St. Charles Extra Special Bitter | Wynkoop Brewing Company

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49 Ratings

Brewed by:
Wynkoop Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 06-05-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by Reneejane:
Photo of Reneejane
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer was amber/brown with a white head. As the beer was drunk it left lovely lacing all the way down the glass. The beer was slightly hazy. The smell was hoppy from a dry hop or probably fuggles and cascades? The taste was roasty with a bit of fruitiness. It had good body. I think it might be Burtonized as well? Overall I thought it might be just a smidge too roasty.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of mverity
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of stampfler07
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of blackie
3.01/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a: standard pint serving, the beer is a medium amber in color with a light haze, retaining a layer of white carbonation

s: grainy caramel malt aromas upfront, sweet red apple, yeasty output of the woody variety, some subtle toasted grain aromas, hops very mild and earthy

m: medium slick body with very little carbonation, mostly flat

t: starts with sweet crystal malts and some slight toast flavors, grainy, sweet apples, woody yeasty notes, hop flavors light and earthy - not providing any balance to the malt sugars

o: just an okay esb overall, the flat body certainly doesn't help things and the aroma/flavor profiles are fairly tame and sweet for my preference

draft at the brewpub

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Photo of carln26
3.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first beer I had in my visit to Denver. I enjoyed having it off the cask. It poured a deep brown to mahogany. Nice creamy tan head with an excellent lace. This was the 1st taste of anything besides water I had that day, so maybe my taste buds and nose were particularly awake. I detected a delicate floral aroma, with just a hint of malt. When I tasted I experienced a great malty burst in front. In the middles of the drink there was light citrus hop bitterness. It had a long crisp finish. Light mouth feel of the cask. Very drinkable. Definitely a good choice having this from the cask.

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Photo of Kirby
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hi. welcome to the cask.
Yes, this was my first time having a beer served from a cask. Great!
On a recent trip to Denver I stopped by the Wyncoop brewery... actually watching the Broncos on a Monday Night (pre-season) but I will get to the pub in a different review...
i sampled several of their brews...leaving the cask for last. Lets just say it wasnt my last...I stayed to sample it several times more.
The pour overflowed the glass with a rich white head. great honey-brown color and amazing aroma...extremely hoppy. Great taste and even better the second time around.
Cant wait to go back.

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Photo of ExMachina1
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I had a pint of this drawn from a cask at the Wynkoop Brewing Co. in mid-August 2007.

Upon arrival the beer *looked* good--deep copper color with a lush, dense bit of foam on top. It was marginally cloudy, which is perfectly acceptable for a cask-conditioned beer.

The aroma of the beer was unimpressive but not offensive. Hops were lightly present but were not especially "fresh" smelling, and the esters and malt that typify this style were most definitely NOT present. Overall, I'd would describe the nose of the beer as being unstylistically "flat".

On the tongue, the beer continued to underwhelm and, in fact, offend. The malt foundation with its faint glimmerings of crystal, was simply not robust enough to support the rather aggressive bitterness. The mouthfeel was a similar story of thinness being over-challenged by the false-body of over-developed bitterness. Furthermore, the nice head that the brew started out with faded and the lacing on the glass was non-existent, again indicating that the protein-content of the beer was lacking.

Fortunately, the finish was clean and the carbonation and body were both low enough that finishing the pint was never a question (it would however be my lastpint of this beer!)

Overall--remove the excess bitterness and (ironically, for the literal minded), this beer becomes a nice bitters (or even best bitters). Conversely, in order to live up to the "ESB" characterization, Wynkoop needs to concentrate on increasing the malt character and body, as well as step up the ester profile by altering the fermentation process itself.

 1,596 characters

Photo of Dewback4
3.24/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Rifugium
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at their brewpub

Poured a medium brown color, with a nice white head that receded to a thin layer after a few minutes. Grains and mild malt sweetness in the aroma, toasty, woody, with a subdued hop earthiness. Taste was similar, mild and smooth, not overly flavorful, but still pretty good. Light-medium body, and generally easy to drink.

 357 characters

Photo of BH712
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of ckk527
4.5/5  rDev +30.4%

Photo of jokelahoma
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper, almost garnet color out of the cask. Surprisingly tight head for a hand-pulled beer. As of the time I'm writing this, the head is at the five minute point, and is finally down to an eighth inch. Pretty remarkable.

