Served in a Flying Dog pint glass a rich, rosy copper color with a caramel core and a lively carbonation level. Excellent retention to the khaki head, which manifested itself as a thin, rocky patch of bubbles that left behind a few splotches of lacing. Great aroma, too, with succulent toffee malts and powdered chocolate balanced perfectly by a resinous, almost medicinal hop presence. Took a few swirls to really get the nose acclimated to the aroma, but well worth the effort.
As for the taste, the hops were ripe-tasting and juicy, almost as if this were a fresh hop beer. Nice balance of toasted caramel and toffee malts with fruity yeast esters and a hint of that medicinal-ESB twang that added some pep to the finish. The medium body is perfectly carbonated and quite smooth given the style, making for an easy drinking ESB. Real Ale is churning out some excellent beer these days, and the seasonal offerings (Real Heavy, Lost Gold IPA, and now Dbl Phoenixx) are all worth seeking out.
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