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Redhook 8-4-1 Expedition | Redhook Ale Brewery

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Redhook 8-4-1 ExpeditionRedhook 8-4-1 Expedition

Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American-Style Strong Brown Ale developed by eight Redhook brewers working in four teams of two to create one beer. The ale reflects a compilation of each team’s individual receipes that were then carefully blended into one distinct beer. 8-4-1 Expedition Ale offers complexy flavor notes, delivering malty sweetness, medium bitterness with hints of smoked flavors and oak chips balanced by the addition of honey, brown sugar and candi sugar.

55 IBU

Added by henrysunset on 02-09-2010

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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 105
Photo of GhostMilk
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, after reading a few reviews and then actually tasting the beer for myself I was surprised this one hasn't been more well received. I suppose the smoke and wood flavors could be amped up slightly... but as is, I completely enjoyed the subtle complexities of this finely crafted beer.

The ABV is hidden very well, and though there is sweetness it is not at all cloying. The flavor of burnt sugar matches beautifully with the cherry-wood smoked malts, and the aging in oak barrels adds additional balance to the sweetness of honey and brown sugar.

Definitely the best beer I've ever tasted from Redhook.

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Photo of DoktorZee
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this from a 22oz bottle that was sitting down for almost a year Original release was spring 2010.

A - impressively fluffy tan head over a deep brown and cloudy brew. The head stays around for a couple minutes and resolves without much lacing. Looks lush and delicious.

S - there's a hint of wet hops on the nose but it's dominated by a powerful caramel hops.

T - after an initial light hoppy bitterness it resolves into a sweet caramel malt that just goes on and on. This really tastes like a brown ale on steroids with absolutely dominating sweet malts.

M - light in the mouth with very mild carbonation.

D - extremely tasty and smooth; practically no booziness at all. A real killer!

It looks like I may have made the right call laying this down for a while; it was a stunning drinking experience with incredible smoothness matched against a killer malt profile.

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Photo of Bookseeb
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance has a dark cloudy amber color with a thin, but stiff head and good lacing. Smell of lightly sweet caramel and lightly roasted malts with floral hops. Taste is a nicely balanced strong ale having the smoked cherry wood, hops and the alchohol being present, but not overpowering. Mouthfeel is just under medium with good carbonation. Red Hook for me is good, but this is a top notch strong ale.

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Photo of Pardishcreel
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its a dark amber color light will not pass through this almost a black but yet not. Head is an average 2 finger head.

The smell was grains mainly hops and barley but there was also a cherry, and wood smell to it.

The taste to me is where this beer shines as all beers should strive to do. The barley is there up front but it gives way to a real woody flavor, and it finishes with the hop bitterness ever so lightly left on you pallet. The only thing I would have liked is if the taste kept a little of the cherry that I could clearly smell.

I think the drinkability of this beer is high the only thing that is slightly lowing that number for me is the cost. If I am going to have a full on session beer then it would have to be cheaper than this one.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark caramel in color with an off-white head that reached a height of around two inches before settling back down. Light lacing coating the side of the glass. Aroma is hops, piney with light citrus notes but a load of cinnamon and spice as well. Seems as though I have run into this before with another of their one off's, just seems really familiar. Letting it open up gives me nice touches of caramel and bready malts, a rich and well balanced hoppiness that seems to fade in and out during the session. Nice feel, hearty with great carbonation that still allows it to have some pop to it. Whatever the ABV was it was well hidden and I was able to enjoy this one thoroughly without issue and leaving that nice dry, lightly bitter finish capped it

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Photo of aristeros
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Pours a ruby brown, rubies and garnets dance in the glass in the light. There's a finger of white head, light lacing but little retention. Looks like a brown ale, described on the bottle as an 'imperial brown ale.'

Biscuity malts and an astringent, lightly citrus, but almost medicinal hop presence. Light walnuts in there. When it sip, it actually reminds me of an imperial stout--something in the smokiness and heavier body--and the descriptor seems valid! Pretty big beer.

First off, it's got a moderate to heavy body, somewhere between a heavier brown and a stout. You get a good balance between biscuit and honey malts and a nice, smoky flavor throughout. Sharpness from the hops contrasts nicely. Excellent balance to this brew.

