Redhook ESB - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook ESBRedhook ESB

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

1,926 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,926
Reviews: 850
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 24
Gots: 210 | 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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,926 | Reviews: 850
Photo of Nickholland
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good, widely available and inexpensive beer. If you want a break from all the super hoppy ales with a sweeter and malty palate then give this a try.

Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's a pretty good beer. Not up to craft beer level, but far better than macro brew beers.

Photo of HattedClassic
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a short white and foamy head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a beautiful copper color (light amber). The overall appearance is nice, nothing earth shattering but still good to look at.

The beer smell is pretty fruity with some light and nice caramel smell with a bit of a toasted malt nose. The fruity is pretty good and works well with the style. There also happens to be a slight buttery note to it.

The taste has similar notes as the smell but is still fairly different. The notes seem to more balanced between the hop and malt notes. The malt has a caramel taste with a slight toastiness to them while the hops are fairly fruity. The taste also has a light buttery flavor to it.

The mouthfeel is fairly creamy and smooth for the style, which isn't good. I wish that is more on the lighter side and refreshing as opposed to being medium bodied. Given the body, I see this more as a meal than anything else as opposed something I can have after work to take the edge off.

Overall, a fairly decent American style ESB and one that probably doesn't get enough credit. I thought that this was a fairly enjoyable beer and wouldn't mind getting it on tap if I can.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Murphy's Taproom
Deep golden bordering on amber with a smallish off white head when it arrived at the table. Rich caramel and toffee maltiness with hints of earthy hop aroma and flavor. Clean and flavorful beer.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep amber color with a one finger head of white foam. The head has a decent level of retention, fading to leave a lighter level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a bready smell mixed with some sweeter aromas of a caramel and brown sugar smell. Along with these aromas comes some lighter notes of earth and roast.

Taste – The taste begins with a slightly roasted and bready flavor mixed with a bit of a caramel sweetness. As the taste advances a bit more roast and some flavors of molasses join the flavor profile sweetening it up a bit. A little bit of a grainy and hop flavor of earth and hay come to the tongue at the end, leaving one with a rather smooth, moderately sweet, but easy going flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. For the style the feel is rather nice as it keeps it easy drinking, all while accentuating the light hop and malty tastes of the brew rather nicely.

Overall – A very easy drinking esb overall. A little on the sweeter side with a little less hop, almost more amber like, but overall a rather tasty brew. A nice simple drinker.

Photo of jeff1973
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On Cask at the brewery in Portsmouth NH.

Photo of cyguyjg
4.69/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sorry to buck the trend but I find this to be a special ESB. Great balance among flavor (caramel), alcohol and hops. And available all year long. Not like some brews you have to wait several months. This beer leaves those amber lagers in the dust.

Photo of Roser
3.76/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- nice big foamy head that lasted a good bit. No lacing. Semi clear/hazy. Honey gold.

S- clean, crisp. Strong malts up front. Moderately hoppy.

T- malty, sweet up front. Pleasant bitterness on the back.

M- light to medium body, creamy, smooth.

O- very nice. Nothing too complex (as it's designed). An easy drinker with good qualities, especially the taste given the reasonable (low) 5.8% ABV. Would have again and definitely recommend.

Cheers!

Photo of baile208
2.79/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color and aroma are subtle, not overpowering. The taste is pretty balanced and well-bodied. Good yeasty smell and taste, nice amber color. The aftertaste is a little uncomfortable, kind of chalky.

Photo of classixIII
3.21/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Nice honey to amber color, zero head on this one. Not much in the aroma department Not overly hoppy or bitter. ..eh..

Photo of JebBeerFish
2.77/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Split a pitcher with a buddy. Slightly above average.

Photo of dacrza1
3.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: April 23, 2015... GLASSWARE: Brew at the Zoo pint... OCCASION: a tough day on the JV diamond needs a Cavs win tonight... APPEARANCE: rather translucent copper body with slow bubbles; white head is swiftly evaporating and uneven but soapy; lacing is a haphazard occurrence... AROMA: Centennial and Willamette hops present an aromatic, bitter kick; immutable caramel malts provide a formidable one-two punch... PALATE: buttery smooth with a whisper of carbonation; a bitter finish of a medium-bodied, pleasantly drinkable ale ... TASTE: a nicely balanced mixture of bitter, almond-nutty, buttery base and softer aromatic hops--some bubblegum too; a tasty, mild, sessionable beer ... OVERALL: drinkable is the word--a pint worthy of an oaken bar and some pub fare; a good sports companion...

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!

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Redhook ESB from Redhook Ale Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,926 ratings.