Originally posted November 15th, 2015.
Now I don’t know how the E.S.B. style of beer became beer of rugby players, it just always has been, other than water of course. E.S.B. stands for Extra Special Bitter, and they are essentially more aggressive and more balanced bitters, both in alcohol and in hop character, but nothing overpowering. This is more common in England where I believe the style originated. There are some versions of E.S.B. here in the United States. Deep River Brewing Co. The Ruck E.S.B., 6.5% ABV is one example. Deep River Brewing Co in Clayton N.C. sells The Ruck and uses the sales from it to help the Local Clayton Rugby team The Bootleggers. The Ruck pours a nice litter copper color with a two finger light beige head that leaves behind minimal lacing. The aroma is faintly malty with a slight breaded note. The taste is smooth with a malty breaded flavor with the lights yet faintest sweet note that comes in a goes out in the blink of an eye. The Ruck is quite drinkable and smooth. The mouthfeel is light to medium with a nice smooth malt bread finish. But the after taste isn’t there, but what is there is a nice flat hop note with a very faint crisp malt note. Overall this beer is a B. I think there are better E.S.B.’s out there but this isn’t a bad one. Yes you should try Deep River Brewing Co. The Ruck E.S.B.! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!