Captain Elizur's Heritage Red Ale | Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.

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Captain Elizur's Heritage Red AleCaptain Elizur's Heritage Red Ale
18 Ratings
Captain Elizur's Heritage Red AleCaptain Elizur's Heritage Red Ale

Brewed by:
Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-21-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by Hhawk06:
Photo of Hhawk06
3.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I hate the be the bearer of bad news, but there is no way this is a red ale, it is in fact a Flemish Sour Ale. Anyhow, it comes in a 22 oz. bomber....

It poured with a big, tan, and fluffy head that proved well sustained. Its almost pure brown in color with no hint of ruby or red at all (this is when the flag first went up about the supposed "red ale"). The nose is extremely potent, very strong pinot noir-type notes from oak barrels. Phew! The body reveals a medium-to-heavy aspect. Wow, potent flavors here. It is very much vinous in character with sweet grape notes...heading down a merlot's path. That is quickly countered by a puckering sourness that has an acidic edge. Now I know its not a red ale. That puckering kick continues into the finish and is accompanied by some sweet caramel and raspberry notes. A very complex concoction.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Franchise
3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This "red ale" pours maroon red with pretzel brown highlights, that leave a thin beige lace. The aroma is tart, similar to a powdered fruit drink mix. I also detect some vinos ascpect in the beer, which all these aromas are throwing me off. The taste starts on the palate quite bitter and tart, a real grapefruit, as well a wine quality within the brew.

There is some sweetness, honey to balance that out, but still finishes on a sour note with high carbonation which doesn't help. After naming all these properties in the ale I think were dealing with more of a sour ale than a red ale, there are none of the malty charachteristic and balance I expect in a red ale, but the beer is still good overall.

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Photo of Brewfan
3.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Konabrewer for the bottle!

Poured into my Smutty pint glass.
Beer poured a murky brownish/red color with a 1 finger tan head that had plenty of retention. 1/2 hour after pouring the beer, the head was still there along with a decent amount of thick lace.
Now I was expecting a medium-malty nose, with this beer being a red, but what I got was a flemish red aroma with a good amount of tartness and mustiness. Sour cherries and oak comes through strongly. The label mentions nothing of this being a flemish red, or oak aged, but there's no arguing with the smell or taste. Oh yeah, on to the taste.
Tastes like a malty flemish red. Biscuity and sweet. Subdued oakiness really takes over once the beer warms up a bit. Over-ripe cherries soaked in bourbon. Rather malty, that throws the "flemish" style off, even though it's not officially a flemish. This is completely out of character for a red, and scores are going to be a bit low because of it. If it was labeled otherwise, it would definatly score higher, being truer to form.
Medium body, a bit sticky on the roof of my mouth. Very drinkable. I would definately grab another bottle of this, as it was very enjoyable. Out of character or not, this was a tasty brew.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.68/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased from Julio's, Westboro, MA. No best by date notched on label.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1" light tan head over the kinda murky reddish brown brew. Pillowy head fades very slowly, with heavy, sticky lacing. Aroma is tart and filled with spices. Taste is citrus tart, with what seem like oak notes rounding the edges, but the spicing is domainant. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good, but could be more if the spicing was just scaled back a tad to let the flemish-style notes shine. Still a nice brew, and an interesting historical recipe, sounds like.

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Photo of DCon
3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 1 Pint 6 Fluid Ounce Bottle of this from Bev MO! in Torrance, CA for $5.99. Poured from the awesome bottle into my new Chimay Goblet and doesn't have Freshness Date but has 7% ABV on the Front. There was only 1 bottle of this off on the side of one of the shelves with the rest of the Sours/Belgian Style Ales, so I HAD to buy and try myself.
NOTE: There wasn't a price tag/sticker on this one like the other brews I bought, was this supposed to be on the shelve?!?!

Aroma- Starts with a high vinegar aroma but then has huge black cherries and sour punch afterwards. Can tell it is very acidic and complexed. Maybe a bit of vanilla in here as well.

Appearance- Pours a 3 finger head that is off white and keeps for a good amount of time. The body is a dark red and leaves good lacing on the sides. One of those eye candy beers!

