Jul 27, 2010

Redhook 8-4-1 Expedition Ale

Redhook’s Limited series has produced some memorable and tasty brews the last couple of years. Of the two that I was able to experience, I thought the Tripel was tasty and I absolutely loved the Treblehook Barley Wine.

I was obviously excited when I spotted this latest release from the brewery on the shelves a couple of weeks ago. Billed as an oak aged Imperial Brown Ale, the beer is the culmination of 8 brewers working as teams who eventually developed a blend from their individual recipes. Sounds interesting, but after reading that description I was worried that this could be a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak.

After the first couple of sips, I can safely say my fears were quickly dispelled by this smooth drinking beer.


Pouring a reddish copper, the glass held a short-lived off-white cap before it faded to patchy lacing.


It certainly smells tasty. There’s a primary character of slightly sweet, toasted malt that’s followed by a subtle nuttiness. There are subtle oak and honey notes that come and go with each sniff. I’m surprised that the 9.5% ABV doesn’t present more of itself on the nose than it does — it’s there, but not nearly as much as I expected.


There’s a good deal more oakiness on the tongue than the aroma held. It’s immediately followed with nutty, caramel malts as the beer slowly transitions to a sweet finish. The honey is more evident in that lingering finish along with glowing warmth from the higher ABV. The feel of the beer is a little more full than most brown ales with a smooth overall feel.


Here’s another impressive effort for Redhook’s Limited series. There’s plenty of flavor and has a surprisingly sound balance considering all the input that the final recipe probably received from the various parties involved. I would love to find more of this for the cooler evenings of early to mid-Fall.

Rating: 3.5/5

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