Mehana Volcano Red Ale - Hawai'i Nui Brewing / Mehana Brewing Company

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Mehana Volcano Red AleMehana Volcano Red Ale

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48 Ratings
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Ratings: 48
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 18.27%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hawai'i Nui Brewing / Mehana Brewing Company visit their website
Hawaii, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-09-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 31
Reviews by monkeylovebeer:
Photo of monkeylovebeer
2.83/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in Hilo on the Big Island, the first thing noticeable about this beer is the crazy foaming head--super tight and tan, jus' like da' wahines out on the sand. When it finally subsides, there is still a quarter- to an eighth-of-an-inch left surfing the beautiful russet sunset-colored ale.

The Volcano is very highly carbonated, giving it an overactive mouthfeel. I found this brew to be very malt-forward which surprised me considering the aggressive head retention. Pouring more Volcano into my glass sends up plumes of amber and golden turbulence within the red ale.

My first thought was, I wish they put as much thought into the taste of this beer as they did the look; it is truly something to behold. Ultimately, however, the Volcano didn't do much for me as it leaves a metallic lager-type aftertaste. Not terrible, just not my thing.

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, procured from a KTA store on the west side of the Big Island.

This beer pours a slighty hazy, medium rusty amber hue, with one fat finger of loose foamy ecru head, which leaves some sparse runic character lace around the glass as it hies it out of town.

It smells of ethereal crystallized malt, somewhat tart tropical fruit, a soft zingy fermenting wine must yeastiness, and mild leafy hops. The taste is moderately sweet bready caramel malt, more soft orchard dark fruitiness, some vestiges of that yeasty vinous character, a bit of a metallic edginess, and timid, but still balancing, earthy, leafy hops.

The bubbles are nice and soft, the body just shy of medium weight, to no ill effect, and more or less smooth. It finishes off-dry, the bready caramel malt carrying through, and the thinning yeast and hops tagging on for the uneventful ride.

A better than average red ale, which isn't saying all that much, I suppose. Worth a try, at least to see where you stand with the style.

Photo of bditty187
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: My bottle is labeled, ”Mehana Volcano Red Ale.”

Lightly hazy, ruby-coppery in hue with a reddish-gold influence as well. It is a shade darker then a “typical” Red Ale, for whatever that is worth. Off-white foam, at the apex the bubbles collaborated long enough to form a one-finger head. Retention of said head was fair, it was quick to fade away to a thin, soapy cap. This cap did last awhile, if it didn’t this beer would have looked dead because there wasn’t any subsequent lacing of note. Overall, this beer looks well enough.

The nose isn’t all that chatty. The first couple sniffs yielded a good amount of juicy, tart fruity aromas but they failed to last long. However, the nose did turn malty; I like the caramel vibe plus there is a kiss of toasted grain and butterscotch. Hops are not detectable, which is not a total shock based on the style. Mild potency. There is an off-aroma at the back; I smell copper. Oh well. The nose is decent, it doesn’t say enough for me to call it inviting but it is not “off” enough for me to call it poor. Average.

The palate is simple but flavorful, for what it is. The maltiness is the focal point, which is not a surprise. The bitterness is low, as the nose indicated. I would have liked to experienced a bit more hops, even if they would have been only grassy in nature. The amount of bitterness is fitting though. Caramel sweetness, toasted butterscotch… there is a smattering of fruitiness with the malt as well. Nice. This beer is, honestly, forgettable but don’t let that mislead you. This beer does taste good. I like it but it is ordinary, I’ve had better and worse. Minimal aftertaste, it is a shame there is not some biscuit in the mix. Pleasant.

Medium/medium-light in body, low but natural carbonation. The mouthfeel is agreeable and it fits this beer well.

I like this beer. It is drinkable and I would bet this beer would be good at a BBQ because it would be a beer for all people and it would pair well with grilled meats, I would think. All in all, this beer doesn’t break the mold… so what. It is a good Red Ale, nothing more, nothing less. It is worth a try. I need to thank my Uncle Rick and Aunt Kathy for bringing me a mixed six-pack of Hawaiian beers. Thanks for including this one.

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.4/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My bottle is labeled Volcano Red Ale, but I beleive this is the same beer.
Deep amber color with a decent light brown head.
Aroma of roasted malts and hops. Aroma is like unsweetened tea.

Taste shows roasted caramel malt upfront. Then the bitter hop presence takes over. I'd have no problem calling this beer a bitter or ESB. Finishes with a nice level of bitterness. I'd describe the hops as earthy. Slight nuttiness and tea quality.

Good mouthfeel.
Drinkability takes a hit due to the level of bitterness which seems a bit out of sync with the malt presence.
Overall, this is a solid red ale.

Photo of smakawhat
3.24/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a stemless wine glass.

A deep glowing red body with nice rising carbonation in the models. Dark chestnut hues complete the edges. Great fluffy but in control tan four finger tall head on top, clumpy lacing while drinking. Great looking amber.

Very small nose. Light toasted grains and small caramel sweetness round out but its pretty closed and subtle.

