Red Kite Ale
Black Isle Brewery Co Ltd

Red Kite AleRed Kite Ale
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Scottish Ale
Ranked #135
Ranked #39,978
3.63 | pDev: 11.85%
Black Isle Brewery Co Ltd
Scotland, United Kingdom
Red Kite AleRed Kite Ale
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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 48 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Cask
Consumed: Oct-1-2019

Pours a lightly hazy ruby-brown with a decent off-white head, that leaves fat globs of lacing in its wake. The aroma is rich caramelized sugar, faint brown bread, and toast. The flavor follows close behind with crystal malt sweetness, toast, and light herbal hops to balance this sweetness out. A smooth-drinking beer with light carbonation and lingering malt finish. This is a together, straight-ahead red ale, that is very smooth and very nice


Oct 08, 2019
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500 ml bottle in Scotland, just 1-2 days after seeing some red kites in the Highlands. BB date of June 2017.
Deep copper colored body with good clarity and a very good head.
Clean, mild flavor with some toffee and near even bitter/sweet balance. More hops than expected for style but still malt dominated.
Smooth medium+ body with lively carbonation.

Aug 18, 2016
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle, poured into a glass. Dark red in color, white head. the nose and taste is dominated by malty flavosr. Slightly sweet, medium mouthfeel.

May 01, 2015
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Dentist666 from Russian Federation

4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now 4.2% ABV. Style - best bitter.
Poured into english pint.
Pours clear copper with creamy 2-finger golden head. Adequate retention.
Smell - caramel, resiny hops, orange peel.
Taste - dry caramel and somewhat fruity body followed by resinous and dusty hops.
Medium body and carbonation.
Reasonably good ale.

Oct 06, 2014
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Arborescence from Finland

3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Medium red/copper. Pours a one finger head, not particularly impressive.

Aroma: Caramel malt, toffee, cream, nutty. Seems promising.

Taste: Nice and fulfilling, with caramel and malt, some lingering bitterness in the aftertaste, with a "woody" character (pine nuts?). A very solid and tasty example of a red ale.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, medium body, low to medium carbonation.

Overall: A very robust red ale. Clean and smooth; delivers what you might expect. Nothing highly experimental here, but this is a fine specimen of a Scottish red ale.

Jul 22, 2013
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mick303 from Canada (ON)

3.49/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint. Produced a good creamy head, with good retention and really nice lacing. Colour is a deep caramel brown.

Smell has a lot of caramel malt. Fruitiness with pears. Roast root vegetables. A lot of sweet caramel Not a lot of bitterness, quite fragrant, malty and sweet, but with some rough edges, some grassy notes, altogether pretty solid.

Taste has a big caramel malty feel, fruity coffee note, mildly roast malt, brown sugar, dry molasses, apple peels. a residual sugar sweetness. Straw, mild toffee and a thin astringent end. The finish could be better, dry barley and sawdust.

Mouthfeel is sweet and smooth, mild carbonation, enough bitterness to give some counter to the strong maltiness. Quite mild, it is sessionable and sweet to make it an easy one to throw back, though could be more satisfying.

Its a tasty beer, not especially complex, but easy to drink. Above average for the style, though not great. There is a lot of flavour potential, but I feel it doesn't really live up to bringing it all together, and feels a bit disjointed. Won't rush to pick it up again.

Feb 24, 2013
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flyingpig from Scotland

3.02/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle (500ml from Tesco, £1.70):
A rich amber colour with tinges of red and a large, three fingers sized head on top that is foamy looking and leaves some nice lacing. Retention is pretty good too with very little movement at all and the body is a clear one.

A strange caramel malt aroma and some something similar to vegetable adjuncts along with some light toffee but the main aroma was something like a smoky bitterness.

Mainly malts, some sweet and some earthy with a bit of a nutty character and a little biscuit too. It tasted pretty ordinary really with a little citrus and some nondescript fruits but that was about it and there was too much bitterness at the end for me.

Medium bodied with mild carbonation and a slightly watery feel around the middle before finishing off dry. It was an odd beer if nothing else.

This was kind of an odd one in that it got a lot better as I worked my way down it but it still wasn't a great beer really. I thought the smell was pretty bad although it did look pretty good. The main thing though, the taste was lacking a lot to begin before improving slightly about half way down but it was a case of too little too late.

Jan 11, 2013
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charlatan from Scotland

2.99/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle with best before datepoured a big head which stuck around on top of dark amber coloured beer. Bubbles on the bottom of the glass suggest a well carbonated beverage.

The nose is sweet and chalky like baby vomit with the offensive tang taken out. I'm not keen on that but it doesn't actually suggest that the beer will taste bad which is really all that counts.

The carbonation hits first then a very biscuity flavour before a brief tinge of lemon (that'll be the hops) before a return to a sweeter version of the earlier biscuity thing.

I'd like this a lot more if the hops were bolder but without that it's only so-so.

Nov 04, 2011
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salvo from Indiana

3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a half inch off-white head. Islands of foam and ring as head subsides. Rich scent of biscuit malt: so sweet it is almost shortbread. Mild herbal notes from hops.

Bitterness is forward. Dry and bracing; very little sweetness on the tongue. Carbonation is a bit fizzy at first but then it mellows as some leaves the beer and it warms slightly. Nicely balanced red bitter.

Marked Lot 041 BBE04/12

Jun 11, 2011
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AgentMunky from New York

2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: Thick frothy head; some bubbles. Clear, nutty, matte amber; no glow. No lacing.

