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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
105 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 105 |  Reviews: 86
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 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 Japerrault
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice brown ale with a thick creamy white head. Nice lacing.

S: Aromas were light. Some caramel, toffey and fruity aromas mostly. Also, brown sugar noticed.

T: Light sweetness hit first, light chocolate, and piney hops, subtle barrel flavors also noticed. Bitterness lingers in the end.

M: Lighter than I expected. Medium body with decent carbonation. Alcohol warmth noticed.

D: Relatively smooth. High alcohol and some bitterness makes this more of a sipper.

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Photo of cichief
3.06/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle.

A- Poured a nice brown, with a decent tan head.

S- Malty, with little hops presence.

T- Toasted malt, no noted hops, somewhat sweet for the style.

M- Smooth, well carbonated, not overly carbonated, but nothing special,

D- Decent brown ale, not a refreshing beer, but falls in the style.

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Photo of cgmees
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Billed as an imperial brown ale, brewed with brown sugar and cherry wood smoked malts.

Appearance was a rich dark brown color, hint of cloudiness. Huge foamy brown colored head.

The aroma is a little underwhelming, with a big brown sugar presence, along with some caramel, a little smoke, and a bit of alcohol.

Taste had a mild earthiness, some chocolate and smoke.

OK Drink ability. Was not as impressed as I hoped to be from this one.

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Photo of Bung
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Surprisingly lighter brown pour, a good finger of off white head. Recedes to a thin layer.

Aroma is kind of malty, toffee and brown sugar. Some old tea, acidic juice.

Taste is a bit bitter, more of a burnt bitter than hop bitterness. Some malt, caramel, brown sugar, burnt brown sugar. Quite a bit of tea and burnt brown sugar. Some woody oak, pine hops, but more leather and a bit of acridness, cranberry?

Mouthfeel is pretty lively, lighter medium body. Only warming after a bit. Drinkability is fairly good from this, if you can get over some of the burnt sugar characteristics.

Not quite sure what to make of this one really. Not bad, but well....not sure.

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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 honeybrewer
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Medium brown in color, amber when held to the light. Super thick off-white creamy head that takes a minute or so to fade down to half an inch or so, which hangs around all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Earthy, malty smell with a bit of hops. Also a bit of mustiness, like over-ripe fruit, not at all unpleasant.

Good malty flavored brew. Little bit of earthiness, also getting a dash of citrus hops I believe. Kind of leaves a slightly unpleasant bitterness on my tounge and in the back of my throat.

Despite the enormous head this beer has only moderate to low carbonation, yet still retains a good mouthfeel, which thickens even more as it warms a little.

Overall this is an enjoyable but not excellent brew, if somewhat overpriced.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear brown color with a large khaki head. The aroma is honey, oak and caramel malt. Overall, the aroma is not that impressive and could be a little stronger and more up front. The flavor is heavy on the oak with some chocolate and toasted malts. The oak is a little overwhelming and could be toned down a bit, but it is still pretty good. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Is there any style so vaguley named and defined as "American Strong Ale"? I would say no. Still, compared to other such brews, I'd have to say that this guy is one of the best-looking I've seen. After the initial pour, I left the snifter in the kitchen momentarily to let it settle and to prepare the living room table for the impending meal (frozen/microwaveable fettuccine). Upon my return, I found Shania Twain on my counter. I literally said, "Nice!" I did. Sitting there was a dark uncut garnet topped by a solid finger of gypsum. It was the strong ale equivalent of the Guinness look. Now, while I've been typing this, that "Birth of Venus" seafoam has settled away, but I cannot deny the perfection that I bore witness to (and, besides, this new look isn't all that bad either). Gotta tell ya, expectations are running quite high. And, of course, the smell punches these expectations in the gut. "How dare you expect good things?" Optimism be damned, indeed: A weak line of leather, dark malts, alcohol, and that new paint smell (I've always described it as some variety of cranberries or an as-yet-unidentified cran-X blend, but am not sure why). It isn't necessarily wholly bad, but assuredly a knock to the system. Now I don't know what to expect, which could actually be a positive here: If my expectations aren't set on either side of the spectrum, a Heisenbergian situation, it's statistically improbable that they will be unmet or even met altogether. The perfect tasting storm. Sadly, though, the taste follows the nose a bit too closely. That brushed suede returns, not realizing how out-of-style it is; the cran-X has transmogrified into a figgy appletini; and the dark malts have become more wheaty than anything. Some mild coffee notes drift around as though smoking were still allowed at some Starbucks somewhere. All-in-all, an average performance on the tongue. At least I can't say that it was entirely disagreeable. Though I can see all sorts o' bubbly goodness throughout the glass, the carbonation is pretty low, or at least undistinguished. As such, the body is able to let itself go; unfortunately, because of the ho-hum flavors, this heftiness is perceived as just plain fat, teased by those cruel schoolyard punks. Honestly, I can't see myself really going after this brew again, but I also can't see myself turning people away from it in stores. It's a Calipari point guard in the eyes of ultra-loyal collegiate fans.

