Redhook ESB | Redhook Ale Brewery

2,109 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: 2,109 |  Reviews: 871
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Photo of Treyliff
3.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with an inch white head and not much lacing.

Smell- pine, fruity, bready, and bitter.

Taste- starts with sweet and velvety butter toffee. Follows with tart citrus and ends bitter. Good balance and complexity. Mouthfeel is smooth with low carbonation.

Overall this is a solid option for the price. Starts sweet and finishes bitter, good brew!

 367 characters

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3.92/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my go-to beers; around here it has a price point that's a bit less expensive than some American specialty beers, around there with some Euro lagers. This is a major selling point.

This is well balanced and drinkable, and for an American 'bitter' it's pretty decent. Pours a deep gold with a sudsy but solid head.

My perennial problem with American semi-micros (and this stuff is pretty easily available) is that they don't have the "drinkability" of similar European brews. Believing that Americans are starved for malt flavor, they make sure the beer has MALT. Believing that Americans are starved for hop flavors, but not wanting to make the beer genuinely bitter, they use lots of American hops in the nose, letting people know that it has HOPS. The results of this philosophy can be cloying and unbalanced.

This one gets it mostly right, though. Caramelish nose, a bit too much carbonation in the bottle, but a slightly tart hop bitterness in the finish. Mouth feel is not much heavier than an American lager, but with buttery notes. Slightly tart aftertaste in the finish. If there's a flaw in this, it's in the aroma hops. I can tell it's American hops in the nose. Fortunately, not enough Lemon Pledge/Pine Sol flavor to be objectionable.

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3.46/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - I pours amber in color with golden highlights. It is capped with an inch of off white head.

S - At first I get a soapy aroma. Then I get some floral/perfume smell.

T - I get a butter toffee flavor at first. It is quickly overtaken with light citrus. It finishes bitter with some pine/juniper flavors.

M - Moderate and pretty smooth. Low carbonation.

O - This is hoppier than other ESB's that I have tried. I kind of prefer it.

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Redhook ESB from Redhook Ale Brewery
3.42 out of 5 based on 2,109 ratings.
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