Red Tail Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

964 Ratings
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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Ratings: 964 |  Reviews: 482
Photo of BlackHaddock
2.97/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One of the four taps at Pay and Take, Flagstaff. Came in a pint glass, slight haze just visible in the amber tailed beer, on top sat a thin cream/beige coloured head.

Not a lot of aroma, what there was gave off caramel and malted esters.

The taste was more malt than hop, pleasant but nothing special.

The beer wasn't weak, but it was no weightlifter either, just so-so in almost all aspects.

A little disappointed with this to be honest.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark golden or light amber (according to your perspective on these things). Pretty heavily carbonated. Pours about a half or full finger bubbly white head which quickly settles leaving a small smattering of bubbles on the surface. Small pockets of bubbly carbonation cling to the sides of the glass. Sparse lacing quickly disperse into the body of the brew.

S: Malt, hops, and clove. Almost a subtle citrus hint maybe.

T: Light malt flavor, but strong on the hops. A little sweetness of more of an orange citrus.

M: Has a certain robust character to it. The hops really come on strong right from the beginning, and fill the palette. Not overly bitter though, but more "full". Fairly dry in the finish.

D: A good drinking beer. This one goes down easy.

Atmosphere is pretty decent. Deep rich amber tone, but otherwise pretty non-distinct. Nose, the same. Nice, full flavor. Nothing particularly outstanding, but all-around pretty good balance of malt and hop components. Overall, this is a pretty decent quaff.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Samuel Smith Euro Pint. Pours copper in color with a one-finger white head that quickly subsides to a minimal amount. There was no apparent lacing present. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and slight hops. The flavor was of light malt and a little bitter upon sitting in your mouth. It was light on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a smooth brew that could be consumed on a large scale and be enjoyed by the masses. However, its flavors and aroma are not enough and it could be a little more complex to make it awesome.

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Photo of ralree
4.26/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Nice red color, very cloudy, wonderful reddish white head, decent lacing and retention. 1-finger.

S: Caramel malt, nice strong hop smell, light fruit. Wonderful.

T: Caramel, bready, nice hop kick. Fruit is just barely preceptible. Not watered down at all. Hops stick with you after swallowing, leaving a great taste that brings you back for more.

M: Very smooth, a bit astringent, a bit dry, good carbonation. Medium-light body.

D: One of the most drinkable beers I've had.

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Photo of thebeerdoctor
4.4/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An American classic from Mendocino Brewing. At $7 a six pack, this is quite a gift, Highly drinkable because the recipe hides its mechanics so well, it makes it seem simple. Beautiful orange color poured into a small nonic glass. Tasty, there is plenty of subtle complexity here.
Although this version was made in Sarasota Springs, New York, this should be considered in the same class as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Anchor Steam as a legendary west coast recipe.

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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.

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Photo of spoons
2.72/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle to a tulip.

Has a nice orange body with a smaller head on top that leaves ok lacing down the glass.

Smell is awful. A little skunky and malty at the same time with some hops in there.

Tastes like sweaty acidic malt. Mouthfeel is watery. Tastes like lagery grain and is not pleasant to drink.

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Photo of JBogan
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a really nice looking dark gold with a thick and creamy one finger head which leaves a solid ring of lacing.

The aroma is fruity along with a good malt presence.

The taste is similar. The malt gives a caramel sweetness, followed by a small piney hop edge. Pleasing but not outstanding.

The mouthfeel was somewhat thin but very slippery. A moderate amount of carbonation gives it a slight tingle at the finish.

Overall this is a nice but fairly average beer. It is easy to drink, but it wasn't enjoyable enough to make me want another.

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

Good auburn color, pour it right, and you get a solid inch of beige head. Aroma, equal parts wood tanins and a bitter hop nose lingers.

Taste, a little heavier than one would expect from the appearance. Solid, balanced English ale interpretation with a little CA hopping. Sometimes the quality can vary wildly with Red Tail, but more often than not, you get a relatively solid built beer with good malt and hop bills.

Mouthfeel, like many Mendo beers, gets a little heavier towards the end. Drinkable session ale. A keeper.

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Photo of rarbring
2.56/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A copper-toned clear ale, with an off-white head that recedes quickly but leaves good lacing.

The smell is rather faint, some malts, a faint honey aroma.

The taste has a bit of sourness, bitter oranges, some bitter notes, but mostly burned tones.

High carbonation, a watery feeling with a dry finish.

It could be more maltier, a bit of raw seedy bitterness.

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Photo of ocmpoma
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out a pale amber into my glass. No head to speak of, and the nose was lacking, some malt notes but not much else. Taste was standard, maybe a bit bland. Mouthfeel was standard, as well. Overall, average or a bit below. Not much even to comment on, actually.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

P- Westy's Beer Distributor in Mechanicsburg, PA

A- a hazy cloudy burnt amber orange. Not too much head and it quickly dissipates after the pour. Carbonation is alright as well.

S- caramel and molasses. Very sweet aroma. Some faint citrus hops come around as well.

T- a charcoal caramel taste. Not too much on hop presence either. Kind of lacking in the power boost dept.

M- a dry smooth feel. Nothing to extraordinary to write here.

D- easy to throw back. goes down smooth and could easily do a sixer. Flavor isnt the best but its a nice dinner beer.

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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.

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Photo of kbeals
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass reveals a copper colored brew. I poured it vigorously but was still unable to get any head out of it. Unfortunately, this means no head and no lacing. The beer appears sort of syrupy with the carbonations sticking to the side of the glass.

S- Mostly sweet malts with a bit of hops. There's just not much to this, a bit of citrus comes into play but not enough to play a definite role in the aroma.

T- Wow, there's just not much to this one. Muted hops and malts, nothing else. I would say it's an old bottle, but my beer store had just gotten it in.

