1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

Spin Cycle Red Ale - No-Li Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Spin Cycle Red AleSpin Cycle Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

122 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 122
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 1
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
No-Li Brewhouse visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.75% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Zraly on 11-30-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 122 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #69 (October 2012):

A refreshing change of pace to run into a malt bomb and a very well balanced one to boot! The west coast is not all about ales with a heavy hand of hops. So robust for a beer this size and drinkable, a good reminder to all that not every beer has to test your palate to be good … it can just be good.

STYLE: English Bitter
ABV: 5.5%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

LOOK: Bright deep amber, amazing looking head

SMELL: Herbal, woody, leafy, earthy, faint pine, mild hop resin, buttery, ripe fruit

TASTE: Smooth, malty, a bit creamy, caramel, bready, ripe pears, faintly buttery, balanced hop, light bitterness, very herbal, leafy, lightly spicy, woody, grassy, dry finish

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

My first try of this eastern Washington brewery.Pours into an imperial nonic a rch clear amber with a billowing creamy light beige head atop that left one full ring of lace as it settled into a creamy mass.Aromas were very light with come caramel and dough notes,not much hop presence except for faint leafiness.A really creamy feel to the beer,low carbonation and it gldes down easily.Toffee and biscuit malts dominate the flavors,although sweet not to sweet,my problem is that there really isn't a real hop presence with again just a light leafiness in the finish.The look and feel are top notch,aroma and taste are average.

Photo of Beaver13
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours slightly hazy ruby amber with a small off white head that quickly goes to a thin dusting that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet bready caramel malts with a little fruit and hops.

The flavor is sweet, nutty toffee and caramel malts with a medium bitter finish that balances it. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, this is one of the better ESBs I've had which is not usually a style I care for.

Photo of mverity
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer under it's pseudonym "Crystal Bitter ESB". Reddish amber brown in color with light tan head, medium collar, good lacing and wisps. Aroma is caramel malts and earthy hops. Taste is too bitter for a bitter in my opinion. I get some earthy hoppiness, burnt caramel, and wet wood. Medium body and medium carbonation as well.

Photo of dabone
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Draft beer at That Place in Richland, WA. Nice look. Not much for aroma. Malty and bitter taste, more so than other reds. Average for a red.

Photo of Berndt
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2/22/2013, on draft at Pioneer Square Saloon, Seattle. Served cold - warmed it up with my hands

Aroma - malt dominated, hops below my threshold

Appearance - clear, deep amber with some red

Taste - very flavorful, malt dominated with some dark malt included, some bitterness at the finish

Mouthfeel - Medium body, low-moderate carbonation

Overall. Quite enjoyable, full of flavor. Definitely something I will buy in a 22 oz. bottle, though I'll let it set outside the fridge for 15 minutes to let it warm up.

Photo of tdm168
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to jtd1969 for opening this bottle

A - orangish amber with a soft, off white head

S - very faint aroma; hints of caramel

T - caramel, mildly bitter, faint citrus

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a rather simple though quaffable beer. It has a nice, subtle flavor that keeps you interested but also doesn't make you over think. This is definitely a nice, lighter offering that is worth trying.

Photo of souvenirs
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%

I guess I was expecting more hops, but this is very well balanced. Quite nice. Grassy, some bitterness, but well balanced with malts.

Photo of smakawhat
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. 2012 GABF gold medal winner in the category Extra Special Bitter.

A real nice beautiful crystal clear dark chestnut brown, with orange hued edges for the body is on the pour. A light tan head forms creamy at first, four fingers deep, then keeping a real nice crown with some soapy retention. Light mixes of sized bubbled carbonation come up, some cola sized, most of them smaller. A real nice beautiful looking beer, best part about it.

Nose is a mild sense of dry malt, light toffee, and a sense of char. Slight tannic nut quality also more like a brown ale. Subtle but good.

Palate fills nicely with some good depth even with a very light body. Toasty malts and light sensing malts. Most of the taste hits in the back end on the palate in the swallow. Not much herbal or fruity estery character to this interestingly enough. Tannic dry not character comes through like a classic brown ale.

Drinks incredibly easy, and very enjoyable. A real good balance to this beer, very impressed with No-Li's line up so far.

Photo of brewercraig
2.55/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Part of our shipment from Liquid Gratitude. Beer poured very foamy and was cloudy. A very slight hop aroma with some malt. Flavor was initially malty followed by some hop citrus flavors. Finished bitter. Low carbonation, flat mouthfeel. An OK beer, however I probably wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Non-assertive, yet otherwise very pleasing orangey-sweet nose is the first note that strikes, but the nearly-opaque chromatic profile is the really alluring and positively-portending characteristic—almost like a pus-café, its color is graduated in visibly-separated layers: pale yellow, red-orange, red-brown, and finally a deep-mahogany cylinder in the center. Meanwhile, the head is a bit meek, but but the lacing is very nice; a plenitude of sediment belies the smooth, barely-sharp yeast-bill.

