Hale's Red Menace Big Amber - Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

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Hale's Red Menace Big AmberHale's Red Menace Big Amber

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BA SCORE
78
okay

89 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.96%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: freed on 09-23-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 56
Photo of freed
4.11/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of DogFood11
4.07/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 wouldn’t call it full. There’s some vegetal bitterness in the mouth along with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability – This really is a Big Amber Ale that went down quite well. It’s a heavy hitter for sure and offers a rare glimpse of a big, malty ale brewed here in the PacNW.

Photo of olmatty
4.02/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of ElGordo
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of oberon
3.89/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Redrover
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of Gusler
3.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Minkybut
3.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of beertaster13
3.82/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.82/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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, Hale’s is looking like a good addition to the selection here.

Photo of canucklehead
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of BDTyre
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed this one by mistake, but it turned out not to be a bad find. I like the Lenin-esque label and faux-propaganda. My first foray into Hale's, and I'm presented with a decent, drinkable session ale.

Nice amber colour, bordering almost on copper. Very slightly off-white head that puffed up quite a bit. Faint malt smell with a bit of hop bitterness. The hops really cut the malt sweetness and prevent this from becoming a brown ale.

Tastes a bit on the bitter side, tinged with a faint copper hint I often associate with bitters. The mouthfeel is affected somewhat by this, as it feels rather harsh on the way down. Regardless, this makes a good accompaniment to snacks and is a decent session ale.

Photo of zeff80
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of RJLarse
3.72/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at the Elk Public House. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance is a copper red color and slightly hazy. Frothy bubbly stark white head.

Smell is faint with citrus notes

Taste is a mild citrus flavor. It's a hoppy red ale. Reminds me a little of the Deschute's Cindercone red.

Mouthfeel is smooth and mildly carbonated on cask.

Very drinkable very sessionable hoppy red ale.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/9/08. Bottle courtesy of scrizzz. Pours a deep, dark amber with a very small white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of light sweet fruits (raspberry seeds) and sweet malt. Flavor of nice light fruity sweetness (more raspberry and strawberry seeds). Nice, light, and tasty.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

Photo of CharlieMopps
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour reveals a hazy, bold rusty amber color that yields just over a finger of head that produces thick lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Malt presence is evident, just slightly less than the subtly floral and citrusy hop character. Smells like a delicious balance, and looks like it could be a winner.

T: Sweet and bready malt character helps deliver a hoppy side through the middle and into the finish that brings with it some bitterness, but not the flavor expected from the bouquet. Aftertaste is a bit lackluster and leaves a weak hop syrup on the back of the mouth.

M: Carbonated well and a fluffy texture to go along with it. Only a bit of oily hop feel in the back in the finish.

D: A drinkable beer, to say the least, but definitely not an outstanding amber. While a great balance is struck here, the flavors don't really taste all that great, malt and hop; both seem merely average, but in sync with each other. I definitely give it credit, but wouldn't recommend it as highly as others of its style.

Photo of timtim
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

head and lace on this burnt amberish beer are almost non-existant. off white head fades quick and leaves no lace. i can't put my finger on it, but i just wasn't terribly fond of this one. i love a good red ale, and it doesn't have to be a hop bomb, so... if you ask me, a couple of reviews down nailed it. strawberry and raspberry SEED, mixed with lightly burnt toast a touch of pine in the nose. more of the same with a touch of metal in the finish when tasted. above average brew, depending on what you consider average. decent medium body and fairly easy to drink. i won't be revisiting this one.

Photo of masikon
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked this one recently while playing a little poke with the boys. Poured less red and more amber with a nice head which stuck around pretty well. Smell was slightly malty and sweet with a faint floral suggestion as well. Taste was not off-putting in any way but not really very exciting either, just a nice easy drinking amber. Well balanced with a slight malty bias, somewhat filling and easy to gulp down...unfortunately after the first few sips the taste was uninteresting enough that by the time I thought about it again the glass was empty. A good beer to share with friends who might not be into craft beer much, but nothing that will interest a well developed palate.

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

22 oz bomber. Very nice lookin amber in my pint shaker. Amber with red trints with a nice sized bubbly/frothy tan head, that goes fas but leaves nice laceing. A very "caramel" aroma to this one almost to the point of butteryness actually quite inviting. Again I liked the malty/toffee sweet flavour of this only broken up by a hint of bitterness as the mouthful vanishes down the throat. Nice on the palte, sweet but not sickeningly so. I liked this beer a nice laid back sweet amber!

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

Presentation: Statue of a communist icon on the label, along with the quote "Join the party .." How about putting some freshness info on it?

Appearance: Pours on the dark end of amber, quite a bit of haze. Average head, good retention.

Smell: A hint of malt sweetness, and some floral hops.

Taste: Definitely malt dominated, sweet and bready, with some yeasty flavor as well. Just a bit of floral hops in there too.

Overall impression: Not bad - some interesting flavor characteristics.

Photo of flagmantho
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: dark amber-brown in color with a thin finger of tan head. Pretty dark for an amber, but nice.

Smell: light, caramelly malt aroma with a nice whiff of citrus hops. Pretty light, but I like it.

Taste: nice balance of caramel and biscuity malt flavors. Hops are slightly earthy, slightly citrusy, and nicely bitter. Overall well-crafted and well-balanced, though there's a bit of a sourness which is a bit off-putting. It's light, though, and doesn't adversely affect the beer too much.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent level of carbonation. It works for me.

Drinkability: the sourness aspect of the flavor prevents me from giving this a better score, as it seems to build on the palate in a not-so-good way. Otherwise, this is an eminently quaffable session amber.

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Hale's Red Menace Big Amber from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
78 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.