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Red Tail Ale - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Red Tail AleRed Tail Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

866 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 866
Reviews: 467
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 10
Gots: 34 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 866 | Reviews: 467 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GnomeKing:
Photo of GnomeKing
2.2/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I bought a six pack of this because I hadn't seen it before and--I admit it--it was the cheapest on the wall of craft beer. You get what you pay for. It was badly conceived and executed. The malt character was just funky. It didn't have the crisp, drinkable character of a typical amber, which is what I was looking for, since I bought it for drinking at my shorehouse. Now there are five bottles left. Want one?

GnomeKing, Jun 28, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter copper color with medium head that leaves some slight lacing,a strong smell to it some fruitiness to it and very malty kind of a weird smell hard to place.The taste starts out a little sweet but there is some dryness in the middle ending with a malty finish and aftertaste.Not a bad beer but seems a little rough around the edges.

oberon, Jul 29, 2003
Photo of kaimcm
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: cranberry/amber body, dull white head, no stick, no lacing.

S: weak malt aromas, minor cleaning product solvent, light herbal hop

T: clean malt up front, a touch sweet on the front of the tongue. some grapefruit comes through mid mouth then followed by a balanced but rather boring hop profile and bitter. slightly nutty. finishes pretty dry with hints of apples.

M: mouthfeel is what you'd expect from a simple, easy drinkin beer like this. good carbonation level, creamy, makes it easy drinking and refreshing.

D: easy to put down but not interesting enough for me to want another.

kaimcm, Jan 18, 2006
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I remember drinking this beer on a trip to California in the mid 80s. I also remember thinking at the time that it was a really good beer. This present version I'm not so sure of.

In a snifter the beer was a light amber color with a tiny white head.

It had a grassy, flowery hop profile, with some caramel.

I liked the taste more than I thought I would, based on the aroma. A sweet caramel taste gave way to the grassy hops.

A nice enough beer. I just thought I would like it more than I actually did.

lordofthewiens, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A good looking beer. A copper/red with a nice off-white head.

S - Mostly just the grain bill. The nose is heavy on crystal malt. There is a little hop smell, but it is hard to distinguish because it is not fruity, or floral, or earthy.

T - There is some dark malts ( a little hint of toasted flavors) and a little biscuitiness to it. The hops are a little sweet/fruity at the end, which give the beer a decent blend. There is a very subtle bitter hop finish.

M - A light to medium bodied beer that is fairly carbonated.

D - The thinner body and low ABV make it very drinkable, but it just doesn't taste that good, so I don't really want to have that many.

3HovsepiansBrews, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of Todd
4.22/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. A red tail hawk flies with hops and barley in its talons. No freshness date.

Appearance: Amber with a touch of haze. The white head is quite sticky, semi-clumpy and very healthy looking.

Smell: Sweet pale malts, a touch of raw grain, esters and herbal hop aromas.

Taste: Smooth, malty and crisp. Notes of caramel and toasted malts aid in an almost chewy upfront mouthfeel. Alcohol notes are definitely present, and hide nicely behind a mild hop spiciness. Right in the middle, for a brief second, a lemony hop flavour punches through. A touch of citrus rind and herbal follows, continuing right into the aftertaste. Finishes slightly dry, with a bit of hop oil and malt huskiness.

Notes: Damn, this is one fine ale. Very well balanced, extremely drinkable and suprisingly warming. Makes me wonder what the abv is as my head heats up and my belly warms. It costs nearly $9 a 6-pak in Cambridge, MA ... but man is it worth it. Another fine ale from Mendocino Brewing Co. Buy some now.

Todd, Oct 22, 2000
Photo of generallee
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has no freshness date or abv%.

Appearance: It has an orange amber body with good clarity and is capped off by with a tall loose foam head. This tall white head fades quickly and sets up a thin film covering that just hangs on. As it slides down the glass it makes some slick lacing.

Smell: There is a mild sweet bready malt aroma with a nice backing of dry leafy/herbal hops.

Taste/Palate: I get a nice candy and caramel sweetness with light toasty bready notes and just a hint of fruitiness. The hops come in late and finish with some mild bitterness for balance. Its medium bodied, easy drinking and nicely carbonated.

Notes: There’s not too much to say, it’s a good basic Amber Ale. Its not mind blowing but it is still a decent, enjoyable beer.

generallee, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

TimoP, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of Guden
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Light amber, little quickly dissipating head (their pale ales head seemed way too big and never leaving) and very little lacing. Alright color, not too exciting.

S: Lightly toasty malts, maybe some citrusy American hops, meh.

T: Pretty bitter with some citrusy notes. Not too different from their pale ale, maybe a slightly higher malty characteristic but only just so. Tastes like an Amber Ale but not a very good one.

M: Decent, medium-light body and carbonation.

D: Not something I would order again, just okay example of the style which isn't one of my favorites, not too heavy in any way but not interesting enough to bring me back.

Guden, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Redbones. Mild hazed pale amber orange hue with a thin off white lace that has decent stickage from its creamy bubbly form.

Faint toasted grain and flowery citric hop in the aroma.

