Breckenridge ESB and Regal

There’s an incredible special going on right now at John’s Grocery: a few beers from Breckenridge Brewery are only $4.99 per six pack. Other than these two, I believe the Lucky U IPA is on the same deal, and the 12-pack samplers are only $8.99.

First I’m trying the 471 ESB, called an extra special bitter on the bottle, but a strong Scottish ale on the website. A fairly hazy auburn beer with some buff-colored head. The nose has a toasty maltiness to it, with some dark fruit and nuts as well. There’s a bit of an herbal hoppiness lingering behind.

The body is very full, and the flavor has a significant malt sweetness. But the bitterness is quite pronounced as well, almost balancing the sweetness at first, before turning to an earthy, herbal hop flavor. There is just a hint of an alcoholic bite through it all. Toast, caramel, raisins, and dates from the malt are evident after the stronger flavors have died away. The body does leave a bit of a mouthcoating.

Now I’ll have the Regal Double Pilsner, which isn’t even mentioned on the website. Regal is very clear, a golden straw color. The head is creamy and just off-white. The nose is very light. Noble hops create a bit of an herbal aroma, and the pils malt gives a bready character, all almost imperceptible.

The flavor is likewise remarkably mild, especially considering the level of alcohol. The bread flavor is present through to the end, and the generous body also reflects the level of malt. A noble, herbal hop flavor is there, but not nearly strong enough. There is a fair amount of hop bitterness, more than balancing the malt. A bit of alcoholic tinge only seems to add to the bitterness. For a beer this strong to be this drinkable is dangerous.

+Breckenridge Regal Double Pilsner

3.8 (4-6-8-4-16)

+Breckenridge 471 ESB

3.5 (4-7-7-3-14)

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4 Responses to “Breckenridge ESB and Regal”

  1. MetsFanVI says:

    I just recently found your site and really enjoy your reviews. I saw the Regal Double Pilsner a few weeks ago at John’s and was really intrigued. I’ll definitely have to check it out. While I love big IPA’s and other “extreme” beers, I’m always looking for a really good pilsner. It’s a hard style to brew.

  2. couch says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. It may be the hop-bombs and barleywines that get all the press and most of our love, but the true test of the ability of a brewer is making a light lager, where off-flavors have nowhere to hide.

  3. MetsFanVI says:

    Exactly. Any suggestions for other pilsners worth seeking out?

  4. couch says:

    Pilsner Urquell is the original, and really quite good, as long as it’s not light-struck. New Glarus, Lagunitas, Victory, and Avery all make very good microbrewed pils.

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