Red Rack Ale | Woodstock Inn Brewery

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Red Rack AleRed Rack Ale
200 Ratings
Red Rack AleRed Rack Ale

Brewed by:
Woodstock Inn Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Amber in color with slight caramel sweetness. Medium hop bitterness. Malty up front with a nice hop/ malt balance.

23.3 IBU

Added by UnionMade on 07-07-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 200 |  Reviews: 99
Reviews by NJBeerguy:
Photo of NJBeerguy
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass, resulting in beer with little to no head. The color is bright red, whose nose is slightly sweet but very faint. The resulting beer is a very drinkable red that is a big malty, big mouth feel. The mouthfeel comes from a very carbonated beer, not in a bad way but the bubbles do dance on your tongue, and from a appearance look like a glass of soda with a constant trail of tiny bubbles rising form the bottom of the glass to the surface. The finish is a mix of the malt fading into a dry finish that has a subtle alcohol flavor. Depending on the abv, I could see this beer a as session beer, not great, but not bad either. Worth a try!

 669 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of imperialstout27
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear amber with a small cream colored head that dissipated relatively quickly.

S: Definitely a malty beer. The aromas tend toward freshly sliced bread notes with a fruity hint underneath and a bit of caramel sweetness. Not too much in the way of hops.

T: The fruity esters come through stronger on the palate. Toasty malt flavors are also prominent with a very mild buttery hint which works ok here. Hop bitterness is mild to moderate, about 25 I'd guess, and balances the malts nicely. Bitterness lingers into the finish with some bready notes.

M: A smooth, medium-bodied brew. Light to moderate carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable. This is not a complex beer, but it is a good, tasty session ale that works well if you like them on the maltier side. Overall, pretty good beer.

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Photo of steelerguy
3.26/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very clear amber, with a nice size white head and low carbonation.

S - Sweet malt with some roasted notes. Smells like a Scottish ale rather than American Amber.

T - Lots of caramel and toasted malts. Rich and a bit sweet. Not surprisingly, it tastes like a Scottish ale rather than American Amber.

M - Smooth, creamy and rich.

D - Looks good and feels good, but many other American Amber or Red ales out there. Just doesn't feel to style to me, but is more of a Scottish ale.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12oz bottle, with best by June 2007 on the label. It was a dark amber color with a small white head. It had a sweet, caramel aroma. Maybe a little malt. Fruity taste, like cherries. Some hops. I thought this beer was a little too fruity, but still enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of Jason
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

LOOK: Reddish brass, clear with a good sized head

SMELL: Malty, toasty, vegtal, buttery, herbal, toffee, grainy, baked apples

TASTE: Caramel, malty, toasted bread, buttery, fruity, leafy, herbal, mildly estery, earthy

Not half bad, I'd love to try the non-contract brewed version of this. Good use of malts, perhaps a more defined hop flavor would help here?

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Photo of tigg924
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, amber, clear, high carbonation

Smell: caramel and toasted malt

Taste: caramel, toasted malt, hops, and biscuit

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, a sweet start with a bitter body and finish, medium bodied

Drinkability: This one I find to be OK for the style. I do not get the same balance here that I get with other ambers. Not overly distinguishable taste wise or smell wise. This is an OK beer that I will most likely not be revisiting.

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Photo of Mora2000
2.64/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Cavie for sharing this bottle. This is my first beer from this company.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the butter with some sugar notes. The combination makes the beer smell like circus peanuts. Unfortunately, the flavor is not much better. There is a little bit of grass, sugar and toffee, but once again there is a lot of butter in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3.39/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz long neck brown bottle with a twist-off cap.

Clear,reddish/amber color with a 2" off white head,good carbination with a fair amount of tiny bubbles tightly knitted together The head dissapated quickly into a coating of foam.

Moderate aromas roasty/carmelly/nutty with a slight burnt aroma. No hop notes in the aroma all malty aromas.

Grassy/bisquity with a tart carmell taste,slightly fruity with a bit a sourness.Finishes clean and smooth,slightly tart. A malty tasting beer with not much hop flavors.

Light to medium mouthfeel a bit watery with a bit of grainyness.Good drinkability the best beer of the sample pack I had from Woodstock Inn.

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Photo of jefftuck47
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of TCJosh
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of jbphoto88
4.07/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A spiced orange color pours from a brown bottle marked with a best by date of April 2009. A tan head rises and falls fast to nothing but an island of multi sized bubbles. First impression is ho hum. It's not an awe inspiring beverage just an average looking one.

The scent is a different story. There is a malty grain backbone with some toasted caramel scents wafting up. There is also a light hop nose that is more focused then I was expecting. This smells like a good balanced brew that I can't wait to try.