Warming alcohol presence creeps in halfway through the glass. The carbonation may be a trifle too much, but I can understand the choice.

A lot of thought and experimentation went into this brew, and it was something different. Went well with grilled cheese sandwiches. I'm going to get a bottle for a friend who's a big fan of smoked porters.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head over the clear copper brew. Pillowy head recedes gradually, with sticky lacing. Aroma is sweet with strong oak and alcohol notes. Taste also starts sweet, then fruity quick in the middle, the rounds out with bitterness, oak and alcohol through the close. Mouthfeel is smooth and small-bubbled, and drinkability is great. Very happy with this strong ale from Redhook.

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Photo of clickpush
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle on a whim from BevMo (Van Ness, SF)

Pour: Hardy pour to tulip glass. Bright red & clear body shows a 2.5 finger off-white head. Some sticky webbing upon descent and constant cap of lacing throughout entire beer.

Nose: Piny hops. Biscuity malt. Spicy yeast. Graham crackers, tree bark, soil minerality.

Mouth: Everything is here: hop, malt, yeast, barrel. Full bodied, bittering hops, malt (again biscuits, oats), and tons of woody notes. Warm lingering roasty finish with the addition of some alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is good but falls a little short of holding up to the complexity of the flavor. Still, an impressive beer.

Side note: do NOT eat yogurt covered pretzels with this beer.

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Photo of ScreamForMe
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At The WA Cask Fest

Had I not read the WA Blog, I never would of bothered to try this beer. I tend to go past the bigger micros such as Redhook, Pyramid, etc. I'm glad I didn't.

This was one of my favorites at the fest. It's a bit hot right now. I think with 6 months to a year of age on it, this beer will be amazing. Never thought I'd say that about a new Redhook product.

Next review!

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Photo of jlindros
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Should have had this a couple years ago, as the honey is probably long gone, but we'll see. From spring 2010.

pours a nice creamy almost 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, decent lacing, semi clear but darker chestnut brown color.

Nose is huge, tons of brown malt aromas, brown sugar, molasses, toffee, candied pecans and other hearty nuts, sugary sweet almost syrup, hint of minerals, and faintest hint of cherry wood smoke.

Taste starts with more toasty brown malts, even slightly creamy, sweet brown sugar galore, molasses, light toffee and caramel like, lots of fluffy soft brown malts and even light aged brown malts like an old ale taste. Toasty, with a light candy, candied pecans and again hearty nuts, with a light syrupy candy, and faint hint of toasty oak. Hints of grassy hops, and touch of minerals and salty like flavor from earthy hops and touch of smoke. Unfortunately the honey is gone aside from slight hint if honey sweetness in the middle. Finish is still fairly sweet with lots more brown sugar, soft toasty malts, and hint if smoke and chewy spicy hops lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, slightly creamy and fluffy, nice carb, pretty much no booze.

Overall pretty nice, just missing the honey. Great brown malts, nice sweet flavors, and even nice blend of hops. Booze is hidden well, and the aging really seemed to make it better I think.

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Photo of bgildea
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark brown/amber color. Thick white/slightly tannish head that sticks around for a long time. Leaves a good amount of lacing as well.

S: Slight amount of fruits with some slight malts smell.

T: Sweet flavor hits your right away with a slight amount of hops that linger for awhile.

M: Decent amount of thickness to the beer. Really good mouthfeel, better than I expected.

D: It's definitely drinkable. The overall taste is good, so I'd recommend this to any ale lover.

Overall: Overall the beer was enjoyable. The flavors worked well, and the mouthfeel really made my day. It's definitely worth a taste if you spot it in your beer store.

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Photo of Rayek
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a red wine glass.

A: Hazy copper with very little visible carbonation. A small alabaster head quickly falls to a patchwork film. Leaves the lightest of lace.

S: Toffee, raisins, cherries and a bit of lemon do most of the work. A light suggestion of smoke and oak is in the back. A light alcohol buzz finishes things up.

T: Bittersweet toffee dominates. Bitterness is moderate and has a woodsy and peppery bite to it. Dark fruits hit late with currants and raisins. A little alcohol heat makes the beer go down warm. Finishes with lingering toffee and oak flavors.

