Yeah it's Thursday, so what?
I missed last week's installment of Weekend Brews mainly because the band had a show on Friday which meant my drinking was done off-premises. By the time I got home I had a solid buzz going and it was 2:30AM or so, and I went to bed. Zzzzzzzzz...
Anyway, it's Thursday and I'm starting this weekend a day early with a brand new selection from Sierra Nevada that I've never seen, nor heard of before. It is the Sierra Nevada ESB.
Now the usual meaning of ESB is Extra Special Bitter, a traditional English ale, but Ken Grossman and the folks at Sierra Nevada gave it a little twist and called it their, "Early Spring Beer." Regardless, it is meant to be crafted in the English ESB tradition with a blast of West Coast US brewing style.
As mentioned on the brewery's website, this beer is brewed with a combination of English and US malts and hops, and left unfiltered. The beverage features some British Maris Otter malt as the specialty addition with some English Challenger hops giving birth to the bitterness. This is going to be a treat...
The ESB pours smoothly into the glass, which by the way is a Sierra Nevada pint glass with the logo etched on it, a gift from my good friend and band/beermate, Mikey Chops.
Now that sumbitch knows a thing or two about beer.
The beer produces a thick and foamy head that sticks around awhile. The aroma is astounding! It grabs your nose's attention with that classic citrus note to be expected from a Sierra Nevada brew, but also hits you with a musty, wood barrel sort of smell. Imagine yourself in an old New England pub with the original wood floorboards and the bartender just placing a pint of ale in front of you... that's what I'm feelin'.
Oooooo the bitterness. It grabs me and keeps my happy like my old Green Bay sweatshirt on a cold winter evening at the game. While the bitterness is certainly the first flavor you will encounter, the ESB brings with it a tender sweetness that balances this drink incredibly well.
I can even say that the mouthfeel is quite smooth and barely leaves behind any dryness, at least not the dryness you might experience from say your favorite IPA, or even Sierra's Pale Ale.
Overall I am very pleased with this brand new seasonal from Sierra Nevada. They consistently produce some of the greatest beers this country has to offer.
I'd say go pick yourself some of this new release ESB to start your weekend. I obviously have and it's not even Friday yet.
Overall Score: 4.5 out 5.0