Actually, I've been brewing with Listermann's kits exclusively for my first 3 batches. They are my local brew supply house and they tell me that their extract turns over very frequently so that it is fresh. They draw the bulk extract out of large barrels when you buy the kits there. One thing I did just notice is that they actually use the SAME 3 bulk extracts in all of their kits:
Even their stout kits use light malt syrup. Is that right?
The first kit I brewed, an ESB, had 6lbs of Canadian Light and 2 lbs of English light. It didn't turn out too well...had an extracty flavor to it and didn't taste like an ESB (could have been my fault, as I think I may not have properly sanitized the bottles I used). The next kit, their Sam Adams Lager clone, had 3.5lb each of English and Canadian extract. I kegged that batch and have it on tap nowe and it is fantastic. I have their Winter Warmer kit in primary right now, and it contained 6lbs Canadian Light and 2lbs corn sugar. I wil rack to secondary this weekend and can report back on flavor then.
The ingredients for all of their kits can be found here for those that are curious. http://www.listermann.com/PDF/Index.asp
Now, my question is: Should I be buying different types of extract for the different beers I brew, or will a combination of the bulk extracts they use get me "close enough"?