Red Giant - Element Brewing Company

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Red GiantRed Giant

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BA SCORE
88
very good

45 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 45
Hads: 122
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 6.02%
Wants: 16
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Element Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.25% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: indiapaleale on 02-25-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 122
Photo of Opportunivore
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a wonderful find. A beer that appears unrefined and yet improves with each sip and temperature change. As the beer warms even more flavors and smells appear. The IBU were more apparent cold and much more rolled and enjoyable as it came up in temp. A really enjoyable beer on its own or with a meal. We tried it with grilled turkey and really enjoyed the play. Worth a shot. (378 characters)

Photo of ComputerBeer
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best bottle conditioned beer ever! Rich red color, laced all the way. Earthy aroma, possibly EKG? bitterness balanced carmel malt notes. Very hazy, yeast did not settle but it is conditioned in the bottle after all. I have not seen this beer on tap, I think you can only get in in the 750ml bottles? (311 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +19%

This does not strike me as an American Amber or Red Ale. There is a sour tartness on the nose along with cherry and other fruits over rich malt that do not belong to the style.
The beer pours a deep garnet brown under a moussey 2" persistent tan tinted foam cap.
The attack on the palate starts with big malt, tart, fruit, cherry then a big bitter hop presence to bring it on home. Lingering bitter fruit flavors. Good balance between the tart flavors, the malty sweetness, the bitter hops and the alcohol.
The very creamy body and very fine soft carbonation suggest a touch of wild yeast. It is medium bodied and very smooth. If this is indeed an American Amber Ale then I lucked out and got an infected bottle. (713 characters)

Photo of BlackMath
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just shared this 25oz bottle a few moments ago and was overall happy with it. The way the bottle is packaged is awesome. The label is printed on paper and wrapped around a blank brown bottle like a present. Pours a dark red amber color. Overall this beer has a balanced taste but also has very subtle complexities throughout. Awesome beer, worth a try, however it is on the pricier side. (387 characters)

Photo of gfreed
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I didn't realize when I was drinking this at the Cambridge Common that Element is a Massachusetts brewery, which makes this beer all the more pleasant to review. Red Giant is probably the only beer I've had that actually looks polished and shiny, like a new pair of shoes, with a dense walnut color that appears rubyish around the edges. Loads of grapefruit and something along the lines of chocolate jimmies in the aroma, with edges of coffee. The body seemed strangely heated and taut, but eased after warming up a bit. A nice slam of malt up front in the taste, followed by chocolate and cherries; a tad sour but quite refreshing even at this ABV and density. A slight hint of booze rides along the long, hoppy tail, and leaves a warm, lingering glow of sour fruit afterwards.

This was exceptional. Looking forward to hunting down Element's other offerings. (862 characters)

Photo of Altrurian
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Element's prolix but eloquent wrapper surrounds a corked and capped bomber. The cork yields after considerable effort and an extraordinarily loud and satisfying report. The decanted liquid is a beautiful deep auburn, surmounted by a frothy, uneven, tan head that is surprisingly short-lived. No cling to speak of.

The beer has a reserved wood-and-leather flavor, with a baking chocolate backdrop. Each draw from the pilsner glass has a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Initial maltiness leads to an expectation of sweetness; a welling of boozy volatility elicits bracing for a bitter finish; then a surprising, subtle, carob-like sendoff wraps things up. The beer's feel is all foam and cream. A nice piece of work from an apparently brainy brewer. (753 characters)

Photo of bum732
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crimson red, nice creamy head, good lacing. Smells of light caramel malt, dark fruits, citrus hops, tart cherries, soft apple and rasberry notes, floral notes, mostly daisies. Taste is very similar, fruity esters dominate the light caramel sweetness with a good dose of citrus bitterness as it tails off. Touch of roastiness in the finish, slightly dry. Good moderate carbonation and creamy mouthfeel.

This is a terrific beer, i was blown away by how powerful the esters were in this beer without being too solvent like. Great body and loved the blast of hops and slightly roasty finish, a very unique beer, never had anything like this. Great offering from a brand new brewery, i'll make sure to make the long drive again to try their other beers. Highly recommend. (775 characters)

Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Poured a dark tea color in a Pretty things Balloon Glass with a 2F head.
I switched to a snifter which enhances the aroma, taste and finish.

