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Pelikan

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I've been looking at ESB recipes, and because I like hops so much, I figured I'd give one a try.

Fast forward to last night: I'm at a friend's house, and notice he has Fuller's ESB in the fridge. He let's me try one. It was okay in the sense that I didn't particularly like or dislike it, but there was an overwhelming and unusual taste to it that I found somewhat off-putting.

Can anyone enlighten me with regards to the Fuller's ESB, and particularly what is used to arrive at that unique taste (so I can avoid it). I want to say it was an almost medicinal taste, but that might not be an entirely accurate way of describing it.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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I can't think of a single commercial bitter that cans or bottles well compared to how it tastes as a draught cask ale (or bottle conditioned) For my two cents I just wouldn't be put off by the commercial version and just go ahead and brew it. It will most likely be a ton better than what you had in that bottle.
 

TeleTwanger

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I think it's diacetyl. I've had draught London Pride that was really sweet, cotton candy tasting...If you want to get that unique flavor ship your homebrew to England and then go there yourself and drink it.
The recipe I've got for thier ESB is pretty standard for English bitter: Marris Otter, crystal, target, challenger, goldings.
 
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Pelikan

Pelikan

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Yeah, it could have been cotten candy, not quite sure. I've tried many, many different beers over the years, and don't think I've ever had one like that. As I mentioned, it wasn't overtly bad, but it wasn't really good either.
 

TeleTwanger

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Yeah, it could have been cotten candy, not quite sure. I've tried many, many different beers over the years, and don't think I've ever had one like that. As I mentioned, it wasn't overtly bad, but it wasn't really good either.
Seriously don't dismiss Fuller's, I've had awesome ones but most are sub-par due to travelling. Were talking one of the most famous and well regarded British breweries of all time. I live like 6 hours from Dogfish Head brewery and only about 1 out of 10 of the ones I drink have a decent hop aroma. When I lived on the West Coast I would drink Anchor and Lagunitas all the time but the ones I get here on the East Coast pale in comparison to the fresh ones.
 
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Pelikan

Pelikan

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Seriously don't dismiss Fuller's, I've had awesome ones but most are sub-par due to travelling. Were talking one of the most famous and well regarded British breweries of all time. I live like 6 hours from Dogfish Head brewery and only about 1 out of 10 of the ones I drink have a decent hop aroma. When I lived on the West Coast I would drink Anchor and Lagunitas all the time but the ones I get here on the East Coast pale in comparison to the fresh ones.
I don't know where you're shoppin,' but every 90 minute IPA I've ever had was a benchmark in terms of hop aroma.

I'm certainly not dismissing Fullers as a brewery or as a whole, but the beer I tried from them just wasn't for me at all. It was a really funny mix of good and bad...the flavors weren't so much gray as black and white. I've since tried it on tap at a local bar and same deal. It could very well be the traveling time, but I won't be ordering it again, at least not stateside.
 
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