Red Wheelbarrow - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Red WheelbarrowRed Wheelbarrow

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

832 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 832
Reviews: 114
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 8.37%
Wants: 26
Gots: 122 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sleestak12 on 10-23-2013

Like many of our beers, Red Wheelbarrow (which started out as a pilot batch brewed by Brewer Dan Roberts) doesn’t fit neatly into a style category — think of it as a stronger, more hop-forward interpretation of a traditional red ale. Red Wheelbarrow is not, however, a “red IPA” — there is robust malt character (think raisin and fig) on both the nose and palate that temper the abundant hop presence (think citrus fruit).
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 832 | Reviews: 114
Reviews by thatoneguymike:
More User Reviews:
Photo of CHickman
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours blood red color with a lot of bubbles racing up the brew like champagne that leads to a creamy 2 finger khaki head with tons if tiny bubbles in the head, which faded very slowly and left very good lacing coating the sides.

Smells very hoppy up front, with red grapefruit, lemon zest, citrus hops, orange peel, pine cone/piney hops, some other tropical fruit, caramel, toffee, brad crust/toast, graham cracker, floral notes and a touch of sweetness like grains or malt which fermented. Really nice nose that's complex but has enough balance to remind me of Nugget Nectar. Every time I go to take a sip I get a fresh blast of hops as the glass approaches.

Tastes also starts off hoppy with citrus fruit, grapefruit, orange peel and some mild spices like coriander and pepper, but it shifts to chocolate malt, biscuit, toffee and roasted grains for a tug of war of the taste-buds. Second wave of flavor has lemongrass, dry hay, fresh cut flowers and some trailing caramel which brings out a buttery sweetness. Very mild citrus hop bitterness with hints if the piney hops and a malty backbone that lingers as the mouth dries out.

Mouthfeel is on the creamy side and almost slick with mild to average carbonation and a medium body that leans towards the chewy side with a little texture; very mild bitterness, nice balance and a slightly sweet malt/grain aftertaste that goes down very easy.

This beer completely hides the ABV and is really enjoyable, like all beers from these guys - I've come to expect great things from Maine and this is another solid beer in their arsenal. I'll definitely have this any chance I get.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle picked up @ Julio's. Bottled 04 Nov 2014.

A mildly hazy dark red with a thick, dense, long-lasting light brown head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this looks fantastic. The nose is a big bruising blast of hops. Resiny and pithy grapefruit, pine and preserved lemons are very noticeable, along with a moderate malt backbone, consisting of caramel and a little toffee. While the balance here is strongly in favor of the hops, there is a nice wholeness, a fullness, that comes from the tastefully designed malt bill. Caramelized grapefruit juice is how I'd describe this.

The palate opens with a big, juicy bitterness, pungent, resiny, fruity grapefruit, pine and orange peel. This is followed by a blend of caramel, a little buckwheat honey and burnt sugar before a long and brilliantly bitter finish dominated by the most gorgeously oily and resiny feel. This is by no means the oiliest beer there ever was, nor does it come close, but instead exudes great depth. This is further enhanced by a soft and supple carbonation. Fantastic stuff, Maine Beer has always impressed with the mouthfeel on their beers but this one is remarkable. Recommended for fans of Nugget Nectar.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got in a BIF from ZebraCakez. 500 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/4/2014. Pours hazy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, caramel, toast, brown sugar, light toffee, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of big citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, pine, caramel, toast, brown sugar, light toffee, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon/orange zest, pine, caramel, toast, brown sugar, light toffee, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of citrus/tropical hops and dark/bready malt flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice red ale. All around good complexity, balance, and robustness of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of maximum12
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%

Thanks to pjkelley82 for this beer, arriving as an extra last week. 500 ML bottle split with my wife while watching a little Justified. I think if I talk like Raylan my wife might…never mind.

The pour is more orange than red, which makes me wonder about Maine wheelbarrows. Or colors. Plenty of carbonation. The nose consists of rusty caramel, really, I can’t get any hops up my nose at all. Pretty underwhelming.

Red Wheelbarrow brings nothing glib to mind. Tons of hops coat the tongue & create third degree hop burns front to back: wow. Bitter, bitter, bitter, with secondary symptoms of orange & tangerines. Rusted caramel malts cut the anger somewhat, but the bitterness returns with a vengeance to hop up the finish, too. Half a shorty bottle is enough.

