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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.

812 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 812
Reviews: 465
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 15.36%
Wants: 9
Gots: 22 | 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)
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Ratings: 812 | Reviews: 465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mshallah

New Hampshire

4.6/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Beautiful reddish amber ale with foamy head that stays.
S- Intense and wonderful aromas of malt sweetness and freshness with whole hop flower aromatics.
T- I can't get over the great taste and smell of the malt. It's just such a great backdrop for the domestic dry-hopping. Perfect amount of bitterness balancing the sweetness. One of America's best beers and showcases domestic hops with a flowery nose that bursts forth with every sip, swallow or gulp.
M- Great ale, smooth and creamy middle and a serious session quaff. Sweet and hoppy medium smooth semi-dry semi-crisp finish.
D- One of those beers that's great for everything. Hot weather or cold. With meals or as a session beer. When you crave hoppy or sweet just pick up a Red Tail Ale.
Notes: I'm a very happy man since Mendocino started brewing in Saratoga Springs, NY. Great news for the east coast.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2007 03:02:36 | More by mshallah
Photo of billybob


4.47/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a hazy copper color with a one finger off white head and some lacing. aromas of slightly caramel malt with some herbel spice. taste is of caramel malt, bready, dry, well hopped. mouthfeel is light, crisp, no after taste. very nice beer, another good session beer. i will buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2007 20:19:59 | More by billybob
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not a bad beer, and not a terrible representation of the style, either. Poured up about the same colour as watered down tea; a bit of an orange/red colour with a nice, soapy, egg shell coloured head. Smell was mostly sweet malt, but had some detectable hop hiding in the backgroud, as well. Nice. Taste was sweet malts up front, bitter hops in the middle, and then dry roasted cereal on the finish. Mouthfeel was a little too thick, I felt. not quite what I'd call syrupy, but certainly too heavy for the style. Not bad. I'd drink it again, but I wouldn't pay for it.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2007 00:27:35 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of argock


4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz. brown bottle into a pint glass

A: 1-2 finger head with lace, orangy-red

S: Malty caramel with mild citrus

T: Roasted malt dominates with sweet caramel melted together with spicy hop finish. Clearly higher than average alcohol content as your belly is warmed.

M: Best thing about this beer -- medium-to-full bodied with perfect level of carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable despite the alcohol content because of its smoothness.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2007 14:00:04 | More by argock
Photo of bashiba


3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice hazy copper with a light bit of offwhite head quickly vanishing into a soap ring.

Smell was light with a bit of grain and lemon.

The flavor had a nice bit of grain in the body with a crisp juniper hoppyness rounding it out. Some nice light hints of pepper, grapefruit, and spearmint.

Has a crisp carbonated body with an oily yet dry finish.

Easy to drink, a decent amber with a bit more hops and substance than most.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2007 00:59:23 | More by bashiba
Photo of BryanCarey


3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This ale is a decent effort at making an amber ale and a good pour results in a beer that is a little hazy, but with a good amount of foam and an aroma that features the scents of biscuits and a touch of fruit.

The tastes present in this beer include toasted malt, citrus, caramel, pale malt, and bread. The beer finishes crisp and dry, and it offers a pleasant aftertaste.

My main problem with Red Tail Ale is that it doesn't have quite enough body to make it a classic. It is a good tasting ale, but the body of the beer leads to a somewhat weak, somewhat dissatisfying conclusion following each sip.

Red Tail Ale is a good ale and most will agree that it is crisp and offers some decent hop character. But it didn't quite meet my high expectations and thus I consider this only an average ale overall.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2007 05:34:05 | More by BryanCarey
Photo of russpowell


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

Pours caramel/orange with 3 fingers of off-white/sand-colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Slight citric malt

T: Grapefruit hops & a little bit of cracker up front. Lemon follows along with a hint of honey malt. Finishes with grapefruit, dryness& a little peppery hops

MF: Light/medium bodied, a little juicyness with medium carbonation

Drinks okay, this is shadow of what it was 10 years ago, where's the malt & hop guts??? Would do in a pinch

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2007 02:36:19 | More by russpowell
Photo of yourunclewalt

New York

1.58/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Hazy orange/amber body, little foamy lacing. Appearance is probably the strongest part of this beer.

S - Corn grits, little fusel alcohol.

