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Rainmaker | Steel Toe Brewing

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very good
55 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Steel Toe Brewing
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 10-18-2011

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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 238
Photo of jjanega08
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No freshness dating.

A= Pours a deep amber mahogoney color. Almost a brown actually that is translucent. The head is a finger hihg and falls to about a half finger and stays steady. Decent lacing.

S= A nice hop aroma mixed with a solid malty backbone. A sort of tropical fruit thing going on here with the malt hop mix with a little roast in it.

T= Taste is very hoppy again. A nice strong hop punch that comes hard before a small bit of maltyness comes through. Again a tiny amount of roast is picked up before a nice doughy biscuity finish on it.

M= Nice carbonation and weight.

O= This is another great beer from Steel Toe. Of the new breweries that are opening up around here I think I like Steel Toe the most. They seem to be making the most quality beer in my opinion. This is no exception. A highly hopped beer with a solid malt backbone. It actually reminds me of Furious a little only a litte more roasty malt character. I gotta try more stuff from these guys.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and dark brownish amber with some ruby red. Lots of rising bubbles and a big four finger off white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Smell: A very hoppy aroma. Big hints of citrus grapefruit, oranges, and pineapple. Big spicy pine resin smell as well. Bready roasted malts in the background with some good hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, and a little chocolate. Definitely hop forward like a red IPA.

Taste: Very hoppy like the smell leads, but a little more balanced. Sharp bitter hops upfront with good notes of citrus grapefruit, orange, pineapple, and lemon. Spicy piney hop resin. Solid background of bready and lightly roasted malts. Notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toast, and a very subtle hint of chocolate. Lots of bitter hops but plenty of sweet bready taste also.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Sharply bitter, chewy, and somewhat creamy. Fairly smooth. Finishes dry.

Overall: A very good hopped up Red Ale/ American IPA hybrid. This is very similar to Surly's Furious IPA. In fact, if blindfolded I might have a hard time telling which is which. Really good combination of hops and malts.

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Photo of gford217
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours a dark clear amber with a hefty beige head that leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma is really hoppy, lots of pine especially, though there are some citrus notes as well. Prickly almost on the nose. The malts are present but definitely take a backseat.

Taste is really heavy on the bitterness and prickly hops up front. Pine resin and pineapple come to mind. The caramel malts form a backbone, if you can call it that considering the hops are the real star here.

Mouthfeel is bitter and not nearly as sweet as most ambers. Pretty full in body for an amber.

I'm torn on this as it's a great amber,heavy on the hops, but is pretty unbalanced. But, as I really like a hopped up amber, I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of Buebie
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hard pour in an over sized snifter Tsunami'ing the glass with a big ass tan head.
Dark burnt red color and a thin skimming of lace.
Sweet candied yams aroma, dark fruit, toasted grains and hop resin.
Taste is malt driven with a sweetness and hop profile that are well balanced. Little bit of maple brown sugar likeness. Although becoming more dry through the finish with pine and citrus and decreasing with sweet malts but still slightly present.
Mouthfeel is crisp with carbonation and medium bodied.

Solid brew. I could have this in the middle of winter as bit of a warmer, as alcohol seems higher then it actually is. Or, like I am now on a 92 degree day. Its taste bud pleaser and a thirst quencher.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Clear cardinal liquid with a smattering of beige up top along with a lasting but very thin collar. Minute sandy lacing, no legs, mediocre retention.

Potent caramel malt and lush citrus/pine hop aromatics. Good amounts of fruit, slight vanilla as well.

Strong bitterness, sharp grapefruit-pith-laden hop flavors, offset just enough by caramel and pale malt to keep the profile from becoming actively abrasive. Dry peppery finish with hints of wild berries, grape skins, and fruit liqueur.

Zesty, well carbonated and not quite medium-bodied mouth-feel.

No holds barred from this excellent West-Coast inspired American Amber Ale. A nice surprise from a new brewery...I expect their Double IPAs are well worth seeking out as well.

