Red Tail Lager | Mendocino Brewing Company

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Red Tail LagerRed Tail Lager

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Zorro on 11-19-2005

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 88
Photo of kissanem
4.3/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice beer. It has a Good flavor, color, and aroma. Not bitter or too happy. Also has a reasonable price. Would recommend it highly along with the other Mendocino beers. Definitely will get it again. Nice to find a beer that isn't technically local but has a local brewery.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

golden amber with a crystal clear look to it. A small head of maybe an inch rose up, but immediatly fell back down, leaving a naked top to it.

The aroma was light. Lots of light grain and bready malts abound here. Small light fruit notes and an overall light profile. Taste was more of the same, light grain, light fruits, small doses of grain. A crisp, clean, and refreshing profile. Very light feel

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Photo of whatthehull
3.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted June 10th 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a la Chouffe snifter

A - a cloudy copper, two finger off white head and some lacing

S - sweet, yeast, some fruit, floral, slight earthy hops. Big malt and toasted wheat and grains. Oh and smells slightly sour

T - sweet and then bitter right up front, dry floral hops, slight fruit, wheat, sourish yeast and a nice dry and sweet malt

M - slightly chewy, medium/high acidity, full bodied and long finish

D - drinks with the best of ales, nice balance

Final thought - this is a nice ale. Nice price at $7 and a decent 6.3% ABV

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dim copperish color with brick-orange tones. One-finger head with nice retention and decent lace.

Nose is simple, with delicious caramel and sourdough bread aromas. A faint hint of strawberries perhaps?

Medium-bodied with chewy, grainy malt- thick and robust for a lager with nice spice and dried herbal flavors joining the sourdough bread crust.

I really enjoy the rustic nature of this, and it's full-flavored enough to save it from being too easydrinking. One of my top sessionables for sure.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.15/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a Grolsch Pilsner. Poured yellow-orange with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, slight earthiness, and very slight earthy hops. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was not one of the better beers that I have had. There was no complexity at all in this beer. Aroma was very bland as was the flavor. Maybe this is typical for the style???

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Photo of malty
2.18/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

WPours a little cloudy with a dull copper hue. Head quickly dissipates to a mere off-white halo. Minimal visible uprising carbonation.

Smells like an English Pale Ale. Sweet, mostly malty with a tiny bit of brightness. This thing does not smell at all like any lager I've ever tried. Caramel, sour dough bread and that's about all.

Wow, very off-putting flavor of plain yogurt (faint, but still perceivable). There's some sweet malts happening, but the sour/tartness claims my pallet's attention.

Watery body (light) with a quick and strangely oily finish. Carbonation is very minimal.

Drinkability is poor. I'm not going to finish this 12 oz. glass.

Overall a very weird/poor example of ANY lager that's touched my lips. If this would have been billed as a Pale Ale, I might have connected with it a bit more. Very uneven and out-of-balance. Tastes like poor-bad homebrew. I wish I could find a redeeming quality, but I honestly can't.

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Photo of matjack85
4.04/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I bought this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's store in Plainfield, IL for $1.49. There is no freshness date on the label, nor is there any informatiom about the beer.

The beer poured a cloudy medium brown amber color, but changed to a honey golden hue when held to the light. It made a nice 2 finger fluffy off-white head but it didn'y last very long and it left no lacing on my glass.

The smell was all malt - and lots of it. I could also detect a touch of yeast from a loaf of dark brown bread, but from the smell, I think this is going to be really malty.

The taste was sweet caramel malt, but it wasn't sugary. There was a nice bready flavor as well. No hop bitterness to this at all, but that's not all that surprising for this style. I checked their web site to see if they used any hops at all, and it said that they did, but just a touch. This is a pretty simple beer - just malt and bread flavor, but I liked it. It's not going to win any awards for complexity, but it has a really nice taste if you like your beer on the sweet side without being cloying.

This is a very light bodied beer with light carbonation to match. Pretty clean finish with just a touch of lingering sweetness.

Drinkability is high. Low alcohol, light, and refreshing.

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Photo of yelterdow
2.98/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served at fridge temperature in the SABL glass for maximum performance.

Appearance- Burnished gold, the hue is rich and deep for a pale lager. The creamy two-finger head condenses into a firm, long-lasting topper that laces in just a few places along the inside of the glass.

Smell- A sweet, aromatic malt character is front and center, with a fleeting hop presence that wisps past the nose. An English type of overall presentation, with a bready overtone.

Taste- The balance of malt and hops is nice, but the flavors just seem a bit "off" as if they are past their prime. There's a 13-digit number lasered near the bottom of the bottle, but I have no idea how to interpret it. Not a smooth finish, as the lingering aftertaste is rough and sweet.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Solid, easy carbonation makes this beer feel great in the mouth. It's smooth in the swallow, but it doesn't save the overall drinking experience... it would have been helpful to know if this example was recently bottled.

