Hale's Red Menace Big Amber - Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.4/5 rDev -0.3%
Appearance: Pours a clear, ruby red body with a fizzy, off-white head.
Smell: Aroma of toasted bread crusts, citrus fruits, and caramelized sugars.
Taste: Toasty, chewy caramel malt flavor with a decent amount of sweetness. Plenty of citrus fruitiness, but the overall bitterness remains light. Fairly mild finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.
Drinkability: Not bad, but not all that exciting either.
11-01-2007 04:04:41 | More by ChainGangGuy
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
3.78/5 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
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
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
2.93/5 rDev -14.1%
A: Poured a vrimson color with good carbonation and a nice white head
S: Bread, green fresh hops, caramel
T: Caramel, green hops and some bread, perhaps toasted
M: Lighter bodied and very thing mouthfeel, barely detect booze
D: Not bad but not good either
06-09-2010 12:52:24 | More by barleywinefiend
3.25/5 rDev -4.7%
22 picked up today at the COOP... paid about $3.75... poured into my shaped SA glass...
just shy of a 2 finger head.. surprising lace throughout the entire glass.. the brew is a polished amber...
nose is "fresh" .. caramel malts and a descent amount of C-hops.. a little bit of yeasty fruitiness that reminds me of underripe plums..
Flavor is expected maltiness with lesser caramel than the nose.. but the hops are also less.. less citric and more grassy.. there is an odd metallic not that lingers mid palate through the finish.. it isn't overpowering by any means .. just probably shouldn't be there.. as it warms.. the caramel sorta turns into a biscuity element.. the body is a little lite but the carbonation is where it should be..
Overall... this tastes pretty fresh right now.. but I don't expect it to hold well... the metallic note sorta sticks around but doesn't distract too badly... overall.. just an okay amber.. I doubt I'll buy it again.
06-27-2009 08:42:41 | More by JohnGalt1
3.5/5 rDev +2.6%
Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clear, just very slightly hazy, medium dark red with about 1/4 inch of light tan head that had moderate retention and lacing.
The aroma was fairly typical for the style, solid, slightly sweet, malt base with just enough hops floating around for a bit of a citrus tingle. The story on the tongue is similar, solid malts with a little sweetness, a nice blend of hops for contrast and a tangy citrus hop finish.
The body was also averageish for the style, medium bodied and for the most part smooth. Drinkability is very good, this could easily be your sixer for a cookout at the neighbors.
Overall, a solidly decent brew. Worth trying if this style is what you're in the mood for.
02-17-2011 23:42:46 | More by beertunes
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
3.1/5 rDev -9.1%
12 oz bottle poured into a nonic, Red Menace is a murky dark chestnut with a thin ivory head that leaves moderate lace. I like the color but there's not enough head.
Smell is soft toasted malt, semi-sweet with perhaps a touch of brown sugar.
Taste doesn't have that touch of sweetness on the nose, and is pretty standard toasted malt amber, with no distinct hop pressance to speak of flavor or bittering wise. I've done a NW amber tasting tonight and this one is perfectly average. No real flaws, but totally indistinct. Not sure exactly how strong this is, they only give the OG, which is pretty pointless w/o the FG! Still, it's 1.056, so if this finished at say 1.015, it's only 5.3%...not very big at all!
Mouthfeel is average, perhaps a bit slick and thin.
Drinkability is average. Blah, boring, one and done with this one.
02-01-2008 07:37:20 | More by ccrida
3.4/5 rDev -0.3%
12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic. No date or info.
A - Red Menace pours quietly despite it's tall height and settles to a crystal clear red-amber color with an off-white head. The retention was rather low but it left some thin fingers of lace on the glass.
S - Toasted bread and flaky biscuit emerges from the nose immediately followed by a grassy, green, and slightly floral hop aroma. The amber malts become less distinct the longer it sits. I'm starting to pick up a metallic touch which, coincidentally, goes away as well. A swirl releases more of the citrus from the hops. It's a decent amber nose.
T - The toasted bread and biscuit flavor remains from the amber malts but is forcefully pushed to the background from the amount of strong-armed hops in this. Lots of bitterness and pine potency with a grassy backing and hint of citrus. It's a pretty hoppy amber.
M - Medium-bodied and round, Big Amber is big in hop flavor and bitterness. The finish has a dry, bitter kick and a hard mouthfeel. It's not really on the smooth side bit all-in-all it works decently.
D - This amber is a little hoppier than I like mine to be, but it's brewed well nonetheless. The bitterness with a low malt backing is the issue for me though. Still a solid beer but it lands around the lawnmower side of the scale. One is enough for this reviewer.
05-12-2010 12:16:58 | More by BeerFMAndy
3.5/5 rDev +2.6%
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.
05-13-2010 00:50:51 | More by flagmantho
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
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
3.73/5 rDev +9.4%
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.
12-28-2008 15:44:30 | More by LilBeerDoctor
3.23/5 rDev -5.3%
Say what you will about old Vladimir, but he deserved a more hearty ale than this. Menace is crimson with a thin film of ivory-colored head and a few stray wisps of lace. It is mostly clear, of medium carbonation, and has a distant aroma of malt fruits with a vague suggestion of hops. Its flavor is of simple pale malt sweetness with an informal bittering compliment that is neither deflated nor memorable.
Menace's most standout quality may be its nicely contoured body, which is rounded and appropriately chewy and significantly more pronounced than in bottled form. Other than that, the Red Menace is routine. Inoffensive but indistinct.
03-15-2008 01:49:57 | More by RedDiamond
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
3.53/5 rDev +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!
10-21-2005 18:55:16 | More by Reidrover
Hale's Red Menace Big Amber from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
78 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.