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Photo of mjryan
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hardy pour, big head. Clingy. Dang, this must be fresh. Smells like I just opened a bag of hop pellets. Well that's pretty rad. I'm a big fan of hoppy reds, Furious is another local beer along these lines, really a bench mark by which I judge other reds. Rainmaker doesn't disappoint. Along with the aforementioned amazing hop aroma, there is a ton of hop character in the flavour. Grapefruit, pine and toasty caramel malts. Damn bitter finish, not sweet at all. Great beer, big hops, nice "red" flavour. What more could I want?

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Photo of bsp77
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Wood-stain red with moderate light tan head and some lacing rings.

Smell: Um, I love the smell of a big, hoppy red - citrus, pine, caramel, dark fruits and light roast.

Taste: Sweet caramel and dark fruit core that is quickly overtaken by the seemingly huge level of hops. Unfortunately, the hops have less character than the aroma (just some light citrus and lingering pine), and are primarily just very bitter. There is some light roast that may be adding to the bitterness as well.

Feel: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very dry finish.

Overall: Well, this was fantastic until I took a sip. And to be fair, it was still pretty damn good even after taking a sip, but did not quite meet my expectations from the look and aroma.

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Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear russet with a three-fingered head; lovely retention and a nice pattern of lacing

Smell: Piney hops with undertones of caramel and stone fruit

Taste: Pine, stone fruit and caramel flavors swing back and forth on the front end, with the bitter hops prevailing by mid-palate; in the aftertaste, there is a very nice balance between the malt and hop flavors, with aspects of both lingering in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Overall: I'm not sure just what is going on in Minneapolis but they sure know how to make a nice hoppy Amber

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Photo of deebo
2.51/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A-Fairly clear with a reddish amber color and a sticky light tan head.

S-Wow, I know this had 60+ IBU but damn this baby is NW US hoppy. There is some nice toasted/caramel malts in there but it takes a big time back seat to the hops.

T-This is definitely a hop forward red. Lots of the typical NW hops (citrus-grapefruit and resiny aftertaste). Malt is here too but way out of balance for my taste.

M-Moderate to high carbonation, rather thin bodied with a long bitter finish.

D-Poor, not an easy to drink red.

O-If you like an unbalanced hoppy red, this is a good choice. Feels out of balance, I know the trend of the day is to hop the crap out of everything but dang I don't need to have this one again.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for sharing this one. Served in a tulip glass. Unknown bottling date, but has been stored in the fridge for a while.

A - White foam settles to a thick collar, wisps, and minimal lacework. Transparent dark orange-red body.

S - Smells like a hoppy red ale alright, although the hops are showing a cheesy, decaying beta acid, sort of flavor at this point in time. Backbone is treacle, caramel, and red fruits.

T - The taste reveals more of the original hop character, with some onion and chive-esque zest with light citrus and pine notes. Malt character is more neutral here, with a bready flavor and less of the typical sweet red ale flavors.

M - Medium body, medium-high carbonation, and a dry and resinous finish. No alcohol presence, nor was one expected at 6.5%.

D - Not a bad hoppy red, but probably much better when it was fresh - hopefully I'll get to revisit this one and amend my score, as there's potential for a very good beer. Anyone want to send me fresh bottles of this and Size 11?

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.29/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice thick,dense,frothy robust head. great actually. Body is a translucent deep ruby color.
Aroma is sweet malts mixed with citrus.
Flavor is more sweet then bitter, the toasted malt and caramel notes are forefront with the citrus notes in second.
The mouthfeel is full and creamy, really nice and enjoyable.

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Photo of Duff27
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Half inch off white head on a deep dark red. Very nice head retention and lacing.

Smell is of piney hops.

Sharp biting hops overpower the caramel malts. Drinks right at 6.5%

Mouthfeel is a little thin, decent carbonation.

Overall very drinkable but I'd classify this as a hop bomb. Would have it again. Thanks mnbearsfan!

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Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Stone pint.

A- pours a transparent dark ruby with a 2" off white head. Dripping waves of lacing remain on the glass.

S- sweet roasted malts and citrus.