Flavor- A soft, mild cherry/black cherry taste and a small tartness. Nothing huge here... Has a sweet cherry character in the finish and vinegar comes up again. Not the best Flanders Red but has good start of drink.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Small Carbonation, and has an almost a watered down red wine finish. Good overall.

Overall Impression- Has times it was sour but didn't have the PUNCH I was ready for... A decent brew, could have been "out dated" but who cares! I love trying new brews and reviewing them. This one wasn't great on the drinkability, sipped it down over a good amount of time. Hope to have more from Paper City! Never heard of them.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.79/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz split with my lady.. thanks mark for suggesting the purchase.. thought this was an amber/irish red and was prepared to stay away. like paper city, but $7 for a 22oz is a hard sell.

murky brown pour with orangey brown lightstruck edges. frothy film and amoebic lacing live in the paper city house. who's house? paper city's house! funky sour fruit odor is essential and simple. some sweet peach candy and chocolate fudge hints in the nose. hey, and there's some mcintosh apple. bizarre and enthralling. flavor presents brett hints first, then a nutty chocolate snickers blast. finishes perfumy and really hoppy with a light aftertaste of detergent. silky mouthfeel but perhaps a bit overcarbonated. mind-blowing for its unique flavors and vastly different from other paper city beers in its experimentation. summed up as an authentically american flemish red. a little too much happening but a noble effort nonetheless.

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Photo of Boppar
2.06/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into an over-sized wine glass.

A: It pours an incredibly murky brown color. Very hazy, very brown. There is nothing red about this beer. In fact, this does not look like a red at all. That's not a bad thing. Actually, it's strangely compelling, what with the 1.5 fingers of off-white head. An interesting take on the style.

S: Smells kind of odd. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it smells very musky. It doesn't smell "horsey" the way that some do, but the smell does remind me of cats. It smells kind of like cat musk, I guess.

T: A huge let-down. It hardly has any taste at all. It is a very weak beer, with a little mid-palate funk, and the faintest hint of brett on the finish.

M: Thinner than water and very fizzy.

D: If you enjoyed the taste, this would be drinkable, I guess. There is certainly nothing in either the ABV or the flavor department that would hold you back. I opted for the drain-pour myself.

I cannot in good conscience recommend this beer to anyone.

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Photo of sinistrsam
4.29/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a deep red hue, foamy white head and good retention. Lacing was present throughout. The aroma was deep sweet and caramel malts and sweet fruits. Grain and wheat, mild hops. The taste was very unique, and very complex. It had a caramel maltiness and sweet/sour fruitiness with hints of biscuit or wheat or dough. I can't really tell. Theres more here than I let on, it was just a very different taste and hard ot explain. It was well balanced, medium-bodied and while starting semi-sweet, finihsed rather dry but crisp. Very good. I could drink several of these in one sitting.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.21/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a real murky brownish color that you can tell has been impacted by barrel aging. Crème head barely forms on a firm pour and falls to not much. Nose is almost like watered down honey. Very minor caramel and wood tones. Yikes. The flavor. Tastes like soggy wood. Way too acidic and just plain, well, bad. Feel is way too thin on the liquid and the carbonation doesn’t even matter at this point. Thankfully for that. This is not drinkable. A huge let-down. If you are reading this in order to sway your judgment, I have to say that you just need to pass and move on to something else. This is going to get poured.

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Photo of kajerm
1.87/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Found this bottle in my closet. Don't ever remember buying it. Must have been possessed by something very, very evil.

Appearance is pretty nice, belying the wretched substance that has decided to befoul my glass. Pours cloudy brown--not even remotely red-- with a modest off-white head. My original review: "looks like diarrhea-- in a good way."

I stand by that.

Aroma is musty, not much oak evident. Ethanol clearly present.

The flavor-- damn, this is weak sauce. Almost nothing in the opening, and some Brett notes-- basically just the bad ones. Slight metallic, bitter flavors on the finish. Ugly aftertaste. Ugly beer.

If this is a Flanders Red, where the fuck is the sourness?

Mouthfeel is very light, and overcarbonated, adding insult to injury, then pissing in the gaping stab wound this beer left in my mouth.

