Redhook Double Black Stout | Redhook Ale Brewery

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280 Reviews
Redhook Double Black StoutRedhook Double Black Stout

Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with coffee.

Added by Todd on 12-10-1998

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Reviews: 280 | Ratings: 345
Photo of beer2day
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, almost black with a very slight brown tint. Thin deep brown head with faint retention. Moderate lacing.

Nose is very big with roasted malt, chocolate and anise. Coffee is confounded with the roasted malt.

Mouth is a little thin for the style, but it works for me.

Very nice mix of flavors. Starts a little on the sweet side, very quickly turns dry and biting, finishes with a very big roasted coffee taste. Nice hop profile at the end as well adds to the bitter finish. Good job here.

I can drink this one again. The 7% is just right for this beer, making it big but not too big in enjoying more than one.

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A--Very bubbly black color with a finger of quickly receding head in my small snifter. A little bit of lacing is left behind.

S--Bready malts, caramel, coffee is relatively faint. Standard stout smell.

T--Coffee comes through slightly more on the palate but is still just complementary to the other flavors. Unfortunately, everything is fairly muted here considering this is supposed to be an imperial stout. There is much too say about this, it is quite average.

M--On the thin side of medium bodied, this might even be thin for a regular stout let alone an imperial.

D--Unimpressive beer, no reason to buy this even once. There are too many good beers in the world to waste time drinking this.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 'bottled on' with the date clear across the label, kinda weird, Oct 8, 08, batch 08-0410.

Pour a surprisingly thin looking dark brown to black, a nice off white head that shrinks to a thin film, lots of lacing spiderwebbed across the glass. The aroma isn't all too assertive, some roasted malt, some coffee, its ok.

Taste is more aggressive. Some dark roasted malt and coffee, some cream, but it falls short of anything imperial or double in nature. The mouth is also a bit thin for the style, ok for a regular stout. So a case of purposeful mislabeling? As a coffee stout, as it should be called, its a pretty decent beer and plenty easy to drink. But its nothing to get very excited over.

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Photo of ThePortlander
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle marked with the bottling date (October 30, 2008) and batch number (08-0410) into a mug.

The look is pretty basic. The head is ok, but not great. There is some ok lacing.

This smells quite nice. Lots of roasted, chocolaty malt and some creamy sweetness. There wasn't as much coffee as i was expecting, but there was some.

Double Black is a nicely balanced stout, covering the sweet and bitter aspects of the brew. The bitter side is elegantly put offering just enough to balance the sweet side, which tends to be on the forefront. There's a lot of chocolate here, both bitter and sweet, and some great roasted malt. But, once again, not as much coffee as I'd have liked.

Overall, not bad. I have one cellaring as well, I'm curious to see how it does in a year. The coffee flavor might open up a bit more, at least I hope it does.

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Photo of webbcreative
3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured black with a bit of ruby on the edges and a tan 3 finger head that left quickly, but hey this is an IS. Aroma is roasted barley, maybe a slight coffee bitter smell, maybe. Taste actually has that roasted barley to it, get a bit more of the coffee in the taste but it not too bitter or overpowering at all.

Overall this is a decent brew but it's way to light for me for what I'm looking for in an IS - 7% abc? Really redhook? Seems more like a porter with more coffee. But at 4.99 for a bomber, it really is a pretty good deal.

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Photo of grayburn
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is by far my favorite offering from red hook, but it still suffers just a bit from the typical red hook fault, it just isn't quite big enough for the style.

The beer pours a nice pitch black with a decent size tan head.

There is a little bit of coffee in the nose and the taste, but most of it is the roasted maltiness. The only problem with the taste is that it just isn't quite big enough, that problem rears it's head again in the mouthfeel, just a bit thin.

I could drink quite a few of these, decent beer without a doubt.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.7/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours black with a dark tan head. A malt/simple coffee nose. Not much in the mouthfeel or flavor department on this one - medium simple coffee flavors, although with a nice hop character. Short finish of simple coffee. A bit thin all around - nothing special.

