Hale's Red Menace Big Amber - Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
4.15/5 rDev +21.7%
This was recommended by our server at the Rose and Raindrop, and it seemed like a nice way to finish the evening. The glass held an enchantingly deep amber liquid with good clarity and a curious head. The foam was made of a great variety of bubbles sizes like you'd find in pancake batter. It created a nice milkshake look, though I feel that it may have kept the aroma down. It was just slightly sweet and roasty, but that might have also been masked by the yolks sitting behind me having 2-3 cigarettes for ever bottle of PBR they drank. Who drinks PBR in bottles anyway?
The taste was a surprising mix of sweet and solid amber flavors with a brightness from the hop choices. The ale had a wealthy body that filled the mouth and drank easily. The crisp hops gave the beer nice dimension as well.
This ale was quite drinkable, and I'd love to have it again.
09-23-2004 19:49:26 | More by freed
4.08/5 rDev +19.6%
Easily managed head is off white to tan and supported by slow rolling variety pack of carbonation. Brilliant amber color, milkshake style lacing. This beer screams "drink me now sir"
Green, grassy, hop profile is well placed. A spritzy kind of uplifting lightness to it, some bitterness comes from deep in the malt profile, a kind of charred twist that comes out in the finish. Overall its a damn fine amber, session quality, session priced, I'm in.
Notes: Hale's has been in the so cal area for some time but I have noticed lately the stock and variety has increased. The more the merrier.
03-04-2006 21:22:44 | More by DogFood11
4.05/5 rDev +18.8%
Flawless coppery orange suffused with a dash of red. The ecru colored cap picks up a faint orange cast from the beer beneath and looks, for all the world, like it belongs on an IPA. The foam is milkshake thick with a rumpled, heavily pitted surface and leaves scads of pocked lace that covers the majority of the available glass. It doesn't look menacing, but does look good.
I'd call beer this an IPA if I didn't know different. The nose isn't as spectacularly hoppy as the best of that style, but it's certainly more hoppy than almost any amber ale that I can think of. Sweet caramel and brown sugar are appreciated as well. The top notes consist of a Pacific NW hoppiness that reminds me of (from most prominent to least) orange, grapefruit and pine.
While Red Menace Big Amber is still pretty hoppy on the palate, it isn't quite the 'be all and end all' hoppy amber that I'd hoped for. In addition, it feels a tad undermalted. There's no shortage of well-toasted caramel malt flavor though. It's interesting that a small amount of black malt was used. I can't believe that's a common ingredient for a beer of this style.
There's a juicy orange, lemon and grapefruit hoppiness that doesn't dig in as ferociously as I'd like (for which I'll blame the too light body/mouthfeel). The beer is more sour than it is bitter. Bitter attempts to make a comeback on the long finish, but never does completely offset the tangy puckeriness.
The Red Menace label sports a statue of Lenin with a partial border of hop cones. Although it falls short of revolutionary, Hale's had the right idea and deserves points for chutzpah. With a tweak or two, this could be one for the ages, unlike those wannabe revolutionary Communists. That Red Menace is no more, but this Red Menace is alive and kicking.
08-01-2005 22:33:27 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.05/5 rDev +18.8%
Appearance- Pours a low one finger tan head with good retention, beer is a dark reddish brown amber
Smell- Sweet and fruity amber malts and some nice fresh hops
Taste- Sweet amber malts, biscuity with notes of molasses, orange rind and dried fruits. Hops are citrusy with a bit of pine. Complex and balanced. An absolutely outstanding flavor.
Mouthfeel- Light smooth carbontion, moderate body and somewhat mouthfilling
Drinkability- Smooth and quite flavorful. Big flavor and still surprisingly drinkable.
03-05-2009 05:43:32 | More by olmatty
4.03/5 rDev +18.2%
Appearance This one is a dark, brownish-red in color with a beautiful off-white head with moderate retention and good lacing.
Smell The big leafy citrus hops are evenly mixed with the thick malts. The malts are somewhat biscuity with some good sweetness. The sweets are refined sugars and very well done.
Taste The hops here are leafy, not the big PacNW pine or super-charged citrus that you often get in these parts. The biscuit from the nose comes out in the taste and is, again, very leafy and almost green. Overall a very powerful and balanced flavor profile.
Mouthfeel This is much bigger than medium-bodied but I wouldnt call it full. Theres some vegetal bitterness in the mouth along with moderate carbonation.
Drinkability This really is a Big Amber Ale that went down quite well. Its a heavy hitter for sure and offers a rare glimpse of a big, malty ale brewed here in the PacNW.
03-25-2005 03:05:23 | More by RoyalT
4/5 rDev +17.3%
Been selling this for many months and finally decided I'd give it a try. Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a reddish amber topped by about an inch of creamy, off-white head that recedes to a halo in a couple of minutes. Not a whole lot of aroma - light red and caramel malts with a slight roasty character. Like others have said, palate resembles more of an ESB than an amber. Mellow, semi-sweet malt balanced by lightly fruity hops. A touch of astringency emerges before the swallow, giving way to a slightly bitter finish. Body is smooth and a bit creamy, quite nice. A thoroughly drinkable ale, without the metallic character that so many ambers tend to develop.
11-15-2006 07:08:06 | More by ElGordo
4/5 rDev +17.3%
Pours with a frothy, initially two-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head that leaves a bit of lacing on the side of my glass. The beer itself has a brilliantly clear, dark red color with a touch of amber to it. As I pour this brew I get a nicely hoppy aroma of grapefruit and even a touch of pine. Once I go in for a more in depth look at the aroma, I notice that it is quite well balanced between malt and hop notes. Caramelized malt sugars, bread crust notes and biscuit character mix with the soft, afore-mentioned, overlaid hop notes.