Yet what perhaps strikes me most strongly is the fact that this ale is billed as an ESB in competition, despite clear labelling as a "red ale"—and yet I see it: it has the sorts of delicious malt/bitter proportions of an ESB, and just happens to employ deep-red, sweet Irish-like malts in that balance. The hops are muted, sure, but add a very nice bitterness throughout; these bitters grow to an acute, though still somewhat muted, puncuation at the finish. Moreover, it's simply extremely drinkable—an ale that'd almost be better served as a session-six than a bomber. If it loses points, it's a result of the only assertive quality being how unassertive, even unassuming, the beer is—a ding that's hardly daming in this case.

Photo of Reidrover
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

According to the label this is a "hybrid beer"..lager conditioned and coldfiltered ..yet an "ale".
Comes in a 22 oz brown bomber.
A very nice looking beer, a dark garnet colour sort of hazy, a massive creamy tan coloured head that stays around.
The smell is rather subdued but it is fresh and malty.
Nice malt profiles hit the tongue first taste then the hoppiness can be discerned later..this beer finishes fast not too much after taste.
Nice , creamy and smooth mouthfeel.
Good drinkable beer from Spokane.

Photo of bondjedi
4.24/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Tacoma Craft Brew Festival.

Formerly the Northern Lights brewery. I kind of prefer the old name. The gal in the booth handing out samples was a hired gun, and knew little about the beer beyond that one factoid. A shame - this is a damn good beer with a chance for mainstream success if marketed properly.

Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Per the menu, this beer combines the best aspects of English, German & American brewing techniques. It is lagered and Cold Filtered.

The beer was served in a standard pint glass. It is a clear mahogany with minimal head and very nice lacing.

The aroma is slightly medicinal with a bit of herbs and pine.

The taste is slightly bitter and piney. The malts add a nice brown bread quality and the beer seems balanced.

The mouth achieves being both soft yet substantial. This is a very sessionable beer. This is one of their most popular offerings and 3 of the 4 people I saw getting growlers picked this beer.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy deep ruby copper color with a 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, orange zest, lemon zest, pear, apple, floral, grass, light pine, herbal, and floral/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of hop, malt, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, orange peel, pear, apple, nuttiness, floral, grass, pine, herbal and floral/yeast earthiness. Moderate earthy herbal/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, orange zest, pear, apple, floral, grass, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt, hop, and yeast ester flavors; with nice robustness, malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, smooth, and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice ESB style. All around good balance and robustness of malt, hop, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with plenty of foam. Quite attractive and the suds last well. Spritzy on the tongue with a light mouthfeel. Slightly fruity hop notes in the aroma.

I'm not sure this is any kind of English Bitter, but it's a very drinkable and pleasant beer. Warm toned with bright malty flavors and just a hint of dark roast. Finishes with a bitter edge. Somewhat earthy with less of the fruity flavor than you might want in the English style. But as a dark-toned hoppy brew, it's way better than many amber ales and the like.

Totally drinkable and nicely balanced. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Mayfair Liquors in Denver.

Photo of archyquaffer
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from a bomber into a pilsener sampling glass. With a moderate pour I needed to back off a bit to avoid overfill, and ended up with a billowing, frothy and creamy 1.5 inch head, pale tan in color. The beer itself is a deep copper color with light carbonation.

I really dig the aroma of this beer- I have a rather poor nose, so anything that I can really SMELL is a good bonus- as long as I'm not just smelling hops and nothing else...Definitely some grassy and herbal hops on the nose, but you can still smell some caramelly malt. The flavor is rich, complex and malt forward (without neglecting the hops entirely). I perceive notes of caramel, toffee, dark bread, nuts, and dark fruit, with a nice but not overpowering background of leafy and herbal hop bitterness. Quite a clean finish despite the fruity notes, with just a tad of lingering coffee-like bitterness with a bit of dank herb. The body is medium with a lightly creamy mouth feel that invites more sips.

I was afraid that this might be a crazy hop bomb (Spokane's getting pretty close to Seattle), but this beer is true to its style, and lets the malt characters shine through without neglecting the hops. An excellent example of the ESB style.

Photo of harrymel
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bigfoot Pub - where Madonna made her cinematic debut.

