Red Rack Ale - Woodstock Inn Brewery

Not Rated.
Red Rack AleRed Rack Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

184 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 184
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 0
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Woodstock Inn Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UnionMade on 07-07-2002

Amber in color with slight caramel sweetness. Medium hop bitterness. Malty up front with a nice hop/ malt balance.

23.3 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 184 | Reviews: 94
Reviews by DrewBest:
More User Reviews:
Photo of imperialstout27
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear amber with a small cream colored head that dissipated relatively quickly.

S: Definitely a malty beer. The aromas tend toward freshly sliced bread notes with a fruity hint underneath and a bit of caramel sweetness. Not too much in the way of hops.

T: The fruity esters come through stronger on the palate. Toasty malt flavors are also prominent with a very mild buttery hint which works ok here. Hop bitterness is mild to moderate, about 25 I'd guess, and balances the malts nicely. Bitterness lingers into the finish with some bready notes.

M: A smooth, medium-bodied brew. Light to moderate carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable. This is not a complex beer, but it is a good, tasty session ale that works well if you like them on the maltier side. Overall, pretty good beer.

Photo of steelerguy
3.26/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very clear amber, with a nice size white head and low carbonation.

S - Sweet malt with some roasted notes. Smells like a Scottish ale rather than American Amber.

T - Lots of caramel and toasted malts. Rich and a bit sweet. Not surprisingly, it tastes like a Scottish ale rather than American Amber.

M - Smooth, creamy and rich.

D - Looks good and feels good, but many other American Amber or Red ales out there. Just doesn't feel to style to me, but is more of a Scottish ale.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12oz bottle, with best by June 2007 on the label. It was a dark amber color with a small white head. It had a sweet, caramel aroma. Maybe a little malt. Fruity taste, like cherries. Some hops. I thought this beer was a little too fruity, but still enjoyable to drink.

Photo of Jason
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

LOOK: Reddish brass, clear with a good sized head

SMELL: Malty, toasty, vegtal, buttery, herbal, toffee, grainy, baked apples

TASTE: Caramel, malty, toasted bread, buttery, fruity, leafy, herbal, mildly estery, earthy

Not half bad, I'd love to try the non-contract brewed version of this. Good use of malts, perhaps a more defined hop flavor would help here?

Photo of tigg924
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, amber, clear, high carbonation

Smell: caramel and toasted malt

Taste: caramel, toasted malt, hops, and biscuit

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, a sweet start with a bitter body and finish, medium bodied

Drinkability: This one I find to be OK for the style. I do not get the same balance here that I get with other ambers. Not overly distinguishable taste wise or smell wise. This is an OK beer that I will most likely not be revisiting.

Photo of Mora2000
2.64/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Cavie for sharing this bottle. This is my first beer from this company.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the butter with some sugar notes. The combination makes the beer smell like circus peanuts. Unfortunately, the flavor is not much better. There is a little bit of grass, sugar and toffee, but once again there is a lot of butter in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.39/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz long neck brown bottle with a twist-off cap.

Clear,reddish/amber color with a 2" off white head,good carbination with a fair amount of tiny bubbles tightly knitted together The head dissapated quickly into a coating of foam.

Moderate aromas roasty/carmelly/nutty with a slight burnt aroma. No hop notes in the aroma all malty aromas.

Grassy/bisquity with a tart carmell taste,slightly fruity with a bit a sourness.Finishes clean and smooth,slightly tart. A malty tasting beer with not much hop flavors.

Light to medium mouthfeel a bit watery with a bit of grainyness.Good drinkability the best beer of the sample pack I had from Woodstock Inn.

Photo of jbphoto88
4.07/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A spiced orange color pours from a brown bottle marked with a best by date of April 2009. A tan head rises and falls fast to nothing but an island of multi sized bubbles. First impression is ho hum. It's not an awe inspiring beverage just an average looking one.

The scent is a different story. There is a malty grain backbone with some toasted caramel scents wafting up. There is also a light hop nose that is more focused then I was expecting. This smells like a good balanced brew that I can't wait to try.

The flavor doesn't disappoint. A toffee caramel flavor is the alpha and omega, it starts there and then moves to a malty backbone with a slight hoppy astringency. The finish comes back to that toasty caramel flavor. Very good and refreshing.

This is a fine medium balanced brew that really hits the spot. The hop profile is just big enough to be tasted but doesn't take away from the malts. I like the slight twinge of sourness that bites the sides of your tongue. Well done.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.17/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Dan for this bottle.

A: Pours a ruby/copper color with a small off-white head upon pouring. Not much retention and no lacing whatsoever.

S: Some caramelized malt and a little bit of fruit, nondescript really. There is a bit of honey as well and a slight buttery aroma.

T: On the sweet side, with caramel and honey. Not much hop presence at all. Has a sweet finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty smooth with a slightly dry finish.

O: Decent beer, not a ton going on, but nothing wrong with it. An average beer.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright amber in color, full 2" off-white foam, nice long lace.

