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Fred Red Ale - Blue & Gray Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Fred Red AleFred Red Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 15.43%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Blue & Gray Brewing Co. visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 04-15-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by superneoncj:
Photo of superneoncj
3.5/5  rDev 0%

superneoncj, Dec 24, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of cbradio
2.25/5  rDev -35.7%

cbradio, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
1.93/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Sampled as "Vinny's Famous Red Ale" at Vinny's pizzeria and grill near Richmond.

Presentation: 12oz. frosted (damn!) mug.

Appearance: It looked like weak iced tea but with a very creamy head on it. There was slight ring lacing of the mug.

Smell: I hate to say this, but there was nothing. I swirled it around and must have looked silly as I was practically plunging my nose into the glass trying to get something resembling anything to appear. No such luck. It was only after I'd let this beer warm *considerably* that I began to get any sort of smell. The faint odors I could perceive were mostly a mixture of grainy musty aromas mixed with a little bit of malty sweetness.

Taste: Ummmm.......bad? This was a very strange experience. It was almost like drinking very cold straight seltzer water. Literally no flavors at all at the very beginning. Again, only as it warmed was I able to get something to appear on the palate. Strangely, the menu stated that "If you like Killian's, you'll love Vinny's Famous Red Ale." At least Killian's has some sort of flavor.

Mouthfeel: Like hyper-carbonated water. Very fizzy and unappealing.

Drinkabilty: The only reason I finished it was to see if something actually was in the aroma and flavor departments. I'm not sure what makes this beer "famous", but I certainly felt cheated. I think it would be better served being called the "M.O.A.B. Beer" (Mother Of All Bland Beer)

OldFrothingSlosh, Apr 15, 2003
Photo of dmk91
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

dmk91, Nov 07, 2013
Photo of mocktm
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the brew pub last night along with a few other beers, including a new kick-ass Hefe that I'll add into the system later. Any who...

Pours a deep amber red with about a half of a finger of tan head that quickly dissipates. Looks incredibly creamy...

Aroma is full of bread like malts, light fruits and spice: mostly clove and cinnamon. They claim this to be a very malt forward beer, which I have to agree with, as I can't really detect much hop presence.

Tastes fairly sweet up front from the malts with the mildest hop presence in the back. As in the nose, light fruits such as cherry are present to complement the spices, as well as a nice caramel presence. Real good stuff.

Medium bodies with a nice creamy consistency. Very drinkable and a great session beer.

I've never been a huge fan of reds, but have always found this as a dependable go to beer. Maybe I'm just biased because it's brewed in my home town, but I certainly think its a solid offering.

mocktm, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.5/5  rDev 0%

stereosforgeeks, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy reddish-copper body is topped by a creamy ivory head that holds well but leaves only spotty, transient lace. The nose is malty with a caramelish, woody, and mineral side amidst a light fruitiness. Its medium body and very fine, natural carbonation tingles the tongue before it warms to become creamy and smooth across the palate. The flavor is far more fruity than the nose suggest with red berries and white grape over a gently toasted and caramelish malt that's backed by a balancing bitterness and some lightly floral and grassy hops. It finishes dry with some short lingering fruity malt.

NeroFiddled, Nov 11, 2003
Photo of avisong
3.5/5  rDev 0%

avisong, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev 0%

cliff1066, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of nickd717
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber thanks to billab914. I felt an instant connection with this beer. It's from an unassuming Civil War-themed brewery not far from where I spent much of my childhood, made with local ingredients. I love the commercial description - "Fred Red is the best beer you've ever tried." Is it, now? I'll say one thing - it's a pretty unique beer, and a very tough rate. Why? Well, it's sour. But here's the catch: it's not that bad. Anyway, on to the review...

The color is indeed a stunning garnet red, and a two-finger creamy tan head leaves a half-finger of foam for a long while.

The aroma is...uh oh...infection. Definitely some lacto/pedio stuff going on here. A definitive metallicity complements the soured caramel malt base.

The flavor is tart and slightly metallic, although the metallicity is nowhere near as strong as on the aroma. Sweet caramel malt transitions into a vinegary red berry tartness reminiscent of a Flanders oud bruin.

The palate is not bad. It's very dry and rather tart, and the finish is clean. Medium-bodied.

I honestly think that if you put this beer in, say, the bottle of an Allagash sour, and didn't tell people what it actually was, you'd get some high ratings. This definitely isn't great, but it's one of the better unintentional wild ales I've ever had.

nickd717, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of goldbot
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, coppery red color. Thin head that fizzles out quickly. Fruity, malty aroma with a nice floral hoppiness. The flavor is fairly sweet, with fruit notes of cherry and apple. Some bready or grainy malt and only a touch of bitterness. The mouthfeel is pretty good, just enough crispness to balance the medium body of the beer.

goldbot, May 03, 2011
Photo of BeerSox
3.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into nonic.

Crystal clear amber hue with a strong red tint. A one finger tan head settles to a thin cap along the top.

Very malty - a lot of toasty malts along with a strong butterscotch aroma. The hops add a little bit of a leafy aroma in the background.

