Red Zone | Prism Brewing Company

16 Reviews
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Red ZoneRed Zone

Brewed by:
Prism Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as "Red October".

Added by Deuane on 01-11-2010

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 81
Photo of horshamguy
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A-- Hazy, caramel brown look. Light brown, creamy head that had a lot of staying power.

S--Strong with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, maybe some others that I'mnot good enough to identify.

T--Full of spices. I think they really went for the "fall" flavors here. Although I find their effort a bit lightweight, I still found the taste to be excellent. Damn them.

M--Creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. I liked this part of it.

O--I wanted to dislike it as a whitegirl pumpkin latte sort of thing, but dammit, I guess I'm a whitegirl and it was good.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Prism Brewing Co. "Red Zone"
on tap at the brewery, 9 April 2016

ESPN Red Zone! Football!!! I get it! Malty, caramelish, and spicy - how could you go wrong? Well, the "rim job" of spice and sugar ruined it for me, and perhaps I shouldn't even review it because of that, except that that's how the brewery serves it.

It's a dark amber-russet brown in color beneath a creamy head of khaki. The nose, well I don't really know, all I could smell was cinnamon and sugar from the "rim job". The flavor is nice, and I think they've got a very pleasant blend of grainy malt, yeasty fruitiness, and spices. It's reminiscent of apple pie, toasted bread with butter and honey, cinnamon toast, and chewy maple candy. It's nice, and it somehow finishes dry despite its malt sweetness. Medium bodied with a median carbonation - not too crisp given there's spice involved. Altogether a pretty decent pint.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown to a bit amber in color with a fingernail of beige covering most of the top. There nose is crowded with cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and maple syrup. I taste a bold blend of spices and flavors in order that I picked them out: nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, maple syrup, and ginger. The mouth is lightly sticky and dry.

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Photo of jmshipe
2.45/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours a cloudy caramel color with thin lacing. Mouthfeel is fizzy and thin. The nose is pleasant, but lacking depth. The taste is slightly sour, leaning toward vinegar. Notes of tart fruit and maple, followed by an unpleasant bitterness from the spice.

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Photo of ShaneHarris
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

This was one of the tastiest ales I've ever had. The brown sugar rim on one half, all the spices. It had the perfect balance of spices, and I would recommend this beer to everyone (whether they like beer or not).

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Photo of wattoclone
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

If someone told me this was a pumpkin ale I would have believed them. Aroma of yams with caramelized brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Taste is malt forward with intense brown sugar roasted squash and a sweet cinnamon finish. I hope Prism can produce more brews as good as this one.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(best by 12/25/14 - poured into a balloon)

L: deep reddish, ruddy brown in color... not quite as cloudy as some of their others, more of a mild haze... tight, dense pad of tan foam

S: mild, candy/gum-like cinnamon and perhaps dried sweet orange peel... potpourri and light brown sugar... good bit of fresh-cured leather... overall, very potent

T: tastes like it's more suited to be sipped warm than cool like this... luckily, it's not terribly sweet... the cinnamon and ripe dark fruit flavors are most dominant, the blend of spices being a muddled one, as none other than the cinnamon really stick out... the ginger (powdered?) and a bit of musty phenols emerge in the aftertaste... the overall taste can be likened to a malty, bitter-sweet leveled toddy

F: big, medium-thick, smooth, with a sly suggestion of roundness... moreishly soft and dry in the finish like the rest of their beers

O: they market this as a fall beer... Nov. through Jan. is probably when you'd be in the mood for something like this - maybe even through Valentine's Day... taste it and see if that makes sense... again, an interesting brew from Prism - keeps me looking forward to the next new sample, though

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured a reddish brown color, clear with a towering light tan head that persists for a few minutes. Lacing looks good on the glass.
S: Smell of prunes, dark cherries, birch, ginger, and faint maple. Earthy hops are minimal.
T: Sweet and tart cherries, prunes, brown bread, light maple, light ginger, and spice. Finish is on the sweet side.
M: medium body with tiny, bubbly carbonation and little to no alcohol warmth.
O: This beer has some interesting flavors and a uniqueness that makes it worth the try. It has a sweet and tart balance going on and the finish is not overwhelmingly sweet.

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Photo of Jason
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Dark hazed rusty amber, two fingers of froth. Aromas of yeast, spice, toasted grain, syrup, overripe fruit, & taffy. Baked apples, spice, grainy, honey, bread crust, yeasty, kiss of alcohol, quince paste, custard, maples taffy, finishes a little dry.

Flavorful with many of the elements I look for in a spiced winter warmer, not as clean on the palate as anticipated. I guess the Irish Red Ale character is there but the spice and syrup take it far away from the style.

