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Hot Rod Red - Aviator Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hot Rod RedHot Rod Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

42 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 160
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 28.72%
Wants: 6
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Aviator Brewing Company visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Loki on 12-04-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 160
Photo of avalon07
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A good amount of hops and a very noticeable caramel presence in the aroma.

T: Tasted of hops, malt, a little citrus and some caramel in the finish. Not quite as dynamic as I would have liked, but an OK flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry, earthy finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not too bad of a beer, but doesn't particularly separate itself from the herd.

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Photo of Durge
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark, copper colored brew with a healthy off-white head and major walls of lacing. The aroma brings sour mash malt, a little pine hop and fruit nougat and a touch of grassy yeast alcohol. The flavor closes the deal with deep grassy malt cider. There's a vague floral edge, slightly perfumey vegetable ideas. It has some bock-like qualities. A little skunky. A very solid red ale, easily recommended with medium body and a dry feel, smooth and modestly carbonated. Nice!

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Photo of Pencible
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: This poured a clear dark mahogany with chunky sediment.
S: It smelled like dry roasted barley with a little earthy copper hops.
T: It tasted like earthy copper and nutty malt, with a little roasted barley. It had a clean dry and somewhat bitter aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with some carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a decent Irish red ale. Nothing exciting, but very traditional scent and taste and body. It had a clean and mellow finish, so it was really easy to drink. Not bad to try once, but I prefer something more interesting.

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Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

draft at Chow, Raleigh

a: draft served in a 20 oz nonic pint, the beer is a deep reddish amber in color, arriving with a healthy topping of eggshell white head, retention and lacing average

s: grainy breads and nutty toasted malts on a nose of mid-sweet caramel, nice roast, earthy hops, enjoying the complexity and deep toasted notes here

m: carbonated to about a moderate level, body around medium

t: bready with a caramel sweetness upfront, followed quickly with deeply toasted red malts, and then nutty toast continuing into the finish as things try out, earthy hop flavors with a balanced bitterness

o: a well above average red here, the deep toasted character courtesy of the roasted malt adds a great underlying complexity to the sweet caramel, pleasantly interesting for the style, drinks well

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Photo of KYGunner
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Obvious amber color was soft and clean. The head rose thickly and mounted strongly for a minute or two but disappated to a fine lace.

A weak scent but it's an aromatic scent. Kilned grain, barley, pecan or nut, and a chocolatey maltiness are all subtle but I like it.

The flavors are unfortunately stale, it tastes good but gives off a tainted grain taste. Slight smokiness and roastiness offset a grain, barley and nuttiness. I'm longing for a robust, deep and textured roasted grain and it's there but simply not evident enough to proclaim.

The feel is smooth, lightly carbonated and a bit thick but well presented for a canned beer.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish brown, slightly cloudy with some particles within. No carbonation, 4 fingers of light beige head.

S: Coffee, toffee, dark toasted notes, light lemony hopping.

T: Coffee, toffee, light citrus note, big dull bitter hopping at the end along with some burnt toasted notes.

M: Medium thick, slightly dull resinous mouth feel, low carbonation.

O: Bought in Asheville, NC, drank in Kansas City, MO, Aug 8th, 2014.

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Photo of atsprings
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at The Wooden Nickel served in a slim pint glass a crisp dark amber with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is crisp citrus hops in front of burn caramel malts. The taste is a nice balance of burnt caramel malts and citrus hops. The beer is light, crisp and quite smooth. This is a great cask beer!

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Photo of zeledonia
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Tasted 6 April 2013.

Pours a deep, rusty orangeish red. Mostly clear, letting a lot of light through it. I can see the bubbles on the far side, but it's not like looking through glass. One finger of off-white head, decent retention and nice lacing. A solid ring of bubbles and half-cap on the surface.

Smell is really toasted, like a marzen. The most obvious thing I get in the nose is those biscuity toasted malts. It's not bad, but there's not a whole lot to it. Can says it's supposed to be hoppy; it is not. There's a faint herbal nudge in the back, but that's it.

Taste is more interesting. Has more of the Scotch ale twang. Earthy, not exactly peaty, but the mildly bitter black earth or black tea flavor that I get from a lot of Scotch ales. Also has an interesting honey-like sweetness, right in the middle, that fades out. There's a little bit of unpleasant bitterness that I'd like to wash away, and slants more towards that in the finish, but mostly I like it.

Feel is pretty flat. Ends up feeling like uncarbonated soda. Lasting, too. Flat to lightly syrupy/oily to watery.

Interesting beer. I like the taste, where that earth/tea flavor really shines, and the sweetness adds a lot of complexity to it.

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Photo of GJ40
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled in a standard pint glass from a can purchased the same day at the brewery.

Very malty with caramel, breads and biscuits. Not all that much from the hops.

I had an old review I'd had on tap and I liked this one. I don't know if the recipe changed or it doesn't sit well in the can but this isn't what I'd remembered.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Pours a clear copper color with a bit of white lacing.