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Photo of beerme52
3.9/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got three as a gift in a BOTM club 12 pack. I was a bit leery at first, thinking they were just mailing me some low end stuff I could not get here in Illinois. But it was pretty good! My kids did this for my Christmas gift this year. I am impressed. Hoping the rest of the beers are equally as good.

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.82/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Low head, a witbier cloudy straw color. Some yeast floaters. No bubbling.

S - Yeast, some cream, mild hops, lactose esters. Like watered down buttermilk.

T - Spicy, like onion and herbs. Some wheat malts. And salted dry popcorn. It was noticeably sweet but a bit acidic. The aftertaste was water and wheat. I give them points for complexity.

M - A bit too watery but there was some spicy mouth/sinus opening action. And I'll go all the way up to 4pts because of the nice buttery feel.

D - Not bad. Taste is not overpowering. It's not that strong a beer. Could go well with soup maybe light Mexican food.

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Photo of NDZonie
4.17/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I recently purchased the Red Tail Lager from my local homebrew store after a recommendation from the owner. My feedback is mixed.

The appearance is deep brownish gold and poured a little hazy. This was a little surprising for a lager.

The smell is the best part of this brew. Wonderful caramel sweetness with an expected hop aroma.

The taste was a little sweet for my taste for a lager. I'd like a bit more clean finish for any lager.

The mouthfeel is the biggest bummer of this brew. Almost flat in taste.

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Photo of DawnL
3.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this in my local grocery store for $6.99 a six-pack. I had no expectations. I'm not a fan of lagers and was actually hoping to buy Blue Point Hoptical Illusion. Hoptical was $11.49 for the six-pack. I had about $12 in my pocket.

I am so pleasantly surprised by this beer. It has great malt character with a pleasant, not cloying, sweetness. There is little hop character - hops are expensive this beer is not - but I expected as much.

This is a great session beer. I would happily drink this when I have no money left in my wallet. Perfect for sitting out on the fire escape on a hot summer's day.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.61/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours an ever so slightly hazed, amber body with a smallish, though frothy, white head.

Smell: Vague, mild nose of sweet-scented grains with an equally indistinct hint of fruit. Well, gee, I was hoping for a bit more here. Hopefully the taste will promptly deliver me to Flavor Town!

Taste: Lightly toasty, lightly bready, lightly grainy malts with, yes, a light sweetness. Then, in comes a watery wash of spring water. Touch of fruit. Faintly citrusy, spicy hops with just a touch of bitterness. The finish is dry and clean but also empty and abrupt.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: What is this, Amateur Night?! I'm left quietly muttering encouraging comments to try and coax some (any!) flavor out of this thing. Sadly, a sip of Red Tail Lager doesn't really entice you take another, unless it's just the abject curiosity to see if it'll ever somehow deliver in the taste department, which, again sadly, it does not.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.71/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a nice orangish copper color with a large off-white head that has good retention.

S- The aroma is sweet toasted malts and caramel with just a hint of hops.

T- The taste like the aroma features some toasted malts with a hint of citrusy hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied and fizzy from the carbonation.

D- Not horrible, but not something that I would likely purchase again. This is an average beer at best.

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Photo of Drew966
3.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Red Tail Lager pours a hazy orange color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is malty with just a bit of graininess. The flavor is also dominated by a toasted malt profile. Hops are noticeable, but disappear quickly. There is a hint of citrusy fruit too. Decent, but not worth going out of the way for.

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Photo of PirateUlf73
3.68/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my cylindrical Spaten glass. Picked this up as part of a mix-a-six pack at my local beer and wine store.

A: Light reddish-amber in color with a nice white head. Good lacing throughout.

S: Sweet and toasty on the nose. Slight caramel and earthy hop notes as well.

T: Balanced. Good medium between nice toasty malt flavors and earthy hops (with a touch of spice). Nothing extremely spectacular, but a nice flavor overall.

M: Light-bodied, which surprised me considering the color. Decent carbonation and finished relatively clean with a slightly toasty malt aftertaste.

D: Very drinkable. Very well constructed and would be a nice beer to kick back with during any time of the year.

I really didn't know what to expect with this one as it was sort of the wild card in my mix-a-six. Nothing about it really jumped out at me, but I do believe that this would be a good gateway beer for a neophyte looking to branch out. Would make a decent session brew as well, if one were so inclined.

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Photo of JMBSH
3.6/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy yellow color. Nice head that shrinks slowly to a decent coating. The brewer's site says red hued. I don't really see any reds in the glass.

S - Slight citrus hoppiness.

T - Very mild bitterness, almost hard to taste except the aftertaste brings it forward. A little sweetness fron the malt but not overpowering. It too is just a bit there but not overpowering.