M- Light-medium body, flat. Disappointing.

D- The taste just doesn't do it for me, but the lighter body helped out a bit.

I wouldn't buy this one again, disappointing. I expected a lot more hops to come into play but it just didn't happen.

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Photo of twaddlac
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Burnt orange/ copper with little to no head. Essentially no lace and no carbonation. Doesn't seem too good thus far.

S- Very fruity, plum, pomegranate, with undertones of hops and toasted malts. Nothing to write home about.

T- Very hoppy and astringent. Very subtle hints of malts but that's about it. The hoppiness lingers in the mouth.. not complex at all..

M- Medium to light body, very little carbonation but a very smooth beer; it actually feels pretty good going down!

D- Not much in terms of flavor, but a decent, drinkable beer. Nothing that I would get again..

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

The last beer to try out of my sampler pack. Pours a light copper color with 1 finger of head that faded quickly to a ring. The aroma is all citrus hops, with loads of grapefruit and some faint pine notes and a hint of malt sweetness in the background. After a slightly water start, the middle is very crisp with nicely balanced bitterness before you really start tasting the malt on the back end. The finish is fairly fast with some lasting, mild bitterness and body is on the thin side of medium. Overall, a pretty tasty beer; my second favorite out of the sampler pack.

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Photo of NatetheGreat
4.18/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a great beer. Beautiful orange-amber color, with a slight hazy glow and big off-white head. Stunning.

Aroma was soft and enticing: honey and citrus, sweet and fresh.

Flavor well balanced with earthy hops and juicy malts ranging from fruity to caramel. Nothing jumps out of the glass, but really solid forthcoming flavor.

Mouthfeel was smooth, rich, and substantial.

Very drinkable, alcohol wasn't really noticeable until it had warmed quite a bit. I could definitely make this a go to beer. Would likely accompany lots of foods very well.

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Photo of jonziefle
2.64/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured an orangish amber color; slightly cloudy. Two finger off white pillowy head. Visible carbonation. Some lacing.

Smell: Not much in the way of nose, but I can detect some hops and an apple fragrance.

Taste: Tastes of light bready malts, with apple and copper as dominating flavors at first. As you drink it more, it becomes more of a sweet malt with some apple. Medium sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with little bite. Smooth.

Drinkability: More malty than an ale should be, with too much apple flavor. The sweetness is right, but not much else

Buy Again? No

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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.

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

Received a case of Hawks at Christmas. This is the last of them. Thankfully. It was a kind gesture from my mother in law who knows I'm a craft beer enthusiast, but if I never have another Mendocino Brewing Company offering again, well, there are many better alternatives available. Again, thankfully.

A-little too light for style.

S-like cheap macro beer. Guess this is better than cheap perfume.

T-nondescript like everything else about this beer. Not on par with their Eye of the Hawk or Blue Heron pale.

M-harsh, like cheap beer. This is actually very poor.

D-it is never a good thing when you feel compelled to drink it only because it is occupying space in the fridge.

I try to be objective and constructive, but what gives? If Mendocino Brewing has been at this game since 1983, then they should hang it up, or supply their ales with that certain herb ubiquitous to that region. Maybe then I could enjoy this, or at least not know the difference.

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Photo of jhtipton
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

purchased at the Navy Club in Seoul Korea. Poured into a lager glass. Nice 1 inch head that dissipated in about 2 minutes. Not too carbonated. Smell is citrusy hops and caramel malt. Nice reddish brown color. Nice mouthfeel. Very drinkable red ale. I like the hops and this does hops pretty well. Unfortunately after about 6 of them my head felt a little off kilter. Still I may try again, only in lesser quantity.

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Photo of JoKo
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into German styled lager pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber color with small off-white head, cloudy with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Smell: Malts up front, caramel malty aroma

Taste: Contrary to the aroma, this beer has a hoppy bite up front with malts presence in the background. The hops are piney, some grapefruit note present, very crisp.

Mouthfeel: Kind of lingers on the palate for a little while after each sip. Although this is a crisp beer.

Drinkability: Overall, a decent choice, this beer is a good representative of the style, although it does remind me of more of a pale ale in my opinion.

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Photo of tigg924
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: red/brown in color, 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, clear

Smell: citrus hops, caramel malt, and a bit of dark fruit

Taste: citrus hops, caramel malt, and a graininess towards the end

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, sweet with a slightly bitter backbone

Drinkability: An average amber that is slightly on the hoppy side. If you love hops this might be for you. I think this could be a bit more balanced. I will pass in the future.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Kind of hazy orange amber with not much head, just a light accumulation around the edges

S: Earthy, herbal hops is forefront, some sweet malt in the back, not the best malt notes, kind of like lesser quality beers

T: Like the smell, not much depth of flavors, just those distinct hops, plus that kind of euro lager like sweet malt, hint of alcohol too, which isn't good at only 6%

M: Not too thin, but not medium, pretty bland

D: The best aspect of this beer

Notes: This is just a mild amber ale. It is easy to drink, but low of flavor. The sweet malt reminds me of cheap european beer too, so that really detracts. If you don't like the hops that this company uses you won't like any of their beer.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep golden to amber brown with orange hues with an off white head packed densely with carbonation as it floats atop the beer.

Pleasant aroma of sweet malt, possibly caramel-like, and fresh citrus hops.

The flavor is largely reflective of the aroma with greater concentration of all aspects with more sweet malt mid-palate, and more citrus hops toward the beginning and finish with a slight bread quality.

Medium in body with medium to high carbonation and just a slight drying finish.

Quite a tasty and sessionable beer offering just enough flavor to keep it entertaining while a low enough abv to have a couple.

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Red Tail Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.45 out of 5 based on 964 ratings.
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