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: 960
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a hazy copper color with a 1 inch head that fades to an oily residue. No lacing on this beer.

S - Smells of sweet malt and unidentifiable fruity smells.

T - Tastes of slightly bitter hops up front with sweet malts and fruity tastes afterwards.

M - Somewhat flat but smooth.

D - Pretty good beer that I would try again sometime just to revisit this offering.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a standard amberish red like most of this style. The head was a light yellow, it smelled kinda hoppy and sweet. The taste was average, it had some hoppiness and a decent malt backbone. The mouthfeel was bubbly and dry in the aftertaste. Overall is was ok.

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Photo of metter98
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured into a pint glass with a finger high dense off white head that settled down but has good retention properties. It's light amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation.
S: There are light aromas of caramel and roasted malts in the nose along with some hints of floral hops.
T: The overall taste has a good balance between malty sweetness with flavors of caramel and roasted malts and a light amount of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is crisp and has some dryness.
D: This can be considered to be a sessionable beer given its well-balanced taste.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

One of my more well-liked styles of beer... haven't been a HUGE fan of this brewery though, found a lot of their other stuff pretty mediocre but unbiased for this one. Pours a light amber color, almost golden color... small head to it.. not much for lacing.Faint caramel malt aroma to it. First impression on taste, very light bodied.. even for this style. Just not a lot of 'meat' to it.. kinda feels like too watered down and affects the taste profile of the beer (as in the beer is gone before you can taste it). Nothing offensive taste wise, a tad bit of hops and more of the caramel malt, but the mouthfeel and body are just too weak/thin to make this a great red ale. Drinkable.. but I'd have a Lagunitas Imperial Red or Ithaca Cascazilla (among many other) red ales.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have tried a number of American Ambers lately to find the good ones. This is what I think about Red Tail. Looks Light copper with some pink highlights thrown in. Bubbly head fell to 1/4" and stood. Aromas are toasty, malty, caramelly, and mildly citrusy. Taste is sweet and toasty. Toffee, caramel, and syrup are dominant sweetnesses. Slightly cut by spices and citrus that are hop driven. Quite distinct hop flavor or bittering. Body is medium - full. Flavors are balanced toward the hops, pushing into Amerian Pale Ale perameters. Perhaps a bit disjointed in it's character, but a good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.84/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16oz pint, at the Rhino in downtown Missoula, Montana. Kind of hard to figure out where this brewer is actually from.

This beer appears a somewhat hazy medium golden amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and mostly bubbly off-white head, which leaves a decent array of sudsy random island group lace around the glass as it genially abates.

It smells of sweet, lightly toasted caramel malt, a certain skanky nail polish booziness (hard to discern from Minhas' standard house essence), some subtle, muddled orchard fruit notes, and floral, dead weedy hops. The taste is weakly bready caramel malt, a hint of stale citrus fruit, and somewhat boozy, perfumed floral hops.

The carbonation is on the veritably low side, no see, no how, the body an adequate medium-light weight, and a bit airy in its smoothness. It finishes with a consistently touched sweet grain and increasingly weedy hop tango of the doomed.

I liked this beer at the very start, but things went south way too quickly, the lame-ass contract (not all, I'm not pigeon-holing here, but y'all know what I mean) skankiness a little too prevalent, a little too tight. No real hoppiness, and a sweetness without justifiable offset. Meh.

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Photo of brentk56
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy medium amber body with a modest head that becomes a collar with some chunky islands; little lacing

Smell: Sweet caramel and peach notes

Taste: Starts out fairly light and sweet, with definite light fruit flavors; after a few seconds some bitterness kicks in on the side of the tongue, followed by an unusual medicinal flat flavor on the roof of the mouth

Mouthfeel: Pretty good; medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: With the exception of the unusual finish, a pretty tasty beer

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Photo of emerge077
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange pint, foamy off-white head that puffs above the rim momentarily. Spindly lace trails inside the glass, looks like lightning almost.

Coarse raw malt, honey and multigrain bread.

Tangy, bready malt, some mellow dry bitterness and pine notes. Mild sweetness. Medium bodied, easy enough to drink, fairly simple with a tiny bit of hop character and mild malt complexity. Seems fresher on tap than when I last had a bottle (cliche I know).

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Photo of zeff80
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours out an orange/amber color. It had a small white head.

S - It smelled of malt and caramel.

T - A great, sweet malty flavor stands out. The caramel taste is understated.

M - It is crisp and smooth. Light to medium-bodied.

D - This is a very good amber beer. It has a delicous sweet taste.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy reddish copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness/toffee, pear, apple, herbal, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness/toffee, pear, apple, herbal, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, light nuttiness/toffee, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly creamy/bready, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this a very good English style amber ale. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter copper color with medium head that leaves some slight lacing,a strong smell to it some fruitiness to it and very malty kind of a weird smell hard to place.The taste starts out a little sweet but there is some dryness in the middle ending with a malty finish and aftertaste.Not a bad beer but seems a little rough around the edges.

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Photo of chinchill
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a snifter.
Murky and dark for style; plenty red for a amber/red ale but not as red as I expected in a "Red Tail". This amber ale is slightly more rich, earthy and flavorful than the average amber. It has good sweet/bitter balance and a fine medium+ body. Carbonation is a tad low.

O = 3.75

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, fruits and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste starts with mildly sweet flavors of caramel and citrus, that are followed by a complementary hops presence. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while but there are others in the style that I would choose first.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep, dark amber body with a small, whitish head.

