Aroma and Appearance: It pours a dark brown with some bubble action in the middle of the glass and 1 finger of foam. The aroma has some plum, toffee and toasted bread in it.
Flavour: Starting with hints of plum and toffee, an earthy medium body takes over while it finishes with a dry cocoa like bitterness.
Overall Impression: I went back and forth on this one, I think the addition of chocolate malt both helps and hurts. The dry bitter is nice, but the chocolate malt takes over a bit too much and hides the toffee.
Rating: After all the back and forth, I give it an above average rating of 6/10, not one I would buy again however it is still decently drinkable.
Food Pairing: ESB feels like it should be paired with Fish & Chips, perhaps on White Rock Beach at a little place called Moby Dick’s which is the last bastion of awesome fish and chip dives on the beach.
I have a bit of a pet peeve with this beer (and many others), on the bottle it says to “drink fresh” yet no where lists a bottle date or best before date. I really wish more brewers would list bottle dates and best before dates on their beer, even if I am an idiot and fail to look at least I know if the bottle is fresh or old when I go to open it and rate it!