Woodinville, WA - A few days ago, resting on our doorstep a package sat waiting for us to review the contents. Placed inside, neatly, was a bottle of Redhook's latest in their Limited Series of beers, 8-4-1 Expedition. Categorized as a Strong Brown Ale, we realized we had to have the proper understanding and glassware before tasting this beer. As it turned out the folks at Redhook were also kind enough to supply us with a glass to enjoy our beer in.
Before we started down this journey, we had to do some research and as it turns out a Strong Brown Ale, isn’t all that common. Truth is, the style Strong Brown Ale could be construed as a Brown Ale on steroids (or whatever that means). Instead what we had to do was reflect on the characteristics that make up a Brown Ale and combined that with one part barrel aging and one part smoked malt, and equal parts brown sugar, candy sugar, and honey.
Under observation this 9.5% ‘strong ale’ pours an off-white foamy head that dissipated slowly, leaving behind a maze of cobwebs throughout the inside of the glass.
As the beer began to warm up we placed our nose underneath to enjoy the wafts of brown sugar, apples, honey, and surprisingly a little nuttiness. Although each characteristic matched the other, we couldn’t tell you what was the dominating aroma.
Eventually we took our first sip of this beer, starting with an initial hop spiciness that gave way to a coating of roasted-ness throughout the palette. The subtle taste of oak made its appearance only briefly and was followed by a medium sensation of alcohol. Overall, the beer produced a medium body and the alcohol not withstanding, is worth trying, at least once.
Overall Score 7.50 / 10 (3.75 / 5) B
But don’t take our word, here is what Redhook had to say about their own beer.
Redhook Ale Brewery (NASDAQ: HOOK) has unveiled its latest limited release, handcrafted beer. Called 8-4-1 Expedition Ale, the American-Style Strong Brown Ale was 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 recipes that were then carefully blended into one distinct beer. 8-4-1 is available for a limited time in 22 ounce bottles at select grocery stores and on draught nationwide.
“8-4-1 Expedition Ale is a great beer. Its combination of brown sugar and honey, paired with a variety of rich specialty and smoked malts before being aged for months with oak chips, give it a depth worth sipping next to the fire. Inspired by eight brewers working in four teams, 8-4-1 offers complex nuances to the traditional American-Style Strong Brown Ale that I am confident beer connoisseurs will appreciate.”
– Greg Deuhs, Redhook brewmaster
· 8-4-1 Expedition Ale is an American-Style Strong Brown Ale.
· The Ale offers complex flavor notes, delivering malty sweetness and medium bitterness with hints of smoked flavors and oak chips balanced by the addition of honey, brown sugar and candi sugar.
8-4-1 Expedition Ale Rundown:
· Brewed in a traditional American-Style Strong Brown Ale
· Alcohol by volume (ABV) of 9.5 percent
· 55 international bittering units (IBUs)
· Now available in select establishments nationwide
· Smoked gouda or aged cheddar
Thoughts by your colleagues
Ratebeer.com / http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/redhook-8-4-1-expedition-ale/116500/
Beeradvocate.com / http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/18134/55982
About the photos’ author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.