Five Barrel ‘London Calling’ ESB

Rating:

“This is an English Style Ale known for its balance between malt and hop
bitterness. ESB’s have an earthy, herbal English-variety hop character. with a medium to high hop bitterness, flavour and aroma.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Pours a redolent deep amber with full transparency. It only manages a short khaki head that peels off rather quickly. Nice wavy lace being strewn down the glass.

Aroma: Smells pretty good on face value. Well balanced, sweet, toasty and spicy with those brilliant EKG and Fuggles hops throwing out the earthy herbals and wet grass. Lots of caramel sweetness and toffee, dark fruits like golden raisins and blood plum, caramelised pear/apple and marmalade on toast. We didn’t realise it at first but it’s actually quite a complex number with good depth.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose – a supremely balanced blend of sweet, toasty and biscuit malts with the herbal, grassy and citrusy hops to counter it all. A delicate bitterness and earthy dark fruits push through the middle and lay down for a really dry, bitter yet mildly sweet and citrusy finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Slick, a little sticky and chewy. Mild-moderate carbonation, medium body. Only 4.3% ABV which is pretty low for an ESB.

Overall: To pick up again on the low ABV…for ESB’s we expect to see it land between 5-6%. At 4.3% we’d be calling it a straight English Bitter in our opinion. It still drinks like an ESB though; nice and plump, full flavoured and slightly complex…just without the higher ABV¬†?