Red Tail Lager | Mendocino Brewing Company

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Red Tail LagerRed Tail Lager
88 Ratings
Red Tail LagerRed Tail Lager

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: American 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

View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 88 |  Reviews: 58
Reviews by NDZonie:
Photo of NDZonie
4.17/5  rDev +29.1%
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.

 510 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.7/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a nonic glass from a long neck brown bottle use opener marked on cap not a bad idea.

The aromas were between faint and moderate,a burnt toffee aroma with some faint piney/citrus and very subtle fruityness.

Clean taste,fruitty some nutty carmell with piney/citrusy notes. Finishes with a pleasing crisp citrusy bite.

Light mouthfeel with a mild tangyness. Could drink a couple,nothing interesting enough to make me want more beer. I've had a lot better beers from this brewery

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red Tail Lager

Appearance- Amber brown with a moderate soapy head. No lacing.
Smell- Nice combo of toasted grain and malt. (sunflower, sesame seeds)
Taste- Actually quite nice. Bready multi grain malt.Light earthy hop presence.
Mouthfeel- Sweet malt up front with a solid grainy bread body.

Overall- A huge surprise! Wasn't expecting much from this but it was a very enjoyable lager.

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Photo of SMark
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was poured into a pint glass at 40° from a 12 ounce bottle. No date information was located on the bottle. One and a half fingers of lightly carbonated head were produced from the pour. The beer was hazy and light amber in color. A slight foam remained on the side of the glass as the head subsided.

A sweet malt aroma was sensed first with a hint of yeast. That seemed to be all I could detect in subsequent tries.

Hops were more prevalent in the taste than the aroma. Malt was picked up also but sweetness off set by the hops.

This one did not stay around long after slight stimulation of the outside edges of the tongue. Nothing else added later on.

Does the term session beer come to mind again with this beer? At 4.5% alcohol it would do as you may want to keep drinking since there was not a lot of mouthfeel or aftertaste.

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Photo of beerme52
3.9/5  rDev +20.7%
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 cjgator3
2.71/5  rDev -16.1%
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 PirateUlf73
3.68/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

 1,000 characters

Photo of tempest
3.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A single from Finger Lakes Beverage Center.

I'd call this a standard American lager, and I mean that in the good way. This is a great, clean, wash down hot dogs beer. It has it's own merits and I certainly enjoy it by itself, I'm just saying...

Anyways, I didn't get much head at all (the carbonation is a little low) and there's a bit of a haze. The aroma is of mellow biscuit and caramel malt which the flavor expands on with a touch of grassy hops at the end. All in all, a tasty beer you can serve to anyone.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of TheMrFarnham
4/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of EBeckett3
3/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of beveritt
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. The label depicts a red-tailed hawk/falcon and a brief description of the beer and brewery. I am a little confused about where to enter this one. Having lived in Saratoga Springs for a bit, I know Mendocino has a brewery located there and I see it is listed on Beer Advocate. However, because they simply contract brew beer under the Mendocino name, I think it belongs here.

Appearance: Pours with 1/4 inch light tan head. Settles quickly to jus a few islands of foam. The beer itself is pale amber with a slight red hue.

Smell: Sweet, earthy malt with a strong grassy herb aroma.

Taste: Decent carbonation bite upfront, followed by aslightly sweet and slightly caramel malt flavors. Finishes with very mild hop bitterness and some herbaceous/grassy notes.

Mouthfeel: Pretty high carbonation level; lots of activity in the glass. Body is average.

Drinkability: Nothing special, but an easy drinker for a warm day. With all the sh* t talking on the label about how great they are, I would have expected a better brew.

 1,106 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.15/5  rDev -2.5%
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 GRG1313
3/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of Eaglefan344
3/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of beerthulhu
3.03/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: medium ruby orange color, no head.

S: Sweet caramel and oranges on nose.

T: Very malty. A touch of citrus as well is detected hop wise on aroma. Very light body. For flavor its sweet creamy caramel malt with some light lemon hints. Hopping is sweet, spicy and citrusy. Lots malt sweetness from caramel leaving a sweet residue coating on tongue. Very sweet per style, hopping doesn't balance out the sweetness of the malt palate very well.

M: light bodied, sweet residual malt lacing

D: ave. drinkability at best, a touch to sweet for multiples.

