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
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
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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Photo of kevd193213
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber colored pour with a thin white head that quickly fades. Aroma of sweet malt. Taste of caramel malt and sugar. Sharp mouthfeel, though not overpowering. Sweet malt flavor gradually blends with a subtle hop finish with a dirty citrus tang to it. Nice for a session, very drinkable.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came from the Beer of the Month club. This was my last one, so it was time for the "official" review..

Poured with a finger of head that stuck around for a bit before fading away. Not a lot of retention. Almost a pure Amber color as I think of it. Perhaps a shade lighter and more red. Mostly translucent with little to no visible carbonation. A small amount of lacing remained in the glass.

The aroma was slightly sweet and really noted some grains. A bit bread like...

Taste was nice. Nothing overly complex, but good stuff. There was a fruity, caramel character and on for a Amber/Red. There was a nice bread like quality as well. Just enough hops to offset the malt character. A nice toasty flavor (not roasted or burnt at all)

Mouth feel was medium/light and it was very drinkable. A nice Amber... I've grown partial to the more hoppy of this style, but this certainly with well within style guidelines and a good representation.

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Photo of micahgoldfus
2.7/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a brownish-red color that looked better up against the light. Had a thin, fizzy head that faded fairly quickly. The smell was dominated by hops: a little floral, but mostly a strong, spicy, tangy hop smell. There was also plenty of a sweet, caramel maltiness in there too. It was an interesting mix. The taste combined these two flavors as well: one one hand, there were bready, buttery, tasted malts that ended with a touch of caramel. On the other hand, there was dry, bitter hop flavor. But to me, unlike the smell, the taste did not work out. The mixture sounds nice, and should have produced a beer that I enjoyed. But the taste was just a little off to me, and the bitterness and sweetness seemed contrary to one another, as opposed to complimentary. I think that the flavors were a bit too strong, and the beer could have benefitted from some more subtle tastes. I ended up finishing the beer, but I didn't really want to.

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Photo of eporter66
3.89/5  rDev +14.1%
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 mcowgill
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a clear copper/amber color. Nice head that dissipates quickly leaving no lace on the glass.

S - Sweet malty breadiness

T - A slight bitterness comes through with the malty sweetness

M - Nicely carbonated

D - A very drinkable, pretty good representation of the amber style.

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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 Goregazm
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%
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 grs8313
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from my tasting notes, and the beer was from a birthday beer of the month 4 beer sampler.

Appearance: 12oz twist top bottle with a best by date of 8/2009. Pours an amber color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Malts, apples, apricots and a slight hop smell.

Taste: Apples, roasted malts, and alcohol. A roasted malt aftertaste, This is a very unique tasting beer, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Mouthfeel: Slightly carbonated and thin feeling. The mouth mouth is left feeling clean.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and a great tasting beer that would not overpower the taste buds or be so dominant as to distract from what you are doing.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - clear, ruby-like amber color with a decent head that settles a bit into a fine lacing

S - faint toasted malt scent (but not very strong at all)

T - hops dominate the flavor profile with some toasted malt backing; solid hop finish

M - medium to light body with moderate carbonation

D - This is a decent sessionable amber ale; not very complex, but tasty enough.

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Photo of sccala
3.26/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served out of a brown glass bottle with a mountain scene on the lable with moose antlers in the foreground. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Very little head from the start, hardly any retention. No lacing at all. Nice brownish-amber color. Decent carbonation.

S- Not much to smell. A bit nutty, grainy, you can smell the malted barley.

T- Best part of the beer is the taste. It bites your tongue and mouth on the way down and you can definitely taste the hops. Not overwhelming. Just right to my liking actually.

M- Also very good here. The carbonation makes a nice amount of foam in the mouth as you let it wander around in there. Goes down smooth right before the hops getcha.

D- Average. I could sit down and drink this all day at a pub, should the opportunity arise. It's not too filling to not want to drink more.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
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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Photo of drinksandeats
2.19/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From a 12 oz. bottle purchased in the Whites.

Appearance: Ruddy, slightly opaque. Strong head and good lacing.