Wet notes on the body and slightly gaseous. Tingling light carbonated palate feel of small caramel and almost brown sugar. Flattened soda like character a bit too.

Overall though just comes out ok.

Photo of atigerlife
2.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a wonderful dark ruby red with a nice foamy light brown head. Ample carbonation. A really beautiful beer to look at.

The aroma was quite light. Seemed to have some hints of sweet tea and malts.

The taste had light bitterness that waded into a slightly off taste. Some malts. While it was relatively smooth, the taste just left me wanting. Definitely lacking some character.

The mouthfeel was lighter than expected but amply cleansing. Overall, it is very nice to look at. Not much to drink.

Photo of woodychandler
3.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At last, a beer review being done in real time! It does not happen often, I assure you. That's why my notebook is always close at hand.

I got a frothy, finger's worth of medium-tan head with good retention from my pour. The nose was quite malty, but with a slight metallic sourness. The color was a deep reddish-amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with a caramel-like sweetness on the tongue. Finish had a slight sour astringency accompanying the sweetness of the malt. It was okay, but since I am not a huge fan of reds, I would not have missed not trying this beer. Still, while in Honolulu, it beats the preponderance of lagers.

Photo of PDXHops
2.06/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at the hotel bar. See-thru amber with a modest soapy head and scattered bits of lacing.

The bottle was less than a week old, yet tasted a bit old, vaguely cardboardish (oxidized?). No distinct malt character other than some vague nuttiness and a touch of caramel. A bit of dark fruitiness. Nose is similarly unfocused. Just not a very lively beer. Possibly a bad bottle; the sixer of their pale ale I bought was pretty enjoyable.

Photo of flexabull
3.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright cloudy red color with a small head.

Aromas are sweet, malty, and fruity... like fruity tea.

Taste follows aromas. Fruity, tea like, malty, and with crisp tart finish. Simple but tasty.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Full up front, and with nice carbonation.

A pretty pedestrian red. Not that interesting, but not undrinkable at all. Simple and easy to sip.

Photo of Tone
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, caramel malt, hint of hops, and a hint of fruit. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, caramel malt, hops, hint of pale malt, and a hint of fruit. Overall, weak appearance and aroma, but more complex body.

Photo of crookedhalo
3.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown with a short-lived beige to tan colored head. Butterscotchy, bready malt profile with a touch of hops to round out the aroma. Nice flavor to it. Mostly malty, almost has a sweet tea flavor, but with a floral hop finish to keep it all in check. A friend of mine brought me back a couple 6ers from her trip to Hawaii and it seems the brewers on the islands seem to mostly stay true to a beer's style. However, they seem to put a twist on a beer that makes it unique to Hawaii. A very welcome change of pace. This beer was very drinkable and enjoyable. Shame it's my last bottle.

Photo of irishevans
3.57/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Light brown/ red when held up to the light, with a moderate sized just off white head that dissolves into a quarter finger coating on top if the liquid.

N- Fairily malty, the tiniest hint of caramel, and also some darker fruit smells as well, kind of like dates, or prunes. faint citrus smell also.

T- pretty well follows the nose. nice malt backbone, with a bit of dark fruit through out, and finishes with a slight hop bitterness. I would say it's like a malty double IPA without the size.

M- again still the like a double IPA, just a little less viscous.

D- the ultimate Imperial Impersonater. tastes and feels like a double ipa, but in a nice sessionable size, good beer.

Photo of leaddog
2.76/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased from ABC store in Honolulu.

Appearance- Pours a copper red with a half finger width of bubbly head the recedes quickly.

Smell- Mild malts and caramel. Nothing really else.

Taste- Pretty much identical to the aroma. Very mild flavours. Nothing really special.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall- I was expecting a little more since the pale ale was nice. Needs a lot of improvement to compete with other red ales out there.

Photo of srandycarter
3.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Reddish burnt orange hue, almost white thin head, reduces to disk. Some tight bubbled soapy lace.

S - Toasty malt. Smells promising enough.

T - Light caramel center, easy bittering finish. Not a big beer, but nice enough.

M - Medium to light, nothing real noteworthy. Balance OK.

D - I found it very easy to drink.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at The Wine Corner in Paia, Maui, Hawaii. I picked this one up because I have never seen it in California.

Pours a murky amber with a 1 inch foamy light beige head that settles to a thin cap. Random streaks and chunks of lace cling to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some fruity aromas. Taste is of malt, caramel, and some nutty flavors. A very mild bitterness quickly fades from the palate. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a very crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good red ale but I probably wouldn't get this one again.

Photo of BeerManDan
4.12/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of four ale's from the Island's, this was the best. When poured in my glass, it was a dark brown with a reddish hue. There was not a lot of foam or lace on my glass. The smell of roasted malts was overpowering, with a hint of caramel. The taste of roasted malts was very evident from first sip to last gulp! Also, along with the roasted malts was a touch of caramel. Not bitter or tart, this had a sort of a finish that was not sweet or sour. Just a nice touch of a well brewed Red Ale. Even better drinking this Red Ale while looking at the Mountains and Ocean in Hawaii, on my Lani!

