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Sassy Red - Mac's Brewery

Not Rated.
Sassy RedSassy Red

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

30 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 30
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mac's Brewery visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jahsausage on 04-17-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by SmashPants:
Photo of SmashPants


3.03/5  rDev -15.8%

Bottle: 330mL brown stubbie, pretty boring label. I'd expect a bit better for a reasonably expensive beer.

Appearance: healthy dark reddish-bronze. Good loose-bubbled head. Little carbonation. Good lacing.

Aroma: spicy hop oil on the nose - vegetal and herbal. Not a lot of malt.

Taste: falls down a bit. Based on roasted malt, but a bit too subdued. Expected more flavour. Hops are a bit overwhelmed by metallic fug.

Aftertaste: what little flavour there was has disipated, not much in the aftertaste at all. Some malts remain.

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation - almost too much. Medium-bodied.

Overall: some roasted malts and some vegetal hops, but all together an unsophisticated and expensive lighter ale. For AU$55 a case (2012), I won't be bothering again.

06-28-2012 08:09:55 | More by SmashPants
More User Reviews:
Photo of btmo

New Zealand (Aotearoa)

3.98/5  rDev +10.6%

Oh my!

For a macro beer, even a limited release, special run macro, this is *very* good indeed.

The taste of this beer has to be seen to be believed, if I may mix senses like that!

It is spicy and hoppy in a very good way, and is very drinkable indeed. I was recently at a barbeque at a friends place, and this was the beer of choice on the evening. I had never tried it before, and was amazed at the depth of flavour.

The taste just lingers and lingers.

I picked up a six pack the very next day.

What is amazing to me is that this is a dirt cheap beer - one of the cheapest in the chiller at the local supermarket!

Good value, a fine drop from Macs.

Try it.

10-13-2006 04:01:52 | More by btmo
Photo of Daniell


4/5  rDev +11.1%

A: nice ~2 finger head. Colour is a pretty red. Interesting and nice. 4

S: grassy hops, sugar and maltiness. Reminds me a bit of Fat Yak. Intense. 4

T: taste actually evokes the "black pearls" you get at an Asian bubble tea vendor such as EasyWay, which afterwards I also identify in the nose. Rich and molasses-ey. There is bitterness but it's not that intense. 4

M: rich and thick and syrupy. I don't mind it, it's interesting. 4

D: Could probably have another of these before I got bored. That's high drinkability to me. 4

Really tasty beer.

06-04-2010 10:24:11 | More by Daniell
Photo of dirtylou


3.68/5  rDev +2.2%

This has to be my first New Zealand beer…bought at Vintage Cellars in Melbourne along with some nice wines for my return.

Appearance: bizarre bottle to say the least…spiraling ribbed neck, funky gold cap that calls for you to pull a ring back and then pull it up ripping the cap into 3rds of which the middle 3rd allows passage of the bounty. Body is a very rich amber colour with a creamy lace and little retention

Smell: robust caramel aroma, complex malt structure (5 different used), noble hopping

Taste: biscuity/bready, sweet caramel, saaz hops noticeable, nutty, nice red apple sweetness, kind of a cardboard taste (probably just the saaz clashing with the malts)…all in all an interesting beer and worth the try

Mouthfeel: smooth and slick

Drinkability: pretty good

07-01-2007 00:05:27 | More by dirtylou
Photo of jahsausage

New Zealand (Aotearoa)

2.85/5  rDev -20.8%

Originally brewed by Lion breweries showcase brewery in Wellington, Sassy Red describes itself as a "Hoppy Best Bitter". It is a nice orangey brown colour but its head is exceedingly shortlived for which I had to deduct a fair amount of points for. It has a very strong 'spicy' smell from the hops, possibly one of the strongest smelling beers i've had. In taste it is strongly bitter, almost too much for my taste which is suprising. Overall I did not like this beer as much as some of Mac's other offerings which I find a bit odd considering that it must have been popular at the brewpub for Lion (who currently own the rights to marketting Macs beers) to produce it on a large scale.

04-17-2005 01:37:03 | More by jahsausage
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.23/5  rDev -10.3%

Pours dark amber/red with a large but short-lasting head.
Nose shows generous amounts of toasty, nutty malt with some caramel in there too. In the way of hops there's a faint fruity character. Loving the malt though.
Some of the nutty malt transfers through as a flavours but overall the malt profile seems overly metallic. Finishes with a weak bitterness and that metallic character.
Carbonation is much too high.

