1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Red Tail Ale - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Red Tail AleRed Tail Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

904 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 904
Reviews: 476
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 14.78%
Wants: 9
Gots: 47 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 904 | Reviews: 476
Photo of sourdoughsteve
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.
A: Definitely an amber, not a red. The head disappeared at about half way. Lacing remained at the top the whole time. Clear and inviting to look at

S: Fresh. No burnt or heavy odors. Makes me want to ...

T: Mmm. Malty but not overly so. Hops evident but not the main event. Nicely balanced.

M: Refreshing. Not "thick". Carbonation right on the button

D: I could guzzle this on a hot day.

Photo of PirateUlf73
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Semi-hazy medium amber color with a modest, dull-white head.

S: Sweet, toasted barley aromas mingled with sightly fruity hop notes. Pretty crisp nose.

T: Hints of caramel and toffee are put in sharp contrast with rich, earth and slightly pine-like hops. Has a nice, toasty midsection. Flavor is balanced masterfully.

M: Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. The finish is crisp and somewhat dry, like a good English pub ale.

D: This has "session ale" written all over it.

Another classic case of the whole beer being more than the sum of its parts. While not much to look at, the taste is very nice and it always leaves you wanting that next sip (or gulp). A solid get-together beer.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark amber color with a very slight haze. Poured a 2 finger off-white head with good retention. Lots of lace on the glass in rings and splotches.

S: Floral and fruity nose; cirus, grapefruit and pepper. Toasted and roasted malts.

T: Toasted and caramel malt; also pale malts for a dry bready flavor. Floral citrus from hops turns to a mild bitter balance. Very dry in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation blaances well. Flavorful then cleaner and dry in the finish.

D: Flavorful amber ale for sure that may be a bit hoopier than most.

Photo of jasonjlewis
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours little head and little retention with a cloudy amber color.

Smell is of aromatic malt and a sort of grapefruit aroma that doesn't necessarily remind me of hops.

Sweet and sour taste. Caramel malt sweetness with this sweet citrus undertone. It's not hoppy citrus though. It's kind of unique. It's not totally a turn off though.

Mouthfeel is decently crisp and refreshing.

Medoncino produces average beers at best in my experience. I may avoid this brewery from now on.

Photo of ssam
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-its red, the head is okay dissipates quite quickly, but leaves some lacing

S-its got a metallic smell

T- taste is pretty good, hop aroma is present and it good balance with the malt character

M-nothing to complain, nice mouthfeel

D- it was pretty good, im jonesing for another but i would drink more

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.04/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 9/21/2008 (bottle):

Pours an orangish colored body, with a small white colored head, pretty quickly diminishing. Has a malty fruity aroma, fizzy and effervescent. Very enticing. Has a fizzy malty nutty taste. A litte bitterness/sourness. Nice soft mouthfeel.

Photo of JEngler
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured clear light amber with one finger head that didn't last very long. There was a little lacing in the beginning as a result of the small head. There wasn't a powerful aroma, but it did smell a bit sweet. Mouthfeel was good and very drinkable; however, it was slightly bitter... something I wasn't expecting this to have considering the malts. Nothing really jumped out at me about this ale, but it was tasty.

Photo of webbcreative
3.09/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color (suprise, suprise) with a 2 findger whitish head. Smells just a bit of sweetness, with some bready notes. smells. Tastes i pretty bland up front, not getting a lot of the sweetness really, and ends pretty bitter, which i think is from the toasted malt, as its not a real clean bitter finish I usually get from hops.

overall its just decent, dont love it by any means, and wont be getting again, i cant get past that sharp bitter flavor.

Photo of Psilo707
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish tint to a deep amber color, many bubbles rising to the top. Thin amount of head, but with decent lacing.

Smells and tastes like a lot of honey. Definitely malty, a bit of hops here and there. Citrus taste rings on the tongue ever so slightly. The aftertaste is one of a fairly strong ale.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid, very creamy texture. Drinkability is good, on par with most ales.

Overall, I liked it. Didn't love it, but it's a good release from Mendocino.

Photo of Vengeance526
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish copper color with a 1 finger white head that lasts for a little while before slowly subsiding with a fair amount of lacing.

Aroma of caramel with a slight bready profile. Light hops present but definitely more on the malty side.

Taste reveals a light spiciness from the hops but then kicks in with caramel, honey and some light fruit notes.

Fairly light bodied with a moderate carbonation level. Overall, pretty well balanced. Not something I would indulge on but this is worth looking up again from time to time.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep, dark amber body with a small, whitish head.

Smell: Toasty, chewy caramel malt aroma peppered with floral, citrusy hop notes.

Taste: Pale malts, toasted grains, and sweet caramel sauce upfront. Dash of mineral water. The slight graininess and a touch of fruit leads you into the floral, lightly citric hops and mild bitterness that rides out beyond the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent amber ale that's very middle-of-the-road in terms of flavor; it's neither overly malty or hoppy.

