Red Tail Ale | Mendocino Brewing Company

Red Tail AleRed Tail Ale
Liked This Beer
3.45 w/ 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 PDXHops
2.82/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter.

See-thru lightish amber body with a small cream colored head that disappears almost before I have a chance to note the color. Repeated swirls revive just a skim. Very little lacing.

Smells lightly sweet and floral with a squeeze of fresh OJ. I seem to pick up a hint of a metallic aroma.

That metallic quality really shows up in the flavor, to a somewhat distracting level. Looking past the metal, there's a pretty pleasant mouthful of sweet, nutty and fruity flavors with a hint of sourness. Hard to ignore the metal, though.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation with a nice creamy coating across the palate.

Overall impression: The metallic taste puts a bit of a damper on the fun.

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Photo of donmonkey1
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Medium/dark brown with decent white head, good lacing.

Smell: very sweet malt, like a malted milkball.

Taste: The hops really offset the sweetness making the beer fairly balanced. The hops aren't floral, and pine is too strong of a word, but mildly piney (I hate to use piney) takes the sweetness out and leaves a taste of mildly sweet mild pine. Sorry, my taste buds are confused, but it's pretty good.

Fairly average mouthfeel, touch of hops, touch of sweetness, hard to describe, but easy to drink, decent beer that tastes good but is so subtle in taste that I don't know what to think.

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Photo of Rayek
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Reddish amber with nice clarity and minimal carbonation. Foamy eggshell cap starts small and doesn't stick long. Leaves no lace.

S: Quite sweet initially. Caramel really stuck out at first. A lemon and floral hop aroma came in late.

T: Basic, but pretty decent. Again, it starts sweet with caramel and toffee. Hops provide a balanced floral bitterness that has a touch of lemon to it. Finishes rather clean.

M: Medium-light body has about the right amount of fizz.

D: For me, this is a decent session beer. It goes down easily enough. A little more complexity would be nice.

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Photo of mnrider
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Cloudy honey amber color. 1 1/2 inch of off white head. very light carbonation. Head fades and leaves a sticky coating on sides. not that impressive.

Smell: Strong caramel, malt smell. a little skunky.

Taste: Very strong caramel smell with a barley wine taste. medium hope taste.

Drinkability: If you love caramel then this brew is for you. The caramel over powers alot of the taste. Kind of like a weak barley wine. good overall though.


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Photo of teejay76
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a medium orange with a fair amount of head that remained.

Smell - Malt and hops, nothing extraordinary.

Taste - Surprisingly delicious. Full-bodied hops with a wonderful remaining aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Decent carbonation balance.

Drinkability - An unremarkable presentation, but was surprised by the great taste. I liked it.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.06/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Amber orange color. Very slight haze. Impressive off-white head that is creamy and sticks.

S- Light fruity esters, gentle caramel, and a rich grain/alcohol scent.

T- Complex without being overdone. Malt, hops, yeast, and nothing else. Tingly bitter sensation on the tongue. Some tannins and a nice white wheat bread character. Yeast esters are tart/fruity like cherries and apples.

M- Wonderful carbonation. Active while static and smooth while sliding down your throat. Medium bodied with a wispiness from the alcohol.

D- Balanced and substantial. True that.

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Photo of MLasoski
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, head quickly disappeared leaving just the body before I even had a chance to drink it. The body is an amber color, go figure, and it tastes milder than other red ale's I have had. It doesn't have that bite to it. I could probably drink two or three of these and still enjoy it. I can smell a bit of the roasted barley and leaves me with a taste of barley wine. Not bad.

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

Received from Adam in a trade. Consumed on 5/2/09.

Pours reddish amber into pint glass, with white head that quickly dissipates into typical lacing. Smells sweet with malt and caramel hints. Taste is a little light, with sweet malt and grain dominating. A little watery, but nicely carbonated. Incredibly drinkable, would go well in the hot sun.

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Photo of BigBry
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle (label as pictured), from a mixed case from Nicole.
From the label, "Red Tail Ale, naturally brewed in the traditional style, is a full flavored amber ale. Red Tail Ale has a lasting character created by a blend of Pale and Caramel malted barley and is balanced to a slightly dry finish with whole hops. Red Tail Ale has delighted fine ale drinkers and is legendary for its crisp, clean flavor." Sounds good, lets see...

