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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.

816 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 816
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: 816 | Reviews: 465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dbalsock


3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark orange/amber wiith a 1 finger white head on the pour. Decent carbonation turns into no carbonation within seconds, and the head disappears abruptly from view in a blink of an eye. Looked great for a second, guess all I can do now is drink it.

Smell: Caramel sweetness jumps out immediately with a light hops presence. Also a hint of molasses.

Taste: Light citrusy hops mix with the caramel and occasionally overpower it. Ends with bitter hops and a hint of diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, a rather bitter, I found this to be well balanced in mouthfeel. A complete experience.

Drinkability: The hops impede the drinkability a little, but its still a refreshing beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2006 13:39:33 | More by dbalsock
Photo of Phocion


2.25/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured a medium amber color with an explosive white head that settles into a good thick finger that lingers on well after the pour.

Aroma is of a sweet toffee/caramel malt followed by flowery hops.

Very light sweet malts with a mild bitter finish, though the hops are not very flavorful aside from the "bitter." After a couple swallows, all you can really taste is the light bitterness.

Very thin and watery. Not much substance at all, in the taste or on the palate. Wouldn't recommend anyone tries this, you won't be missing much of anything at all.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2006 01:24:31 | More by Phocion
Photo of RedChrome


3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium amber color. A huge thick stark white head retained for a long time. A good amount of slow moving carbonation can be seen. Nice thick lacing.

A nice malt body hit my nose first. There is a second light hops aroma that balances a bit of spice to the sweetness of the malt.

Has an overall malt flavor with no subtle notes that stand out. The taste is a nice solid flavor for the style, but shows no complexity. There is nothing surprising about the flavor that impressed, but had no drawbacks.

I liked the amount of carbonation on the feel in my mouth. The body was a shade on the watered side, but still retained some signs of sticking to mouth surfaces.

Overall a nice average beer. Nothing to go hunting for in aroma or flavor. Nothing to make it stick out in its style, however it is a good, everyday ale from the style. I would enjoy this as a nice alternative when drinking with friends at a cookout.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2006 22:05:14 | More by RedChrome
Photo of SethB2


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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a golden wheat color with a decent enough head. The color isn't right for what I consider an amber ale. It's too light. Either way, it isn't an unattractive beer at all.

S - Has some lagerish charateristics that I don't really like. Graininess mostly. There is also a very noticeable sweetness that helps a bit. Amost honey-like.

T - Good. Very bready roasted malts with enough hop profile to keep it from getting out of control. Over the biscuity texture, the honey sweetness carries it down well.

M - Medium and very good. Smooth across the tongue and finishes a tad bitter without being dry.

D - Good as well. This is a session beer. Easy drinking and not overly complex.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2006 02:24:20 | More by SethB2
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?

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2006 01:12:41 | More by GnomeKing
Photo of mrmojoe

South Carolina

3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a true darkish amber and forms a bubbly off-white head which disapears almost entirely in a couple of minutes. The smell is somewhat fuity and hoppy. Tastes slightly of roasted caramel and maybe a hint of apricot, with a nice bitter quality all the way through. The mouthfeel is crisp with plenty of carbonation.

This is a good brew, yet no one thing really stands out. It's redeeming quality is it's balance, and overall it's crisp, refreshing, and highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2006 00:56:41 | More by mrmojoe
Photo of psinderson


3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Murky amber to red look with a good standing off white head.

Smell: Definitely malty...sweet with a touch of fruitiness.

Taste: Very citrusy. The malt presense is there with a clear hop tartness. Very faint toasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin, nothing remarkable.

Drinkability: This one went down pretty well.

This beer was not quite what I expected. Much more tart, but I didn't necessarily find it a bad thing, just unexpected.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2006 01:22:53 | More by psinderson
Photo of cyberbmcd

New York

3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had a few extra bucks in my pocket and took a trip to my local distributor. I was looking to be adventurous I was going to buy 2 six packs of something I never tried before. It was my lucky day.

This is the red beer that Killian's wants to be when it grows up.

It pours a delicious red with a light tan head that dissipates slowly but completely. the lacing is near perfect. The Aroma is earthy and pungent as a good ale should be, no skunk, just bite.

The mouthfeel is smooth but not creamy, crisp and dry like a good merlot. not fruity at all but a bit sweet.

