the grain as some of the more traditional english ones, but i still get the maris otter malt and some crystal in here, its just a lot drier than is often customary. there are some nice grassy european hops in here too, fresher than they usually smell and taste in the style, and a flavorful and efficient ale yeast that has dried this out nicely. light on the tannins and fruity elements that sometimes creep into these, pretty basic all told, a little crackery and nutty property to the grain, a clean and just bitter enough hop taste, and a lively spirited mouthfeel that makes this feel both soft and easy drinking. i have always known these guys to be producers of big gnarly hop forward beers and strong ales, but i was impressed with some of their more mellow offerings during my brewery visit here last week. this is an all day kind of beer.

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Photo of argock
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a nonic pint at The Regal Beagle (San Diego, CA). Reviewed from notes.

A: Chestnut brown with short cap of off-white head. The head hangs around and leaves a few lace scraps.

S: The C-type hoppiness is evident with a subdued soft caramel maltiness with a fair amount of yeast esters.

T: The flavor is also hops-heavy for the style but still reasonably balanced. The English malt character with some caramel and leathery dark malts poke through but are overshadowed by the citrus and floral hoppiness.

M: The carbonation is even which leaves a fairly light-medium body with a smooth feel.

O: A West Coast ESB so to speak -- a big dose of citrus hops layered on caramel and medium-dark malt. Not a bad beer at all and it went well with the pork sausage with onions and peppers.

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Photo of vince4953529
3.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I do not know why this has not been reviewed more since it has been out in the bottle format for some time now. 22 oz. from Hi-time.

5% abv listed on the bottle. The look is a light copper color. Smelled of toasty malts and a bit soapy.

The taste was surprisingly malty and bready. The flavor was a bit thick and hearty for a light ESB.

Above average ESB, hope more people can dig this up and try it.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber colored ale with a one finger beige head that stays well. A touch of lacing.

The aroma has a lot of wheat whiffs shining through. A dose of rye, fruit and malt.

The taste is pretty good. A big malt flavor with wheat and fruity esters on the swallow. Bittering hops allow for a lingering bitter aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was decent. Carbonation on the low side.

Overall this was okay for the style. Not my favorite style to begin with. Would love to try it on cask rather than a bottle though. I’m sure it would make for a whole new better drinking experience. And some fish and chips would help too!

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Photo of northbay47
3.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of HipCzech
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Serving: On tap (nitro) at the Hay Merchant, in an imperial pint glass (20 oz).

Appearance: Clear, copper amber with dense white nitro head. Good intricate lacing.

Smell: Light toasted malt, caramel and sweet dried fruit.

Taste: Mellow toasted malt, caramel sweetness, light citrus, bitterness and earthy minerality.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light body, but smooth, creamy feel.

Overall: Very drinkable - went well with a steak and sweet potato mash while at The Hay Merchant.

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Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of ADZA
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a orange copper hue which leaves a two finger fast vanishing head and little lacing,the smell is boiled candy and citrusy hops,the mouthfeel is just over lightbodied and easy going with tastes of orange rind,lemon zest,fruity candy and finished with a touch of toffee and tangerine bittersweetness and overall its alright and glad ive tried but wouldnt go out of my way for it again.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: big, solid 650mL brown bottle, old-school label.

Appearance: pours a medium amber-copper colour with a small head that quickly drops to a ring. Not much lacing.

Aroma: pine and grass hops with earth and some orchard fruits.

Taste: toasted biscuit malts on the palate, but predominantly those earthen qualities and some hops. There seems to be something a bit lacking for a Moylan's - I'd love to try this one straight from the tap.

Aftertaste: the hop bitterness hangs about for a time, not that much complexity however.

Mouth feel: light in body with a good dose of carbonation - very drinkable.

Overall: a very drinkable ESB, but nothing amazing. After reading Offa's review I'd love to try it from the cask tap, but as it stands it simply isn't worth the expense.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of dgilks
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear golden colour with no head disappointing.

Sweet, mild malt aroma with some mild citrus hop notes.

Crisp but soft malt with a touch of citrus hops. Quite light on the palate.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Not really an ESB in my books. This is too thin with insufficient malt depth and character.

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Photo of AaronOp
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of GRG1313
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on a nitro tap and I believe my score was 1.98. Now tasting it again 1 year and a week later, from the bottle.

Pours a crystal clear amber with a short lived white head. Decent looking.

Nose is sweet "light chocolate malt" and esters. A bit sweet in the nose but appealing and inviting.

Mouthfeel is lightly creamy, well balanced and nicely carbonated. It is fresh and also inviting.

Flavor profile from the bottle was far superior to my experience from a nitro tap. Flavors are light chocolate toast and malt. Well integrated and almost elegant in nature. Do not hit you over the head but extremely drinkable. Nice bitter back palate.

Finish is a nice bitter toast. I enjoyed this relatively light beer with an elegant and inviting toasty ESB character. Could be a bit more assertive for me but the nose, mouthfeel, flavors and finish are all around nice, appealing and drinkable.

 895 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On nitro tap for the 2nd Anniversary event at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a dense foamy off-white head that lasts. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus, and some perfume-like hop aromas. Taste is of malt, earthy hops, and some herbal flavors. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average ESB with a better smell than taste.

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Extra Special Bitter from Moylan's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 40 ratings
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