808 ESB is a 5.5% English Special Bitter from 808 Brewery, based in Oyama, in Tochigi, Japan. It’s part of their regular lineup and can be found in both cans and on draught. 808 ESB is brewed using locally harvested barley in the form of coix seeds, which are also known as Job’s tears though which hops used are unknown at the time of writing.
808 ESB : At A Glance
- Alcohol : 5.5%
- Style : ESB
- Hops : Unknown
- IBU : Unknown
- Availability : Regular
- On Sale : From October 2021
- Size : 350 ml
- Price : From 500 yen
Aroma & Taste
- Notable Aromas : Malty caramel aroma with some earthy notes with buttery nose.
- Notable Tastes : Malty caramel flavour with low bitterness but peculiar taste to it.
808 ESB : Aroma & Taste
808 ESB poured out a dark ruby brown colour with a very thin amount of white head on top that faded fast to leave a few bubbles around the side of the glass. Unsurprisingly, the beer is malt forward, with a distinct malty caramel aroma being the most prominent, though there was a semblance of earthiness to 808 ESB. With it being an ESB, there was an expected buttery nose to the beer, but there was an unusual, aroma to it that I couldn’t pin down. It wasn’t an off-aroma, nor was it bad, but it was weird.
That same lingering aroma was present in the body and it could have been the addition of coix seeds. I’ve never eaten them before so it’s hard to pin down the flavour and say it was that. 808 ESB had a malty, caramel body but the most peculiar flavour to it that didn’t really suit the flavour profile of the beer. It was a lingering flavour that was more buttery nut flavour with some hint of soapiness to it – sorry, no technical beer jargon from me today. It was such a weird flavour that 808 ESB just didn’t taste like an ESB in the end.
808 ESB : The Bottom Line
808 ESB is a miss from me and a shame as I do like a good ESB.
808 ESB : Where to Buy
808 ESB can be bought online at the following places: