Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fuller's ESB Tasting

As part of my flavor research into British beers, I am tasting the standard ESB from England, Fuller's ESB.

Background - 

I have had Fuller's ESB many times, if it is on draft at a pub it will be my first choice.  In my past I've spent a lot of time traveling for business.  This gave me plenty of opportunity to try out English-style pubs, and Fuller's ESB is at the top of my list for beers you can find in your typical American version of an English pub.

Fuller's ESB
I remembered Fuller's as being incredibly malty, and I was worried about a repeat of my barleywine tasting from the evening before.  Luckily my memory had failed me, and Fuller's was much more balanced than I remembered.

Aroma - 

The aroma in my sample was fairly subdued.  I detected a pleasant, estery apple note.  Not at all like the green apple aroma from Acetaldehyde.  

Appearance - 

A brilliant combination of orange and caramel tones.  I had a relatively thin head during the initial pour, but lacing remained throughout the tasting session.

Body and Texture - 

This was nicely balanced between bitterness and malt.  The bitterness is more on the back-end of the drink, and is not dominant as in American Pale Ales.  The initial impression is of a clean, balanced flavor slightly tilted towards the malt.  

Fuller's ESB didn't overwhelm, either in bitterness, or in maltiness.  Very drinkable, and a perfect beer when you plan to have a few.  This sample actually felt somewhat thinner in mouthfeel than what I remembered from previous sessions.  I actually preferred this over what I remembered.

Aftertaste - 

The aftertaste was a mellow bitter, that persisted in the back of the throat.  The bitter aftertaste did not overpower, and served to make me want to have another drink.

Overall Impressions - 

This is a great example of a British ESB.  If it is on tap I highly recommend it.  I look froward to comparing my other British beers against it, and seeing if any can match up.

This beer gets an B+ from me. This is one of my favorite beers. If I am in the mood to have a few pints, there are few beers that can top Fuller's ESB.

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