Red Oak Amber - Red Oak Brewery

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Red Oak AmberRed Oak Amber

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BA SCORE
81
good

102 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 102
Hads: 320
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 20
Gots: 69 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Red Oak Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-28-2002

From the brewery: Red Oak Amber is a Munich Urtyp (Old Style) Lager. We begin the brewing process with custom kilned imported Munich Malt. Red Oak is then hopped with Spalt Noble Hops imported from Bavaria, the oldest hop growing region in the world. Before fermentation we add a yeast strain from Weihenstephen, the oldest brewery in the world, founded before 1040 AD. Weeks of aging gives Red Oak the smooth taste it is known for.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 102 | Hads: 320
Photo of SFNC
4.06/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with very slight head and mild carbonation. The smell is rich sweet malt with some grass. The taste is full bodied malt, with an ever so faint hops presence. The feel is creamy, but could use it bit more carbonation to fully satisfy. Overall, a very impressive amber lager. If you think Yuengling is good you ain't seen nothing yet. (355 characters)

Photo of JBtheDrizzle
4.54/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Red Oak Amber is everything I want from a beer. Great body with smooth malts, with just the right amount of hops to lighten it up, and a good, refreshing finish. My current favourite. (183 characters)

Photo of notascoolasyou
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great local brew but unfortunately not suitable for long-distance exporting due to its need for constant refrigeration. Brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot, this local North Carolina unfiltered and unpasteurized amber lager contains no preservatives or additives. A longtime favorite of mine, I still grab a case pretty much every time I visit my folks back in NC. Haven't tried Red Oak's other varieties yet but will next time I'm down that way. (451 characters)

Photo of wahootodd
4.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Have liked this beer since the first time I tried back in the late 90's. It has a yeasty quality that just seems to appeal to my senses (perhaps it reminds me of my Mom's freshly baked breads ?). There can be great variances in quality in flavor at different serving locations. Discovered that the Red Oak served at high volume vendors tastes the best (much more "normal" taste), have had terrible tasting Red Oak at places that do not keep it flowing regularly. Very thankful that it is now sold in bottles so that we can enjoy at home and share with my family in southeastern VA. (585 characters)

Photo of Meganomiidae
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into Abita "Surrender to the Haze" pint glass.

A: As the name suggests, very deep, amber color. The brewery themselves advocate pouring with no angle; following their directions, developed a fairly large light tan head that dissipated quickly with minimal lacing.

S: Honey wheat bread comes to mind. Reminds me of a pleasant bakery back home.

T: Classically smooth flavors in the beginning. Think Yuengling, but without all of the negatives. Very malty, almost like drinking a hearty liquid bread. Ends with a pleasant sweetness and a twang of interestingly fitting slight sourness. Would make for a good mid-summer drink here in Louisiana.

F: Thick and full bodied. More filling than the classic American macro styles. Could almost serve as a meal in itself!

It's a shame this beer needs refrigerating throughout all of its life, I'd love to see it makes its way down to the deep south. A beer I would always keep handy for sporting events and get-togethers. (982 characters)

Photo of ntgrant
4.66/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Nice amber color, head dissipates quickly though. Fairly clear with a slight haziness.

Smell: Smooth and sweet.

Taste: Strong point for this beer. It has a malty flavor throughout. Well-rounded, satisfying, refreshing are words that come to mind.

Feel: Solid throughout, good finish. Very smooth, full-bodied. (319 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

0✖▼▲
4.29/5 rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light amber color with a dense white foam. The aroma is sweet and fruity, impressive for a Vienna. Light malt and hardly a trace of floral hops. Quite an appetizing aroma.

The taste is malty but balanced, caramel, toffee, light tea like hop flavors. Ultra clean yet full bodied and satisfying. This beer is brewery only and always refrigerated. What else can you ask for in a Vienna Lager? Thx to my cousin Brennan for hauling this back from North Carolina. (563 characters)

Photo of jsausley
4.04/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Disclaimer: About three of my five years in college revolved around this beer. I tried a lot of other options back then, but this was the go-to beer. It was flavorful, super easy to drink and just lovely on all levels. So I am a little biased to this beer. I still keep some in the fridge all the time.

For this review, enjoyed at the Red Oak brewery in their sample glass.

A: A lovely dark amber with hints of red and brown. A nice frothy head, minimal lacing, some carbonation, wonderfully attractive for an amber lager.

S: Rich malts and barley, very little citrus or alcohol, some hops. Deep, "hot" earthy notes, some pine perhaps. Exactly what you want from a standard amber lager that's not brewed with any flavor additives.

T: Red Oak is smooth, crisp, easy to drink with medium to above average flavors. It is not a heavy flavored beer as compared to a high ABV Belgian or similar, but it is a lovely German-style lager. It's primary flavor is a semi-sweet, slightly hoppy lager that's full of nice heavy malts, some caramel flavors and a good floral and slightly citrus hoppy bite that manifests on the back of your tongue at the finish. In my opinion, bar none the best medium-ABV medium-flavor lager and one the best balanced beers I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying. It's a little less hoppy than Fat Tire and Boston Lager with more malts and slightly more sweetness.

