Red Ale | Abita Brewing Co.

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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.

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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 117
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.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.13/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - a hazy reddish-gold pour with 2+ fingers of pock-marked foam. Casual but busy bead from below. The head recedes and leaves a lacy network behind. It could use a little more color but all in all a nice start.

Aroma - nice rush of citrusy hops amid the initial frothiness. Some malt comes through as it settles. Ends up nicely balanced albeit a little light.

Taste - malt base is thin. A pretty good dose of hoppage makes a quick entrance with so little to stop it. Slight fruit, slight pine, a good choice of levels for the style. Good little hop bite on the swallow. The finish has some grain and hop residue.

Mouthfeel - needs work. The body is too thin for a red ale and undercuts when it could be helping out the flavor. The thinness and watery feel single-handedly waylay what could be a semi-contender.

Drinkability - despite the shortcomings, this has some limited sessionability for the summer.

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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.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
2.85/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a blah looking amber colour with a thin head that has some stickiness but not as much as expected.

The aroma is somewhat dirty and very malty. Rubbery at times even, with hops way in the back and not very noticeable. There's a bit of general sweetness here as well. Bland at best.

The flavour is essentially more of the same. Hops again take a back seat to the malt, although they shine through a slight touch more here in the flavour. Earthy once again but wit ha bit of sweetness, this time decidedly from notes of caramel, which didn't really show its face much in the aroma. Boring but fairly well balanced. Just very faint overall. Mouthfeel is light bodied and a touch flat/watery. Eh.

I was disappointed by this one, as Abita is usually solid. I think this is my first of their brews that I truly didn't care for. Not awful, but definitely needs a lot of work...

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Photo of terrabyte
3.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A deep orange or copper beer, with a decent medium foam that faded quickly.

Smell was very nice. Smelled like hops and a bit of fruit. However the taste seemed very muted compared to the aroma.

The aftertaste was dry and nonexistant. A dissapointment for me.

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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.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a reddish-copper tone with a large initial head, though it fades quickly. Pleasant malty, lightly hoppy nose. Bready malt flavor, a tad sweet, with a moderate bitterness. Clean & dry finish. Neutral texture, with average carbonation.

Drinkable, but ordinary.

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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!

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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.

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Photo of nvsblman
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright copper color, with some hints of red. Just a light head. Slightly sweet aroma, a little biscuity. Just a light hop bitterness is noticable. The taste is really well balanced. It's slightly sweet from the caramel and biscuit from the malts and there is a subtle grassy hop note. Nice medium mouthfeel. This would make a pretty nice session beer.

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Photo of jakester
3.41/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was from a sampler case I got at Shangy's. No date on the case, but clearly notched on the label.

Pours a slightly hazy medium amber with a one finger head of cream colored foam. The head drops to a coating and a ring, with decent but not great lacing. Average amount of carbonation floats to the top.

Smells fruity, clean, and malty, with a spicy hop note just behind it. The malt smells sweet and caramely. Not a whole lot there.

The first flavor is a kind of toasted or light brown sugar character, not real sweet. Then there is a decent hop bittering, with some spicy/floral hops also. The aftertaste has a peculiar dry, metallic-y taste, kind of odd. Not sure if that's supposed to be there or not. It's not bad, but definitely noticeable.

Mouthfeel is fairly low sweetness, with a good tingle from carbonation. A little chalkiness going on in there. Finish is slightly sweet, then dry.

If it weren't for the aftertaste, this would be pretty good, but the aftertaste is really odd. Kind of chalky and metallic. Not sure what to think. It's certainly drinkable.

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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.

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Photo of Chadbrew
3.36/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am trying this one compliments of Biglove, thanx. The appearance in the glass is of a very clear pinkish-red beer with a small head that falls away to a thin ring around the sides pretty rapidly. Smells like sweet straw, malt, and hops. The taste is mildly bitter and sort of sweet, but nicely balanced. There is a medium mouthfeel that is a little overshadowed by slightly too much carbonation. Nice balance and the "lightness" of this make it a pleasurable beer that is fairly drinkable.

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Photo of usualpulp
3.32/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice amber color with a big thick white head.

Smells of malt and hops are present, mostly malt.

The taste isnt bad, a little bit on the malty side. Nice roasted malt is used though, and there is a good toffee like sweetness to the beer and a slight hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is watery and there is a strange aftertaste to each sip.

