Jul 20, 2011

Breckenridge 471 ESB

Breckenridge 471 ESB photoA Scottish Ale in ESB clothing

When is an ESB really not an ESB? When it’s a Scottish Ale (or what the brewery calls a Strong Scottish Ale). So why call it an ESB (as seen in the above photo) when it’s not? You’re guess is as good as mine.

Breckenridge Brewing’s Extra ESB is in fact a 7.8% ABV Scottish Ale that is nothing like an ESB. It’s rich, peaty and carries pretty much all the characteristics you’d expect in a Scottish Ale. Despite whatever it is or isn’t, in the end, the beer is still pretty darn tasty.


This brew pours a reddish brown in color with a slowly fading, light tan head. It held decent lacing throughout its lifespan.


The nose on this beer is your first clue in finding out that this is not an ESB. It’s rich with caramel, lightly roasted malt, peat and leafy hops.


Keeping in mind this beer’s true nature, it turns out to be a pretty tasty brew. It transitions smoothly from the sweet, roasty malts to a lingering touch of hop bitterness in the fairly dry finish. Caramel, citrus hops and that light roast come together nicely, but really shine as the beer warms in the glass, becoming much more balanced. The alcohol is warming, but is far from a dominating presence.


Again, it wasn’t until after the first couple of sips that I suspected this wasn’t an ESB. I wasn’t disappointed by this revelation, just confused by the labeling. All in all, this Breckenridge brew is still tasty with a solid sweetness and richness that may be a tad too much for more inexperienced palates.

Rating: 3.25/5

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