Monday, January 30

Beer Review: Full Sail Brewers Share E.S.B. (Extra Special Barney)


"The first beer in the series "Extra Special Barney" (ESB) developed by Brewing Supervisor, Barney Brennan will be released in 22oz. bottles and on draft in January.

According to Brennan, this beer is a departure from the big, hoppy, Northwest ales. This Extra Special Bitter, a traditional English style ale, is brewed with attention to balance, highlighting both malt and hops. Five different malt varieties give the beer its orange hue, and caramel complexities. An English hop variety grown here in the Yakima Valley, Challenger, was chosen to complement the fruity esters in the aroma. It is the only variety used, meant to showcase its beauty. The pint first offers the interaction of the aromas of malt and hop, then the medium body and caramel flavors finish with a slight bitterness. Drinkable and quenching with an invitation to return for another taste. 6.5% ABV, 35 IBU

Brennan’s ESB was inspired by two things; a perfect beer moment and an aromatic highlight of the hop selection in Yakima. As Barney puts it, “First inspiration for this beer came during hop selection in Yakima. We had no intentions of purchasing these Challengers, but after rubbing and smelling them we could not resist a small purchase for something “extra special.” We really respect the opportunity to have such a strong connection to our ingredients and the harvest, and deeply value the freedom to follow our inspirations. The rest of the brew revolved around a personal, great beer moment. I was sitting on the deck at the brewery overlooking the river in the sunshine – drinking this beautiful beer we had created, balanced, aromatic – already looking forward to the second pint. I wanted to share a little glimpse of Hood River brewing life and happiness. Hopefully this ESB will be involved in some special moments for others.”


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Found this at a little 'First Choice' market on the way home... had to pick it up.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice lightly cloudy honey amber/brown. Thick finger of white head settling to a little lace and thin blanket of head sticking around. Slight reddish hue to the beer as well.

Smell: (3.5)
- Smooth smelling caramel malts, with some lovely bread, roasty brown sugars, light alcohol aromatics, and some pine resin hop with a floral touch to it. Smell is a bit tucked away.

Taste: (4.5)
- Lovely sweet malts, bready caramel and brown sugars with a nice touch of esters. Subtle pine and fresh herbal hops balance it out well. This beer is super balanced and just the right sweetness for the style. Little earthy, yet zesty fresh.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)
- Medium bodied with a great creamy texture. Slight chewiness from the bitter dryness, yet waters the palate in anticipation for more. Very good.

Overall: (4.0)
- This beer is solid and is something I will certainly be buying more of while I can. I would recommend you do the same. Solid balance, flavor, and sweetness, and doesn't contain Full Sail's flagship yeast character that so many of their other beers have. Certainly a nice change for them.

4.18/5 rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

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