Ruby Red Ale
St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd

Ruby Red AleRuby Red Ale
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Bitter - English
Ranked #71
Ranked #37,259
3.7 | pDev: 12.16%
St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd
England, United Kingdom
Ruby Red AleRuby Red Ale
Notes: A rich, red ale with subtle malt undertones and a distinctive spicy hop aroma from Styrian Goldings. Brewed with skill and patience in one of Britain's finest small breweries.
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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 120 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Zraly
Zraly from Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Lazy Bulldog in Athens. Deep mahogany in color. Nutty malt nose. Malt forward with nuts and light caramel. Peppery and earthy bitterness in the finish. Nice session for folks who want something a bit on the dark side without hitting stout territory.

May 20, 2019
Photo of josanguapo
josanguapo from Spain

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

De Labirratorium. En vaso de pinta de Ikea. Cenando, con bocata de atun. Acaramelada y mineral. La suavidad en el trago y como acaricia tu garganta invitandote a mas es su mayor cualidad. Mejora cuanto mas bebes

Jan 30, 2019
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JonnoWillsteed from England

3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L- Very deeo chestnut/red. Quite something, IDR last time I saw a beer this colour. Pours with thin off-white head that looks like it will stick around a while.
S- I get some malt but not much else (we moved house today, my nose is dust-stuffed).
T- A very hoppy profile, with an angle, perhaps you could call it a sourness? It's toasty too. Malts come piling in at the end.
M- The flavour is intense for a 4.3% ABV, the mouthfeel ties better to the ABV, quite refreshing for this pungent/toasty brew.
O- Interesting to try, a style unfamiliar to me. Pretty intense flavour compared to my usual calmer brews
BB 20/12/18, bought from Waitrose as part of a St Peter's 4-pack.

Aug 21, 2018
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eddingsaur from Singapore

3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle at the Trenchard Arms, Katong, Singapore. Pretty pricey at first glance - the bartender warned me about this just as I was ordering it; kinda makes me wonder why...

A: Hazy, hazy, HAZY red. Ruby red this is not - more like a burnt umber. Or could that just be the cloudiness of this beer? I'm not too sure - but it sure as heck is not the bright red of a ruby.

S: There's something here that brings me back - something savory, malty, smoked even. Is it funky? Perhaps - but I'm edging towards no. It's probably just the malt and yeast. Kinda' reminds me of Frangelico, the burnt, sweet smell. The dude next to me ordered a Mac and cheese - there goes any other real chance of breaking down these aromas.

T: There's that savory sweet Frangelico-ness. Yep, it's somewhat smoky, lightly peppery, somewhat nutty. It's definitely sweet, like a roasted organic sugarcane marshmallow sweet. The burnt-sweetness lingers in the after taste for a LONG time. I'm reading the label now and everything is falling into place. This is brewed with RYE Crystal malt. I'm now experiencing that sheepish feeling when you completely misjudge something.

M: This beer is dry. Not bone-dry, no. It's dry like laundry fresh out of the drier. It's friendly, comforting, accessible and totally something I'd not be scared of. On that same same note, it's not something with too much bite - it's light for the flavors it has. It's not slick, it doesn't linger on your lips, but hey, at least it goes down easy.

Final thoughts: This is a pretty decent rye-based red ale. The flavors are there, the complexity too. I understand what the bartender was warning me about now - it's not something that someone with a background in cheap macro-lagers or lighter ales might appreciate, but it's also not something that someone who appreciates rauchbier could pick up and fall in love with. It's a pretty good British rye red ale and that's what you should approach this beer as.

May 15, 2017
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metter98 from New York

3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is rather hazy amber brown in color. It poured with a short off white head that left faint lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of toffee are present in the nose along with notes of dark malts and hints of fruity yeast.
T: The taste follows the smell and is rather malty, except there is no associated sweetness and faint amounts of bitterness are present from the underlying hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes maltier compared to others in the style, but is very flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

Feb 23, 2017
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Spike from England

3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Dark red/brown with a patchy cap. Clear with some carbonation visible. Rich red hue when held to the light.

S: Toasted acorns. Spicy hit from Styrian Golding hops.

