Shiner Ruby Redbird - Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

Not Rated.
Shiner Ruby RedbirdShiner Ruby Redbird

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237 Reviews
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Reviews: 237
Hads: 1,141
Avg: 3.1
pDev: 51.29%
Wants: 21
Gots: 266 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  4.01% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wagenvolks on 03-17-2011

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 237 | Hads: 1,141
Photo of gillagorilla
2.45/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Orange copper color with no head or lacing. A lot of bubbles stuck to the side initially.

S: I just get malty citrus in the form of grapefruit, plus a a tinge of ginger.

T: Grapefruit flavored ale, period. Ugh. As I was eyeing it up, a person in the aisle grabbed a six pack and said that he loved it, so I figured that would be the last one in my mix six.

M: Smooth, with just a bit of carbonation.

O: This was a letdown. I'd recently had Harpoon's Big Squeeze, which is a shandy with grapefruit juice and I'd loved it. But this is billed as a fruit/vegetable beer, so I guess that is the big difference. Anyways, not a fan and didn't finish it (cooked with it instead).

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Photo of Spikester
2.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Clear amber with almost no head or lacing. Smell is grapefruit ginger and light malt.
Taste is lightly bitter with red grapefruit ginger and light bready malt. Grapefruit tastes more bitter than I expected. Maybe some grapefruit zest included?
Mouthfeel was light with low carbonation. No crispness or zing. Overall it tastes like a beer with a shot of pink grapefruit added. The ginger was in the background mostly with a bit of spice in the finish.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, ginger, and grapefruit juice aromas. Taste is much the same with ginger and grapefruit flavors on the finish. However, when the beer warms up the flavors turn metallic and salty. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer that smells like a solid ginger beer soda, but has a shift in flavors that make it hard to drink when it warms up.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.14/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Overall not a bad beer but wasn't one of my favorites. The appearance was light yellow with a nice head, sniffed and found an abundance of grapefruit in the nose. The taste was a little odd with a quick yet intense grapefruit flavor, but then it immediately was gone and overtaken by a sweet, almost molasses, flavor that tasted like breakfast sausage. Interesting but not the best I've tried.

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Photo of Snow
3.6/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

You need to like Grapefruit to enjoy this beer
Its a bit sweet as well, all in all a good grab for a hot day

it pours light to medium gold with a grapefruit citrus hitting you in the face, the hops are lacking like others have commented. The key here is the grapefruit and effervescent quality. So if your looking for an enjoyable summer beer you have one

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.69/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled last night on 4/14/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a amber in color with a pinkish hue that has about a 1-finger off-white head that settles down to just the top. Some spotty lacing was seen. The aroma is of some ginger and citrus with some hops. The taste actually has a lot going on with a good amount of ginger mixed with various hops and grapefruit coming through. Strange finish as it tasty a bit 'soapy' for some reason. Lots of carbonation as is noticed by the small streaming bubbles. Overall, it is different and isn't bad.

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Photo of TucsonTom
2.28/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I wanted to like this beer, really I did.

I like Citra hops, and right there on the back label is says Citra, Cascade and Mt. Hood are used; all excellent. So, I'm thinking: "Ruby red grapefruit with Citra ... what a wonderful, tangy combination!" Then there's the 4% ABV, which is right up the alley I've been walking lately: beers with 5% ABV or less. And to cap it off, Shiner's stuff is often on sale for $4.99 a sixer.

But I should have gone to the Shiner website before my purchase. The Ruby Redbird webpage says nothing about the hops used, AND THE IBUS ARE ONLY 13. THIRTEEN?? What'd you do, Spoetzl, pass an open baggie of hops over the kettle like you do with Vermouth when making a super-dry martini? I found little hop presence, as a 13 IBU wound suggest. But why promote hops on the label when their contribution to smell and taste are hardly noticeable?

The color is actually very nice; looks like filtered apply juice. I did find the grapefruit and ginger in the smell and taste ... BUT NO DARN HOPS! It was also about as flat as apple juice; no carbonation to speak of.

The more I think of it, the more I think the mention of any hops at all on the back label is deceptive advertising. Either fix the beer with more hops, Spoetzl, or print up some new labels that promote this beer for what it really is: a grapefruit/ginger beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.48/5  rDev -20%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Pours a medium amber with a pinkish hue. Zero head upon pour, looks like a glass of fruit juice. The nose feature musty grainy notes paired with notes of wheat, vegetal notes reminiscent of squash, no real discernible grapefruit. The taste is a mess. It starts with tart citric grapefruit notes which are undercut by strong husky grain flavor. No hops to speak of, and no real balance between flavors. Mouthfeel is absent of appropriate carbonation... all I get is a bit of prickle sensation, but it seems out of place. Overall, not impressed. A grapefruit beer with citrus hops would be way more exciting than this, all we get here is an artificial tasting lackluster brew.

