Big Red Ale | O'Dempsey's

very good
45 Ratings
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Big Red AleBig Red Ale

Brewed by:
Georgia, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
It’s Big! It’s Red! It’s an Irish-Style Red Ale with a North American Attitude! With 30 IBUs and an Original Gravity of 1.058, this 6% ABV Red Ale has all the body you want with just the right amount of hoppy goodness.

Added by superdedooperboy on 04-11-2010

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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of TSJ4000
4.77/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Borderline Brown Ale this Red Ale packs a punch. This is much more than your old-school irish red. Rich maltiness! Big flavor. This was a killer 6pk for the fall. I was expecting lame red but this is awesome! Chocolate and coffee all the way. Shoot, this beer even has sticky lace. Sticky lace? WTFudge? It's a must try for the Brown Ale fans out there.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.62/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful rich red color; see-through.

Nice off-white head; strong lacing.

Nice caramel maltiness in the nose; far from cloying but a nice sweetness. Just a hint of hops, far from overbearing. A touch of coffee & chocolate as well?! I'm impressed!

Medium mouthfeel.

Subtle caramel maltiness in the flavor; a touch more pronounced hop bite. Again, just a hint of chocolate & coffee elevate this. Wonderfully balanced; this is a style of beer I'm not fond of but I'm pretty blown away. Rich yet drinkable, sweet yet with bite. A home run.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish hue to this beer. Nice rich malty beer kind of a fall beer type. small head easy in drinkablity def a beer worth trying at least one in a llifetime

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Photo of Brewski4Drewski
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed September 3 at Savannah Craft Brew Fest '11.
A: Pours decent head that receds quickly, this big beer is dark hazy red, red head fa sho

S: Dayumm...this beer smells awesome (starting to get little drunk by now the notes are reflecting this) Sweet malts with slight caramel ands fruity notes. Hats off.

T&M: This beer is as big as a redwood, heavy but crisp, I's digging this one. Similarity to smell, tasty malts...noice, very noice.

O: I could drink until bloated... At this moment, currently my favorite red, other than Scarlet Johanson in Iron Man deuce, GEUH.

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Photo of TheSeeker61
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice opaque red with a malty, rasin, dried dates nose. The taste is malty with a dried fruitty taste at the back of tongue. Medium thick mouthfeel. Overall really like this beer for the style. Must say it's the best red ale I've had thus far. Will have to try it again.

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Photo of Gww1864
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of suspect
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Big thanks to my friend Audi for sharing this.

A: Beautiful cloudy amber color. Aggressive pour leads to a thin 1-finger head that disappears very quickly. Slight lacing...not a lot but it's definitely there.

S: Nice malt smell hits the nose first, followed by some nice caramel sweetness. I am definitely diffing the smell of this one.

T: Follows the nose really closely with some added fruit complexities not picked up in the nose (possibly due to age). Also picked up on a bitter back end.

M: The bitterness made me pucker a bit. Not the highlight of the beer. Medium bodied, ample carbonation.

O: A really solid Irish Amber. I'm very glad I got to try this one and I encourage the brewer to brew another type!

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Photo of RochefortChris
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of GallowsThief
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of ordybill
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- Has a great roasted malt and caramel aroma. Appearance- Pours a dark amber color with a small beige head. Taste- Awesome flavor of roasted malt, top notch Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate to high carbonation. Overall- A really good beer from O’Dempsey’s, this is highly recommended.

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Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint a deep deep amber with a thinner light tannish colored head atop,my favorite thing about a well made Irish red is the deep rich color wich this beer pulls off well.Caramel and toast mixed with a little more brown sugar-like sweetness in the nose.Caramel toffee flavors up front with some fruity tones and brown sugar,a decent drying earthiness in the finish shows it's American made.My only slight complaint is it's a little prickly in the mouth but not to bad.A solid Irish red,it's been awhile since I have drank one,this is a nice offering.

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Photo of chinchill
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, unknown date but recently acquired, served in a pint glass.
Pours a fine looking deep red-brown, clear, with a tan head of moderate size, with very good retention and lacing.

Aroma: roasted and caramel malt with some spicy hops. Hints of dark fruits. The flavor follows, although it is stronger and richer than the nose suggests, with a bit darker roast in the malt mix. Only a faint suggestion of dark fruit.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium-high carbonation

O: quite good and tasty Irish Red Ale. Recommended.

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Photo of sendsilk
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 12 oz. bottle in a smattering of GA?NC beers on a recent vacation.

I tried their IPA recently and it was pretty good.

A- Very dark and murky. VERY dark. Small head that recedes quickly.

S- Pretty good, very malty nose to this.

T- Nice balance between hops and malt. More malty and bready taste to the beer. I would say the smell, maltiness, flavor of this borders on a porter. Getting some real fruit and chocolate notes to this. It's probably one of the thickest red ales I've ever had and really not as crisp as I like a red ale to be, but I am digging this porter aspect of this!

M- Good thick texture to this one. Perfectly carbonated.

O- Very nice offering on this one!

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Photo of Mojo
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass

A - pours up a deep clear amber with a one finger head the color of butter. Retention is good, but there is no residual lacing to speak of.

S - very grassy and bready

T - malts are caramel and sweet, finishes dry and yeasty

M - moderate thickness, good carbonation, a small mouthfeel

O - unspectacular, but solid red ale.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, unknown date.

Like the IPA, this pours relatively thick, murky, and hazy, reddish/copper color with a small one finger tan head that leaves some light lacing and holds a small cap.

Aroma is heavy on caramel malt, sweet bread, brown sugar, some dark fruit notes, light chocolate, toffee, good strength.