02-06-2011 07:16:14 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of Kulrak


4.22/5  rDev +17.2%

Pours a dark reddish brown with plenty of foamy tan head that sticks around for a while. The aroma is of hops, presumably NZ Saaz hops as it says on the bottle. Spicy and peppery and malty. You can taste the same hops and the same spicy/peppery flavor in the beer, along with a decent amout of malt flavor. Tiny bit of coffee & roast flavor. Not really detecting the nuttiness that it mentions on the bottle, but it's got a good malty taste all the same. The mouthfeel is a little heavy with some tingliness on the tongue, but not so much as to overpower the flavor. Low carbonation helps the sweetness a lot. Overall, it's a very tasty beer and I'll be looking for it again.

08-20-2007 08:07:28 | More by Kulrak
Photo of foles


4/5  rDev +11.1%

First of all - cool bottle design, I like the speal on the label.

Pours a deep shade of red 7 copper. Has a nice hop amora, and I now know what NZ saaz B is like. Nice hop presence on the mouth, backed up by the english bitter esters. Good malty backbone, slight sweetness, bit grainy, well balanced caramel without being too sharp. I imagine there are kiwi malts in there - very nice.

To me this beer smells like an APA, drinks like a bitter. I really enjoyed this beer, because it was very unique. Even more surprising was it was only a month away from its use by date. The stuff must be great fresh.

03-11-2009 23:47:49 | More by foles
Photo of rec


3.63/5  rDev +0.8%

Apparently this is dirt cheap in NZ, but here it's over $50 a case.

A light chocolate brown coloured body flows into the glass, with unfortunately little head and almost no retention after dissipation.

The taste is over-the-top spice and hops, just like the aroma, and it works surprisingly well. Upon first sip, I could have almost sworn I was drinking Little Creatures Pale Ale (Western Australia), it's so similar that I honestly doubt if I could tell them apart after a few throw-downs.

The mouth feel is average, a typical macro with med to med-high carbonation, but paired with the aftertaste that just lasts and lasts you can't help but like it.

It's apparently limited release, which is a shame because I'd be buying this over Little Creatures Pale Ale because of the $20 saving otherwise.

If you can find it, try it! It gets my vote.

03-29-2007 10:19:28 | More by rec
Photo of pin


2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

05-21-2013 21:42:41 | More by pin
Photo of Macca


3.8/5  rDev +5.6%

This pours a dark amber/red colour with a centimetre of dense white head.

For something with that colour I was expecting a lot more maltiness on the nose. Some great hop notes but no malt.

I was hoping to tell you how the malts jumped out on the palate but no, hops again. Very fine tasting hops mind you. A tiny bit of maltiness hiding in there

Some very nice bitterness as you would expect given all the hoppiness going on.

A really nice beer unless you are expecting a lot of malt.

08-22-2010 08:28:41 | More by Macca
Photo of crusian


3.43/5  rDev -4.7%

Draft at northern steamship brewery. Pours more of a dark golden than a red, nice finger of head. Lacing is really nice too.
Nose is weak on hop, heavy on caramel malt... not much else going on.
Taste is heavy on the hops, English bitter hops. Damnit, chose this one because it smelled boring and thus would leave my palate in tact. Nice flavor on this, hops dominate for sure, malt plays in the back, but are there...
Nicely carbed, light to medium bodied. A nice surprise.

10-13-2011 23:27:31 | More by crusian
Photo of Bobhoya


3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

02-20-2014 18:42:08 | More by Bobhoya
Photo of flexabull


4.2/5  rDev +16.7%

Dig the pop top bottle, and the beer inside is good too!

Pours a bright and clear amber color with a decent off white head.

Light caramel malt sweetness, a little brewed tea, bright fruits, and some nice earthy hop notes. Nice smelling beer.

Taste is smooth and clean, with a light creaminess, toasty, and slightly sweet malt backdrop. Finish is crisp, with a light spicy hop finish.

Good, crisp, and well carbonated, and a good, smooth and thick feel.

Solid, very nice Amber / Bitter. Very tasty, great nose, and super easy to drink and session. I'm already thinking about having another bottle.

