Fullers ESB (500ml Bottle)
First brewed in 1971. Ingredients: Pale Ale malt, Crystal malt and Maize; Target, Challenger, Northdown and Goldings hops. Brewed at 5. 5% ABV in cask and 5. 9% ABV in bottle, ESB is a true liquid legend, and should be savoured as such. ESB has a wonderful rich mahogany appearance. Taking in the nose, the beer is bursting with cherry and orange, balanced by soft malty toffee and caramel notes. The flavour delivers everything you would expect from such a full-bodied ale. The unique blend of Northdown, Target, Challenger and Goldings hops imparts grassy, peppery notes on the tongue along with intense citrus fruit characters of grapefruits, oranges and lemons. The blend of Pale Ale and Crystal malts in the brew give a biscuity, toffee element to the beer. A smooth, mellow bitterness lingers on the palate to give a superbly satisfying finish.
Pours a medium golden/brown colour, with a decent amount of creamy white head. Smells yeasty, hoppy and a little woody. The taste is very hoppy and fairly bitter, again some woody notes. There's a little bit of citrus in there too, and the mouthfeel is very creamy.
In England, many breweries have a number of bitters in their range. The style that has come to be known as Premium or Special Bitter generally includes the stronger ( 4.6%-6.0%) examples. These are mostly served in the traditional way from the cask, but some are also found in bottle form where the extra malt allows them to stand up better than the more delicate ordinary Bitter. In the US, the designation ESB is common for this style, owing to the influence of Fuller’s ESB, the London brew that was among the first to be exported to the States. In the US, some ESBs are made with American hops and a clean yeast, but the alcohol range is the same, as is the range of bitterness, usually between 25 and 35 but occasionally creeping higher.