Holgate Brewhouse. What a saviour. Their beers are always reliable, and deliver to the style more often than not. And so it was their ESB which I dove into, adorned with a bright yellow label, in the hope of a smoothly malted winter brew.
Pouring an opaque brown colour with a white head, this is a vibrant looking tipple. Sweet toffee and caramel malts, pine and orange zest float up to greet the nose in delightful fashion. Caramel sweetness, citrus, and earthy flavours combine well in the mouth, and cleaned up with a medium bitterness. The bubbles jump around on the tongue and take away from the smoothness more than I would prefer for an ESB – I’d prefer it smooth and warming.
A fraction over-carbonated is my only criticism of an otherwise fantastic drink. It’s got the earthy flavours with a sweet malt base, exactly what I’m looking for in an ESB. For me, ESBs are such a reliable style, matching nicely with the cooler temperatures, whilst also providing that refreshing edge. Just like McCains, Holgate have done it again, delivering yet another high quality beer.
Drunk: from the bottle