1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Redhook ESB - Redhook Ale Brewery

Redhook ESBRedhook ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

1,568 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1568
Reviews: 815
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.37%


Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery visit their website
United States

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-30-2001)
View: Beers (45) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,568 | Reviews: 815 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by ZenAgnostic:
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic

Texas

3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (looks like a regular bottle/stubbie hybrid) stamped on bottom label BOTTLED ON: OCT 07 11. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance - Pours offwhite head with decent retention and stick. Slightly hazy deep orange body with a bit of brownish hue. Tons of floating particulate matter. They look clear and flaky like tiny fragments of lemon or lime meat left over in the glass after a good squeeze.

Smell - Bready malts. Caramel. Grassy hop. Smells like a mild but well balanced IPA. Faint citrus after a swirl. Becomes noticeably sweeter when warmed.

Taste - Moderate flavor. Stale hop. Stong lime rind bitterness. Malt is there but difficult to evaluate due to the bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Almost chewy. Effervescence cuts through after a moment and cleans the tongue, leaving mild astringency in its wake.

Overall Drinkability - Not my style of beer but it's pretty drinkable nevertheless. First few sips were questionable and I didn't think I'd be able to polish off a sixer, but after half a bottle I adjusted to the profile and find it more than tolerable.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 02:26:43 | More by ZenAgnostic
More User Reviews:
Photo of SkinniePost
SkinniePost

Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -12%

04-17-2014 22:51:22 | More by SkinniePost
Photo of tclipse
tclipse

Virginia

3/5  rDev -12%

04-17-2014 15:56:50 | More by tclipse
Photo of SeanPowell22
SeanPowell22

Washington

4/5  rDev +17.3%

04-16-2014 23:56:46 | More by SeanPowell22
Photo of topdown
topdown

California

4.5/5  rDev +32%

04-15-2014 22:44:45 | More by topdown
Photo of PatrickKlopfenstein
PatrickKlopfenstein

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

04-14-2014 00:19:09 | More by PatrickKlopfenstein
Photo of RichD
RichD

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

04-13-2014 12:35:04 | More by RichD
Photo of Mojo
Mojo

Alabama

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

12 ounce bottle poured into Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass

A - crystal clear deep amber with a lingering one finger head and good retention.

S - very grassy nose with a grain quality

T - sweet caramel malts dominate up front following by a mild bitter finish

M - average thickness with decent carbonation.

O - This is a good beer and it is very easy to drink. My problem is that it is sort of wimpy. Dial up the malt profile about 50% and the hop profile 100% and it would be a winner. As it is it's just another average easy to drink beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 05:05:50 | More by Mojo
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

04-12-2014 23:25:37 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of mjstacker
mjstacker

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

04-12-2014 02:41:42 | More by mjstacker
Photo of VeganUndead
VeganUndead

Virginia

3/5  rDev -12%

04-10-2014 03:42:10 | More by VeganUndead
Photo of mikepcarney
mikepcarney

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

04-06-2014 22:31:57 | More by mikepcarney
Photo of APBT91
APBT91

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

04-04-2014 14:39:34 | More by APBT91
Photo of FFATS
FFATS

Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

04-04-2014 02:47:21 | More by FFATS
Photo of clager
clager

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

04-04-2014 01:09:14 | More by clager
Photo of Shindelins
Shindelins

Colorado

4.53/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is special. The Red Hook medicine bottle look is so fitting for the thick sweetness of this beer. I agree with how many have already noted it is a beer you want on a hot summer day and how session able it is. It's a more modest ESB, but it still defines the genre in its principle tastes, yet I've never had a beer quite like it. It's my favorite beer because there is not a beer that I enjoy have one after the another more than this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 03:06:24 | More by Shindelins
Photo of BH712
BH712

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

03-31-2014 22:16:57 | More by BH712
Photo of RHVC59
RHVC59

Oregon

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

03-31-2014 01:56:56 | More by RHVC59
Photo of scotorum
scotorum

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a; Clear amber with an inch and a half tall white head which receded to even surface foam and patchy lacing.

s: Alcohol and sweet malt.

t; Oddly the alcohol hits the palate first, followed by the medium caramel malt. Some bitterness for balance.

m; Light to medium. Quite smooth.

o: A pretty good ESB, not as tasty as some but ok at least as a meal accompaniment. First impression was that this tasted more like beer than most beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 02:11:05 | More by scotorum
Photo of Act25
Act25

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Red hook not my cup of tea, despite being rather tea like. I do like Winterhook.
A: Brass, dark copper color with almost no head, and rising pin point bubbles, a tiny lace. Date = 10-13 in 3-14
S; Nose is barely present. Pale malty, caramel, a little fruit, but like a flavored soda water.
T: Best facet of this beer and it gets better as it warms. ESB is a session beer, and so too is this.
MF: "quinine-like" one review wrote - and I agree - it's a tea/ soda like experience, too thin for this reviewer.

Mid-pack at best.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 21:16:35 | More by Act25
Photo of dsl72701
dsl72701

Arkansas

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

03-26-2014 19:06:37 | More by dsl72701
Photo of George2744
George2744

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +10%

03-24-2014 23:08:46 | More by George2744
Photo of zenithberwyn
zenithberwyn

California

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

03-24-2014 02:14:11 | More by zenithberwyn
Photo of BeerBeast
BeerBeast

California

3.75/5  rDev +10%

03-23-2014 01:27:20 | More by BeerBeast
Photo of Premo88
Premo88

Texas

2.3/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into nonic

L: gold-amber ... 1/2-inch head off a hard pour, white foam, little stick or lace; brew is clear with just a bit of haziness to it, still easy to see through

S: corn, medicine, sour grain

T: corn, grain, sour grain; toasted barley, some bitterness that often feels more like medicine than hops

F: solid, very drinkable

O: major dissapointment ... there's nothing English nor ESB about this brew; it tastes like a corn tortilla chip dipped in Nyquil ... as macro-brew tasting as any "craft" beer I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 07:48:40 | More by Premo88
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Redhook ESB from Redhook Ale Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,568 ratings.