The taste has a nice creaminess to it along with a chewy, malty body to it that is quite nice. This malt is immediately balanced by a sharp, yet in line, biting bitterness that lingers on in the finish. The hops show up from the get go; starting out as a light grapefruit / bergamot note, then moving to a herbaceous, pine and even menthol like note that intermingles with the bitterness that one is left with after the beer has passed. The bitterness is not all that remains though, as, in keeping with the overall balanced character of the beer, a nice chewy malt note remains lingering on the palate; light sweet in a caramelized way and with a nice toasted, cracker like note that just rounds out the edges. While I describe this beer as balanced, it really is a hoppy brew with a nice malt profile.
This is perfectly fine with me as I am in the mood for some hops tonight. A well made beer, that is better than I was expecting. In the end this is just a really nice quaffing beer, it is certainly not any where near the biggest, or the most original, but the components & flavors are all here at a level that makes for quite a sociable brew. I can't wait to try some more of Hale's Ales.
01-23-2007 02:10:05 | More by Gueuzedude
3.93/5 rDev +15.2%
Scored this at Davidson's. Pours coppery red with 2+ fingers of chunky sand colored pudding-skin head. Very good lacing & excellent head retention
S: Rich cakeyness, toasted malt & some grainyness, flattens out as this warms
T: Caramel with metallic & herbal hops up front. Hop tea with woody dryness/vanilla are there as this warms. Finishes with grapefruit, dryness, some tartness, toasted malt with herbal & metallic hops
MF: Medium-bodied with low carbonation& skews a bit hoppy
Drinks too easy, but as an amber this one is kind of all over the map. Not a bad red/amber
09-26-2007 03:43:03 | More by russpowell
3.9/5 rDev +14.4%
Hales Red Menace drank from an imperial pint at the Elephant and Castle in downtown Seattle. The beer is a dark red with a light tan head.
Caramel malts and slight citrus in the nose.
Taste leads with caramel malts that are slightly roasted. It is well balanced with some light hops (centennial) that lend a pine note and add balance. It is almost dry in the finish.
The mouth is thickish and slightly oily.
I thought it was an easy drinker that is well balanced. Nice example of what a red can be.
01-22-2010 19:08:12 | More by Redrover
3.88/5 rDev +13.8%
Poured a light amber more of a copper color really with a very thin wispy head that was gone very quickly,ahh very nice left coast hoppy nose very piney over top of light roasted and caramel malt.A tad thin in the mouthfeel department but not watery, I like a good hoopy red and this fits the bill quite piney,citrusy flavors they dominate over a lightly sweet biscuity malt base but its pretty well balanced in flavors.A pretty nice hoppy red ale here a tad thin like I said bit its very drinkable and has a great hop profile.
12-17-2006 00:55:21 | More by oberon
3.85/5 rDev +12.9%
The beer evacuates the stubby 12 ounce bottle a deep reddish brown, the head is average in size, two fingers or so, the color white, the texture semi-creamy, as it disappears, the lacing forms a thin but covering sheet. Nose is sweet malt, fresh, with the hops providing a nice pine like aroma. Start has a nice malt presence, somewhat sweet, but with a bit of tartness, top is light to medium in its feel to the palate. Finish has a decent hop bite, the acidity acceptable, dry aftertaste, a drinkable beer, a nice change of pace for me.
10-16-2007 21:22:12 | More by Gusler
3.85/5 rDev +12.9%
I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. I really did not think I was going to like this cheaply packaged looking beer, but I was wrong. It really did not have a great head, it was very small and tan. The beer was a nice amber color. Smell was of caramel and sweet and so was the taste but not overly sweet. A tiny bit hoppy for me but not to darn bad. I think I would actually buy this beer again.
10-25-2007 16:51:59 | More by Minkybut
3.85/5 rDev +12.9%
Well the name and the labeling are crafty with the whole Stalin-communism vibe but the beer looks more like light brown disappointment than red menace and I prefer American-Imperialist vibes anyway. The smell is a little like perfume and reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which is instantly a good sign. It leaves a dry after taste, has a good pale ale flavor, slight bit of grassy hops, bitter, good stuff but nothing approaching Nugget Nectar. In addition to this and the Mongoose, Hales is looking like a good addition to the selection here.
08-03-2007 20:30:12 | More by ArrogantB
3.83/5 rDev +12.3%
Pours a beautiful ruby brown with a nice off white head that minimizes quickly. The aroma has a nice blend of citrus and honey malts. The hop smell is suprisingly strong for an amber, will crave those hop-head cravings. The taste is a blast of hops, I was blown away at the hoppiness of this amber ale, unlike any I've tried before, a nice sweet honey is light and goes well with the hops. A well rounded beer and went great with Spicy chicken. A very nice offering.
11-13-2005 06:58:02 | More by beertaster13
3.78/5 rDev +10.9%
A - Poured out a very cloudy, muddy, brown color almost like water from the Mississippi. It had a small, tan, bubbly head.
S - It smelled grassy, floral and of pine and citrus.
T - It tasted of burnt toast maltiness with a piney/citrusy hop kick. One of the hopppier ambers around.
M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.
D - Despite its unusual appearance it tasted quite good. Pretty hoppy and malty.
11-03-2008 02:25:07 | More by zeff80
British Columbia (Canada)
3.75/5 rDev +10%
This really should not be labelled as a big beer as the flavours are not in your face but rather aimed at drinakbility. I like this beer but it is not a typical big special edition. Lots of malt with a good balance this just goes down easy with an attention to quality. Drink with the feeling that the next pint will also be as smooth.
03-28-2005 04:30:31 | More by canucklehead
Hale's Red Menace Big Amber from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
78 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.