Red Horse Amber Ale
Sacramento Brewing Co.

Red Horse Amber AleRed Horse Amber Ale
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
3.54 | pDev: 17.23%
Sacramento Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Red Horse Amber AleRed Horse Amber Ale
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 20 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow I can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet, this was one of those beers that goes back to college in the late 90s. Pours a beautiful dark red and brown, very hearty look, especially with near 1" full of dense head that is off white. Great retention. They made a great looking beer.

The aroma is mostly malt centric. A little bit of bitterness from the strongly roasted earthy malt. Caramel notes.

Taste is solidly in red ale territory, a bit of C hop provides some bitterness, wouldn't be surprised if it was Chinook/Centennial. The mouth feel continues to showcase the malts used more than any other aspect of the beer. There is a slight acidic notch no doubt from the heftier grain bill. The full body keeps the bitterness from being an aftertaste that hangs around for too long. This won a medal at the World Beer Cup. I'd totally recommend it to someone into red ales, but otherwise, its just a decent beer.

Jul 20, 2019
Photo of MisterClean
MisterClean from California

4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at homebrew club meeting as a commercial example for the style.

A - Pours mahogany, with 2 fingers of off-white head. Dissipates slow and leaves very nice lacing.

S/T - Honey, caramel, complex fruits and malts - maybe white raisins and apricots, flowery and grassy-resiny hops.

M - Full-bodied and well-balanced.

D - Great overall. This beer typically places in every commercial event it enters. No surprise.

Sep 11, 2009
Photo of kaseydad
kaseydad from California

3.16/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown/red color with a dirty beige foamy head. The head stays present almost the entire session.

Smells malty with hints of raisins, slight caramel and dark chocolate.

The taste has some bite and lingering bitterness is left on the tongue. Chocolate and roasted malts are present and there is almost a burnt sensation on the swallow. I was thinking there would be a lot more sweetness, ala the Amber way, but this really seems to be lacking on this beer.

Overall not a bad take on the American Amber style though I wouldn't be going out of my way to find it.

Jun 29, 2009
Photo of SurlyDuff
SurlyDuff from Oregon

2.31/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Essentially undrinkable. Explosive co2 upon opening. First pour all foam...and i mean all foam, not a bit of beer, just a pint of head.

The second glass I poured incredibly slow at an angle, the beer turned to foam before it hit the bottom of the glass. Crazy.

I've had some homebrew turn out like this, too much priming sugar, or not enough time fermenting before bottling. Bad brewing, maybe an infection...simple as that, quality control should be catching this. This should not have been bottled.

Taste is cooked veggies, diacytal, DMS, and loads of unwanted nastiness. Maybe I got an infected bottle, who knows. No 'drink by' date either. Ugh. THis one is for the drain.

Stay away from this brew.

May 11, 2009
Photo of WakeandBake
WakeandBake from Michigan

4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you abecall98 for the trade extra.
A murky amber color with a nice fluffy off white head.,medium carbonation and spotty lacing. Aroma is slightly sweet malty,some yeast, with nice citrus and spice hop notes. Flavor is of sweet toasted caramal malt ,not very bitter as the aroma would lead you to believe but a nice bright hop flavor ,a little bread ,a bit more of the hops on the finish but the aftertaste is sweet malt again quite drinkable. Very nice brew

22oz Bottle

Mar 24, 2009
Photo of tarface23
tarface23 from California

4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma (9/12): malty, butterscotch, mild citrus

Appearance (3/3): substantial light tan head with good lace following a mid glass pour, deep copper color

Taste (14/20): mild bitterness balanced nicely with malty aftertaste, not much hop taste, just bitter

Mouthfeel (4/5): smooth, medium to light carbonation

Overall (7/10): Decent beer, bitter.


Still looking for a year-round substitute for Evil Dead Red. If you haven't tried it, schedule a trip to San Diego (Alesmith) in October.

Nov 21, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark cranberry with bright orange trim. An increasingly high-altitude pour netted slightly less than two fingers of pale caramel colored foam. Despite being on the small side, the crown is creamy, persistent and is beginning to lay down a thick collar of lace as it gradually melts. Wouldn't Red Horse Red Ale be a more appropriate name?

