Louis XVI Guillotine ESB Ale | Browning's Brewery

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Louis XVI Guillotine ESB AleLouis XVI Guillotine ESB Ale
16 Ratings
Louis XVI Guillotine ESB AleLouis XVI Guillotine ESB Ale

Brewed by:
Browning's Brewery
Kentucky, United States

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Cresant on 09-21-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by StoneTSR:
Photo of StoneTSR
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Found this 22oz. bottle at my local liquor store...knew nothing about it, but recently I've been on a bit of an ESB kick, so I thought I would give it a try.

APPEARANCE: The head is ENORMOUS. For some strange reason, even while pouring slowly with the glass at a 45 degree angle this thing seemed to explode out of the bottle - and it has been sitting in my fridge, unmoved, for about a week. Maybe I inadvertently shook it by mistake and didn't notice it, but the head literally filled half the 16oz. Pint glass after pouring about 6 ounces of it. Eventually the head settled down on top of a hazy, pale yellow beer. The lacing was thin, but thorough from top to bottom of the glass.

SMELL: Very strong, very sweet citrus smell, orange seems to dominate. Smells like a Blue Moon tastes - and to be honest, I have no idea if this will end up being a good thing or a bad thing. But, one thing is for sure, I have not yet taken a sip of this beer and I can already tell it is very different.

TASTE: OK, here we go...hmm...I still don't know how I feel about this. The sweet orange smell almost immediately vanished as the first sip hit my tongue. It is replaced with a more traditional, ESB smoky and fairly bitter flavor. The orange and citrus returns to the palate on the back end, but the same strong sweetness of the aroma does not come along with it. If nothing else, I'm rating the taste above average for uniqueness.

FEEL: At this point I'm just confused. I don't know whether I never want to stop drinking this or if I want to just toss the rest of the bottle. And the feel isn't helping me make my decision. After letting it sit a little longer I tried another slow, very slow, pour into the pint glass and it foamed up like a glass of Champaign that's been dumped in too quickly. The bubbles are extremely lively and along with the big foamy head hitting my lips with every sip, the beer comes alive in your mouth. That said, as I got deeper into it, the liveliness died down and almost became flat.

OVERALL: Fantastic?...Go buy this beer immediately?...Horrible?...Don't waste your money? I'm not sure. Two things are for sure - One) it is easy to drink and Two) it is certainly a unique beer that has made me very curious to go out and find another offering from Browning's. And now that I am nearing the end of this brew, I am finding that I kind of want another one...so I guess that's the true sign that it's good.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of merlin48
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle pours a hazy amber body with a medium sized beige head. Lots of patchy lacing.

Aroma of fruity ripe pears, caramel, and bread dough.

Medium body and carbonation.

Taste is dominated by earthy and slightly floral hops. Bready caramel malt base. The fruitiness of the aroma doesn't make it into the taste. Finishes with an earthy bitterness.

I prefer a bit of fruitiness in an ESB and that's missing in the taste here. Still, an enjoyable and very drinkable ESB.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a hazy amber color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention is decent, lacing is good. The aroma is mild but nice, it smells like bready malt, citrusy hops (orange peel) and diacetyl. Taste is similar to the aroma, but stronger. Along with the bready malt, citrusy hops and diacetyl, I can also taste some floral hops and peppery spice. There's also a lingering bitter hoppy aftertaste. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and is well carbonated. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy. I think this is a good overall beer. I'm not sure what the ABV is, but I could have this as a session beer on occasion.

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Photo of peabody
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a cloudy ice tea color with very little head.
Smell is malty and sugary. This is grainy too.
Kinda sweet and mellow.
Taste is sweet malt with a slight bitterness.
Mouthfeel is very plain. Not a lot going on here.
Drinkability is very low cause it doesn't have much going on. Don't like this

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Photo of Cresant
2.99/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Sierra Nevada Hops glass. Best before April 2009. The body was slightly murky, golden orange. Creamy off white head left minimal lacing.

Smell was on the sour side. Cantaloupe. Bread dough. Interesting. Different from the tap version.

Taste was mild bitterness. Hops flavor is present but understated. Tart grain. Lemony sourness. More sourness than I would expect in an ESB.

Mouthfeel was smooth. Smoother than the tap if I remember correctly. Medium body. Right-on for style.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

Best before: Dec 2008

A: Pours an awesome looking hazy/cloudy copper color with a silky, three-finger, light-orange colored head. The receding head retains well (due to some active carbonation) and leaves some thick and sticky ropes of lace clinging to the glass. Also observed a decent amount of suspended sediment.

S: Interesting floral hop aroma. Almost like hops mixed with moist dirt. Lurking in the background is some biscuit-y malt, dried flowers, citrus, and toasted malt. Slightly soapy.

T: My taste buds were struck right away by that dirty hop flavor and the toasted bready malt. Also noticed was herbal and floral dried flowers that lead into a tart citrus hop flavor. It finishes up a little metallic but damnit, it works!

M: This guy is pretty bright. Peppery on the tongue with a long lasting bitter/hoppy finish.

D: ESB's aren't one of my "go to" styles but this one has done a lot to change my opinion of the style. I'm truly impressed by yet another Browning's beer. They are a welcome addition to what's available in Chicago!