11-03-2009 06:05:33 | More by flexabull
Photo of soju6


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

A: Pours a nice amber color with a small head that fades to nice lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt sweetness with spice and some grain in the back ground.

T: Taste of malt sweetness and a bit of spice. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: fairly medium body, smooth and a bit creamy. Has a distinct character.

O: Nice drinker that goes down easy. Not bad for the style.

08-17-2012 09:45:06 | More by soju6
Photo of labrooy


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

12-21-2011 10:11:41 | More by labrooy
Photo of TubaManJack


3.78/5  rDev +5%

Great Beer- End Review

A- A pleasing dark red color. Its looks like some of the Red Ales I have had. The cream colored head dissipates slowly.

S- Big Bold Glorious Hops, everything else is lost. However the smell is pleasing and not boarding on pungent like some bitters.

T: The hops comes through clearly in a medium boded beer that has a clean finish. There are malt notes are very dark almost like what you expect to find in porters. They occur between the bitter hops and this allows the tastes to be in proportion. This is one of my favorite session beers here. However its kinda expensive for someone at Uni @ $12 for a six pack.

03-07-2009 04:54:36 | More by TubaManJack
Photo of seadragon99

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

07-08-2014 23:22:02 | More by seadragon99
Photo of MenInVen


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

12-29-2011 22:28:22 | More by MenInVen
Photo of keitho

New Zealand (Aotearoa)

4/5  rDev +11.1%

Appearance-Red brown colour,one finger head,minimal lacing,it looks good.Thumbs up on the packaging.

Smell-Wild berries,toffee,caramel.

Mouthfeel-OK,but felt slightly thin.Good carbonation.

Taste-Bitter hops(N.Z Saaz)crisp,dry,fruity.

Drinkability-It's nice to try something with a bit of complexity compared to N.Z brown draught beers,it's a tastey fine bitter.And quite moreish.

11-04-2009 11:33:43 | More by keitho
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.18/5  rDev -11.7%

Pretty healthy dark reddish-bronze. Good loose-bubbled, slightly greenish head. Little carbonation. Good lacing.

Decent spice hop oil on the nose. Pretty vegetative and herbal. The Saaz is definitely prominent, but not a lot of malt. Decent though.

Malt on the palate, peppered with a sprinkling of resinous hops. The hop bitterness is delicate, and a little subdued, really. It's mostly the aroma of hops which is noticeable. Palate is based on toasted malt. It's still pretty decent.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but not too bad. A creamier feel would have boosted this beer significantly.

It's a pretty nice drinking beer, with a bit of character. Worth a look.

04-08-2007 02:02:01 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of tedho21


2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

01-31-2012 06:01:00 | More by tedho21
Photo of xylophonica


3.95/5  rDev +9.7%

A - Pours a deep red/brown colour with a good finger of head. Some gentle lacing as well.

S - Sweet caramel-sugar with plenty of malt.

T - Big hit of dark/burnt malt flavours at first. This subsides to a more even malty flavour with some nice sugary highlights. Contrasting this is a peppery/spicy hop flavour sneaking around somewhere in the background.

M - Again loads of malt which coats the mouth but otherwise not much happening - minimal carbonation.

O - Very nice to drink but would've thought this closer to a red or brown ale than an English bitter. Note - the beer I'm drinking is rated at 4.3% alcohol content.

06-01-2011 09:17:18 | More by xylophonica
Photo of hopnerd


4/5  rDev +11.1%

05-09-2012 11:27:48 | More by hopnerd
Photo of femALEist


3.83/5  rDev +6.4%

English Bitter and 4.5% abv. The label says: a real favourite and Mac's most awarded beer. A very hoppy bitter with loads of Saaz B and five different malts. All the flavour you can handle. (Don't you love how the English spell things like flavor?).
It poured a copper red with a touch of a head and minimal lacing. It smelled of some light toffee notes, some berry, and a touch of piney hops. It tasted crisp, with some berry fruitiness, with a good malty backbone that leaves a nice dry hop bitterness on your tongue. I actually liked it. Kudos for the name, plus I was with a sassy redhead, so it actually worked out quite well.

03-23-2010 05:00:28 | More by femALEist
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Sassy Red from Mac's Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.