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Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 'softer' shade of black, one that allows a significant chestnut belt line and the strong-minded belief that the beer cannot possibly be opaque even despite all inspections suggesting otherwise. Its head is forgettable, in the sense that it, the head itself, forgets it should subsist for longer than a minute or two after the pour.

This 'double stout' smells more like a 'singular porter'. It exhibits dry, heavy roasted black malts and procures subtle hints of chocolate and coffee only via the means of suggestion. Even with the warmth, I don't smell as much coffee as I was expecting. In fact, aroma alone could not persuade me that actual coffee was used in the recipe.

The taste, on the other hand, is far more successful in doing so; the dry, bitter flavour of roasted coffee beans is unmistakable. It is not overwhelming, however, and blends very well into the rich, dark, roasty maltiness and its suggestions of biscuits, dark caramel, toffee and milk chocolate.

I enjoy the flavour of coffee in my stouts but as someone who never drinks coffee on its own, a frequent complaint I have with coffee-infused beers is that the roast can be painfully astringent in the mouthfeel. Redhook deserves credit for avoiding such a texture; this mouthfeel is more malty than it is coffee.

(Double?) Black Stout is a nicely done coffee beer that unlike many others won't leave you feeling like you've consumed a small economy sized car worth of alcohol and caffeine fuel. I suppose that can be either a good or bad thing depending on the time of day and occasion. I'd say, overall, it was quite satisfactory for this afternoon.

(This beer was introduced in 1995 and was originally brewed with Starbucks coffee. It was discontinued in 2000 and this limited batch, released November 2008, doesn't seem to have stacked up the same in the minds of those who drank the original, or their memories of it anyhow. I can't say what other changes have been made, but I imagine the beer I'm tasting now would have been pretty riveting back in the mid 1990's.)

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tan head fizzed and shrunk leaving a small centre dusty cloud floating atop an almost opaque blackness. There was no ring and no lace but, on the positive side, a head was quite easy to regenerate even as the glass was near empty. Although quite black in this reviewer's estimation, there was lightness around the edges that revealed small bubble lazy but persistent carbonation.

Smell was of coffee, peat, tree bark - pleasant enough - and a hint of baker's chocolate with air and warming. The coffee taste predominated with roasty malts and slight astringency. Dry and bitter finish. Alchohol well handled. Overall, a pleasant brew but not in the same league as many American stouts, certainly quaffable and if the price is to be believed as revealed in other reviews, quite a good bargain in my book. Thanks, Jan.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown color with a large, fine-bubbled light brown head. Nice retention but poor lacing.

Nose is somewhat fruity - strawberries, cantaloupe and a touch of plum. There is some malted chocolate in here, but I do not get any of the supposed coffee additions. Has an English stout nose similar to a Samuel Smith's.

Coffee flavors come out more in the taste, but it tastes like a cheap can of Wal-Mart coffee grounds...a rough, roasty astringent taste. The fruitiness I noticed in the nose is completely gone in the flavor, leaving this a thin, watery uninteresting 7% stout. It is not like this is a bad beer, but compared to the multitude of delicious stouts America has to offer, this one is not a standout by any means.

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Photo of yupitsmeadam
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Just got this beer in at our Trader Joe's in the Seattle area as a "hustle buy" at $1.99 per 22 oz. bottle. Pours a very dark brown with a good creamy head.

Looks very good. Smell is of some toasted grain (almost oatmeal-y), alcohol, chocolate and a LITTLE coffee.

Taste is good but is missing something. I am reading the label as being "double black" but I am not sure that this is what I am drinking. It goes down very smooth. I don't personally taste a lot of "coffee" flavor but it is there (the label is very specific with mentioning coffee).

Very smooth and enjoyable brew (as the label indicates). My concern is that it is labeled as an imperial stout and really doesn't feel like it. Almost too smooth, for the style they are trying to go for.
Very enjoyable but am not sure it is as dark (tasting) as I thought (and told) it would be.

