McCarthy's Bane
Knee Deep Brewing Company

McCarthy's BaneMcCarthy's Bane
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Imperial Red Ale
3.91 | pDev: 11.25%
Knee Deep Brewing Company
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
McCarthy's BaneMcCarthy's Bane
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 88
Photo of omahawk
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a good old fashioned red IPA. Pours a dark copper with small head and lacing. Smell is hints of citrus and pine hops behind strong caramel. Taste is caramel, bitter, hint of roast, and citrus. Overall, a solid red ale.

 226 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Treated as an American Strong ale, this was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a dark burnt red color with a thin off white foamy head dissipating at a nice pace and leaving a cap of foam that clings for most of the consumption. The smell starts off with a sweet bready to caramel malt coating sweet to semi-bitter piney to citrus hops. The taste was mildly sweet through the hops and the caramel and bready malt. Bitterness from the hops makes an effort to balance but ends up drying on into the aftertaste and finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Carbonation feels good with a definitely mostly dry feel on my tongue. Overall, as an American Strong ale, it works. I’d have again.

 753 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass from a 22oz bomber.

Appearance: Deep amber color with semi-cloudiness to the body. Head is off-white rising maybe a notch below a finger's length...drops quick after one sip or so.

Smell: Light hoppy floral, but super light.

Taste: Malty beer off the bat, you have a little sweetness to it. Floral feel, and feels somewhat complex feel with light sour notes.

Mouth: Sticky rye bread with notes of light honey to give you a bit confusion when you put the glass down.

Overall: Not a bad brew, honestly if you love IIPAs or imperial reds this might be one to grab if you're at a bar. Gives you pretty much everything you ask for. Not heavy on the pockets either. Salud!

 702 characters

Photo of DrainBamage
4.89/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours a brownish amber color with half inch thick head. Smell is malty with slight bitterness. Pretty bitter on the tongue, but goes down exceptionally smooth. The malts and hops are fairly well balanced. Alcohol is well hidden. This is own of the best American Amber Ales I've had.

 282 characters

Photo of pat61
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant deep red tinted amber under a 2” sudsy cream colored foam collar that clings to the side of the glass.
S: Floral, resiny hops, light bread.
T: A full malty attack leads into a big hop bitterness that blends with the malt and then produces a long lingering bitter malt finish.
F: Creamy, medium full body, medium to low carbonation, soft and fine.
O: More of a broad shouldered imperial red than a red or amber ale with big malt flavors supporting assertive hops. Very nice.

 498 characters

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/18/2014. Pours crystal clear ruby red/copper color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, caramel, toast, toffee, spicy rye bread, light roast, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of citrus/pine hops and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, caramel, toast, toffee, spicy rye bread, light roast, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate amount of pine bitterness and rye spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon/orange zest, pine, caramel, toast, toffee, spicy rye bread, light roast, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops and dark/bready malt flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately crisp/sticky, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial red ale style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/pine hops and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,503 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bright, shiny, clear red amber. Plenty of carbonation streams. Softball of light tan bubbles of all sizes and shapes. Dense lace.

Assertive aroma of fresh bread, earthy hops, and candy.

Big sweet malt splashes the tongue. Plenty of caramel. Bitter bite at the swallow. Clean finish.

Full smooth mouthfeel.

A good imperial red leaning toward the malty side.

 360 characters

Photo of ronniebruner
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%

This is a pretty strong brew. 8% for an IPA is pretty amazing! What makes this brew so good is the rich, hoppy feel. This beer is heavy and dark and pours a beautiful amber-molasses color. The aroma is a lot lighter than the taste and has great head on it. Pours smooth, but heavy. Not for the faint of heart... easily one of the better red ales I have ever had!

 367 characters

Photo of Celtics17
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The rye lingers as this beer warms. Citrus hops, caramel is balanced with the citrus character. Very good imperial Amber Ale. Taste like an IPA, but lacking most characters in an IPA. This is a strong version of an Amber.

I got this one fresh. Only a week old.

 261 characters

Photo of arizcards
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at Total Wine back in mid-August for $9.49.

Beer poured a reddish brown with a nice white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is wonderful citrus hops and bready malts.

Taste is pretty well balanced. Caramel bread malts blend nicely with the citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a pretty good brew. Definitely try it if you come across it.

 404 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle purchased as a single from somewhere in the Middlebury/Burlington area.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark beige head over the clear amber brew. Head deflates slowly, with sticky chunky lacing. Aroma is sedate, with some pine hops present.

Taste starts moderately sweet, fruot and citrus in the middle, balancing bitterness through the close. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is good as well. Reasonable beer here.

