1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Red Tape Lager - Jack's Abby Brewing

Not Rated.
Red Tape LagerRed Tape Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

87 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mschofield on 08-07-2011

Navigating the labyrinth of brewery licensing and state regulations isn't easy. When we finally got the green light, we also got inspired with the perfect name for our pilot brew. Red Tape Lager has a full malty flavor typical of Bavarian dark lagers. It's brewed with 100% Dark Munich Malt. Additions of Glacier hops for bittering and noble German hops for aroma strike a balance between American and European flavors.

25 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 22
Reviews by puboflyons:
Photo of puboflyons
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 25 oz. bottle with a date of June 2012 stamped on the label. Sampled on August 4, 2012.

The pour into the glass stein is medium amber with reddish hues and a large, lingering head.

The aroma is full of sweet malts at first with some yeast and cereal. Hops are lighter.

The body is medium to bold with a creamy texture.

The taste starts sweetly malted with a low bitterness as first. But as the beer warms the bitterness becomes more moderate and noticeable. Very drinkable too.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, high carbonation, amber in color, clear

Smell: toasted malt, citrus hops, and caramel

Taste: toasted malt, some citrus hops, chocolate, and caramel

Mouthfeel: light body, sweet with a touch of bitterness, high carbonation.

Overall: This is not Jack Abbey's most complex beer but it is a damn good one. It has all the malty features I like in a red ale and just enough bitterness to balance it out. If they re-release this one I will be sure to grab it again.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a .5 liter bottle into a pilsener- pours a clear, dark amber color with 2.5 fingers of bubbly crisp head, decent retention, minimal lacing. Beautiful color.

Nose is round and sweet- nice barley smell with caramel notes.

Tastes great- good dose of caramel mid-palate, with the barley towards the back and some dry hop notes. Exceptionally well-balanced. A touch of cinnamon in the mix there as well.

Mouthfeel is very nice- medium body with moderate carbonation; a little chewy by no means too much. Long, semi-sweet finish. This is a good one (of course, Jack's Abby doesn't disappoint). Get it if you see it.

Photo of largadeer
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Barry.

Not sure why this is categorized as a Munich dunkel; it's not especially dunkel-like despite the Munich malt heavy grain bill.

Appearance: Clear, bright amber body topped by a finger of head that recedes to a crown.

Smell: Pleasantly fruity and malty, this brings to mind fruit cake and whole grain bread with a touch of red apple.

Palate: Pervasive fruitiness - red apple, stone fruit, berries - with a bready, slightly toasty and caramelized backbone. This beer strikes a pretty nice balance between toasty Munich malt and fruity lager yeast. There's a decent hop presence in the finish, too. Very tasty stuff, malty without being overly rich. It doesn't fit into any traditional category very well, but probably most closely resembles a Vienna lager.

Photo of tzieser
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: poured into a .5L dimple stein. dark copper in color with a fluffy white head that never seems to go away.

s: loads of sweet malt with notes of bread and biscuits.

t: expertly balanced. waves of sweet caramel-like malt flavor with lots of bread and cracker character. grassy hops make it nice and crisp. keeps it from being too sweet or malty. i could drink a ton of these, just like a true German lager should be.

m: nicely carbonated mouthfeel.

o: a phenomenal lager. as of right now, nobody in America makes lagers like Jack's Abby. if i didn't know better i would've thought this beer came straight from Munich. recommended.

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Big fluffy head fades slowly with lots lacing over mostly clear amber orange reddish colored beer.

Nose has reddish sweet malts, almost syrupy, pale malts, light lager yeast fruit, light fruity and touch earthy herbal hops.

Taste has toasty reddish semi sweet malts, amber flavors, hint of honey, some light lager fruits, nice maltiness, then some light bitter fruity and touch earthy herbal hops. Finishes a bit of sticky syrupy caramel malts, amber malts, and light hops. Actually getting very slight amount of diacetyl the more I taste it. It never gets very big but it's there.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, Light diacetyl, a bit under attenuated, not bad otherwise.

Photo of smcolw
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Long lasting, thick frothy head. The liquid is decidedly amber--very light color for a dunkel. Surprisingly little lace given the head.

Nice crystal and chocolate malt aromas. Light hop in the background.

Spritzy with a medium body. Tastes darker than the color would suggest. A touch of sourness in the swallow. Very brief aftertaste.

Photo of KarlosT
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft as part of flight. Pleasantly surprised.

Photo of Gosox8787
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Chilled bottle served into a pint glass. June 2012 bottle so this is very fresh.

Appearance: Dark red / light brown in color with a nice, white head that turns into a lacing. Really crisp carbonation.

Aroma: Some pretty strong caramel and breadiness throughout. A light bitterness from the hops. Very light and refreshing.

Taste: Really nice caramel and brown sugar is tempered by some light pine bitterness. Very toasty and bready. The alcohol is well hidden and the balance is on point.

