ESB
Redhook Brewlab

ESBESB
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From:
Redhook Brewlab
 
Washington, United States
Style:
Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #111
ABV:
5.8%
Score:
78
Ranked #29,441
Avg:
3.42 | pDev: 14.33%
Ratings:
2,141
Status:
Active
Rated:
Nov 26, 2021
Added:
Jul 30, 2001
Wants:
  35
Gots:
  290
SCORE
78
Okay
ESBESB
Notes: 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
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
3.29 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota on Nov 26, 2021
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.69/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by StonedTrippin from Colorado

one of the iconic early craft beers of the region, not sure how i have not reviewed it until now. it always brings me back to when this sort of thing was popular, alaskan amber, fat tire, those were the days. nice clearish amber tone to this one, good head too, thick and just off white with some nice lacing. it smells nutty and european, english and caramelized but not all that sweet, fairly well hopped for what it is too, although not particularly distinct in that regard. the flavor is balanced, i like the yeast element, this is dry and clean but there is some bready yeast character to it making it a little more complex and dynamic than a lot of beers in its field. the hops are bitter without having a ton of flavor, but they start early so its not just a finishing element. nice against the sturdy grain base thats not as rich or big as it smells, notes of toffee and honey but nothing too toasted or anything, this isnt heavy beer despite being malt forward. some appreciable mineral character in here, nice carbonation, and overall i think probably one of the better beers these guys make. legendary for a reason, underrated i reckon, a sturdy slightly americanized take on the style, but i like this beer, its a classic.

Oct 29, 2021
Photo of TheBricenator
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by TheBricenator from Oregon

Look: Clear light amber red with a billowing off-white head that pillows up and slowly recedes, leaving great lacing behind
Aroma: Floral hops, freshly baked bread, earthy hop notes, and light wafts of caramel
Taste: Follows nose well but much more pronounced caramel malt and floral hop notes. Earthiness and even some light spicy hops along with rich breadiness hold down the middle and finishes with flowers and caramel-slathered bread
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, medium-high carbonation, very clean, surprisingly smooth throughout, and a light tongue-prickling finish
Overall: This is delicious stuff. I hadn’t had one in awhile but this beer helped introduce me to the ESB style many years ago and glad it is still quite enjoyable today. Well balanced hop and malt, along with a great feel come together to make this beer the tasty treat it is. A classic and definitely recommended for anyone interested in trying out a solid example of this highly underrated and criminally underrepresented style

Dec 05, 2020
Photo of dunkel_weizen
3.31/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
by dunkel_weizen from Oregon

6 month old bottle, head is white and splotchy with mild retention and about 1 finger thick at pour. Nice straightforward nose, with hints of flowers, minty hops, and some citrus and herbal tones. Pour was light, and consistent strong carbonation throughout with a crisp clear apricot color. The body is seems rather thin to me. Taste has an immediate bitter note that pleasantly rounds out with a nice nutty character, with notable malt and some light hop. The lighter notes noticed on the nose reappear after a notable delay, as a pleasant finish.

Although it has a notable medicinal vibe, it's a good refreshing ESB in a region where they are hard to come by. This seems like a nice spring or fall beer to me, although it could be enjoyed year round.

May 01, 2020
 
3.44 by Mickt465 from New Hampshire on Dec 27, 2019
 
1.74 by Reen on Dec 21, 2019
 
3.6 by zestd from Idaho on Aug 14, 2019
 
4 by bdlusa from Texas on Jun 25, 2019
 
3.5 by Kolb from Montana on Apr 29, 2019
 
4.71 by nhkrause from New Hampshire on Feb 25, 2019
 
4.06 by bittersweetidaho from Idaho on Feb 02, 2019
 
3.6 by ProNR from Florida on Dec 28, 2018
 
3.43 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts on Dec 04, 2018
 
4.16 by Rileford from Washington on Aug 22, 2018
 
2.68 by rsteeves97 from Washington on Aug 17, 2018
 
3.02 by MugC from Washington on Jul 04, 2018
Photo of _ryan
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
by _ryan from Washington

First non-macro beer I grew to love. Although this beer doesn't have any elements that stand out to me this serves as a solid example of a neutral and high-quality beer.

