Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Fuller's ESB

The English  extra special bitter is not a beer style I'm overly familiar with, but I'm keen to experience. I did try brewing a Coopers English bitter kit recently and the results were average, so I'm looking to try a well known solid bitter and see what the styles all about.

A nice dark amber liquid with a fairly thin head, this brew is light on carbonation. After a few minutes I am only getting the odd bubble. Its very clear and clean looking with little to no lacing.

First aromas are warm white wine, malt, slight hints of acrid, burnt, well roasted malt its almost a burnt sugar smell. There's a smidge of earthy hop aroma.

There's a nice little effervescence on the tongue, its bitter and the alcohol hits the palate straight away with a wine like texture. Its smooth and glossy. The toffee malty flavours come through quite strong to meld with the bitterness and sometimes its like drinking a low alcohol bitter wine! Especially as the carbonation slows down. I can't decide if I'm enjoying this beer or not. It is flavours I'm not all used to and I find it challenging, but it leaves a pleasant mild after-taste that keeps drawing me back for another sip! The higher alcohol has slight warming effect and I can't really describe it as thirst quenching. This is not lawn mowing beer. This is evenings round the fire "God damn my feet are cold gimme an ESB" kinda beer.

All I can think of is how well it would go with cheese.

Damn it. I'm getting cheese.

So a little mild Camembert is pairing really well with this beer. As I linger over the bottle its warming up and I get more wine and sherry flavours that make this beer so very tasty when matched with food.

I don't know if English bitter would ever be my first choice for beer but I can see why its popular. I imagine this goes great with meals and the after-taste is mild and pleasant. Definitely something I'd like to try in its original climate.


James said...

If you want to try it in it's original climate, we have a spare bed :-)

The Cooper's kits are rubbish. The 3Kg kits are much better - St. Peter's, Milestone, Woodfordes are all really good.

James said...

Bah, I would misuse an apostrophe as well. I blame NY's day.

Susie Warwick said...

I certainly regret using a brewing sugar with the coopers kit, but most kits I brewed I bought an extra 1.5Kg of liquid malt extract instead of adding brewing sugar, I think my main fault was brewing too warm.

Otherwise the flavours not too far off style.

I've certainly learned not to follow extract kit instructions!

Making my second all grain beer tomorrow. Aiming for a really pine flavoured IPA. I've got loads of chinook hops, I also wanted simoce but New Zealand is outta stock! lol. I bought some northern brewer hops instead.

Whats next on your brew schedule?