T - Tastes like a macro lager with a sour / bitter finish

M - Watery / carbonation

D - Really very average / middle of the road, although that may be the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2007 02:17:06 | More by yourunclewalt
Photo of chadlebald


3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice amber color (to be expected of an "amber ale"!), with very little head. Inviting malt smell; nothing overpowering.

Hmm, the taste. Well, it's good, but I'm having trouble really describing what flavors are coming through. A bit 'coppery' I guess is what I'd say as the maltiness is not overly sweet (a good thing in my opinion!). The finish has a nice lingering hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is buttery and refreshing.

I'd call this a solid session brew, save for the fact that it goes above the 5% cutoff point! Speaking of, this is not a beer I'd expect to be 6%. Could sneak up on you if you're not careful!

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2007 05:45:09 | More by chadlebald
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is deep orange red and head is big and creamy initially. Retention is a ring with lacing all above it. Not bad looking. Smell is mostly sweet malt, caramel and toffee. Not a lot of hops hit the nose but there is some sort of outdoorsy earthy character. Weird creamy banana make an appearance as well. Tastes like a standard red ale with something else going on which I can't pinpoint and an elongated dry grape skin-like feel. Sweet malt flavors and creamy outdoors. Mouthfeel is interesting. Slight sour, bitterness and mild dryness with a creamy textured feel. Not bad and worth a try.

A slightly above average red ale with some sort of character.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2007 01:52:12 | More by tastybeer
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dullish orange/gold body, some haze hiding the initial carbonation streams. Topped by three fingers of level white foam. Lacing looks like fraying foam rubber (not necessarily bad, just a description).

Strong biscuit aroma with a little hay.

Sweet malt start seems a little thinnish. Mild earthy hops cut the sweetness. Slight and diffuse fruity taste seems all around but not focused anywhere. Slighty sweet aftertaste.

Thin mouthfeel seems a bit sloppy. Drinkability is ok because there is nothing overpowering or offensive, but nor is there any great enticement.

Back in the day, under the original owners in California this was considered to be a real flagship beer not just for the brewery but for craft beer in general. Sadly, that is far from the case now. Can't be sure if the beer is dumbed down or our expectations and tastes are raised, but drinking this calls up the phrase "what happened ?". Disappointing and not something I'd pick up outside of a variety pack anymore.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2007 20:53:10 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of CWiggins

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this as part of a Mendocino mixed twelve-pack. Admittedly, I wanted the case for the other beers, as red ale isn't a style I'm particular fond of, but I'm willing to give this a shot.

My glass of choice was an "ergonomic" pint from Dogfish Head. The beer poured a dark amber, and a one-finger, off-white head formed, only to dissipate quickly. The aroma is mainly of hops, with a sweet maltiness and a bit of fruit to round things out.

The flavor begins with a dark malts, but the hops soon overwhelms it, and I'm rapidly trying to decide how this is different from a big pale ale! (Oh yeah; the color!) It finishes with a creamy mouthfeel and a biscuity texture.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2007 00:54:33 | More by CWiggins
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color is clear amber-yellow, decent head. Aroma is decidedly malty with strong citrus hints and a whisper of hops. Flavor has nice balance of maltiness and hoppiness, fairly but not unpleasantly bitter, just a touch of orange. A refreshing and jazzy ale, a good party brew or companion to a meal.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2007 17:03:06 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice orange brown / clear / nice carbonation / nice head

Tart spicy floral American hops / sweet biscuit malt

Sweet toasty biscuit roasted malt / floral fruity little spicy hops / is indeed crisp / finishes tart with an odd little sulfur taste

Medium bodied / light carbonation / good foam

Enjoyable brew. I’d definitely do you again.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2007 21:51:18 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber. An impressive, sturdy, lumpy head of froth sits on top leaving clumps of webby lace in its wake. Maybe I got an exceptional 12-pack but this is a really fine looking beer - excellent retention throughout. Aroma has a dusty, woody, damp quality lingering above everything...caramel and toffee with a flicker of citrus fruit. Sweetish malt upfront, vaguely fruity - bitterness kicks in about halfway through followed by a rind-like hop astringency and pine sap. There's a surprising amount of yeasty-funkiness going on here. Medium bodied...seems quite dry overall.

Interesting stuff when you think about it, but its not something I can drink copious amounts of before wanting to move along...