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Photo of Beerwolf666
3.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I have to Admit it,this took some Major Balls by the brewer..I mean right off the bat, Grapefruit & Beer? Seriously? I mean maybe if it was a California brewer,But TEXAS? they shoot you for this Kind of stuff in Texas dont they? hehe;)
Anyway,Came across this @ my local Beer shop,and since I will try Any Beer Once,I had to check it out,purty cheap too~5 bucks a 6er,so what the Hell!
Now I was Not expecting Much going in,I mean Beer & Grapefruit does not sound that gr8 to me,but I do like a lot of fruit beers,and I dig a good Ginger beer also~
Poured a 12oz Bottle of "Ruby Redbird" into a Pabst Pint Glass~
humm? Looks Kinda Nice Actually,maybe a Ginger ale/Light Lager with a shot of Grenadine..perhaps a strawberry Blondish color more or less.
It Smells Very Nice too,Grapefruit,spicy Ginger,with just a Hint of Malt,No hop odor whatsoever,Citrus Hints..about it.
Taste~Purty damn tasty to be Honest,Very Light and zesty,I get a little Malt taste up front with a Grapefruit/Citrus Mix following,and then a rather nice Ginger Finish,and just like the smell,I really can not detect any Hops @ all.
Now this Beer probably will not win you any Tough Guy Points with your meathead Buddies,or earn you any respect from your Hop Head Friends,who Only Drink IPA's,but I could care less about that kind of crap.
Now I am not saying "Ruby Redbird" is going to take the place of my Favorite summer time beers anytime soon [Flying Dog's woody Creek & Sam Adams Summer Ale] but Hell ya! I think it's a very good choice when you have some Yard work to do,and a soda or lemonade just aint cuttin it,or washing the car,Painting the house..whatever, with a very Low ABV [4.1%] it's a good choice when you want a crisp refreshing VERY Light beer with something off the beatin track..Grapefruit! hehe;)
Cant really think of much Grub this would go with besides Fruit & perhaps some Buttery cheeses..perhaps Guda,Edam & Brie may be ok,though probably best as an "Apertif~Cheers & Peace2All.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Oddly compelling, Shiner quenches the thirst of Texas with light bodied ale that's jazzed up with grapefruit and ginger. This strange dialogue somehow works out is highly refreshing form.

Medium golden in color, the beer shows bright clarity to highlight its dance of carbonation that races to the surface. Once there, a cottony head emerges only to fall back into the beer soon after. Its a zesty and somewhat fizzy appearance that lacks any lacing at all.

Ginger spice dominates the nose. It tingles and tantalizes the olfactory senses with a backdrop of citrus, apples, and light caramel. A scent of bread crust can be uncovered after the nose becomes accustomed to the more prominent fruit and spice.

Again, getting past the peppery ginger focal point- the acidic taste of grapefruit, lemons, apples and white grapes provide both an estery complement to go along with citrus fruit additions. Supported by the taste of toasted grain and seemingly "Grapenuts" cereal, its a husky almost rye-like underpinning. Lightly hopped, the beer finishes with sassafras-type minty and citrusy bitterness.

Light and zesty in texture, at least while the bubbles are present. The beer feels playfully like champagne and gives the beer a scrubbing refreshment. But those bubbles are short lived and the beer falls quite flat very quickly. This reveals a watery finish that's full of mineral flavor and grain-derived astringency. The spice of ginger saves the beer by covering up its grain flaws with warmth.

Although Ruby Redbird doesn't appear to be the best formulated beer by any means, Its odd recipe comes together in much the same way that creative mixed drinks to. I just wish that the spice and fruit had more malt support

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.06/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This sells pretty well at my store, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Pours darker than expected. Like a marzen, light copper/caramel. No head after a burst of bubbles.

Aroma is stale or rotten apple skins with some grapefruit rind thrown in there.

Flavors are worse. The grapefruit certainly isn't ruby red. Maybe green grapefruit skins and pulp. That rotten apple is still there in the background. Provides some sweetness, but the bitterness from citrus rinds is too much.

Too much rind and not enough grapefruit flavor. Although that would be unfavorable, too.

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Photo of beerdiablo
2.4/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is a love-hate beer and I find myself in the hate camp and surprised to see it still on store shelves.

The body and taste is "watery"/thin -plenty of citrus yet is more like a lager than a radler/shandy. I do enjoy the citrus aspect of hops and like grapefruit -which is showcased in this beer but the flavor comes from the fruit and not the hops in the case of Shiner Ruby Redbird. Perhaps as a Pale ale with grapefruit the beer would be more appealing.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.28/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Picked this up at Fairway in Woodland Park for a dirt cheap price of $5.99 (or was it $6.99), figuring that it would be a steal at best and a lawnmower beer at worst. My expectations were low for this given that I'm not a fan of this style of beer, but I wanted to see if this would buck that trend. Although it didn't, there wasn't anything not to like about this and it was so unoffensive that I actually had to pace myself when drinking this, in order to actually take the time and see if there was anything worth savoring.