Slightly hazy amber color, with an inch of white head. Limited retention or lace.
Smell of sweet, toasted malt and fruity hops. Taste has some caramel sweetness, combined nicely with earthy and piney hops. Well balanced flavoers. I would call this medium body and moderately carbonated. The finish and mouthfeel is crisp and a bit dry. Well made, easy to drink sessional.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky amber with almost no head, even with a hard pour. What head there is settles to a thin swirl. Smells a bit tangy with yeast and malt, and with a very light citrusy hop profile. The taste is light, with a good deal of sweet malt and clean citrus. A tiny bit watery in the mouth, but fairly refreshing if simple.

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Photo of sourdoughsteve
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.
A: Definitely an amber, not a red. The head disappeared at about half way. Lacing remained at the top the whole time. Clear and inviting to look at

S: Fresh. No burnt or heavy odors. Makes me want to ...

T: Mmm. Malty but not overly so. Hops evident but not the main event. Nicely balanced.

M: Refreshing. Not "thick". Carbonation right on the button

D: I could guzzle this on a hot day.

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Photo of PirateUlf73
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Semi-hazy medium amber color with a modest, dull-white head.

S: Sweet, toasted barley aromas mingled with sightly fruity hop notes. Pretty crisp nose.

T: Hints of caramel and toffee are put in sharp contrast with rich, earth and slightly pine-like hops. Has a nice, toasty midsection. Flavor is balanced masterfully.

M: Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. The finish is crisp and somewhat dry, like a good English pub ale.

D: This has "session ale" written all over it.

Another classic case of the whole beer being more than the sum of its parts. While not much to look at, the taste is very nice and it always leaves you wanting that next sip (or gulp). A solid get-together beer.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark amber color with a very slight haze. Poured a 2 finger off-white head with good retention. Lots of lace on the glass in rings and splotches.

S: Floral and fruity nose; cirus, grapefruit and pepper. Toasted and roasted malts.

T: Toasted and caramel malt; also pale malts for a dry bready flavor. Floral citrus from hops turns to a mild bitter balance. Very dry in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation blaances well. Flavorful then cleaner and dry in the finish.

D: Flavorful amber ale for sure that may be a bit hoopier than most.

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

Pours little head and little retention with a cloudy amber color.

Smell is of aromatic malt and a sort of grapefruit aroma that doesn't necessarily remind me of hops.

Sweet and sour taste. Caramel malt sweetness with this sweet citrus undertone. It's not hoppy citrus though. It's kind of unique. It's not totally a turn off though.

Mouthfeel is decently crisp and refreshing.

Medoncino produces average beers at best in my experience. I may avoid this brewery from now on.

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Photo of ssam
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-its red, the head is okay dissipates quite quickly, but leaves some lacing

S-its got a metallic smell

T- taste is pretty good, hop aroma is present and it good balance with the malt character

M-nothing to complain, nice mouthfeel

D- it was pretty good, im jonesing for another but i would drink more

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.04/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 9/21/2008 (bottle):

Pours an orangish colored body, with a small white colored head, pretty quickly diminishing. Has a malty fruity aroma, fizzy and effervescent. Very enticing. Has a fizzy malty nutty taste. A litte bitterness/sourness. Nice soft mouthfeel.

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Photo of JEngler
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured clear light amber with one finger head that didn't last very long. There was a little lacing in the beginning as a result of the small head. There wasn't a powerful aroma, but it did smell a bit sweet. Mouthfeel was good and very drinkable; however, it was slightly bitter... something I wasn't expecting this to have considering the malts. Nothing really jumped out at me about this ale, but it was tasty.

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Photo of webbcreative
3.09/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color (suprise, suprise) with a 2 findger whitish head. Smells just a bit of sweetness, with some bready notes. smells. Tastes i pretty bland up front, not getting a lot of the sweetness really, and ends pretty bitter, which i think is from the toasted malt, as its not a real clean bitter finish I usually get from hops.

overall its just decent, dont love it by any means, and wont be getting again, i cant get past that sharp bitter flavor.

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Photo of Psilo707
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish tint to a deep amber color, many bubbles rising to the top. Thin amount of head, but with decent lacing.

Smells and tastes like a lot of honey. Definitely malty, a bit of hops here and there. Citrus taste rings on the tongue ever so slightly. The aftertaste is one of a fairly strong ale.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid, very creamy texture. Drinkability is good, on par with most ales.

Overall, I liked it. Didn't love it, but it's a good release from Mendocino.