Half a hop vine clearly went into this hop bottle, making it the harshest, hoppiest red I’ve ever laid tongue on. Interesting & good.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/22/13.
In a MBC pint glass this beer was a hazy rust color. There as a thick tan head, and a moderate amount of sticky lace.

Mostly a citrus aroma. Some grassy hops and caramel malt.

Grapefruit taste up front, followed by the grassy hops. Sweet caramel background.

A hop-forward beer, easy to drink.

Photo of far333
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark honey colroed with a half inch head of oatmeal colored foam that lingers long, and leaves big webs and pinwheels of lace on the insides of the glass as it's drained.

Inviting aroma of toffee, cinnamon, brown sugar, and grapefruit.

Bright and pungent hoppy flavors upfront, full of pine and grapefruit, assertive bitterness. A subtle malt backbone rides beneath, but hops fully overpowers.

Full mouthfeel, puckers the cheeks, finishes with a carbonation tingle. Great beer.

Photo of Roguer
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge, frothy beige head, great retention and lacing. Brew is a hazy, pulpy, translucent dark reddish-brown.

Big notes of citrus (ruby red grapefruit, pith, and lemon) and pine. Biscuit and sweet toasty grains take a bit more to detect. Smells like a classic IPA.

Flavor follows the nose, mostly, with a much grainier malt presence, some honey, and a very green, leafy, herbal, earthy hop note. Citrus is more a cleansing back-end presence, while pine resin is present throughout.

Lively and smooth feel; medium; long finish with wet retention but drying alcohol. Very drinkable.

This is a very good hoppy amber that easily could be called a Red IPA (regardless of what MBC claims). It's very hoppy, but it's got a dry, grainy malt bill that comes through very strong and clean.

Photo of alexbutler
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Well, as advertised, this is one impressively red beer. A glazed cream head lays over a dark cherry red body... a very dignified look, if a beer ever had one.

S - Deep chocolate tones, a nice malty ale here. The smell doesn't overpower, but it's sweet and rich just the same.

T - Wow, really rounded taste. There's a nuttiness here that bends with the hops extremely well. Not too fruity, not too bitter. Just a well balanced sweet ale. Delicious.

M - With its light carbonation, this ale has just enough kick to hang with you. Every sip feels full bodied... you won't wanna rush it with this beer.

O - I really think this might be my favorite from Maine Beer Company. I've always been impressed with their output, and this is no exception. It does, however, come with a hefty price tag.... this beer is not cheap (at least in Massachusetts) Not a huge fan of that. But for that once in a awhile splurge, be sure to try this.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.26/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

500 mL bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled 10/22/13.

Appearance - This thing overflowed by imperial pint glass. I didn't realize what was happening until I had beer all over the counter. Oh well. A four finger cream head covered a murky reddish brown body. Lace clings inside the glass and the layer of foam on the beer never fades.

Smell - Grassy hops. Lots of nutty malts. Caramel.

Taste - Really grassy. Harsh grassy hops. Almost no sweetness to this thing. Nutty malts. Toasted malts. Grassy and bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Very bitter. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Probably the most disappointing beer I've had from Maine. The hops are really harsh in this. Difficult to drink the whole bottle.

Photo of Cjett
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Bottled 9/9/14. Poured into a Waterford highball

A: Dark reddish brown

S: fruity, citrusy hops with a bit of caramel

T: Still getting the citrus hops up front, but a biscuity flavor takes over in a big way with a touch of raisin sweetness

M: medium body with a lot of carbonation

O: Maine does simple beer wonderfully and this fits that trend. Glad I was able to taste it fresh, because that seems to be key with their beers

Photo of Mises85
4.79/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this in a tulip at 50 or so degrees dated 052014

Appearance: Beautiful red color with a classic MBO Pillowy head that resists dissipation. 3 fingers to be exact.

Smell: IPA with big citrus and pineapple notes. I got some malty character although I couldn't tell whether it really was a dark fruit character as defined by the description. Extreme freshness.

Taste: ale taste with a strong hoppy finish. Some caramel coming through and some biscuit.

Mouthfeel: just right amount of carbonation, very bread like, with medium creaminess.

Overall: Another fantastic beer from MBO. My only gripe would be that the smell seemed the same from each of their other beers but who knows. A fantastic beer nonetheless.

