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Hot Rod Red | Aviator Brewing Company

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Hot Rod RedHot Rod Red

Brewed by:
Aviator Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Loki on 12-04-2008

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 165
Photo of LXIXME
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Big light tan head settles into a nice lacing above a clearish caramel bronze colored beer.

Rich roasted caramel malt presence in the aroma with just a hint of some hops sticking around the edges.

Roasted caramel malts tastes that seem to almost border on burnt roasted, with also a bit of slight bitterness from its hops sources.

A light dryish roasted caramels hanging around aftertaste on the medium bodied Irish Red.

A decent tasting beer, maybe a little much on the hints of burnt malts but I like how the dryish aftertaste keeps building long after each drink.

 570 characters

Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Speakeasy in Carrboro.Poured into a standard pint a deep amber/bronze with tight one finger slight off white head that held well.Caramel toffee and brown sugar sweetness in the nose,lighter burnt toast aromas as well,the hops provide some herbal notes.Starts out with caramel malts and brown sugar with hops melding into the beer adding leafy,and herbal hops.A more hopped up red but not as big as alot of American reds.

 434 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is really quite interesting. A surprisingly different flavor-- and plenty of it-- in an Irish Red. The taste is something I have not encountered for a long time, one I describe as "musty," but in a good way. It's woody and fragrant, like cedar, but has a mushroom sort of taste along with the earthy hops.

Reddish amber in the Duvel tulip with a modest but persistent foam. Plenty of hoppy flavors give this a bitter middle that intensifies in the aftertaste. The nutty, roasted flavors are what give it some zest. I score this highly because it's a superior example of a really dull category of beer. From the 12 oz can purchased at Whole Foods in Washington, DC.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a copper color with a couple fingers of off-white head and a high level of carbonation

S: Smells of toffee and toasted bread with a bit of piney hops. Not much citrus to it, but a little bit of floral and earthy notes. Pretty simple aroma to the beer, but not bad.

T: Toasted bread is the dominant flavor. There is some toffee and a little bit of caramel sweetness to it which is nice. Subtle bitterness with a light hop flavor.

M: Medium in body with a moderate to high carbonation.

O: Overall a decent red, but I don't know if I'd come back to this one.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium garnet red in color with light amounts of visible carbonation and some dark amber highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a mottled surface of thin film with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted malts with light amounts of caramel sweetness and slightly stronger aromas of pine hops. There is a touch of citrus/orange rind hops as well once the beer warms up a little.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of toasted malts with some caramel, toffee, and brown sugar sweetness - but not overly sweet. That is followed by slightly stronger than moderate flavors of pine/resin and citrus/orange rind hops. Moderate amounts of bitterness which do not linger for too long.

M: Medium bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Overall this is an enjoyable beer and it hides the ABV pretty well, I enjoyed the hoppiness but still found it relatively easy to drink. Nothing exceptional but a better American offering in the Irish Red Ale style than I normally come across.

 1,171 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

When you are a dedicated CANQuester (TM), people will go to great lengths to further your cause. Case in point - some beer friends were coming up from North Carolina and brought some CANs with them to hand off to me.

From the CAN: "Draft Ale"; "Be Green Please Recycle"; "Based on the classic Irish Red, this ale is feisty and a bit hoppy. This beer has a malty sweetness that ends with a somewhat dry finish. A dash of roasted barley gives this ale a nice deep red color and a backend roasted grain flavor. MALTS: 2-Row Pale, Crystal, Munich, Wheat, Roasted Barley HOPS: Cascade, Centennial, East Kent Golding IBU: 48 SRM: 15".

I put this baby in gear with a squirting Crack and employed an inverted Glug, producing a massive three fingers of dense, light-tan head with excellent retention. Color was, indeed, a deep brick red (SRM = 15, hey, who am I to argue, plus it works as a calibrator) with NE-quality clarity. The Cascade hops were prevalent on the nose and allow me to plug "Hops" by Stan Hieronymous, printed by the Brewers Association. It is a brilliantly written tome and VERY helpful for this non-brewing hophead. Warming, I was also getting a toast-like smell, probably from the roasted barley. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, not bad, but not great, either. Forget that. The taste was great, since the hops were forward, which is a knock that I usually have with the (usually malt-driven) style. It had a grassy mintiness along with a light biscuit flavor, just right for this Baby Bear. Finish was closer to semi-dry than semi-sweet and I was CANtacting my friends for more. I really dug this twist on the style and would certainly CANsider it for inclusion in my cooler.

