Red Tape Lager | Jack's Abby Brewing

very good
44 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Red Tape LagerRed Tape Lager

Brewed by:
Jack's Abby Brewing
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Munich Dunkel Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Navigating the labyrinth of brewery licensing and state regulations isn't easy. When we finally got the green light, we also got inspired with the perfect name for our pilot brew. Red Tape Lager has a full malty flavor typical of Bavarian dark lagers. It's brewed with 100% Dark Munich Malt. Additions of Glacier hops for bittering and noble German hops for aroma strike a balance between American and European flavors.

25 IBU

Added by mschofield on 08-07-2011

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 171
Photo of 57md
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brownish copper color with a glint of red and a half finger of head. The nose is nicely bready. The flavor profile tastes like a blend of characteristics possessed by an American amber and a German dunkel.

 215 characters

Photo of Kendo
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Nonic pint glass. Body is clear reddish-amber with a 1-finger khaki-colored head.

S: Faint caramel malt, some nuttiness, and faint herbal or piney hops. Pleasant nose.

T: Caramel malt, brown bready malt and nutty malt foundation. Finishes with a modest clean lemony bitterness that provides some balance. Overall sweet though.

M: Light in heft, a tad bit thin, but for the style, we're good.

O: Excellent easy-drinking but tasty lager.

 457 characters

Photo of Im4jojo
4.94/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is the quintessential lager. Pours from can into pint glass a crisp, clear amber with a small head that leaves no lacing on the glass. Aroma is malty, grain, and a bit nutty. Taste has a strong, bitter front, with the aroma reflected on the back of the palate: malty, grain, and slightly nutty. The feel is smooth, and moderately carbonated. Overall, a straight-forward, full-bodied brew. At 5% ABV, it is easy to enjoy a six pack of this.

 449 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Think the can is dated 11/1/16, which makes me nervous...poured into Belgian ale glass.

L: Big head with good retention, leaving whit foamy lacing and a cap and ring. Beer is a dark reddish amber.

S: Some floral notes from the hops, yeasty bready malts,

T: Quite bready and malty, but not too heavy. Some sweet notes per Dunkel style. A little floral up front. Decent.

F: Light bodied, medium carbonation. Nice and crisp with good construction and balance.

O: A very nice lager that holds up nicely in the can, which is good to know down the road.

 554 characters

Photo of SABERG
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can dated 11/30/2016 into the modified tulip glass.
A - Wonderful clarity, dark copper in color, gentle carbonation feeds a quickly dissipating cap.
S - Dark bread rising, a bit of floral hop note, with a kiss of caramel.
T - Lightly toasted malts, just a kiss of bread dough, nice yeast touch, semi sweet.
M - Dances across the palate, a bit of sweet malt, then a near perfect clean up by the carbonation. Nice dry finish.
O - A very nice Dunkel from the brewer.

 477 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.54/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

16 oz. can dated 10/31/16

Pours dark copper reddish orange brown with a creamy light khaki colored foam head. Smells like dark toasted bready malts, red apples, caramel, molasses, charred brown sugar, chocolate, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like dark toasted bready malts, red apples, caramel, molasses, charred brown sugar, some chocolate, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall a really nice Munich Dunkel Lager.

 495 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark mahogany pour with a thin beige skim atop. Aroma is nutty and malty with a hint of cocoa. Flavor is similar with more roasted and toasted notes noted. Chocolate hints are a bit out of place here, but plenty of caramel toffee on style. Finish is pretty clean and it's drinkable for sure.

 291 characters

Photo of edward_boumil
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Dark, brown colored beer, with ruby red highlights. Has a light brown head with good retention
S: Sweet, honey like with light notes of chocolate. Maybe some molasses and caramel in there as well. Toasted grain as well.
T: Similar to the nose. Quite sweet, more than expected. Flavors are spot on for the style, similar to a helles, has that honeyed grain sweetness. Perfect dunkel roasted malt flavors, light chocolate, caramel, and toffee.
F: Light, refreshing, lots of flavor. Carbonation is spot on. Very drinkable despite having a bit of body.
O: Great dunkel, awesome winter beer.

