Redhook Long Hammer IPA

Posted on July 23, 2010 by

As we continue on the journey of Redhook beers we are introduced to an IPA that tastes like no other IPA that I have yet to try. Is that good or bad? Good for me, bad for all of the hop heads. I’ve been in search of an IPA that has a more dry taste. I’m not a big fan of all the big IPA’s that have a lot of residual maltiness. I feel the maltiness, mixed with a load of hops just doesn’t work for me. When I talked with Kim Brusco in the Redhook Interview I did with him, he mentioned that their beers are often attenuated to the fullest. For those who don’t know, attenuation is basically a measurement of converted sugars to alcohol, the more attenuation, the more dry the beer. Anyway, Redhook Long Hammer is what I’ve been searching for.

Review of Redhook Long Hammer

Review of Redhook Long Hammer

Packaging

Not going to say much here other than I like the color combination. Redhook, like always, does a great job keeping their brand consistent and looking appealing. I wonder where the name “Long Hammer” came from. Oh, I can’t forget to mention, this brew has 6.5% ABV. You wouldn’t guess it though.

Appearance

A deep straw color with a slight haze. This is a lot lighter than the IPA’s I’m accustomed to seeing which are usually more amber or copper. A nice fluffy, thick head that sticks to the sides on the way down.

Smell

Very subtle hop and malt character, at least, to what I would expect out of an IPA. Usually these flavors are big and bold, but they are somewhat subdued in this beer. I get a little citrus and bisquit in this brew, but it is definitely not knocking my socks off hoppy smelling.

Taste

Pretty darn smooth. The best way I can think to describe it is to say something a long the lines of, this beer is like a “light” IPA. It’s smooth, crisp and goes down easy. It is dry like I predicted and has more of a hop bitter taste than the hop citrus/floral taste I’ve come to expect with IPA’s. The malt is minimal and overall the beer is lacking any big flavors, which can be a nice change on a hot summer day.

Mouthfeel

Pretty run of the mill medium bodied. The one thing I appreciate the most is that it doesn’t stick to my teeth. In the past an IPA with big malt and hop character seems to stick to my teeth, kind of like holding a mouth full of soda until you can’t stand it anymore.

Drinkability

I’d say its pretty high. They go down quick and smooth. Be careful though, at 6.5% ABV this could surely kick you in the butt without you even knowing it. So I suppose its good and bad that its so easy to drink. On one hand you want more because your tastes aren’t satisfied and on the other the ABV will sneak up on you and beat you down!

Overall

Solid choice. If you know someone who wants to try drinking IPA’s this would be a great starter IPA to possibly move onto something bigger. Redhook puts out a solid beer of good quality every time. You won’t go telling all your friends how awesome it is, but you will definitely be happy with the solid choice for the price.

Have you tried Long Hammer? What do you think? I think this is Doug MacNair’s favorite.

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  • Fredwy

    I was very glad to hear you like Long Hammer IPA. It is my favorite. Before my favorite was ESB but iithe my tast has changed or redhook changed the ESB becaus now it is way to sweet for me. It almost has a honey taste.

  • Fiver67

    This is by far the best review I have read concerning this beer. You need to write a book with all your beer reviews. I like a good hop every now and then ( my favorite Stone Ruination) but Longhammer is a beer to drink at a Family gathering. A nice hoppy taste at the end which goes down smooth.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed.

    Some will completely disagree with both of us though, saying Redhook beers are a little on the lighter side and not as good as a lot of craft beers out there. However, especially with IPA’s. I like them to stay right on the side of IPA, but real close to Pale Ales. That’s just me though. I can’t drink IPA’s all night. I can maybe have 2 or 3 hoppy IPA’s before my stomach burns and my teeth feel like I’ve been eating nerds and drinking coke all day. Especially those IPA’s that have like 1000001010101010101010 IBU’s in them. Just can’t do it. Tastes to much like soap.

    Anyway, yes, I really like this IPA because it is a really tasty BBQ beer in my opinion.

    Thanks for the post!

    Mike

  • Mrpaulman

    I love this beer! Completely drinkable, I loved it when it was called Ballard Bitter, Nice to have it back. Thank you Red Hook. 

  • Nick Zetton

    Nice review. This is a vastly under-appreciated IPA. As my craft brew tastes have matured over the years — and I’ve sampled as many as the next guy, the more I learn to appreciate balance and the less I enjoy bitter bombs or what I call the “look at me!” beers. Perhaps the unassuming Long Hammer is under-appreciated because it retails at a couple bucks less per six than most of the craft brews? Dunno. Another thing I’ve learned is that price doesn’t necessarily map directly to quality. Increasingly, this is becoming my go-to. I’m enjoying one now, in fact.

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