M: Smooth and crisp on the finish, perfect for easy drinking.

O: A lovely thing. Again, one of the best balanced beers out there in my opinion and certainly one of the most rewarding amber lagers. (1,586 characters)

Photo of BooneBeerLover
3.49/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a gorgeous amber beer, with a solid 3/4in head. There was a bit of tang in the nose with an overall excellent aroma. The flavor was mostly malty and sweet, but really there wasn't a whole lot of flavor there. I expected a little more based on the aroma. However, it certainly lives up to its claim of smoothness. It is a very drinkable beer. Drink it while it is cold though, the sweetness gets to be a bit much when it starts to warm up. (446 characters)

Photo of BenFS4505
3.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A neighbor brought a bottle to me in Ohio from North Carolina and kept it cold per bottle warning. Poured into a mid-20th century hollow-stem beer glass. Carbonation was moderate with with small bubbles and light head. Noticed a slight yeast taste but not bad. Beautiful read-brown, clear color and no sediment in the bottle which I expected based on the description on the bottle. Felt a little tingly at first but mellowed to a smoother feel as it warmed and settled. Overall a good, smooth beer but a tad on the bland side for my taste. (539 characters)

Photo of RobinLovings
5/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer! They do a wonderful job making sure there is no difference in the tap and the bottle! Amazing! I can't wait for it to be available everywhere! I had this beer the first time a the mellow mushroom in Greensboro, nc it went great with everything and I've been in love since. I've never been a big beer drinker but red oak has changed my ways and had showed me there is more to beer. Not just Miller and Budweiser beers. I'm so half I have found them. :-) (470 characters)

Photo of mralphabet
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Had a pint at the Mellow Mushroom in Durham NC...

A: Poured a dark amber with hints of orange, not much head, settled to a thin layer with good lacing from start to finish.

S: I'm getting a lot of sweet malt, little caramel with a touch of floral hops.

T: OK, caramel right up front, the sweet malt hits mid palette the finish has a herbal hops... very slight. Leans more on the sweet side.

M: Light to medium bodied... I thought it was a little to light. Finish is clean with very little bitterness.

O: Pretty solid Red, not crazy different but strong none the less... Worth looking for when you are in the NC. (616 characters)

Photo of Kirkman
4.48/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was my favorite beer growing up. It is sweet and smooth. Because it is brewed by the German Purity Laws, it wasn't distributed widely until recently. This is one of those beers that i would say isn't the same unless it is on tap. I know they have bottles, but I have found that the tap is the most consistent of flavors. When this beer is right it is perfect.

Now that I have "grown up" and my tastes have changed, to preferring less sweet beers but without this beer I wouldn't have gone through the journey of craft beer discovery trying to find that flavor that Red Oak provided me. (592 characters)

Photo of Minkybut
2.88/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. I was wishful this was going to be a good beer since i had to travel 300 miles to get the $20 12 pack. The beer poured a pretty gas colored brew with a pretty tan head. The head did not last very long. The beer smelled a bit sour, that worried me. Well the taste was not too bad I thought. itty bitty bit of sour maybe and a little sweet. However after a few days of having one now and then I have decided I will not buy this again. It just aint worth the money to be average. (526 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is relatively clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that left some lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of bready malts in the nose along with some hints of nutty malts.
T: The taste is a little sweet and has flavors of bready, buttery and nutty malts. Although no bitterness is perceptible, there are just enough hops to keep the malts in check.
M: It feels medium-bodied and quite smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The smoothness of this beer is really enjoyable. It kind of reminded me of a Munich Helles Lager with a bit of an American accent. (717 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
3.41/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a dark amber color with a creamy white head that reduces to a small layer, good lacing all around.

S- pretty simple some sweet malt and just a bit of apple like fruitiness

T- sweet and malty with low bitterness, just a bit nutty with a sweet caramel finish

M- light body, medium carbonation, somewhat slick finish

O- very serviceable amber, good balance and went well with my buffalo chicken (404 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear medium amber in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some darker orange highlights. The beer has a two finger tall creamy light beige head that reduces to a medium sized thin patch covering about half the surface of the beer with avery thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted amber malts, some adjunct grains, and a touch of caramel sweetness. Lighter amounts of earthy hops.

T: Upfront there are toasted amber malty flavors with a light amount of caramel sweetness and a touch of fruitiness. Lighter amounts of earthy hops that contribute a very light amount of non-lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and slightly slick.

