Southern Prohibition "Jack the Sipper" ESB

Cans are rare on this site. The ones I try tend to actually be pretty good, despite the fact that I ofwen taste the metallic remains of the can. Still, I try to avoid them in general, but when the guy at City Sliquors tells me I should try it, then try it I do. Giving a beer a cute name is fine, so long as it doesn't outright offend or confuse, so I can accept the odd name. Can I accept the beer?

I'd call it the color of rust. The stark white, foamy head is a dramatic contrast and is as sticky as I've seen in a beer. Lacing is substantial, and the nose is greeted with fresh bread malt and floral hops with orange around the fringes. It smells delightful, and I have high hopes, even though the only previous ESB that I've had on these pages was only slightly better than average.

This is billed as a sipping beer, and I can say for certain that it is a good sipping beer. It's not overpowering - it's almost lazy in the way it wanders down the gullet. It's like a UFC wrestler dealing with a couple of rowdy drunk guys in a bar; it takes its time, and it doesn't have to use all of the effort available to perform the task at hand. The malt really works like the slices of bread with a smear of hops and oranges in between them.

I know it claims to be a sipping beer, but I wonder if the full swig might uncover something... I'm going to find out. Tip-in is bread with a strange twang of bitter that sits at the tip of the tongue while the oranges are quite noticeable. The middle is more mild, with carbonation burn taking up most of the mouth, and a bit of floral hops and maybe some fruit - not the orange, but something else. The finish brings the strength with it in the form of a dry sensation crawling back through the mouth as the hops send a bitterness shockwave the opposite direction. It all cuts off nicely with a repeat of orange and fresh biscuits, but the bitterness lingers on the lips for a while.

Bottom Line: A very good beer that gives the expected bitterness but cuts it down quickly with the right amount of malt.



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