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Spin Cycle Red Ale - No-Li Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Spin Cycle Red AleSpin Cycle Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

39 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 39
Hads: 130
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 23.45%
Wants: 2
Gots: 14 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Spin Cycle Red Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 130
Photo of youradhere
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright copper, off white head leaves a cap of lacing. Smell is sweet mangoes, slight pine, booze and slight sulfur. Taste- kinda weird but in a good way. Initially I get the same mango flavor and some other fruit I can't quite place; nice crisp hop bitterness begins to drown out the flavors. Mouthfeel is light and airy, malt flavors are there but muted. This is almost like a light IPA; if the malt were more forward- which it should not be this is perfect- it would taste more like an IPA. Carbonation is medium and prickly. Overall a decent beer; the hoppiness would keep me from drinking too much of this, but I am glad I had it and will pick up more of it.

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Photo of archyquaffer
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of bondjedi
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

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Photo of Berndt
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked this up from Lets Pour last week week. Gotta love the two day shipping (from WA to CA). Poured into an Old Rasputin nonic pint glass this beer is reddish-copper in appearance, slight haze. Rocky light tan foam is persistent and sticky. Caramel and medium-toasted bread/nutty malt aromas taking center stage in the aroma. Some supporting hops are noted, floral in nature. More bready malt makes it's way through to the flavor as does an earthy quality which I'd suspect comes from the hops. Biscuits in the background, slight spiciness in the finish. Medium in body and carbonation.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a DFH tulip.

Pours a dark orange/red color with an inch and half thick white head with good lacing. Smell is malty, no hop presence detected on the nose. Reminiscent of an amber. Taste is unexpectedly good. Great malt flavors at first, like in an american amber, but with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I really like it. It's like a bitter amber ale. Lighter side of medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall thoroughly impressed by this one. I'd drink this all day.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this at Wegman's in Hunt Valley, enjoyed chilled in a tulip pint from the 22oz.

The color is dark ruby with light hazed look with three fingers of tan head with fine bead. The smell is very good light scent of tart cherry with floral hop and mix of woodiness from the yeast and light caramel in the malt aroma. The interesting this is the beer is nothing like the aroma in feel with light bitter quality and mild alcohol with gentle fruity element and subtle spice as it finishes dry.

The bitter has a fruity flavor with slight herbal hop in the taste and mild woody note with a caramel character from the malt and gentle yeast with apple and lightly fruity tangy element with slight grassy flavor and spice from the hops. There is a backing toasted taste in the malt profile with light alcohol in the finish. Overall this is a very drinkable beer with mild tangy yeast flavor but not sour with a nice balance of hop and malt as expect in this style

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Photo of beergoot
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.97/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Northern Lights’ ale and I’m clearly off to a good start. They serve ‘em a bit too cold here, but I haven’t yet acclimated to the dry eastside climate so I’ll make do with a bit of cold for now.

Crystal Bitter is billed as a hybrid of British, American, and German styles. It is cold filtered and lagered, resulting in a beer that boasts a lively kick of bitterness and refined clarity. The body is ruddy-bronze with a velvet head and low carbonation. The super abundance of hops leaves fine lace on the glass and a faint hop aroma. A slight malty flourish protrudes but the flavor is primarily defined by a zesty sting of bitterness that damn near reaches out and slaps you in the face. The lagering process has kept the beer clean enough to allow a bracing surge of bittering hops that still drinks well. Crystal otherwise approaches the threshold of being overly bittered, especially for an ESB.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear, coppery amber color with an inch of khaki colored head that had very good retention and lacing.

The aroma was a nice blend of rich malts and some nicely balanced hops. The flavor was very similar, with the flavors of the malt and hops playing very nicely together.

The body was full, smooth and crisp. Drinkability was very good, easy and smooth. Overall, a very nice beer from a brewery that hasn't overly impressed me. Worth trying when you see it.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A rock solid red ale. This would certainly make a visit to the laundromat much less painful. I'm a big fan of this brewery, and Spin Cycle helped solidify that opinion.

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Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of woemad
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 1pt 6oz bottle at Huckleberry's (only place I've seen it sold in bottle).Has an ok head, with nice lacing. Brownish amber in color. Odor was citrusy with a little caramel - probably going to be hoppy. Hops are most noticable taste component, but there's a little caramel maltiness in the background. I'd have preferred it was a little more assertive in that regard. I wouldn't call this a great beer, but its still a pretty good bitter. Its also very local, so I just have to support it

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Photo of tdm168
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle - good to see more of this Inland Empire brew coming north to Alberta.

This beer pours a clear, medium orange-brick amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves some pleasant webbed tree branch lace around the glass as it rather slowly abates.

It smells of semi-sweet, bready and doughy caramel malt, a decent earthy dark orchard fruitiness, and herbal, woodsy, and grassy noble hop bitters. The taste is gritty, grainy, and still fairly sweet caramel malt, mildly biscuity toffee, muddled black fleshy fruit, a low-key hard water flintiness, and more floral, herbal, and softly grassy hoppiness.

The carbonation is adequate in its supportive, and occasionally flirtatious frothiness, the body a solid middleweight for the purported style here, and genuinely smooth, as the hop presence leans towards its fruity side in this regard. It finishes well off-dry, the lingering biscuity caramel maltiness, and subservient grassy/herbal hops leaving little to question.

Overall, a pretty approachable and well-rendered ode to the venerable English ESB - no west-coast American bravado or overblown apery on display here. Easy to drink, with just the right amount of that little extra something (less than an additional point of booze) to make everything seem like it's gonna be all right.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a bomber of Northern Lights Crystal Bitter Ale at a grocery store to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a nut brown color with a red hue when held to the light, and is clear. A foamy one-finger, beige head forms which is somewhat resilient, but dissipates to a creamy thin film on the surface of the beer. The head produces moderate lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is fairly mild but fruity. There are floral scents, citrus, and hops.

The initial taste is of malted grain, with a nutty cereal flavor. There is a mild hop finish, and a mildly bitter aftertaste.

Mouth feel is smooth and weighty, with very little carbonation.

This is a drinkable beer. According to the label it’s a “hybrid” beer, and I would agree it’s not what I would expect from a true English bitter. It’s darker and not as bitter as I expected, but a very nice brew just the same. I think Northern Lights Crystal Bitter would be a good fall and winter beer, and I’ll probably have it again some time.

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Photo of Talisker
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

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Photo of flagmantho
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%

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%

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

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Photo of Zraly
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Spin Cycle Red Ale from No-Li Brewhouse
84 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.