I will definately buy more of this at $1.99 a bottle but would probably not consider buying this at its original price ($4.99 suggested retail). A must try for the price

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid black with a big fluffy tan head that sticks around forever. Smells of coffee and roasted grains, little bit of chocolate syrup and a chalky aroma as well. Taste is coffee and chocolate some toffee and butter. Has a bitter hop and roast finish. Mouthfeel is a thin syrup, body is medium to thin, carbonation is low. Not anything spectacular here. I'm not sure I would call this a double or imperial stout, but I would drink this. The only thing holding me back is the 7.99 price tag when there are much better bombers of stout available at that price point or lower.

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Photo of jsh420
2.75/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

pours the deepest darkest brown without being black 1.5 finger tan head that leaves some nice lacing all down the glass.

smell is coffee and milk chocolate not very strong for a beer with double in the name

taste/mouthfeel - well this and guinness are battling it out for the thinest stouts i have had for date and redhooks is bad because this is a double stout??? the flavor however is much better coffee and light chocolate but still just too watered down.

mouthfeel - for a double just too thin 0 the carbonation was good and the finish was very creamy

drinkability is high due to the fact this will not way you down.

i have had a few of these over the past few months and even though i compared it to guinness in how thin it is it blows guinness out of the water in terms of flavor. i just cant buy this as an imperial stout. i would have rated it high just as a regular stout.

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Photo of SeattleAdam
2.81/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours like ruby red/black Coca-Cola. Head quickly fades to side of glass leaving some bubbles on top.

S- Smells like chocolate with some booze. I'm not getting any coffee.

T- Dark Malts, no coffee, lightly boozy. Little smokey at the end, too.

M- Feels great. Full bodied. Good carbonation despite head-free. Finshes clean.

D- It's nothing amazing. There just isn't that much to this beer. And maybe that's ok. The label reads like a fun beer, though. You got double, you got black, you got coffee, you got 7% ABV...but it just comes up short. It is quite drinkable for an Imperial Stout, though. I wouldn't want another one but I could handle two bombers if it's all I had.

***WAIT! As gross as this sounds, and I'm sorry for what I'm about to say, but I just burped and tasted some coffee. THERE IT IS!

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Photo of LieutenantWort
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a 22 oz bomber. Pours very dark (almost black), but thin. There's a tiny bit of deep caramel/mocha head, but it's gone almost before you see it. No appreciable lacing. No nose to speak of... others have said coffee/malt/toffee, but I'm sticking my nose deep into the glass and just not getting a whiff of anything. [edit -- as the beer warms up towards room temperature I do pick up a slight chocolate/coffee aroma, but still very faint.]

Mouthfeel is thin as expected, lots of roasted coffee notes but that's about it. Nice for what it is, but not a complex flavor at all. Inexpensive compared to many craft brews, but although I could see picking a few of these up for a party, I probably wouldn't buy again for personal enjoyment. There are good porters (e.g. Rogue) that have more heft & flavor.

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Photo of dukedevil0
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bomber from armanettis in chicago

A: pours a black dark brown color with a finger of light mocha or khaki colored head and good lacing. I can tell from the pour that it's not very thick or syrupy.

S: Smells of coffee mostly with some chocolate and roasty notes coming in slightly if searching.

T: Tastes similar to the smell, with a mellow coffee being the focal point of the flavor and not much chocolate in the background but some roastiness. Somewhat one-dimensional.

M: This is probably the most disappointing part of the beer. It's thicker than I expected from the pour, but still porter-ish thin and almost like a full bodied brown ale. Had this not been called a stout then I may have rated it better here.

D: It's pretty sessionable for a modest ABV and decent flavor, but when comparing this to other coffee flavored stouts, this just doesn't quite stack up. There are porters I've had that I'd prefer over this and I'm a stout guy. I'm very happy with this for what I spent because this was on sale for less than half price of normal, but I wouldn't pick this up for the regular price, even though it's a reasonable number.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this from a distributor so why not try it? Had little expectatins, outside of the rveiews here and the first taster seemed too bitter for an imperial stout. However, after warming up the coffee and chocolate really come to fruition. Nothing like a Speedway Stout, but worth trying for sure.