Other reviewers on here saw a bit of a head on this when it was poured out but this was the first beer that I've ever seen where there wasn't a head at all to be found. Zero. Zilch. Nada - just like the lacing from start to finish. This allowed for the dull goldenrod hue to stand out a bit more and since there was hardly any carbonation to be seen, this had the appearance of flat soda. Not much of an aroma here either and the taste was that of a ginger beer, along with lemon zest and flat champagne. Any alcohol here was along the taste and feel of Zima and only the snap of ginger remained in the aftertaste, well into the next sip.

Sure, this was a session beer...but that's only assuming that more than one would be had in a sitting. For me, I could have a few at a time but it's easy to see why most people would only drink one of these before moving onto something else. There's not much to love here and unless you're looking to kick back with a few on a hot afternoon, there's not much to take away from this. This was pretty much a textbook example of what a Summer seasonal should be.

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Photo of bmwats
2.5/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint.

A: Dark amber hue. Lots of rising effervescence. Pours a slight, bubbly head, which disappears quickly. No lacing.

S: Malt, grapefruit, and copious amounts of ginger.

T: Tastes like it smells. Bitter pecan shells, fruit pith, and raw ginger.

M: Light body, syrupy palate-coating feel. Bitter finish. Kind of washed out and shallow.

D: Session.

Atmosphere is okay. Dark amber, with rising effervescence that eventually taps out, very slight head, and no lacing. Grains with lots of ginger and some grapefruit. Bitter fruit and raw ginger. Overall, this is a serviceable quaff.

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Photo of hdf561
2.77/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Picked this beer up at the local grocery store in a make your own 6 boasts on the bottle that it is "the perfect summer brew"

Noting very minimal lemon, and some spices with hops in the initial smell, really not very appealing.

Can taste a very small amount of lemon in the first sip but not enough, spices, hops, and carbonation dominate the flavor. This beer is highly carbonated and actually takes a lot away from the taste of the beer, and actually hurt my stomach a little bit.

For a beer claiming to be the perfect summer beer, this one leaves a little to be desired, it is just average or even below average.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.15/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden yellow in color with light amounts of visible carbonation and some copper highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall fizzy off-white head that quickly reduces to a tiny patch of extremely thin film and a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of lemon and ginger.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of pale and caramel malts. That is followed by moderate flavors of ruby red grapefruit, lemon, and ginger which lingers through the finish. Minimal amounts of bitterness are present and fade very quickly.

M: Light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Thin and watery.

O: This is easy to drink but reminds me more of a Radler than anything else. I don't think I enjoyed this one. As another reviewer stated, it reminds me of Fresca combined with ginger ale more than it does a beer.

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Photo of dalygnus
3.79/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: golden reddish pour -- head quickly dissipates, no lacing -- l like some head and lacing so this was a sore spot for my tastes
Smell: fruity as expected, no problem
Taste: l liked it a lot -- the grapefruit and carbonation resembled a Fresca, my fave soda
Mouthfeel: ok, very drinkable due to carbonation and low alcohol content
Overall: done in by no head. Sam Adams Summer Ale still the summer beer of choice

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Photo of DeFaz
3.28/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a fairly large (for a summer beer) white head that quickly fades and leaves no lacing. I was expecting a bright ruby color, but it really has more of a red tint.

Smell: Pleasant but unremarkable. Grapefruit and ginger.

Taste: Not complex, but still interesting. It's simple and refreshing. You'll taste the grapefruit and ginger. Somewhat dry and somewhat sweet--not spicy, but certainly crisp.

Mouthfeel: Pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Body is typical of a summer beer: somewhat (but not in my opinion too) thin and carbonation is on the high end. This goes down easy and despite being somewhat sweet it's not sticky.

Overall: Look, if the idea of a beer with considerable grapefruit and ginger flavors sounds uninviting, then this probably isn't your best option. For me, as someone who likes ginger and grapefruit, I enjoyed drinking this while acknowledging that it's not complex. It's not the best fruit beer out there, but if you happen to crave both beer and grapefruit on a warm day and are looking for one with only natural flavors, this isn't a bad choice.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours clear and amber in color with an off-white finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a broken layer of suds across the surface. Lacing is spotty with fair stick.

Smell - Moderate grain aroma. Light grapefruit.

Taste - Moderate notes of slightly toasted grain. Ginger and less discernible spices. Maybe some nutmeg? Grapefruit builds throughout the process, coming through in moderation near and into the finish. More sweet than bitter.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with fair to lively carbonation. Goes down easy before a crisp finish.