Photo of DmanGTR
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re-reviewing on 1/18/09

A - poured a clear reddish amber with much bubbling to retain a 1/2" white head fairly well. Scant lace in my tulip.

S - perfumey, light malty sweetness, decent herbal hops, white grapes?

T - follows the smell somewhat, relatively balanced malts and hops, a very clean finish with a touch of honey sweetness.

M - light bodied and well carbonated. Smooth.

D - drinkable, could easily do a couple of these in session.

Overall - I must say that I find this beer much better tasting than last time. I did not get that distinctive "Mendocino" aroma in the nose like I did last time with the entire variety pack. Quite a nice beer actually, I may get back into their products. My only complaints are that the taste and the mouthfeel could be a touch richer. This goes well with the spicy beef/vegetable/chicken noodle soup I'm having right now!
Old review... 2008
Poured into a pint glass

A - Pretty dark ruby color with a 1.25 inch head. Lovely. The head disappeared within 2 min, leaving very small lace bubbles.

S - Wasn't too impressed by it, very noticeable malts, which covered most of the other smells it should have given off.

T - This is the second time I tried this beer. Just as bad as the first. Left a bad aftertaste (very bitter) and I was disappointed by the fact that I could not taste too much other than malts and bitterness.

M - Typical crispiness and bubbly.

D - I drank about 1/4 of the glass to review and after I couldn't stand the taste much more, I chugged the rest of it to get it out of the way (haha). Goes down smoothly, not too carbonated (which is good). A decent thirst quencher.

Overall - I was rather disappointed with this beer. On the good side: I bought this in a 12 pack variety of other Mendocino products (including Pale Ale, Stout, and Ale) and it was only 9.75. On the bad side - I have a lot of other crappy beers to finish now.

Don't buy this if you can help it. I'd rather have a Killians or Smithwicks if I ever want a red ale.

Photo of thespaceman
4.65/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was my intro to craft beer, haven't had it in years but this one NEVER FAILS!

Appearance: Nice bronzish copper in color, poured a nice size head with foamy, sticky lacing.

Smell: Hints of some hop spice, a nice wallop of apple, and a astringent malt characteristic. This one always tasted better then it smelled.

Taste: I love this beer, to date I don't think anybody has balanced a good hop character to a malty persona like this one. It's got the apple and fruit pairing from the nose, plus an excellent caramel maltiness that is subtle, yet flavorful. The dry finish in this is a perfect ending to this wonderful concoction. Outstanding.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, a nice rich and hearty mouthfeel keeps this interesting. This one has a medium body and it shows through the maltiness, this one doesn't lose it's boldness on the tongue.

Drinkability: I understand why this turned me onto craft beer, this is such a good introduction to any craft brewery just because it combines the best of both worlds, hops and malt, which is lacking thereof in most of these BMC brewers. This is very sessionable at 6 ABV, and it hasn't changed a wink since I've had it 6 years ago, but why should it? This will go down as one of my all time favorite brews for the pure fact that it's easy to swig yet flavorful enough to enjoy and not get bored of it. A must have beer that should be picked up as soon as you see it!

Photo of Drew966
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Red Tail Ale pours a hazy orange color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is on the malty side, but hops are definitely present. Caramel malt is obvious in the flavor, hops are also present but aren't as prominent. Not particularly well balanced, but it's a decent beer.

Photo of Bagman007
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Cloudy orange/yellow coloring with about a finger's width of head.

S- Somewhat of a sweet hoppy scent. Not very strong. Can also smell the yeast as well.

T- Not very hoppy compared to the scent. Too much of a yeast like taste.

M- Not overly hoppy so it's not a very bitter beer. Carbonation is OK.

D- The slight yeast like taste makes it somewhat less drinkable than other Amber Ale's.

Overall I'm not really impressed by this beer. I love Amber Ale's , but this seems like a rather poor effort. It's an OK beer, but it is lacking in hops and has too much of a yeast like taste to it.

Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy burnt orange with a thick pillowy head and decent lacing.

Aroma is bready caramel malt, slightly nutty with a bit of earthy hop.

Taste is similar to the nose, but the hops are more pronounced and the earthy hop starts to take on a citrus nature. Finish is yeasty biscuit with a hint of a metallic sting.

Mouthfeel is light-medium in body.

A pleasant amber ale. Bready biscuit with a surprising amount of hops. One of my favorite session ales.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Brighter orange with a soapy very slightly off white head. Some lacing on the glass.

S. Smells more malty than anything. Doughy caramel malt and some yeast in the nose.

T. Taste is pretty solid. Bready malts dominate most of the flavor profile, with a moderate helping of earthy bitter hops to balance, lending a hint of grapefruit.

