The Red MacGregor | Orkney Brewery

BA SCORE
85
very good
234 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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The Red MacGregorThe Red MacGregor
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom
orkneybrewery.co.uk

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Red Macgregor is a unique beer: delicate and sophisticated yet the robust cask conditioned version of this beer was the first Scottish beer to win the BIIA World Cask Beer Gold Medal.

On the nose, this ruby-red beer is delicate, floral and fruity, with notes of violets, cherries, toffee and caramel.

On the palate, the fruits combine with a juicy malt character and hints of toasted malt, with a biscuit malt and spicy hop finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-09-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
234
Reviews:
142
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
12.4%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
20
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 234 |  Reviews: 142
Photo of Crosseye
1/5  rDev -73.6%

Photo of Lee_Hancock
2.25/5  rDev -40.6%

Photo of bobhits
2.55/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice looking red ale color, good carbonation, a bit of a lack of bubbles in the body, clarity could be better considering it’s 4% abv.

Not much to speak of. Amber malt and a hint of earthy hops.

Toasty bread and caramel malt, spicy hops. I know this is low abv, I know it should be refreshing and not over powering in flavor. But really this is it?

Extremely drinkable, even ding would approve calling this a session beer.

I was hoping for something else something more. I’ve had this beer many times only done a good bit better.

 549 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
2.72/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice reddish brown with a fluffy head. Leaves good lace.
Smell is where it breaks down. Took forever to find any smell at all and then only some malt and light hops. Even after drinking 1/2 the glass I couldn't get more than that.
Taste was decent with hops, a fruity malt taste and a little winey character to it.
Mouthfeel was smooth with light carbonation, a medium body and a light finish.
Drinkability: drinks easily but not much aftertaste (or flavor or smell). This brew looks good but doesn't really deliver on its promise.

 543 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of Brent
2.86/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Overall, a pretty underwhelming beer. Poured a nice ruddy brown. For some reason, I expected this to be more of a red ale (I guess the power of suggestion of the name). Lackluster for a pale ale, and not beefy enough for a red. Mouthfeel was average, while the flavor was rather thin. A touch of sour lactic acidity lurking in the background with a hint of medicinal flavor. Finish was a touch sweet with some caramel malt.

 423 characters

Photo of RoyalT
2.89/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Clear and red in the body with a foaming head that went down rather quickly.

Smell – The malt base is complimented by some rather offbeat fruits. I’m finding grapefruit, grapes, some orange, and a few others that I can’t quite pin down. There’s also a bit of table sugar and a small citrus hop balance.

Taste – What too light at the taste, IMO. The rather sharp nose wimped out in a big way here. The malt turned our thin, almost grainy, with no fruit. Also, the hops skipped the party as well. Very disappointing.

Mouthfeel – Light in the body and flat with a very thin mouthfeel.

Drinkability – I won’t buy this again.

 654 characters

Photo of pinotboy007
2.95/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Auburn with a decent cap that descends quickly and leaves some spotty lace. No visible carbonation.

S - Peat, tea, leather.

T/M - Peat, leather, raw honey, a touch of bitter hops. Very light carbonation but it comes across as diluted.

D - Nothing worth seeking out - perhaps it's better from the cask in the UK but I think it suffers on the trip across the drink.

 371 characters

Photo of caustin90
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of ckollias
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a cloudy ruby reddish brown hue with a thin white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Interesting aroma – hard to say exactly what it smells like – but it really doesn’t smell all that great. It has a musty sort of spicy fruity aroma with hints of toasted malts.

T: Similar to the smell the beer tastes of toasted malts, caramel, spices, and fruits (mostly cherries).

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Not my favorite beer by Orkney Brewery. The flavor and aroma were a little different and slightly off.

 598 characters

Photo of NorthernSoul
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of dasotelo50
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of erlenmeyer
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of petluo
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of Anvilfarm
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of Guinness4me
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not as impressive as I expected from my beloved Orkney brewery, but a good beer. It poured a near crimson-orange with a slight head that left a minimal ring of lace.

The nose denotes the hoppiness of a pale ale with slight haunts of fruit and malt.

The taste was neither spectacular nor awful, but a pleasant brew that went from mildly hoppy, to a tart fruit to bitterness on the back of my tongue. I would have like to have tasted a little more malt. The aftertaste was sweet and minimal.

The mouthfeel was pleasant as well with quick, mild carbonation at the tip of my tongue.

While not spectacular, it's quite easy to drink.

 639 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Red MacGregor... isn't. It's more a dark orange-brown, tawny some would say. The dark cream colored head is firm with a furiously pitting surface and a stickiness that is proven by thick, broken sheets of pocked lace. The persistent, two finger cap of foam is keeping me from assessing the nose properly, but I'm a patient man.

This beer has an odd aroma and not an especially pleasant one. There's a sort of musty earthiness that reminds me of some sort of vegetable in freshly dug soil. I'm not sure which of the ingredients is responsible (probably the malt), but in the end it isn't powerful enough to be off-putting and is easily ignored. I'm done smelling it anyway.

