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Beer- #710 – House of Nicolas – Heritage

Epic House of Nicholas Heritage. the collaboration between House Of Nicholas, Epic and Hop Federation who’ve been on the brewing again with an ESB. Threes company, three is a band, three isn’t the number and Free for a party.

” Really tasty malty beer with great balance “

From the FYO station 1 litre of a 5.9% ABV beer,  176 calories a serve, and that is about 4.6 standard drink units in NZ.

For House of Nicolas this is brewed by  Epic Brewing Company (NZ) at the  Steam Brewing Company in the Style that is Premium Bitter/ESB and they are in Auckland, New Zealand

This and some music

This and some music

A very rich, malt driven ESB,  has a malty nutty aroma and is golden copper / deep golden colour, with bold and rich aromas of toffee, toasted walnuts and caramel and nutty, biscuity malt character from the Amber malt.

The English grown hops are twined tightly around the malt in a flavour that is subtly herbal and Earthly. Hop flavour comes in very late in the after taste.

The palate is very full and wel balanced, with a subtle, but persistant bitterness creating great length. 

So, what could possibly go wrong?

Initial though was that was quite a sour aroma on popping that top, but given a second good sniff it probably wasn’t and there might be some sugary to be had.

It is a dark orange bronze pour, which being inept ended up being a mountain of head, but that’s ok because it does settle into something resembling a really good pour of beer, with the head retaining it’s fluffiness, just less of it.

That strange low level sourness in the aroma is back, almost like a saison, but then again that sugar aroma gains hold, and even a little hint, tiny mind, of a grass thing, perhaps.

House of Nicolas - HeritageThen on reflection perhaps herbals and earthy are better ways to describe it.

And… that is a surprisingly interesting a rich mouthful of beer, not a lot of un-front bitter, which seems cowered by a large malt presence, but then at the back there is just a tick of dryness and a kick of hop bitter. That was a surprise.  Kind of interesting.

I’m not however taken back to a London pub when I’m drinking this, it’s not a taste that has those memories, not for any reason an ESB should do that.

The taste profile of this is fairly flat though, there isn’t anything peaky or tall in the drinking of this, it somehow is a little restrained and behaved, I wasn’t expecting hop forward.

I quite like that earthiness, but I’m not sure I could ever really love it as a taste that suits me, I like the moderate bitterness though, that does make it easy drinking and quite enjoyable. Enjoyable but not moorish. Unusually too a beer that I think I’d enjoy more with a foods. I might be getting old, old but not jaded. Or perhaps jaded and in need of a hop forward fix.

Oddly as well I’m enjoying drinking from the olde sleeve pint glass, and ditching the special glass. Comfort drinking.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 7 of its things from the thing. 7 is Good on the scale of randomness, This is an enjoyable drink but for me it fails to kick on or spark up. However and ESB is a beer that generally isn’t a trend setter or taste leader, being a good strong drinking beer (Strong as in capable) that hasn’t any edges or things that would put you off. A good pub regular beer.

The double dip review

  • Am I enjoying it? I am, as an ESB but not as a beer that set my taste buds alight.
  • Would I have another? I would if I was in the pub and this was on tap.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? A good beer to platform an evening on I think, fairly neutral and easy going, and doesn’t leave your palate in ruins.

Music for this : “ The Fratelis ”  ” Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied ” on the Spotify . The Fratellis are a rock band from Glasgow, Scotland. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Jon Fratelli, bass guitarist Barry Fratelli, and drummer and backing vocalist Mince Fratelli.


In England, many breweries have a number of bitters in their range. The style that has come to be known as Premium or Special Bitter generally includes the stronger ( 4.6%-6.0%) examples. These are mostly served in the traditional way from the cask, but some are also found in bottle form where the extra malt allows them to stand up better than the more delicate ordinary Bitter. In the US, the designation ESB is common for this style, owing to the influence of Fuller’s ESB, the London brew that was among the first to be exported to the States. In the US, some ESBs are made with American hops and a clean yeast, but the alcohol range is the same, as is the range of bitterness, usually between 25 and 35 but occasionally creeping higher.


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