So all told, I guess I didn't much care for this beer.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.56/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazed ruby, topped with a giant puff of taupe colored head. Good retention, with sheeting lacework. Wierd aroma. Tart and fruity, very much like a flemish sour ale, but with a persistent bready, doughy quality. Caramel malt. Musty. The flavor opens vapidly, not really much there aside from a musty presence. Some caramel gains speed, sourish red grape leading into the finish. A bit of berry sweetness, as well. Some of that odd doughiness, with a medicinal phenolic character. Kinda funky, in that musty way, like the air in an old basement. Moderately lambic, or more aptly, flemish sour ale-like. Lightish medium bodied, peppy carbonation, pretty smooth drinkin'. Finishes tart and mildly dry. Quickly dissipating aftertaste.

This should definitely be listed as a flemish red ale. It may have started life as a regular american red ale, but it's wound up in sour ale territory. For a sour ale, it's pretty decent. Some wierd yeasty, doughy flavors, but it's got a nice funky tartness. Not quite worth the $7 I paid for it, but worth splitting with a friend.

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Photo of BraveUlysses
2.7/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours with a foamy head and sits very cloudy in the glass. Sort of a brown-copper color and looks very much like cider. Aroma is very fruity and sour, again reminiscent of apples, with a hint of what I think is oak. Taste is a burst of fruitiness, mainly apple (think cider!), with a background of something more rustic, even woody. Tastes like I am drinking an apple tree. Foamy mouth feel, a bit bubbly, with a light and airy consistency. A friend called it as a cross between apple cider and tonic water, which is a near-perfect description.

Overall not a huge fan, but then again, I really just don't dig hard ciders. It's good if cider's your thing!

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Photo of OldSock
3.92/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – 22 oz bottle from Julio’s, with a space for dating on the side but with no date marked. The bottle notes that this beer was brewed for the celebration of Holyoke’s 125th anniversary, which was in 1998, but from what I can tell this beer was only released recently. Captain Elizur Holyoke was the first European to visit the area that is now Holyoke, and I can only assume the town’s namesake. The beer is a cloudy red brown with a thin off white head and just a bit of patchy lacing.

Smell – The smell is slightly sour with some dark fruit and sweet malt. Not what I was expecting from this beer at all. Certainly not the smell of a standard American red ale, although the citrusy hops do seem to be of American origin. There is a bit of alcohol the shows up when I am almost done with the beer.

Taste – The taste is vaguely reminiscent of a Flanders Red ale, but milder. Upfront the sourness is prevalent, but as the beer travels back the malt takes over. There is also a nice fruitiness, nothing in particular just a nice fruit mix. There is also pleasant oakiness that rounds out the flavor nicely.

Mouthfeel – Relatively light mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – It starts out drinkable, but 22 oz of this is a bit much to be agreeable. The flavor is nice, but every sip is the same, I like a beer that changes as you drink it, continuously revealing added complexity. Having said that this is a really interesting offering from Paper City, which seems to have at least some historic flavor.

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Photo of trumpetego
3.8/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a case of this in the basement of my store. Something the former beer buyer bought and put away because it "didn't sell well" then forgot about. Bottle doesn't leave many clues to when it was brewed, but I would guess it's been at the store since 2005.

A - Quite good for a flanders red. Murky amber color with a huge, pillowy head. Very nice lacing as the head receedes.

S - What I would expect - sour, sweet, funky, a touch of oak. Some hints of malt, as well.

T - Not quite what I had expected. Starts out a bit watery, but has a nice body of oak with a tart finish.

M - Very active carbonation. This might be due, in part, to it's storage in a rather warm (60F+) basement for the past 5 years. None-the-less, the carbonation keeps the body light and the flavors from getting overpowering.

D - Not an everyday beer, certainly, but a very light, drinkable example of the style.

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Photo of Greenlabel
2.32/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm generally a big fan of Paper City products but not this one. I purchased a 22 oz. bottle from Julio's which was the first time I'd ever seen or heard of the product. I noticed that it was celebrating an event dated in 1998 so worried a bit about its freshness since the dating portion of the label had not been used. I'm satisfied, however, that the product was reasonably fresh as there were none of the off-tastes you'd otherwise expect.

