Redhook ESB | Redhook Ale Brewery

2,104 Ratings
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Redhook ESBRedhook ESB

Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-30-2001

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Ratings: 2,104 |  Reviews: 868
Photo of jtd335
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of slimntubbs
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of jfcaa193
1.5/5  rDev -56.1%

Photo of ExtraStout
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Smells like fresh bread, with some mild hops mixed in.
Appearance: Golden amber, make that orange, with some chill haze. Active head died down to a moderate white thin cover.
Flavor: Balance is on the hops (it IS an ESB) but some of the sweet malt peeks through. Guessing they went heavy on bittering hops, light on aroma hops. Overall taste is clean, but I noted a slight metallic twang deep in the first aftertaste, but was hard to find a second time. Hops don’t overpower the taste, but linger in the aftertaste deeply.
Mouthfeel: Light, with a carbonation prickle.
Overall Impression: A moderately good beer. No major flaws, but just not very lively. Drinkability isn’t bad, doesn’t slow you down, doesn’t invite you back for another.

 757 characters

Photo of nwatson
4/5  rDev +17%

Photo of Bito401
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Guden
2.47/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- A peach colored copper with consistent carbonation bubbles and a one finger white head. Minimal lacing and a slight haziness are the only off points.

S- Lots going on with fruit (papaya and berries), hops (citrus) and sweet caramel taking the front with pine and bread also coming in.

T- Blech! Now I remember why I didn't like this beer. Up front is an off putting odd dough mixed with butter like quality mixed with pine and a strong sweetness which doesn't balance, this is met in the middle with stale malty bread and the finish rounds out with aspirin bitterness and a lingering bad dough taste on the tongue.

M- Moderately light in body and carbonation this one goes past the tongue fairly easy but not enough to escape the taste from hitting it. Seems right for the style but doesn't help the taste profile.

D- Not very drinkable, will not have again. There seems to be quite a bit going on here for an ESB but it just does not blend well and leads to a disjointed mess of a drink. There also seems to be some diacetyl that really ruins the flavor throughout.

 1,073 characters

Photo of phideltashaggy
3.74/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the (sweet) bottle into a standard pint glass.

A-This is a pretty beer: light, clear copper with a big, fluffy white head and plenty of lacing.

S- Smells like an English bitter, alright. Hints of hoppiness (not a lot) and a decent amount of clean breadiness.

T- This beer tastes nice at the end of the day. The front end is a little malty, the back end is bitter, and a good mix of both lingers for a few minutes.

MF-The mouthfeel was great when the head was present, the fluffyness lent an almost a thin, cream-like feel. After the head receded the feel is quite a bit thinner; boring, but not bad.

Overall, this is a nice brew that I would drink again. Great for in between foods or brews as a palate cleanser and as a nice session beer at the end of a nice shift or at a bbq.

 798 characters

Photo of kmckinnon87
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of electtodefer
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of postnothing
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of AJD1201
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Chrisbracken420
4/5  rDev +17%

Photo of allenc85
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of zenwatts
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of sevenmoist
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of TrojanWheels
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of harrymel
2.15/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled 20SEP11

pours a hazed amber ale with a fleeting finger of off white foam. Smells of grain, metal and a hint of a frosted flakes. Tastes sweet and malty with the slightest hint of bitterness. I'm not really impressed with the flavor of this beer. I remember back when I first got into craft, and I thought this was a good beer, nowadays, this thin bodied, hi carbed sweet beer is mediocre for me. IMO an ESB should be only subtly sweet and have a pronounced, complimentary bittering on it that results in a feeling of slaked satisfaction.

 546 characters

Photo of burningsnailman
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Jaacob
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of angrybabboon
3.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review adapted from notes taken 8/18/11

Appearance: Amber, copper color - starts off with a nice, white head, leaves great lacing - very clear

Smell: Pale malts, cooked malts, caramel, some diacetyl, sweetness, minerality, floral hops

Taste: Pretty unique - earthy with hard water minerality - bread crust, pale malts, caramel malts - herbal hops, some light fruitiness - nicely bitter - a lot of sweetness, too

Mouthfeel: Medium, nice carbonation, nicely smooth, could be dryer

Overall: Good, but not fantastic

Every ESB I have had tastes very different, and Redhook ESB is no exception. It's unique, but ultimately it is too sweet. It's a little too malty, given the other flavors. Regardless, it's not bad.

 715 characters

Photo of nmeiborg
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

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

A-Pours a hazed orange color. Lighter head. Small head does manage to retain well. Leaves minute lacing spots.

S-Smells floral and malty mostly. The floral is flavor is more specifically perfumey and bath soapy. Not a bad aroma, mild but interesting.

T-Like the nose. Flavor is very floral. Sweetness matches the floral hops. Also a bit grassy. Flavor is enough to keep me interested. Finishes lightly bitter.

M-Lighter side of medium body with plenty of carbonation. Decent drinkability. Light lasting bitterness.

O/D-I enjoyed this beer. It was even a few months older than I would have liked. Enjoyable but not extraordinary. Would like to try this fresher.

 666 characters

Photo of edwardkersh
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of strongaf
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Redhook ESB from Redhook Ale Brewery
3.42 out of 5 based on 2,104 ratings.
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