Smell: Weak caramel maltiness. Some fruit aroma, a bit of hops, and not much else. Flat.

Taste: Slightly sweet, with an off banana taste present. Mild hops insufficient to overshadow the off fruitiness. Not good.

Mouthfeel: Starts out rich and smooth with a good body, and ends with a slightly unpleasant dryness.

Drinkability: Nothing to write home about. There's not much good beer flavor, even once you strip away the banana esters.

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Photo of Domingo
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
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 OtherShoe2
3.75/5  rDev +10%
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 changeup45
2.83/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Medium-bodied amber color with a medium head and just a little bit of lace. Rich, malty flavor with some spices mixed in there. Slightly bitter in the finish and aftertaste. Malty aroma too with malts overall dominating this one. All around pretty average.

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Photo of RickSawyer
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
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 TheManiacalOne
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, honey, fruit and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is sweet and a little malty with flavors of caramel and honey up front. Then there's a decent hops bitterness that comes in and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is just an ordinary beer overall, but it's still worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden/amber color with a good frothy head, nice ring of lacing.

Smell is mostly malt, some caramel hints, not much else though.

Taste is mostly malty with some burnt bitterness to it, hard to describe but it's not entirely pleasant or off-putting though, just indifferent.

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Photo of Philabeerphia
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had a few great weekends at Woodstock Inn, so I had to get a 6pack when I saw this visiting MA.

12oz bottle, poured deep rust amber, almost no head or lacing

smell is sweet malt, grains & honey. a really good nose.

Taste is a little underwhelming. Up front I'm not getting much, but in the back its malty with a little carbonation in the back of the throat, the hop kicks in a bit at the end a balanced finish.

Easy to drink, even a little "watery" when it first hits the tongue, could be a session beer... a drinkable beer, but not too complex...

best drunk dancing at Woodstock.

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Photo of BuckSpin
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz bottle (best by of 12/07) in a Shaker pint

Poured with a nice gurgle, strong and quite noisy with an almost sparkling wine effervescence to it. Those bubbles formed a solid 2 fingers of very loose, big bubbled, sticky pale ivory foam that slowly settled to a nice, subtly sculpted sheet of the same with almost cloudlike lacing.

Nose is rather dull initially...nothing really stands out or is immediately noticeable. With a little air it does start to reveal some caramel sweetness, actually maybe more toffee than caramel. Growing sweeter as it blooms, some nice fruit qualities like dried cherry are coming up from the crystal clear, vibrantly brassy honey amber hue (its not red in the least).

Slightly bitter initially, it has a slightly burnt caramel quality which adds a little sweetness. This is actually very reminiscent of the Pig's Ear Brown in a lot of aspects. I liked that, and thus far I'm enjoying this, but the fact that they are really similar in many regards has me a bit perplexed. There is the same faint nut quality, just over the bitter side of bittersweet, semi-dry...hhhmmmm. I won't hold it against this beer (which is drinking nice, BTW) but its eerily similar to the Pig's Ear....too similar for me, sad to say.

It grows drier, lighter, perhaps more bitter & angular, then finishes rather dry with a toast-like quality, a filmy coating that is not bad nor all that pleasing.

This was nice, easy to drink and could be sessioned, but to be honest if you've tried the Pig's Ear there is no need to try this. Its a little different (slightly more bitter & drier) but there is no mistaking the same qualities it shares with the Pig's Ear. I would think there would be a noticeable difference - IMHO there is not a significant one. Could see this working well with simple bar food, cheddar or just enjoying. A nice, easy to drink ale.

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Photo of auxiliary
4.35/5  rDev +27.6%
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 Brad007
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a mild amber color with a thin head. Aroma stands out as being big and malty. Taste is much of the same with a nice biscuity malt flavor that becomes thin and somewhat buttery at the back of the mouth. Interesting taste. Not too impressive but a solid beer altogether.

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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!

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

Pours a red brown amber with a short off-white headskie. Sweet, but not too too sweet. A real basic red ale. Good, but not great. I'm stoked to see Woodstock Inn beers at the store, but they should really bottle their better ones. Still, worth snagging at a good price.

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