Moderate body, clean crispness. Big citrusy hop with a very ample bitterness, flavour from the hop lingers in a rind pungency. Malt and grain flavours tread in the back drop with a light estery fruity alcohol. Finishes slightly dry.

Good drinking here, real easy to go down and with the usual trademark APA characteristics.

Jason, Aug 12, 2002
Photo of merlin48
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a clear, red/orange amber with an ivory head that is minimal and short lived but fades into patches of sheety lacing. Aroma is a pleasant meld of fruity and piney hops and pale and caramel malt graininess. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Taste is slightly sweet with caramel and apples, but plenty of citrus, pine, and grassy hops keep it well balanced. Finishes crisp and slightly dry, with a polite note of hop bitterness. Very nice red ale, that I hope to sample again.

merlin48, Feb 10, 2004
Photo of Billolick
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, no freshness/bottleing info offered....pours dull slightly reddish amber, light tan head, minor retention and spotty bits of lacing left behind. Moderate malt/bready nose. Balanced malt/hop approach, nothing too exciting going on here, dull style, dull beer, easy drinking but why bother?

Billolick, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of tigg924
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: red/brown in color, 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, clear

Smell: citrus hops, caramel malt, and a bit of dark fruit

Taste: citrus hops, caramel malt, and a graininess towards the end

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, sweet with a slightly bitter backbone

Drinkability: An average amber that is slightly on the hoppy side. If you love hops this might be for you. I think this could be a bit more balanced. I will pass in the future.

tigg924, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of mattster
2.2/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into pint glass from 12oz bottle.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown color, no head - a little lacy on top.

Smells of malts, taste similar. No recongnizable aromas or flavors. A little bitter on the palate and finish isn't overly pleasant.

I had this as a single, don't think I would recommend or try again. It wasn't horrible, I guess I expect more out of a "craft beer."

mattster, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of Brewerbound
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%

Brewerbound, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of NoetheMatt
1.75/5  rDev -49.3%

NoetheMatt, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of magictrokini
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't normally like "fruity-tasting" beer but I really enjoyed this. Poured bright red with a medium off-white head. Floral aroma with strawberries and pale malt. Sweet, but not overpowering. Good balance of citrus hops, caramel malt, and the kiwi-strawberry flavor. Very smooth.

magictrokini, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.28/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a nonic glass from a 12 oz brown long neck bottle with a crimped on cap.

Clear,medium amber color with a tall,thick,chunky white head with good retention leaving webs of lacing around the glass with a couple of tiny bubbles stringing to the top of the glass.

Complex moderate nose very malty with notes of toffee,bisquity,nutty,toasty with a bit of a burnt note. Not much hop aroma a bit grassy.

Sweet, burnt carmell/toffee tastes, bisquitty with a citrus rind bite. Very well balanced with a crisp,clean,dry sharp/tart bitterness leaving a burnt aftertaste. Really liked the taste of this beer.

Tangy,juicy mouthfeel also light and airy feeling with a bit of a grainy texture.
Easy drinking ale could drink quite a few of these really enjoyable. Worth a try.

jcdiflorio, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of dmourati
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Second or third time trying this brew from Mendocino. Available in these parts at Whole Foods and the like.

Nice initial taste followed by a zing. Aftertaste is where I have to take away marks. A bit too spicy.

I'd like to see a smoother finish. Otherwise, pretty good.

dmourati, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of fionn13
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

fionn13, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of mattffrost
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into glass

Beer is a dark mirky cloudy amber with white head. Head is gone rahter quickly. The retention on the glass is pretty good.

Smells of citrus, pine, carmel, brown sugar come out.

Taste is pretty good. A somewhat bitter beer but does have some sweetness to counter the bitterness. Beer finishes a little bitter nothing over the top. Pretty refreshing beer that I have to be careful not to drink to fast.

Beer is low in carbonation and is nicely balanced. A couple of these is a nice treat to a weekend watching the baseball game.

mattffrost, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of LDuke
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%

LDuke, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good auburn color, pour it right, and you get a solid inch of beige head. Aroma, equal parts wood tanins and a bitter hop nose lingers.

Taste, a little heavier than one would expect from the appearance. Solid, balanced English ale interpretation with a little CA hopping. Sometimes the quality can vary wildly with Red Tail, but more often than not, you get a relatively solid built beer with good malt and hop bills.

Mouthfeel, like many Mendo beers, gets a little heavier towards the end. Drinkable session ale. A keeper.

Beerandraiderfan, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of williamjbauer
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

williamjbauer, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of ADR
2.98/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the Saratoga Springs, NY brewery...

Nice pour, head is a consistent 1/4 inch of medium bubbles. Murky amber color. A little hoppiness and "wet canvas" to the smell. Not well balanced, hops are tangy and somewhat explosive. Some creaminess to the malts that adds body. If I have a major criticism, its in the lack of complexity of the malt sweetness, and way too much vinegary funk going on, piling on with the hops. Drank a second one directly from the bottle and it was extremely sour in this presentation. I'd like to try it on tap to see if there are a number of bottle runs that are not well-done...

ADR, Aug 15, 2002
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Red Tail Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 866 ratings.