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Photo of cameraman
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The beer is poured a golden to copper color that has a quarter inch thick head forms on top. The head is an off white color and shows tremendous retention. The smell of cracked grain and a doughy fragrance comes out at first. That is overtaken by a light citrus and grassy scent that lingers on the nose. The taste starts out with strong bread, cracked grain and biscuit flavors. It then blends halfway across the palate with a grassy and pine bitterness. There is an aftertaste of metal at the end and stays there long after each taste, staying there for some time. A light texture at the front, that gains weight as it reaches the back of the palate to become more medium bodied. The comforting look, pleasing aroma and solid feel cannot bring this beer up. The taste starts out well, but the finishing metallic taste hurts every other aspect.

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Photo of Spidey13
4.37/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got a pint of this on tap at Old Chicago. It showed up at the table in a mug looking a hazy, amber, iced tea color with a small white head. The nose was nice, with a some nice sweet caramel and citrus hop notes. The beer was pretty cold at the time, so it was hard to pick out much else.

The taste really impressed me. Though none of the flavors are overpowering, I really liked the sweetness of it, with caramel and orange flavors followed by a bit of bitterness. The mouthfeel was a bit thin but really complemented the flavors.

Overall, this is my favorite Browning's beer I've had so far. It's a good session beer and I could drink it all night. No big whopping flavors, but just super easy-drinking goodness.

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Photo of chaunur
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didn't think Brownings was still in business, guess this is a left over keg. The beer poured a med golden amber colour with a nicely formed 2 in creamy head that left moderate lacing. It possessed a nice semi-fruity aroma with a presence of citrus and flowers. This continued with the flavor although the bitterness was not as pronounced as I thought it would be. Overall a good beer and will have again if they are still brewing it

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Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Tone
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of very fresh malt, secondary sweet malt, hint of pale malt, and hint of hops. Fits the style of an ESB. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong, fresh malt, slight pale malt, slight citrus hops, and slight yeast. Overall, the malt is dominant and refreshing. Even with the good malt presence, the complexity is quite lacking.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Welcome back Browning's!

The Guillotine falls with a hazy russet color typical of dry hopping and kettle caramelization- caught somewhere between borwn and copper. I am impressed by the restrained level of carbonation that allows the beer to build a bright but off-white head that eventually falls to a light blanket that settles on the beer. A truely genuine and gentlemanly English look.

An estery caramel scent is soon followed by earthy and herbal hops, light shortbreads, and a hint of a phenolic plastic. A persistant apple aroma also seems stronger than all other fruit scents. Earthy and pungent with a softer caramel trailing.

The taste buds are all flooded at once by an assertive mix of toffee (not caramel as in the nose), heavy on bruised fruits (especially apple) and a big earthy and bitter hop flavor. The hop character seems very vibrant and bright but the yeast character is too focused on the green and red apple yeast character that becomes a bit distracting as the session wears on. And where's that plastic comming from?

A firm malt base offers a sense of stability and sweetness to the beer; sort of a springboard for the hops and fruitiness. Bitterness is a bit bitey at times but doesn't really reach astringent levels. Not dry like American Pales, the beer ends with a minty evaporative crispness that is much appreciated.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A rather dark ESB relative to the ones I'm used to drinking. Chestnut color, a slight filmy head, a bit soapy at first.
Smell is great. This was served chilled, but I think it would be better a room or cellar temp. A mild malt aroma with grains and alcohol piercing through. Very bitter. Nice.
Taste resembles most of the bitters I had in London, this is great. Slight hop characters, toasted malt, unripe plum, and some sour apple. Bitter it is.
Great feel to it, nice drinking.

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Photo of RedBaron
2.22/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

What the f--- is this crap? I need a REAL beer.

Appearance: straw-gold color is pleasant enough, but the carbonation level was just too high. Fizzy beer.
Smell: Lite citrus-y nose, some decent aromatic hops.
Taste: Some stock American-tasting bittering hops were used lending a decent taste up front, but not much complexity and can't taste much of the malts. Astringent, bad phenols at the end.
Mouthfeel: two words: water and fizzy. I think this sample is infected.
Drinkability: I plunked down money for this 22oz BOMBer, and I want it back! No offense to a friend who has become a homebrewer par excellence, but this sample tastes like an "error batch" from his early days of homebrewing. Perhaps somebody at Brownings wasn't minding the store, and something crappy got in this beer. The best buy date says "May 00, 2009". WTF kind of date is this?

Oddly, it's named in honour of French monarch Louis XVI, as if he might have enjoyed this beer. I tend to think he was spared the insult and the blade was a better alternative. Sorry, fellas. This beer is merde.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

Appears a semi hazy orange copper color with a one inch off-white head. Some spotty lacing is left behind.

Aroma is caramelly, some floral hops, and something that I can't really describe, but it seems familiar. It's kind of like strawberry cream cheese or something, but in a good way.

Taste is sweet at first with some caramel flavors but it is taken over by hops that are spicy, with a slight citrusy floral taste as well. The strawberry cream cheese flavor is still there but it's now in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium, with a creamy carbonation.

Not the best ESB I've taste, certainly very interesting with the strawberry cream cheese thing going on, but it's good.

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Photo of bzach
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Louis XVI Guillotine ESB Ale from Browning's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 16 ratings