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Photo of becktone
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From notes 2-22-09

Done horizontally with Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, Southern Tier Choklat, Redhook Double Black, Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast, Avery Mephistopheles, and New Holland Night Tripper.

Eye: Of my assembled glasses here this one ranks fourth as far as head retention goes. The head is a thick stripe that blankets the top of this black beer. Its color is much like that of the bottled Starbucks frappucino drink, its texture is creamy. Though the head isn't as thick as the WWW it looks better and more appetizing.

Nose: This is the first one I'm smelling that I get some roasted grain in. Maybe some burnt aromas too. No chocolate. Coffee aromas are weak, coming through more as a roasted aroma than as a coffee smell. Weak aroma overall, needs to be more potent and fuller. Whereas Choklat and DFH WWW had single minded strong aromas this beer really has a very weak and watery aroma that tries at complexity.

Tongue: Coffee is evident, and that is pretty much all there is in here. You can tell that coffee was actually used in the brewing of this beer. The flavor of this beer is very subdued. Very reculisive. Unlike the others this one is not smashing your face in. Its more subtle, yet easy to distinguish. This beer is something that should be served at a Starbucks, it seems to me that it would fit right in with the rest of their drinks. Its got vanilla tones, coffee tones, whipped cream tones. Very nice beer, prolly the best I've ever had from Redhook. Flavors here are more subdued and delicate. Overall quite a nice beer, one that I'd go for again. Everything melds well.

edit: of the six beers here the most difficult to drink were the World Wide Stout, Avery Mephistopheles, and New Holland Night Tripper. After coming back to the beers once done with the tasting, these three had alcohol in the foreground, the most prevalant....making them sippers.

Feel and Drinkability: Would the carbonation be just a bit lighter this beer would be much creamier and more velvet like. Its body is not nearly as heavy as the others, much lighter much more watery, well I'd normally not use the word watery in describing any Double Stout, yet this one approaches that boundary. The drinkabilty on this one is high, this is one that I'd definitely drink again, and for the price it is well worth it.

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Photo of iceball585
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black color, non-transparent, one finger thick tan color head that faded slowly

S- Dark chocolate, roasted malts, dark roast coffee beans, hint of smoke

T- Black coffee, creamy, roasted barley, dark malts, dark chocolate, slightly sweet finish

M- Medium/heavy body, medium carbonation, smooth, chewy, dry bitter finish

D- Definitely worth trying

If you fan of stouts then you should definitley give this one a try. Good coffee flavor with a nice complement of dark chocolate.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
BATCH: 08-0410 (OCT 08 08)

Pours big and black, as expected. Three finger head of dense, coffee colored, foam. Retention is very good and lacing is full and very sticky.

Big notes of dark roasted malts. Lighter notes of dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee.
Overall, the nose is kind of subdued. Not nearly as big as expected.

Not sure that I'd classify this as an Imperial Stout, but it is a good, solid stout, nonetheless.
Big roasted malt notes are joined by big notes of dark roasted coffee beans. Light hints of dark chocolates, caramel and traces of vanilla. Slight traces of smokiness.
Not a coffee-bomb, by any means, this one is quite well-balanced.

Solid medium body, which is actually kind of disappointing. I like my stouts to be thick and rich. This one is kind of weak, by my standards. Carbonation is just a touch too sharp.

The well hidden 7.0%ABV, in conjunction with the nice balance, make this one an easy drinker. Sadly, it's thin enough that I won't be counting down to my next one. It would probably be a good 'stepping stone' beer for someone just starting to experiment with craft brews, though.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black coffee black with generous coppery orange edges. Although the beer is opaque, it certainly isn't a black hole. Sandstone colored foam sits up top and has a decent enough texture. It's light and airy rather than creamy, and is tacky enough to lay down a bit of lace. Pretty good, but not a sock-knocker-off-er.