Overall - A fair summer brew. The grapefruit doesn't quite shine in the way one might expect from the labeling, but it's presence is certainly not amiss. I'd drink this again if offered, but I don't think I'd buy it again.

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Photo of GorillaMedic
3.51/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

What can I say? This epitomizes summer for me. A tasty, utterly refreshing seasonal brew that is light on its feet and refreshing when outside working or playing.

The grapefruit flavor is very evident in both the aroma and the taste and sets this apart from most citrusy summer brews—the grapefruit is very forward, very real and natural tasting, and if you like it (I do) very tasty.

This beer is pretty heavily carbonated; I feel like this makes it more refreshing and less of a complex, interesting drink.

This is my go-to summer-evening-outdoors beverage.

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Photo of dwalthall12
4.25/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This really is the perfect summer beer. I found myself googling the 2013 in stores date in the winter. This is my favorite beer and if you have not had it yet then you are missing out. Most bars and grocery stores have it available from March - September so pick some up if you haven't already

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Photo of Slatetank
3.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

picked this up at Giant Beer garden & eatery in a mix-a-six poured chilled in a teku.

The color is deep copper with orange and bronze hues with quick to collapse white foam. The smell is peculier but not bad smells like ginger ale -spicy and sweet with tropical accent. The feel is mildly carbonated with low bitterness and mildly sweet with a semi-dry texture and light body overall.

The flavor has a slight grapefruit flavor with mild tangy citrus tinge and light rind taste with some mild nuttiness of malt, again it seems to follow the nose, not great but not altogether revolting it just is...slight grapefruit soda essence comes to mind, but not sweet and not really bitter either. The overall take is if you really love grapefruit you may dig this, but it is more of a novelty than a serious beer with grapefruit added.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz, spring '13
Riedel tulip

A: Slightly pink, light orange color. Initially I got a thin layer of bright white. Then nothing. Carbonation but not head.

S: Ginger and fruit. Grainy grain.

T: Up front some spice. That ginger I assume. Sharp tart grapefruit. Clean dry finish.

M: Light bodied.

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Photo of brother_rat
3.27/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I had this on draught over at Hill Country in midtown last week, and I was able to get a 6-pack of it this weekend for a grilling party where I was able to review it. I poured a bottle into a regular pint glass.

A: Pours a nice bright hazy golden, with a tinge of redness--almost a light, strawberry blonde coloration. Not bad. The beer was highly carbonated and it showed, and there was a one-finger head of big bubbles that quickly went down. Nice and translucent. No lacing. 2.75

S: Nothing spectacular: you do pick up a bit of the bright citrus notes and the spice upon opening, although the crisp grapefruit and spice/ginger flavors that come through very strong in tasting are very muted. The scent does not linger. 2.5

T: Actually quite tasty and refreshing: the grapefruit hits you over the head, and the spice is also very pronounced. You can pick up ginger, but also some other blend (allspice? nutmeg?), and the grapefruit flavors does tend to fade into a general citrus and green brightness as the beer sits. It's very light but not insubstantial, and it all leads to a nice tart/sour flavor that reminded me slightly of a spiced-up Berliner Weisse. Very light on the hops, and very light on the malt also; I have to say that had I not seen that red grapefruit was being used (noted on the bottle), I would have thought white grapefruit. 3.5

M: Very carbonated, which I don't usually like--but it seemed to open up the bright flavors. Had the feel of a spiced Fresca soda, which on a very hot day (outside, grilling) worked very well and was very refreshing. 3.5

O: To me, this is a perfect example of a situational beer--and really, that's all you can expect from any sort of seasonal, let alone a summer seasonal. I found the beer very pleasant for a hot day out by the grill--it's tart and refreshing, the hint of spice went fine with our meats and grilled veggies, and the very light character went down really well. With the nice bright tartness, I didn't miss the hops or malt one bit. As long as you keep your beer cold (the experience went downhill considerably as my beer warmed up), it's a great light choice with some character. For any other day but a hot summer day, I'd give it somewhere in the high 2s, but for a hot summer day it got the job done and then some: 3.75.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.96/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: Clear copper. Off white head recedes to absolutely nothing, no lacing.

Aroma: Spicy grapefruit, ginger notes. Little in the way of any malts or hops.

Taste: Very spiced, almost tastes like some bad pumpkin ales I've had. More ginger than grapefruit, but the grapefruit adds nice citrus.

Mouthfeel: Bright, carbonated.

Overall: Refreshing, but more of a novelty. Drinks too carbonated, like a soda. Glad I only bought a single bottle.

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Shiner Ruby Redbird from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
72 out of 100 based on 237 ratings.