The beer poured a very murky dark amber which did not appeal to me. Neither did its very sour and winey taste as well as its strong aftertaste. I've had many Red Ales that I've liked but none in this particular style. I am somewhat hesitant about my low ratings because the product may well be within its chosen style and its the style that I don't like. Whatever the case, I certainly will not be a repeat purchaser but will continue my enjoyment of other Paper city products.

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Photo of PlaywrightSam
2.92/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber into tulip glass. A: Lots of light brown puffy head that sticks around, pours a very deep cloudy brown. S: Surprisingly spicy yet with a lot of malty sweetness... sour citrus, pepper, port, brown sugar... T: Much lighter up front than I anticipated, after a moment it's almost completely dominated by a sour citrus taste, notes of cinnamon, apple, sour grapes. A long, very odd finish that I can't quite put my finger on. A bit confounding I have to say. M: Coarse, a good amount of carbonation, sticks around in your mouth for a while. D: As I keep drinking I'm getting more and more disinterested. It's really hard to read anything beyond that intense spicy-sour taste. Definitely a unique beer, but not one I would immediately seek out again.

(And just to reiterate the last reviewer, this beer is definitely not a barley wine.)

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Malted milk beige. No wait, that's the head that is currently filling more than 90% of the glass after a gentle pour. The soft (yet still ultimately rocky) foam is slowly being replaced by beer that is tremendously murky tawny with blurry orange highlights. A few strands of sudsy lace appear, but don't look committed to the cause.

I haven't had too many Flanders reds yet (and this is my first domestic one), but the nose is pretty much dead on target. It's sour and vinegar-like and oaky and funky and... well, it's a treat if you like beer of this style. If the flavor follows suit, I won't have been more pleasantly surprised by a beer in months.

Heritage Red Ale makes a few major missteps, but the first few mouthfuls tell me that it isn't a bad effort at all. I'm going to have a hard time getting past the amazingly fizzy mouthfeel. My guess is that this bomber is close to two years old. Time enough for the bottle-conditioned yeast to have had a field day in terms of CO2 production.

If the flavor profile was sound, I'd call it a cacophony. There's so much going on that the taste buds hardly know what to focus on. The beer is hugely sour and hugely bitter and even has a stealth sweetness that is waaay out of place. It's as if oak-aged vinegar was mixed with tonic water was mixed with cherry soda. It's better than that combination would be, but the comparison still holds.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Brettanomyces was used. In fact, I'm positive that it was. The end result is that it adds another facet to a beer that has too many facets already. The finish is as dry as oak sawdust. Although this isn't an easy drinking ale by any means, it sure is an interesting ride.

Time helps the mouthfeel... just not enough. I wish that I had been able to acquire a bottle before all these bubbles were created. Underneath the buzziness is a light-medium bodied beer whose finishing stickiness is just one more odd feature in a unending parade of oddity.

Captain Elizur's Heritage Red Ale is the most interesting Flanders red ale that I've ever had, but is far from the best. Brouwerij Rodenbach has nothing to worry about. I'm torn between praising Paper City for brewing outside the American craft beer box and hoping they rework the recipe and brew the beer again. Since they aren't mutally exclusive, I guess I'll do both.

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Photo of mynie
3.91/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As per Paper City's website:

"An Exceptional French Farmhouse Ale made by Paper City Brewery to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Holyoke Massachusetts."

This is NOT a barley wine.

Very deep, dark and hazy red with a fantastic head. That's one heck of a pour.

Smells very tart and fruity. A bit too sour to pick out many complexities, but there are some distinct nodes of red wine.

Tastes like sour red wine up front, moving into pressed fruit (green pears and sour candy). This moves into a distinct fruity hop that's too overwhelmed by the sourness to pinpoint. Ends on some more sourness and a very dry wine wine flavor.

A bit uneven, a bit too intense, but a pretty good try and something different.

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Captain Elizur's Heritage Red Ale from Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
Beer rating: 3.29 out of 5 with 18 ratings