Mouthfeel: Really light with some nice and crisp carbonation. Really refreshing and easy to drink.

Overall, a really nice refreshing lager with strong caramel flavor and a nice hop bite to counter. Complex, flavorful and easy to drink. Definitely a beer I would revisit for the price.

Photo of Duhast500
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a pint bottle into a Harpoon snifter.

The color is a ruby red color with a gold tint. There is a slight wisp of off-white head with a good a good amount of carbonation.

The aroma is pretty sweet with some fruity cherry aroma in the nose. There is a slight touch of grainy flavor in the nose as well.

The taste has a candy light flavor that has a nice sweetness that is missing from some lagers but not this one. There is an ale like characteristics that is found here in the juicy fruit flavor with a cherry and grape flavor that also has the faintest crisp flavor and feel.

This beer does have a lighter crispness that is like a lager but gives off a fruit taste that punches the tongue like an ale. This beer seems to want to go places it might not be prepared to do. The is some promises as you begin to sip this that does not seem to be fulfilled.

Photo of taez555
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a lovely clear red/amber body with a bright white head. Might be one of the most beautiful looking beers I’ve had from Jack’s Abby. Almost reminds you of a clear sunset summer evening.

Anyway, nose is a bit more non-descript. Some fresh malt and grain, but nothing really jumps out at you.

Taste is very nice and smooth with a chewy bitterness. It’s kind of a tough beer to describe. I know it’s a 100% munich dark malt, but it almost has more of a red ale type malt flavor to it. It’s really not very German malty at all. This is freaking me out. Hops are there. The glacier hops give it a very unique hop bitterness. It’s surprisingly bitter too. As it warms it starts to take on more of the German munich dunkel sort of flavor. The lagering processes at JA really gives this beer such a clean refreshing flavor. Good stuff. Ends with a nice quick bitterness.

I’ve given up completely trying to fit Jack’s Abby’s beer into the “style”, cuz they never do. You really just need to go into it with a blank pallete and taste away. This beer is no exception to that. It’s like a very Americanized German dunkel mixed with an American Session red ale, but with that super smooth and slick lager flavor like JA’s Jabby Brau. Unique, but very good. A killer session beer for sure.

Photo of pburland23
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into my Victory pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a clean, deep reddish mahogany. About a finger or so light tan head. Quickly dissipated to a thin wispy layer.

Smell: Supremely malty...very strong cereal notes, some grassiness and a heavy touch of caramel malt.

Taste: Very sweet and malty. Much like the nose...caramel and a dark, sweet breadiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and highly quaffable.

Overall: All in all, this is a pretty straightforward Munich Dunkel. It's tasty and drinkable. It's not my favorite Jack's Abby brew, but it's still pretty good.

Photo of kristiekatk
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt amber color with a good-sized tan and frothy head. Aroma is herbal German hops, sweet malts, and lager yeast.

The key word in describing this beer is balance. The hops/malts exist on the perfect plane; the hops providing the perfect bitterness level to the full but not too rich malts. It’s slightly fruity, with some great caramelized flavors and a tartness aspect as well. Medium-body, crisp carbonation, incredibly smooth and drinkable.

Red Tape doesn’t fall into any one category either. Consider this a mix between a red ale, a dunkelweizen, and a helles lager. At 5% alc/vol, this would be a great session beer, allowing you to savor the complexities over time

Photo of mschofield
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally a pilot batch, but now a regular. 100% Dark Munich malt and Glacier hops.

Pours a dark, clear red, topped with a 2 finger creamy light tan head.

Aroma of bread crusts, malt, clean with some citrus hop notes. Bready.

Flavor is bread crusts, malt, touch of maybe raisin and some citrus hoppiness but no harshness, sort of noble hop crossed with Cascade hop flavor. Bready, touch of spiciness.

Medium bodied and balanced towards sweet. Falls somewhere between a Dunkel and a Maerzen.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle poured into a Hofbrau seidel.

A: Pours a clear amber/red in color. Pillowy khaki-colored head graces the top of the beer with a solid three fingers of height. Retention is great. Lacing is clumpy and very sticky.

S: Bready malts and some toasty/caramel aromas. Slight fruitiness with a touch of grape skin. Nutty with a hint of cocoa. Spicy and grassy Noble hops. Earthy yeast. Great nose, very authentic and fresh.

T: Sweet and fruity up front with a toasted crust edge. Rich caramel, toasted grain, bread crust. Fruitiness comes with a bit of grape skin and maybe even a touch of berry, but this is further malt complexity, not esters. Slight nuttiness with a delicate hint of cocoa powder. Hop bitterness does just enough to keep the sweetness in check. Hints of spicy Noble hops toward the end. Drying finish of toasted grain, caramel, and a melanoidin richness.