M. Pretty vicious and slick. Full bodied and slightly chewey. The harsh mouthfeel limits drinkability.

D. A pretty good offering from Medocino here. I can see why its a classic. Good change of pace, balanced brew in a hop-dominated genre.

Photo of kingothewoods
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice brew with very little head retention but it was served on tap. The color was nice, deep, and a rich red. Smelled great - not really full bodied. I didn't care for the mouthfeel because of the dry chaulky aftertaste. Average beer but I don't think I'd have another.

Photo of magictrokini
3.83/5  rDev +11%
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.

Photo of stockingcpl
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Out of the bottle, this brew pours with a healthy full head. Light in color, it has a mousse testure and leaves lacings along the edge and surface. Color is medium to dark amber. Great job so far.

Smell: The aroma is fairly thin. There is a slight hop and malt smell. Not a renouncing victory. Additional aromatic hops should be added to the final malting. The aroma that was present is pleasant.

Taste: This is where this brew shines. The flavor curve is fairly rounded yet has a defined presence. Flavor builds rather quickly with a full body and sustains well. Sharp but very pleasant hops woith citrus overtones. Roasted malt pops out early but fades into a warm smoothness that surrounds the palate. Flavor is full but not harsh. Well done.

Mouthfeel: This brew has a very Maerzen feel. The taste lingers well. The flavor flows well on the tongue. Flavor is fairly strong up until the tail end of the sustain. Excellent overall presence.

Drinkibility: This brew left me wanting more. Not much more needs to be said about any brew.


Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very slightly hazy golden orange color with a small 1/8" head of small off white bubbles that faded really quickly back into the beer. There were very few bubbles rising to maintain the head, and there was very little lacing on the glass after removing the beer.

Aroma: I initially got some toasty malts along with some sweet caramel and a mild amount of floral hops to accent. As the beer sits and warms up some, the hops are coming out more as is a honey-like aromatic to the whole profile.

Taste: The flavor is balanced toward the malt for the most part. There are definitely some hops in this beer, but they are more noticeable in the flavor than in the finish. The beer finishes balanced a bit toward the sweetness. I like the toasty malt flavors. The beer definitely has the Ale yeast characteristics, but they are somewhat muted.

Opinion: The back-bone of the beer reminds me of a Vienna Lager with American hops and Ale yeast. I would guess that this beer is only around 30 IBU's, which makes it really drinkable for the ABV it has. The beer is clean, and you can drink them a lot faster than a lot of them. I would drink this beer again, but it doesn't stand out enough to me that I will be seeking it out.

Photo of denflyr
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy orange/copper color with about a 1/2" head.

The smell is okay with maybe just a hint of the maltiness there. Not a terribly aromatic brew.

The taste was nice and had a clean slightly hoppy finish to it. Also a nice creaminess of the malts as well.

The mouthfeel on this beer was very nice. A every noticeable carbonation. It just had enough to tickle my senses and add a nice dimension to the brew.

I could drink several of these. The drinkability was nice and this would be a very food friendly brew as well.

Photo of cvstrickland
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A 12-ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass yields a clear orange-amber body capped with a finger of very light ecru foam. The head recedes very quickly into a bubbly sheet, leaving thin scraps of lacing scattered on the glass.

The smell is a bit citrusy with a little green grass. A lightly-toasted malt squeezes through, but not much.

The taste is crisp and fairly citrusy, with notes of dry lemon rind and a pretty wimpy sweetish pale malt note. A feel of caramel is there, but no such flavor emerges from the watery depths.

Thin-bodied with very little carbonation, the drink is mild and underpowered but inoffensive. Just another unremarkable brew from a mostly unremarkable brewer. Ho hum.

Photo of JoshW
3.37/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium dark amber, very little off-white head, minimal lacing.

Smell is of spicy caramel, maybe a little citrus smell too.

Bitter, citrusy rind flavor up front with a bread/caramel finish, hops are noted throughout. Mouthfeel is in between light and medium with alcohol present.

Drinkability is pretty average for me, not a bad beer but not one of the better brews out there either

Photo of Offa
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the beers I grew up on and it's a good, solid, tasty, and easy-drinking beer if not outstanding.

Faintly reddish amber, it has a medium off-white-to-pale-tan had that slowly shrinks to a thin, foamy, lasting top. It leaves a little bit of lace.

The aroma is nice, flowery malty grain with hints of grass, herbs, and leaves, a lot like a good US lager with a little leafy English ale quality thrown in.

The taste is similar, malty with a leafy-herbal-citrusy bitterness and finish with toasted crackers, caramel and general hops. It is somewhat subdued, arguably a hair on the bland side, and it's not especially exciting. However, it's still flavourful with the flavours holding up well, it's very well-balanced, solid, and it's very easy to drink - smooth though remaining interesting. It has a faintly full, warming quality from the alcohol, but this is light.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Red Tail Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 904 ratings.