Friday 17 December 2021

FogHorn Brewery - Withnail & Rye - ESB - Beer Review

Review Date: 16/12/2021
Brewery Name: FogHorn Brewery - Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Beer Name: WithNail & Rye (ESB)

Beer number 16 of our Beer Cartel Advent Calendar for 2021

Check out our full run down and review of the 2021 Beer Cartel Christmas Beer Advent Calendar

"Withnail and Rye is a 5.6% ABV Extra Special Bitter (ESB) brewed and packaged exclusively for Beer Cartel’s 2021 Advent Calendar. Tasked with brewing a Pale Ale for this year’s calendar, the Foghorn team thought a little outside the square. In a market flooded with hoppy Pale Ales and Hazies we took a left turn and put a twist on a traditional British Classic - the ESB.
Using the best Ale and Crystal malts we changed up the grain bill with the addition of malted Rye that adds a subtle but characteristic spice to the back bone of the beer. More at home in German lager styles Rye malt has been popular in many Craft IPAs in recent years and we think it brings an extra depth and complexity of malt character to the ESB style.
As is true of the best British ESBs, we’ve kept the bitterness assertive and clean, balancing all the sweetness and spicy characters from the caramel and crystal malts as well as the rye. This keeps the beer balanced and refreshing despite the rich, chewy malt base. A Pale Ale with body, complexity and character.
Hop selection is another twist for Withnail and Rye. Rather than the classic British varieties like East Kent Goldings or Fuggles, we’ve blended 2 great New World hops to bring the fruit and to accentuate the spice of the Rye. Mosaic from the US brings its tropical fruit notes, and the NZ grown Pacifica addition adds a peppery spice note to the blend that works brilliantly with the rye.
Fermented with our house blend of fruity British Ale yeasts, the overall result is a balanced, full flavoured bittersweet modern Craft take on the Classic style. Best served around 6-12 degrees C. Pale Ale done different. "

FogHorn Brewery - Withnail & Rye - ESB Can


Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 5.6% (Standard)

Label/Design: 8/10

Serving Style: Can

Region of Origin: Pacific (Australia, New Zealand)

Style Family: Pale Ale (Extra Special Bitter)

Malts/Adjuncts: Ale, Crystal, Malted Rye

Hops: Mosaic, Pacifica

IBU's: Unknown

FogHorn Brewery - Withnail & Rye - Can Notes


Colour: Amber Brown


Brilliant Clear Slight Haze Hazy

Collar of Foam & Head Retention


(Up to 15 secs)

(15 - 60 secs) 

(more than 60 secs)

Foam Texture

N/A Thin Fluffy Mousse-Like

Carbonation (Visible)

None Slow Medium Fast-Rising Bubbles

Alcohol Aroma

Not Detectable Mild Noticeable Strong Harsh

Aroma & Flavour

Esters Aroma: None
Phenols: None

Alcohol Taste:

Not Detectable Mild Noticeable Strong Harsh

Hop Pungency:

Mild Moderate Strong Extreme

Hop Bitterness:

Restrained Moderate Aggressive Harsh

Malt Sweetness:

Low Medium High Cloying


Low Medium High


Light Bodied
Medium Bodied
(Light + Full)
Full Bodied
(Round, Rich & Creamy)

Palate Carbonation: 

Low Medium High


(Up to 15 seconds)
(15 to 60 seconds)
(More than 60 seconds)

Oxidative/Aged Qualities: None

FogHorn Brewery - Withnail & Rye ESB in the Craftd Alpha glass


Drinkability: 8/10

Overall Impression: 8/10


ESB's seem quite similar to amber ales in terms of flavour and concept. Some darker and sweeter malts such as crystal help add body and sweetness to better complement the flavours of hops - especially new world hop varieties. This makes for a much more complex and interesting flavour combination in our opinion compared to the plethora of hazy pales as mentioned in the blurb for this beer that use predominantly neutral flavoured malts, and let the hop flavours shine through on their own. This ESB by FogHorn Brewery is great - well balanced with interesting flavours that work so well together. We hope this style of beer becomes more popular as more people try and experiment with putting modern twists on old styles. Amber ales and now ESB's are fast becoming a new favourite style of ours - they just taste so good!

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