Photo of antott0523
4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

4/24/2014 bottle date. Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Rich amber with a red hue. Foamy two finger head that leaves a lot of lace. Very attractive beer.

Smell: This beer is extremely fresh and crisp. Citrus hop notes of sweet grapefruit, and a touch of pine. There is a prominent malt presence that manifests itself with fruity notes of peach and fig. A faint hint of alcohol.

Taste: Flavorful malt profile, but the hops are still the star of the show. Not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, yet round. A light tingle from the hops.

Overall: This beer is extremely drinkable. MBC makes a point to say that this beer is not a "red IPA." Although I prefer a greater hop presence in a red ale, this beer is perfect for what it is intended to be. For that reason, taste gets a five. Bravo MBC for achieving such a scrumptious beer that showcases the hop and malt profile in such a fresh and crisp manner. This is my first time trying anything from Maine Beer Company, and I look very forward to trying others if this beer is any reflection of the quality coming from this brewery.

Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Relatively clear tarnished orange hue with an orange tinged head. Incredibly hoppy nose. Lots of pine and bitter citric rinds with a touch of soapyness. Malt comes through on the nose as well, hearty breads and dried dark fruits.

Like other maine brews light body with brisk carbonation but full feeling in the mouth. Subtle malt character on the front end with faint dark fruit sweetness, very dry hearty toasted baked breads roll into big hop character on the back end. Citrus and pine, slightly earthy and bold with the bitterness. A floral flavor lingers and bitterness builds with each sip. Hop and malt combine and create an almost savory sensation along the mid-palate. A touch of warm on the swallow. Mildly tannic and mouth scrubbing. Flavors linger for a while. Rustic tasting yet bright and fresh at the same time. A very good beer and extremely clean but very hard to get and very expensive in my area. I prefer Zoe.

Photo of Samp01
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark cloudy amber with a large lasting beige head, good lacing. Aroma starts with a floral citrus nose, slowly the tangy notes of grapefruit find there way thru followed by a sweet caramel flavor, some orange comes in as well on the back end. A medium to full body smooth on the palate, good carbonation and a sticky mouth feel. The finish is a combination of sweet caramel malt tones, citrus, orange and a tangy grapefruit hops bitterness flavor are left lingering on the palate and taste buds. Overall a wonderfully full flavored and tasty brew for those who dare. enjoy with caution.

Photo of puboflyons
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle stamped 042214. Sampled on June 27, 2014.

It is an attractive looking medium amber pour with reddish hues when held to the light building up to a huge off-white lingering head. Good clarity. Looks wonderful.

The roasted caramel malts are masked on the nose by the floral, earthy, and grassy hop sensations that really let their egos get in the way. A hophead's delight.

The body is about medium but smooth.

Like the aroma the roasted barley malts kick in on the first sip but the hops quickly scuttle that and take things over bringing out this piney, floral, bitter finish. Quite a hopped up version of amber red.

Photo of MDHopster
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not a big fan of red ales but this one is worth drinking any day.

Photo of emerge077
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper auburn color, billowing head of parchment colored foam. Sheets of lace in the glass, sticky and long lasting.

Initial hoppy aroma once the bottle was opened, slightly dank, but it dissipated quickly once the beer was poured. Toasted grains, vague marmalade.

Bitter resiny hops and a toasted grainy malt character, slightly medicinal hop character. Aftertaste is clean and toasty. Medium bodied and clean, moderate bitterness, vaguely sweet and bitter marmalade flavors. Dry and bitter aftertaste, lots of residual malt sweetness. In the vein of super fresh Alpha King on a good day.

Photo of drewtys
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from a bottle into a half pint glass

A- pours hazy golden red with a decent tan head. Great color.

S- crisp hop with some malt and caramel on the nose

T- very strong front-end hoppiness which quickly transitions to a more rounded flavor with a little lingering bitterness.

M - smooth and light but still fizzy

Wow, my first from Maine and I'm very impressed. Took my time with this one cause the complexity kept surprising me. Will buy again.

Photo of smakawhat
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled Nov 12th 2013.

A cloudy but fairly consistent deep red and sunset orange amber body. Head is large and billowing with a little bit of out of control. Faint tan and very soapy with a thick four to five finger tall head that just will not quit.

