Beer O’ The Week: Fuller’s ESB
Well-balanced ESB gets ‘6 cap’ rating
Fuller’s ESB is a 5.9 percent alcohol ale brewed in Chiswick, England, by Fuller Smith & Turner PLC. The lighter English beers usually fall into the categories pale ale, India pale ale or IPA, bitter and extra special bitter or ESB. Fuller’s first brewed ESB in 1971 and has set the standard ever since.
This ale pours a brilliant copper and amber color with a thin, white head. Aroma is sweet with earthy hops and caramel malts competing for your attention. Nice, sweet fruity flavors start the taste experience but are soon overtaken with a spicy hop bitterness that nicely rounds out each sip. Caramel and a gentle floral hop tickle finish this wonderful brew.
Fuller’s ESB is the most well-balanced English ale I’ve ever tried — not as hoppy as an IPA and more bite than a pale ale. This beer is not available in Northwest Arkansas but seems to usually be on the shelf at Macadoodles in Missouri. Give Fuller’s Golden Pride and Porter a try too. They are all great beers and well worth the drive north. Pair with herbed lamb, spicy shrimp or pizza.
Rating: 6 caps
Truly this is a remarkable beer. Since we began Beer O’ The Week, Wamp has often quoted Michael Jackson, “Bille Jean is not my lover. She’s just a girl who claims that I … wait, no, the other Michael Jackson, the one who wrote lovingly of brews including “The World Guide to Beer.” That Michael Jackson said his home was located halfway between the breweries of Young’s and Fuller’s in England — not by chance. I have a deep love for Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, but I can easily see why you’d want Fuller’s ESB just as readily nearby.
Rating: 5 caps