Bit of toastiness in the nose with maybe some maple sweetness and also hops aromas.

Mild grain taste, somewhat toasted, and a touch of hop bitterness.

Moderate to fuller mouth with a good tingly carbonation.

Solid Irish ale with good flavors and presentation. Not quite anything special, but worth a try and gets the job done.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on draft at the FV draft house. Pours reddish ruddy brown color. Small wispy off white head. Good dose of lacing. Sweet up front with some caramel maltiness and bready backbone. Not much different than the Steamhead. Biscuity and bready with some yeast flavors kicking in as well. More of the chocolate malitness. Not too shabby. Tastes close to a brown ale/amber ale hybrid. Plenty of bread.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a bomber from Aviator, just a few minutes down the road in Fuquay. Pours darker than most in the style, with a brown top and orange feet. head is eggshell colored and has copious lace but doesn't last long. Nose is floral hops over a foundation of caramel and toasted malts.

Strong malt flavors, with caramel and toasted morphing into coffee and baker' s chocolate before long. Hops are window dressing at first but shine on nicely in the aftertaste. The combination of English and west coast hops makes this unique.

Certainly not standard among the Irish Reds I have sampled in the past but definitely tasty and interesting.

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Photo of beer2day
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright red pour with 1-finger of light tan head. Very little retention. Laces very nicely.

Faint, sweet malt nose. Not much to go on.

Sweet hit on the tongue. Turns very sweet in the aftertaste, like big red licorice. Surprisingly dry and hoppy in the finish.

Decent malt body.

Easy drinker and hides it's slightly higher than average abv well.

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Photo of KajII
3.44/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Nonic pint]

The pour was a lightly cloudy medium copper with an average (1-2 finger) light beige rocky head that receded very slowly, down to a moderate film with a medium collar and had excellent sheets of lacing.

The aroma was of a toasted bread malt, light grassy hops and an earthy yeast with notes of caramel, toffee and a mild spiciness.

The taste was lightly sweet and extremely malty with a hint of caramel which was present throughout, with the finish having a decent hoppy bitterness, a touch of spice and a chewy bready ending. The flavor lasted an average time proceeding the swallow, with the hoppy malty taste fading slowly off the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was just past light in body with a watery and slightly dry texture and a carbonation that was just below medium.

Overall I found this brew to have a nice balance of flavors. It possessed a good malt backbone, a light caramel sweetness and a delicious hoppy bitterness, which worked so well together that you could not help but enjoy it...


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Photo of Dave1999
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark red colour with a white head.

The smell is soapy, with some sweet malts. The soapy smell is a bit weird.

The taste is very nutty with some sweet malts. Simple but very tasty.

The mouthfeel is light with medium carbonation.

This a simple yet tasty beer. The smell was a bit off but didn't detract from the overall beer too much.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

At Ale House in Durham,. Pour is a nice red, with a decent white head floating on tap. Smell is roasty, with a decent hoppy presence. The flavor pretty much follows suit. The taste is amazing. Complex with a touch of dry malt. Caramel malt is everywhere, and I love it. It leaves a slightly chewy malt feeling.

The only better Irish Red is GLBC Conways.

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Photo of Mojo
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is review number 400 <w00t!!>

12 ounce can poured into a New Belgium globe glass

A - Wow, as soon as I popped the top foam began to ooze of out the can. I wonder if my son shook it up and put it back in the fridge because he is just weird that way. The color is a nice apricot red and there is a towering frothy light tan colored head that just lasts and lasts. It took me five minutes to finally get all the beer poured into my glass. Retention and lacing are legendary. I'm giving this a 2.75 though because I don't like to wait ten minutes before being able to take my first sip.

S - The smell is sort of weak to my nose. Maybe a little grainy with a slight alcohol note.

T - This beer had a very sweet malty flavor with a dry finish. Maybe some roasted flavors there too. There is a bit of a punch to the flavor that was somewhat unexpected.

M - sort of thin, but lots of carbonation.

O - refreshing enough, but I did not dig the foam geyser.

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Photo of a0lbudman
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-clear light brown with an off white head
S-hoppy, roast aroma,yet has some sweet grain and malty sweetness
T- roast taste with a good hop bitterness in the aftertaste
M-medium body and medium carbonation
O-Great Irish red!! Has a good hop flavor and outstanding mix of malt, hops, and grain.

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Photo of Luigi
4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a clear ruby red color with a three finger chunky off white head. The retention is almost perfect, as it clings to the glass and stays a good one finger thickness. Chunks of fluffy, creamy foam till the last drop.

The aroma is roasted malt that is is slightly sweet, and little bitter. A hint of citrus hits the nose from the cascade hops.

The toasted malt hits the palate first. Sweet and bitter is blended together almost perfectly. A dry citrus hop emerges toward the end giving this ale a dry bitter finish. The sweetness of the malt helps balanced out the bitter hop.

Medium bodied and slick on the tongue, a little creamy from the head. Very easy to drink.