 599 characters

Photo of metter98
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short beige colored head that consistently covered the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of toasted and biscuit malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and is quite malty with flavors of toasted and biscuit malts. There are slight hints of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Despite being very malty, this beer is rather drinkable because it isn't heavy on the palate.

Serving type: can

 575 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a pokal glass.

Creamy faint khaki colored two finger head off the pour. Sits with creamy retention, fine bubbles, and settles to an easy quick finger head. Body color is deep ruby and mahogany red colored body. Real nice looking beer, even has a bit of glow in this glass.

Aroma is quite delicious. Toasted malts, even fruity ester (is that cherry?), and nicely caramel sweetness that goes to more of a thicker malt base. Lager clean smelling as well. Very inviting and unexpected for a dark Munich, and enjoyable.

As much as there are some very different and intriguing beginnings on this beer, the basics are what are more apparent. Light bodied and nearly crisp, but slight mild carbonation on the tongue. Light caramel rich, with a good hint of pasty yeast flavor, particularly on the swallow, but manages a soft caramel and sweetness. Clean, which is surprising cause there is a bit of density going here, but some light bodied lager feel brings everything back in the present.

A very memorable and good dunkel, that has some interesting American spin to it. Nicely done.

 1,115 characters

Photo of dar482
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer comes in a deep amber color with a fluffy off white head.

The aroma offers a lightly toasted grainy sweetness, but also leaning towards caramel biscuits. Floral hops and tea like aroma enter in as well.

The flavor follows with tame flavor, a nice depth of toasty malt character, restrained from much melanoidins, onto a earthy hop bitterness to help gently balance the beer.

 385 characters

Photo of selecter70
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I love Jacks Abby, I really do. This one was a bit of a sad departure from my expectations of a stellar beer. As dunkels go, it was OK..nothing really great. It looked good with dark hue topped with decent head. The aroma was nice with rich bready notes, but the taste was so so. A tad sweet and chocolatey with a what I thought was a weak bubbly body (that could be the draught line). I will try it again, but it was a bit disheartening.

 438 characters

Photo of justintcoons
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into a weizen glass.

Deep reddish mahogany with 1 finger of tan head. Excellent clarity with lively carbonation.

Brown bread, brown sugar, caramel, earthy, and a touch of cocoa.

Brown breads, caramelized brown sugar, and rich caramel. Munich maltiness all around. Dashes of cocoa and earth with a subtle leafy hoppiness.

Medium bodied, smooth, silky, sticky, and balanced.

Rich bread and caramel flavors. An extremely flavorful Dunkel.

 497 characters

Photo of SunDevilBeer
2.79/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Fan of lots of other JA offerings so high hopes for this one.

Looks & smells good with a nice head. Unfortunately the caramel notes just overwhelm the rest of it. Finish is odd, a bit sour.

Not likely to try this again, unfortunately.

 237 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a fine and prolific tan froth. Smells of grain, a bit of melon and a bit of spice. Taste has a very appealing but balanced sweetness involving more melon, subtle caramel, herbal hops and faint spice. Light through and through and still very flavorful.

JA know how to make a damn fine lager, end of story.

 326 characters

Photo of musicsherlock
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on date smudged off
Reviewed 3/8/16

Pours a burnt orange with a effervescent, almost tan head, khaki. Could be perhaps a bit more on the redder side. Long lasting head.

Smells of malts, biscuits, yeast. Brings you into the brewery.

Tastes like it smells, back biscuits, low hops, slight lingering bitterness. Tastes a bit like wort. Sweetness develops later.

Tingles the tongue like a good lager, slightly creamy on the tongue

Overall another good lager from Jack's Abbey

 485 characters

Photo of gonzo000
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a hazy brown color with lots of carbonation. It reminds me of an oktoberfest, based on the spice profile. Head is an off white that lasts for a considerable amount of time. I am not a big fan of the flavor of the beer. Funk with a hint of mold, or old. Not a great beer from a very good brewery.