S: Flat, almost absent. Faint malts.

T: I can't imagine this beer is supposed to taste like this. It's not terrible or spoilt, but It's extremely crisp -- from carbonation and citrus(?) -- but not dry. To try another description, it *feels* metallic, but tastes malty. There is a bit of oatmeal character to the maltiness, which mingles with the citrus crispness. The aftertaste is slightly sour.

M: I just can't get beyond the feeling of pennies in my mouth. Again, Red Kite doesn't taste metallic at all, it just feels that way for the first half of the flavour.

D: I think this is a good beer, just with a weird feel that turns me off. I will give it another go in the future.

Oct 15, 2010
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nickfl from Florida

3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - One finger of white foam on top of a clear, copper-amber body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves average lace.

S - A strong caramel malt note with a bit of molasses and some toasty bread notes. Buttery diacetyl and toffee.

T - Caramel and toffee malt with dry, toasty flavors. Some more light caramel in the middle that fades, along with most of the other flavors, towards the finish. Finishes with lots of toasty bread notes and a bit of buttery toffee.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - Kind of a weak effort. The malt character is kind of nice but the buttery diacetyl is so intense that is hurts the drinkability of the beer. It isn't an awful beer, but it is by no means good enough to justify its steep price.

Jun 03, 2010
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isjohnder from England

3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i went to this brewery and picked up a few cases of different beers.

A. it looks copper colour with a good head.
s. the smell is that of yeast malty sweetness. And suprisingly it smells like strawberrys.
t. it taste a bit like it smells malty caramel a bit of toffee, slight fruityness, a bit of hoppyness present.
m. good carbonation.
d. good could have done with a bit more something

Aug 27, 2009
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Oxymoron from Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Do they have much wind in Inverness? Arrives a coppery red color with great clarity. A bit warm, that might have helped the clarity. A off white head with good retention and lacing, but did not last through the whole tasting.

The nose is mostly malty. A more distinct toffee and sweet caramel note. Some minor melanodian notes, but mostly a light crystal aroma. Some minor roast notes as well. Some distinct yeast notes with a light ester aroma. Some plums and fig notes as well. Some buttery and butyric notes that were there, but light.

The taste was similar. The malt really comes out but is a bit dry. The caramel backs off a bit but the roast and toffee notes are present. The diacetyl is note as distinct but there is a light acetaldehyde taste. Some finishing hops, but note much on bittering. A grassy hop note with a light herbal mix in the end.

The body was closer to light than moderate. Would have liked to see more depth and malt coming out. Mostly clean with a few off and yeast notes. Overall easy drinking but limited.

May 12, 2009
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mdagnew from Northern Ireland

3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured a deep clear copper colour. Slightly off white head poured fairly thick and foamy with a frothy topping then faded quickly to patchy covering with thick edging that climbs up the glass... some light lacing lines...

Aroma - Lots of toffee maltiness, quite nutty, some buttery hints, toffee apples, toasted bread, light vegetal traces, citrusy and grassy hop notes...

Taste pretty much mirrors the aroma... lots of nutty caramel hints backed by light grassy hops... some apples and light ripe banana fruitiness, burnt butter... had a hint of the homebrew about it..

M&D - Quite smooth... light / medium bodied... A good sessionable brew at only 4.5%...

Overall - A pretty good brew... more of an amber ale than a Scottish ale in my opinion... well worth a try..

Mar 25, 2009
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kmacphail from Scotland

3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This orange-brownish coloured beer poured into an old fashioned pint mug and quickly formed a nice sized off white head, that showed considerable retention for a bottled beer.

The complex nose revealed liquorice, burnt caramel, roasted malts and a slight fruity hint that I put down to being berries. These aromas were followed up by an equally diverse taste. A dominance of hops with variety of nuts mixed in and an aftertaste of citrus fruits left this beer feeling both satisfying but also refreshing.

The beer was surprisingly light on the mouth for a scotch ale, but this also added to the overall drinkability. At 4.5% it is not too much to drink all night and the light mouthfeel resulted in a lot less bloated feeling than normal. So far the best ale I have sampled from the Black Isle Brewery.

May 07, 2007
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Reidrover from Oregon

3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 500ml brown bottle.
Dark amber coloured ale with a nice creamy off white head.
a nice buttery/toffee malt aroma,its subdued though fresh.
It is pretty malty ( as usual for a Scots beer) but there is a good bitter hop backbone on it ,especially at the end.
It has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, though it was a little on the thin side.
Not a massivly exciting ale but well drinkable.

Mar 04, 2005
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GreenCard from Maryland

3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep amber, good clarity, no head at all (just some suds)

Aroma: malt, toast, "English" hops, nuts, rotting fruit (just the tiniest hint, mind you!)

Flavor: bready malt sweetness, biscuits, very mild hop flavor, slight acidity, hazelnuts, strawberries, finish is semi-sweet with an aftertaste of honey-biscuits

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, low to no carbonation, very soft and silky texture

Other comments: I tasted this one on cask when I was in Scotland and I can pretty much say I prefer it that way (I think). However, the cask was on its last legs at that point. The bottled version has about as little carbonation as a real ale (which is interesting in itself). The soft texture is fantastic! Truly one of the hallmarks of Black Isle's beers!

Jul 09, 2004
Red Kite Ale from Black Isle Brewery Co Ltd
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 48 ratings