Red Tail Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

482 Reviews
Red Tail AleRed Tail Ale

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-22-2000

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Reviews: 482 | Ratings: 961
Photo of Arbitrator
1.21/5  rDev -64.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass at my building's happy hour.

A: Pours a clear, orange-tinted amber body. Small beige bubbles define an inch of foam that recedes quickly, leaving some streaks of ivy lace.

S: Earth and citrusy hops give a little definition to caramel.

T: Muddled and lacking in flavor. Wow. Malt presence is maybe some caramel... Hop presence is earthy. And that's about it.

M: Thin-bodied, watery (insubstantial) in flavor.

D: Mmmmno. Pretty much a uniformly bad representation of the style.

 513 characters

Photo of salvo
1.56/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured murky orange/amber into a pint with just a whisper of soapy head that disappears without a trace on the glass. Translucent with some floating debris.

Smell is sickly sweet: overpowering smell of honey and biscuit malt with no hop presence. More like sorghum and less like molasses: very sweet and simple.

Little carbonation; taste is overwhelmingly sweet and dominated by honey and corn syrup sweetness and stickiness. No discernible hops. Soda-like sweetness but flat. Poor. Mouthfeel was heavy and thick; syrupy and unpleasant.

Drank what I could stand when cold. Let warm and tried again; little change. Tried again. Yuck. Poured what was left and will avoid in future. Recommend you do the same.

* After reading some previous reviews, I cannot understand why reviewers will describe beer flavors as "muddled" and "over-sweet" and "will avoid" then give B and B+.

 877 characters

Photo of yourunclewalt
1.59/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Hazy orange/amber body, little foamy lacing. Appearance is probably the strongest part of this beer.

S - Corn grits, little fusel alcohol.

T - Tastes like a macro lager with a sour / bitter finish

M - Watery / carbonation

D - Really very average / middle of the road, although that may be the style.

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Photo of PorterLambic
1.79/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a golden/amber color with a smallish head (poured slowly from the tap) that drops to a thick film and leave some lace.
Smell is very slight hops and nothing else.
Taste is hops, a fleeting cherry note and nothing else. No malt, nothing.
Mouthfeel: a lingering hops bite fades quite slowly. Medium carbontaion and a light body.
Drinkability: Is this an IPA? No? Drinks like one.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.86/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bright ruby red body slightly hazed when held toward the light, fine off white cream colored head leaves behind fine speckled lacing. Aroma has caramel/raisin/hints of faint alcohol. Flavor a sweet and dry mixture of chemicals/phenolic flavors and bitter background hops wrapped around caramel flavored hops. A bit abrasive as a whole, this is not the beer I recall years ago when I tasted Red Tail Ale, things have gone in a bad direction eversince they were bought by the Kingfisher Indian mogul. Mouthfeel is cloying with earthy bitterness, body is medium bodied carbonation doesn't carry things well just an unpleasant experience. Drain pour there's too many good beers in life to settle for crap like this, honestly bad flavor and I will look for my next beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2/5  rDev -42%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Yet another Mendocino breewinf tragedy.
Poured a golden/amber color with a small head.
Smell is very slight hops and nothing else...maybe some grain and malts.
Taste is slight hops, a bland taste with nothing to really write about..what is it? A mix of things gone wrong. I did not even swallow. AVOID!

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Photo of josiahschlender
2.07/5  rDev -40%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The last of the three gift beers from a Ukiah local!

Pours a typical clear amber with orange highlights. I roughed up the pour to give it a moderate head that disappeared quicker than is should and left no lace.

Not much in the aroma department. I glanced at a few reviews before starting my own, and I agree with several that compared it to a macro lager's aromas. Searching hard yields only vague malt aromas that are not very ale-like.

This beer is not disappearing very quickly, because it's one of the worst tasting beers I've ever had. A disappointment for my 150th review, but this is about as drain-pour worthy craft beer as I've ever had. Lots of unpleasant, soapy bitterness from front to back. Very little malt flavor to be had. There's a bit of lemon rind coming out in the bittering hops at the end. Medium body and little carbonation makes little impression. If anything, the finish is too long because it prolongs unpleasant flavors.

I think I'd rather have a beer that tastes like nothing than have big flavor that's bad. This beer is obviously not a standout among its peers by reviews, but I wonder if I got a bad bottle, or it came from a bad batch. Of the three Mendocino beers I've had, Eye of the Hawk was mediocre at best, White Hawk was quite good and Red Tail was terrible. Pretty inconsistent. The brewery's beers aren't readily available in my area, but I probably wouldn't be buying much of them if they were.