Overall this is a great beer to sit and watch a movie with or to have on a nite with company and cards.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2006 02:32:42 | More by cyberbmcd
Photo of danielharper


3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased from Strong Bros. Liquor Store, Fayetteville, TN.

A: Pours deep orange, reddish amber color with a thick off-white head. Some carbonation, a bit hazy.

S: Sweet, slightly sour fruit flavors with a touch of hop bitterness. Interesting. Inviting.

T: Apple fruity taste up front, nice bitter mushy hops aftertaste, with an interesting yeastiness in between. A bit discontinuous -- the flavors don't mesh as well as I'd like -- but interesting.

M: Heavily carbonated. Hops are mild in their flavor but stinging enough to the tongue to give a slightly painful mouthfeel. Unbalanced.

D: I wouldn't want more than one or two. I might buy it again, but not anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2006 20:37:53 | More by danielharper
Photo of Boneheadmx


4.45/5  rDev +29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out to a beautiful golden amber with a small head that fades away quickly. The smell is nice with a bit of malt and hops. The taste is rather malty and hoppy, with a nice amount of both in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is also rather good, with just that right amount of carbonation and a decent amount of thickness. This is one of the most drinkable beers I have ever had, and I will buy some more next time.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2006 09:19:54 | More by Boneheadmx
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Mendocino Red Tail Ale pours out an amber color with a small head that quickly fades away. Malty aroma with some floral notes. Toasted malt flavor. Some ale fruitiness. This beer has a sharp bitting flavor and an off-putting astringency. There's not much hop flavor. Other than a dry finish, this beer does not taste particularly good. Carbonation is a high. The mouthfeel is a little thin. This beer is all around average.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2006 22:43:22 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of evilbeefchan


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

Poured a deep red-orange amber color, contrasted nicely by off-white head. Nice aroma, fruity and malty, makes you draw a deep full breath. First sip granted a bit of bitterness and slight carbonation burn when rolling on tongue, but melts away as malt kicks in. Leaves mouth feeling crisp and clean. Great everyday drinker, especially on a cool spring evening.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2006 04:19:52 | More by evilbeefchan
Photo of Tang07


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

I'm not normally a big fan of Amber Ails, but I must say that I enjoy drinking this brew.

It pours into the glass and looks great. A deep reddish amber with slight cloudiness.

The beer is malty with a nice mellow hop finish. Very ballanced.

The mouthfeel is very good because of the balance. The beer is very drinkable and doesn't last long in my reefer.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2006 04:19:32 | More by Tang07
Photo of ski271


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

Pours a medium copperish-amber with a slight red tinge. The head is small, off-white, creamy and quickly diminishes to a thin film. Some weak lacing that slowly fades back down to the film as you go. The smell is moderately sweet up front, mostly caramel, with some floral hops supporting it. The taste shows more malt dominance, caramel and dark whole wheat bread, with some light citrus showing up from the supporting hops. Something buttery in there too. The finish is medium-short in duration, bitter and floral. It has a medium body, bitter, slightly astringent texture and moderate carbonation. Not a bad amber but nothing special. Fairly basic but done nicely, and I was glad to have tried it.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2006 00:52:37 | More by ski271
Photo of IntriqKen


4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty Amber with a slight haze when poured into a glass. Nice 2 finger head that melts very slowly to a thick lacing.
Aroma is sweet malts and clean grass hops I note a little bready yeast there as well.
Taste is a balance of the sweet malt and sharp hops....totally balanced...smooth and refreshing.
Aftertaste is only lightly drying as the malt flavors still exist beautifully with the hops as it finishes.
Nice mild alcohol warmth in the afterwards between sips.
Very nice

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2006 22:42:17 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of beckerboots

Ontario (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very average rendition of an American Amber. Directionally challenged in its balance. Poured to a deep amber colour with no lacing and retention. Smell is its saving merit as carmel malts and sweet fruitiness were readily apparent to the nose. Initially left a slight dry film in the mouth that quickly dissipated after further consumption. Would like to become more knowledgeable in this beer style catagory before partaking of another Red Tail Ale in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2006 17:11:49 | More by beckerboots
Photo of NEhophead


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

Thin caramel, copper in color. A weak off-white head leaving a less than intact sheet. Non-existant lacing.

Mildly sweet caramel malt aroma. Faint hints of floral hops with light fruit esters: apple, orange.