M - Slight carbonation in mouth but it is there. Clean feeling in mouth. Light, sweet, and refreshing. During one of my sips, I detected something had been in the beer. Spice? Not sure, didn't see anything floating or settling on the glass's bottom.

D - Light and refreshing. Low alcohol so having a couple should make you worry about the next day feeling. Good for summertime or just taking it easy.

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Photo of ProfessorHops
2.67/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Dark amber.

Aroma-A little apple. A simple beer.

Pallet- Lightly burnt cedar.

Finish- Wish it was longer. But very tasty.

Guzzle- Very bitter bight. Drinks hard as a quencher.

Texture- Trademark lager.

Extra: Beer is good. But simple and not extraordinary

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Photo of drizzam
3.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of 12 beers from a Christmas offering I received from a friend.

Serving style: Brown 12 oz. bottle with a Red Tail Hawk on the label.

A - Somewhat cloudy orange/brown body with decent carbonation and a very thin white head. As I consume this brew, the head leaves a thin lace down the inside of the glass.

S - A malty bouquet with a hint of fruit...I think it smells a little sweet.

T & M - Thin on the palate, the carbonation comes through as I swish and take it in. Tastes on the malty side with a tiny hoppy kick at the end. The hops kinda clash at the end with the fruity maltiness I tasted in the front end, finishing it off nicely.

D - In my opinion, this could make for a decent session brew. Light on the palate and it doesn't leave an aftertaste to note. At 4.5%, you could drink this one all night without worrying about how you're gonna feel the next day. A solid contribution by Mendocino.

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Photo of jushoppy2beer
3.53/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep orange amber color with thick off-white head. Subtle malty nose, with a malty taste on the palate, followed by a substantial hoppy bitter kick on the finish. Solid but smooth mouthfeel, well carbonated, and very drinkable. For a lager this is rather robust and a bit hoppy. This beer actually is quite reminiscent of the Mendocino Red Tail Ale, with which it shares the name of this brewery's best-known product. The lagering process does make this a bit smoother than the same-named ale, but otherwise they are close.

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Photo of changeup45
2.97/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light brown color topped with a thin head. Darker color than I was expecting. Fruity malt aroma with a malty flavor with caramel and some spices and a touch of hops mixed in. Bland, watery finish, almost non existant aftertaste leaves me wanting a bit more. Pretty boring beer but drinkable.

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Photo of Slynger
2.61/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Clear orangish color with a touch of red to it, and a cap of fine, lightly creamy dirty colored fluff. Lightly toasted, grainy-corny, fruity, some earthy hops. Pretty decent feel has good carb and creaminess. Not all bad. Does have a nose and some flavor, but not enjoyable.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
2.23/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I've enjoyed most of the Mendocino brews I've had in the past and was looking forward to a nice lager to have on a hot day but this plan didn't work out too well.
The flavors are right within that spectrum of beer that I don't enjoy. Stale potato bread comes to mind. It's a bit flat both on the palate and on the tongue. Not refreshing, lacking crispness, lacking in fresh flavors.
Just not for me and not what I would expect to taste from this brewery.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown-orange body, and a fairly aggressive pour produced a finger of bone-white froth that disappoints with its transient presence. Malty nose, plenty of caramel dominates but whatever else lurks remains hidden. Plenty of malt in the lager, nice caramel flavor, but basic and, unfortunately, basically disappointing. Somewhat bitter finish to a smooth beer. Thin comes to mind when trying to describe its content. Having just had Sam Adams Boston Lager, the difference is stark in malt content, quality, and texture.

Again, I find myself disappointed by a Mendocino product. Interested in trying something new, this was one of the remaining offerings at the local store I hadn't tried. It won't get a second look from me.

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Photo of JBogan
2.52/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured a murky light orangish color with almost no head and no lacing to speak of. Not an impressive looking brew.

Smelled of corn and buttery malts, I don't know a better way to describe it.

After seeing the beer and having a sniff, it reminded me of another brew which was one of my least favorites. I was hoping it didn't taste as bad as that other beer. Well, it didn't taste as didn't however taste very good. More butteryness which I truly dislike, more corn, another minus. I like these flavors on popcorn, just not in my beer.

Surprisingly the moutfeel was alright. Somewhat thin and slippery, but with a proper amount of carbonation to make it crisp in the mouth.

Overall this wasn't a beer I'd rate as drinkable. Maybe if you're into the butter and corn sort of thing it would be, and thankfully those two flavors weren't nearly as strong as in the other beer I'd rated so low a while back. I'll finish the six pack of this beer but that's it, I'll not be putting it to my lips again. Not that it's terrible, it's just not the flavor profile I enjoy at all.

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Red Tail Lager from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.22 out of 5 based on 88 ratings.
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