 462 characters

Photo of gleemonger
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep, cloudy reddish brown with a fluffy off-white almost tan head that immediately sticks to the glass as it starts to fall. Not much head retention, but thick, sticky lacing for sure.

Piney hops with some pretty complex smelling sweet malts. A little citrusy grapefruit hop character too. Pretty raw, unfiltered smelling.

Getting way more of the malts here than the hops on the taste. Heavy on the caramel, met by a more bitter hop presence than flavor. Not quite as complex or tasty as the aroma had me expect, but mostly there. Not a ton of complexity.

Moderate body, moderate carbonation, fairly heavy stickiness left in the mouth after each sip. Nothing too special here.

Not bad, a little raw and unrefined, but definitely tasty and lets the flavors come through in a pretty tasty way. A heavy take on an imperial red that can maybe use a tad more tweaking maybe to be great, but has some promise for sure.

 921 characters

Photo of cvm4
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep amber with some brown hues to it. Has a light tan head that fades to a ring around the glass.

S - Seems a bit muted but does have a good dose of piney hops. Definitely a hint of metallic with a English ale (Fuller's) smell to it.

T - Malty at first to borderline muted. Hops hit on the backend and has an earthy character throughout.

M - Pretty smooth, not as much carbonation as is needed. With the malty dominance I was expecting a fuller bodied beer.

O - Not exceptional, but doable in a pinch. It just misses some marks in a few categories.

 566 characters

Photo of Brenden
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one is a thick, deep, heavy-looking ruddy orange-brown. It grows a thick, creamy, dense tan head one finger tall that pillows the big brew beneath and never really leaves. It kinds of sits around at half a finger and leaves a few big, heavy, fat rings of lacing toward the top of the glass, legs out a bit, and leaves follows with some equally heavy patching.
Pithy and bready on the nose, the aroma portends some big malts under a hop-heavy foundation. An herbal quality stands out among the bitterness too. There's kind of a dank, earthy quality to it underneath. This is a strong aroma, certainly far from muted.
This one is bout as hoppy as a red gets. At first a touch metallic along with the earthiness, I wonder if some variety of English hops or malts were used here. Otherwise piney and pithy with a pretty good balance from malts, or at least just enough to keep it from teetering over the edge. Caramel and toffee with some breads come out here also.
There's a big body to this brew without going overboard, and it's pretty rich and thick off an initial crispness that stays light but consistent all the way before cutting into a dry, woody finish.

 1,165 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA.

Pours a solidly red hue, almost fruit-like in appearance, with a messy, bubbly head of off-white that sits stark and static atop the beer. Lacing forms in modest streaks. Body has a pleasant weight behind it, and holds fine carbonation when tilted. Overall, it looks pretty good.

Nose is muted, but along the right tracks. Some slightly piney, woody hop notes come through above a gritty grain character. Some rounded, earthy characters are also present: I think more likely from the malt, even though the character is somewhat similar to a dusky English hop aroma. There's a hint of metallic twang as well as it warms. It's ok, but not spectacular.

Taste is also quite muted, here falling towards the malt direction much more than the hops direction. It's pleasant enough with a nutty malt character forming a hill on the palate that is lightly streaked with hop bitterness towards the back to provide some balance. It's all a little bit by-the-numbers, but it's balanced enough, pleasant enough and quite inoffensive. But it doesn't excite me.

Feel is smooth with a tingle from the carbonation.

Overall. Yes, yes, very decent. It's not going to make you gasp in awe, but it's a pretty solid red ale that doesn't really do anything wrong. That's no bad thing.

 1,317 characters

Photo of Samuel906
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I've been on a Knee Deep kick lately, and this was my latest adventure. First of all, I thought the label art was very cool. Second, this beer has an incredible smell, one of the best I have experienced. Sweet maple and brown sugar, plum and fig combined with some mild pine and malt. Pours a deep, dark reddish brown with medium head. Taste replicates the smell to a more mild degree. The hops come out a bit more in the taste, as well as some very slight smoke. I don't feel that the smell quite lives up to how exquisite it smells, but this is still a great all around beer. No booze in the taste. Mild carbonation.

 618 characters

Photo of lsummers
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a slight head. Color is a dark reddish brown. It's fairly clear but such a dark beer you almost can't see through it.

Smells fantastic, I love hopped up red ales. The piney hops hit first mixed with some caramel malty notes.

Taste is very straight forward hops. I would call this an ipa if it weren't for its pleasant malty background. Piney residuals remain on the end.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. Somewhat sticky.

