What a nice little beer.
The label calls it an ESB Amber Ale, an Extra Special Bitter. Not sure why they’d call it that, as the IBU’s tip the scale at a meager 32 and the taste, while certainly having a bit of a something like a bite to it (more on that later), is not especially bitter. It could be that it’s simply a bit more bitter than the brewer intended, but it’s easy to see why this beer has won Green Man Brewery a few awards. They may be calling it an ESB because it just came out a little more bitter than they expected.
The beer sat for a few minutes while I got around to sipping it, and I think that helped this brew – at least for me. The aroma comes right out and welcomes you home like an old lover, warm and caramelly and a nice toffee roast – all comfort and no scold for staying away for so long, just welcome home. I think letting it sit for a few minutes took the chill off of it and let the flavors mix and come to the surface.
The beer has an interesting shelf to the taste. I want to call it a bite but this beer has such a nice flavor and a nice medium body – a few curves but not chunky – that there is no bite to it. just a clear delineation between the beer and anything else you’ve had in your mouth recently. It finishes a little dry which is a good thing, nothing lingers to poke holes in the nice mouthful of beer you just had.
As an ESB this beer fits the Amber Ale category just fine. Lightweight division for sure but definitely drinkable.
This is my second from Green Man and it won’t be my last.