T: Cafe au lait. Smoky, roasted malts. Lovely level of bitterness that lasts.

F: Medium body. Some chewiness. Some carbonation. Has stature while remaining highly drinkable.

O: Rich, complex flavour. Great mouthfeel. A couple of pints = perfect.

Apr 04, 2016
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Martine from England

4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Into a half pint glass pours cloudy garnet - mahogany coloured, with small off-white head and little lacing.

S: One is instantly accosted with dark chocolate, fig, plum, cherry, toffee, molasses and roasted malts. It has a definate sweet earthy undertone, with woody notes.

T: Smoky malts and candied fruit on the tongue, moving through coffee, chicory, damson and earthy flavours. There's a hop bitterness throughout and a spicy, herby palate. Fruitcake/cherry tart aftertaste.

M: Nice mouthfeel, light-moderate body with medium carbonation. Crisp on the sip ending dry.

O: Very nice red ale. Perhaps a little bitter for its style but it balances well with the complex flavour profile of fruit, malt and earth. Definately nice in the Autumn and would go well with game meats. Very flavourful.

Feb 15, 2016
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Andrewharemza from Australia

3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From bottle, Pours a hazy dark red amber color with a small off-white head. Aroma dried fruits caramel, biscuit. Taste caramel, biscuit and earthy. Not to bad.

Oct 02, 2015
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Dentist666 from Russian Federation

3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into pint.
Pours dark ruby beer with nice tan head, good retention, some laces.
Smell - biscuit, dried fruits, caramel.
Taste - cake, chestnut, caramel, slight hop bitterness in the finish.
Round, low carbonation, light body. Tad less rich, than it could be.

Sep 02, 2015
Photo of Hoppsbabo
Hoppsbabo from England

4/5  rDev +8.1%

A: Very dark ruby with a small off-white head.
S: Cake ingredients. Not too strong though.
T: Dry, sharp and crisp but some nice cakey malt flavour. Just a bit spicy in the finish. A slight cucumbery thing in the finish.
O: Pretty good.

Dec 01, 2014
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

really underwhelmed by this red ale, i expected much more, just based on how good the cream stout is. this one falls a bit flat of that mark, but my bottle may not have been stored or handled properly, so that could be a factor. no bottle date to check either. frothy brick red color, pretty clear, glowing darker amber. the nose is stale english malt, muted and dusty, not real appealing, and the yeast seems weird in it, like bread dough or something, unfinished. notes of oatmeal and sweeter red malt on the front end, and barley a bittering hop to finish. i like the mouthfeel pretty well, real frothy and sturdy, especially for a beer so low in alcohol, but there is a weird tannic thing running through it, and with the staleness of the grain, i really dont care much for it. i love their packaging, i find it distinct and alluring, but if these green bottles are responsible for light struck beer, im not a fan anymore. this bottle exhibited those properties for sure. i will revisit this again when i can guarantee its freshness.

Jun 30, 2014
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flagmantho from Washington

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich, dark amber hue with a very little haze and a light effervescence. Head is a thin finger of frothy tan foam which leaves a nice lace on the glass as it dissipates.

Smell: lightly sweet and caramelly with a little bit of earthy hops. A bit biscuity, and reminiscent of an amber ale, but nice nonetheless.

Taste: drier than the aroma would suggest, but with plenty of caramel and biscuity character. Hops are earthy and forward, with a pleasingly balanced bitterness. I'm not a huge amber-biscuit guy, but in this application it works (it's the English talent for restraint, I think).

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a surprisingly good carbonation and a very nice creaminess. I can dig it!

Overall: a drinkable and tasty bitter. Perhaps I should go to Britain and attempt to quaff a few of these down the local pub.

Apr 09, 2014
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admiral from Australia

3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An enjoyable English ale with good, strong flavours coming through

aroma: malt, toffee/caramel

taste: chocolate and roasted malt predominate with caramel/toffee, slight smoke and burnt biscuit and a pronounced peppery bitterness on the back of palate and in the aftertaste

interesting flavour combinations and beer - liked it a lot - but the bitterness from the hops seemed a little out of place or wasn't quite in balance but probably being too picky as everything else about the beer was great

Nov 12, 2013
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vinicole from England

3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Dark auburn with a flat head.
Lightly toasted malt and hop aroma. Hint of caramel.
Taste follows the bouquet. Some fruit detected. Bitter finish.
Rather thin for a bitter.

