Ridgeback Ale
No Label Brewing Company

Ridgeback AleRidgeback Ale
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Style:
American Amber / Red Ale
Ranked #769
ABV:
6.1%
Score:
81
Ranked #42,373
Avg:
3.57 | pDev: 13.73%
Reviews:
16
Ratings:
173
From:
No Label Brewing Company
 
Texas, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  2
Gots
  56
SCORE
81
Good
Ridgeback AleRidgeback Ale
Notes:
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 173 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by kojevergas:
Photo of kojevergas
3.24/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

IBU: 24. OG: 1.055. "13C71G." Label identifies it as an American Amber, so I'm reviewing as such. Label art is simple and uninteresting. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded silver-coloured pry-off pressure cap acquired as a single bottle at Whole Foods HQ and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; this brewery has yet to impress me. No ABBV is listed on the label. Brewed with Cascade and Golding hops.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of off-white colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Decent even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is average - about 2 minutes.

Body colour is a nontransparent semitranslucent dark amber. Has an understated glow when held up to light. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's a bit darker than the best ambers I've had, but it looks pretty standard otherwise. Not unique or special. There are no egregious flaws.

Sm: Amber malts. Cocoa powder. Generic floral hop character. Bready malts/bread crust. Toffee. A hint of vanillicin. Light toasted character. Heavy caramel/sweet caramalt. Some hints of char. Maybe a kiss of stonefruit. A surprisingly multifacted aroma for an amber, but one that abandons the usual bright refreshing character of a good amber. I'm interested to try it. Pleasant overall and of above average strength.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Plenty of amber malt and caramel/caramalt, along with a healthy amount of toffee and bready malts. Hopping is underwhelming - generic floral character is all I find. Soma cocoa and toasted character. I didn't expect it to be quite this bready. It's got interesting complexity for an amber, and even dips into winter warmer character. Unfortunately, what little stonefruit fruitiness it has isn't enough, and I'd prefer a brighter more juicy fruit character. More sweet than it is bitter. There's some subtlety, particularly inasmuch as the cocoa powder is concerned.

Overall, it's a balanced flavour profile with some interesting elements, and its different approach to an American Amber does make it stand out. An intriguing build, and one I'm enjoying more with each sip. That said, it's far from mind-blowing. I like it for what it is.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

The cocoa is a highlight for me, and really sells this as a different type of amber than most breweries are doing.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Has a full-bodied strong presence on the palate, with plenty of thickness. A biteen overcarbonated. Complements the flavour profile well, but I wouldn't say the texture is custom-tailored to the taste per se. Its bready qualities make it a filling beer - again, this straddles the line between an amber and a winter warmer.

Not oily, harsh, rough, gushed, boozy, or hot - though there is a slight alcohol-induced warmth which is atypical of a conventional amber but suits the vague winter warmer vibe this beer gives off.

Dr: Not a beer I would want to kill a 6 pack of on a gameday, but it's quite drinkable, sure. I'd have another. Hides its ABV decently. I could see myself getting this at a local bar when (i.e. if) it gets a bit colder in the upcoming winter months. This is my second beer from No Label and is considerably more interesting than the first. I'll be giving their other beers a try based on the relative strength of this one. While I wouldn't recommend it to trade partners, I might endorse it to friends if I see it at a bar. Well worth trying.

On a more local (Austin) note, I don't see this as a competitor to Thirsty Goat Amber (which by my estimation is currently the widely available amber around restaurants and bars in Austin.) It's a different type of amber and I'll be happy to see both coexist in the same market.

Serve cold and let warm a bit. Like a Winter Warmer, it develops a bit with some warmth.

Actually, this might age decently for a year or less. It's got the right malt presence for development with a bit of time.

Drank fine from a tulip, but I'd recommend a nonical pint glass.

High C+

 4,277 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.25/5  rDev +19%

This one pours a very reddish-gold color that is clear and has a nice tan head that is thick, long lived and settles slowly leaving moderate lacing down the glass. the head settles so slow it pulls the lacing with it.

The nose is peppery, spicy hops with hints of grass, pine and bread.

The taste is nice and hoppy with notes of pepper, pine and camphor with a tinge of alcohol and nice bready sweet malt undertones.

The moutfeel is a little bit more watery than I would like, but not bad.

OVerall this on eis quite drinkable and enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

 567 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Mortarforker
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of robertbreaux
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Junichi
3.29/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of depechemode1983
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out hazy brown with a tan head. Retention is moderate as well as lacing.
The nose is grainy and has a caramel sweetness to it. Also picking up faint hops.
The taste has some caramel sweetness up front and a grainy finish. Somewhat bland.
The mouthfeel is a bit watery. Carbonation is low and could stand to be a tad higher.

 329 characters

Photo of BryanCarey
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ridgeback Ale pours to an amber/reddish hue with a cloudy body and a nose that combines cocoa, toffee, and just a dash of herbs. The foam level is moderate, but leaves a good deal of lace on the sides of the glass as you consume.

Ridgeback Ale offers a nice amount of complexity and the taste is fuller than the nose would indicate. Flavors of cocoa and toffee are present, as expected based on the aroma. But examine each sip a little more and you will discover other pleasant sensations such as pale malt, caramel, some roasted malts, grains, vanilla, and a touch of dark fruit and herb. The bitter sensation in the finish is slight, with the taste quickly returning to that of sweet malts in the aftertaste.

Ridgeback Ale was just recently released in bottles, along with the two other No Label Brewing core products. My review is based on the bottled version, but I have sampled the draft version dozens of times and find both of them similar in taste and enjoyment. The complexity of this beer is well above average and upon first impression, the taste of cocoa is the one that stands out. But with more samples and more sips, other flavors make themselves known and the complexity continues to deliver all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Ridgeback Ale is a good choice for the craft beer lover who wants something a little more adventurous without going to extremes in any direction. Grab a six-pack of bottles and enjoy the great taste of this non- pretentious and interesting amber ale.

 1,504 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Jenray
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of mothman
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of tswater
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of champ103
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Public House in Katy, TX.

A: Pours a dark amber/red/brown color. A two finger white head forms and recedes in a second. Plenty of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Toasted and sweet caramel malt. Some light hops. Overall, fairly neutral.
T: Sweet and toasted malt again. Bread and biscuit as well. Some citrus hops lingering. Enjoyable.
M/D: A medium body that is a bit thin on the carbonation. Not hard to drink, I could quaff a few without a problem.

Decent and enjoyable for the most part. The pale ale blows this away however.

 543 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler filled from The Whip In in Austin.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is full of toffee and cocoa. The aroma is fairly sweet and is definitely all about the malt.

The flavor is more complex than the aroma. I get a lot of cocoa and toffee notes, but I also get a little bit of dark fruit and cherry notes. There is also something that resembles vanilla in the flavor which goes very well with the other flavors.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 496 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.25/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Gatordaddy
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of BayouBengal1537
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of valkyre65
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of ReyG006
3/5  rDev -16%

Photo of PhatAtUT
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of jgould
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Valkyrie23
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of shawnohall
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Ridgeback Ale from No Label Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 173 ratings