The extra special bitter, or ESB, has always been a style that has confused me. The difference between it and an English IPA seems to be small. As far as I can tell from looking at the official style guidelines, the main difference is that an English IPA tends to have more finishing hops and an ESB more of a caramel or fruity character; if anyone can further enlighten me feel free to write and let me know. Perhaps it's partially a marketing thing, the idea of an English IPA may make a hop lover think boring, (sorry Moon Under Water) an ESB (with a picture on the label of a saucy nun holding a shwack of hops in her skirt) sounds exotic, and satisfying.
|Hildegard von Bingen|
Rating: Very Good
PS If this is a beer that really does it for you, why not attend one of the upcoming cask events featuring this fine brew? The Beagle in Cook Street Village will tap their cask Friday, April 8th at 5 o'clock. On Saturday the 9th, there will be a cask at the Strath on Douglas street; she starts flowing at 3 o'clock. I'll be at the Strath on Saturday, and if you've not attended a cask event before you should check it out, it's definitely a good time.