Red Rack Ale | Woodstock Inn Brewery

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Red Rack AleRed Rack Ale
199 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: 199 |  Reviews: 99
Photo of cbutova
3.11/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep amber with a small off-white head. Nice webs of thin lace.

S- Buttery notes and nutty malt. Apple fruit notes and caramel malt.

T- Deep buttery caramel and nutty malt. Dark fruit with a slight medicinal feel. No hops. Zesty spicy feel.

MF- Highly carbonated light body. Nice creamy feel and fair bitterness.

DB- Feels all over the place, not much balance of flavor and could use some hops. Doesn't drink ad smoothly as many ambers.

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Photo of stewart124
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper color with a nice rocky head that fades quickly.

Strong caramel malts in the nose.

Huge caramel character with plenty of residual sweetness and a nice subtle bitterness. Really moves towards scottish ale with the malt character and I am picking up some buttery diactyl. Medium mouthfeel with a bit of spice in the finish.

This is a fairly tasty amber ale but really leans towards a scottish ale. Loads of buttery notes in the finish.

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Photo of weazal
4.12/5  rDev +21.2%
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 bonkers
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got this as part of a BOTMC. It pours reddish, brown with a medium white head. The aroma is sweet, cloying fruity. The beer is sweet and fruity, midway it is nice and biscuity. It has a lingering sweetish finish. The beer has medium body, kind of a sticky mouthfeel that doesn't work for me. Not terrible, but not my kind of brew.

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Photo of Mora2000
2.64/5  rDev -22.4%
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 philbertk
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery--Red Rack Ale--2008 Release--12 oz. Bottle--5.50% ABV--23.3 IBU's. (3.25 / 5.0) Red Ale--Beer of the Month Club Selection September 2008. Foamy thin lacy off white head. Clear pretty bright rich amber red color. Sediment dusting. Mild hop light fruit ester front. Thin CO2 fizzy mild sweet light caramel fruit simple malt body. Refreshing mild hop dry citrus hint end. Aged well, but bland. 2nd bottle is maltier. Sampled 1/16/2010.

Woodstock Inn Brewery--Red Rack Ale--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 5.50% ABV. 23 IBU's. (3.5 / 5.0) Amber Ale? Big fluffy lacy lasting orange white head. No sediment. Fizzy foamy bright rich ocher amber color. Malty mild toasted mild hop toffee fruit hint front. Creamy biscuity toasted caramel fruit mild sweet fruit malty Amber / Red body. Mild hop breadfruit doughy end. Odd English flavor. Over carbonated with mild hops. Sampled 12/30/2010. Malt of the Earth Beer of the Month Club Selection December, 2010 received 12/21/2010.

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Photo of imperialstout27
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
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 JoeyBeerBelly
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer from VanillaMike. Thanks Mike!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear copper color with an off-white head that thinned out leaving little lacing.

S - toffee, butterscotch aroma.

T - sweet and buttery upfront with a touch of bitterness on the finish.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel.

D - goes down easy enough.

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Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
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 Durge
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A hazy orange amber color with a decent off-white head and very nice lacing. I pick up tangy yeast malt and a little herbal hop in the aroma. Decent enough. The taste brings leafy citrus hops and nutty toffee malt. Almost a touch of roasted coffee bean. There's lemon highlights in a medium-light bodied brew. It has a bit of a resinous feel with fine carbonation that refreshes. Pretty drinkable but not greatly attractive for a session in my book. The hops are nice but the blend doesn't quite work for me. It's alright, maybe worth a try but not one to search out.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
2.58/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this in a variety 12-pack on sale for $10 at Beverage King in West Lebanon, NH. Best by date of Aug 2010 stamped on the label. Poured into a chilled pint glass.

Clear reddish-copper brew with a thin off-white head. Nose is a thick syrupy sweetness and dark fruits, like a mix of maraschino cherries and caramel. Taste is not as sweet. Dry, muddy, indistinguishable hops and malt. Fizzy carbonation with a soapy finish. Nothing interesting going on, pretty bland and unremarkable. Saving grace is that there's nothing particularly offensive. Meh.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a bright red amber, with beige head, not decent lacing.

S: A biscuity malt, not much else.

T: A lot of malt up front, followed by caramel sweetness, and then an aftertaste that is a tad sour, but not bad.

M: Good carbonation combined with a decent smoothness.

D: Can put a couple back, no problem.

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Photo of steelerguy
3.26/5  rDev -4.1%
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 ekardz
2.91/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from Awesome Beer Clubs into sam adams glass:

A-Reddish amber, clear lots of carbonation, very alive and inviting, little to no head.