The flavor doesn't disappoint. A toffee caramel flavor is the alpha and omega, it starts there and then moves to a malty backbone with a slight hoppy astringency. The finish comes back to that toasty caramel flavor. Very good and refreshing.

This is a fine medium balanced brew that really hits the spot. The hop profile is just big enough to be tasted but doesn't take away from the malts. I like the slight twinge of sourness that bites the sides of your tongue. Well done.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.17/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Dan for this bottle.

A: Pours a ruby/copper color with a small off-white head upon pouring. Not much retention and no lacing whatsoever.

S: Some caramelized malt and a little bit of fruit, nondescript really. There is a bit of honey as well and a slight buttery aroma.

T: On the sweet side, with caramel and honey. Not much hop presence at all. Has a sweet finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty smooth with a slightly dry finish.

O: Decent beer, not a ton going on, but nothing wrong with it. An average beer.

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Photo of DrewBest
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright amber in color, full 2" off-white foam, nice long lace.

The nose is sweet caramel and buttery toffee aroma from the wormwood house yeast, very distincive aroma. Sweet fruity hops.

A crisp malt bite, sweet fruity hop with just a bit of earthiness and dry finish. The yeast flavor overpowers though and is something you either like or NOT. A medium, lush feel with a decent bite too.

the yeast works with this brew pretty well, but it's not like the woodstock flavor of old.

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Photo of brother_rebus
3.54/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of RickS95
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nothing earth shattering about the color, though it's a nice combination of brown, orange, and sienna. Mostly clear, but still fairly opaque. The head is non-descript and doesn't have much in the way of retention. But it never fully dissipates, leaving a thin white film up top.

Very malty with what seems to be a handful of different malts (pilsner and caramel among them). The hops appear to be of the savory variety as opposed to citrus.

Taste is similar to the scent. Malty and hoppy. Caramel and earthy hops. Pilsner malt and caramel malt are the major players.

A smidge of sweet up front before a wave of balancing bitter takes over. Medium-bodied with a lasting bitterness that lasts til the next sip. Alcohol is not noticeable.

It's pretty good for the style. There's a nice balance between contasting ingredients. Mostly a session beer and a pretty good one at that.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Infamous7100
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a copper to to dark orange into my pint glass with thin tan head and minimal lacing.
S: bready, malty and sweet notes of caramel. Light hop notes are present as well but not overwhelming.
T: actually follows the nose well. Great balance between the caramel malt and slightly bitter hops. Nothing leaps out as outstanding but it yields a very steady flavor.
M: surprisingly creamy with a medium body. Very smooth with crisp finish and pleasant slightly bitter aftertaste.
O: a nice, solid straightforward brew. Highly sessionable and great balance. Perhaps could use this as a gateway brew to newbies.

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Photo of EBeckett3
3.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of ChrisL24481
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance had a decent looking amber to red color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about less than a minute. There was some light lacing. The smell had a decent roasted apple of sorts gracing between some English malts. The taste took those flavors to town and made it semi-sweet but it really felt and tasted really like a true English ESB. On the palate, this one sat fairly light, but tried to show a semi-medium of sorts on the body. It was fairly sessionable and had a decent carbonation running about it. Overall, I say this was a pretty good ESB worth trying. If anything, the second bottle went really well with BBQ pork.

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Photo of edchicma
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A surprising bottled offering. This brew is bottled by Shipyard. Shipyard brews generally are aok, so an endorsement of this product by their willingness to bottle it, I knew it would be better than ok, and it was, The appearance was a nice amber red with a very nice off white head. The smell was a hoppy, fruity combination. An initial malt taste lasted to mid-palate, then the citrus hops expressed themselves and the brew had a light hoppy finish. Mouthfeel was light to medium and very smooth. This is an extremely drinkable brew..very smooth and easy on the palate.

 571 characters

Photo of PaleAleWalt
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12. fl. oz. bottle sampled on August 10, 2012. The pour is a highly carbonated medium amber with reddish tones and a quick lasting fizzy white head.

The aroma is full of sweet pale malts, Toblerone, and a crisp, clean hoppiness.

The body is about medium but there is a slight acidity to it.

The focus of the taste is on the caramel malts and yeast with a moderate bitterness and a clean finish. Not a bad ESB in the long run.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.34/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bought a bottle of this beer when I was up at a cider mill in Waterbury, Vermont. Beer pours with a clear amber appearance with a thin head around the ring of the glass. I smelled aromas of light peppers mixed with a sort of bready cranberry or dark fruit flavor. Taste was somewhat bitter thanks to a caramel mixed malt flavoring. Mouthfeel was good for this drink; the carbonation helped to make the beer easily drinkable. Overall, the drink was not bad, with the best attributes being its aromas and mouthfeel.

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Red Rack Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 200 ratings