Real nice nose. Soft hop and juicy with light caramel sensing brown sugar. Controlled sweetness. Highly aromatic with not much discerning bitterness but a slightly earthy quality and softened dankness that's hard to pin down and smaller than it's fruiter hop front. Great balance.

Juicy pine and matching tropical and citrus juices on the first sip. Carbonation is a little bit spritzy but doesn't detract. Malt depth is solid like most Maine Co beers, there are some real soft chocolate notes that just want to peak into some citrus hop angles, even if the body is quite light. Very lingering grapefruit juicy quality and huge zesty oils to match.

Overall just a really good solid and balanced amber, but definitely with a large hop presence to go with it. Another Maine offering that will please, particularly the hopheads.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: medium amber body with a nice head of tan that left slight lace down the glass

S: pine and dark citric pith hop, some herb and flower, some rich dark maltiness

T: hearty malt base underscores the hops. There's that almost coffee-roast-ish essence from the darker malts in this ale, augmented by warm hops suggesting pine wood, earth, dark herbal notes; sweetness is mild, bitterness is low - a very subtle flavor

M: smooth, medium weight, some fizziness, comforting

O: more akin to Torpedo than Nugget Nectar, mellow, roasty, malty, and slightly hoppy - slight chew, slight sparkle. Absolutely a beer to beer of you spot one.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium to dark red amber with a fine light two-finger, walnut colored head that kept growing for quite a while after pouring. Looks like a sundae. Aroma of piney and citrus hops, light malt. Flavor is dense, biscuit malt, resiny pine and citrus hops, grapefruit rind, hints of lots of odd flavors, like holiday spicing and chocolate. Finishes with a pleasant citrus hop and fruit bitterness. Medium bodied with good creaminess, nice mouth feel. This is a beer that seems to have a lot going on, but the flavors are so well integrated that it is difficult to identify them. Very pleasing and balanced. Great dry malt and nice hops. Excellent. Thanks to Vikki for bringing this gem back from Maine.

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Like getting spanked by my baby mama after the midnight hour, "Thank you, baby mamma, may I have another?!" The caramel is perfectly balanced by a hint of toffee that would even make Willy Wonka have to cancel his viagra prescription.

This one, my peeps, is a keeper.

Photo of metter98
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that gradually died down but consistently left a short head covering the surface, a thick collar around the edge, and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose along with strong notes of caramel malts.
T: The taste starts out with flavors of citrusy hops, which transition to caramel malts and then fade away to hints of pine resin hops. A light to moderate amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite assertive and hoppy for a red ale—it's almost like a hybrid between a red ale and an IPA. I found there to be a good balance between the malts and hops.

Note: Bottled on 11/12/13

Photo of mfnmbvp
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle (1 pint 0.9 fl oz.) with bottled on date 10/22/2013 printed on the label. My second beer from Maine Beer Company, acquired at the local Binny's. Cool looking minimalistic label art; excited to finally have this beer!

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Gentle pour conjures four giant billowy fingers of fluffy khaki head. Body is a dark ruby with orange and chestnut brown highlights when held to the light. Thin scattered ribbons of lacing. Looks very nice.

S - Smell is of bright zesty citrus hops. Blood orange, grapefruit, pineapple, caramel malt, and some cloves.

T - Taste is of clean hop bitterness, grapefruit, blood orange, lemongrass zest, bready caramel / amber malts, and just a hint of the indistinct spice. Taste doesn't really pair with the nose too well, but it works.

M - Feel is light and creamy, with some coarse carbonation. Medium bodied with grapefruit bitterness lingering on the palate.

Overall, a bit of a strange beer from Maine Beer Company, but I enjoyed it. Fairly simple, and a bit inconsistent with itself, but a nice sipper to be sure. Glad to have tried it.

Maine Beer Company Red Wheelbarrow ---4/5.

Photo of HattedClassic
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a fairly creamy light tan head that lasts quite a while. The beer itself is a dark, cloudy red with hints of orange and brown. Leaves some lacing behind but not a lot and in clumps. The smell has a strong hop presence with an even stronger roasted and caramel malt nose. The caramel malts seem to dominate the smell and the hops compliment it rather than dominate. The taste is different from the smell. While the caramel and roast malt notes are still there, the hops tend to dominate the pallate. The mouthfeel is smooth and bubbly with a slightly dry finish. Overall, a fantastic beer and worth getting.

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Red Wheelbarrow from Maine Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 832 ratings.