 1,689 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear dark amber color with a bit of beige head. Aroma is malty with caramel and some nuts. Taste follows with nice toasted malt and nutty finish. Some hops with earthy bitterness are also in the background balancing out the malts. Medium body and carbonation. Really straight-forward, classic, well made red ale.

 313 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a half inch of head with great retention. Smells of caramel malts and mild hop notes. Taste is burnt, roasted malts with mild, piny hop character. Mouthfeel is crisp with medium carbonation.

Not a bad Irish Red. Definitely more flavor than you're average mass produced Irish Red.

 304 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

This is a real nice looking ale. Big even poured head of off tan bubbles, four fingers large and settles with lots of retention and a big cap. All pinhead even nearly. Real solid red copper body, crystal clear but very dark. Impressive and aggressive looking brew.

Nose has lots of dry ripping grain, and barley sensations. Hits at dry soil and tilled earth soil. Faint sweet caramel in the back. A bit different, but I seem to be enjoying it.

Palate hits with a nice simple body. Light malts and a bit of sticky yeast and a very good herbal grassy bitterness on the finish. Interesting hop angle with a good mix of pine, and herbal grass. Malts and hops seem to balance nicely with a good compliment. Minor caramel, with a dry barley giving a very big toasty nearly wooden like finish.

Pretty interesting take and a memorable brew for the style. Quite different than most Irish Ale's I've had.

 943 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap at the Tap House and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a caramel brown coloring, with a thin, sparse, filmy white coating of head. Nose of roasted nut, caramel, and toffee. Very rich aromas on the nose. Flavors are rich and roasted caramel forward, with a subtle resinous hopped backbone. Chocolate notes into the aftertaste to join the toffee, caramel, and nut, with a building bitterness to balance. Rich, smooth bodied, with a sweet linger into a smooth finish. Good beer.

 492 characters

Photo of tone77
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%

Poured from a 12 oz. can. And yes, you guessed it. That can reached my hand by way of the legendary woodychandler. Has a pretty deep amber color with a 1 inch head. Smell is malty, caramel. Taste is also malty, hops are present, caramel, very refreshing and smooth. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a very easy drinking beer that I could consume all night.

 368 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A good amount of hops and a very noticeable caramel presence in the aroma.

T: Tasted of hops, malt, a little citrus and some caramel in the finish. Not quite as dynamic as I would have liked, but an OK flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry, earthy finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not too bad of a beer, but doesn't particularly separate itself from the herd.

 518 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Malty aroma is a little spicy - mainly cloves - and just a bit yeasty, inviting a taste. It pours a slightly hazy chestnut with a fine bubbled cream-tan head that leaves some good lacing. Satisfying flavor has malty, clove, nutty, and subtle hoppy and woody notes. Smooth texture has about average fizz and body, the beer’s only real weak point. Let this hot rod roar down your throat!

 387 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: This poured a clear dark mahogany with chunky sediment.
S: It smelled like dry roasted barley with a little earthy copper hops.
T: It tasted like earthy copper and nutty malt, with a little roasted barley. It had a clean dry and somewhat bitter aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with some carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a decent Irish red ale. Nothing exciting, but very traditional scent and taste and body. It had a clean and mellow finish, so it was really easy to drink. Not bad to try once, but I prefer something more interesting.

 549 characters

Photo of Durge
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark, copper colored brew with a healthy off-white head and major walls of lacing. The aroma brings sour mash malt, a little pine hop and fruit nougat and a touch of grassy yeast alcohol. The flavor closes the deal with deep grassy malt cider. There's a vague floral edge, slightly perfumey vegetable ideas. It has some bock-like qualities. A little skunky. A very solid red ale, easily recommended with medium body and a dry feel, smooth and modestly carbonated. Nice!

 471 characters

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

draft at Chow, Raleigh

a: draft served in a 20 oz nonic pint, the beer is a deep reddish amber in color, arriving with a healthy topping of eggshell white head, retention and lacing average

s: grainy breads and nutty toasted malts on a nose of mid-sweet caramel, nice roast, earthy hops, enjoying the complexity and deep toasted notes here

m: carbonated to about a moderate level, body around medium

t: bready with a caramel sweetness upfront, followed quickly with deeply toasted red malts, and then nutty toast continuing into the finish as things try out, earthy hop flavors with a balanced bitterness

o: a well above average red here, the deep toasted character courtesy of the roasted malt adds a great underlying complexity to the sweet caramel, pleasantly interesting for the style, drinks well

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Photo of KYGunner
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Obvious amber color was soft and clean. The head rose thickly and mounted strongly for a minute or two but disappated to a fine lace.

