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Whistling Pig Red Ale | Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse, Dining Room & Microbrewery (The Norwich Inn)

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Whistling Pig Red AleWhistling Pig Red Ale
Very Good
34 Ratings
Whistling Pig Red AleWhistling Pig Red Ale

Brewed by:
Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse, Dining Room & Microbrewery (The Norwich Inn)
Vermont, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Inspired by an Irish classic. Garnet-red in color with a rounded malty flavor and a lingering hop aftertaste.

Added by Jason on 03-20-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of weareallfalafel
4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bobzilla
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at J.Murdock's 3/21/08

A: Red! red-brown, nice white/cream head that settles down to a nice lacy ring on their English style pints.

S: Rich sweetness. Toasty? Almost a hint of stout smell in this beer, but in a nice way. Not alot of hops standing out.

T: The hop character is subtle in this one. The mixture of "what was available" seems to work on this one. That same full, rich sweetness in the smell continues in this beer. Nice bready, biscuit flavor. (From the dry yeast?)

M: Like their other beers, this one seems to be carbonated at just the right amount. It makes the beer smooth, and doesn't have a fizzyness that can get in the way of the malt.

D: Very drinkable beer. I used to love red ales, but they all began getting washed out in flavor. (Like a macro brew with red food coloring.) This is a nice solid beer, with character that makes me want to start searching for this style once again.

-Was very good with their house cheddar-burger and Pot Stickers.

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Photo of jdejoannis
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of ChappyCubsFan
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best red ales I've had in years. It has a very British style to it, one that I've come to enjoy from my three tours of New England and the Mid-Atlantic. I enjoyed this brew at Jasper Murdock's brewpub, served in an imperial pint glass - a big serving. The malt taste was excellent and the hops used to bitter it were outstanding. Knowing that they grow their own hops right there on site added to the feel of something special with this brew.

I was so impressed with this ale, that I brought back a few 22 oz bottles for some friends back home who were fans of red ales. They agreed it was an excellent red ale.

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Photo of MattTastrophee
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a bottled on date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Deep reddish copper … nearly brown. Good clarity with two fingers of head after pouring, the lace settles down with some stickage.

Smell: Toasted malt, faint hint of buttery diacetyl and some ripe fruit and hops in the back of the nose.

Taste & Mouth Feel: So smooth with a sturdy medium body, buttery sweet malt palate with ample toasted grain to back it up. Quick pinch of bitterness before the hop flavor settles in with big herbal and woody tones. Touch of yeast and more toasted grain in the semi-sweet finish.

Drinkability & Notes: Hands down this is the best Irish Style Red Ale I have had. Lots of “real flavor” compared to the may nitro imports. Extremely drinkable. Paired well with the Marinated Grilled Flank Steak.

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Photo of MaxOhle
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ColForbin
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 22oz Bomber of Whistling Pig Red Ale from the Bottle Shop at the Norwich Inn. Bottling date is indicated as July of this year.

Pours a mahogany red with a thin tan head. Aroma is malty caramel, with some floral notes and a bit of buttery diacetyl. A fair amount of piney hop as well. Toasted caramel malt dominates the taste, with a firm malty mouthfeel and slight tartness and a dry, bitter hop finish. The finish and the fine carbonation helps this beer jump off the tongue, making it very drinkable. Well worth a try, and if it was more widely available, this beer would be a staple.

 600 characters

Photo of phingdong
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of phishbone23
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Wukk
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of joeland
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Todd
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from the bottle shop. Pours a leathery / tawny and bright colored beer, topped with a very healthy, tightly laced, foaming head. Sticky lace retention.

Burtonized water, crisp dry grains and leaves. Light toasted notes in the nose.

A bit of a bicarbonate edge, to the firm body. Malt sweetness is relaxed on this one, but there, and toasty. Biscuity, some tannin, and an earthy grain flavors rules the palate. Slight sugary sweetness pokes through briefly. Dry. Woody and herbal flavors embed the palate. Bitterness is present, just enough. Yeasty finish, with some residual sweetness and toastiness.