 1,441 characters

Photo of q33jeff
2.13/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

LOOK: Slightly Cloudy Orange Color.
AROMA: light barley and hops, lighter wood and citrus.
TASTE: light barley and hops, lighter wood and citrus. A touch of staleness. Hay.

Nothing to write home about


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Photo of rastaman
2.16/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. tatsted just like their others, mandarin and sticky malts, tinny and short, not so good. I don't ramble on about nothing in my ratings often, but this time i have to because i was so bored with this beer and their other beers, really really sorry, this beer was not for me.

 281 characters

Photo of vkv822
2.16/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours a slightly hazy, golden color with a short lived white, bubbly head.

The aroma and taste are both very subdued, not much going on beside some very faint grassy hop notes and biscuit malts.

The mouthfeel is average, medium body and appropriate carbonation.

Nothing special here, a bit of disappointment in the taste and aroma.

 367 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
2.17/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

For the birds? Pours a clear copper color with a soft white head. Quickly hid to the edge of the glass and stayed awhile but did dissipate after some time. Not much lacing.

The nose is limited but balanced. A sweeter caramel malt aroma with some lighter tasted notes. Some lighter bready notes with a hint of oxidation/cardboard. There is a light floral hop with a hint of citrus on the back end. Some yeasty esters as well, rose peddles and apple/ acetaldehyde

The flavor is more pronounced than the nose indicates. The malt comes out more with a almost metallic caramel flavor. Some good kettle flavors but some cardboard notes with more of a perceivable as well with noticeable oxidation. A bigger bittereness that just doesn't blend well and leaves an astringent finish that covers up the pine finishing hops. Minor yeast notes, pepper and apples.

The body is light to moderate. The off notes of this beer makes it difficult to deal with. Overall very limited.

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Photo of PintOHops
2.2/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Glass - Nonix

A - Slightly hazy orange color. It produced a weak 1-finger head upon a somewhat vigorous pour. The head dissipated quickly and it looks dull over all. It didn't leave any lacing either.

S - Subtle earthy hop with lots of bready smelling malts. Soft caramel with a hint of prune and alcohol.

T - Stale bread with soft musky/herbal hop flavors. It finishes with mild bitterness and noticeable alcohol.

M - Smooth medium body with moderate crispness.

D - Maybe I got an old one but I didn't like this one much. The smell and the flavors seem muted and stale, and the appearance is pretty dull as well. It's drinkable enough to put down a couple pints over a meal but no more because the flavors are just so bland. I might try once more to make sure it wasn't old but as for now I don't recommend it. Pass.

 822 characters

Photo of mattster
2.23/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into pint glass from 12oz bottle.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown color, no head - a little lacy on top.

Smells of malts, taste similar. No recongnizable aromas or flavors. A little bitter on the palate and finish isn't overly pleasant.

I had this as a single, don't think I would recommend or try again. It wasn't horrible, I guess I expect more out of a "craft beer."

 375 characters

Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.24/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a striking copper color with thin head and no lace. It's aroma is a bit citrussy with malt sweetness and caramel. The flavor is caramel with spice and root beer notes. It starts smooth leaving a mildly bitter aftertase. As it warms the caramel fades and the hop bitterness pushes through. The mouthfeel is light and dry. Mendocino Red Tail Ale is an okay beer, slightly recommended.

 398 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.25/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Mendocino Red Tail Ale

Appearance- ruby red with absolutely no head.
Smell- skunky malt and fruit.
Taste- cheap sugary skunky malt with some grape or cherry juice thrown in.
Mouthfeel- Actually there was a slight acidy metallic taste that led to a bleeech bitterness.

Overall- not a good 1! The worst Mendocino has to offer so far. Avoid. Tasted like an old Killians Red.

 380 characters

Photo of GnomeKing
2.25/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I bought a six pack of this because I hadn't seen it before and--I admit it--it was the cheapest on the wall of craft beer. You get what you pay for. It was badly conceived and executed. The malt character was just funky. It didn't have the crisp, drinkable character of a typical amber, which is what I was looking for, since I bought it for drinking at my shorehouse. Now there are five bottles left. Want one?

