Island Red
The Gahan House

Island RedIsland Red
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #822
Ranked #43,940
3.53 | pDev: 18.7%
The Gahan House
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Island RedIsland Red
Notes: Island Red Premium Ale is an amber, medium bodied handcrafted ale with a smooth caramel overtone and bitter finish. Toasted sweet flavours from carefully selected malts balance with subtle herbal hops.
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 53 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Halifax Gahan pub.
Clear dark mahogany body with a fine head.
Good malty aroma with a bit more roasted grain flavor than the aroma suggests. Slightly bitter.
Very nice.

Jun 05, 2016
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Lewnanny from Canada (NB)

3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Got this one alone in front of the TV, the 550 ml bottle have been sip really fast. The bitterness of this one is just enough and perfect. Nicelly made by PEI brewing company. I had a couple of their beer and I never been disapointed.

The 5% ABV made it easy to drink. Cheers to this nice beer

May 26, 2016
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PorterPro125 from Canada (NB)

3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: 500 mL Bottle

A- Pours a deep, clear Brick colour (red-amber) topped by an off-white 2 finger head. Pretty good retention and light lacing.

S- Deep caramel and a nice roasty malt backbone. No hop bitterness to be found.

T- Lots of caramel up front complimented by a roasty maltiness. Slight hop bitterness on the finish.

M- Heavy mouthfeel and low carbonation. Silky smooth in the mouth.

O- Nice caramel and malt notes complimented nicely with a light bitterness. I like my amber ales quite a bit hoppier but I found this malt forward Amber Ale to be quite good.

Apr 29, 2015
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

3.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Gahan Island Red looks like a more substantial version of the style; its brick red body is dense enough to obscure clarity and is outlined by rusty, iron oxide contours. Its head isn't overly stout but it is sturdy and leaves a lacing that endures right to the end.

If you ask me, a beer named "Island Red" is the perfect candidate for a tropically, fruity, resiny hop bill. Unfortunately, the PEI Brewing Co. didn't see it that way and, instead, opted to go the opposite route; the aroma reveals exactly zero hoppiness and, instead, a vaguely roasted maltiness.

It's not that I necessarily prefer one style of Amber Ale to the other but if you're going to go all-in on the grains you best ensure a gum-smackingly good maltiness, one that's rich with caramelly sweetness and layered with toasty nuttiness. This kind of unobjectionable, nondescript, slightly-darker-than-pale breadiness simply doesn't cut it for me.

Island Red is arguably Gahan's weakest effort. It's hard to believe this is the same brewer behind fantastic recipes such as the Blueberry Ale, 1772 IPA, and Iron Bridge Brown (to name only my highest rated). This one is more on-par with what I'd expect from a large-scale commercial producer; it is remarkably unexceptionable.

Amber Ale is a style that can spotlight rich gooey malts or piny, fruity hops - the best do both at the same time. The only thing Island Red succeeds in highlighting, I'm sorry to say, is that Atlantic Canada still trails the rest of the nation as far as characterful craft brews are concerned.

Jan 06, 2015
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at The Gahan House as part of the sampler.
Pours a brilliantly clear red/brown color with a smallish beige head.
Aromas of bready toasty caramel malt with hints of roast and earth.
The flavor is interesting caught somewhere between an amber and a brown with lots of interesting roast and chocolate notes.
I enjoyed this enough that I ordered a pint.

Jul 22, 2014
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, 5.3% ABV. Another in a rather broad swath of PEI beers suddenly available in Alberta. Big surprise, if a long time coming, really. But what's with the shitty unfocused picture here, eh, Jason?

This beer pours a crystal clear, medium copper amber hue, with two fingers of bubbly, loosely foamy dirty beige head, which leaves a nice array of random pockmarked cement wall lace around the glass as it steadily recedes.

It smells of crisp, grainy, and biscuity caramel malt, with some further brown sugar sweetness, and tame earthy, leafy hops. The taste is grainy, biscuity pale malt, again with the subtle hints of caramel and toffee, a certain underscored mealiness, an indistinct oily nuttiness, ethereal hints of cocoa, a mild metallic twinge, and further earthy, dead leafy hop notes.

The bubbles are generally understated, yet duly supportive, the body an adequate medium weight, with the slightest of creamy hints. It finishes well off-dry, the grainy, lightly caramelized malt having the greatest purvey over the lingering muddled noble hoppiness.

Another example of an East Coast Canadian offering deeply set in old world sensibilities. This has well-made English ruby ale written ale over it, and is all the better for it. One of the better red ales made in Canada, or elsewhere, it would seem.

Jul 14, 2013
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suspect from New York

3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from Gahan's signature 500ml bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Split with mrmarmot. Thanks to my buddy Chris for driving this back from PEI.

A: Crystal clear burnt copper color. Half finger head on a mildly aggressive pour. Little to no lacing.

S: Caramel malts with sweet sugary notes.

T: Very sweet, with caramel and molasses notes.

M: Well carbonated, a touch on the thin side.

O: A simple, easy drinking beer.

May 19, 2012
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CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

2.53/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours red with a wispy smallish head. The smell is grainy with caramel and field berry notes and a one dimensional sweetness. The taste is malt forward with dark malts at the forefront. Nutty, approaching coffee like flavors are evident. Sweetness is a little unchecked, with a nearly cloying finish. The mouthfeel is lightbodied and sparsely carbonated. the finish is sweet with extremely low hop bitterness.