At a colder temp, the beer's aroma and taste are more akin to a sour. Very bitter, sour cherry-like flavor.

This beer is best served at 60F- or cellar temp as recommended by the brewer. The taste mellows out at warmer temps: caramel, hoppy bitterness, and similar aroma/taste to a sour, but not quite as pronounced.

Style? This isn't a "red ale," , like a Lagunitas Imperial Red, or a Troegs Nuggett Nectar. It is a combo of different styles- which doesn't matter. The beer is distinctive and well crafted.

Another unusual standout beer from Element. (700 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

10/02/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Malts, a sweet espresso & a hint of smoke are the greeting. Medium body & a nice lingering aftertaste, but with an 8% ABV this will be a one & done....for now. (197 characters)

Photo of wmcneill26
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The unadorned bottle is wrapped in paper with the company logo. After unwrapping, a cork must be popped (no corkscrew required). Presentation is excellent. Makes you feel like you're pouring champagne.

When I poured into the glass, the head was absolutely amazing. A few inches thick and clung to the glass. Head lasted quite a while, which was almost annoying because I picked too small of a glass and had to wait for the head to die down so I could continue the pour, lol!

Great smell. Regarding the color, I really don't see the "red" so much. To me, my pour seemed like a very dark red bordering on burnt sienna or brown.

Taste has a sharp, earthy, malty bite to it that seems like it might be overpowering at first, but quickly resides. Drinkability is smooth and fulfilling. The beer has a nice body to it, like a stout.

The aftertaste has a sharp bite, but is not overly annoying. I would definitely recommend this beer to both malt and hops lovers. It has a nice balance between the two. (999 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep ruby brown body with rich tan head 3 fingers-thick; good head retention; drops some lace

S: floral and herbal hoppiness, some sweet dark malt aromas

T: hearty malts, molasses and pine, bitter, roasty hops; flavors shift nicely, and bring up savory beer stew flavors and rugged dark caramelly malt notes

M: well-carbonated, solid medium-weight body, great chewiness; nice bitter close, some sticky sweetness residue

O: I've only had a few "red ales" and they remind me of a cross between an American strong ale and a DIPA - this beer has great heartiness and is very palatable; wonderful piney bitter hops wash over a rich, sweet and chewy malt base. This particular beer seemed akin to a strong American ale like Stone's Bastard beers or Speakeasy's Betrayal.
Element Brewing is very impressive, and this beer is another great in their line-up. Recommended. (870 characters)

Photo of dennho
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle corked & caged into a Duvel tulip.

This might be the darkest red color I've seen in a beer. Two finger head with good lacing. Red Giant is a good name for this.

Smell is caramel & grain. Maybe some wood/oak.

Taste is earthy, fruity and malty. Bitter in the middle with a nice sweet finish.

Medium carbonation, nice slick mouthfeel.

This a a complex beer. It deserves your full attention. It shouldn't matter, but it's a $12.00 bottle. (453 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #46 (Nov 2010):

A healthy head on a ruddy-looking ale. Smells of caramel, baked apples, spicy hops and molasses cookies. Smoothness precedes a quick kick of crispness in the medium body. Broth and hay flavors soon meet a flash of caramel and breadi- ness. Hops are there to balance this big brew even if they sidestep here and there. Alcohol warms a bit but is noncha- lant. Leafy hops pool on the palate toward the end with a linger of a fruitiness from when the cork was popped--that caramel flavor just doesn't want to let go. A big beauty, this lush and untouched ale has won us over. (630 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked, caged, and paper wrapped 750ml bottle into a Loterbol tulip. Extra special to jayli for this nice little suprise!

A: Pours a perfectly hazed dark amber/ruby red color. About three fingers of pillowy, off-white/khaki colored head form on top, sports excellent retention, and leaves a gorgeous lacey mess all over the inside of the glass.

S: Picked up toffee/caramel, slightly tangy grain, bright citrus, sourdough bread, and earthy minerals.

T: Big flavors, initially, of toffe, caramel, and molassas. This is followed closely by toasty grain, sourdough bread, tangy citrus-y hops, and an earthy flavor of new leather and/or tree bark. Roasted nuts and a hint of aspirin in the finish.