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Photo of LJWalker
3/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of matjack85
4.04/5  rDev +25.1%
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 mikesgroove
2.88/5  rDev -10.8%
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 Noelito76
2.75/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of Rudgers73
3.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle.

A- Typical lager bubbly head that is about a finger tall, dicepating into a wide ring. A little lacing left over. The beer is a deep golden color.

S- Nice mix of barley, yeast, hops. Nothing crazy.

T- They taste is what I'd like to describe as what an american macro lager would taste like if they cared to be better. The flavor is full and rich. It's a rather plain beer, but it is well made more importantly.

M- Light, fizzy, a little bit creamy, and smooth.

D- Great session beer.

This is the 2nd beer I have had from these guys. The other was "eye of the hawk". I am noticing a trend in this brewery: They make really flavorful, interesting beer. They do it well, and they do it affordably. A lot could be learned from these guys. I think I'll work my way through their whole line-up.

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Photo of Zorro
3.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new beer from Mendocino Brewing Company.

Pours a deeply golden colored lager with a good tan head. Dark gold with a tinge of red to it I could almost call this amber.

Smell is a clean scent of Pilsner malt and grains with a hint of herbal hops. To bad this isn't more complex, this is just a good fault fee lager.

Taste is clean lager flavor with a hit of lemon and some herbal hops in the first taste. Medium strong herbal hops make this taste somewhat more like a pale ale than a lager. There is a hint of nutty roasted grain to this but mostly it is clean tasting leaving the hops to do most of the work.

Mouthfeel is good.

No a bad beer at all here, very mild in all respects.

From the website:

"Red Tail Lager...The Legend Grows!

Inspired by the legendary 'Spirit of the Hawk', our product symbolizes the vision and determination to create and enjoy a full flavored lager beer. Lighter in body than our Red Tail Ale, Red Tail Lager is fermented at low temperatures using our traditional lager yeast.
Red Tail Lager is naturally hand-crafted, using only the finest ingredients: barley malt, yeast, hops, and water, resulting in a Lager Lover’s Delight!

Master Brewer Don Barkley’s notes:
Lighter in body than our Red Tail Ale, Red Tail Lager is fermented at low temperatures using our traditional lager yeast. “It took 21 years to make a lager worthy of the Red Tail name. Red Tail Lager delivers a rich refreshing flavor with a smooth light feel with a clean and crisp sweet finish.”

Date introduced: April 2005

Description: Medium body, red hued color, snow white head, lightly hopped, faint spicy aroma, hand crafted lager flavor, clean sweet finish.

Style: Hand Craft Lager

Alcohol: by volume 4.5%"

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Photo of Cindirene
3.18/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark goldish with nice tan head which dissipated leaving nice lacing - First sniff is hit with a strong malt presence which tapers off into some citrusy fruit followed by a hint of hops - Taste is OK led by malts but with a bit more hops than detected on the nose - It has a good solid mouthfeel like there's something there - All in all a drinkable brew but I'm not sure that they shouldn't have done a little more work on "a lager worthy of the name."

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Photo of mjc410
3.88/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour into my Prima Pils glass raises a creamy two-finger off-white head that has a lot of large bubbles constantly popping. Consequently, it gradually falls. The lacing is slippery, but has some good stick to it at the fringes. The body is a slightly hazy golden copper. The nose is sort of sweet and sour, with a bit of citrusy hops. Very pronounced cereal scent, too. The taste reminds me of Saison ever so slightly, and also of perhaps a filtered wheat. It has a lot going on: not quite a clean grain taste as expected from a lager. There are a lot of fruity esters, and a small bit of spiciness. It's interesting, and quite drinkable. The mouth is medium, with a high and not-too-coarse carbonation level. A fun beer that I might just get again.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.51/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade from Wasatch, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color with a very thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of grain, barley, malt, corn and a hint of hops.

T: The taste is grainy, malty and a little watery. There are flavors of barley, wheat, corn and a little bit of hops. It tastes like a macro with a little bit more flavor.

M: Smooth and crisp, heavy carbonation, light body, very clean finish.

D: Goes down easily, not filling at all, a bit lacking in flavor, if I were going to go with a macro, I’d save the money and buy a cheaper beer. If I were going to go with something better than a macro but still light, I’d pick something more flavorful and there are plenty of other beers out there that fit that description.

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Red Tail Lager from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.23 out of 5 with 88 ratings