Pours the usual copper with a solid light tan foam and brilliant clarity. Smells of tea, light crystal malts, some herbal hop and noble, English character. Flavor is slightly bitter with a decent modified sweetness and some tea character. Just slightly sweeter and I'd be quire reminded of Fuller's ESB. Medium bodied with light carb and a semi dry finish. This is a decent enough offering. I spent many nights getting blasted on this beer when i first started drinking, and it is validating to know I have decent tastes.

Photo of Zraly
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was purchased as a 22 ouncer. The bottle is your standard brown with a blue, green and pink-toned label with what is most likey Mt. Spokane as the backdrop for the label. Northern Lights Brewery assert that they use English, German, and American brewing methods to create "a hybrid beer of undeniably satisfying character."

The head didn't stay around long enough...but fret not (and the bubbles that did stay were big and beautiful). The left-over lace danced gracefully down the side of my glass. The color of this rich brew pours a deep amber with tones of brown in it. A real treat to look at.

As a whole, this is a very tasty, assertive beer. The initial notes hitting the nose are floral in nature. The flavor carries this onto the tongue, enveloped with a strong, caramel-malt gradation. It ends superbly clean with the exception of a faint hint of an odd "antiseptic" nuance. It very well may be a type of hop (flavor) I am not accustomed to. I also taste a trace of a yeasty hot biscuit-n-butter flavor. Pretty interesting dimensions in a lone beer.

I would have rated this beer much higher except for the odd, little flavor that emerges prior to the finish. That is the only critical point to be made about this ale. Because I wish to support the smaller brewers of the Great NW, and because I think this beer could grow on me...I'm going to buy it again.

Photo of flagmantho
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: medium brown-orange hue with a haze-free body and a light effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy tan foam. I really like the depth of color here!

Smell: sweet caramelly aroma with a lightly bready character. Some toastiness and a light earthy hop character are also present. Nice, although a little sweet.

Taste: much more toasty and biscuity than the aroma. Drier up front than the smell, but sweeter toward the end. Hop bitterness is actually good: both balanced and bitter enough for the style. Pretty decent!

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a mild carbonation but a decent creaminess. Not bad.

Overall: this is a pretty tasty example of an English bitter. Some of its biscuity/toasty notes just don't happen to suit my palate. If those flavors don't bother you, then this beer is definitely worth a try.

Photo of tbeck
2.81/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep amber with a slight clarity. Very thin brown/white head that dissipated into a decent collar, nice laciness. Aroma was malts, very little hops. Taste was very bitter but the only flavor was cereal grains and some malty sweetness. Very watery and thin texture. This was not enjoyable, the bitterness without any decent flavor killed it.

Photo of Talisker
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased on a lark at Rocket Market on a trip to Spokane, WA.

The label description makes this sound like a Frankenstein beer with respect to style, but it holds together well. To my SF Bay Area palate, this is like a pleasant hybrid of Anderson Valley's Boont Amber and Anchor Steam.

Pours a deep reddish brown, medium-sized creme-colored head. Nose of very clean malt, sweet but not too sweet, not too dry, some slight pleasant dough. Taste is beautifully integrated - starts off sweet, but not at all cloying, sort of like a typical red ale. Turns a corner with some extraordinarily crisp English-style bitterness (is this the lagering?), maybe too much, since the sweetness doesn't really return on the finish, leaves a too-lingering dryness afterward.

But I like this beer. Would happily make it a regular drinker, like I already do Boont Amber and Anchor Steam. I'm now going to try to find out more about this brewery!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

5.8% per the label.

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, biscuit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop and toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that has a lot of bread like aromas and flavors that work well with the citrus forward hops used in this one.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Going towards the bitter side. Out of a 22 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

This is a reddish amber colored beer with hues of orange. There's a thick head which sits pretty on top and leaves a few strings of lace. The nose starts off with a hoppy note, with piney and lemon peel leading the way before the malt (caramel and toffee notes) contribute their share.

In the taste, Crystal Bitter Ale starts off malt forward. The background is hopped up, which helkps make this beer fun to drink. There's a good toffee crisp note and decent diacetyl action while in the back, there's clean citrus and piney notes. A little of the alcohol spills into the beer, adding a small distraction to the harmony, but despite that, the beer remains a joy. Its medium body with a lingering sweet and diacetyl aftertaste cap off this good American bitter.

Photo of beergoot
4.04/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid copper body topped with a thick, chunky head; good carbonation bubbling up from the glass. Biscuit and caramel malt aromas; warm bread. Buttery feel with medium body. Taste is very malty with emphasis on the caramel; nougat and toffee; diacetyl notes are there; smooth hop bitterness.

This comes across as a very malt-intensive beer; rich and flavorful all around. Very well-done; very drinkable.

to view more.
Spin Cycle Red Ale from No-Li Brewhouse
83 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.