M: Wants to be big and cloyingly sweet but is reigned in buy a huge amount of dry & roasty malt and astringent, spicy hops. Finish is long, dry, and peppery.

D: I continue to be impressed by the beers from Element. Keep 'em coming Jax! (947 characters)

Photo of SFLpunk
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL brown glass cork, caged and paper-wrapped bottle. Wrapper dated 3/28/11. Purchased at Liquors 44, Northampton, MA.

Pours a deep dark reddish brown with 1.5 inches of off-white head. Nose smells like baking bread and red mulch. Palate is deep and malty, but also bitter and structured. Flavors of roasted red malt, tree bark, mushroom rice, cappuccino, and that red mulch thing again. Bitterness is higher than most reds, and this one is dry to the bone. No malt sweetness here.

Notes: Very woody tasting in a delicious way. A big hoppy red without being an "Imperial Red" or something like that. Just happens to be one, and done right. Another success for Element. (672 characters)

Photo of mountdew1
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dated March 29th, 2012 on the wrapper. Poured into a goblet. Colo was a very dark burgundy red that as slightl translucent. Had a light brown creamy head that left a nice layer on top. Aroma was slightly peppery, but also has sweet roasty malt aromas as well. Flavor matched up nicely with the aroma. Hints of spice, but not overly so. A bit on the sweet side, but not like a lactose sugar. No hoppy kick, and no overpowering malts either. Seemed slightly different with each sip, but never over the top. Coated well, but had a bit much carbonation tickling the tongue. Not really detracting, but enough to be noticeable. Overall the shifting flavors made this an intriguing beer. (680 characters)

Photo of HattedClassic
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a tan but slightly reddish and creamy head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a very dark ruby that is almost fully purple. The beer smell has a strong caramel malt sweetness that mixes well with the hop bitterness but neither note dominates the other. The smell also has some notes of oak and a tiny hint of vanilla. The beer taste is similar to the smell in regards to notes but differ in strength. The hop bitterness is much stronger than the malt sweetness and the sweetness appears to actually dull the hoppiness. The slight oak and vanilla are still there as hidden notes but come out stronger in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer is smooth and slick with biting carbonation. Overall ,a pretty good beer and worth getting. (760 characters)

Photo of indiapaleale
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Before I forget, this beer was finished and ready to drink the day before I bought it. Talk about fresh.
Here we go...
Pour - a dark red, mahogany color with some brilliant auburn colors shining throw with the light. The head is thick and bubbly, off-white in color and rather reluctant to fade into the abysmal depths of this brew.
 
Aroma - strong smells of caramel and molasses combine with fresh hops, grass, citrus and well steeped grains. The aroma of this beer is quite appealing and more than draws me in. 
 
Taste - when I think red/amber ales I think easy to drink and pretty standard fare for those that aren't big beer drinkers. This however is something different. These are big flavors and quite bold in nature. Lots of caramel malt flavor comes through with some nice floral hops as well. Everything combines so well. Its juicy, its fruity, its spicy, its sweet and its tangy. So many flavors that mesh so well together. This is a beer that brewers spend a long time trying to achieve. Great stuff.
 
Overall - excellent beer. I absolutely love it and I've gone through almost half the growler without an ounce of effort. I'll be back soon to fill it up again.
 
Would I buy more of it? - no doubt about it. I love this beer and I love the fact that I've got a new brewery so close by that is making some amazing beers. (1,354 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at ACBF then grabbed a bottle at Julios on the way back to NY. Nice packaging. Paper over a plain caged and corked 750 into my Ithaca tulip.

A: Super deep brown color. Poured with a finger of slightly brownish head. A touch of lacing as well. The head has great retention. When you fill your glass it snakes every time though.

S: I remember saying all their beers have a secret oak technique on them. Quite malty and bready in the nose. Plenty of hops around to balance it out though. A touch of oak maybe. This is not an american red ale.

T: Quite hoppy. I remember this is not that big a beer. The darker matter? is 8% and that was their biggest beer. Light barleywine comes to mind.Sharp piney hops. Little bit of caramel. Really nice sweetness in the finish.