M: The medium body is somewhat syrupy. The carbonation could stand a little less vigor.

D: Overall, I really enjoyed this one. The nose is the best part. The flavor is nice too, especially as the beer warms. All in all, I solid offering from Redhook.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle from a local Family convienience store just south of my apartment ,Liberty Rd, Salem. $7.49 I see that this bottle is at least a year old..seeing as the 'blurb" says the shelf life is 365 days i am not hopeful! here goes anway Colour? Slightly ruby red accented brown small tan head. Fine aroma here. caramel, toffee, light hint of chocolate( dark),hazelnuts and a touch of floral hop. very complex. Taste is like the above but having some really nice smooth dark heather honey tones, a slight woddsy smoke and the hops turn up at the end and curiously blend well with the honey. I like. Very good palate to the beer. Very surprised..this has held up well under the harsh lighting. A nice beer.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A dark reddish amber color with a slight set of lacing and minimal head.

S- Smell of dark fruits, honey, and breads. Lots of sweetness and fruityness coming though this beer.

T- The honey is a very predominate taste in this beer. The dark fruits and oak undertones are tasty and add an excellent complexity to the beer.

M- Feel is good, and average for any beer, just solid not too thick or thin with a good amount of carbination.

D- Easy to drink for sure, very tasty all around.

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Photo of kwjd
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-brown with off-white head. Smell seems to bombard you with hops and caramel, with some oak and honey. That sounds like a delicious breakfast cereal now that I think about it. This reminded me a lot of a barleywine, and I'm still not sure the exact differences of styles and why this isn't. Nice carbonation level.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to mikesgroove for the extra!!
2010 vintage

This was disgracefully consumed from the bottle so the appearance aspect is a bit flawed. But from what I could tell, this brew was a nut brown color. The nose was of brown sugar and molasses. The taste was a bit oxydated but not much. There were some sweet bready malts along with molasses and brown sugar. A year on this brew has really hidden the 9.5% ABV. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Overall, this is a great ale that takes age pretty nicely and has a nice flavor profile.

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Photo of Zorro
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark amber colored beer that could honestly be called brown. This is the color of an old penny with a thick but short tan colored head.

Smell is sweet with a strong vanilla and patent malt aroma. Oak and what smells like date sugar that is probably the honey. There is a little citrus here and lots of wood, mostly is smells on vanilla and coffee.

Starts out sweet with a strong wood and vanilla flavor. Strong oak flavor and a scorched sugar and caramel flavor, tastes a bit like Crème brûlée. Very slightly sweet and over all a well-balanced ale the hop bitterness is just right.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy.

Drinkability is where this beer really shines, an excellent sipping beer, tasty but not intrusive. It is quite warm now and you still can't tell this is any stronger than an English pale ale. One damn fine beer.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We pour a rich red-brown brew. It glows bright ruby when held to the light. It holds a half finger tall tan colored head that recedes at a medium pace. The lacing left is sticky and thick. Carbonation appears average and a full, thick haze permeates the liquid. The aroma is full of caramel, sugars, and deep malts. These are the strongest components, and make the beer smell much like a traditional Scotch ale. There is an added sweetness of maraschino cherries and honey mixed with booze. These act more as highlights, rather than trying to overwhelm the malty core. On the far back there is a softness of cream, and a thick pine spice with warmth. As we sip, the flavoring opens up with sweet and sugary caramel malts. There is a flash of honey and mild wood, but the latter is more chalky and drying. To transition to the middle we have cherries and general fruit sugars, which bring us to mild candy esters at the peak. Here, too, the malts continue to sing, but they appear deeper and less sweet as in the front. The finish is distinctly of cotton candy and chalky candy corn. The booze finally comes in as black pepper, and mixes nicely with more charred malts, darkness, and sweeter wood. The aftertaste breathes of spicy booze continued from the finish, coffee metallics, and earthiness. The body is the upper limits of medium, and the carbonation is higher. There is a slight coating, but the tongue is ultimately dried. There is little slurp or snack, but the beer drinks smoothly. The abv is appropriate.

