Red Rack Ale | Woodstock Inn Brewery

98 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 197
Photo of Skidz
4.5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out orange-brown and sits a deep, dark amber brown with a large off-white head. Stunningly bright in the glass, rich gradient in the tuliped glass. Good head retention, soapy lacings.

Smells sweet and malty, rich caramel aroma. Toasty to the core. Hazelnut topping on whole grain toast. Birchwood on the side and a mild hop nose.

Tastes mildly sweet up front, toasted malts very strong. Hazelnuts come out in the front of the pack, with walnuts and almonds close behind. Very mild hop intrusion, mainly herbal, faint notes of spice. Finishes lightly bitter with herbal hops to soothe the soul.

Crisp yet creamy in the mouth with nice, soft carbonation in a medium body. Runs up and down the mouth with great ease.

Very tasty, yet another surprise from the basket of goodies brought back by my parents. A no brainer really, this is an easy, tasty brew.

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Photo of auxiliary
4.35/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Has a amber brown color to it with a nice off white head and nice lace.

smell - Sweet malt smells. Hint of hops here, and some grain.

taste - Nice malty and nutty taste with a little bit of bitterness from the hops at the end.

mouthfeel - Medium body, some carbonation.

drinkability - I think it was the best one of of the case. Enjoyed this one. I am adding Amber Ales to my list now.

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Photo of gestyr
4.33/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Overall I liked this. Pours a nice amber into the glass with a thick foamy head that lasted well and left lacing.
Smells of malt and biscuit. Slight aroma of hops.
Tastes sweet, malty and has just a bit of a bitterness at the end. Well balanced.

I would and will buy this again.

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Photo of stirgy
4.23/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received a bottle of this in a trade from Pete (ppoitras).This poured with a slight haze and was a bright orangey copper color. The head was firm and had a tint of almond in it. The smell is sweet with buttery caramel malts. Rich and a bit solvent like. Bold and assertive. The taste is rich, bitter and nutty. This seems to have some Doppelbock characteristics with the Vienna or Victory malts coming through. There’s a nice roasted almond nuttiness and a pretty solid body of malt underneath. Overall, a very nice ale and one I would seek out again. Thanks, P!

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.22/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a room temp bottle in a pint glass. The beer pours a clear amber color with soft off white fluffy head of 1 cm that fades gradually to a sturdy surface layer.
Aroma is some roasted malt and even a bit of chocolate and toffee as well. Not expecting the heavier dose of malt. I also get lite grassy hops, which I expected to be bolder. First sip reveals an average body with fine carbonation that is very tingly. The texture is slightly creamy and smooth.
Flavor is toffee and roasted malt with some grassy hops on the finish. Very easy drinker and nice well crafted brew overall. I would buy this one again.

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Photo of Hhawk06
4.22/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The only offering I didn't have on tap while staying at the Inn, I figured I'd take their "most popular" brew home in a growler. Its a decent looking beer with a darkish amber body with a reddish tint. The head was thin but finely beaded and well proportioned. Very malty and somewhat floral and breadlike nose. Enticing to say the least. Really a full bodied, well incorporated mouthfeel. Its crisp, malty with a tremendous sense of freshness to the brew. There's a nice breadlike quality that serves the beer well. The finish comes off balanced with a true mellon-like flavor. Really impeccably crisp and quenching, this is a great sociable beer.

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Photo of Goregazm
4.2/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5


Appearance: Pours a reddish-brown color, very clear with no bubbles rising up inside it. This beer has a nice red shade to it when it's not directly in the light. Has a bubbly, fizzy head which dissipates in about a minute and only leaves a little lacing.

Smell: A bittersweet, malty smell with some hops. There is some fruit here and a slight hint of caramel. Has a little honey underneath it all.

Taste: Starts off malty, then the hops come in quickly before ending with a sweet and sour taste. More malty and rich then I expected. Overall it's a thick, toasty malt taste with some fruits (apples definately) and faint caramel. Very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: A little thin, but not watery. Only a slight acidity, but no where near enough to ruin the beer. The aftertaste leaves a little bitter malt taste in the back of the mouth and on the palate.

Drinkability: I like this beer a lot. I had it for the first time with a dinner of fish and vegetables, and it went great. It's not overly heavy or filling, so it won't make you feel weighed down. A great beer which is delicious when cold.

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Photo of weazal
4.12/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

SMELL: Surprisingly rich, sweet smell. Primarily sugary raisins with honey, too. Faint hint of brandy in the back, but not alcoholic at all. Pretty yummy!

TASTE: Near identical to the smell, but dryer. Not over the top, but noticeable buttery, sweet caramel flavor while still being clean and refreshing. A very pleasant combination. Flavorful, but finishes easy. Sharp carbonation is a bit too powerful (creates a metallic like experience) but does add an interesting ka-pow. Barely noticeable hoppy bitterness lingers at the very end.

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Photo of edchicma
4.1/5  rDev +19.9%
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.

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Photo of cwachtel
4.08/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a thin head that disappates quickly. Aroma is not strong but the maltiness comes through. The first taste is definitely more malt than hops but a slightly bitter finish brings the hops. I'm a fan of a strong malt/hop balance and this brew fits the bill. Mouthfeel is a little thin but overall a good beer. I would buy this one again.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.07/5  rDev +19%
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 TrickKnee
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purs a very nice color with a very fruity smell. Tastes of caramel and other fruit flavors that leave a very good taste in your mouth. Doesnt put much head in the glass and it is really not that hoppy however there is a little sour taste in the back of yout mouth. otherwise it is a very good ale.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +14.6%
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 eporter66
3.89/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

I got this as part of a beer of the month club. Best enjoyed before 8/2009 on bottle.

