Rudgate Battle Axe (500ml Bottle)
Clear copper colour with a beautiful, fairly creamy head. Aromas of fruit (cherries or perhaps strawberries) and bread from the yeast, flowery Goldings hops and smooth sweet malts. The taste was almost as perfectly matched. Smooth malts and a delightful oily hop character. Incredibly smooth in body, this is an all round excellent ESB.
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.