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The Red MacGregor | Orkney Brewery

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The Red MacGregorThe Red MacGregor

Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom

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

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Reviews: 140 | Ratings: 231
Photo of ybnorml
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a dark amber colored beer with agood creamy beige head. There is a nice slightly citusy/floral hop note in the aroma. A good mouth watering citrus hop start to the taste that has a smooth bitterness through the finish. A pleasant suprise again for me was the good use of hops for aroma and flavor.

 305 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear medium brown brew.

Smell is malt and dark roasted grains and smoke.

Taste is very smoky. Mildly sweet and medicinal in flavor, this tastes like a dry Scottish ale. Or a Rauchbier.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkable brew, tastes like a very mild Rauchbier.

 275 characters

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here is an example of a refreshing beer. I could probably see myself drinking this one only during the Spring or Fall.

Smell: Crisp and biting, with fresh cut apples.

Appearance: pours a nice red/brown cider look.

Taste: There are apples and pears at first then it fades into a sharpened, ripe flavor with a heavy alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: This beer was very eppervescant - a little over carbonated.

Drinkability: I'd enjoy this beer repeatedly, but I'd want to have that specific flavor in mind first.

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Photo of SetarconeX
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a perfectly clear red color, leaving a decent, well lingering head. Rather pretty, really. The nose, however, brings in a harsh metallic scent which is rather unpleasent, though it's the sort of thing that's possibly more indicative of a bad batch.

Luckily, the metallic scent doesn't carry over too much into the flavor, which is actually quite enjoyable. The brew's a bit more weighty than the light red hue might have you think, and malty to the core. It starts off smooth and sweet, the malts taking center stage, but somewhere near the end, the hops, not to be forgotten, make their appearence.

Nowhere near as bitter as many other red ales that come to mind, this one is quite drinkable. Orkney rarely seems to dissapoint.

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Photo of stcules
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper brown colour, with a good foam, creamy and compact.
Smell of fresh hop, fresh flowers, and then, malt.
At the taste prevails the smoke (peated?), malt. A good smoked note, but the beer is still delicate and well balanced.
Discrete body, aftertaste in which you can note the hop, well amalgamated with the smoke, creating a very satisfactory note.
Some hints of ripe fruits (peach, apricot).
Good and interesting beer.

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Photo of moulefrite
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden brown in color with very little head or retention. Aromas are moderately deep and roasted with a malted sweetness, and a good deal of earthiness-mushroom, forest floor etc.. Flavors are interesting as they hint of the peetiness found in scotch where the barley has been roasted over a peet fire. A peety, malt twang shows up on the tail end. Clean and crisp this light to medium bodied brew is unique and worthy of a try.

 428 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml brown, stubby, bottle here. Pours a clear, reddish copper colour with a healthy, well mannered beige head. Good retention and attractive lacing. Aroma is a weak point, with subdued toffee, floral hops, and a smoky peat background. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, creamy, and moderately carbonated. Taste is initially some heavy caramel malt, followed up by nice hop bittering, smokiness, and finishing with a burst of molasses. Very well balanced, overall, and an excellent Scotch red ale that I found very likeable.

 526 characters

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite a lovely brew with a crystal clear dark copper body that is filled with ruby highlights and topped by a tall and lasting light tan head; good lace but slippery rather than sticky.

The nose is immediately skunky, perhaps from the clear glass bottle and single bottle packaging for this bottle style. There is a slight earthy, smoky aroma, but not enough to overcome the first impression.

The flavor is very much of a smoky, peaty nature; actually quite distinct and enjoyable - a nice change of pace. The feel is medium and quite crisp. Tends toward a dry finish though falls out slighty sweet. Nicely drinkable ale.

 627 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured amber with an off-white head that quickly fell but was persistent. The aroma is that of an english bitter. Some mineral aromas, light hops and light crystal malt. A slight smoky aroma forms as the beer warms. The flavor has a hint of smokiness, some caramel, a little sweetness and a dry crisp finish. The body is medium and very nice. The drinkability is good.

The beer came in a 16.9 ounce bottle. I like the crispness and it is an easy drinking beer. I wish it had a bit more aroma, but otherwise, if I lived where this brew was plentiful and inexpensive it would see a mug quite often.

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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 BeerResearcher
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Why the heck would anyone put good ale into a clear glass bottle? This brown amber ale with a fast fading beige head and spotty lace releases a faint skunky aroma...it didn't have to be...if only it were in a dark brown bottle...so sad. There's also a pleasant sweet malty and light fruity aroma. The caramel malt is quite liquid and rounded. The lightly citrus and tea-like hops are quite tasty. A hint of smoky peat rounds this - could have been a terrific beer - out.

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Photo of marc77
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crystal clear ruby hue, covered by a light beige head that recedes into a tight, thin layer that leaves wisps of foam. Toffeeish caramel and sweet, ripe berry like fruity esters in aroma, along with a mellow undertone of diacetyl butterscotch. Rounded, dark caramel sweetness with a slightly roasty edge upfront in flavor is ensued by mild, nearly balancing hop bitterness. Diacetyl emerges mid palate and is well integrated, complementing the toffeeish malt presence. Lightly bodied overall, but the ample residual dextrins and low carbonation lend a smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel. Faint earthy hop flavor. Subtle, cranberry like tartness emerges late, but is understated enough not to detract from the overall flavor profile. Finishes lightly sweet, bready and mildly buttery. Although Scottish in origin, MacGregor is an almost ideal example of the obscure Irish Red Ale. Simple, but flavorful and superbly quaffable. Malt driven, yet balanced. Very tasty.

 961 characters

Photo of StevieW
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big clear 550ml bottle. Label depicts a sword yielding charging scotsman.
Rich dark copper to red color. Hard pour produced a big bubbly beige head. Stayed fairly long. Smell was a combination of earthy peat smells, some faint hops. Taste was slightly toward the sweet side. Nice carmel malt, and again a certain earthiness to it. I little light bodied for the smell. I expected a fuller richer feel. Easy to drink, I had it with a hearty pork roast dinner and spuds. Not a beer that stands out on it's own. Worth a look if you like Irish Red Ales.

 551 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big time smokiness on the nose...pours a nice amber with just a little white lace...body is firm...taste is smoky with some cedar notes...also a nice maltiness on the back of this....I'm glad I tried this one, but wouldn't make a habit of drinking these....pretty interesting though..finishes with a little soft tartness on the long finish...

 342 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Distinctive taste, somewhat smokey, hops and malt blend together. Said to have a flowery hop taste but I couldn't tell. A dark, reddish beer. Light carbonation, medium head. Clear 500ml bottle.

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The Red MacGregor from Orkney Brewery
3.79 out of 5 based on 231 ratings.
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