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The Red MacGregor - Orkney Brewery

Not Rated.
The Red MacGregorThe Red MacGregor

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very good

205 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 205
Reviews: 131
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.7%
Wants: 13
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-09-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 205 | Reviews: 131
Photo of Shovelbum
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thin quickly dissipating white head over a red-hued copper body. Aromas of straight up caramel malt. More of the same in the flavor department with a notable yet mild earthy hop presence. Apart from the flavor contribution, the hops are not major players with little bitterness. Lean to medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

The scales are definitely tipped to the malty side with little balance-- in true Scottish fashion. A tasty malt lover’s delight.

Photo of wcdoyle
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark caramel leaning toward red. The head is rich and then settles to about ½ inch. Smells of caramel, too. First taste is sweet, but not overly so. It’s mild with a slight bit of hops after the sweetness. The mild sweet, then hoppy aftertaste fades quickly. Not a bad beer, but the price ($3.99 at my retailer) will likely keep me away.

Photo of wcudwight
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark red, amber in color. Decent head that forms a creamy foam on top. Great lacing with good carbonation. Has a bittersweet smell with a hint of spiciness. My first thought on my first taste is smooooth and balanced. Just a bit of hop bitterness. No aftertaste. This beer bubbles in your mouth in a good way and tingles the tongue. Very drinkable. Great session beer if you're willing to fork out the $.

Photo of Enola
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer last night for the first time. I was suprised a little by it. It was a nice amber color. It was a fairly smooth beer. A slight aftertaste. Had a decent head on it which lingered for a while. I think you could drink more than one of these at a time if not for the price. I will probably try this one agin sometime.

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice sweet, malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a mild bitterness. The taste is good. It has a dry, yet sweet malty flavor with a bitter hop finish. It has a nice roasted taste that balances well with the hops. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good English pale/red ale. It has excellent malt character as well as hop bitterness; a fine sessions ale.

Photo of PorterLambic
2.72/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice reddish brown with a fluffy head. Leaves good lace.
Smell is where it breaks down. Took forever to find any smell at all and then only some malt and light hops. Even after drinking 1/2 the glass I couldn't get more than that.
Taste was decent with hops, a fruity malt taste and a little winey character to it.
Mouthfeel was smooth with light carbonation, a medium body and a light finish.
Drinkability: drinks easily but not much aftertaste (or flavor or smell). This brew looks good but doesn't really deliver on its promise.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Huge taunt head cap while crystal clear amber red and zero lace bubbles.

Aroma: Hopped candied malty scents.

First swigs: Powdery cocoa slightly hopped mixed up flavors. Some blended hops with a wood like finish.

Light body. Easy carbonation. Grainy chalky feel.

Last swigs: Crazy mixed up flavors with a dry finish. No smoky flavors.

Photo of bark
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The colour is clear, deep red-brown; the two finger thick foam is semi-compact, beige and quite firm.

The smell is sweet, with a balanced blend of hops and burned malt. There are some totes of paperhanger's paste and bitter almonds.

The carbonation is medium strong (stronger than the average ale) with big bubbles.

The taste is quite complex with lots of burned malt and an almost chemical flavour of almonds (both sweet and bitter). I found it hard to describe this taste in full, but words like “glue stick” and “artificially flavoured cherry candies” came to my mind.

I suspected that they had put candy sugar in the brew making it ferment a second time (like many of the Belgian ales), but the label said “brewed from malted barley, hops and water”.

Anyway, the aftertaste is long with a soft bitterness and a taste of almonds and burned, sweet malt.

I found the beer surprisingly easy to drink, considering the odd almost chemical flavour. Not one of my favourites.

Photo of shapudding
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber with a nice, creamy, egg-shell/khaki head that is sooo nice and milkshakey thick and stayed as a good heavy layer. Nice, sharp, tart, dark fruit scents. Good amount of carbination in here. Very smooth flavor. Decent basic red, with a bit more carbination than usual. Smells much better than the taste, much more going on in the aroma than in the flavors. It does develop a bit more flavor as it warms.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Red MacGregor... isn't. It's more a dark orange-brown, tawny some would say. The dark cream colored head is firm with a furiously pitting surface and a stickiness that is proven by thick, broken sheets of pocked lace. The persistent, two finger cap of foam is keeping me from assessing the nose properly, but I'm a patient man.