The nose is sweet caramel and buttery toffee aroma from the wormwood house yeast, very distincive aroma. Sweet fruity hops.

A crisp malt bite, sweet fruity hop with just a bit of earthiness and dry finish. The yeast flavor overpowers though and is something you either like or NOT. A medium, lush feel with a decent bite too.

the yeast works with this brew pretty well, but it's not like the woodstock flavor of old.

Photo of RickS95
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nothing earth shattering about the color, though it's a nice combination of brown, orange, and sienna. Mostly clear, but still fairly opaque. The head is non-descript and doesn't have much in the way of retention. But it never fully dissipates, leaving a thin white film up top.

Very malty with what seems to be a handful of different malts (pilsner and caramel among them). The hops appear to be of the savory variety as opposed to citrus.

Taste is similar to the scent. Malty and hoppy. Caramel and earthy hops. Pilsner malt and caramel malt are the major players.

A smidge of sweet up front before a wave of balancing bitter takes over. Medium-bodied with a lasting bitterness that lasts til the next sip. Alcohol is not noticeable.

It's pretty good for the style. There's a nice balance between contasting ingredients. Mostly a session beer and a pretty good one at that.

Photo of Infamous7100
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a copper to to dark orange into my pint glass with thin tan head and minimal lacing.
S: bready, malty and sweet notes of caramel. Light hop notes are present as well but not overwhelming.
T: actually follows the nose well. Great balance between the caramel malt and slightly bitter hops. Nothing leaps out as outstanding but it yields a very steady flavor.
M: surprisingly creamy with a medium body. Very smooth with crisp finish and pleasant slightly bitter aftertaste.
O: a nice, solid straightforward brew. Highly sessionable and great balance. Perhaps could use this as a gateway brew to newbies.

Photo of edchicma
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A surprising bottled offering. This brew is bottled by Shipyard. Shipyard brews generally are aok, so an endorsement of this product by their willingness to bottle it, I knew it would be better than ok, and it was, The appearance was a nice amber red with a very nice off white head. The smell was a hoppy, fruity combination. An initial malt taste lasted to mid-palate, then the citrus hops expressed themselves and the brew had a light hoppy finish. Mouthfeel was light to medium and very smooth. This is an extremely drinkable brew..very smooth and easy on the palate.

Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12. fl. oz. bottle sampled on August 10, 2012. The pour is a highly carbonated medium amber with reddish tones and a quick lasting fizzy white head.

The aroma is full of sweet pale malts, Toblerone, and a crisp, clean hoppiness.

The body is about medium but there is a slight acidity to it.

The focus of the taste is on the caramel malts and yeast with a moderate bitterness and a clean finish. Not a bad ESB in the long run.

Photo of SickGnar
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark orangey copper. Clear with just a couple streams of bubbles rising to large fluffy, quickly falling to rocky, head of light ecru. It keeps a ring and leaves sort of minimal lace.

S: Eh? Both diacetyl and a light metallic, tangy twang? Great! Sweet, slightly caramel malts are solid behind initial impression. Light & vague hop impression. Warming is no help. What it does have going on is a balanced to the sort of odd.

T: Better than nose made me fear. Diacetyl takes a backseat to firmly toasty grain & lightly caramel malts. Buttery toffee and hints of dark fruit round out the malts. Nice background / balancing English type hops. Fair bitterness with character herbal, a touch earthy, and with muted spicy and citrus notes. Minerally, hinting at astringent, note seems to be coming mostly form hops. 3.5

M: Barely medium body with slightly over-balanced carbonation. Just a bit coarse on the tongue, but pretty mouthfilling – which softens the effect. Ends up being drying – mostly from hops. Biting edge that fades as warms. 3.0

D: Ultimately a reasonably fair beer. A bit rough around the edges – especially the aroma – but it does have a fair bit going on and does drink alright.

Photo of Philabeerphia
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had a few great weekends at Woodstock Inn, so I had to get a 6pack when I saw this visiting MA.

12oz bottle, poured deep rust amber, almost no head or lacing

smell is sweet malt, grains & honey. a really good nose.

Taste is a little underwhelming. Up front I'm not getting much, but in the back its malty with a little carbonation in the back of the throat, the hop kicks in a bit at the end a balanced finish.

Easy to drink, even a little "watery" when it first hits the tongue, could be a session beer... a drinkable beer, but not too complex...

best drunk dancing at Woodstock.

Photo of charlesw
2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a light amber - very clear! Huge head dominated by big bubbles but with a nice, tight, creamy cover that translates over time to a very nice covering lace.
It smells like Ringwood yeast. No doubt about it. Dang!
And it tastes, well, like Ringwood. It's all buttery and creamy and really lightly malty and then there's the lightly bitter finish to it... Gently fades on that bitter note - nothing really bad to say there. Still, it tastes like an ESB to me and definitely not a red - there's just not enough maltiness to it, not really enough body, and the bitter tones aren't quite hoppy - they're just bitter, if you know what I mean.
I mean, heck, I bet it would be great on cask or something like that, but, again, NOT as an amber - more as an Old-Thumper wanna-be.

Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.87/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear amber with a thin head and no lace. The aroma is nutty with caramel and fruity notes and a hint of bread. The flavor leads with caramel followed through by grapefruit and bread crust. It's a bit more bitter than most ESBs but still good. The mouthfeel is light-medium. Woodstock Red Rack Ale is a decent brew, crisp, and refreshing. Recommended.

Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Best before December 2012 off we go.

A good simple text book amber color slightly clear for the body. Not much rising carbonation. Head is off white perhaps 2 fingers falling normally.

Bouquet is soft mild malts but a strange sweetness to it. Slight toasty grain overalll not bad.

Taste is, kind of mild and muted with a nice breast malt finish. Palate creeps up slowly its as if the finish brings all the tastes. Not too wet either feels about right.

Overall a simple solid example of a sessionable enjoyable amber.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
2.41/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a nonic pint glass.

Coppery amber in color. Head is light and airy, not much retention, nor is there much lacing. Just about none, to be exact.

The aroma is fruity, a sign of some good English yeast, with a little bit of diacetyl coming out as the beer warms. The flavor is mildly bitter, and again fruity. However, as this beer reaches cellar temp, the nose and flavor are there-abouts of a tub of move theater popcorn butter. Holy crap. This is the second Woodstock Inn beer that I have had, and they were both diacetyl bombs. Needless to say, they have to get their processes under control to fix this. Otherwise, it is a fairly solid beer. Drink this cold(er) if you have it. It's a shame I didn't.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden/amber color with a good frothy head, nice ring of lacing.

Smell is mostly malt, some caramel hints, not much else though.

Taste is mostly malty with some burnt bitterness to it, hard to describe but it's not entirely pleasant or off-putting though, just indifferent.

Photo of BuckSpin
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz bottle (best by of 12/07) in a Shaker pint

Poured with a nice gurgle, strong and quite noisy with an almost sparkling wine effervescence to it. Those bubbles formed a solid 2 fingers of very loose, big bubbled, sticky pale ivory foam that slowly settled to a nice, subtly sculpted sheet of the same with almost cloudlike lacing.

Nose is rather dull initially...nothing really stands out or is immediately noticeable. With a little air it does start to reveal some caramel sweetness, actually maybe more toffee than caramel. Growing sweeter as it blooms, some nice fruit qualities like dried cherry are coming up from the crystal clear, vibrantly brassy honey amber hue (its not red in the least).

Slightly bitter initially, it has a slightly burnt caramel quality which adds a little sweetness. This is actually very reminiscent of the Pig's Ear Brown in a lot of aspects. I liked that, and thus far I'm enjoying this, but the fact that they are really similar in many regards has me a bit perplexed. There is the same faint nut quality, just over the bitter side of bittersweet, semi-dry...hhhmmmm. I won't hold it against this beer (which is drinking nice, BTW) but its eerily similar to the Pig's Ear....too similar for me, sad to say.

It grows drier, lighter, perhaps more bitter & angular, then finishes rather dry with a toast-like quality, a filmy coating that is not bad nor all that pleasing.

This was nice, easy to drink and could be sessioned, but to be honest if you've tried the Pig's Ear there is no need to try this. Its a little different (slightly more bitter & drier) but there is no mistaking the same qualities it shares with the Pig's Ear. I would think there would be a noticeable difference - IMHO there is not a significant one. Could see this working well with simple bar food, cheddar or just enjoying. A nice, easy to drink ale.

Photo of grs8313
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from my tasting notes, and the beer was from a birthday beer of the month 4 beer sampler.

Appearance: 12oz twist top bottle with a best by date of 8/2009. Pours an amber color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Malts, apples, apricots and a slight hop smell.

Taste: Apples, roasted malts, and alcohol. A roasted malt aftertaste, This is a very unique tasting beer, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Mouthfeel: Slightly carbonated and thin feeling. The mouth mouth is left feeling clean.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and a great tasting beer that would not overpower the taste buds or be so dominant as to distract from what you are doing.

Photo of auxiliary
4.35/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Has a amber brown color to it with a nice off white head and nice lace.

smell - Sweet malt smells. Hint of hops here, and some grain.

taste - Nice malty and nutty taste with a little bit of bitterness from the hops at the end.

mouthfeel - Medium body, some carbonation.

drinkability - I think it was the best one of of the case. Enjoyed this one. I am adding Amber Ales to my list now.

Photo of drinksandeats
2.19/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From a 12 oz. bottle purchased in the Whites.

Appearance: Ruddy, slightly opaque. Strong head and good lacing.

Smell: Weak caramel maltiness. Some fruit aroma, a bit of hops, and not much else. Flat.

Taste: Slightly sweet, with an off banana taste present. Mild hops insufficient to overshadow the off fruitiness. Not good.

Mouthfeel: Starts out rich and smooth with a good body, and ends with a slightly unpleasant dryness.

Drinkability: Nothing to write home about. There's not much good beer flavor, even once you strip away the banana esters.

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Red Rack Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.