The flavor contains the same mild unpleasantness, although, again, it doesn't completely ruin the experience. Red Mac is lightly malted and lightly hopped. What's left is a modestly sweet and sour flavor (unripe raspberries?) that I'm having trouble describing adequately.

The bottle is emptying quickly, not because I'm enjoying the beer, but because I'm trying in vain to get a handle on the way it tastes. I give up, let's just say that there's no way that this beer is a pale ale. A red ale comes closer to the mark. (Hell of a review ain't it? I bet you can practically taste the beer as you read the vivid, precise description of each nuance of the flavor profile).

The Red MacGregor is not a beer that I can recommend. Orkney brews some good ones, but this is definitely not one of them. Cool label though.

 1,503 characters

Photo of jar2574
3.09/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle design has changed. It now says "5000 years in the making" and has a picture of cliffs and an ocean rather than a dude with a sword.

Pours with a decent head. Brown, pretty dense but light does get through. The best thing about this beer is the lacing on the way down.

Hardly any smell. Maybe a tiny touch of sweet malts.

This is beer is more malty than hoppy. There is some sweetness, like plums and dark cherries. Dark fruits. A slight syrupyness to the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is much fuller than a BMC beer but carbonation is pretty average and things aren't that exciting.

I have to say - this is my second Scottish Ale of the night and it isn't a terrible beer - but if I'm ever in Scotland I'm drinking the Scotch before the beers.

 757 characters

Photo of bark
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The colour is clear, deep red-brown; the two finger thick foam is semi-compact, beige and quite firm.

The smell is sweet, with a balanced blend of hops and burned malt. There are some totes of paperhanger's paste and bitter almonds.

The carbonation is medium strong (stronger than the average ale) with big bubbles.

The taste is quite complex with lots of burned malt and an almost chemical flavour of almonds (both sweet and bitter). I found it hard to describe this taste in full, but words like “glue stick” and “artificially flavoured cherry candies” came to my mind.

I suspected that they had put candy sugar in the brew making it ferment a second time (like many of the Belgian ales), but the label said “brewed from malted barley, hops and water”.

Anyway, the aftertaste is long with a soft bitterness and a taste of almonds and burned, sweet malt.

I found the beer surprisingly easy to drink, considering the odd almost chemical flavour. Not one of my favourites.

 1,000 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.14/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque super dark orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, cardboard, chemical and spicy herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with watery cardboard, chemical, and spicy herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer with an mix of chemical and spicy herbal hop characteristics that make this one a bit difficult to drink much of.

Serving type: bottle.

 676 characters

Photo of wcdoyle
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark caramel leaning toward red. The head is rich and then settles to about ½ inch. Smells of caramel, too. First taste is sweet, but not overly so. It’s mild with a slight bit of hops after the sweetness. The mild sweet, then hoppy aftertaste fades quickly. Not a bad beer, but the price ($3.99 at my retailer) will likely keep me away.

 347 characters

Photo of n00tz
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear ruby body, tight cream-colored head, with sparse lacing. Carbonation is a bit slow, but steady.

S - Fruity malts and florals are easily detectable, not much beyond that.

T - Light breadiness imparted by the yeast. Very typical scotch creaminess is quickly gone to the bitterness that follows. Alcohol flavors almost cover the bitter fruit of black cherries, blackberries, and other tart or unripened fruit. Slight hop spiciness. I felt a bit disappointed in the hop balance the rest of the ale. If the initial creamy smoothness and yeasty breadiness had more presence, or if the fruity bitterness at the end wasn't quite so drowned by the alcoholic character, I think this would be in the starting lineup for Scottish Ales.

M - A bitter fruit aftertaste and slight stickiness is no doubt their "intensely hoppy" impart. The ale is a medium body that delivers its flavors well to the palate.

D - Overall, it just leaves some room for improvement on the balance of the character it has. It's a great profile for a Scottish Ale.

AFTERWARDS - Wow, the burp is a wonderful malty cream... Did I drink it too cold (~45F)?

 1,137 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not sure of the availability of this in the US, but my father-in-law brought me back a 4pk from his trip to Scotland. This is pretty much an average Scottish ale, but with the distinction of possibly being the real deal: theonly one I've had that's actually from Scotland. I mean, I see Innis & Gunn on the shelves all the time, but it looks disgusting, so I've never tried a bottle.

Dark mahogany pour, looking nice, with a medium cap of off-white head. Toasty aroma, bready with a touch of smoke. In the taste, toasted grains, mild peaty smokiness, hints of candied fruit, dry grassy hop appearance in the finish. Body was about medium, with a pretty good drinkability for the style. An interesting beer to try.

 714 characters

Photo of Schlafly33
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

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The Red MacGregor from Orkney Brewery
3.79 out of 5 based on 234 ratings.
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