Smooth malts in the foreground, giving more of the toasty malt characteristic along with some burnt caramel. The hops add some bitterness toward the end, but don't add too much to the flavor. Full bodied.

An okay Red Ale. The hops don't need to do the talking in this beer, but the malts seemed overly sweet and the hops didn't balance that well, and mostly only provided bitterness.

BeerSox, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of Proteus93
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A gorgeous dark red, but basically no head whatsoever. What is there dwindles away to nothing in moments.

S: Toasty malts, a fruitiness - almost like cranberry, cherry, and apple peel.

T: Much of the same fruit funk going on as found in the aroma. A bit of maltiness in there, but somewhat overpowered. A little on the bitter side towards the finish, though it comes across as going for sour rather than bitter. A little bit of a strange tasting beer.

M + D: An easy going carbonation, medium body, and semi-dry finish. That kinda hints a little more towards the Irish Red style, which the bottle implies they are (going so far as to say "a fresh brewes malty, smooth, Irish Style Ale." with the 'Irish" highlighted in green, as if to let you know that it's of importance when tasting. Maybe reading into it too much, maybe a good hint, overall not bad but not exactly something I'd go for again... an interesting brewery that I'll be looking into further, though.

Proteus93, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of TracyfromVA
4.83/5  rDev +38%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stopped by the brewery and had a sample of the Fred Red Ale (among others)....LOVED IT! Went into the brew pub and had a pint. Delcious and excellent session beer. Dark red in color. I ended up getting a growler to take home and we finished it that night!

TracyfromVA, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of HattedClassic
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

HattedClassic, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of auxiliary
4.4/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance - Dark red color, decent white head.

smell - Apples and sweet spices here.

taste - Sweet apples, not sure if it reminds me of a cider beer. Maybe. enjoyed the taste a lot.

mouthfeel - Light body with some carbonation.

drinkability - I enjoyed this beer. I liked it a lot and would buy it again. Wish they came in smaller bottles though.

auxiliary, May 25, 2007
Photo of lehows
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pleasant red color with a semi-creamy head. Nose is sweet, some fruit scents in here but nothing overpowering. Taste is very refreshing with some mild sweetness. This is definitely a highly drinkable brew with good session appeal too. A see alot of varied reviews here but I think it's perfect for a hot summer day or evening, give this one a try.

lehows, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of hiikeeba
2.88/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this beer on tap at Sammy T's downtown and really enjoyed it. I decided to visit the brewery and take some home with me. When it came my turn to get my growler filled, they had to change the keg. I didn't open the growler for a couple of days, but did store the beer in the refirgerator the whole time. When I finally sampled it, I noticed the beer had off flavors. There was an astringency in the beer that gave it a red wine taste. That flavor definitely not there at the restaurant, or during the beer tasting at the brewery. I can't decide if the flavors were a result of the long lag time in the growler, or if the new keg was bad.

I defintely will visit the brewery again, and I'll try the growler again. But I may have to sample it in the parking lot before I go home.

hiikeeba, Jul 25, 2006
Photo of Rhettroactive
3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 22oz bomber to nonic pint glass on 1/14/12
*From notes

A: It looks more like a clean, pale brown ale and not a traditional amber. A firm pour yields a dissapointing .25 finger head that fades quickly, giving it a cask-like look.

S: Earthy. The grain presence is a bit intense. It smells like you've just walked into a brewery.

T: It tastes just like a classic brown ale. Put a blindfold on me and I'd swear to it. Very earthy malt bill all over this. There's a light hopping to it, but it doesn't mesh well with the malt profile.

M: Meh. It doesn't wow me.

O: I'd rather they call this "Benjamin Brown", as it really does come off like a traditional brown ale. This is about as middle of the road as a beer can be. If you're merely looking for a glass of beer, something to quaff without a lot of thought, this will surely suffice.

Rhettroactive, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of Aidan_Stewart
2.88/5  rDev -17.7%

Aidan_Stewart, Oct 10, 2014
Photo of ygtbsm94
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%

ygtbsm94, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Amyliz4 for grabbing this growler on her way home.

Pours a moderate amber with an off white head and not too much lacing. Smell is amber malt with a bit of biscuit as well as a slight diacetyl presence. The buttered popcorn makes its way into the taste as well, but isn't too bad, especially in this style where it almost tastes like a British amber or some other style where a small amount of diacetyl would be acceptable. A bit of biscuit malt and some slight sweetness, though mostly a bit dry. Feel is of a medium body with decent carbonation, although the taste lowers it a bit. Same with the drinkability. I really would like to love this place, although the APA is all I've had so far that really worked.

Thorpe429, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of AndrewDeci
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

AndrewDeci, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of Rifugium
3.21/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

First had: on tap at B&G

Medium amber color with a small white head; average retention and lacing for the style. Basic malty aroma, nothing surprising. Cakey caramel malts in the taste, very light herbal hops, and not a whole lot else. Light-medium body, and I suppose fairly drinkable. Basic stuff and not much more to say.

Rifugium, May 25, 2013
Photo of megmcksgroi
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%

megmcksgroi, Sep 20, 2014
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Fred Red Ale from Blue & Gray Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.