 412 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.28/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is extremely hazy and pale, dull colored. The color is a muddy copper with a half inch, tight bubbled off white head. Aroma is musty, slightly sour, and it was hard to get much more than that because all the scents were muted. Flavors are also muted, and riding a light, watery body. Toasted malt and caramelly notes briefly present. The aftertaste is musty and a little fruity, and the finish lasts too long for what it offers, which isn't much.

 495 characters

Photo of troutmask96
2.28/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Nothing outstanding here. Very much like Alaska Brewing's Alaskan Amber, which I don't like either. Pours a deep mahogany, with little head. Smell is of hops and malt. Tastes like Heinz ketchup and little alcohol. Very carbonated, so doesn't even make a decent session brew. I'll take a pass on this one...

 306 characters

Photo of Phocion
2.31/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured a medium amber color with an explosive white head that settles into a good thick finger that lingers on well after the pour.

Aroma is of a sweet toffee/caramel malt followed by flowery hops.

Very light sweet malts with a mild bitter finish, though the hops are not very flavorful aside from the "bitter." After a couple swallows, all you can really taste is the light bitterness.

Very thin and watery. Not much substance at all, in the taste or on the palate. Wouldn't recommend anyone tries this, you won't be missing much of anything at all.

 562 characters

Photo of OnThenIn
2.33/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured with absolutely no head and the beer is a rich copper color, but a bit hazy. Overall, the lack of head in what in a beer that is supposed to have hops in it kinda worries me.

Smell: The aroma is almost all sweet malt with maybe a citrus aroma hidden way down. I am now officially concerned.

Taste: The flavor is a little strange and almost watery. The majority of the flavor is a sweet malt with a hint of bitterness. There is a sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: The almost complete lack of carbonation and watery aspect really mess this beer up.

Drinkability: I am actually surprised I got through this beer. This is the second Mendocino Brewing Company beer I have had that has been a major disappointment. It would be nice to be able to figure out whether the bottle I am drinking is just really old or if this beer really is this bad.

 853 characters

Photo of Sylf
2.36/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nice appearance and delightful smell, but was not happy with the taste. The taste was shocking in a bad way to say the least. I drank this beer on multiple occasions and was always left with a very bitter, not very appealing, aftertaste. Personally it was hard to drink more than one or two due to aftertaste. However, friends seemed to disagree and enjoyed the taste but eventually agreed on the strange aftertaste.

 416 characters

Photo of itlnstallion11
2.37/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Pours a very light amber color almost looks like a pale ale, great lacing.

S- The smell is actually enjoyable, the hops are evident as well as a citrus pine aroma

T- the initial taste is smooth and enjoyable until the aftertaste sets in and leaves one with a taste of sourness followed by a metallic taste as if one was eating tin foil.

M- Smooth, and bubbly, once again resembles a pale ale more than an amber

O- i would give it a 5 out of 10 its bitter, sour, and just un-pleasant, maybe its just me but this is a beer i would definitely pass on in the future.

 572 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
2.44/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is weird, I remember this beer being good before...

A: Slightly reddish golden color with a pretty nice cream colored head that holds up well.

S: Uh oh. As soon as it was poured, I got a blast of fruit smells- cantaloupe, tangerine and mango. Then, it turned quickly to a strange metallic smell. Once it warmed a bit, there just wasn't much left.

T: This is gross. Funky (not in a good way) and metallic. Maybe I just got a bad bottle. This is pretty awful though. Pouring the rest.

 492 characters

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
2.46/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured a nice amber color, which is the best thing it had going for it in the looks department. No head, only a lonely ring sticking to the edges, much like myself at prom.

The smell was quite nice. It was a bit malty with a touch of hops.

Taste-wise I could tell it was supposed to be beer. I could pick up the same flavors that were present in the smell with the predominant taste of water. I know beer is mostly water, but I think this was a bit literal.

In the mouth it felt like some asshat put water in my pint glass. There was almost no carbonation. If pressed I could probably have counted the bubbles in my mouth.

This beer was not drinkable. Second drain pour this week. Two different breweries; two different stores. Sigh.

Like my other review of an obviously ruined beer I know the beer should be better and would gladly change the score if I could find a good bottle. However, my bad bottle wasn't the only one on the site so, buyer beware.

 958 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
2.51/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From Hollingshead Deli in Orange, CA. Nothing really exciting about this beer. Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a thin off-white head. Aroma is malty but it is barely detectable. Flavor is somewhat malty with a light hops counterbalance. Finish was lacking any real substance. Not a bad beer, but nothing really stands out about it either.

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Red Tail Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.45 out of 5 based on 961 ratings.
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