Red Ale | Abita Brewing Co.

74 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Red AleRed Ale

Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co.
Louisiana, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Red Ale (March – May) is brewed with British pale and crystal malts, Sterling hops, and an ale yeast from California. This ale has a rich ruby color, lacy collar, and a pronounced caramel flavor.

30 IBU

Added by kbub6f on 10-09-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 117
Photo of goochpunch
4.27/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a rusty amber with moderate carbonation, a frothed head, and blotted lacing residue. Toasted bread sets a backdrop for the rather intense hopping, considering this is Abita. Hops bring on a lot of herbal aromas that remind me of chive and bay leaf combined with fresh cut grass. Toastiness is allowed to come out more in the flavor with a biscuity malt body but the hops still come out a good deal. Grass really overwhelms the herbal tones on the palate. The bitter lasts until the finish, but is never truly bitter and maintains a great balance with the malts, which finish out with a touch of sweet and some fruity esters. Body could have been a little less slick, but the carbonation is fantastic. If this were a little less sweet, the drinkability would be optimal. A really tasty offering from Abita.

 815 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.26/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Man the head just flowed out of the bottle I was pouring when opening! Anyway a decent amount of head along with a dark red amber color
S - As said before slight malt and hops
T - I haven't had many reds but this flavor mostly with malt taste sweet
M - Creamy and malty hops. Loved it
D - If I see I sixer it will be mine! Great brew.

 338 characters

Photo of sliverX
4.21/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured a nice light copper, clear big white head that jumped down to a thick film quickly, but left decent lacing
Smell very nice hoppyness mostly citrus that I can figure reminding me of a weak Ithaca Flower Power smells absolutely amazing
Taste is very hop forward but rounded out nicely with some malt backbone very citrus and pine resin hops
mouthfeel is my issue with this beer its just way too watery very thin... if only bottled water tasted so
very drinkable red ale if it werent for the water quality it would be top notch

 531 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.2/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Abita Red Ale has a thick, off-white, creamy, quickly dissipating head and a mainly clear, bubbly, copper appearance. Some lacing is present. The aroma is overwhelmingly barley malt and bread, with some clean, fresh water. Oddly, the taste is predominately hoppy, showing a shade of pine. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and Abita Red Ale finishes semi-dry and refreshing. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this is one of Abita's better offerings, and I recommend it.


 470 characters

Photo of acrawf6
4.08/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out a dark orange amber with a off white head. Looks a lot like the amber.

Smell. A good crisp light hoppy aroma. has a caramel sweetness to it.

Taste. More hoppy than i would think, is good. crisp hoppiness with biscuit maltiness. has a small lemon citris hopiness. aftertaste is on the bitter side. this is a nice hoppy amber.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side. lots of carbonation, great balance.

Overall is another great seasonal from abita! Very drinkable. just the right amount of hop kick to it.

 519 characters

Photo of bigbubba
4.07/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a copper colored beer with a small light tan head. It has a nice malty aroma, also a bit fruity. The taste is nice and crisp with a nice hop finish. Definitely better than I expected from this beer. The mouthfel is also surprisingly good, it is full and smooth. It is extremely drinkable.

I hope this is widely available the next time I head to Louisiana!

 367 characters

Photo of BrewAskew
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a thick, rocky white head that falls to a thin ring and minimal lacing. Color is not red so the name is misleading (it is an amber but they already have a beer with that name so all is forgiven.) it is amber-gold with some haze from dry hopping. Aroma is citrusy and caramel/toffee/biscuit. Flavor is lively and balanced. Good hop flavor mixed with a nIce blend of grainy/bready caramel and of course just enough alpha acids to offset the sweet. Mouthfeel is just right like most Abita products. Overall very good and I will have another.

 547 characters

Photo of HiGravShawn
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Red/Copper with nice head, not a lot of lacing.

S: Some malt with a nice hop aroma

T: Not balanced per say, but balanced to my tastes meaning 60/40 hop over malt. Not much sweetness, but similar to a overly malted american pale.

M: Average, good for its type.

D: VERY. I can really down this stuff.

I drank this at the Abita brewpub on tap right after it was released so I enjoyed it immensely. It is a sort of conundrum as I mentioned it is more like a malty american pale ale than a traditional Amber in my mind, but very drinkable for this hophead.

 565 characters

Photo of acevenom
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass mug. Pours clear reddish copper with a finger-length white head. Some nice lacing is left on the glass as the head dissipates. There are aromas of caramel, malts, and hops. There's a mild malty sweetness with some hop bitterness. It's very clean taste and the hop flavors aren't that strong, but it is balanced. The body is light with some carbonation. It is crisp and somewhat watery, but very easy to drink. It's very refreshing. Overall, this is a good beer. It's one of Abita's better offerings.

 519 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.87/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, light copper color with a thick layer of sticky foam that has nice retention and excellent lacing. It's a good looking beer.

This one smells finely balanced with both citrusy, grassy hops and a strong earthy-sweet malts having a bold presence. Smells really nice and complex.