Overall its a beer thats easy to drink, but not someone i would buy often .

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Photo of Pegasus
3.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear light amber color with a half-inch off-white head, which collapses to scattered islands of foam. Moderate streams of bubbles drift lazily to the surface.

Aroma: Rich, roasty malt aroma with nutty undertones, much like well-toasted homemade whole wheat bread, very pleasant.

Taste: Begins with a brief note of sweet caramel. Rich and nutty malt flavors dominate from the beginning to the end of the taste. Towards the finish, a distinct coffee note appears, as well as some slight metallic hops, these last linger on well past the end of the taste, quite subtle but omnipresent.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and very pleasant, appropriate to the style.

Drinkability: Quite nice, overall. I prefer to drink malty beers in the cooler months, but like Abita's Turbodog, this one is good anytime.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.56/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big, dark-cream, bubbly head. Clear, red-amber beer. Quite dark. Small spots of lacing. Aroma? Peanuts. That's all. Nuts and grapes in the front. Middle fizzles, sours and gives up fairly dark maltiness. Grapes and nuts in the finish, with a sharp, bitter spike. This is pretty typical Abita: peanuts and grapes. A decent session, I guess.

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Photo of Morris729
3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber color with a foamy white head that has a decent retention. Nose is a sweet roasted nuttiness with some underlying notes of caramel. Moderate in body with a fine carbonation giving a light spritziness to the beer. Taste starts off with sweet caramelized malts soon followed by a yeasty nuttiness and a bit of an earthy woodiness. Tangy hops and a bit of black tea are present towards the finish. Decent but probably not a beer I’ll be having again anytime soon.

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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.

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Photo of schoolcb
2.62/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is an awfully pretty beer. It's too bad it doesn't tasted as good as it looks. Pours a reddish/amber, with a lacey head. I don't know if it's a bad combination between the hops and the malt, but I'd say they missed the boat with this beer (there is an astringent flavor). I hate to be hard on this beer because their other offerings are so dang good.

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Photo of joshlara
1.99/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

One of the only things that saves us in Pennsylvania is mixed cases. Abita offers six of their beers and I must say this was my least favorite of the bunch. The appearance is the best quality of this beer. Very bright light amber almost effervescent color with a white head that dissipates into a sticky thin lace. The aroma consists of light fruit and an odd yeasty character that is unpleasant. The flavor is extremely astringent. There is a cooked vegetable taste that is a definate drawback. I had a hard time getting the first one down, gave one away, tried a third which I tossed, and didn't even attempt the fourth that had been the fridge for months. Steer clear from this one.

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Photo of stoutman
2.23/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I was expecting a little more, and overall this beer sapped. Decent hoppy finish. Great reddish color. Very clear amber/red color in the mug leaving generous lace. Definitely a distinct caramel flavor with a somewhat hoppy bleed through in the aftertaste. I appreciate this aftertaste the most, but the flavor of the beer itself becomes tired quickly.

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Photo of ElGuapo
2.65/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, don't expect a pretty-looking beer here. It has a tiny little bit of bubbles on the top that will die before you blink. It is golden, and it didn't have a deep reddish brown I had expected. The aroma is very bland.

Flavor, again is just boring. It is not a bad tasting beer, but it is not really a tasting beer. I have really gotten off on the wrong foot with red ales. I guess I can't really say this is a red, but I will need to grab a magic hat to restore my confidence in reds.

This one is crisp and pretty drinkable, but it simply bores me.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
2.91/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden with an orange cast. Topped by a foamy white head that drops quickly but leaves a decent collar. The aroma is quite odd, nutty and very lightly fruity. The same nuttiness has appeared in most of the Abita beers I've had so I guess it's due, at least in part, to the yeast - but I'm not sure. It's kind of off-putting here. The body is medium with a very fine and somewhat effervescent carbonation that gives a light caress to the tongue. The flavor is malty, nutty and fruity with a delicately balancing bitterness. There's a mild tanginess in the finish that tends to linger. Unique, but not inspiring. Still a decent, somewhat enjoyable and easy to drink beer.

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Photo of putnam
1.9/5  rDev -44%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Not red at all, more of a toasty orange color. The smell is of peanut butter, toasted sesame seeds, cracked wheat and honey.The flavors are rough and feature more peanut paste and wierd, sour yeast flavors. Barely drinkable.

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Red Ale from Abita Brewing Co.
3.39 out of 5 based on 117 ratings.
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