The beer smells caramel malty and American hop hoppy. Unfortunately, the former is more prominent than the latter. The hops are fruity and floral in roughly equal measure. If this bottle is somewhat fresh (and it should be), this just might be pretty good beer. Was its bronze medal in the 2008 World Beer Cup deserved? Let's find out.

Whoa now.... something seems seriously off here. This doesn't taste like very good beer at all. There's a chemical-like undertow that threatens to bring the whole shebang down like a house of cards in a hurricane. I've tasted this oddness in organic beer a few dozen times. RHAA isn't organically brewed as far as I know.

The flavor is better after initial taste bud submersion (that is, the final three-fourths of each mouthful) and it seems to be improving somewhat as the middle portion of the bottle arrives. Each sip delivers a caramel malty sweetness, a modest amount of C-hop flavor and bitterness (Chinook?), a sour twang and a glint of metal that I'm trying my damndest to overlook. In the end, the flavor score scratches and claws its way up to average.

The body/mouthfeel barely hangs onto above average. It doesn't quite have the heft that a 6.2% beer ought to have, but the shortage of bubbles makes it feel a wee bit bigger. I'd still like to have seen more carbonation. A pretty impressive array of lace on the glass opposite confirms the appearance score first impression.

Red Horse Amber Ale is named for the Air Force's R(apid) E(ngineering) D(eployable) H(eavy) O(perational) R(epair) S(quadron) E(ngineering) unit. Recent medal notwithstanding, it could use a little repair its ownself. I'm convinced that there's a pretty good beer buried in here somewhere.

Jul 29, 2008
Photo of rkuhnel
rkuhnel from California

3.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle, this left the biggest head I have ever seen. Difficult to pour as it kept foaming out of the glass. After 10 minutes of work it was finally ready to drink. Nose of citrus malts and caramel malts. Medium mouthfeel and a taste of malts and hops, but fairly mild. Sweet finish. Decent amber.

Feb 24, 2008
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11 from California

2.78/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass it formed a whispy off white head that holds true for a while and leaves sporadic lace behind. Filtered clarity, shiney copper body, medium sized active carbonation.

This brew has a spike to it. By that I mean the flavor, mouthfeel zip, and alcohol all hit their peak in a quick flash. Grains are lightly toasted and didn't pack much depth, pretty thin overall. Hops have a citrus side to them but also are pretty thin. Toasted character has some astringency and bitterness. All of this is laid back until a slap combination about 3/4 of the way through. After the quick barrage the mouthfeel becomes coating and buttery without a cleanup crew to be found.

Notes: The recipe or process could use some tweaking. This is a weak attempt at a Amber/Red. The style has such a wider range of character possibilities and this one seems a bit jumbled up without focus. With all that being said this can't be considered average in my rankings with all the good Red's out there this is slightly below the median.

Nov 16, 2006
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Oxymoron from Colorado

3.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The horses come in all different colors. Pour was a mix between amber to red color. More amber but whose counting. A good head with small sized bubbles and decent lacing to boot.

The smell was rather limited. Some general malt characteristic but limited. The taste was much more pronounced. A good malty presence with a limited hop note at the end, leaving a sharp, bitterness lingering taste. A dexterous flavor with good body and robust appeal. Maybe some lighter roasted characteristics blend. The hops were not really detectable until the aftertaste, but left a good bitterness hanging on. More of a rather floral taste, but not much on finishing hops.

Overall this was the best I tried at Sacramento BC. And one of the best reds all trip. I would have liked more hops, but the robust flavor was a strong presence a really came out well.

Jul 06, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen from California

3.96/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Capitol Brewing Co. in Sacramento Airport. Why it is called Capitol Brewing is beyond me, they don't brew anything there nor do they have their own brews. Anyway...
Presented a deep orange amber with a small head that melted to a sticky lacy. Served too cold, unfortunately, and I had to wait while it warmed a bit.
Aroma was toasted malt...not too sweet...with risp citrus hops on the tail end. Cold, there is a lemon it warms the hops definately give off a grapefuit taste (Cascade?)
Decent mouthfeel for the style with lots of carbonation and a drying finish.
Aftertaste of hops and hop burps. (again, Cascade?)
Very drinkable...if I had time before my next flight, I would have had another. As it is, I am looking forward to visiting Sac again so I can make a side trip to their brewery.