M: Really nice and smooth. It is super carbonated out of the bottle but not in the glass. Interesting.

D: I liked this beer. Something a little bit different. I think this was $10 for the bottle which is pricey but they are small. I enjoyed all of their offerings and this is worth seeking out. (1,071 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No "pop" to the removal of the cork. The head corresponds to this, relatively flat with some slippery lace left behind. The color is light brown where light does pass. Cloudy.

Plenty of sweet caramel to the nose. A little bit nutty and toasty. Overall, appealing.

Rich body with a high level of carbonation. The beer starts with a toffee-like sweetness. Reminds me of overcooked caramel, but not quite burnt. Good peppery hop kick to provide balance in the swallow. This is one well balanced beer. The alcohol is notably warming but not overwhelming. (553 characters)

Photo of Jayli
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caged and corked 750 mL
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a dark amber with slight reddish tinges. A ridiculous four finger of khaki, foamy, rocky head forms with a quasi-rigorous pour. Head retains very nicely, and leaves chunks of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is nice sweet malt notes with a bit of molasses, followed by a citrus hops.

T: Taste is really quite hoppy! I'm liking it! The forefront has some minor earthy, pine hop flavoring before the bready, malt presence takes over. Hints of molasses and caramel malt work nicely with a breadiness in the middle. Finish has a grapefruit, lemony hop bite that retains on the back of the tongue for a while.
** There is a bit of a metallic taste in this bottle that I didn't pick up during a tasting last night...

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, oily body with a sticky finish.

D: Goes down easily, nice kick, not too filling, nice representation of style. I hadn't heard of Element until at a tasting last night - this is a nice brew that I would pick up again. (1,042 characters)

Photo of DoreenAndDave
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is an attractive, murky dark amber. Very little head. Smell is complex: brown bread, cherries, malt. Taste starts off with some almost astringent hops and then is has a long, lingering finish of caramel and malt, nicely warmed by the high alcohol content. Mouthfeel is good, nicely carbonated with a warm finish. Overall, a complex and hearty beer. (353 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a three-fingered head; excellent stickage and a nice pattern of lace

Smell: Caramel, stone fruit and pine

Taste: Biscuit and caramel flavors, up front, with a fruity character developing, as well; a nice piney hop character develops in the middle, though there is a surprising depth of spice cookie malt flavor that builds, too; nicely balanced, through the finish, where some tobacco flavor adds another dimension

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: One of those surprisingly good ambers that crop up every now and again (590 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750 wrapped in paper. Nice presentation. The beer is a little hazy, reddish brown with a short cap of very fine light brown foam. Great head retention, sticky lacing, a little clumpy. Lots of bready malt in the aroma, fruity and earthy, slight wood and toffee character. Sweet up front, a combination of malty and fruity flavours. Bitterness kicked in mid-palate and lingered in the finish. More sugary (think caramel) than bready in flavour, earthy hops, a bit citrusy towards the end. Mild alcohol flavour and warmth with a dry, oaky character. Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation that gave it a creamy texture. Quite pleasant. Overall, I enjoyed this. It was nicely balanced and had an interesting range of flavours. (748 characters)

Photo of Satchboogie
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler purchased fresh from the source Yesterday.

A: Dark Red, fairly clear though hard to see through, about a finger of red-tinted foamy head.

S: Caramel, herbal and spicy hops, some alcohol phenols, toasted grains

T: Lots of caramel, toasted grains, spicy hops, and warm alcohol on the front of the tongue. The caramel peaks as it enters the middle of the mouth, though the beer opens up with a lot of toasted grains. Spicy hop character lingers all the way through the finish. There's just a little warmth on the finish with lingering bitterness, mildly dry. Not too complicated or sophisticated, but tasty nonetheless.

M: The light side of medium for body, moderate carbonation, fairly chewy, semi-dry finish, moderate bitterness.

O: A big, malty red ale with a solid hop presence that adds a nice spicy and herbal depth. Not my favorite red ale, but it's solid and tasty. Seems maybe a touch too light. The alcohol is balanced, it gives a bit of warmth and spiciness but isn't overpower, it's just there to remind you "this isn't your average red ale". A great value for the cost of a growler. (1,107 characters)

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Red Giant from Element Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.