A pretty mediocre Red Ale, I'd pass if offered again.

Apr 13, 2011
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into pint glass sept30 2010

A clear light red with very few bubbles feeding a light tat head with average retention but decent lace

S sweet grains a little brown sugar and toffee

T what I smell with a little nutty fruit and some faint hops and chocolate and a slight metallic flavor

M medium bodied with much more carbonation then I could see in the glass

D decent brew I had a 4 pack of 500ml and finished them without issue but didn't buy anymore

this and the honey were the only bottles from Gahan that I saw out East, didn't bother bringing any home for the boys to try but I think they will forgive me

Oct 19, 2010
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Mora2000 from Texas

3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my father for bringing this beer back from a recent trip to Charlottetown. My first beer from Prince Edward Island.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of toffee, caramel and surprisingly, some coffee notes. The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of caramel malt, but also some coffee and cream. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. This beer surpassed my expectations and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Oct 13, 2010
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seand from California

3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours translucent red amber, as the name would suggest. The head is light tan, and enough retains to leave some lacing.

S: Light, slightly sweet grain, pretty nondescript.

T: Slightly sweet to start, finishing with mild hops, a little bland overall, but not really bad.

M: Medium body, medium to light carbonation.

D: Not a bad choice for having a few.

Jul 10, 2010
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Seanstoppable from Canada (NS)

3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend of mine was recently in PEI and brought me back a growler. She said they had just finished changing the tap, so that this was the fresh of the fresh.

Pours a nice red color with very little head.

Fresh sweet malt scent. Somewhat creamy. Also something I can't quite put my finger on, but recall from another local brewer's products.

Nice smooth creamy flavor, with a backing of malt sweetness. A nice bitter finish on the end. Little to no carbonation, which lends a flat characteristic to the beverage.

Overall it is pretty decent, but not really special. Good for a few drinks.

Jan 23, 2010
Photo of berley31
berley31 from Canada (NB)

3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: 500 mL bottle poured with an average-sized, off-white head that quickly diminished to a thin film. Body is completely clear and a dark amber color.

S: Interesting aroma of malt sweetness and fruitiness... there's a hint of smokiness in there as well. A lot of nesses, anyway.

T: The taste is as interesting as the smell. Starts off with the malt sweetness, and blends into a smoky flavor that is a bit of a shock. Finishes slightly bitter.

M: Medium-bodied with a thin/oily texture, and soft carbonation.

D: This is a weird beer... not a bad beer, but definitely different. I can see that it wouldn't be for everybody, and I don't think I could drink more than one or two, but worth a try for sure.

Oct 30, 2009
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papat444 from Canada (QC)

1.59/5  rDev -55%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Part 1 of 2 of the Gahan Experience. Thanks to terryeckmeier for giving me this.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle.

Appearance: Not what i was expecting. Dense dark brown body that looks like apple cider with barely a thin ring of foam that slowly dissipates to nothing. Yeah, a minute in and i'm looking at no foam and no lacing. Looks flat to be honest.

Smell: Mild hops with some sweetness but not much else. Slightly better but alas it was not meant too be because the...

Taste: is awful. Sour permeates the mouth then slowly fades probably because i'm getting used to it. It tastes like it's gone bad but it's only about 2 months old. Not good at all.

Mouthfeel: Not much better. Tastes almost flat with little to no carbonation.

Drinkability: Uh, no. I couldn't get past 1/4 of this.

Overall: Not sure what happened here but it seems that at least one other review mentions this sourness and general awful appearance. It seems like they can't get a handle on the bottling. Maybe they should get it right before selling it. Officially my lowest review and first drainpour in a review.

Aug 27, 2009
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ofosho from New Hampshire

3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(From a limited, dated journal): Deep reddish-brown color. Nice, thick head with a mix of small and larger bubbles. Fruity, almost plum-like aroma with a fair hop presence. Well-balanced, nutty and malty taste, quite smooth, with hints of coffee. Gahan brews all were distinctly of the same family, but the red was particularly solid and worth another pint.

Oct 31, 2008
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

1.2/5  rDev -66%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bottle: Poured a medium amber color ale with an average size head with medium retention and no lacing. Aroma is a mix between some sour notes with a bunch of overcooked vegetables on top of it. Taste is a mix between some overcooked vegetables and some sour strain. I usually don't rate infected bottle and try instead to acquire a more recent offering but in this case the bottle is less then three months old so you would expect that it would at least be drinkable.

Oct 27, 2008
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange/brown, small head, no lace. Smell is rich and malty, sweet, some floral hops and chocolate. Taste is chocolate, grassy hops, rich malt, some floralness at the end. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium carbonation and medium body, actually quite tasty.

Sep 14, 2005
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BigBry from Canada (AB)

3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

64 ounce growler brought back from a co-worker's trip to PEI - stayed sealed tight after travelling across the country. The color was a clear, deep reddish brown. Off white foam left a thin head cap, well carbonated. Aroma has a full smell of caramel and molasses, and just a touch of bitter hops. Flavour has more of the carmel and molasses/brown sugar and finished off with more bitterness. Medium mouthfeel is a bit creamy and leaves a nice aftertaste.
Thanks to Carson for bringing this back and sharing.

Jul 17, 2005
Island Red from The Gahan House
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 53 ratings