Amnesia Brewing

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English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
3.78 | pDev: 11.9%
Amnesia Brewing
Washington, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: "a true English style bitter with a generous amount of biscuit, caramel 60 and Munich malts. English fuggles and east Golding hops."
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 12 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of cbarrett4
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at Amnesia Brewery on Mississippi.

Confession: I love ESB. But not that overly bitter stuff (despite the word bitter being in the name), but the balanced, lower alcohol, true English stuff. So of course I like Amnesia's version!

This is a true session style ESB, lower in alcohol, slightly bitter, and imminently drinkable. The English hops take the front seat here and there is plenty of character and complexity to warrant sipping multiple pints. One of the better ESBs that I have tasted in a long while.


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Photo of msubulldog25
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pint, poured at Amnesia on a rainy/sunny Thursday afternoon.

A: Burnished copper, or a wheat bread crust perhaps - whatever best describes the orange-brown I'm peering into. On the clearer side, modest lace ascending without haste. Terrific lace left by a healthy but unremarkable whitish head; rings and speckled sheets top to bottom.

S: Love the burst of bready aroma, a toasty and honey-sweetened grain. That's about it...

T: Good nutty grain right away. Finish is spicier with a dusty dry mineral quality. In between, grasses dance and bready malts expand to fill the mouth. Balance is pretty spot on.

M: Smooth across the tongue, a mellower carbonation that trails off into the lingering juicy bitterness. Medium feel, just a little lip-smacking stickiness gumming up the finish.

O: Among the tastier and better crafted versions I recall. ESB isn't a style I'm all that accustomed to drinking, so take that for what it's worth. Regardless, I'm happy with the balance and feel, so it gets a 'thumbs up' for future rainy/sunny Thursdays... or other days.

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Photo of plaid75
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Henry's 12th Street Tavern, Portland, Oregon.

Poured a murky amber hue with a one and a half finger frothy white head. There was good retention and very good lacing.

The smell featured a toasted caramel malt and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of moderate toasted malts, caramel, a nice nuttiness and a lingering herbal hop.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a very good ESB.

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Photo of beertunes
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a straight pint glass. It took the publican 4 pours to deal with all the foam this beer produced, but once in front of me a gorgeous beer, a slightly reddish-amber with about an inch of off-white head, was the result.

The aroma was mostly biscuity goodness with a hint of hop spice as the underlying note.

The delivered on the expectations that the aroma promised. Smooth biscuit malt flavors dominate. The hint of hop is there as a faithful companion, but solid malt comfort is the feature here. It is truly wonderful that a northwest brewery understands that ESB is not a synonym for "IPA-lite".

Full-bodied goodness is delivered across the tongue. Smooth well-balanced flavors linger on the tongue without being tiresome or clingy.

Whether you're having one or several this beer is at the top of the drinkability list. A truly sessionable beer, The ESB delivers what our British brethren have understood for centuries. That one doesn't have to abuse oneself to enjoy oneself.

A job very well done.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a shaker pint at the brewery.

Slightly hazy copperish amber body. A finger's worth of cream-colored head. Decent head retention and very crackly spiderweb lacing.

Pretty standard ESB aromas. Bready/biscuity malt, a bit of caramel, fruity smell somewhat reminiscent of baked apples, just a hint of earthy hops.

Lots of bready and toasted malt flavors. Pleasant fruitiness- baked apples and plums. Nice punch of earthy and floral hops. Bitterness may be a tad high for the style, but it's very tasty. Good balanced flavor profile.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation (maybe a bit much for the style).

Overall impression: Quality offering from a solid local brewery.

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Photo of mcallister
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A red esb with an orange fiery approach. Small light white head retains itself nicely.

Light pine hop with a earthy approach. Bready caramel malts with praline candy type sweetness. Dates and dried nuts also.

Solid ESB. Easily sessionable. Demanding hop bitterness on the finish with light toffee on the middle. Very dran and a bit chalky. No fruit in the mouth, somewhat lager like.

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Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: slightly hazy reddish amber color with a short 1" head that lingered a bit. Some spotty lacing developed.

Smell: easily detectable red plums and other sweet fruits. Some mild hops are also there.

Taste: very bold ESB, as the sweetness is well match with a bolder than normal bitterness. Some caramels, plums, brown sugar, and just good all around fruity sweetness is well balanced with some very noticeable floral hops and some black pepper.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. The fruity sweetness lingers softly on the tongue after swallowing, followed by a bit of dry bitterness.

Drinkabililty: I really liked this beer as this was not some wimpy ESB, but a beer that leads you to have more than one. Must try it.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amnesia’s ESB adheres to an English traditional recipe though with a bit more punch in the bittering department. The hops deliver a flat blanket of familiar bitter flavor defining the beer’s core identity and contributing to a lingering aftertaste. (The taste is comparable to the Mash Tun’s Kitchen Sink which I enjoyed the night before). No appreciable showing of head or lace is made manifest (none required) and the aroma keeps a distance. The body is dark bronze.

The ESB reminds us of what the “B” in ESB is for. It’s a nice drinker but might intimidate the uninitiated who are more accustomed to American style ambers.

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The ESB from Amnesia Brewing
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 12 ratings