T- roasted caramel and sweet amber malts. Citrus and pine bitterness come through in the middle and finish.

M- medium body and carbonation. With a slight oilyness.

O- good amber with nice hop bitterness. Would love to see an imperial version of this beer.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tulip Glass

Appearance - Very Dark Red/Crimson color when held up to the light, it's just a couple shades away from black. Head pours around 2 finger width, which vanishes fairly quickly.

Smell - Caramel, toffee, floral & piney hops and some sweet malts and yeasts. The smell itself has an overt sweetness to it. The smell reminds me partially of an American Pale Ale

Taste - Piney Hops followed by a sweet malty flavor. For an Amber Ale, it's pretty damned hoppy but in a good way. There's also a pretty subdued yet balanced yeasty flavor in the back to help give the beer some balanced flavor.

Mouthfeel - It's a little heavier than most Amber Ales I've tried and the carbonation is a bit more intense than what I expect out of this style. It feels more like an IPA and less like an Amber. With that being said, it doesn't really get in the way too much of the flavor, and that's okay with me.

Overall - For a brewery that just opened it's doors this past summer, they manage to make a great beer! It's both hoppy and malty and I applaud them for trying out something different with an Amber Ale style. If this first offering for me by Steel Toe is any indication of things to come, I expect more great beers from them!

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 02/05/12 notes. Received as an extra from nwu008 in the Math BIF #5; thanks Erin!

a - Pours a dark reddish amber color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells pretty hoppy. Smells of citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, lemons and citrus, light tropical fruits, toasted malts, and bready malts. Very nice nose.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, toasted malts, citrus hops, light pine hops, light bitterness, and bready malts. Nice, but not quite as hoppy as the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Light bitterness and creamy body.

o - Overall a nice hoppy red ale. Nose is very fully of pine and fruits. The taste is not quite as hoppy, but still nice. Worth trying and would certainly have it again.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to MBrausen for sending me this one for the sole purpose of being able to tick it! Served from bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint. Poured a dark shade of ruby red with a one finger khaki colored head that remained throughout the glass. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, lemon zest, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, caramel, lemon zest, citrus hop, caramel hop, and subtle pine. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. The aroma on this one was really nice and one of the best I have smelled on a Red Ale. The flavor was also pretty nice too. While the flavor wasn’t QUITE as good as the aroma, it was still very solid. A definite must try and really glad my buddy MBrausen was looking out for me on this one!

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Photo of BMoney575
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 1-28-12

Pours a deep red color, with a thick white head that quickly fades, leaving behind craggy lacing.

Smell is huge piney hops, with a great maltiness to back it up. Strong but balanced, rather one dimensional but still promising.

Taste is very smooth, some sweetness comes from the malt, while the hops add a great fruity quality and a balancing bitterness. Not intense, just stunningly well made.

Mouthfeel is perfect, a nice thickness to help the malt, but there's still room for the tart hops.

Drinkability is very good, the flavors and balance create a very flavorful sessionable beer.

Overall, I'm impressed with the beers I've had from Steel Toe, and this is the best one yet. Highly recommended.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to LaCoursiere for this bottle.

A: Pours a super deep red, almost verging on brown. There is about one finger of khaki colored head that settles fairly quickly. There is also a bit of lacing as it drinks.

S: The main note here is pine. This brew has a nice malty backbone that comes through in the nose, but pine is the dominate smell. There is also a bit of a floral quality to this beer as well.

T: It starts off with a quick hit of roasted malt, but the pine notes come on almost immediately after. Those hoppy characteristics follow through into the finish, where this beer takes on a flavor of tea. Yup, the finish kinda tastes like black tea. It's really interesting, and pleasant.

M: Medium bodied beer. It starts out wet with the flavors enveloping the palate. This is nothing sticky or chewy about this beer, but the finish sits on the tongue for a while afterward.

