Mehana Volcano Red Ale | Hawai'i Nui Brewing / Mehana Brewing Company

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Mehana Volcano Red AleMehana Volcano Red Ale
59 Ratings
Mehana Volcano Red AleMehana Volcano Red Ale

Brewed by:
Hawai'i Nui Brewing / Mehana Brewing Company
Hawaii, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-09-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 |  Reviews: 31
Reviews by monkeylovebeer:
Photo of monkeylovebeer
2.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in Hilo on the Big Island, the first thing noticeable about this beer is the crazy foaming head--super tight and tan, jus' like da' wahines out on the sand. When it finally subsides, there is still a quarter- to an eighth-of-an-inch left surfing the beautiful russet sunset-colored ale.

The Volcano is very highly carbonated, giving it an overactive mouthfeel. I found this brew to be very malt-forward which surprised me considering the aggressive head retention. Pouring more Volcano into my glass sends up plumes of amber and golden turbulence within the red ale.

My first thought was, I wish they put as much thought into the taste of this beer as they did the look; it is truly something to behold. Ultimately, however, the Volcano didn't do much for me as it leaves a metallic lager-type aftertaste. Not terrible, just not my thing.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bpfrush
3/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Beer21
1.75/5  rDev -44.3%

Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, procured from a KTA store on the west side of the Big Island.

This beer pours a slighty hazy, medium rusty amber hue, with one fat finger of loosely foamy ecru head, which leaves some sparse runic character lace around the glass as it hies it out of town.

It smells of ethereal crystallized malt, somewhat tart tropical fruit, a soft zingy fermenting wine must yeastiness, and mild leafy hops. The taste is moderately sweet bready caramel malt, more soft dark orchard fruitiness, some vestiges of that yeasty vinous character, a bit of metallic edginess, and timid, but still balancing earthy, leafy hops.

The bubbles are nice and soft, the body just shy of middleweight, to no ill effect, and more or less smooth. It finishes off-dry, the bready caramel malt carrying through, and the thinning yeast and hops tagging on for the uneventful ride.

A better than average red ale, which isn't saying all that much, I suppose. Worthy of a try, at least to see where you stand with the style.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.03/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Hardcore
2.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of bditty187
3.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: My bottle is labeled, ”Mehana Volcano Red Ale.”

Lightly hazy, ruby-coppery in hue with a reddish-gold influence as well. It is a shade darker then a “typical” Red Ale, for whatever that is worth. Off-white foam, at the apex the bubbles collaborated long enough to form a one-finger head. Retention of said head was fair, it was quick to fade away to a thin, soapy cap. This cap did last awhile, if it didn’t this beer would have looked dead because there wasn’t any subsequent lacing of note. Overall, this beer looks well enough.

The nose isn’t all that chatty. The first couple sniffs yielded a good amount of juicy, tart fruity aromas but they failed to last long. However, the nose did turn malty; I like the caramel vibe plus there is a kiss of toasted grain and butterscotch. Hops are not detectable, which is not a total shock based on the style. Mild potency. There is an off-aroma at the back; I smell copper. Oh well. The nose is decent, it doesn’t say enough for me to call it inviting but it is not “off” enough for me to call it poor. Average.

The palate is simple but flavorful, for what it is. The maltiness is the focal point, which is not a surprise. The bitterness is low, as the nose indicated. I would have liked to experienced a bit more hops, even if they would have been only grassy in nature. The amount of bitterness is fitting though. Caramel sweetness, toasted butterscotch… there is a smattering of fruitiness with the malt as well. Nice. This beer is, honestly, forgettable but don’t let that mislead you. This beer does taste good. I like it but it is ordinary, I’ve had better and worse. Minimal aftertaste, it is a shame there is not some biscuit in the mix. Pleasant.

Medium/medium-light in body, low but natural carbonation. The mouthfeel is agreeable and it fits this beer well.

I like this beer. It is drinkable and I would bet this beer would be good at a BBQ because it would be a beer for all people and it would pair well with grilled meats, I would think. All in all, this beer doesn’t break the mold… so what. It is a good Red Ale, nothing more, nothing less. It is worth a try. I need to thank my Uncle Rick and Aunt Kathy for bringing me a mixed six-pack of Hawaiian beers. Thanks for including this one.

 2,287 characters

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.4/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My bottle is labeled Volcano Red Ale, but I beleive this is the same beer.
Deep amber color with a decent light brown head.
Aroma of roasted malts and hops. Aroma is like unsweetened tea.