Pours to a clear reddish brown, with very little head and no lace. Rich Aroma, very pleasant. This is my second red amber over the past few days, and this is definitely a style I enjoy. A Bold flavor, yet not a heavy beer at all. I expected it to be heavier, but it does not detract one bit from the flavor. Mild to light carbonation (seems to work well with this beer). I can see having a few of these at a sitting, great flavor and drinkability. I would definitely buy this if available in a local beverage center.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Best before December 2012 off we go.

A good simple text book amber color slightly clear for the body. Not much rising carbonation. Head is off white perhaps 2 fingers falling normally.

Bouquet is soft mild malts but a strange sweetness to it. Slight toasty grain overalll not bad.

Taste is, kind of mild and muted with a nice breast malt finish. Palate creeps up slowly its as if the finish brings all the tastes. Not too wet either feels about right.

Overall a simple solid example of a sessionable enjoyable amber.

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Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a solid pale and crystal malt scent along with a touch of fruity yeast esters. The taste is good. It has a smooth crystal malt sweetness that goes down with little effort and finishes dry with some light esters. This is a pretty good beer. It's not loaded with complexity, but it does have a solid malt bill. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking amber ale. I love the caramel malt character as well as the light esters. It's just the right amount of fruitiness to compliment the malts and hops.

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Photo of scotorum
3.87/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: Clear dark amber with an inch thick white head of small dense bubbles which receded to thin surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Mild fruit cup. Later, caramel malt dominates.

t: Caramel malt with more than a little hop balance and light fruit undertones.

m: Light to moderate.

o: A good ESB, a bit more fruit notes and overall bitterness than I would prefer but the basic malt flavor is fine and becomes more prominent as it warms.

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Photo of NJBeerguy
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
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!

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Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours bright amber with a thin head that soon becomes a swirling patch. The thin head reappears upon gentle swirling.

The smell is of lightly toasted grains with a hint of caramel. Clean.

The taste is of lightly toasted grains mixed with caramel. Some earthiness and dough give it a nice balance. A hint of spice in the finish. Not complex, but tasty.

The body is light approaching, but not quite making, medium. Smooth and coating, though a bit thin.

Easily drinkable, this makes for a nice "session" beer. Light and refreshing with a good flavor. I can see pairing this with the doughiness and spiciness of a brick-oven pizza.

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Photo of RickSawyer
3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to johnnnniee for this very generous beer.

Pours a vibrant amber oaky hue. Nice, buck hide colored head rises up and then falls to a nice thick 1/2" tightly held head. Smell begins with a nice caramel covered red apple, a touch of pine resin, hints of hay and fresh cut grass. Taste is rounded out with a balance between the caramel, sweet apple, touch of dark wheat bread, some pined up earthy notes and a nice refreshing finish. Great gulper! Easy to drink.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decent amber with a good head that stuck around. Fair lacing. Their beers are pretty, I must say.

Some sugary scents, roasted malt, bready elements. Good aromas.

Toasted whole grain with malty sweetness. Changes to a sweet and bitter mix as you finish.

Solid carbonation, a little thin. Very easy to have a number of these.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.74/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear copper color with some orange hues around the edges. A thin white head fades quickly to nothing and leaves no trace lace behind. The aroma is mainly roasted malts and nuts, but some flowery hops can be detected. Each sip of the thin to medium bodied beer begins malty and finishes slightly bitter. Roasted malt, nuts and yeast flavors can all be found. It leaves behind a nutty flavor when swallowed.

This is a good flavored drinkable beer, but I was disappointed that the head faded so quickly to never be seen again.

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Photo of Domingo
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as part of a beer of the month set.
Pours a pretty deep cherry wood color with a medium to large head that formed with a slightly aggressive pour. Lacing is definitely there.
Smells malty...bottom line.
This beer has balance. Initially it starts with a roasted flavor, but then it develops a very malty grain flavor, and finishes with clean earthy hops.
This reminds me a little bit of the Sam Adams Irish red, but with a little more of a roasty character.
Mouthfeel's a little watery, but there's something that makes you keep coming back for more.
If this were a local beer for me I'd have these around all of the time.
I only got three of them, but I finished two almost immediately.
It's not a world beater, but it's multi-purpose, tasty, and makes for a pretty solid pairing with foods tomato-based foods.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark color between crimson and orange. Nice orange tinted head. Head is frothy and laces well and is also of nice stature.

S-Sweet with some grassy hops too. Smooth aroma of caramel and a bit of earthy notes. Not intense at all, but definitely pretty attractive.

T-The flavor is akin to the nose. Sweet and easy drinking with a nice clean grassy hop finish. Leans more towards the sweet side but it has enough hop flavor to balance it out. Easy sipping and tasty.

M-Smooth and a bit creamy with massaging carbonation. Sessionable feel and body.

O/D-A mellow yet attractive beer that I enjoyed fresh from a growler. I was a fan, but I have had many like this before.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another selection from the BOTMC. Smells Oktoberfest-like malty with earthy centennial-like hopping. Pours to a dark golden color with a decent clingy head. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. Carbonation well done, not too much nor too little. Good body. This is a very well balanced ale. Reminds me alot of a Sam's but with a bit more bitterness. For the style this hits the mark. Refreshing and balanced from start to finish. Nothing complex but a good down to earth ale. I would return to this brew.

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Red Rack Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
3.42 out of 5 based on 197 ratings.
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