This beer has an odd aroma and not an especially pleasant one. There's a sort of musty earthiness that reminds me of some sort of vegetable in freshly dug soil. I'm not sure which of the ingredients is responsible (probably the malt), but in the end it isn't powerful enough to be off-putting and is easily ignored. I'm done smelling it anyway.

The flavor contains the same mild unpleasantness, although, again, it doesn't completely ruin the experience. Red Mac is lightly malted and lightly hopped. What's left is a modestly sweet and sour flavor (unripe raspberries?) that I'm having trouble describing adequately.

The bottle is emptying quickly, not because I'm enjoying the beer, but because I'm trying in vain to get a handle on the way it tastes. I give up, let's just say that there's no way that this beer is a pale ale. A red ale comes closer to the mark. (Hell of a review ain't it? I bet you can practically taste the beer as you read the vivid, precise description of each nuance of the flavor profile).

The Red MacGregor is not a beer that I can recommend. Orkney brews some good ones, but this is definitely not one of them. Cool label though.

Photo of cypressbob
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cask, locally

Pours with a dark amber body, almost ruby, thin creamy head almost nitro like, good retention

Smell, hints of dried bark, woody, some malt sweetness and a slight hoppy aroma, slight hint of sulphur though

Taste, fairly heavy body, thick and malty, some nice hop bitterness near the middle, roasted malt on the finish

A pretty good effort, tasty scottish ale

Photo of Guinness4me
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not as impressive as I expected from my beloved Orkney brewery, but a good beer. It poured a near crimson-orange with a slight head that left a minimal ring of lace.

The nose denotes the hoppiness of a pale ale with slight haunts of fruit and malt.

The taste was neither spectacular nor awful, but a pleasant brew that went from mildly hoppy, to a tart fruit to bitterness on the back of my tongue. I would have like to have tasted a little more malt. The aftertaste was sweet and minimal.

The mouthfeel was pleasant as well with quick, mild carbonation at the tip of my tongue.

While not spectacular, it's quite easy to drink.

Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice rich amber color with a creamy looking head that settles nicely leaving some nice lace behind,aromas of caramel and dried fruit (cherries) and a nice subtle nuttiness.Taste is right on in my opinion nutty and deeply fruity with some caramel tones even a little vanilla flavor in the finish.A tad watery but that adds to the drinkability,a very well done Scottish ale wich it should be coming from Scotland,nice job.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, crimson hue, solid, fizzy head of beigish foam, that surely disappears.
Aroma is fruity, spicy, but not very forward, suggesting malt, cherries, cinnamon.
Sweet and spicy on the palate, but, again, mild, ...almost lifeless, really...there's a flavor and a feeling, but it lies so lightly and speaks up so seldom, it's pretty forgettable. Easy to drink, yeah,...but, so what?
reminds me of Irish Red Ales, but not as full-bodied or malty...a bit too thin. sorry, I ain't feelin' it.

Photo of Brent
2.86/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Overall, a pretty underwhelming beer. Poured a nice ruddy brown. For some reason, I expected this to be more of a red ale (I guess the power of suggestion of the name). Lackluster for a pale ale, and not beefy enough for a red. Mouthfeel was average, while the flavor was rather thin. A touch of sour lactic acidity lurking in the background with a hint of medicinal flavor. Finish was a touch sweet with some caramel malt.

Photo of ybnorml
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a dark amber colored beer with agood creamy beige head. There is a nice slightly citusy/floral hop note in the aroma. A good mouth watering citrus hop start to the taste that has a smooth bitterness through the finish. A pleasant suprise again for me was the good use of hops for aroma and flavor.

Photo of Zorro
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear medium brown brew.

Smell is malt and dark roasted grains and smoke.

Taste is very smoky. Mildly sweet and medicinal in flavor, this tastes like a dry Scottish ale. Or a Rauchbier.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkable brew, tastes like a very mild Rauchbier.

