Extra Special Bitter (ESB) is one of my favourite styles of beer, and this is a problem.  It’s rare to see it brewed in New Zealand to begin with, and even when it is, I find it has one of the most dubious hit rates in terms of quality.  But when done right it’s such a joy to drink that it always keeps my hopes alive for the next one.  Emerson’s, with this special release in their Heritage series, have done it right. Delicate toffee malt aroma melds seamlessly into orange marmalade and earthy spice, while the palate sits precisely between chewy and refreshing, sweet and bitter.  It’s just such a satisfying, comforting beer for my malt starved palate. As an advocate for the English styles it can feel like I’m holding a candle against the driving rain, but just when it seems like it’s time to finally pack it up, something like this comes along and suddenly I’m right back on my bullsh*t. So, to any fellow lovers of ESB I recommend you jump on this one while it’s still available.  It could be a very long time before we get another.

Emerson's Extra Special Bitter