M: Medium bodied. Firm and rich malt body. Slightly chewy. Bit of astringency. Seltzery carbonation cuts through just enough. Great.

O: Good Lord. Is Jack's Abby ever going to make a bad beer? This is phenomenal stuff. Very rich in flavor and authentic. Great example of a Munich Dark. Makes me wanna strap on a pair of lederhosen and start yodeling.

Notes: This beer is listed as a Munich Helles on this site. That is clearly a mistake, and you'll learn that the second you pour it. This is a Munich Dunkel, or dark lager, so don't expect a Helles. God I wish they'd brew a Helles though.

Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A clear red pour with a big bubbly slightly off-white head.

S: Very bready with some herbal hop aroma.

T: Bready and smooth as in the aroma. Almost a little toasty, especially towards the middle and the end. A bit of herbal hops and tea in the finish. It's kinda like an irish red but with a german and american touch making it delicious.

M: Medium bodied and oh so smooth.

O: A simple but very tasty, smooth and drinkable beer. A simple beer for sure but at the same time it's just perfectly balanced and quaffable. Jack's Abby can do no wrong by me.

Photo of horshack7
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This one pours a deep garnet with amber hues and a head that is off white and a good one inch high.

Aroma: Dark fruit sweetness with smokey undertones. Prunes, faint grape, plums, clove, caramel malts with alot of bready sweetness. Traces of toffee.

Taste: Full bodied with a chewy mouthfeel. Toffee, sweet dark fruits, plums, heavy caramel malts, minor notes of plantaines and a bit of a dryness. Clove, sweet apples, brown sugar.

Notes: Such a good Lager very drinkable and very well done. Cheers.

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a .5 liter bottle into a duvel glass.

A: pours a burnt ruby, with a little less then a finger of slightly toasted brownish head, settles quickly. Little lacing. I am intrigued with this brews clean slightly brown rubyness...

S: deffinatly smell toasted dark malts, reminds me of dark bread, like pumpernickel, along with a touch of sweetness, reminds me of dark toast with a touch of sweet jelly.

T: much like the nose, I keep getting reminded of dark bread toast with a touch of sweet jelly or jam, a touch if dry earth hops at the finish with a faint kiss of bitterness.

M: medium bodied with a touch of grainy chewiness, medium carbonation works very well here.

O: another very good brew from jacks Abby, interesting and well balanced, deffinatly give this brew a whirl.

Photo of RummyRedbeard
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(copied from blog - written January 14, 2013)

Appearance – Beautiful reddish brown. One finger white head. Leaves a nice lacing.
Smell – Sweet malts and caramel.
Taste – Caramel, dark fruits, roasted grain or wheat flavor. Very small hop flavor.

At first this beer reminded me of a sweet red ale like Oskar Blues Imperial Red or Northcoast Red Seal Ale. After about a quarter of the beer was down though I started to realize the subtle hop flavor that those beers don’t have as well as a much more roasted taste. The first time I drank this beer I remember not being too impressed but I gave it a second shot because it’s fairly cheap and I want to review more Jack’s Abby beers!… Anyway this time I’m finding it much more enjoyable. A solid beer in their line-up that leans more towards the malty sweetside that is less common with this brewery.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear red, limited head with a faint ring.

Right at the pour I got whiff of something sour. Uh oh. I've come back to it and it is gone. Some toasted malt, a slight touch of cocoa (it's there). Some mineral.

An odd version of the style. Not enough deep roasted notes for me, but what is there works. Toasted malt, a little tart acid on the tongue, going to malt and bitterness, which is just right s it fades to maltiness. Really nice structure with this beer. I want this to finish a bit crisp, but instead it is a little mouth coating and has a little dry pucker. Nice medium body.

A great drinkable brew with decent complexities. Good malt forward lager. Another solid brew from these guys.

Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great lager time.

Solid pour, great robust and clean burnt amber. Wanna slurp, but must smell.

Exquisite nose. Inviting fruity and floral notes. Alluring marzen-like malt aromas, but less biscuity, a bit less warm. Makes me want to dive in.

Beautiful feel and taste. Super-clean, but has that "unpasteurized" freshness as well. That earthy balance. Definitely taste the Munich malt. The hops are glacier, and it shows with the smooth and mild bitterness . . . but the noble hops help highlight the the fruity esters. Ripe peach, a kiss of caramel. Love this lager.

Photo of Gatch
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear as can be with a beautiful amber color and foamy, off-white head that builds and fades quickly. No lace or retention.

S: Sugary, sweet, roasted malt.

T: Great, bready, sweet, roasted malt. Good body. Slight hop presence in the finish.

M: Superb malty flavors. Crisp and refreshing. Highly drinkable.

O: A finely crafted dark lager. Everything I hoped and expected the style to be. Another great brew from Jack's Abby!

to view more.
Red Tape Lager from Jack's Abby Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.