 311 characters

Photo of keithmurray
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.7 oz bottle poured into a mug

Appearance - copper colored body with off white head

Smell - caramel malt, grass, herb, tea

Taste - caramel, bread, tea

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, slight sweetness upfront, flavors linger slightly in the aftertaste

Overall - nice Munich Dunkel Lager here, well done

Price Point - $4.79/16.9 oz bottle

 359 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Drum Hill
Reddish amber color with a huge frothy beige head that persists forever. Nutty and toasty maltiness with bits of sweet almost raisiny sugary flavors. Tasty lager, but I was hoping for a bit more crusty toasty flavors.

 239 characters

Photo of irrevjim
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

look; copper amber, not much head but foamy and leaves a film
smell; caramel, roasted malt, hint of smokiness, molasses
taste; again caramel and medium roasted malt, molasses, hint of wood smoke and tiniest hint of tire fire
feel; smooth, lightly carbonated, smooth, medium light body and smooth
overall; i think this is the best red lager i've had. very tasty and simple and perfect

 384 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Carmel malt in the forefront. Decently sweet. Feels heavy but has lots of carb to lighten it up. Tastes almost like a red ale. I could drink a lot of this. Good stuff.

 167 characters

Photo of sprat1960
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Amber towards copper in color; transparent. Pours with a huge 3+ finger light beige head that dies down leaving an uneven thin layer of foam on the surface of the beer and lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Malt and lots of grain.

Taste: Brown sugar, malt, grain. Slightly sweet, full of flavor, somewhat bitter finish.

Feel: Initial slight fizzy sensation from the carbonation. Light body (on the watery side), feels clean and crisp. Slight dry finish.

Overall: Decent lager with interesting flavor. (Reminds me of a refined, lighter form of a Dos Equis.) This would pair nicely with Mexican or similar foods. When in the mood for a refeshing, lighter, grainy-flavored beer - this would be a good choice. I don't see me picking this beer on a regular basis, but on occasion it would be a nice change.

 847 characters

Photo of Sheppard
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a half liter mug. This beer is a deep, copper amber color and is transparent. There is a pillowy off white head that dissipates to half a centimeter. It's not aromatic, but this style of beer shouldn't be. It tastes how it smells with light caramel, some biscuity malts. It has a hearthy but not heavy mouthfeel, definitely a beer for cooler weather. Pretty clean finish. This is a really solid lager that I can't wait to have on Fall Saturdays.

 457 characters

Photo of RummyRedbeard
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(copied from blog - written January 14, 2013)

Appearance – Beautiful reddish brown. One finger white head. Leaves a nice lacing.
Smell – Sweet malts and caramel.
Taste – Caramel, dark fruits, roasted grain or wheat flavor. Very small hop flavor.

At first this beer reminded me of a sweet red ale like Oskar Blues Imperial Red or Northcoast Red Seal Ale. After about a quarter of the beer was down though I started to realize the subtle hop flavor that those beers don’t have as well as a much more roasted taste. The first time I drank this beer I remember not being too impressed but I gave it a second shot because it’s fairly cheap and I want to review more Jack’s Abby beers!… Anyway this time I’m finding it much more enjoyable. A solid beer in their line-up that leans more towards the malty sweetside that is less common with this brewery.

 864 characters

Photo of Duhast500
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a pint bottle into a Harpoon snifter.

The color is a ruby red color with a gold tint. There is a slight wisp of off-white head with a good a good amount of carbonation.

The aroma is pretty sweet with some fruity cherry aroma in the nose. There is a slight touch of grainy flavor in the nose as well.

The taste has a candy light flavor that has a nice sweetness that is missing from some lagers but not this one. There is an ale like characteristics that is found here in the juicy fruit flavor with a cherry and grape flavor that also has the faintest crisp flavor and feel.

This beer does have a lighter crispness that is like a lager but gives off a fruit taste that punches the tongue like an ale. This beer seems to want to go places it might not be prepared to do. The is some promises as you begin to sip this that does not seem to be fulfilled.

 867 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Red Tape Lager from Jack's Abby Brewing
3.92 out of 5 based on 171 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.