The taste is not quite as good as the smell, but it is still a pretty good beer. Toasty and sweet caramel malts mingle with a mild hop bite to make an interesting interpretation of the style. I like it, but not as much as some of the sweeter, hoppier west coast versions. This one is more like a revved up amber ale. Overall an enjoyable beer and one of Abita's better offerings.

 672 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.87/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clouded amber with little head. Nose is tangy citrus with a bit of hops in there for good measure. Flavor is a softer firm bitter with a slight sweetness that is leafy. Kind of a slight metallic tone to it. Feel is nicely bodied on the liquid and has a good carbonation. Overall pretty drinkable. Smooth and fairly even. Nothing earth shattering, but still pretty good.

 377 characters

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
3.86/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours into a pint glass a clear yellow-orange with a thick off-white head that seems to hold for a few minutes.

Smells of thick syrupy caramel and citrusy hops, as well as a faint roasty characteristic.

The roasted taste is a lot more prevalent than the smell would suggest, and plays well with the perfect level of hop bitterness. The citrusy hop tang balances the sweet caramel notes very well.

A little lighter-bodied than I feel it should be, but the drinkability is very good.

 484 characters

Photo of dustylong
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish copper color with a good head, retention, and lacing (poured from a bottle into a mug). Has a fairly sweet aroma. This brew is citrusy, and hoppy, both in aroma and taste. Has a nice, toasty taste to it. A nice malt character balanced with just the right amount of hops. Has a moderate body to it, with nice amount of carbonation. Definitely a good beer, one of Abita's better beers. Worth trying out.

 417 characters

Photo of beeragent
3.84/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. bottle. The beer pours a medium copper, forming a 1/4 inch off-white head, that leaves minimal lacing. Aroma is a sweet mixture of malts, caramel, and butter. Quite inviting. The taste follows closely, starting off with the malts and mellowing to a light caramel flavor that goes down smooth. The mouthfeel is alot lighter than expected, but still very smooth. Full flavor and good alcohol volume makes this a very drinkable ale. Overall, not too bad. I think this is one of the better offerings from Abita.

 545 characters

Photo of theghost3
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I ordered this at the Abita Brew Pub. It's a copper/light reddish color with a thick beige head. It smells of malts and a little bit of chocolate. The taste is malty, and there's a sort of chocolate/caramel finish. Thick, buttery mouthfeel. A very drinkable beer, but probably more appropriate for early spring than June.

 321 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Glassy, bronze-like orange with no hint of red that I can detect. A steady stream of superfine bubbles ascends to a good looking cap of palest orange-tinted beige. While not outstanding, the head's persistence and lace generating powers are more than adequate. A pretty good look that would be even better if the beer was actually some shade of red.

The nose is at least as hoppy as it is malty, always a good thing in a red ale. Citrus fruit commingles with gently toasted malt and results in a pleasant aroma. I don't know about 'a tad hoppier than our other brews', but then come to think of it, their other brews have never struck me as all that hoppy.

Even though more than a tad would have been preferable, I'll have to say that the brewery didn't lie. Abita Red is a hoppy ale. The crystal malt base provides plenty of toasted malty flavor and sweetness, which is (thankfully) overshadowed by flavorful, surprisingly bitter hops that almost certainly were grown in the American Northwest.

Grapefruit pith is right on the heels of bitter orange so I'm sure that at least one of the 4-Cs is in the house. A little more malt would have buffed off what (slightly) rough edges remain, but I believe the beer is just fine the way it is. This brewery needs to produce more beer that has a bit of an attitude (A-bit-a attitude, get it?). Simply by virtue of having my ever present hop itch unexpectedly scratched this morning, I'm gonna bump the score a half-notch.

The body/mouthfeel is passable and just does manage to impress enough to avoid being considered average. It comes dangerously close to thin, but only on the swallow. An ideal amount of bubbles helps too.

With the possible exception of Fleur-de-lis Restoration Ale, I've never been impressed by beer from this brewery. Red Ale is pretty good though and is at least the equal of Fleur. Abita would be well advised to add more hops to most of the rest of their line as well. I'd probably drink a fair amount of this if I lived in the Crescent City.

 2,026 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

gentle pour, yet too much head on the 12oz serving for a 16oz pint glass

A - slightly cloudy; orange (not red) with slight reddish tint. Head lasts considerably longer than average

S - hoppy & spicy; vanilla?; sweet

T - nicely balanced malts and hops; nicely balanced sweet and bitter, albeit a bit light; some complexity; fruity hops

Very good to excellent selection for price point.

 388 characters

Photo of Jablonski
3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to see the Red Ale out on the shelves even though the Carnival season isn't quite over. It's poured into a pint glass. It pours a burnt orange color with a large cream colored head and great lacing. I was surprised at the volume of the hop aroma coming from this beer as I poured it; it's more apparent in this beer than in Abita's Restoration Pale Ale. There are also some notes of pecans in the smell. This combination makes me feel like it's a variation of the Jockamo.

