Saturday, April 17, 2010

Those Neglected Brits: Fuller's ESB

I want to learn more about European beverage styles! I've had a few German styles and Belgian styles but there are so many different ones! Bocks, Bitters, Biers, Weizens, Dunkels, Heavys, Guezes. Lots to learn! And to drink, sheesh! I feel like I've neglected the Brits, and I'd like to change that.
Fuller's is cool for a couple of reasons, besides their beer. They are old school, brewing since 1845 in "traditional family style." They also brew at the "Griffin brewery," meaning there is a sweet griffin on their labels. I've tried their London Porter before and enjoyed it. So I picked up this Fuller's ESB, which stands for Extra Special Bitter.
It is my understanding, more or less, that Bitter Ales are similar to Pale Ales. They tend to be low in alcohol and high in hops. Extra Special Bitters are higher in alcohol and more balanced. Fuller's ESB is 5.9% alcohol in the bottle.This pint sized bottle poured a very lovely clear reddish-brown/amber with a small but solid white head. The head receded slowly and left thick rings of lace. The smell was mild but dominated by sweet malts. I took a drink...And several more. Wow! Strong sweet caramel malts along with a bitter layer of hops and a touch of spice. Sweetness dominated at first but it ended bitter, making this a nicely balanced ale. It was smooth, light, refreshing, and tasty. I had to keep myself from chugging this. Delicious! If I get the chance to try a pint of this at a British pub I will do so with gusto. A-

No comments:

Post a Comment