Thursday, January 7, 2010

191. Ska Brewing ESB Special Ale


Our second beer from SKA Brewing in Durango, CO; our last one was Modus Hoperandi.

SKA Brewing’s ESB Special Ale has a bready and biscuity nose with some slight spiciness that could either be hop aroma or some yeast esters. It has a hazy copper color with an ivory head that dissipates rather quickly. Starting with a rounded bready malt flavor, ESB Special Ale moves into low levels of bitterness before ending dry, biscuity, and bitter, although not enough to take it out of the ESB category. There is a slight amount of a plasticy flavor in the middle of the beer, but it is mainly in the background. ESB Special Ale has a medium body and medium to low carbonation bite. Except for the plastic off-flavors, this is about exactly what an ESB should taste like; a very British malt profile, and low levels of bitterness and carbonation. Coupled with the can format—and it appears that SKA Brewing is working the can angle—ESB Special Ale is the beer for today’s on-the-go traveler.

From the SKA website: “Yes we can. Okay, that was stupid. But we can and we did. We can come up with can puns all day. We can do it. Can. This English Special Bitter is our Special Ale. Special because it was the second canned microbrew in the nation (after Dale’s Pale Ale). Special because the Galena hops and pale malts create a crisp first sip, a hoppy tongue, and a malty sweet finish. Though bitter is part of the name, better would be a more accurate term. Fresh and lively, this canned beer suits the needs of any outdoor enthusiast. Like it says on the can: fish, luau, golf, raft, toboggan. SKA can!”

Lip up Fatty, indeed. Why does everyone forget about Maui Brewing and their sweet sweet can action?

ABV: 5.7%
IBU: 58


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