Big Matt’s ESB

On-tap.
Slightly chill-hazed pour with a traditional, light, bubbly head that although not dense, still provides some very nice, sticky lace. Has a cask appearance in terms of the head. Served WAY too cold for my liking, even without the traditional, American frozen glassware! Let it warm a little.
Body is a brownish hue which is not epecially attractive but I guess I’m being a bit hard here. Lacks the classic, deep garnet color that I would really love for the style, but I can live with that.
Nose gives of some of the classic, soft biscuit malt notes and some light caramel. The same things occur in the taste which are in line with the style. So far, so good but the finish is just a little too dry and hoppy for me IF we are talking about an ESB in the classic, English sense. Don’t get me wrong, this is NOT a “hoppy” beer as such but it does have the American hop influence in the finish which is sort of par for the course in the USA. Despite this it still drinks nicely and with the “lowish” ABV I am delighted that the beer is around for me to drink on a regular basis.
Nice job (as usual) by 5SW, but Crawford just needs to let me come and tweak the hops down a notch and the malt up a notch! ;-))

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08/28/2009
Format:
on-tap
ABV: 5.0 %
Appearance: 3.5
Taste: 4
Mouthfeel: 4
Smell: 3.5
Overall: 4.5
Total: 3.98
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