Taste shows roasted caramel malt upfront. Then the bitter hop presence takes over. I'd have no problem calling this beer a bitter or ESB. Finishes with a nice level of bitterness. I'd describe the hops as earthy. Slight nuttiness and tea quality.

Good mouthfeel.
Drinkability takes a hit due to the level of bitterness which seems a bit out of sync with the malt presence.
Overall, this is a solid red ale.

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Photo of dvmin98
3.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of imbibehour
3.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a stemless wine glass.

A deep glowing red body with nice rising carbonation in the models. Dark chestnut hues complete the edges. Great fluffy but in control tan four finger tall head on top, clumpy lacing while drinking. Great looking amber.

Very small nose. Light toasted grains and small caramel sweetness round out but its pretty closed and subtle.

Wet notes on the body and slightly gaseous. Tingling light carbonated palate feel of small caramel and almost brown sugar. Flattened soda like character a bit too.

Overall though just comes out ok.

 582 characters

Photo of SamuelMiller
2.82/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of atigerlife
2.84/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a wonderful dark ruby red with a nice foamy light brown head. Ample carbonation. A really beautiful beer to look at.

The aroma was quite light. Seemed to have some hints of sweet tea and malts.

The taste had light bitterness that waded into a slightly off taste. Some malts. While it was relatively smooth, the taste just left me wanting. Definitely lacking some character.

The mouthfeel was lighter than expected but amply cleansing. Overall, it is very nice to look at. Not much to drink.

 507 characters

Photo of jeffbrister
3/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of ColoradoRich
3.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of woodychandler
3.12/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At last, a beer review being done in real time! It does not happen often, I assure you. That's why my notebook is always close at hand.

I got a frothy, finger's worth of medium-tan head with good retention from my pour. The nose was quite malty, but with a slight metallic sourness. The color was a deep reddish-amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with a caramel-like sweetness on the tongue. Finish had a slight sour astringency accompanying the sweetness of the malt. It was okay, but since I am not a huge fan of reds, I would not have missed not trying this beer. Still, while in Honolulu, it beats the preponderance of lagers.

 648 characters

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of PDXHops
2.06/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at the hotel bar. See-thru amber with a modest soapy head and scattered bits of lacing.

The bottle was less than a week old, yet tasted a bit old, vaguely cardboardish (oxidized?). No distinct malt character other than some vague nuttiness and a touch of caramel. A bit of dark fruitiness. Nose is similarly unfocused. Just not a very lively beer. Possibly a bad bottle; the sixer of their pale ale I bought was pretty enjoyable.

 468 characters

Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of flexabull
3.47/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright cloudy red color with a small head.

Aromas are sweet, malty, and fruity... like fruity tea.

Taste follows aromas. Fruity, tea like, malty, and with crisp tart finish. Simple but tasty.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Full up front, and with nice carbonation.

A pretty pedestrian red. Not that interesting, but not undrinkable at all. Simple and easy to sip.

 378 characters

Photo of Tone
3.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, caramel malt, hint of hops, and a hint of fruit. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, caramel malt, hops, hint of pale malt, and a hint of fruit. Overall, weak appearance and aroma, but more complex body.

 423 characters

Photo of Derek
2/5  rDev -36.3%

Photo of Icemann383
3.25/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of crookedhalo
3.63/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown with a short-lived beige to tan colored head. Butterscotchy, bready malt profile with a touch of hops to round out the aroma. Nice flavor to it. Mostly malty, almost has a sweet tea flavor, but with a floral hop finish to keep it all in check. A friend of mine brought me back a couple 6ers from her trip to Hawaii and it seems the brewers on the islands seem to mostly stay true to a beer's style. However, they seem to put a twist on a beer that makes it unique to Hawaii. A very welcome change of pace. This beer was very drinkable and enjoyable. Shame it's my last bottle.

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Photo of irishevans
3.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Light brown/ red when held up to the light, with a moderate sized just off white head that dissolves into a quarter finger coating on top if the liquid.

N- Fairily malty, the tiniest hint of caramel, and also some darker fruit smells as well, kind of like dates, or prunes. faint citrus smell also.

T- pretty well follows the nose. nice malt backbone, with a bit of dark fruit through out, and finishes with a slight hop bitterness. I would say it's like a malty double IPA without the size.

M- again still the like a double IPA, just a little less viscous.

D- the ultimate Imperial Impersonater. tastes and feels like a double ipa, but in a nice sessionable size, good beer.

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Mehana Volcano Red Ale from Hawai'i Nui Brewing / Mehana Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.14 out of 5 with 59 ratings