"The key to an ESA is balance", Beer Advocate. I like that. It pretty much sums up this style of beer. It's a "bitter" but it's not so bitter as it is maltier with some fruity esters and perhaps a butterscotch twinge.
Well it's the second day of Yards week here at home and I have got to tell you that this is one good brewery! I can't wait to dive into the Ales of the Revolution series that they brew!
I poured this beer at about 55 degrees F from a bottle into a standard pint and it has a very deep amber to mahogany colour that is crystal clear with a one finger tan head of super fine bubbles that stay as a nice thin cap on the beer and leave and excellent dragon tooth pattern on the glass.
The aroma is of toasted malts, bread, and raisins with a faint whiff of corn in the background. I could be confusing that with something else, but it resembles corn. It's really pleasant considering.
The taste starts off sweet on the tongue and as it travels back it releases dark fruits with bread and as the beer comes to a close hop bitters that seem earthy to me coat the tongue and the back of the tongue where some spicy black pepper comes through leaving a mild but dry end to the beer that seems slightly more bitter than some ESAs. And if you wait long enough, you will taste a medicinal taste like Band-Aid's smell or like pine sol. It's very faint, but I see what people are talking about. That may be the hops. Interesting. It's like a band-aid on my tongue. I'm not sure that I like that.
The mouthfeel is a bit silky and sweet with a medium body, but it leaves a coat on my tongue that is a product of the dry hops I am assuming. The carbonation is around moderate.
Overall, I am not too happy with this beer. It's good, don't get me wrong, but don't think I will seek this out in bottle again. I have had this on tap and it was a different experience. A much better one. The corn aroma and the Band_Aid flavours really put me off as well as it was a bit too bitter for my taste and, I feel, the style if indeed it is an Extra Special/Strong Ale. I will still give it a mid to high 3's out of five. It's not crap, but it's just not for me.
Get out there and try different beers! You will never know what you like unless you delve into the sea of beers! Life is too short to stay dry on land with your pee water!