S-some scent of grapes, sweet, herbal/piney hops, some fruity aromas.

T-well built, taste some grape characters. Red ale, killians like, definitely embodies the style.

M-light/smooth, good amount of carbonation.

D-wasn't sure if I would enjoy this, but I was pleasantly surprised. A perfect beer after a long day of work before drinking some of the heavier higher grav stuff.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.01/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Arrived today from Awesome Clubs monthly beer club.

a - Pours a dark amber/copper color with about an inch of foam with no rentention and little carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, but that's about it. Not much going on here at all.

t - Tastes of malts, a little sweet and a little bready. Again, not much going on here, but it is smooth.

m - Medium body with moderate carbonation, it is actually pretty smooth and easy to drink.

d - Overall this beer wasn't that great. I thought they smell and taste were kind of bland and lacking, but at least it was smooth and easy to drink. Would not look for again but since it came with the AC gift this month, an ok beer.

 729 characters

Photo of woosterbill
3.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the brewpub into a pint glass.

A: Clear reddish amber; little head and almost no lace. Disappointing.

S: Uninspiring malts.

T: Surprisingly rich malty flavor - toffee and butterscotch with a crisp grainy finish.

M: Light and prickly.

D: Tastes good and goes down easily.

Notes: Entirely underwhelming, but never unpleasant. I wouldn't order it again, though, given the other options at the brewpub.


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Photo of tigg924
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%
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 kimcgolf
3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle to a hazy orange red with thin skim of a tan head that lingered well and okay lacing. Nose is malty citrus fruit with a hint of roasted nuts. Mouthfeel is thin, with just a hint of a tingle. Taste starts out okay, by picking up the flavors of the nose, but quickly urns grainy and skunky. Finish is no better, as the sweet malty fruit is quickly overtaken by a dry, cottony taste. Unfortunately, the finish outweighs the nice start on this one, and I'll avoid in the future.

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Photo of billybob
2.72/5  rDev -20%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours a medium copper color quarter inch off white head that quickly fades to beer and a light wispy lace. smells of sweet malt and slight metalic note. taste about the same. mouthfeel light, carbonation held well even with a strong pour. average at best not worth the price. keep looking.

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Photo of gestyr
4.33/5  rDev +27.4%
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 briman
3.07/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy pale copper color, with a moderate off-white head. Little retention.

Aroma is malty, sweet with not obvious hop contribution.

Flavor is light-to-moderately sweet malt, but other than some light biscuity notes and a light hop bitterness in the finish, overall pretty bland.

Medium body, medium-to-high carbonation. Carbonation is a little bright, and would make this more enjoyable if it was turned down a notch. I honestly can't get any real feel for the finish, due to the prickly nature of this beer. Not likely to have again.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.57/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Transparent amber. Decent white head that quickly dissolves and scampers to the glass sides. Bottle has freshness dating and some neat artwork of the man in the mountain. Or the man previously known as the man in the mountain.

Sweet orange citrus with some toasty malt.

Sweet orange citrus malt with faint citrus hop balanced by toasty malt. Not that bitter, bitter hop in back. Smooth, juice-like mouthfeel although it is accompanied by mild a syrupy astringency usually seen in higher abv beers. Overall, a pleasantly balanced amber with high drinkability.

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Photo of JayNH
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a deep clear copper with a small foamy head.

S- A sweet biscuity malt, a mild spice note.

T- A biscuity malt that finishes with a mild grassy hoppiness.

M- Kind of flat, light bodied and a little watery.

D- Decent, not bad, just kind of bland.

 256 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Barb's Beer Emporium in Concord. Pours a slightly hazy copper body with a half inch of off-white head. Aroma is very very subdued, but hints of hops and malt make it out. Caramel malt with some herbal hops in the flavor. Medium in both mouthfeel and carbonation, with moderate drinkability. I wonder if I may have a slightly less than fresh bottle, which would be more the fault of where I got it than the brewer, but all I can see here is a fairly standard middle of the road American Amber.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a hazy orange/amber color with lots and lots of rising carbonation. The head was two fingers of Dijon-tan foam that retained beautifully as a cap and the lacing was also quite good. The aroma was toasted malt with a slight mustiness, floral hops and a light mineral-like quality. The flavors were les than impressive, citrus hops and hints of caramel malt amongst cereal grains and a slight earthiness. Not bad, but rather washed out and ill-defined. The carbonation was a little too high which roughed up the mouthfeel and the body was medium. Just ok.

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Red Rack Ale from Woodstock Inn Brewery
Beer rating: 3.4 out of 5 with 199 ratings
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