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.

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)
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 idResponse:
Photo of idResponse

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer looks like any other ESB on the market, and smells pretty average, however, the taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability of this beer are superior. Honestly, I've never found another ESB as well balanced as this. The beer is easy to drink and easy to sip. It's great on a hot summer day or great with a warm winter meal. It goes with anything and I recommend drinking it anytime you find you are stuck with a bunch of yellow fizzy alternatives that are made with giant expensive marketing campaigns. This beer is easily an excellent alternative to most bitters or pilsners. Even pilsner drinkers should enjoy this beer.

Thank you Redhook for making something really tasty. The subliminal messages on the labels are fun too!

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2006 18:38:31 | More by idResponse
More User Reviews:
Photo of SkinniePost


3/5  rDev -12%

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


3/5  rDev -12%

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


4/5  rDev +17.3%

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


4.5/5  rDev +32%

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


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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


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


3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

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

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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


3/5  rDev -12%

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


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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


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

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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


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
Photo of dsl72701


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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


3.75/5  rDev +10%

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


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

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


3.75/5  rDev +10%

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


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.