O: This beer is pretty good. The pine notes seems a little unbalanced in this beer and the tea-like qualities are a bit wacky, but it's not bad. This is not my favorite offering from Steel Toe, but it's decent.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber at the Four Firkins for $5. Off the bat, it reminds me a bit of Furious, as a big, red, and tasty beer with a huge hops character. Of course, it's plenty different when you get down to the details. Foremost, the Rainmaker has a strong floral component. You could also say it's a touch darker, though both are more red than your average IPA, or close to a double IPA or red ale. The aroma has a piney, pungent kick over the floral undertones. The flavor balances fruity citrus tangerine and grapefruit on top of mild spice, pine and the floral. The body is more drinkable for a double red, but that's fine by me. I'll take another.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just recently came out in bottles, making it a little bit easier to try this. I know the bottle's pretty fresh, cause it's only been in bottles for a month or so.

Pours a very dark reddish amber/brown. Little light passes through, except at the edges. Quite dark for an amber ale. One finger of cream-colored head, good retention and fantastic lacing.

Smell is lots of grassy, earthy, slightly bitter hops. There's a bit of pine, and a hint of citrus, but mostly it's grass. The malt base is weaker than I would like, predominantly caramel, but just not as robust as I think it needs to be.

Taste is pretty much what I expected based on the smell. Tastes a lot like an average IPA. Despite the color, the malt backbone feels soft. And the hops playing on top of it provide a fair amount of bitter but not much else. I find it decently tasty, but very middle-of-the-road.

Mouthfeel is solid. Medium-bodied, high carbonation. Persistent finish. I like it. Probably the highlight of the beer.

My first beer from a brand-new local brewery. And it gets good reviews. Wanted to like it, but it just ain't there for me. It needs more malts, or more hops, or more something. Just kinda blah. Which isn't terrible. But it is blah. Found myself nursing it, and wanting more from it (not more of it).

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Photo of maximum12
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up at Liquor Barrel in St. Louis Park, I think. The combo of having both Steel Toe & Leech Lake lured me all the way across the Cities. This is the result of the plunder. 22 oz. bomber cloven in two.

Pours a very dark, almost blood red. Smell is on the good side: caramel malts, earthy hops. Less specific than an overarching niceness.

Rainmaker is a straight-up red. Caramel & malts are all over me stuff. Hops are earthy, grounded, bitter without much flavor. Mouthyness is nice.

Pretty good beer, solid red. Nothing out of the ordinary, not bad, not great, just solid. Solid. Solid. I'll keep at that. Solid.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber ale with a golden highlights on the dge. Off white piles high and falls to a film. Strong caramel and hop spice in the nose: pleasant and balanced. Big malt backbone that more than supports an earthy, peppery and spicey hop bite. Nice beer to chew through while watching tv. Like the beer more or more as I get to the bottom of the glass. Steel Toe seems to be the real deal for a new Minnesota brewery.

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Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beige head. Color is a dark amber.

Aroma: Smells like furious. Caramel and bready but very hoppy. Grapefruit and hop resin juiciness.

Taste: Much like the nose, but more malty. More bready and caramel malts show. Other than that, the hop profile reminds me so much like furious.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and sticky. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. I just wish the taste wasn't as malty. Other than that it is very enjoyable.

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Photo of Greggy
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a tan head over a deep crystal clear red body. Decent lacing.

S- Deep pine, grapefruit, orange, deep caramel, toffee and biscuit.

T- Wow. Huge crack right off the bat off orange, marmalade, pine and grapefruit and caramel and then transitions into a hoppier dry finish with ample hop oils lingering long into the finish.

M- Appropriate carbonation. Great finish.

D- Overall, a great beer and pretty drinkable.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a clear ruby color. The head is a solid inch of reddish-white foam that recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of grapefruit, oranges, caramel, and toffee. The taste is slightly maltier than the aroma, but there is still a strong hop presence. There is also a solid bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a silky texture, and fine moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a very good red ale that I can see becoming a regular for me. I like how it is on the hoppier side for a red ale, but still doesn't cross over into IPA territory.

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Rainmaker from Steel Toe Brewing
3.98 out of 5 based on 238 ratings.
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