AF&TB -- The Empire Strikes Back (Again)

by Beedo Sookcool
on 2021-07-18, 11:44:38

Yeah, I know Bill did his own review of Fuller's ESB, but this was one of the brews my good lady wife recently picked up for me, so I'm doing this as an independent corroboration sort of thing. Plus, they changed the look of the label since Bill's review. And it really irks me when I go looking for something and they've changed the label, making it take longer to track down when you next go looking for it.

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The TVC Hoth Rebel Soldier from 2018 is currently the only wholly The Empire Strikes Back figure I have with me. I mean, I have the TVC Carbonite Han, who techincally appeared at the end of Episode V but that distinctly had Return of the Jedi on the card. Um . . . so there, I guess.

So, yeah, it's a Fuller's brew from the borough of Chiswick, London. The label says it's their most awarded ale. This Extra Special Bitter has been made with Northdown, Target, Challenger, and Goldings hops, and boasts "rich malty notes for a smooth, FULL BODIED beer bursting with marmalade fruitiness throughout." It's 5.9% ABV, and it's very, very nice. Not up to Fuller's Vintage or Past Masters levels of absolutely bloody amazing, but certainly enjoyable.

It's heavy on the malt, which I really like. I don't get much in the way of the "marmalade fruitiness" they mention, but I usually finish the beer before it gets warm enough for that to really develop. You get a lingering tinge of tang in the aftertaste, but that's about it. Honestly, I get more in the way of a black coffee and dark chocolate brownie vibe than I do of marmalade, but that's me.

But, yeah, I agree completely with Bill's original assessment, in that it's like a Newcastle Brown with a sting in its tail, but I also think the ESB is a smidge richer and maltier, as well.

Dang it, now I want a Newcastle Brown Ale, too . . . .

Drink this if you also like: Bitters, red beers, brown ales, real ales.





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