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Redhook ESB - Redhook Ale Brewery

Redhook ESBRedhook ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,568 Ratings

(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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Redhook ESB Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,568 | Reviews: 815 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason


3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one ends up in my fridge once in a while, then I remember that it is good to have a “decent” brew around to keep things in perspective. The great clarity comes from the ultra filtering they do to increase the shelf-life, unfortunately it takes a bit of flavor out of the brew. Simple balance of malt and hops with an aleish like quality, clean a refresing. Not a bad brew at all, just not something that I go crazy for.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2004 00:13:02 | More by Jason
Photo of Todd


2.83/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Stumpy 12oz brown bottle with a stamped freshness date.

Appearance: Bright, clear golden/amber in colour with a creamy white head that reduces to a thin cream lace.

Smell: Fruity aroma with loads of hop aromatics (raw and citrusy). Light buttery-caramel (diacetyl) also lingers in the nose.

Taste: Ultra creamy and smooth on the palate. Malt sweetness peaks first with a nice fruity flavours and medium- to full-bodied texture. An assertive hop bitterness, with grapefruit, rind and salt flavours overwhelms the palate with a sharp bite, then settles with raw and earth flavours. Hop oils also coat the palate along with diacetyl/buttery-caramel, especially as the beer warms. Finishes dry, with lots of grain tannins.

Notes: The diacetyl in this beer is more than what you might expect, and can sometimes become too powerful for the style. The aftertaste is also a bit harsh on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2001 00:00:01 | More by Todd
More User Reviews:
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3/5  rDev -12%

04-17-2014 22:51:22 | More by SkinniePost
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04-14-2014 00:19:09 | More by PatrickKlopfenstein
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3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

04-13-2014 12:35:04 | More by RichD
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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
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3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

04-12-2014 23:25:37 | More by kjkinsey
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3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

04-12-2014 02:41:42 | More by mjstacker
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04-10-2014 03:42:10 | More by VeganUndead
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04-06-2014 22:31:57 | More by mikepcarney
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3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

04-04-2014 14:39:34 | More by APBT91
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04-04-2014 02:47:21 | More by FFATS
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3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

04-04-2014 01:09:14 | More by clager
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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
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District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

03-31-2014 22:16:57 | More by BH712
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3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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


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

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
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03-24-2014 23:08:46 | More by George2744
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3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

03-24-2014 02:14:11 | More by zenithberwyn
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3.75/5  rDev +10%

03-23-2014 01:27:20 | More by BeerBeast
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Redhook ESB from Redhook Ale Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,568 ratings.