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Redhook ESB - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook ESBRedhook ESB

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,719 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,719
Reviews: 818
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 19
Gots: 91 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,719 | Reviews: 818 | Display Reviews Only:
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1/5  rDev -70.7%

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05-06-2012 22:01:15 | More by
Photo of kpr8rh8r


1/5  rDev -70.7%

07-17-2014 21:35:08 | More by kpr8rh8r
Photo of outdoor7or24


1/5  rDev -70.7%

06-18-2012 10:24:09 | More by outdoor7or24
Photo of Timbo86


1.25/5  rDev -63.3%

03-01-2014 17:13:50 | More by Timbo86
Photo of Supergenious


1.5/5  rDev -56%

11-22-2011 01:52:49 | More by Supergenious
Photo of chippo33


1.5/5  rDev -56%

03-13-2013 23:37:34 | More by chippo33
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1.5/5  rDev -56%

02-15-2012 19:58:59 | More by PeteRiz
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1.5/5  rDev -56%

01-30-2012 02:52:35 | More by jfcaa193
Photo of Reaper16


1.63/5  rDev -52.2%

12oz. bottle served into a pint glass

Pours a lightly caramel brown color. 3/4 of a finger's worth of offwhite head. I'm struggling to say much of anything about this beer's appearance. It's utterly generic. If you go into Microsoft Word's library of ClipArt and search for "beer" you will find a picture of this beer.

Have you ever smelled bread sitting on the counter, from like two rooms away? That's what this beer smells like. It's dominantly bready in the most boring way possible: subtly and distantly. If you sniff very hard you can make out a flutter of peanut shell and a wink of musty hops. But this is bread central and it is so utterly boring because of it.

Finishing this bottle is going to be a chore because I am rapidly falling asleep while drinking it. Here's a bad sign as to how boring and underdeveloped this flavor profile is: I can taste the water. Redhook ESB has notes of bread, nuts, an insultingly low percentage of bitterness, and yes, mineral water. This is an utterly benign ale that the English would be embarrassed to see labeled as an ESB. Watery flavor begets watery mouthfeel. This beer is Paper Mario-thin.

Overall: this beer's existence caused the London riots.

08-13-2011 22:21:54 | More by Reaper16
Photo of Ecliptica


1.65/5  rDev -51.6%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Little head that dissipated quickly into a light copper color. Actually looked pretty attractive and drinkable, but alas. . .then I tasted it.

Perhaps I didn't take a good enough whiff, but all I could smell was malt with no aroma of hops at all. I had to give it 'average' because the smell wasn't awful, but it wasn't great either.

In my opinion, this is the worst tasting beer I have ever had. I typically like these extra special bitter-type beers, but either I had a bad bottle or it normally tastes this metallic. Slight hoppy taste, but hardly anything. I can see where people would like this type of flavor, but it really did nothing for me. It was a stuggle drinking the entire glass.

Mouthfeel is watery at best; nothing I can really boast about

Again, I appreciate where the brewers are coming from making this type of beer, but once I got about 75% of the way through I honestly didn't even want to finish it. The taste was too much for me and I don't plan on trying this again out of a bottle. I am still willing to get this on tap as I may have just had a bad bottle - as long as someone else is willing to pay :-)

03-22-2008 22:08:01 | More by Ecliptica
Photo of rkinney


1.75/5  rDev -48.7%

05-23-2014 05:13:29 | More by rkinney
Photo of 4theluvofbrew


1.8/5  rDev -47.2%

I had had this beer b4, so shame on me 4 getting it again...I was looking for a 12-pack, and this was the only thing that caught my I. it is NOT an ESB! I don't know what it is...maybe a bad honey brew or something...? It has no bitterness whatsoever. RH's IPA is terrible too, so stay clear of their beer! I love true ESBs, so if anyone knows any good ones that I can get in New England, please let me know thanks!

11-09-2009 01:11:46 | More by 4theluvofbrew
Photo of heine1


1.83/5  rDev -46.3%

This beer has a pleasant, clear coppery-amber color in the glass, but this translates far too literally into a flavor suggestive of a red tea steeped with grubby--here I echo previous reviewers-- pennies. On top of this odd and utterly unrewarding metallic flavor, it is sweet, with an overbearing, unintegrated sweetness like a shot of molasses added at the end of brewing. I think I have liked other beers by these guys, Summer Rye, in particular, but this is one of the worst beers by a major brewer I have had. Bad batch?

08-12-2008 00:20:41 | More by heine1
Photo of Meyers1023


2/5  rDev -41.3%

08-09-2014 02:39:16 | More by Meyers1023
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District of Columbia

2/5  rDev -41.3%

03-25-2013 01:29:55 | More by dcbeers
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2/5  rDev -41.3%

08-08-2012 13:20:21 | More by bcseda
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2/5  rDev -41.3%

06-14-2012 03:07:45 | More by flayedandskinned
Photo of Jamstone714


2/5  rDev -41.3%

12-30-2011 17:38:16 | More by Jamstone714
Photo of mwar


2/5  rDev -41.3%

11-27-2012 04:38:51 | More by mwar
Photo of garyford


2/5  rDev -41.3%

02-15-2012 22:33:03 | More by garyford
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2/5  rDev -41.3%

07-21-2014 05:07:47 | More by hoppityhop
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2/5  rDev -41.3%

12-14-2012 20:32:46 | More by Pyjack
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2/5  rDev -41.3%

12-24-2011 07:46:41 | More by jophish17
Photo of robuess


2/5  rDev -41.3%

01-14-2012 14:25:17 | More by robuess
Photo of BeerBelcher


2.05/5  rDev -39.9%

This beer just didn't do anything for me...it was not very flavorful nor appealing, and it had a distinct metallic taste that I thought was a bit off-putting for something you'd find in your beer.

This beer came out of the bottle a very clear tan color with good commercial-looking (small consistent bubbles) head. Aroma was very minimal...some sweet maltiness. Flavor-wise, I could not get over this copper-metallic flavor. This beer tasted like a penny, or like water that had snaked through a bunch of copper piping. Mouthfeel was a bit harsh and unremarkable. I was very not impressed with this beer.

05-19-2007 14:12:02 | More by BeerBelcher
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Redhook ESB from Redhook Ale Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,719 ratings.