Jul 19, 2013
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From the antique looking green bottle stamped 12223. Sampled on July 2, 2013.

The pour is mahogany brown more than red with a short-lived head and slightly cloudy.

The aroma is of pale malts with the unique fruitiness of a red but there is also a chocolate thing going on that I have not encountered in a red. Maybe a slight nuttiness.

The body is about medium.

The taste is of malts but the odd chocolate note I got on the nose is not as noticeable in the taste. A kind of herbal quality too. The ending is slightly bitter and lingers to a dry a finish.

Jul 03, 2013
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soju6 from Missouri

3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Neat Bottle. Pours a dark ruby read color with a very small head and no lacing.

S: Aroma of malt, dark fruit and bit of caramel.

T: Taste of some malt, caramel sweetness, dark fruit and just a bit of spice.

F: Moderate body, quite smooth and flavor enhances as it warms.

O: Nice beer for the style.

May 31, 2013
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lacqueredmouse from Australia

3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic flat green 500ml St Peters bottle purchased for me by the in-laws for Christmas.

Pours a pleasant (indeed) ruby red colour, with a fine white head of tiny bubbles that settles to a pleasant film. Fine carbonation is visible when the glass is tilted. Some patchy streaks of lacing form as well. Overall, a pretty good-looking beer.

Nose is quite hoppy, with a crisp herbal bite and almost the hint of American strength to it. The suggestion of citrus, along with a poignant rosemary bite. This is underscored by a solid, slightly caramelly malt sweetness, perhaps a bit richer than the hops should really allow. Overall, though it's a pleasant aroma.

Taste is smooth but a bit timid. Light malt characters come through pleasantly, but there's no richness; hops give more of that herbal flavour, but there's no bite and little to no bitterness. Still, we get a light dance of dark citrus and a balanced low-calorie caramel to balance it somewhat. It's decent enough.

Feel is smooth and light and pleasant enough.

Overall, this is very decent stuff. Solidly, if unimaginatively made and providing a pleasant drinking experience. I think it's one of the stronger entries in the St Peters range.

Dec 27, 2012
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doktorhops from Australia

4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Here's another on the 'to do' list of beer reviews: St. Peter's Ruby Red Ale. Spying the unique bottle at an expensive but well appointed craft beer shoppe [sic], I made a mental note to one day quench my mighty thirst with this fine beverage, when I found it a cheaper price (of course!). Said day is upon us thanks to Daniel S. Murphy Esq. the bottle-shoppe [sic] that is well known to slash prices and aggressively undercut, to our collective benefits, in the quest to destroy the opposition... ahh Dan Murphy's you magnificent bastards.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: It's in the name but I'll say it anyway; deep ruby red body with a nice sticky tan head.

S: Fantastic aroma! A mixture of sloe berry, dark cherry, chicory, hint of vanilla with a heavy roast malt (almost rye-like) base. This is one brew that smells medieval in its earthiness (and I should know as I travelled back in time to the middle ages last week).

T: That chicory flavour is upfront, with a smattering of ripened fresh coffee beans, sloe berries and that chewy malt base that carries through to a mildly bitter base. Slight sourness that carries throughout and lets one know that a decent yeast was used.

M: Mid to light body, slightly chewy, with a light carbonation.

D: Impressed with this one. Doubtless to say it's a bit on the expensive side for what you get (Hook-Norton's Old Hooky is a half-decent cheaper replacement), but it pleases nonetheless, and if you want to try a dirty/earthy flavoured ale then this is a good pick. Treat it as a half-way between an English Bitter and a Stout and you get the idea of what sort of flavours to expect.

Food match: Roasted game meats like partridge, grouse, woodcock and venison. Also roasted wild pig on a spit would lend its medieval feel to the brew.

Nov 06, 2012
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jrfehon33 from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: nice dark brown red with a lot of carbonation collecting on the side of the glass. 

