By Iron Chef Leftovers
The name Bitter in a beer is a bit of a misnomer as we have come to think of beers today. It is really just a comparison of the happiness in relation to a mild and a plain from the days of old in merry old England. It makes it hard to convince someone who does not like very hoppy beers that Bitters are in fact, very mildly bitter and not what you would find from and IPA. Maritime Pacific does and Extra Special Bitter as one of their seasonal beers and like all of their beers, they are well crafted if unspectacular.
The beer pours ruby-amber in color with strong notes of caramel and hints of grain on the nose. The beer starts off on the palate with dominating notes of lightly sweet caramel which carry throughout the beer. There is an increasingly pleasant bitterness what builds and mingles with the sweetness, playing tag and alternating between the two, but neither is particularly deep but the do compliment each other. The beer is balanced and easy drinking with just enough sweet maltiness that it is not cloying and just enough bitter to be interesting but it seemed to be lacking just a bit more complexity to bring it to the next level. Still and enjoyable beer and a good one to introduce someone to the world of bitters.
Maritime Pacific ESB draws an average 2 pints out of 5.