Smell: Toasty, chewy caramel malt aroma peppered with floral, citrusy hop notes.

Taste: Pale malts, toasted grains, and sweet caramel sauce upfront. Dash of mineral water. The slight graininess and a touch of fruit leads you into the floral, lightly citric hops and mild bitterness that rides out beyond the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent amber ale that's very middle-of-the-road in terms of flavor; it's neither overly malty or hoppy.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.95/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Orangish amber more so than reddish amber. Clear as a bell with a wealth of fine-bubbled carbonation rising to a pale beige cap that's a little rocky and leaves a small amount of lace in scattered scraps. The nose is slightly more hoppy than malty and could stand more 'oomph'. It's a little citrusy, but very little.

The beer lacks punch on the palate. In fact, I'm having serious difficulty evaluating it due to a lack of anything substantial to work with. It's mildly bitter, but with little actual hop flavor. The malt is pretty much a 'no show' and the body/mouthfeel is thin without being watery. The finish is nonexistent since there's so little flavor in the first place.

This is only my second Mendocino brew, but I'm not impressed so far. They strike me as a middle-of-the-road brewery at best. Given the almost total lack of malt support, body, and especially, flavor, Red Tail Ale has to be classified as a disappointment. As Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, "there's no *there* there".

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Photo of russpowell
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours caramel/orange with 3 fingers of off-white/sand-colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Slight citric malt

T: Grapefruit hops & a little bit of cracker up front. Lemon follows along with a hint of honey malt. Finishes with grapefruit, dryness& a little peppery hops

MF: Light/medium bodied, a little juicyness with medium carbonation

Drinks okay, this is shadow of what it was 10 years ago, where's the malt & hop guts??? Would do in a pinch

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy amber with a decent head. Smell was a muted hops, with definate hints of grain and even a slight caramel. Taste was a bit thin, but had a definate sugary touch to it. Hoppy dry finish with a tiny pine bite. Very drinkable. Overall this was a decent beer, I could see this being served in large numbers as it is very smooth and very drinkable, would love to try it on tap.

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Photo of Jason
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Redbones. Mild hazed pale amber orange hue with a thin off white lace that has decent stickage from its creamy bubbly form.

Faint toasted grain and flowery citric hop in the aroma.

Moderate body, clean crispness. Big citrusy hop with a very ample bitterness, flavour from the hop lingers in a rind pungency. Malt and grain flavours tread in the back drop with a light estery fruity alcohol. Finishes slightly dry.

Good drinking here, real easy to go down and with the usual trademark APA characteristics.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Revisiting one of my earlier craft encounters. It pours a clear sunrise russet topped by a finger of lightly dusty cream foam. The nose comprises caramel, mandarin orange skin, light lemon rind, and a few drops of maple syrup. The taste focuses a bit more on the citrus than the sweets, but not by all that much. Other than that, things are pretty much the same. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a pretty nice amber, nothing amazing, but a good everyday beer possibility.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - low head w/ below average lacing. Nice deep ice-tea color.

S - Mellow malt. Distant, honey-like sweetness.

T - Full malt body with a nice bread sweetness. A pleasant pine bitterness balances the mid profile. The flavors are bigger than you might expect, but they work well together. Some coriander spice on the backend.

M - Smooth mouthfeel with a nice medium-full body. Sweet finish with a twang of residual hop bitterness.

D - A very nice beer with surprisingly strong flavor.

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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 RblWthACoz
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazed amber with a light tan head. If the haze weren't there, I'd probably go up .5 more on the appearance. Very mild nose. Very slight touches of hops and citrus, but not really much to speak of (and this was off a somewhat aggressive pour). Flavor is strong with a metallic edge off the start. Almost makes me go: "Eck." Once you get past that there are sweet tones with hop influence. But overall...way too much metallic edge. After a while, I feel like I left a penny in my mouth too long. Feel is actually pretty decent. It might be the highlight of the whole experience. Strong carbonation and a thicker feel on the fluid. But overall it doesn't do much to save the drinkability. Not really worth trying, or in my case, trying again.

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Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours orangeish amber with a thick, fluffy white head.

The smell is of caramel with some graininess and a subtle spicy, citric background.

The taste is of a dominating caramel sweetness. Grainy in the back. Some citric notes, along with a slight metallic tinge, come through in the balanced finish. Not bad, but caramel dominates too long.

It is crisp and pretty clean. Smooth. A decent choice for an easy "session" ale.

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Photo of Billolick
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, no freshness/bottleing info offered....pours dull slightly reddish amber, light tan head, minor retention and spotty bits of lacing left behind. Moderate malt/bready nose. Balanced malt/hop approach, nothing too exciting going on here, dull style, dull beer, easy drinking but why bother?

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.65/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dull bronze color, slim, soon-gone head.

Caramel sweetness in aroma, then bittersweet from light hops...ginger, toffee, and apples...rather run-of-the-mill.

Brisk bitterness greets the tongue, there's a pucker, a wince, and then the swallow....leaves the palate with a quickness without imparting much flavor. A muddied mix of those flavors mentioned in the aroma slop about, with a trickle of astringency. Doesn't taste all that good.

A mild ale, with lean body, little finish, and forgettable flavor. Actually, the taste is more off-putting as I near the middle of the glass.

Not recommended.

(Music: "Djelika", Toumani Diabate, Keletigui Diabate, & Basekou Kouyate)

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Red Tail Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.45 out of 5 based on 960 ratings.
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