24 days of bottle conditioning later, my ESB is what I would consider done. And man, it’s delicious!
Nice hiss of carbonation release when popping the top, a gentle pour yields two full fingers of slightly golden head. The color is a nice deep copper and is crystal clear. Any haze introduced was from agitated sediment at the bottom of the bottle, and even that fell cleanly to the bottom of the glass quickly. I can see straight through it as if it were clear copper-colored glass.
Aroma is very mild. Mainly bread/biscuit notes with a very faint trace of hops – barely anything to speak of – lending some mild orange notes. Perfect for the style!
Flavor is a full and bready, not sweet at all (priming sugar is finally used up). Nice robust bittering going on in the finish, with that mild orange coming through in the end. Again, exactly what I was going for.
Finish is clean and refreshing. Very thirst-quenching!
Mouthfeel is solid. Not too thick, not too thin. Carbonation is exceptionally light, giving it an almost milky sensation on the tongue.
Overall, I’d take one of these over my staple ESB of choice (Coniston’s Bluebird Bitter). The slightly darker malts give this a far more robust biscuity flavor, though everything else I love in a good bitter is dead-on accurate. This recipe is going into “the vault” to be brewed again!