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here is an example of a refreshing beer. I could probably see myself drinking this one only during the Spring or Fall.

Smell: Crisp and biting, with fresh cut apples.

Appearance: pours a nice red/brown cider look.

Taste: There are apples and pears at first then it fades into a sharpened, ripe flavor with a heavy alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: This beer was very eppervescant - a little over carbonated.

Drinkability: I'd enjoy this beer repeatedly, but I'd want to have that specific flavor in mind first.

Photo of SetarconeX
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a perfectly clear red color, leaving a decent, well lingering head. Rather pretty, really. The nose, however, brings in a harsh metallic scent which is rather unpleasent, though it's the sort of thing that's possibly more indicative of a bad batch.

Luckily, the metallic scent doesn't carry over too much into the flavor, which is actually quite enjoyable. The brew's a bit more weighty than the light red hue might have you think, and malty to the core. It starts off smooth and sweet, the malts taking center stage, but somewhere near the end, the hops, not to be forgotten, make their appearence.

Nowhere near as bitter as many other red ales that come to mind, this one is quite drinkable. Orkney rarely seems to dissapoint.

Photo of stcules
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper brown colour, with a good foam, creamy and compact.
Smell of fresh hop, fresh flowers, and then, malt.
At the taste prevails the smoke (peated?), malt. A good smoked note, but the beer is still delicate and well balanced.
Discrete body, aftertaste in which you can note the hop, well amalgamated with the smoke, creating a very satisfactory note.
Some hints of ripe fruits (peach, apricot).
Good and interesting beer.

Photo of moulefrite
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden brown in color with very little head or retention. Aromas are moderately deep and roasted with a malted sweetness, and a good deal of earthiness-mushroom, forest floor etc.. Flavors are interesting as they hint of the peetiness found in scotch where the barley has been roasted over a peet fire. A peety, malt twang shows up on the tail end. Clean and crisp this light to medium bodied brew is unique and worthy of a try.

Photo of merlin48
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml brown, stubby, bottle here. Pours a clear, reddish copper colour with a healthy, well mannered beige head. Good retention and attractive lacing. Aroma is a weak point, with subdued toffee, floral hops, and a smoky peat background. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, creamy, and moderately carbonated. Taste is initially some heavy caramel malt, followed up by nice hop bittering, smokiness, and finishing with a burst of molasses. Very well balanced, overall, and an excellent Scotch red ale that I found very likeable.

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite a lovely brew with a crystal clear dark copper body that is filled with ruby highlights and topped by a tall and lasting light tan head; good lace but slippery rather than sticky.

The nose is immediately skunky, perhaps from the clear glass bottle and single bottle packaging for this bottle style. There is a slight earthy, smoky aroma, but not enough to overcome the first impression.

The flavor is very much of a smoky, peaty nature; actually quite distinct and enjoyable - a nice change of pace. The feel is medium and quite crisp. Tends toward a dry finish though falls out slighty sweet. Nicely drinkable ale.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured amber with an off-white head that quickly fell but was persistent. The aroma is that of an english bitter. Some mineral aromas, light hops and light crystal malt. A slight smoky aroma forms as the beer warms. The flavor has a hint of smokiness, some caramel, a little sweetness and a dry crisp finish. The body is medium and very nice. The drinkability is good.

The beer came in a 16.9 ounce bottle. I like the crispness and it is an easy drinking beer. I wish it had a bit more aroma, but otherwise, if I lived where this brew was plentiful and inexpensive it would see a mug quite often.

Photo of RoyalT
2.89/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Clear and red in the body with a foaming head that went down rather quickly.

Smell – The malt base is complimented by some rather offbeat fruits. I’m finding grapefruit, grapes, some orange, and a few others that I can’t quite pin down. There’s also a bit of table sugar and a small citrus hop balance.

Taste – What too light at the taste, IMO. The rather sharp nose wimped out in a big way here. The malt turned our thin, almost grainy, with no fruit. Also, the hops skipped the party as well. Very disappointing.

Mouthfeel – Light in the body and flat with a very thin mouthfeel.

Drinkability – I won’t buy this again.

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The Red MacGregor from Orkney Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 205 ratings.