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Photo of garuda
2.88/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A - Deep amber, hazed, thin head has some retention and little lace.

S/T - Cinnamon spice up front with some warming gingerbread/ ginger snap sweetness.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth.

O - A little heavy on the cinnamon and spice. Not a great taste lingering around in the finish. Needs some hop character to balance it out.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.76/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured out as a reddish brown color with a cream colored head on top. The retention and lacing are pretty good on this. The smell of the beer smells a bit like apple cinnamon to me. It's an interesting aroma but not the most appealing beer I've taken a whiff of. The taste is earthy with a dry cinnamon flavor in there. There could be some additional spices as well but I get the cinnamon the most. The mouthfeel of beer is very drinkable, it's nicely carbonated as well. Overall this beer is decent, not the best Spiced Winter Ale I've had but I didn't hate it. I don't think I'd rush out to buy more though.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got home late, but luckily I picked up a single of this rarity at my local spot, Civera's, just before they closed so I consider myself lucky there. Looks promising, considering I'm on of few to try this little number out.

Appearance: Pours a dark, almost stout-like, brownish, orange-hazish. I really like it. An inch and half of head that took a little longer than usual to clear, but overall a good appearance.

Smell: Roasted malt with a hint of vanilla. Almost a faint hint of maple, but the roasted malts overpower I must say. Enjoyable.

Taste: A nice bitter roast of malts hits your palate at first, Finishes off clean and dry. The after taste is where it's at. Nothing but maple syrup and did I taste coconut? Also contains a faint hint of maybe cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated. Like I mentioned above, it finishes off dry.

Overall: Very enjoyable beer. Liked it very much so. Actually surprised and proud to learn this was brewed in PA. Most notably, the interesting use of maple syrup actually made this a different, but good beer. I will have again, if available and would totally recommend this to a friend. Cheers!

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Photo of 57md
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance is reddish-copper with little head. The nose is dominated by Christmas spices. Sweet malt dominates and is accompanied by the flavor of nutmeg. Cinnamon is clearly present in the finish. This offering is a bit thin, but flavorful nonetheless.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served on tap at the brewery.

as expected, the beer appears dark reddish in color. aroma is big on the spices. holiday spices that are reminiscent of pumpkin pie or gingerbread. taste is malty, no hops really detected, as once again the spices take over - cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. body is medium, average level of carbonation.

overall - a good fall/winter spice beer if you're a fan of that style. One glass was enough for me personally, as I thought the spices were too much by the end. But my friends loved it and ordered a couple rounds of pints.

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Photo of astralspirit1
5/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is surprisingly balanced and unexpected. A red ale, with unique spice taste; a combo I have never had nor seen. The spices, maybe cinnamon, and cloves. The beer has a light body, and easily drinkable no matter what time of year. I had it on tap at Ron's Orginial in Exton, Pa. Would love to try in a bottle. I only wish I had the opportunity to have it more often.

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Photo of mfunk9786
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes (2010 Capone's Black Friday event). I was quite impressed with this beer from newcomers Prism Beer Company, and it convinced me to go fill my growler with the stuff sooner than later. They really nailed an interesting, sessionable winter seasonal on the first try.

A: A swirling, reddish ale with a very inviting look in a pint glass.

S: Smells strongly of pumpkin spices (though oddly, in this quantity and/or mixture, one doesn't associate them with pumpkin pie flavors) and maple. Lovely.

T: This is where the beer really stands out. The spices are the first thing that hits you, but what I really find the headline to be is that this beer has more pure maple flavor than any I've ever had. That includes Immort Ale and several Canadian brews that purport to be heavy on maple ingredients (Equinoxe du Printemps is a good example of a great maple-tinged beer that this surpasses in terms of maple flavor). As a huge fan of maple flavored anything, I was thrilled with this. Totally tasted like November.

M: I jotted down a particular complaint in this department that I feel might be valid - I had sort of a dry feeling in terms of the mouthfeel due to the heavy spice character. Maybe the beer should be filtered better, but I don't know if it'd be worth the detriment to the flavor.

D: More sessionable than a lot of winter seasonals I've had from big, successful, established breweries.

I think that the name of the beer and the accessible style could make this one a big hit if Prism is willing to hang its hat on it and bottle it for six months out of the year. Calling it their "football seasonal" would just be the icing on their moneymaking cake. That this one was able to stand out against a stacked field of offerings at the Capone's Black Friday event is a testament to how good it already is - a bit of fine tuning might be needed, but it's already a really great first try. Friends of mine, once we finished drinking and relocated to the Capone's bottle shop, were asking me where they can find Red Zone, or beers like Red Zone, on the shelf. There is definitely a marketplace for this beer and I wish Prism well with it.

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Red Zone from Prism Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 81 ratings.
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