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Redhook ESB - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook ESBRedhook ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,881 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,881
Reviews: 838
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 23
Gots: 188 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-30-2001

Brewed in the style of a traditional British ESB (Extra Special Bitter), we’ve been making ESB continuously since 1987, and it’s now the benchmark for the Amber beer category. Despite having “bitter” in its name, Redhook ESB is really not that bitter at all. This brew is all about the balance of caramel malt sweetness completed by spicy, citrusy hops.

28 IBU
View: Beers (42) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,881 | Reviews: 838
Photo of ranger7
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Decent ESB. Very balanced and drinkable. Not as good as Fuller's. More of an Amber Ale.

Photo of Beeeeeerman
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My favorite from this brewer and an OK ESB.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Tasting notes: Unexpectedly light color. Subtle aroma. Nose and palate recall ginger ale, buttered pecans (diacetyl), white pepper, lemon-lime citrus, some Goldings type hop character. Moderate carbonation. Coats the mouth without seeming terribly thick. Not a bad brew but subtly flavored, does not compare with legit English examples of the style in depth of character. Neutered "for the masses".

Photo of Ian_B
1.37/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Looks okay, smells okay -- but has a strange diacetyl taste and sticky, dry finish that is just unpleasant.

Photo of cabelgabel
4.5/5  rDev +32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well-rounded, full-bodied, rich yet crisp. One of my all-time favorites.

Photo of Safa1
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good beer not bitter. Usually 2.49 a 22. Think about that the next time your 10 buck 22 double ipa rolled in shit fermented doubly in the basement bomber lets you down. This ain't even the long hammer.

Photo of takusan1000
3.07/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It's a nice amber color with a solid head that stays strong along the edges. Good yeasty smell more than anything, and this prevails in the taste as well. While the bitterness is in line with standard ESB, it lacks the malty backbone that makes me love Fuller's and other standout beers of this variety. It is definitely a sessionable beer--nothing offensive here, but a chalky aftertaste persists and can only be alleviated by drinking more. I suppose that's the idea. Light to moderate mouthfeel, with minimal carbonation. Not bad, not excellent, but I wouldn't be turning my nose up at this in a pinch.

Photo of vikinggary28
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love a good looking ale, and this one sure is pretty. But aroma, taste, mouthfeel, etc. are just slightly better than average. Or maybe after all the hype I was expecting more. Anyway, if you can pick it up on sale or have one offered to you, give it a try.

Photo of everythingiszen
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

The lingering sweetness is a bit odd, but this one is ok by and large. There are better ESB's out there.

Photo of Big_Mazz
2.53/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lacking in flavor, aroma is good.

Photo of Donkster46
2.72/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Had this with a sampler tray at their brew pub. Definitely have had better representations of this style. Slightly malty with a weird sweet after taste.

Photo of ssteckley
2.73/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not my style I guess.

Photo of DoctorEvil
5/5  rDev +46.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A revelation when I first tasted this in college in the 80's. And to think the brewery (then) was a few blocks from my grandmother's house in Ballard area was so cool....especially compared to the other local choices in town (Rainier, Oly, Lucky, Henry's, Killian's) at the time. This has been my standard baseline taste profile by which other IPA/DIPA/ESB's are judged in my experience. Really not too bitter for regular IPA drinkers (maybe for lager-hounds), but I believe it is perfectly balanced... really close in profile to Sierra Nevada and Schubros 680... oh...and Go Cougs!

Photo of jooler
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty bitter. Nice malt flavor with a hoppy taste, better than their ipa

Photo of hophugger
3.16/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Simple review for a simple beer(no harm intended). Pours a semi-deep clear golden color with light head and decent lacing. Aroma is slightly malty and bready. Taste is light with some malt and hop bitterness coming through. Overall, carbonation is great but this beer seems a little weak. Weaker than I expected !

Photo of beer-fan-1
4.02/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First craft style beer I had when I moved to Seattle 20 years ago. Goes with everything especially BBQ. Available everywhere by bottle, sometimes on tap. My go to when there is nothing else to try in the place I'm trying.

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%

Pours a deep amber color with little head to it. The smell is full of hops in the beginning and then mellowing out into a sweeter scent. The taste was very good I thought with all of the notes being balanced very well to make a smooth beer. Not bad.

Photo of JohnFatAss
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet fruity aroma,
Bready, toasted malts, sweet Carmel, mild bitterness.
Good carbonation. Soft mouthfeel.

A nice pale ale.

Photo of moundbz
4.28/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smooth and crisp, nice bitter in after taste

Photo of chrisakavern
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Not too bitter for something with bitter in its name.

Photo of Oberson58
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Newcastle lite made by west coast hipsters. Still pretty good though.

Photo of leantom
3/5  rDev -12%

A little disappointing given what I thought of the game changer. Here goes:

A: Not that good. Cloudy brown, tiny head and no lacing. 2/5

S: Toasty caramel malt and simple grainy cereal; otherwise nothing. No hops or yeast. Very simple. 2.5/5

T: Very grainy. I'm used to ESB's having a lot more caramel (see Fuller's ESB). This beer, however, just tastes like a regular adjunct lager that's been infused with some caramel malt. In fact, the Game Changer pale ale tastes far more like an ESB than this beer. Drinkable, but not good. 3/5

M: Not bad. Well carbonated, glides down the tongue easily. About average for a pale ale. 3.5/5

O: Just OK. Nothing worth buying, however. Will not be having again.3/5

Photo of S_Weinstein95
3.86/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: A beautiful gold with a pale head.

S: Citrusy hops meet the nose followed by a really nice floral aroma.

T: Grapefruity hops up front are followed by some more mild hoppy flavors. Caramel, roasted nuts, and a slight toasty flavor. A nice malty taste on the tail end.

M: Smooth with a slight carbonation that goes down nicely.

Photo of dcmchew
3.81/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Love these Red Hook tiny bottles.
Dark orange pour, one finger creamy head that goes away leaving almost no traces.
Smell of biscuits, fresh bread, oranges, faint toffee, hint of raisin and some spicy green hops. Should be good.
Bread crust and caramel biscuits, nice and rich malty backbone. Sweet citrus follows, with tangerines and blood orange, with a faint tropical note too. Bit of dark fruit too. Lots of peel and a pinch of peppercorn, hints of floral honey. Faint pine, some dry leafy hops and a bit of dankness too in the finish. Nice bitterness, with great spicy hops lingering in the aftertaste.
Medium body and carbonation, a bit creamy. Great mouthfeel for an ESB.
Though American notes are obvious, the build of this beer is actually very English, better than many ESBs from the old continent.

Photo of Foyle
4.08/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 1/2" off white head. Dissipates slowly leaving significant lacing. Lovely copper color. Considerable carbonation.

Aroma: I love the smell of this beer. Bread, fruity hop spice, sweet malts in a wonderful balance.

Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied and slightly sticky. Carbonation noticeable in the mouthfeel. Slightly wet finish.

Flavor: Mirrors the aroma. A nicely balanced ale. Nothing overwhelming. Sweet flavor of caramel malt with earthy, fruity hop bite.

Overall: This beer lives up to the noble name of ESB. I think it stands toe to toe with any English ESB’s I have ever tried. I could drink this everyday. Goes well with food also. Great job Redhook!

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Redhook ESB from Redhook Ale Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,881 ratings.