Name: 3 Ravens English
Beer description: There aren’t enough extra special bitters coming out these days, very often they’re just lumped in as with the ales or an English ale, or sometimes an amber ale, but a bitter is actually quite a bit different. There are Brits out there who will swear by a great bitter, and an extra special bitter, or ESB is, well, extra special, a little bit more robust, and a bit stronger than an ordinary bitter.
As has been mentioned in other 3 Ravens reviews, this beer is made very traditionally and right on style, but with a slightly modern interpretation. While the sample was out of a bottle, it probably would have done better served out of a hand pump at cellar temperature.
This is an especially malty beer, and it really shows in the smell, which is mostly biscuit and caramel with some general sweetness. There’s a bit of spice in there too which gives the aroma an overall gingerbread feeling to it
The body is thick, creamy, and satisfying; this is only to be expected from the style.
The taste is pretty standard, there’s not much to say other than it tastes like beer! Malt, hints of vanilla, all with a little bit of bitterness wrapped around it. This is indeed a drinking beer, a pub beer, and, while it’s pretty standard in the flavour, there’s really nothing wrong with that.
Adding to this, for the uninitiated, don’t let the term “bitter” in the name fool you. Comparatively, this is not a very bitter beer: it’s on the more bitter side of “not bitter.” Is it bitter compared to a lager? Yes. Is it bitter compared to a standard mass produced beer? Probably. There’s historical reasons for the name bitter, but it’s all a bit dated now.
Check out other ESB reviews.
Check out other 3 Ravens beers.