Day #96 – Real Ale Phoenixx Double ESB

April 7, 2011

Today was a great day for me. As you may or may not be aware, I am a musician as well as a music teacher. While I was an instrumentalist through most of my musical career, I have always enjoyed singing and listening to choral music. One of my all time favorite composers is Eric Whitacre. I find his music to be lush, rich in texture and deeply moving. I had the great fortune of meeting Eric a few years ago at a convention for music educators.

Long story short, he started a project last year in which he invited individuals to record video of themselves singing a particular song and then upload it to youtube. He then took all these videos and spliced them together, effectively creating a mass virtual choir. Well I decided I wanted to be a part of this group and uploaded a video of myself singing. (yes it’s still on youtube). My video was accepted and included in the project. The complete video was released today and it was astounding! Over 2,000 entries were included in this project and it sounds magnificent. Here’s the link for those who are interested in such things. 🙂

Now most of you might just be here for beer, and that’s perfectly OK! I just had to let the music side of me shine through for a bit. I’ve received lots of compliments from people regarding this blog, as well as people who have tried a beer that normally wouldn’t have that I reviewed. Thanks guys! Thanks for making this worthwhile.

Real Ale Phoenixx Double ESB


Another Texas beer today, this time from Real Ale out of Blanco, TX. I’ve only reviewed one beer from them previously, but they have a lot more to offer. Today I have their seasonal release, Phoenixx Double ESB. Now ESB stands for “Extra Special Bitter” which is a style all it’s own, but you mustn’t forget the “Double” part of the name. Almost always when a beer is doubled it becomes a different style from the original. IPA becomes a IIPA, Stout to an Imperial Stout, you get the picture. Well if you double an ESB it becomes an English Strong Ale. The ABV is only 6.6% which is a bit low for a Strong Ale but still within the accepted range. Here we go.

This beer pours a dark reddish orange color with a decent sized foamy off-white head. It actually started to foam up the moment I cracked the cap.

The aroma is lots of hops with earthy/leafy notes. There is also a strong malt backbone to this that does not let the hops overpower. After a few sniffs I can detect some sweet powered sugary elements. Nice aroma.


Flavor is strong hops upfront. Spicy/earthy hops that last for awhile. The finish is VERY different from the upfront flavor. It actually has kind of a roasted/toasted flavor which I was not expecting. Toasted malts linger though the finish and hold out in the aftertaste. Tingles over the palate. Hmm, interesting for 1 drink. Probably wouldn’t enjoy several in a row though.



One comment

  1. The virtual choir…very nice. I showed this to my wife and she loved it, she was in a choir in the past and really enjoys the beauty of the human voice.

    I can’t sing…wish I could.

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