I am very proud to say this Irish Red Ale is brewed only 15 minutes down the road from me. Nothing is over the top concerning this style of beer. Every flavor has been crafted just right. I want to see some six packs soon.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Aviator Tap House in Fuquay Varina, NC.

Brought to me in a standard pint glass. Deep orange to red in color, very light head that quickly reduced to a thin layer of bubbles and a heavy ring around the glass. Very light lacing.

Aromas are relatively light. There is some moderate to light malts that mix with herbal grassy hops. Nothing here is overpowering or strong, but rather well matched and balanced.

Flavors of modest malts and light earthy hops are quite well balanced. Slightly heavier mouthfeel than I would have expected and somewhat muted grassy hop notes make this a most enjoyable brew. Finish is more dry than not, and is relatively clean. Linger is short and slightly hoppy.

Nice flavors for an Irish Red, with hints of "English" hops and malts. This really strikes me as something that might be had at an English inn rather than an Irish pub. Just the same it's solid and clean. Nice brew!

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Photo of devilben02
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Every single f^#@ing can in this six-pack has overflowed from the pour spout upon cracking, resulting in a stupidly over-foamed pour. The beer does have a nice amber color, though, under that ridiculous head. The obnoxiously overflowing pour also filled the area with lovely beer aromas of cereal grains, lemon pith, and a clean yeastiness. In the flavor, sweet caramel malts are subdued by an earthy, dry, somewhat roasty bitterness, but it all comes through just a bit thin. The light texture has some substance and energy, providing a fine complement to the flavor profile. Overall, the overflowing cans pissed me off, but after my rage subsided, I had to acknowledge that this beer is quite nice.

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Photo of mechamifune
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have had this beer many times and have experienced a lot of variation with it. This review reflects the most common experience I have had with it.

Pours a nice red/amber with a heavy creamy head.
Hops are evident in the smell, more so than most "irish reds" (though i think that categorization is often misused). Smeetness is also evident, but not heavy.

Taste is pleasant, a slight but far from overwhelming hoppiness with a obvious malt backbobe. More hoppy than most in this style, and for me thats a welcome change.

Mouthfeel is a little thicker and heavier than I would like, but again I think it is probably about right for the style.

As a result the drinkability is good but not great. A decent enough session-style beer and a good take on one of my less than favorite styles.

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Photo of csparace
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance (4.00) – From a 22oz to a Matilda (my favorite glass ever). Pours a slightly hazy red amber. Epic amounts of carbonation coming to the top. Generous 2 finger head that hugs the sides as it fades. Really thick lacing coats the sides, honestly detracting from the appearance.

Smell – (4.00) Orange, malt, and mild hops present. A yeasty overtone to the combination. Roasted character is defnitely present.

Taste – (4.25) Initial impression is that of a roasted barley. Something seems really familiar but its hard to put a finger on it. There is a slight chocolate impression that comes later. A harsh caramel – that's it. The finish is surprisingly hoppy and you get a late crunch. Long after the sip you still have some crunch lingering.

Mouthfeel (4.50) Great carbonation level – it feels as it looks. Its has a medium to light heaviness to it. Lips are as sticky as if I were drinking a stout. There is a slightly sweet quality to it. Very satisfying to drink.

Overall (4.25) – This is pretty interesting to me. Its got a really awesome roasted flavor to it but then finished with the familiar hop crunch. Perfect carbonation levels. The appearance is quite nice too, except, the lacing it out of control. Its like an insulating lining on my glass.

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Photo of JimKal
3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark red brown with a tan two finger head. Leaves a lot of lacing as you drink it.

S: Malty aroma

T: This just didn't work for me. I do like this style but I think this one doesn't come close to the style. It does promise a hoppy taste and it delivers on that. But, it just didn't taste right to me. The hops and the malt just seemed to clash.

M: Decent medium to full mouthfeel.

O: I've had three of these on different days to see if my impression changed but this is one I won't be buying again. I had high hopes for it but it just doesn't work for me.

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Photo of bosox941827
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Tyler's TapRoom in Apex into 16oz logo pint glass that I wanted to take with me (but didn't!). First try of an Aviator beer, which is my bad as they're just down the road...
A - Nice, welcoming reddish-amber color
S - Mostly caramel malts but a bit of hops as well
T - Gotta say up front, I'm not a fan of "red" beers, as they've always had somewhat of an "off" flavor to me that I can't place, however wanted to try an Aviator, so gave it a whirl....and actually, as red ales go, this has got to be one of the better ones I've tried. Has MUCH more of a hop presence than am used to from this style, which is fine with me. Kind of has an English Pale Ale type hop flavor for me. Can still sense that "off" flavor which I mention above, but it's hidden by the hops and bit of alcohol. That being said, sweet malts predominate here, with the hops finishing things off.
M - Properly carbonated with a nice smooth mouthfeel.
D - Could session this, especially with the hops balancing things out.

Overall probably the best red ale I've had, which, granted, doesn't say too much. But I liked this beer, would order it again, and it gets me excited to try more from Aviator. So, mission accomplished!

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Hot Rod Red from Aviator Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.