Flavor features caramel malts, biscuits and sweet bread, a little dark fruit, some citrus hops for balance, finishes semi-sweet and a bit watery.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low to medium carbonation.

Pretty darned good Red Ale, the aroma in particular is my favorite part.

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Photo of cantfindme
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of buckyp
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very decent Irish red with a nice balance between some sweet maltiness and a moderate hoppiness. Pours nicely enough with a deep reddish amber and a moderate off-white head that settles to a ring. Smells somewhat sweet and exuberantly malty, but with a nice counter of spicy hops. The taste is similar, but there is a softness and slight wateriness on the finish that detracts a little bit from the nice firm maltiness and earthy hops. Still, quite decent, and I'd definitely drink one again.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark chestnut color. The head is a finger high and mocha in shade. It doesn't have a very creamy texture, nor does the head retain very well. Small bits of lacing are left on the glass.

Smell: Wow, the caramel notes are extremely rich on the nose. Even better, this beer seems to think it's a porter (or even a stout) instead of some simple red ale. I'm also picking up chocolate and whiffs of roasted malt. My only real complaint is that it seems a hair sweet, but I still don't care. This is pretty much what an Irish red should smell like.

Taste: The flavor profile seems to introduce a touch of fruity esters, which manage to blend with caramel and subtle roast. Some wispy chocolate flavor exists on the back end. I'm really digging this one - it's hitting all the right buttons for me - but if it were a bit more complex, this would be a 4.

Mouthfeel: It lacks some of the clean dryness this style would normally feature. Instead it feels lush and slightly wet, but the zippy carbonation helps lift it off the tongue somewhat. Regardless, this beer is quite drinkable.

Overall: Look at the label, it's not very good. Look at this 'brewery's' (which is pretty much just one guy running out of Thomas Creek in SC) website, it's not very good either. But the beer itself? That's actually quite good. It's on the verge of being great even, though it would need a little more depth for that. I love drinking hidden gems like these - while most beer geeks will cream their pants over whatever sugary-sweet, barrel-aged monstrosity The Bruery charges four hundred dollars a bottle for, stuff like this will continue to be ignored. And that's a shame, because this red ale is well worth one's time. This 'brewery' is 2 for 2 as far as I'm concerned.

3.7/5: A good example of what a red ale *should* be

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $5.25 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours from the wall-o-taps a clear, reddish-amber body with a scant, white head.

Smell: A scent of toasted bread crusts and burnt sugars with a pervasive, though light waft of harvested berries and some background, minuscule notes of earthy herbs and spice.

Taste: Toasty, bready maltiness with a sweet flourish of caramelized sugars. Hint of berry-esque fruitiness. Modestly earthy hops with an additional zip of complimentary spiciness. Medium-low bitterness. Smattering of fruitiness on the bittersweet, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Hovers comfortably around medium-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: A smooth, pleasant brew to pair with watching the Masters this past weekend. Best of luck to Dempsey and here's looking forward to his forthcoming RIS and IPA.

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Photo of jmhart
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked it up at Hop City, poured into a flared pint glass.

A- Pours a deep reddish brown with a hint of amber in the light. Crystal Clear. Moderate pour yields next to no head, but a minor lace hangs at the edge of the glass none the less. The color is appealing, but the lack of head which is more typical for the style leaves a little to be desired in the appearance.

S- Very nice roasted malty notes, hints of butter, almost a little bit of coffee, and finally finished off (and balanced really nicely with) some floral hops.

T- Not surprisingly, the first hit is of sweet roasted malt, and follows with those nice floral hops that were there in the smell. It finishes a little bitter, but in my experience that's pretty standard for the style.

M- Thick and silky, medium to full bodied. Quite surprising and pleasant for an irish red. Really fills your mouth up and fills it with flavor.

D- Highly drinkable. Easy to drink but doesn't lack in flavor or body.

Overall, this is local and tasty, so I'll go for it again the next time I'm craving an Irish Red.

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Photo of allthatAles
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: Deep red with nearly brown shading. the head a thick khaki laces in just a few min. definitely hazed, full in the glass.

Nose: a little bready. almost but not a creme note denotes a lightly dry finish. not to much else...

Mouth: easily described as 'fruit forward' in my opinion, with a touch of cream, light bread and lightly dry finish, malt remains to leave a nearly bock-esque chew factor. you get hops in the mid-finish; also dry with nice spice notes. doesn't linger forever; could play to less than enthused with hop(s) types in addition to those who consume by the cone-ful.

I am pretty sure this is one of my favorite southern amber/reds. also the presentation is not overly campy. hops assert but not in, what i found to be reoccurring theme in some southern beers to play on the watery side. i dig it and the rumors of an IPA only interest me further into this "beer to die for"...

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Photo of 5thOhio
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby with a 1/4 inch tan head that slowly fades to a thin layer of fine foam around the edges and across the surface. Smattering of lacing.

Aroma is mostly malts, with a hint of chocolate and licorice. Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied with brisk carbonation.

Taste is heavy on the malt with just enough hop bitterness to prevent it from being too sweet. The same chocolate/licorice notes I got in the aroma are present, with some additional roasted grains. Finish is sweet roasted malt with a little nondescript bitterness. By nondescript, I mean I don't detect the usual hop flavors of pine, spice, citrus etc.

Honestly, this almost comes across to me as leaning towards a porter with all the rich malt presence. Doesn't quite line up with the other Irish Reds I've had. Not a bad beer if you like malty styles, just nothing special.

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Photo of stomioka
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Big Red Ale from O'Dempsey's
3.78 out of 5 based on 45 ratings.
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