Overall, it's a great imperial red ale. It seems more like a red/ipa hybrid. I would love to try this again and on tap.

 553 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Two fingers of tannish head. The beer is red and clear and pretty. Some carbonation. Heavy lacing.

S: Coffee. Dry caramel malts. Soft fruit. Pleasant Imperial Red.

T: Hm. It's okay. Hoppy-bitter, but tritely so. Toasted, buttery malt with apples lurking in the background behind the alleged 80 IBU. Sweetish and strong, but well-balanced.

M: Dry, bitter, and carbonated. I'm a fan.

O: Enjoyable imperial red. Recommended to those who like the style. Would drink again.

 528 characters

Photo of Joshpu
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a duvel glass.

A: Poured a clear dark brownish amber color. Two finger white head. Light carbonation, nice lacing retention.

S: I get the piney hop smell. Smells like malts and dark fruits. Also a caramel presence. Definitely has the more biscuity smell as it warms.

T: Very much like the smell and has the malt taste, but also the piney hop presence. There is also a biscuit tasting note, and a caramel presence. Definitely has the more biscuity and hop flavor as it warms.

M: Medium to full bodied. It's actually more smooth drinking than I thought it would be.
Sort of silky smooth.

Overall I think its a great beer. I think it is well balanced. Normally the caramel and malty tasting beers are not my favorite but this tastes very good. With that being said though, it also definitely has the hop presence, which I love.

 858 characters

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a Snifter.

A: Pours a deep reddish golden amber one to one.5 finger head. Plenty of lacing.

S: Pine, resin, sweetness and more pine.

T: Thin malt base which is a bit surprising, otherwise close to the aroma. Pine, bitter ness from the hops.

M: Medium bodied, decent amount of carbonation. Bitter dry clean finish with a bit of lingering effect to let you know it packs a punch.

O: Very tastey, very similar to an American strong ale in the light of a Stone Arrogant Bastard. Not sure the difference between imperial red and american strong ale, but never the less this is a good beer.

 619 characters

Photo of Topher78
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As with just about everything from Knee Deep Brewing this beer rocked my palate. The brew poured a very dark crimson red verging on brown with about half a fingers worth of a khaki head. The aroma has plenty of spice, toffee and a hint of citrus. The taste is earthy with a blast of bitterness of the front of the tongue, slightly sweet and bready on the middle of the tongue and finishes dry. It's medium bodied beer and masks the 8% ABV very well.

 449 characters

Photo of WesM63
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip.

A: pours a very dark brown with slightly red hue. 2finger off white head. Moderate amounts of retention, plenty of lacing.

S: Smells of pine, resin and sweet malts.

T: Close to the nose. A little hop forward, pine and resin. Followed by sweet, caramel malts and finishes slightly bitter.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a solid imperial red. Plenty of hop bitterness and malty sweetness.

 452 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Fairly clear ruby brown, small off white head, lots of spotty lace.

S - Malty, with a slight under smell of hop.

T - Packs flavor, but mostly bitter. Fairly thin on the malt compared to what I was expecting. A very hoppy beer. Leans towards the bitter in the end.

M - Medium body. Chewy beer. Good carbonation. Nice balance and finish.

D - Dangerously tasty for a pretty high ABV.

 388 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured aggressively, this ruby brown brew produced an off-white, 3 finger head with good retention. Fair, sticky lacing.

Smell - Noticeable citrus hop aroma, mostly grapefruit, backed by notes of caramel.

Taste - Follows the nose. Caramel malt, a faint hint of roasted coffee malt character, and a strong, oily grapefruit hop presence, with hints of pine, which start small and grows in dominance as the beer heads toward the finish. Lingering bitter pith aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body, with a fair amount of carbonation. Somewhat velvety in smoothness.

Overall - Fairly impressive Imperial Red. If I had to describe the flavor in three words, I'd call it 'Arrogant Bastard Light'. They share similar flavors, though AB is more complex, aggressive and bitter. This for $8, or AB for $5? Give me the AB.

 834 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.22/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Color is a dark brownish amber in the tall Saxo tulip. Not much pressure in the bottle, but seems reasonably carbonated and pours a thin foam. A whiff of aromatic hops like Cascades greets the nose.

You also get a nice splash of the big hops at first sip, but bitter is the main flavor. There is some rather murky malt, but it's a very thin flavor in spite of the fairly robust mouthfeel. Ends on a hot and dirty note. Seems like they took an undistinguished red ale recipe and super-sized the hops but not the malt.

From the 22 oz bottle bought at Barons Marketplace in San Diego.

 583 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
McCarthy's Bane from Knee Deep Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 88 ratings