Black Mesa’s ESB (Endless Skyway Bitter)… 3.75/5
So this (Black Mesa’s ESB) is the third out of four beers I had while out drinking with my buddy at The Fur Shop (see review of bar here) in downtown Tulsa. A nice beer that was pretty surprising actually. One thing to note is do not get this beer confused with the other ESB offerings from Black Mesa. On their website they have 3 beers listed under the ESB Style/Name (This beer as a year round, another seasonal, and a special that I would like to get my hands on.).
“Endless Skyway Bitter finds inspiration in the English style but derives its grapefruit bitterness from West Coast hops. Like the finest English examples, the bitterness is assertive but balanced with a nutty maltiness. “Endless Skyway” is a nod to Oklahoma’s favorite son, Woody Guthrie. May there always be endless skyways above you and golden valleys below you.”
ABV: 6% (Untappd)
IBUs: N/A (If anyone has info on this please place in comments. Thanks.)
First off an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) does not mean that it is the most bitter beer style available on the market. That is what the IPA (India Pale Ale) variety has going for it. Yes, they are hoppy-er than a traditional ale, but strive for a balance between hops and malt. This offering to the ESB style has that going for it. It also matches the traditional darker ale/more robust color associated with the variety. I don’t know exactly what the IBUs of this beer is but I would probably put it around 30-35. Granted I had just finished a COOP F5 (review here) so that should be taken into account.
The beer had a good nose that gave off both malt and hop components. The head dissipated quickly and did not have a lot of carbonation toward the end of the glass. There was a strong flavor of both hops and malt in the drinking so the ESB balance is achieved. The malt was present up front with some hints of yeast then a good hop finish that left you ready to take the next drink.
I think I would like to get weird in Guthrie, OK while sitting in an open beer garden drinking this beer. It is one that I could see drinking on a hot summer day watching the world go by, or on a chilly evening by a fire. Another respectable beer out of another regional Oklahoma brewery. Food wise I would pair this with some grilled meats. I give this beer a 3.75 out of 5.
So sit back, relax and have ABigBeer.
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