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2007 01:46:33 | More by wedge
Photo of MiguelMandingo


3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend gave me a bottle of this - thanks Ross.

Poured the 12oz. bottle into my Gingerman pint glass.

Appearance - Golden translucent amber with a half finger head that dissipates really quickly.

Smell - Roasted malt and hops with a touch of citrus.

Taste - Better than I expected. This is more balanced than Mendocino's Eye of the Hawk IMHO. Smell and taste are extremely similar.

Mouthfeel - Very crisp. Some more carbonation would be nice.

Drinkability - One could easily session this one.

Not a bad amber ale, nothing mindblowing either. Give it a shot if you haven't. This is the second brew I have tried from Mendocino, and they taste very promising. I will definitely try more of their brews.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2007 23:33:32 | More by MiguelMandingo
Photo of zymurgy4all

New York

3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer has a nice roasty malty smell to it. The bottle I got came from NY, so I'm guessing Medocino has two breweries. It appears to be a nice amber colored beer with white lacing. It has a medium body, and a lasting bittering hoppy aftertaste. I don't taste the flavor hops as much, but the malt bill apparently takes care of that, since it tastes complex. Nice overall American Ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2007 23:37:24 | More by zymurgy4all
Photo of Billolick

New York

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?

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 02:20:10 | More by Billolick
Photo of BretSikkink


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

Decently hazed amber ale, the head is soapy, lacing is spotty and doesn't retain well. I get a fair amount of toasted grain, possibly a little adjunct-thin. Hops make a slight floral presence with a little pepper.

Light and crisp, easy drinker. Body is not bad, about right for a red ale, and good hop flavors too. Amber ale malts are about right, set back in the throat, there's a little fruitiness. The pack mentions a dry finish which sounds about right, it becomes a little spicy as the beer warms.

Alcohol is noticeable, slips in behind the hops but seems to get knocked out by the sweet malt-husk fullness. Good drinking ale, got it on a whim with no prior info and no freshness date, this was an excellent choice.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2007 03:51:50 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of CpnYates


3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

My second of four beers out of the mendocino brewing company sampler, enjoyed as winter takes its last hold of the east.

This beer is good, but ale's like this are quite common. I could drink five or six, and not develop a distinct opinion or tell you one trait that distinguishes it from other ales of this style.

That said, a good enjoyable standard beer, and was well enjoyed tonight.
Buy six of these and six redhook's and compare.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2007 02:14:53 | More by CpnYates
Photo of spaceranger


3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had never tried the red tail before and as I perused the usual offerings at the local retailer it just sort of caught my eye. from mendocino. o.k., they should know something about brew. found the ale quite interesting. the biscuit and hop thing jumped out at me first. plenty of fruitiness as well. nice head, beautiful body color. smooth. very drinkable. I grabbed these after a session on the skeet field and they were just the ticket. I would drink this brew again. deeelicious.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2007 13:20:30 | More by spaceranger
Photo of cjgator3


3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden amber color with a small fizzy off white head. The nose is mostly toasted and biscuity malt with some caramel and a faint whiff of hops. The taste is dominated by a delicious malt backbone with a nice hop finish. This brew is balanced nicely and highly drinkable. Overall, this is one I wouldn't mind having again.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2007 18:14:45 | More by cjgator3
Photo of MiScusi


3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle.

This beer had a fairly malty taste but a fairly distinguishable bitterness lurking in the background from the hops, and also a little bit of a leafy hop flavor as well. A good mouthfeel and easy taste makes this pretty drinkable though.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2007 05:30:21 | More by MiScusi
Photo of JohnnyM2002


3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a chalice at 45 degrees.

A - Pours a medium-golden color with a small head...good carbonation. Expected a darker color from an amber.

S - Aroma is a little thin, but piney hops and semi-sweet malt rise into the air.

T - Hops take on more of a earthy/piney note as they sit atop a nutty, semi-sweet malt backbone. Unfortunately, it never really becomes a true hopback amber...flavors are close though.

M - Lighter-medium body with a crisp finish. Some bitterness comes through as it warms...until that point, more of a sweeter aftertaste.

D - All in all, a pretty drinkable beer, but not the best representation of the style. Not sure of the ABV (website doesn't list it, either), but I could put away a few of these in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2007 00:09:51 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2007 05:13:44 | More by jcdiflorio
Red Tail Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 812 ratings.