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Photo of Vengeance526
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish copper color with a 1 finger white head that lasts for a little while before slowly subsiding with a fair amount of lacing.

Aroma of caramel with a slight bready profile. Light hops present but definitely more on the malty side.

Taste reveals a light spiciness from the hops but then kicks in with caramel, honey and some light fruit notes.

Fairly light bodied with a moderate carbonation level. Overall, pretty well balanced. Not something I would indulge on but this is worth looking up again from time to time.

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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 DmanGTR
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re-reviewing on 1/18/09

A - poured a clear reddish amber with much bubbling to retain a 1/2" white head fairly well. Scant lace in my tulip.

S - perfumey, light malty sweetness, decent herbal hops, white grapes?

T - follows the smell somewhat, relatively balanced malts and hops, a very clean finish with a touch of honey sweetness.

M - light bodied and well carbonated. Smooth.

D - drinkable, could easily do a couple of these in session.

Overall - I must say that I find this beer much better tasting than last time. I did not get that distinctive "Mendocino" aroma in the nose like I did last time with the entire variety pack. Quite a nice beer actually, I may get back into their products. My only complaints are that the taste and the mouthfeel could be a touch richer. This goes well with the spicy beef/vegetable/chicken noodle soup I'm having right now!
Old review... 2008
Poured into a pint glass

A - Pretty dark ruby color with a 1.25 inch head. Lovely. The head disappeared within 2 min, leaving very small lace bubbles.

S - Wasn't too impressed by it, very noticeable malts, which covered most of the other smells it should have given off.

T - This is the second time I tried this beer. Just as bad as the first. Left a bad aftertaste (very bitter) and I was disappointed by the fact that I could not taste too much other than malts and bitterness.

M - Typical crispiness and bubbly.

D - I drank about 1/4 of the glass to review and after I couldn't stand the taste much more, I chugged the rest of it to get it out of the way (haha). Goes down smoothly, not too carbonated (which is good). A decent thirst quencher.

Overall - I was rather disappointed with this beer. On the good side: I bought this in a 12 pack variety of other Mendocino products (including Pale Ale, Stout, and Ale) and it was only 9.75. On the bad side - I have a lot of other crappy beers to finish now.

Don't buy this if you can help it. I'd rather have a Killians or Smithwicks if I ever want a red ale.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.65/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was my intro to craft beer, haven't had it in years but this one NEVER FAILS!

Appearance: Nice bronzish copper in color, poured a nice size head with foamy, sticky lacing.

Smell: Hints of some hop spice, a nice wallop of apple, and a astringent malt characteristic. This one always tasted better then it smelled.

Taste: I love this beer, to date I don't think anybody has balanced a good hop character to a malty persona like this one. It's got the apple and fruit pairing from the nose, plus an excellent caramel maltiness that is subtle, yet flavorful. The dry finish in this is a perfect ending to this wonderful concoction. Outstanding.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, a nice rich and hearty mouthfeel keeps this interesting. This one has a medium body and it shows through the maltiness, this one doesn't lose it's boldness on the tongue.

Drinkability: I understand why this turned me onto craft beer, this is such a good introduction to any craft brewery just because it combines the best of both worlds, hops and malt, which is lacking thereof in most of these BMC brewers. This is very sessionable at 6 ABV, and it hasn't changed a wink since I've had it 6 years ago, but why should it? This will go down as one of my all time favorite brews for the pure fact that it's easy to swig yet flavorful enough to enjoy and not get bored of it. A must have beer that should be picked up as soon as you see it!

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Photo of Drew966
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Red Tail Ale pours a hazy orange color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is on the malty side, but hops are definitely present. Caramel malt is obvious in the flavor, hops are also present but aren't as prominent. Not particularly well balanced, but it's a decent beer.

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Photo of Bagman007
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Cloudy orange/yellow coloring with about a finger's width of head.

S- Somewhat of a sweet hoppy scent. Not very strong. Can also smell the yeast as well.

T- Not very hoppy compared to the scent. Too much of a yeast like taste.

M- Not overly hoppy so it's not a very bitter beer. Carbonation is OK.

D- The slight yeast like taste makes it somewhat less drinkable than other Amber Ale's.

Overall I'm not really impressed by this beer. I love Amber Ale's , but this seems like a rather poor effort. It's an OK beer, but it is lacking in hops and has too much of a yeast like taste to it.

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Red Tail Ale from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 30.1% out of 100 with 964 ratings
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