Thursday, February 16

Beer Review: Redhook Brewing Extra Special Birthday Blueline Series

"Extra Special Birthday Beer
Redhook is celebrating its big three oh – and what better way to celebrate then with an extra special beer. Redhook’s second release in the Blueline series is a highly modified version of ESB that replicates the flavor profile of Redhook Ale in the early 80’s, lovingly referred to by Seattle locals as “banana beer”. To bring out this unique flavor we fermented using a yeast strain that highlights these spicy banana notes. This special brew has a deep red color, bold hops and thick malty body. Don’t worry; no actual bananas were harmed in the making of this beer."

I have heard a lot of stories about the initial release of this beer way back in the beginning times of Redhook Brewing. This was a favorite of locals, and must be one of the first to use a Belgian Yeast strain more widely.


Appearance: (3.5)
- Pours a dark iced tea brown, rather clear, and has a finger of fluffy head that quickly dissipates to a thin foamy layer with some light lacing about the glass.

Smell: (3.5)
- Certainly has some prominent clove, cinnamon, Belgian yeast notes along with a sweet brown sugar and molasses malt base. Little bready and also seems to have an interesting nutmeg flare to it. Not overly hoppy by any means, but a grassy herbal hop presence does exist.

Taste: (3.5)
- Light banana backing to a relatively light brown ale of sorts. This does have a nice light and sweet brown sugar and grainy molasses touch to the flavor. Light grassy bitter hops, and an earthy touch balance it out. Really quite good.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- A rather light to medium bodied beer with a bit of a chewy touch. Also a touch cloying and drying as well from the bitterness. Perfect carbonation, and very easy to drink.

Overall: (3.5)
- If this beer goes as far back as the early 80's, then this must have been one of the best around back then. I know Redhook was a much bigger hit back then with beers like this. This beer is solid, balanced, and has it's highlights.. but a few characteristics of it bring it back down to mediocrity. I would drink it on tap somewhere maybe.

3.55/5 rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
( Rating Scale)

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