O: Pretty good example of the American Amber style, very easy to drink and sessionable - not sure why but every woman I know really likes this one. I would certainly have this again even though this is not one of my favorite styles. (1,017 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
3.96/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Sculpin pint glass. Best by 8/15/13

Pours a beautiful amber color with a moderate white lacey head that dissipates quickly. Smell is a typical lager smell...it smells very "fresh" and a tad sweet and malty. Taste is very refreshing. Fresh hops and malts are balanced well. A tad sweet with a trace of bitterness on the after taste. very enjoyable and sessionable. Perfect for summer. Extremely easy to drink with a medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall a very enjoyable beer that is what it advertises - fresh and good. Nothing world class here just a solid, drinkable beer. (609 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.11/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: single finger head with nice lacing on a clear amber golden body.

S: simple with caramel malts, generic fruitiness and brown sugar.

T: a little too watered down here really with caramel malts, no off-putting aftertaste, mild earthy hops and definitly has a fruity presence I just cant decide what kind.

M: light to medium body and moderate carbonation. smooth.

Overall: very drinkable but also very simple making this anoether not terrible, not memorable beer. (467 characters)

Photo of joshpuck
4.65/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer.

Smooth drink with a sort of sweet aftertaste. Tastes like a better Yuengling/Killians. I am absolutely fanatical about the beer, best beer I have ever had. It is almost too drinkable, I'll slip up and drink a whole 12 pack on a Friday night doing stuff around the house (18.99 a pop makes the wife sad). (323 characters)

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like Yuengling. Light amber body with a bright white head. Smells like an amber lager. nothing special, yet still stands above the rest. Light roasted malt. Taste is very smooth and drinkable.

It wont blow your mind in any way, but it will go down smooth with no off flavors at all. (290 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. twist-capped bottle, received from my friend in NC, Metalmonk, a few weeks back. From the fridge and into a pint glass, the start to Friday evening after two awful days in a row. Need a beer to say the least.

A: Mammoth head, a good 3+ fingers of bubbly light tan fluff - enough to crest the rim and mushroom over it. No spillage, thought, but it was a close one. As it [slowly] fades, the froth becomes denser, more meringue-like in appearance. Good carbonation, the slightest haziness and a textbook 'amber' hue.

S: Fragrant: quite fruity, really, and on the sweeter side. Notable apple cider (sugary) and white grape juice. Neither is unpleasant and the strength is a plus. Maybe what I'll remember most from this beer.

T: Appropriate malty, with nuts and caramel (even a dash of cocoa) owning most of the sweeter flavors. Pretty good balance delivered by noble hops that finish with a light mineral bite.

M: Not overly fizzy, nicely refreshing. Light body, even texture, cleaner finish.

O: Solid and session-worthy medium-dark lager. Reminds me a little of a recent Full Sail LTD release, one with a similar weight (modest), flavor (balanced nuttiness) and drinkability. The label brags about strict adherence 'to the 1516 Reinheitsgebot Purity Law' and liberally uses the words 'Fresh' and 'Pure' all across its label. I get it: fresh and pure!!! And good, too. Wouldn't mind having this again. Thanks, Jeff! (1,426 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My snowbird parents visited last week on their migration north and brought a twelve pack from these local brewers. This is a beer I've had several time in restaurants, usually on tap. Pours a translucent marron color with little head anf minimal lace. Nose is concentrated sweet malt and the musty, slightly sour zing from that ancient yeast.

Caramel and chocolate malts provide the foundation but these metamorph into a yeast dominated falvor before finishing with hop ascendancy. Some herbal and citrus flavors to the noble hops. Clean and balanced in the aftertaste.

This improves a bit as it warms. I've had these around all week and they've grown on me. I find the twelve packs a little pricey but I certainly won't complain anytime anyone wants to gift me some. (770 characters)

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours amber with a thin white head that dissipates quickly

S-Malty and grassy

T-Much like the nose as the malt dominates with a hint of Noble hops coming through. It has a decent balance between bitterness and sweetness. Nothing spectacular, but refreshing nonetheless.

M-Decently thick as this beer does have some body

D-Fairly drinkable beer as it doesn't have any offensive flavors.

Overall, I would never purchase a 12 pack of these but I enjoyed it. (461 characters)

Photo of VaterRoss
3.76/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on-tap at the brewery

Appearance is a a not quite clear amber color with an off-white (almost beige) active head. Appearance is probably the highlight, a very nice looking beer. Smell is caramel malts, weak German spicy hops and a tinge of funk. Taste is that of a caramel malt lager with some funk, hops finish spicy and slightly bitter. Mouthfeel is medium weight and medium carb with that nice lager cleanness.

This is a solid beer, if only it wasn't so expensive at close to $20 a 12 pack. When this beer is good, it easily trumps Yuengling in quality, sadly the quality control isn't spectacular on red oak amber and it can be very hit or miss. Good all-occasions beer that has enough malt backbone to enjoy but also chill enough to be quite drinkable. What is up with the funk in my brewery samplings! (see my hummin' bird review)

from notes 1/20/12 (859 characters)

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Red Oak Amber from Red Oak Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.