Jun 13, 2006
Photo of pjwilson
pjwilson from California

2.48/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: pours a very cloudy dark amber. a decent forms and quickly fades. very cloudy, from the unfiltered yeast i would guess.

smell: dry hopped? not smelling an iota of hops. maybe so fruitiness from the yeast and some distant malts but not much.

taste: strange yeast taste. again, little bitterness, if any and no hop flavors. the nice malts you except in a red this are very distant. subpar, but short of a drainpour. thankful i only got one bomber though

mouthfeel and drinkability: decent mouthfeel around the medium mark. i may finish the bottle. I'm washing my hands of this brewery. I will never waste my money on their inferior product again. This beer is their best and it doesn't really even qualify as decent.

May 20, 2006
Photo of KoG
KoG from Nevada

4.06/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber color with a bit of red tint. Giant head that left oodles of sticky lacing down the glass.

Smell is musty at first with some flowery hops and a hint of alcohol to go along with sweet malt. Fruity at times... somewhat odd at first but it grows on you.

Tasted rich and full. Dark sweet malts paired with a generous amount of hops throw the senses off a bit for the first few sips, is this a Pale Ale? Settles into a nice rich malt and hop flavor that is definately a red, just more robust than others. Very nice.

Goes down very nicely and leaves a good trail on the way down. I could easily drink this again.

Jun 28, 2005
Photo of Zorro
Zorro from California

2.76/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a darker shade of red ale.

Smell is malty and with a bit of hops in the smell.

Taste is malty and earthy tasting. There is a bitter hop flavor to this. I don't really like the taste of this it has an off taste to it. I think it is the hops that are giving this that dirt twang flavor.

Mouthfeel is OK

Not real drinkable, it is OK but has an earthiness to it I do not like.

Feb 29, 2004
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl from California

3.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: On-tap in 20 oz. frosted glass during a two hour wait for a flight at the Sacramento airport (because of this, the beer was too cold). Appearance: thin off-white head, the beer is a translucent reddish/brown color with minimal active carbonation. Aroma: Malty with little to no sweetness or bitter hoppiness, but some earthy elements. Overall a pleasant aroma, but fairly weak. Flavor- an immediate strong hop flavor that really surprised me, with a moderate alcohol feel. The taste included some chemical flavors that I couldn't identify (metals?). The malt flavors were ok, but were overpowered by the bitter hops.

Overall: It seemed like all the elements of this beer were ok by themselves, but for me, they didn't work together. It certainly was superior to the mega-drafts they had on tap, but I probably won't go back to this one. Next time I'm stuck in Sacramento, I'll stick with the Sierra Nevada on tap (the other micro choice they had). Also, I paired this with a California Pizza Kitchen Thai Chicken pizza- probably not a good choice. The SN would have stood up to this better than the Red Horse.

Jan 31, 2004
Photo of rkhaze
rkhaze from California

4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear red/amber with a medium foamy off white head. Left good lacing. Aroma was a nice balance of sweet malt and hops.
Flavor mimiced the aroma with a bit of caramel coming through and a good hop balance.
Full, rich and creamy mouthfeel. Excellent drinkability.
Not a complex beer, more along the lines of simplicity at it's finest.

Dec 11, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101 from California

3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Red amber color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is malty and sweet. Medium malts, medium hops. A red ale with a nice hoppy aroma. Roasted malts, some sweetness, aggressively hopped. Good balance. Nice full flavor. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is hoppy, somewhat bitter.

Sep 19, 2003
Photo of Mark
Mark from California

4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best amber ales I have had. It eaily ranks up there with Red Seal from North Coast, and the offering from Rogue.
It poured a deep clear amber, a very visual treat. Head was lasting and lacing was excellent. A nice hop aroma was very inviting, taste was smooth and hoppy (cascades), with a nice malt backing. Creamy mouthfeel cemented the deal. Highly drinkable ale! Glad I found it.

Feb 10, 2003
Photo of StevieW
StevieW from Florida

4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep opaque amber color, with a soft reddish tint to a thick fluffy head. Deep earthy and sweet malty smell, with some noticable hop kick. Tasted more bitter hop presence than expected. Sweet roasted malt, toffee, and carmel flavors mellowed through the middle, another dry finish. Medium to full bodied, very pleasing beer.

Jul 15, 2002
Red Horse Amber Ale from Sacramento Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 20 ratings