On June 26th I was lucky enough to attend The can release party at Rockaway Brewing Company in Long Island City, NY. The evening proved to be a lot of fun. They had a food vendor pop-up, raffle prizes and of course, beer cans for sale. If you weren't able to attend, I thoroughlyrecommend you acquire a time machine and attend the event. The release party finally allowed me the chance to bring home some of their beer with a longer shelf life than a growler could offer. I'll start this review by saying that the Original ESB isn't my favorite offering from Rockaway. I'm partial to their cream ale and really hope everyone gets a chance to try that. This isn't to say that the Original ESB is bad. More on that in the review, which starts...now
Appearance: Honey orange brown. This color matches the sweet element of this beer. There's a thick frothy white head with very little bubbles on the side of the glass. 4
Smell: A quick sniff will offer a strong force of malty sweetness. I also detected a faint fruity element that I couldn't decide if it was very light citrus or some of that stone fruit smell that most of my favorite beers seem to sport. In the end, the aroma wasn't insanely shocking and it took a lot of sniffs to really think about what I was smelling. 3.5
Taste: Here's where this beer really shines. At first it'll taste sweet but not cloyingly sweet. The beer ends with a light bitter note. The hops are mostly playing as elevator music but they are still there and occasionally you'll hear them. There is a very light citrus aspect to this beer. I believe this is also caused by the hops. 4.5
Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is always a tough thing for me to discuss. I'm still trying to train my palette. It seems that my mouth feels so many conflicting things. At first the beer feels very creamy. The heavy malts and yeasts adds certain "meal" like feeling. The beer still drinks incredibly easy with the carbonation being set add a low medium. Then again, as you drink it, you'll notice that it does thin out and isn't very sticky in the mouth. This means that the flavors wont linger but you'll enjoy a longer sip and that sip will start out as rich but will smooth out. 3.75
Overall: While this isn't my favorite Rockaway beer, its still a great beer. At 6.4% ABV, it drinks very easily and has a delightful sweetness level. It's a good simple beer that can be used for a variety of events. It's light and sweet enough to pair with lunch and brunch but it also packs a heavy malt element that pairs well with more complex dinner options. I'd recommend this beer for BBQs or just lazy days in the yard. It has that easy drink-ability that would help convert Bud drinkers.