Friday, November 28, 2008

Redhook Ale Brewery: ESB

It's the day after thanksgiving which means I'm consuming leftovers. I've been eating turkey sandwiches and stuffing all day. And it's all still pretty good. I also took home the leftover beer so it's time wash down the remaining portions of yesterday's feast. Having celebrated 10+ years of thanksgiving in Washington state I've had my share of Northwest brews during the holiday season. Even though we celebrated further south this year, I think my family picked up some Pyramid and Redhook out of habit. And I can't complain, as I love WA beer.

Redhook ESB is a widely available bitter. It's changed it's label twice since I moved out of Washington but it's still pretty easy to locate on the shelf. You won't find many breweries that have an ESB as their flagship, but that's because it's difficult to make a fine brew in this style. Since I've had some bad experiences with other breweries' attempts to create an 'extra special bitter' it's time to give this 'original ale' some praise.
For being a bitter style beer, this ale is smoother than you might expect. The only bitter aftertaste you'll receive is a touch of leafy hop flavor on the back of your pallate. The beer is just bitter enough to live up to its style but calm enough to enjoy leisurely. It's a wonderful mellow beer that's also not too thick or too watery. The initial sips have soft malt flavors floating around but nothing too dark that you find in a brown ale. As mentioned a staple of mine.
If you watched Washington's once prominent Seattle Seahawks football team get destroyed on national television yesterday you might feel bad for Washingtonians. But don't feel too bad, because there is plenty of good beer to drown tasty food and bad memories. Cheers.

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