I don't know if Abita has changed the recipe, but this beer is much better than I remembered it being in previous years. It's possible that it's just better early in the season. The taste is pretty solid. The first sip of this beer brings a small amount of tastes to the palate. A malt taste holds on the tongue for a second or so; at this point, the bitterness comes on in the taste. Neither taste is particularly strong, but it's not made to be a hop bomb or malt bomb. None of this is displeasing at all, it just leaves me knowing how much better this beer could be. Like many Abita's the thinness of this brew is a small problem. Overall, this is a solid beer from Abita, and I'll probably be buying a few more six packs while this is being brewed over the next few months. It it was brewed year round it would work it's way into my rotation due to it's low price.

 1,357 characters

Photo of MacEnvy
3.74/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass at about 40 degrees F.

A: Nice orange-red hue, clear, a moderate head that leaves some lacing as it dissipates. Color is between an English pale ale and a red.

S: Cascade and Sterling hops right up front, spicy and tart, citrus notes.

T: Nice citrusey Cascade bite with some floral Sterling flavor. Malt is there but it takes a back seat to to aroma and flavor hops. Not overly bitter - hop additions must be late, probably dry hopped too. Really nice.

M: Light mouthfeel, drinks easy.

O: This is a really enjoyable beer to drink. If you like aroma and flavor hops this will be right up your alley. This would be a great beer on a hot day, or maybe paired with some soft cheese. Recommended.

 744 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a grainy pale and roasted malt scent along with a mild hop nose. It does have some excellent bisquit notes as well. The taste is decent. It has a lot of different flavors going on here. It's got some nice hop character as well as a roasted/bisquity taste. It's not very balanced, but I like the attempt at upping their beers' complexity. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is one of the better Abita beers I've ever had. Again, it's got a complex flavor, but the components don't seem to mix the best. Nice job.

 688 characters

Photo of A1Sports
3.67/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very nice copper color with a good 1/2 inch head when poured from the bottle.

S: Potent and spicy smell. Very pleasing to the nose.

T: Flavor instantly hits you much like the smell. It doesn't disappoint. Full of flavor with spice. Good tasting red ale.

M: Crisp and refreshing, not heavy. Very clean taste with no lingering bitterness or off after taste.

O: Looks good, smells good, and delivers with a good flavor. Flavor is strong, but the taste doesn't over do it afterwards. Good Red Ale that I would love to try on tap.


 548 characters

Photo of biggmike
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on-tap at the Abita Brew Pub in Abita Springs, LA. Poured a reddish/amber color that had a decent head that dissipated pretty quickly. Aroma was malty with just a bit of the hops coming through. Flavor was of caramel malts with a little hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was pleasant and drinkability was decent too.

 321 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re-Review 4/01/05

Thought I'd re-review this one since my tastes in beer have improved over the last year of so. Abita Red Ale is deep copper colored with an above average-sized head. The aroma is of bready malts with just a touch of spice. The taste has the somewhat standard Abita bready malt flavor, however in Red Ale this flavor is laced with spicy hops and some bitterness. This is easily the most hoppy of the Abita line, but that isn't saying too much since Abita mostly produces lightly hopped styles. Still, I find this to be very tasty. Drinkability is great, I think this may be in the top two of their seasonals.

Original Review 5/10/04

For my second Abita beer of the weekend I chose Abita Red which is their spring seasonal brew. I liked this brew considerably more than their higher rated Amber. The beer pours out a nice deep amber and produces moderate head. The smell is about average, but the taste is a step or two above average. This is a good brew, but isn't anything mindblowing, still for $5.49 for a sixer of microbrew Abita Red is a good buy.

 1,079 characters

Photo of lawlerj
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - pours a translucent reddish amber. I poured it quite aggressively and got three to four finger frothy white head that dissipated down to about a half finger surprisingly quickly. Appears to be leaving lacing even from the head. Very nice. I like some good lacing. Appears to be moderately carbonated as far as I can tell.

S - buttery and biscuity malt and just a tad bit of hop presence on the nose. Floral and citrus notes in the mix as well. Nothing crazy about the aroma but very solid and I enjoy it.

T - bready malt again and more hop bitterness that I think is a bit much. I guess I would have wanted that bready malt flavor that I enjoyed so much in the aroma to come on a bit stronger here but it gets lost a bit in the hops. But what's there is nice - citrus and floral notes seem to dominate and the malt kind of ride underneath all of that.

M - I found myself wanting more from the mouthfeel of this beer; definitely on the light side of medium-light bodied.

O - overall, this is a fairly tasty beer that I had some balance issues with. Would have liked more prominent malt flavor in conjunction with bitter hops, but aside from that it was pretty tasty. And at 5.2% ABV this would be a decent one to drink a few of.

 1,288 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Time to revisit. After some time away, a return to this beer brings better responses than I remember a few years ago. The pour delivers a sparkling clear amber color with impressive carbonation without fizziness. Aromas are sparply of well-attenuated malts, light caramel, and a touch of nuttiness. Flavors confirm the clean, well-attenuated malt character with a light, refreshing barley, caramel flavor. Low on the fruitiness, but agressive in the bitter hops. Light hop character in the flavor give a mix of citrus and tea-like herbs. Very clean in the texture with a medium hop bite and acidity in the finish. Palate cleansing for the next drink. Another nice Abita beer.

 675 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Red Ale from Abita Brewing Co.
3.39 out of 5 based on 117 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.