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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 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 BretSikkink
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, carbonation looks to be holding the head up nicely. Good lacing as well. Nose holds some oak and vanillin notes amongst the more general sweetness. A little more pop from the nose would be nice.

The flavor is similarly leading towards the woody side, with a lot of sweetness from the vanilla and even a honey note. Decent flavor but a bit simple and lightweight. I want this body beefed up. To be a big-time brown ale, throw some toasted malt in until this one fills out. As is, not a bad sipper and interesting in its own way.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany color with a frothy tan head that retains well, and leaves pretty lacing. The aroma is a little underwhelming, with a big brown sugar presence, along with some caramel, a little smoke, toasted bread, fig and plum and a bit of alcohol. The flavor is similar to the aroma with a big brown sugar presence, along with some molasses and caramel, a little rum, some light smoke, mineraly bitterness, raisin and date, and alcohol. The mouthfeel is lighter than expected and drinakbility is pretty good considering the ABV. A decent but unremarkable offering from Redhook, they need to amp up the hops and the smoke and this would really be something.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Being billed as an imperial brown ale, brewed with honey and cherry wood smoked malts, had me intrigued. Upon pouring this one into my Duvel tulip, I noticed the rich dark brown color, nearly opaque, barely touched by orange at the edges. Huge foamy ecru colored head rests atop the beer. Aromas of oak, honey, brown sugar and milk chocolate. Taking a sip, this one becomes a huge letdown--some kind of Robitussin cherry cough syrup thing going on here, along with a little sweetness. Another letdown from the Red Hook limited series.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured into a snifter glass from a bomber bottle in two parts. This is labelled as an "Imperial Brown Ale."

Appearance: Ruby red to brown in color with almost no head after the pour. No retention either. Seems rather flat overall.

Aroma: Sweet brown sugar and a little tart cherry. A little medicinal note peaking through in the background.

Taste: Toasty, smoky malt notes stand out a lot more here. The sweetness from the malt and the brown sugar are the strongest notes present. Oak notes really stand out too and provide a nice background. The honey used in te brew provides some sweetness and a little medicinal flavoring. Aftertaste is smokey.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a dry finish. A little oily at times as well.

Drinkability: Somewhat smooth and easy to drink. The ABV is noticable and makes it presence known. Hard to have more than one of these, but it was no problem finishing the bottle.

Overall, an interesting concept for a beer but it doesn't translate perfectly. I can't really put my finger on the flavor profile this is going for. The sweetness in a highlight, but the oak and honey seem a bit like overkill. Worth a try in my opinion though.

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Photo of KeefD
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to entering some reviews from notes into BA.

This is the 3rd beer I've had with "Expedition" in the name. It's probably the worst of the three...

Clear reddish-brown color with no head or lacing. Like cola, but lighter.

Aroma is dry, lightly yeasty, hoppy up front, light, and hard to get any malt qualities for an imperial brown.

Taste reminds me of Arrogant Bastard, only lighter. Good hop flavor, but not overly bitter. Underneath the grapefruit hops are some cracker/biscuit malts, but not getting much flavor from the darker malts that give it's color. And where is the oak?

Average carbonation, medium body, a bit to dry and bitter for an imperial brown. Needs malt/sweet balance.

Alcohol well-hidden, easy to drink despite the high ABV. Just not delicious.

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Photo of dman1969
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 220z bottle into a glass.

A-poured a dark red/amber color with a frothy tan head that disapated fairly fast.

S-light oak, light malt, sweet with slight hops but not much.

T-the brown sugar and honey blend nicely for a light sweetness with minimal oak coming through on the tounge.

M-I thought it was a little on the thin side for what I was expecting.

D-it is an easy drinking beer that doesn't really show the abv it reports to have. Nothing I would seek out, but wouldn' turn one away either.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

In a snifter this beer was a cherry amber color with a small tan head. A fair amount of lace. It had a sweet, honey aroma, some fruit, and a spicey/peppery aroma. Sweet honey taste, cherry, piney hops. But (and sometimes there's always a but) the mouthfeel was entirely too sharp and medicinal, like drinking Robitussin. Not likely to try this again.

