This is another offering from Beerheadz in Lincoln, I seem to be spending a lot of time there lately. ESB from Runaway Brewery in Manchester is a 5.8% Extra Special Bitter, so that sounds exciting. It's quite unusual to get a bitter over 5% so I guess that's where the extra special bit comes in. I think this was my first ever Runaway beer and to be honest I don't know much about the brewery at all, so maybe it's best we just talk about the beer. ESB pours a dark brown, verging on red, with very little head, so it's close to the normal English bitter look.
The first thing you'll really notice though is the smell, it took me a while to work it out, but I'm pretty sure it's raisins or prunes. Either way it's a bit odd. The texture is thicker than most bitters I've had, but I guess that comes with the added alcohol content, and the taste, well I just didn't like it. I think there's still some raisins or prunes there, but there's also some toffee notes, and it tastes more like a 9% beer than a 5.8% one, and I don't think that's ever a good thing. Maybe the smell just put me off from the start, but really I didn't like ESB from Runaway brewery at all so I can only really give it 2 out of 10.