Photo of TippySelenoid
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a pint glass.

This beer is red and clear. It's got a white head that quickly turns to lace.

It's smells aren't too strong. A bit of yeast, it's got that red ale spiciness.

It's flavors are ok. Red ales aren't really my thing. It was a spicy beer with a nice malt finish.

It was rather thin bodied and had a lot of carbonation.

Overall, I had this one once. I never visited it again. Pretty mediocre.

Photo of canucklehead
3.53/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer starts with a very dark red/brown colour that set apart from all the other Hawaian beers at the tasting. The taste was a little thin and bitter but got better 3 sips in as the flavours melded on the palate. This would make a nice change from the lighter micros found in Hawaii but other mainland brewers do this better and cheaper.

Photo of July2Nov
3.18/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber-tinted with a slight ruby hue. Had an inch foam head that disappeared quickly. Retained some of the lace.

Smell: Sweet and malty!

Taste & Mouthfeel: Hit with the malt right away. Relatively mild with a toasted taste. Tends to become a bit metallic toward the end. Not bad, but at the same token...not the greatest.

Drinkability: This is my first beer from the Mehana Brewing Co. and while it's not the best red ale I've had, it's not a bad representation. While this wouldn't be my first choice at the store, I would try it again to spice things up again. Decent.

Photo of marburg
3.58/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Absolutely no complaints about this brew, which was brought to me by friends recently returned from their honeymoon. Dark amber colored ale with a tidy little off-white head, very clear. Aroma is grassy and grainy with a distinct sharpness to it in the back of the nose and throat, presumably from the hops. Has an herbal-ish sun tea thing going on as a subtle addition to some big malt flavor. Unlike some amber or red ales, which leave me drifting off into sweet malt nightmares, this one tidies up a bit with a nice hoppy finish. But beware: all the malt seems to make this a full-bodied brew that will fill you up pretty fast. It was my second beer a couple evenings back, and I felt notably weighted down. Just a solid, simple brew.

Photo of slyke
3.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this one while out for pizza on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Appearance: A deep red/brown with a 1/2 inch beige head that fades to a thin cap after a few minutes.

Smell: Malty, a little bit of a tea-like aroma

Taste: Pretty balanced. A little malty up front with a quick, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: A thinner mouthfeel than other red ales I've had in the past. Not bad.

Drinkability: Pretty good. Like many Hawaii-made beers I've tried, it has a quality that makes it good for quaffing on a warm afternoon (surprise for a Hawaiian beer, right?)

Recommended. This one is worth a try.

Photo of Floydster
3.18/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle bought as one of two loose singles for about two dollars each from an ABC Store in Kihei a few weeks back, reviewed from notes, poured into a pint glass

A-Golden orange color with red tint, 3/4 inch pillowy white head, goes away rather quickly and retention was not great, lacing is also pretty minimal
S-Sweetness, caramel, whole grains, light hops, some other kinds of malt, and random aromas and candied sugar
T-Starts out with heavy sweetness that is dominant with toffee, gets a little chewier in the middle, not very balanced and becomes too sweet by the end making it hard to get down, lots of underlying sugary characteristics
M-Thin body for an amber, strong level of carbonation, sweet, slightly dry, and malty mouthfeel, taste did not linger long
D-Easy to drink, ABV seems pretty low, heavy on the stomach after a while, pretty smooth though, just a little sweet

A little different than other ambers out there, definitely not as much of a reliance on hops for this one, saw this at a few bars I went to and passed after my first experience with it, so I probably would not drink again, might be worth giving a shot

Photo of Overlord
3.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Was pleasantly surprised.

Poured a reddish amber. Small white head. Smell: crisp, maybe even some tropical notes ... definitely some malt. Flavor was mostly malt, with a crisp, kind of weird twang running through it. Thin mouthfeel.

All in all, pleasant, drinkable.

Photo of arizcards
3.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a six pack in Waikiki in late May for $9.99.

Beer erupted upon pour, with a very nice tan head. Nose had a hint of malts and nothing much else. A medley of malts greeted my palate, with an attempt by the hops to balance, with the finish being heavily astringent. Mouthfeel was lighter than usual for the style with no redeeming smoothness. Overall drinkability is average, unfortunately the astringency dooms this beer to being average.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.52/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, red amber color. Poured a 2 finger off-white head that dissipated quickly. Decanted continually. Laced in broken rings.

S: Sweetness caramel and wet grains. Light floral hop character.

T: Sweet malt up front; caramel and toffee. Almost as if there were candi sugar. A cloying sweetness along with the floral hop character in the middle. All linger through a light bitter.

M: Light body. Ample carbonation. Sweet then dry in the finish.

D: Easy to drink. Not real balanced or blended.

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Mehana Volcano Red Ale from Hawai'i Nui Brewing / Mehana Brewing Company
74 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.