Climax Brewing Company Extra Special Bitter Ale
This is one of the core Climax beers. My experience with ESBs is pretty limited but as I understand it the key to this kind of beer is balance. A good amount of hops with a generous amount of malt to keep things even. Nothing too extreme, but no slouch either. This brew pours a dark gold color with another nonexistent head. I don't know if its a problem with Climax or growlers in general but I can't seem to get a good head out of these. Not the most important thing but it is missed. Aroma has a lot going on, I get lots of floral hops, some roasted malt, and even a bit of honey.
Definitely some diacetyl going on here, I get some apple in both the flavor and aroma. Not too much that it is overpowering but enough so that it adds some character. The malt is very much a combo of toasted and pale. Exactly how the style should be. Hops are also very noticeable with a lot of floral flavor coming though in each sip. This is a truly great beer. This may be a perfect example that big beers aren't the only ones with a lot going on.
There are so many flavors and aromas swirling around this beer that it is almost overwhelming. This is really a beer to be sipped and enjoyed. This is also one of the few times I feel this way without it being a high alcohol big beer that sends your mind into solvent fueled bliss. If you happen to find this in the store and want to try something a bit different you can't go wrong with this. I can't think of one thing to improve with this flavor.
Final Score: 95% (Fantastic Flavor and Aroma, Few Can Compete)