A weak scent but it's an aromatic scent. Kilned grain, barley, pecan or nut, and a chocolatey maltiness are all subtle but I like it.

The flavors are unfortunately stale, it tastes good but gives off a tainted grain taste. Slight smokiness and roastiness offset a grain, barley and nuttiness. I'm longing for a robust, deep and textured roasted grain and it's there but simply not evident enough to proclaim.

The feel is smooth, lightly carbonated and a bit thick but well presented for a canned beer.

 638 characters

Photo of patre_tim
3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish brown, slightly cloudy with some particles within. No carbonation, 4 fingers of light beige head.

S: Coffee, toffee, dark toasted notes, light lemony hopping.

T: Coffee, toffee, light citrus note, big dull bitter hopping at the end along with some burnt toasted notes.

M: Medium thick, slightly dull resinous mouth feel, low carbonation.

O: Bought in Asheville, NC, drank in Kansas City, MO, Aug 8th, 2014.

 421 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at The Wooden Nickel served in a slim pint glass a crisp dark amber with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is crisp citrus hops in front of burn caramel malts. The taste is a nice balance of burnt caramel malts and citrus hops. The beer is light, crisp and quite smooth. This is a great cask beer!

 302 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Pours a clear copper color with a bit of white lacing.

Bit of toastiness in the nose with maybe some maple sweetness and also hops aromas.

Mild grain taste, somewhat toasted, and a touch of hop bitterness.

Moderate to fuller mouth with a good tingly carbonation.

Solid Irish ale with good flavors and presentation. Not quite anything special, but worth a try and gets the job done.

 392 characters

Photo of zeledonia
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Tasted 6 April 2013.

Pours a deep, rusty orangeish red. Mostly clear, letting a lot of light through it. I can see the bubbles on the far side, but it's not like looking through glass. One finger of off-white head, decent retention and nice lacing. A solid ring of bubbles and half-cap on the surface.

Smell is really toasted, like a marzen. The most obvious thing I get in the nose is those biscuity toasted malts. It's not bad, but there's not a whole lot to it. Can says it's supposed to be hoppy; it is not. There's a faint herbal nudge in the back, but that's it.

Taste is more interesting. Has more of the Scotch ale twang. Earthy, not exactly peaty, but the mildly bitter black earth or black tea flavor that I get from a lot of Scotch ales. Also has an interesting honey-like sweetness, right in the middle, that fades out. There's a little bit of unpleasant bitterness that I'd like to wash away, and slants more towards that in the finish, but mostly I like it.

Feel is pretty flat. Ends up feeling like uncarbonated soda. Lasting, too. Flat to lightly syrupy/oily to watery.

Interesting beer. I like the taste, where that earth/tea flavor really shines, and the sweetness adds a lot of complexity to it.

 1,219 characters

Photo of daliandragon
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a bomber from Aviator, just a few minutes down the road in Fuquay. Pours darker than most in the style, with a brown top and orange feet. head is eggshell colored and has copious lace but doesn't last long. Nose is floral hops over a foundation of caramel and toasted malts.

Strong malt flavors, with caramel and toasted morphing into coffee and baker' s chocolate before long. Hops are window dressing at first but shine on nicely in the aftertaste. The combination of English and west coast hops makes this unique.

Certainly not standard among the Irish Reds I have sampled in the past but definitely tasty and interesting.

 637 characters

Photo of GJ40
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled in a standard pint glass from a can purchased the same day at the brewery.

Very malty with caramel, breads and biscuits. Not all that much from the hops.

I had an old review I'd had on tap and I liked this one. I don't know if the recipe changed or it doesn't sit well in the can but this isn't what I'd remembered.

 325 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on draft at the FV draft house. Pours reddish ruddy brown color. Small wispy off white head. Good dose of lacing. Sweet up front with some caramel maltiness and bready backbone. Not much different than the Steamhead. Biscuity and bready with some yeast flavors kicking in as well. More of the chocolate malitness. Not too shabby. Tastes close to a brown ale/amber ale hybrid. Plenty of bread.

 399 characters

Photo of beer2day
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright red pour with 1-finger of light tan head. Very little retention. Laces very nicely.

Faint, sweet malt nose. Not much to go on.

Sweet hit on the tongue. Turns very sweet in the aftertaste, like big red licorice. Surprisingly dry and hoppy in the finish.

Decent malt body.

Easy drinker and hides it's slightly higher than average abv well.

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Hot Rod Red from Aviator Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 165 ratings.
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