Jul 03, 2018
 
4.19 by webb017 from Alabama on Jun 04, 2018
 
2.5 by Chilmer from Iowa on May 23, 2018
 
5 by OriginalWayOut from North Carolina on May 12, 2018
 
3.29 by Momon from Philippines on Apr 20, 2018
Photo of stevoj
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by stevoj from Idaho

Dry and mildly bitter ale. Pours darkish amber with oily beige head. Aroma is light hops, malt and caramel. Taste is hops, dry malt, pine, wood. Reminds me of a redwood forest.

Mar 04, 2018
 
4.24 by Jeremiah87 from Colorado on Feb 02, 2018
 
3.77 by smi69 from New York on Dec 26, 2017
Photo of OldSchoolMike
4.29/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by OldSchoolMike from North Carolina

I used to buy the RedHook sample twelve packs, as they were about the only sample twelve packs without some horrid blackberry or ugave or whatever non-beer additive that some crapft beer twerp wanted to add to the mix. Liked this one a lot. Too bad I can't find it around here any more.

Dec 13, 2017
Photo of superwho24
4.27/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by superwho24 from Arkansas

Looks great. Fruity malts in the nose. Taste is sort of lagerish if that makes sense with a Sweet malty aftertaste.

Dec 10, 2017
 
4 by Booner818 from California on Dec 02, 2017
Photo of mintzmeet
3.51/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by mintzmeet from Washington

Smells a bit like cat. Doesn't take like it thankfully. Nice wholesome maltiness, not very hoppy. Not too bitter but great flavor. Caramel flavor. Full body.

Nov 21, 2017
 
3.58 by gvickery from Texas on Nov 14, 2017
Photo of OzmanBey
4.75/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by OzmanBey from Massachusetts

Bought this the other day because I really dig ESB's I was a little skeptical being that it's an American made beer, in the past the American ESB's have been a little flat or not as tasty. I'm really glad I tried this one because it lives up to the way ESB's should be, it has that nice malty smell, that nice malty taste with full flavor and a hint of hops that gives it that nice bite. I am very happy that I tried this brew.

Oct 08, 2017
 
2.42 by bnes09 from Illinois on Sep 10, 2017
 
2.92 by Shortbox81 from Washington on Sep 03, 2017
 
3.35 by jason_nwx from Oregon on Aug 09, 2017
 
4.09 by apartin from South Carolina on Jul 27, 2017
Photo of ordybill
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by ordybill from Georgia

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a cloudy golden yellow with a small white head. The aroma is faint malt. The taste is watery but has caramel malt in it.

Jun 22, 2017
Photo of pro45
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by pro45 from New York

12 oz bottle 3 months old. Pours an amber golden color with a soapy off white head. Smells of sweet malts, caramel, toffee, hops, citrus. Taste follows the nose with some sour nectarine and apricots. Hops are not so much here. The caramel malts take center stage, but a good balance with the flavors. Mouthfeel is sticky, yet good carb. For $7.99 a six pack you can't lose with this beer. Tastier than AAL's and many pale Ales. This was also not bitter. You can taste some faint bitterness on the finish, but not overpowering. Very tasty, easy drinker.

Jun 20, 2017
Photo of Everydayoff
3.57/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by Everydayoff from Thailand

355ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Mildly hazed copper amber color, it tops with thick frothy off-white head that stays with pretty good retention before gradually sinking to a bit lasting bubble sheet atop and leaving some lacing patch and spot on the glass-side.

Lots of sweet caramel in a nose together with baked bread, biscuit, and toffee, all from malt. Hop same time provides its crisp spice and mild fruitiness.

The taste is also led by caramel sweetness. Then it is joined in by baked bread, biscuit, and toffee like the aroma while hop lends its mild fruitiness, some spice, and subtle herbal bitterness at the end.

The body is between light to medium with semi-smooth mouthfeel and high carbonation through the palate. The feeling is okay and no offensive.

It is true to the style with malty loaded of caramel sweetness also baked bread, biscuit, and toffee.

Jun 20, 2017
 
1.5 by fthegiants from California on May 26, 2017
 
3.25 by Mattias from Sweden on May 17, 2017
Photo of Ri0
3.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
by Ri0 from Wisconsin

I've had this on many occasions over the years. It is a pretty approachable beer that is lightly hopped and malt focused. Anyone who enjoys beer will be fine drinking one of these.

May 14, 2017
ESB from Redhook Brewlab
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 2141 ratings