Brew Review-Avery 14’ER ESB

While getting beer for the Great Pumpkin Beerathon, I needed one last beer to round out a build your own six pack.  Since I really know I generally like ESBs, and Avery, I figured this would be a great choice.  Plus, it’s named after mountains; not the little foothills that people around here call mountains, but real, actual mountains.   I was very happy with the selection, even if it was not at all what I was expecting.

It poured a light copper colour and opaque.  There’s notable carbonation, especially for an ESB.  Nice thick (1″) head on top.

Initial smell is very rich and malty, with hints of yeast and a good floral aroma.  Imagine walking into a kitchen where dough has been rising for the last hour, but a breeze is blowing in from the garden, and you’ve got it almost perfectly.

On the first sip, I thought I got just a hint of bitter hoppiness up front,  but it’s quickly subsumed by a rich, roasted malt flavour.  There’s also subtle notes of toffee or caramel that give it a nice sweet hint, while still allowing the bready/malty taste to dominate the flavour.   On finish, I catch the hint of a very subtle, very well done citrus finish which leaves a really crisp, clean end.

It’s far more malty than I’m used to for an ESB, and there really isn’t the apple/plum/cherry fruit flavours I’ve come to expect as well.  Combined with carbonation somewhere between a traditional ESB and a lager, and you have something quite interesting.  Interesting and good.  It’s relatively low alcohol content (5.1%), coupled with the rich malty taste make this a very, very drinkable beer.

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