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Photo of Durge
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was just lucky enough to have stopped in to the Portsmouth brewpub for lunch on my way home to Connecticut when right before my eyes I see them loading up a new brew on tap, and more fortunate still to later have Tim & Nick allow me a growler to take home to share with my beer loving neighbor. This brew shows a clear mahogany color with a big healthy light oatmeal colored head and gobs of chunky lacing. The aroma suggests yeasty caramel cream and maybe some grassy hop but overall a pretty neutral effect, with some rubbing alcohol, nothing too alluring but it's okay. The flavor comes on with bright malt and sharp herbal/grass hops. It's lively with fine carbonation with medium plus body and tangy feel. The tongue detects lots of stuff (unlike the weak aroma) including earthy pine and Dr. Pepper medicinal sweetness. I might even sense a hint of peat. It has more grass overtones than I'd like to see but I'd say this qualifies as a DIPA sort of brew and it's an interesting offering. Alcohol is not highly notable up at 9.5 % but I would say the drinkability is moderate. Thanks again for the growlers guys. The Portsmouth brewpub is really advancing by leaps and bounds and is a great stopover!

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Photo of glid02
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta - I figured I'd give them another chance after I was pleasantly surprised by Treblehook.

Pours a clear amber-brown color with a half-finger off-white head. The head dissipates quickly into a wispy layer on top leaving thin lacing.

Smells of mild amounts of honey with milder still amounts of muted toasted malts. Also present and fuller as the beer warms are vanilla and indistinct fruit aromas.

Tastes a bit better than how it smells. Caramel and lightly toasted malt flavors kick things off with a bit more body than they exhibited in the aroma. Following are very light hints of smokiness and heavier hints of honey and vanilla. Near the end of the sip mild amounts of medium fruit flavors enter into things before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I finished my glass however I'm not very sure about another.

Overall I was let down by this beer, especially after Treblehook. Not worth seeking out but I wouldn't turn one down if offered.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper-brown with a golden hue. Little to no head, save for some thin white patches.
Smell is caramelly malts with some hops following. Heavy alcohol presence on the nose. Cinnamon and brown sugar.
Taste is more caramelly malts, with some brown sugar and hops. Some honey and pear about halfway through, with a cherry wood aspect on the finish. The alcohol is again quite assertive. First sip was a shocker, but it gets better after a few sips.
Mouthfeel is smooth, but the level of carbonation is good. Medium body. This is perhaps the best aspect of this beer.
Drinkability is okay. It's a sipper, as the alcohol hits pretty hard. Definitely wouldn't want more than the bottle in one sitting.

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Photo of Docer
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found a bottle... poured...

- Clear dark murky brown.... quick fizzy head down to nothing much left but a slight ring.

- Smelled the room up kind of boozy-like.... sweet, woody... and slightly grainy. Unique... and too unique.

- Sweet, and the honey is there.... clear and present. Woody thin.... slight hops.. sweet malt... and oak. All the stated flavors are there.... but it is kind of a mess. Strong, but yet smooth.

- As stated... strong, yet smooth... slight medicinal hint of alcohol... thin, but parching dry.

- Overall I finished the bottle... but the flavors just seemed like they were designated for other beers. It's almost spilled out just like the numbers numerate. The flavors were just intended for different beers, and this was too much all for one. Interesting, and loved the bottle.

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Photo of fairdinkum2
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large format bottle into a tulip glass. The beer has a pleasing dark amber, clear appearance and a light tan head. Some lacing, but the head dissipated pretty quickly to nothing.

Expected more aromas from this style. Faint vanilla, some hoppiness. Same with the taste. A little disappointing. I really expected something bolder than this. Some orange peel and a reasonable level of hoppiness. However, there's really nothing that sets this Imperial IPA apart from other contenders.

A decent ale, easy to drink, but there are better alternatives.

 561 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber, spring 2010 offering, March 08 10 on the label, bottling date? Pours murky dark plum amber, frothy dark tan head, that stays, leaves a thick collar, and short lived sheeting that remains as thicker lace. The nose is loaded up with honey, vanilla, light wood, and these flavor sensations follow through to the palate, with a slightly more pronounced woody note. Enjoyable, perhaps a bit thin to be compared to the heavy weights of the style. But enjoyable none the less. A stronger offering in the Red Hook line.

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Redhook 8-4-1 Expedition from Redhook Ale Brewery
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 105 ratings
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