The nose is solid because it pays equal attention to both sides of its personality. Roasted malt delivers plenty of dark chocolate, while coffee delivers... uh... fresh-brewed coffee. If enough barley was used, this should be delicious, drinkable beer.

First of all, forget this double/Imperial nonsense. Redhook uses the words 'Imperial Stout' on the label, but Double Black is nothing more (and nothing less) than a good old American stout. There's no sense building up unreasonable expectations when flavor, mouthfeel and ABV don't measure up to the bigger style. None of that means the beer isn't any good... because it is.

The base beer is a roasted malty, lightly charred, bittersweet chocolate-like stout that is wonderfully balanced in terms of sweet and bitter. The latter is undoubtedly due to hops that provide minimal flavor and moderate alpha acids (to the tune of 47 IBUs). Somewhat surprisingly, coffee doesn't overwhelm the taste buds. Actually, it makes the beer more drinkable for those of us who aren't java bean fiends.

Mouthfeel is a tough call. It's nowhere near big enough for the stated style, and it even falls a whisker short for a 7.0% American stout. Nicely calibrated carbonation isn't quite enough to earn the higher score.

Double Black Stout (with Coffee) isn't 'the only beer of its kind in the world' as Redhook would like us to believe. It is, however, a more than capable example of an increasingly popular sub-style. It's also right up there with Winterhook Winter Ale and Late Harvest Autumn Ale as this brewery's best.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a double black with a small tannish head. Nose is not their, very faint, with a small amount of coffee and some grain. Taste is coffee upfront, roasted malt, some light cocoa on the end. Mouthfeel is roasty, coffee, pretty thick and chewy and smooth.

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Photo of NCSUdo
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle

A: Deep black under a creamy tan head. A little bit of lace and retention.

S: Lacking in aroma. Not getting much coffee, just a mix of sweet and roasted malt.

T: Taste has a little more coffee to it, but not a whole lot. Sweet creaminess throughout and a very mild bitterness to finish.

M/D: Full bodied, but slight thin. A slight prick on the tongue from the carbonation, moderately smooth. Drinkability is surprising good. This beer is pretty average to me in every way, yet I keep wanting to drink more, I don't know what it is. It's an incredibly drinkable beer. What this beer lacks in many areas, it makes up for a little in ease of drinking.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When pourind the beer, it was a nice reddish ruby color, then it went into deep pitch black, with a nice head that evolved into a shy coffee lace.

Smell is malty chocolate, hints of dark chocolate, hoppiness, and roasted coffee flavours.

Taste is of toffee candy flavors, followed by a sourness, hint of dark chocolate with a medium bitterness with shy small fruits flavors.
a carbonated feel in mouth is present very similar to soda, pretty mellow. There some strong coffee aftertaste left in mouth with a sweet sour touch

Not an imperial stout for me,

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Photo of philbe311
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Completely opaque tar black color... One fingers worth of splotchy tan head quickly recedes to leave and modest lacing that is oddly thick around the glass edge and very faint in the center... Mild stickiness with very little in the way of rings left on the glass, something I'm accustomed to with Imperial Stouts...

S - Coffee... Baker's chocolate... Roasted Malt... Caramel... A hint of vanilla... Crust... All the suspect characters are present, but the overall scent is slightly subdued...

T - Roasted malt... Coffee... Dark chocolate... A nice burst of hops on the back end... A hint of smoke on the finish... Solid and enjoyable, if not overly complex...

M - Slight bit of carbonation... Slightly chewy... Medium bodied, not too heavy... A thin bitter finish lingers...

D - A very nice offering from Redhook that exceeded my expectations... A very accessible Imperial Stout... From from the head of the class for the category, but a respectable and slightly above average offering...

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Redhook Double Black Stout from Redhook Ale Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 345 ratings.
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