Ravens Brewing Fresh Hopped ESB: Newly opened in 2015, Ravens Brewing in Abbotsford, BC brewed this beer to a strength of 5.75% abv with 50 IBUs of hops from the Valley Hops farm in Abbotsford. It’s great to see a beer like this come from a brand new brewery as it’s not something you see often from a place that’s been open for a mere 5 months.
Aroma and Appearance: It pours a dark brown colour with one finger of foam and very little carbonation. The aroma is full of whole wheat bread, with notes of sweet toffee and freshly opened box of raisins. There’s a certain sweet doughy malt presence and an earthy overtone that envelops the rising aromatics from the beer which is quite delightful and pleasant to smell over and over again.
Flavour: Initially, it has a hazelnut like nutty flavour that blends into the whole wheat doughy malts at the front of the beer, which is quickly overtaken by flavours of coffee, toffee and earth. In the middle there’s a delectable chocolate note that creates a silky smooth presence on the palate for a brief moment before giving way to fresh hop oily lemons, mangoes and tea leaves on the finish.
Overall Impression: It has been a while since I’ve had a high quality ESB and this one certainly delivered the goods.
Rating: I give it an excellent rating of 8/10, a great fresh hop variety that showcased some amazing malts and still made good use of the fresh hops.
Food Pairing: The toffee and chocolaty malts are just begging to be paired with some slow cooked pork or beef tenderloin.
Be sure to follow their Facebook Page, they post a lot of cool stuff like this photo below which is showing off the awesome looking hops cones they used in this ESB beer!