Overall, what we found to be the best thing about this brew was the finish of each sip. There was a beautiful balance of strange sweet flavors and dark, woody malts and char. From the aroma, however, we expected something a bit spicier and a little less sweet. Ultimately, this beer has great drinkability, and is a nice change for the style, with some darker components.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To paraphrase something overheard when this was recommended to me, ‘perhaps the best thing ever bottled by Redhook.’ Aww. And, quite possibly true. An imperial brown ale. Even I, who has written about my end of the affair with brown ales, found this one really enjoyable. Great malty aroma and a bold malt backbone that balances the hops on this. Deceptively easy to drink.

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Photo of jonziefle
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a clear, dark brown copper color. One finger khaki head with below average retention. Not much visible carbonation. Not much lacing.

Smell: Caramel malts with a brown sugar sweetness. Mild dark hop flavors and some yeast esters. You can smell the alcohol.

Taste: Smokey malts, with hints of dark chocolate and burnt wood. Molasses sweetness. Stronger alcohol flavor, but generally well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a nice carbonation and alcohol bite. Smooth.

Drinkability: The bottle says it's an Imperial brown ale, but the beer is definitely more of a general strong ale. Smokey, dark malts with good sweetness and dark hops to complement. Good body and easy to drink, but the ABV starts to catch up to you.

Buy Again? Yes.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brownish color with good carbonation and a small tannish head. Nose is oak, vanilla, honey and sweet. Taste os sordove warm, syrupy, vanilla, oak. I did not find anything IMPERIAL BROWN about this as advertised. Big honey, oak, light vanilla and booze.
One year later this 841 is holding up and tasting nicely. Plenty of oak, vanilla, wood, sharp booze, honey is sordove sticky and coating on the mouth. Some nuts and toffee from the Imp Brown. Overall. Doing well!

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Photo of denflyr
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Cervoise Glass with a nice mahogany color/dark reddish hue to it. Minimal head, but I see a fair amount of lacing.

Smell has a nice light brown sugar and almost a bit of candy type sugar as well. A nice fruity esther to it as well, but not any one particular fruit note though

The taste is very nice and smooth! Very nice carbonation and a nice finish. This goes hand in hand with the mouthfeel. The only thing missing was a slight bit of body for what I think is a high malt beer.

The drinkability is very good. The above components make it a highly drinkable beer even with its high ABV. The alcohol is nicely integrated and not "hot" in any way!

Nice job on this special release!

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz.

Pours a hazy reddish brown, thin white head retains as a lacing.

Smells of sweet brown sugar malts and buttered bread.

Tastes of strong floral hops with a bit of the buttery bread malts at the end. A bit of a scotch like alcohol flavor too.

Feels thicker with carbonation on the tip of the tongue and back of the throat. Warms a bit.

Good, interesting ale, surprisingly hoppy, on the strong side so not a session candidate. Enjoyable and worth trying though. Will appeal to hop heads more than others.

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Photo of riored4v
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 5/12/10

Poured into a snifter. Ruby/brown, hazy body with an off-white head that poured about 1 finger thick and faded quick.

Smell was toffee and caramel. Mild citrus aroma. Hints of roast and chocolate. Some subtle hints of dark fruit. malty and sweet.

Taste was chocolatey and smokey with some good roast. Mild earthiness with a faint bitterness in finish that is on the citrus side. Mild piney hop presence as well. Good maltiness with a mild sweetness. Slightly boozey. Hints of a bready, toffeeness along with some oak and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel had a medium body with a medium/high carbonation. Faint stickiness.

Drinkability was decent. Some slight boozey/hotness limits the drinkability.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.89/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cellared for a year above 45 degrees.

A - A perfect reddish brown complexion allowing traces of light to pass. The head is strong and frothy at more than an inch tall and having some nice stamina. It's color is medium tan, almost caramel colored.

S - Aroma is that of caramel but it has a weak strength.

T - Somewhat spicy with caramel, roasty bread.

M - Thick with a certain coarseness on the tip of my tongue. It leaves a sticky trace throughout my mouth with each swallow.

~ Based on the characteristics of the brew I would have imagined it to be released in the fall or winter as opposed to the spring. Regardless, the beer is worth your time and I have to say, over the past year it aged well.

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Redhook 8-4-1 Expedition from Redhook Ale Brewery
3.64 out of 5 based on 105 ratings.
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