Astringent floral hops; rustic, dark wheat. Unsweetened and bitter caramel with hints of coffee. Fruit-esters: apple, lemon, cherry. Astringent, muddy bitterness; chlorine-like. An aftertaste of caramel wheat.

Medium bodied; gritty yet filmy. Perfume-like.

Unbalanced; just not a pleasant tasting ale IMO. The astringent-perfume flavor and texture becomes annoying.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2006 01:54:13 | More by NEhophead
Photo of feloniousmonk


2.63/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dull bronze color, slim, soon-gone head.

Caramel sweetness in aroma, then bittersweet from light hops...ginger, toffee, and apples...rather run-of-the-mill.

Brisk bitterness greets the tongue, there's a pucker, a wince, and then the swallow....leaves the palate with a quickness without imparting much flavor. A muddied mix of those flavors mentioned in the aroma slop about, with a trickle of astringency. Doesn't taste all that good.

A mild ale, with lean body, little finish, and forgettable flavor. Actually, the taste is more off-putting as I near the middle of the glass.

Not recommended.

(Music: "Djelika", Toumani Diabate, Keletigui Diabate, & Basekou Kouyate)

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2006 23:49:50 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Stimack

New York

3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gave one a try after purchasing a 12 pack of mixed brews from Mendocino. The brew poured to a reddish, copper color with a small off white head that had some retention and left lacing at the top of the glass. The aroma is nice but basic. Malt aromas seem to be the most prevalent with a slight hop smell. The taste is good, very smooth brew. Has a sweet flavor to it that seems to be from the slight caramel malt flavor. Also can notice some hop taste but seems just to be there to balance out the beer and is welcome. Over all I would not classify this as a great brew but is solid. Would be an excellent session brew and a good gateway brew for Macro drinkers.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2006 23:15:01 | More by Stimack
Photo of sabrills70

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with no freshnes date visible. Pours a medium amber orange with a 1 1/2 finger head, good longevity and equally good lace. No huge aromas but light caramel malt presence with slightly floral hop notes. Sweet caramel flavors up front, not big malts though, follower by a spicy hop flavor and lingering bitterness. Closer to an APA than a amber as it is heavy on the hop side. A decent beer but nothing over the top. Good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2006 00:37:52 | More by sabrills70
Photo of soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Misty apple juice-amber, ranges from dull yellow along the edges to opaque walnut shell-brown in the middle, with a bone-colored, soapy head. Good retention.

Smell: Salty, mineral aromas hit me first, followed by hops, attractive estery notes and a spectre of vanilla. Malts are grainy and subdued. As it warms, a Highland Scotch whisky aroma develops... awesome.

Taste: Nutty, bready malts, a proud, leafy (iceberg lettuce-like) hop character, salt, pear-like sweetness. This is a good, well-balanced if slightly bland red ale with a great hop taste. I'd love to try it with spicy food.

Mouthfeel: So creamy! If not for a slight cloyingness in the finish, this would be a 5.

Drinkability: This isn't my favorite red ale, but it is quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2006 02:24:56 | More by soulgrowl
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2006 22:46:19 | More by kaimcm
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

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

This poured a nice orange amber color with an off white thin head that lasts nicely. The smell is fruity, floral, and hoppy with a touch of alcohol. Hint of metal skunk? The taste is nice, hoppy but the malts come through and dominate and the end of a taste. A good balance but either i am missing something or it is just mediocre. The weird metal taste is kinda odd. Maybe i got an old bottle. Fairly drinkable, I just need to try another one soon. Smooth mouthfeel. I will revisit.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2006 07:14:33 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of rustymoore


3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours flat, with little to no head, light, cloudy orange in color. Very hoppy, orange flavors...reminds of Blue Moon. Carmel and malts very apparent as well. Overall a solid beer especially for the price (around $1.50 a bottle). I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a lighter flavor

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2006 17:29:45 | More by rustymoore
Photo of electrified


3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle. Copper to orange in color, a decent head but dissipates quickly without much lace. Aroma is malty, weak citrus hops. Hops are pronouced more in the taste than the smell, and taste is balanced nicely with toasty malt. This is a crisp ale, well carbonated and dry hoppiness. This is a real session beer for me. I find this a good standby.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2006 02:34:42 | More by electrified
Red Tail Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 816 ratings.