Aroma is a good balance of hop and malt, with what I consider to be the usual "dusty" English hop overtones. I don't believe all the hops are English, but they seem to dominate the nose. There isn't any citrus that I can detect, in other words.

Good malt backbone is the flavor. The sweetness hits you first, but you quickly lose it in the bouquet of bitterness that follows. Not sure if they use any flavor hop additions in the boil, but if they do, they may as well skip it. I get malt flavor, then a bracing -- but not abrasive -- bitterness. I don't detect any caramel in this at all, and for sure no diacetyl is present (at least to my amateur sniffer).

Mouthfeel seems surprisingly light, as this beer appears to be more highly attenuated than many ESBs. You won't miss the body, though.

I believe this brew could stand to have a bit more character overall, but even as it is, it's an extremely drinkable beer that I'd definitely try again.

 1,194 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.26/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Neutral amber color, clear with excellent head retention that leaves beautiful lace on the glass

The aromas may be the only common place attribute of this beer. The nose is very subtle, meaning I couldn't detect most of the smells. I couldn't find any malt, but there was a slight raw, green hop aroma.

The beer is served at cellar temperature. The malt is light but there's great hop follow up--strong dry hopping. Where's the aroma? Puzzling. The aftertaste is complex with mostly bitter hop bite - very low carbonation.

Even with the vast array of choices, I'll be ordering another. Excellent!

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Photo of champ103
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy red/orange color. A two finger beige head forms that gently recedes to a ring. Light lace is left behind.
S: Citrus, floral, grassy hops with caramel malt for balance.
T: Follows the nose. Citrus, floral, and grassy hops. A light bitterness. A sweet caramel malt for balance again.
M/D: A medium body with a crisp carbonation. Very dry as well. Easy to drink. I can quaff several of these in a sitting with ease.

I really enjoyed this. Not a tradition English ESB. More of just an APA. Though still something that I would recommend for just the enjoyment of drinking a good beer. Rather than judging a beer to be inferior because it is not to style.

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Photo of simonmoyse
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of kojevergas
2.56/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Served on-draught into a taster glass at Wynkoop. Reviewed from notes. Cost was $1.00.

A: Pours a two finger head - somewhat thin - of nice foamy froth, hardly any cream, and good retention. Body colour is a nontransparent dark copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Buttery, with toasted malt, very light subtle hop hints, tea notes, and clean malts. Maybe even a bit of yeast. A delightful, pleasant, inviting aroma. Spot on for an ESB. A mild strength aroma.

T: Buttery, with cream, heavy toffee, maybe truffle, and light backgrounded toasted malts forming a simple foundation. Strangely built. Popcorn-esque in its buttery character. Maybe even some candy corn. Decently balanced. Certainly different.

Mf: Buttery, overly smooth, and too wet. Somewhat watery. Slightly undercarbonated. Light, weak and thin. This needs work.

Dr: Drinkable but strangely built. I wouldn't get this one again.

Low C-

 933 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

GABF '08 at the Brewery.

This beer seems to struggle with similar balance and body issues as most other beers that I tried during my visit. The malt character comes across sweet, confectionate, and sometimes worty. Hop character is quite mild and takes on a grapefruity character, not flowery or piney. The body seems high although the beer has a watery feel as well. Finishes with a dominant emphasis on the malts. This may be my least-favorite beer that I had at the brewery.

 478 characters

Photo of ndekke39
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ordered on-tap at the Wynkoop Brewery in downtown Denver. Poured a very dark color, with deep red tones, almost like a red wine. Light floral aromas in the nose. Light taste of malt, with a late blooming hoppiness. Not as bitter as expected for this style. Light carbonation, good drinkability. Not the best of this style, although definitely worth trying out.

 360 characters

Photo of BDeibs
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Amber/Chocolate color, nice small bubbled head that persisted.
Good smell. The downstairs of the Wynkoop is non-smoking now so cig-smoke doesn't mask aromas. Malt, dark fruit, biscuit.
Taste was thin, yet had the characteristics of an ESB. I expected a bit thicker beer. To note: I had this beer right after the Monkey Fist IPA (not listed), so the 'buds' may have been tainted.

 385 characters

Photo of JamesS
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark copper color with great head and lacing. it has a nice light hoppy scent, not as strong as I'd like, but good. Nice taste, slightly hoppy, light and refreshing, but also felt a little watered down. Nice and smooth, but mostly because of its watered down feeling.

 280 characters

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St. Charles Extra Special Bitter from Wynkoop Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 49 ratings
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