Monday, December 17, 2012

MNBR: AleSmith Anvil Ale ESB

Good evening, good evening, and welcome once more! We are live from San Pedro, CA for another episode of Monday Night Raw! The Monday Night Beer Review beckons us all to gather. Or you know, just me. Either way, I'm writing it.

That being said, I hope you're all prepped for that fresh week of laid-back, pre-holiday work that every employee spends contemplating why musicians like to spend so much time in, get this: only their underwear... Or is that just me? Because seriously, there's something weird going on there. First George Clinton, and now [punchline removed for purpose of mediocre comedic timing].

Awkward enough for you? Good, then let's get started.

AleSmith Anvil ESB Ale

Ah, AleSmith... I do have some experience with this brewery. Namely, I've had about 6 of their ales, and for the most part, they've been top-notch stuff. Needless to say, I'm fairly pumped about this experience. Good thing I'm pumped up, too, lest I want to pick up this Anvil!!!!... What? No? Shit. I'll find a good way to tie an anvil joke into this at some point, but that's just embarassing.

Anywho, picture time:

Hey look! It's a different glass! WOW!

AleSmith Anvil ESB Ale is, shocker of all shockers, an ESB Ale. Of all the beer styles I'm more than vaguely familiar with, this one has always been one of the most baffling for me. Not in that I don't like, mind you... just, I've bought things labeled ESB that turned out to be brown ales, ESB's that I never found consistent with the descriptor... My palate is legit confused, basically. So, turning to a handy-dandy Mr. Trust'em brewery like AleSmith should be the perfect way go, eh?

I thought so. Let's see what this lewd, crude, crude, bag of pre-chewded food dude is all about! (Hook? Anyone? It's not an Anvil or anything, but like... sigh, forget it).

An anvil is one of the worst comedic props ever (non-Acme division).

  • LOOK
Hazy orange-red, but that’s not what I noticed first… the initial pour gave me this absolutely ABSURD head that was basically the entire glassful. I had to let it sit for a while before finishing my pour, and that's what you see in the image above. Crazy-mad carbonation, though it’s hard to notice. Great retention and a nice enough amount of lacing makes everything even itself in the end. Mixed appearances on that one

The bottle itself is, as you can see, pretty basic all around. Just a good, old-fashioned 22 oz. bomber without much printed on their except the name in big, bold mocking letters. If this is the start of some sort of minimalist bottle-art movement that I haven't heard about, I'm going to be very disappointed.

Caramel sweetness with tones of pine underneath. Very pleasant and inviting. Second wave leaves a mixture of citrus tones and a sort of toffee scent. Really great and even mixture here… it’s just done really well and has one of those aromas that makes you want to stop sniffing and start sipping… so on that note!


Shortest section ever?
Very smooth body slides on to the pallet which follows the nose. A lemony taste fades after a bit and lets the sweetness take control. Caramel and grapefruit mix into a more bitter underbody. For as bubbly as this beer is, it’s actually very soft. Really well-done. Very quiet bite of bitterness on the finish. This is an incredibly well-balanced brew.

I'm pretty sure this is exactly what an ESB is supposed to taste like. I've had some weird experiences in the past, as said before, but this one's going to be filed under: great. I have to give Anvil props. As a beer fan, I'm very much into the balance and... wait! Wait a minute. Beer fans = metalheads = metal = Anvil... That's it! Anvil is an awesome metal-

Oh, come on!!!

Oh good, an Anvil reference and a tie-in to my unsettling musicians-in-underware-stream-of-concious thing. Well, that was a freebie.

I was quite digging this one, actually. This is a fun style for me, as it's largely about balance with an ever-so-slight hop aggressiveness (nothing like an IPA and maybe even an APA, though). Mostly they’re just well balanced and almost always sweet. A very strong example of the style and definitely a beer that you should look into trying. It might not be the best style to start the journey into craft beer, but once you start getting comfortable with brown ales and pilsners and the sort, this is the perfect next step.

Get a slow-cooker and make a spicy-sweet chili. Trust me, I tried it, and worked waaaay better than I expected!

Well, that wraps things up for this edition of Monday Night Beer Review. Not much to say in these footnotes, really. Be on the look out for future reviews of Stone Old Guardian Barleywine and other, strong, adventurous beers! I'll try and mix in an easy-drinker or two in the future as well. I've enjoyed writing these thus far, and I hope you're enjoying the style... you know, half-naked and middle-aged men aside.

Jesus, what the fuck is wrong with me?


  1. I couldn't have forged a finer critique me self *hic*

  2. Since I dont drink beer I keep tuning in just for your half naked men photos.