Smell: I love the mell of this beer. Nice hop and malt scents with a bit of cherry. 

Taste: Very carbonated and crisp. The malt and hop flavors are nicely balanced without much sweetness. Just a hint of cherry. 

Mouthfeel: Very bubbly in the mouth.

Overall: Not my favorite red ale but at 4.3% this beer packs in a lot of flavor. I like the hint of cherry tart but could use just a bit more. Overall I really enjoyed this red ale and would buy it again.

Apr 12, 2012
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dansmcd from Australia

3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - One finger of white head which fades to nothing within about a minute, dark ruby red body, streaky lacing.

S - Roasted malt, earthy Golding hops, chocolate, raisins.

T - Burnt caramel and toffee, slight wet hop bitterness, sweet plum.

M - Smooth medium body, low carbonation.

O - Good example of the style. Love the 18th century oval bottle too.

Apr 06, 2012
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heygeebee from Australia

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An aggressive pour yields a half-finger cream head over a deep red / mahogany body.

Aromas of toffee and English malts.

Palate is quite bitter from the start but in a rounded way. Quite English with the usual carmels, toffees. Earthy hops follow.

Mouthfeel is good for style, low carbonation, but not watery.

A good example of style - and more importantly has travelled well. Would be very sessionable, but not at the price. Really good example of a moderately flavoured beer well made.

Feb 02, 2012
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Ruds from England

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 500ml bottle into UK pint glass

Pours a rich dark amber colour, with reddish brown hues

Smells of chocolate and toffee, slightly malty, no real overbearing aroma's, a nice subtle mix

Tastes of caramel, toffee, malt, faint hints of chocolate, bitter but not too so

Mouthfeel, slightly dry finish but this makes you want more!

Dec 25, 2011
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SebD from Canada (ON)

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice dark amber color to it. It has a nice dark tan head that dies down moderately and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of sweet malts, dark fruit, chocolate, piney hops and some caramel.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a sweet malty and fruity character with some hints of chocolate, hops bringing a bitterness and some light caramel.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and flavor.

Drinkability: It's smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas.

Nov 23, 2011
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EmperorBevis from England

4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a dimpled handled pint pot
producing a dark chestnut red body with a lazy off white head that dissipated to a scattered cloud froth.

The aroma is wondrous mix of dark fruits,malt,hops and even red wine.

The taste is no less complex a real sense of dark bonfire toffee and molasses whilst not becoming overly sweet with a hop kicking aftertaste.

Put together with ideal carbonation and a real warming mouth feel that is not at all heavy it produces a splendid dark bitter for the darker days

Nov 20, 2011
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Kartoffeln from Canada (ON)

3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep ruby-mahogany with a modest, fizzy head of dense, light tan foam. Retention is alright, dissipating to a foamy ring and patches of bubbles and leaving spotty lacing.

S: Robust toffee, biscuit, and chocolate malts bursting with dark fruit - black cherries, raisins, plums, and candied figs - and notes of molasses, butterscotch, and dark chocolate. Fruity and earthy, slightly woody hop aromas throughout. Hints of licorice and ethanol. Not unlike an oloroso, altogether.

T: Toffee, biscuit, and chocolate malts with cocoa, molasses, black cherry, and plum undertones. Fruity notes from the malt and floral hops last into the woody, citric, resiny, almost lactic hop bitterness in the finish. A definite 'hard' minerality and mild yeastiness throughout.

M: Medium-bodied with mild, smooth carbonation that pricks just a bit on the sip; slightly chewy, quite hearty for a bitter. The long-lasting finish is dominated by earthy, tangy bitterness that isn't refreshing but rather cleansing, perhaps beyond the point of balancing the flavour profile. Either way, the astringency keeps it drinkable despite the surprisingly robust body.

D: I'd definitely agree with most critics that this ale is enduringly bitter even for a bitter, but I personally find that the complex flavour profile stands up to it. Besides, it's anything but a traditional bitter; it's distinctly unorthodox, rather sophisticated, and definitely worth a try. Especially in autumn or winter.

Nov 12, 2011
Ruby Red Ale from St. Peter's Brewery Co Ltd
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 120 ratings