In our recent post on George Washington the beer lover, I mentioned that Yard’s Brewing Company in Philadelphia was commissioned to brew a beer called Tavern Porter. Tavern Porter, along with Jefferson’s Tavern Ale and Ben Franklin’s Tavern Spruce Ale are all part of the Yard’s Brewing ‘Ales of the Revolution’ series of beers.
We’re not reviewing any of those beers today for The Brew Club! (I’d love to in the future though!)
The closest I could come at the moment was to write a beer review of the Yard’s Extra Special Ale or ESA which, ironically, reminds me of English Ales!
The Yard’s ESA is a dark amber beer, and when held to the light you can see that its a bit on the cloudy side, but light comes through nicely. There’s a bit of a foamy off white head, but nothing spectacular in the looks department.
The aroma of the Yard’s ESB is interesting, and makes my think I’m going to like this beer when I taste it. Its on the malty side and its also sweet smelling like caramel. There’s a biscuty character to it, and if I really think about it I would say there’s even a buttery thing in there too. Maybe I should have said buttered toasted biscuts and gotten it over with?
The flavor confirms what the smell hinted at. I dig this beer! Like the smell, the flavor is mostly sweet malts, but there is some hops in this beer’s flavor that bring about a bit of a balancing bitterness that works really well I think. Yup, there’s a caramel, buscuty, and dare I say, buttery flavor all wrapped up into a pint-glass of Philadelphia beer goodness!
Yard’s ESA is a really drinkable beer. Its got a creamy mouthfeel and carbonation that’s just right in my opinion. The beer is not flat, but still goes down smooth. Its well balanced and quite flavorful. I imagine that its even better on tap!
Interestingly enough, Yard’s ESA was the first beer that they brewed back in 1994, and according to the label, the beer was originally aimed at the ‘cask-ale connoisseur’. I’m not a cask-ale connoisseur, but if any of you are out there I’d love to hear your opinions on this beer!
Overall, the 6% ABV Yard’s Extra Special Ale struck a good cord with me. Its overall look, smell and especially taste really left me impressed. I would certainly buy this beer again, and I think if you’re a fan of English Ales you’ll appreciate this one as well. I happen to think this would make a great ‘go-to’ beer, something you might want in the fridge when you want a good beer but don’t feel like thinking too hard, and that’s not a put-down for the beer. I’m giving this one 4 stars. I’d happily have more of these!
What do you think of the Yard’s ESA or any of their other beers? I’ve only had one other ESB, and that was by Fuller’s ESB some time back. Do you think Yard’s is a good example of the style?
Scott – TheBrewClub