Tasting Notes: Dog Days of Summer ESB

A Pint of DDoS ESB in its
Natural Environment

The Dog Day ESB has been in the keg for a while, and so its time for a review.  Overall, this is a pleasant beer – not as good as my Vestigial Bitter, but certainly is a brew to be proud of.

This beer pours with a thick creamy head and the aroma of malt and goldings hops.  A bit of yeasty-ester undertones can be found in the aroma as well.  The body of the beer is is a brownish-red in colour, clear, and modestly carbonated, with a semi-dry mouthfeel.  The bitterness was not as strong as I’d normally expect – closer to an American-style pale ale than an English bitter.  Whether this was due to the use of first-wort hopping or due to recipe formulation isn’t clear.  For me, this is the biggest detractor of the beer – it is a good beer, but it lacks the bracing bitterness I like in my bitters.

The beer has a real nice hop flavour, with the herbal flavours typical of fuggles and goldings hops.  Balancing this is a bit of sweetness from the crystal malt and some fruit esters.  Combined, these make for a very pleasant flavoured beer, although a bit more bitterness would balance the sweetness a little better.

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