The Crystal Bitter Ale from No-Li Brewhouse in Spokane, Washington pours out a dark amber, almost burgundy, in color with good clarity and is topped with a two finger, frothy, khaki colored head that slowly reduces down to a thin film with a good sized collar. Fairly muted on the nose with mostly malt tones. Aromas of caramel, butter, tea, herbal hops and toffee. In the mouth, very flavorful with deep, malty richness that is cleaned up by a nice hop presence. Flavors of tea, dark fruit, lightly roasted grain, earth, caramel, a hint of pine and a lightly tannic flavor. Medium bodied. Fine carbonation. Splotchy lacing on the glass. Slight cream to the mouthfeel. The finish is long and the fruity sweetness hangs on almost to the end where the hoppy bitterness takes over.
A very nice ESB with excellent flavor. Very drinkable with a big malt body that gets cleaned up by just enough hops. Worth picking up at least a few bottles. Recommended.
22 ounce bottle, 5.75% ABV
Gold Medal 2012 GABF ESB Category
Beer 345 of 366 for 2012