Review of Fullers ESB

14 Sep
Hello again everyone.  I hope that you are ready for another craft beer review because today we are going to be trying the Fullers ESB produced by the Fuller Smith & Turner PLC Brewery located in Chiswick, London, United Kingdom. 

I have had this brew many times, as I’m sure a lot of you have too, but I’ve never really given it a proper review.  It’s been a while since I last had it also, therefore, I figured I better pick up a bottle and give it another go round.

The website,, has a very nice and lengthy description of the ESB, so enjoy.

ESB was launched into the Fuller’s family in 1971, as a winter brew to replace a beer named Old Burton Extra.  The potential of the beer was soon realised and ESB was installed as a permanent fixture, creating an immediate impact. 

Not only was it one of the strongest regularly brewed draught beers in the country (at 5.5% ABV), it was also one of the tastiest, and as the awareness of the beer grew, so did its popularity.  ESB’s reputation was soon enhanced after being named CAMRA’s (Campaign for Real Ale) Beer of the Year in 1978, and the beer has not stopped winning since!

With three CAMRA Beer of the Year awards, two World Champion Beer awards, and numerous other gold medals to speak of, ESB is, quite simply, the Champion Ale.

I hope it’s still as good as I remember.

This brew came in an 11.2 oz. bottle with 5.9% ABV stamped on the side. 

The Fullers ESB poured a very clear amber to very dark gold color with some orange hues showing when held toward the light.  A very nice, creamy, off white head was formed that held only average retention, but left behind quite a bit of suitable lacing.

The aroma provided a sturdy presence of malts.  Some toffee(ish) sweetness with a slight grain bill and sour dough for added support.  A fruity nose of light cranberry and other soft fruits swirled about along with a reserved “herbal” and “earthy” hop characteristic.  The nose seemed a little milder than what I remember.  It wasn’t bad or anything, but rather just a bit tame. 

With the taste, I pondered a well endowed malt backbone with savors of a light nuttiness, wheat bread characteristics and some caramel and toffee sweetness.  A decent sting of bitterness was noticed on the sides of the tongue too.  The fruitiness was held to a minimum, but some was noticed to add a little tickle.  The flavor was harmonized very well.  A very good taste here.

The mouthfeel was a sturdy, solid, unmistakable medium.  It was dry, smooth, mostly creamy and chewy.  A plethora of flavor completely coated the palate and hung on for quite some time after the swallow.  This brew had a great mouthfeel.  Really, really good in my opinion.

The Fullers ESB is a very solid, very good, no-nonsense type of beer.  It has plenty of flavor and appeal for any craft beer drinker.  Experienced or Beginner.  Like I mentioned earlier, I haven’t had this beer in quite a long time, and after trying it again, I don’t know why.  It’s completely quaffable and could be enjoyed at any point during the year and at any time of the day.  I would, most definitely, recommend that you give this beer a go if you have never tried it or if it’s been a while since you last had it.  I know I’m not going to wait too long before my next bottle.

Do you guys like the Fullers ESB?

Thanks for reading and commenting folks.  As always, it’s greatly appreciated.


Score:  3.95 out of 5
Grade:  B+

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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Country: England, Fullers


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