Lovely stuff. Spot on Irish Red. Can't wait to have it on draft again at the Inn.

 698 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy (it's bottle conditioned), chestnut brown body with a reddish cast beneath a creamy head of ivory froth that drops shortly and leaves little lacing about the glass. The nose offers a nice combination of toasted malts and restrained yeasty fruitiness. In the mouth its quite smooth with a medium body and very-fine bubbled, restrained carbonation (think English ales). The flavor is exactly as the nose suggests with the addition of a cusp of sulphur (think Bass), a smear of leafy hop flavor, a background edge of roastiness, and a bold bitterness that cracks the whip to keep everything else in line! It's best enjoyed at cellar temperature, and is a surprisingly authentic, robust English-style ale.

 714 characters

Photo of scottg
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an imperial pint.

Pours a clear garnet reddish brown color with a thin white head that dissipates quickly with no lacing. Aromas of sweet malt, flowers, and fruity apricot. Up front flavors of sweet malt and chocolate lead to a fruity dark cherry flavor with a dry lemony/tea like hop finish. Medium body, light carbonation, has a chalky mouthfeel. Good drinkablity, the depth of flavors make you want another.

 421 characters

Photo of bjohnson
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. On tap 12/8 at the pub served by Patrick.

A: Pours a clear dark ruby color with a slight head that dissipates rather quickly. Fizzy at first but then looks like flat soda.
S: Grassy hop notes with a good level of malt backbone.
T/M: Doesn't taste flat even though it looks the part. Also tastes better than the smell. Dry right off the bat. Bitterness continues into the finish. Grassy hop notes with slight caramel malt notes, but quite subdued. Citrus fruit notes also. Fizzyness of the carbonation gives this beer a nice kick. Sweetness in the aftertaste.
D: Session like beer. Tasty and refreshing. Good one on tap. Try it if it's available.

 670 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap, this one was enjoyed with a tasty dinner in the classy restaurant at the source in lovely Norwich, Vt. Poured reddish amber with a very minor tan head, that left next to no lacing. Nose was of maple and malt. Flavorful ale, with notes of honey, milk chocolate, flowers, nuts, apricots and sporting a pretty respectable hop bite late, to dry things out. Not a big fan of the style, but this one is nicely done and worth a try. Went well with my chicken and veggies dinner.

 479 characters

Photo of kaszeta
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a deep amber color and a relatively frothy white head. Has a modest hops aroma, with slightly sweet malt tones. It's got the nice bitter malt taste you expect from a red ale, with a slight hops aftertaste. The hops flavor is particularly nice, since it's got flavor, aroma, and bitterness all nicely balanced (see below), and a substantial mouthfeel. A pleasant red ale.

OG 1.058

Made with a combination of Chinook hops (for bitterness), Fuggles (added in the whirlpool for flavor) and East Kent Golding Hops (for aroma).

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pleasant garnet red color just as described but little to no head and no lacing. Appealing aroma of general beer-ness. Full bodied, toasted malts, starts a little sweet but ends a touch bitter. Great mouthful and again displays the Norwich trademark smoothness. Consequently, you could drink any of their beers all night and not feel too heavy but this one is a weekend favorite. Still needs more flavor to really make it noteworthy.

 433 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of JLK7299
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TTTBeer
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of LXIXME
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Norwich Inn.

A: Pours a very hazy amber color with a small white foam head that quickly dissipates. There is no lacing.

S: As it warms up a bit, the bread, caramel and citrus hops become more apparent, but there is not a lot going on.

T: A very sweet tasting beer. The malt flavoring, mostly biscuit, bread, caramel and vanilla is prevalent throughout the tasting but the bitter citrus hops are tasted toward the back end.

M: Slightly slick yet bitter taste on the palate. I think a little more carbonation might do this beer some good.

D: This is a very nice Irish Red. There is enough hop character present that takes away some of the sweet malt character nicely. This is a very worthy Irish Red...glad I got to try it.

 745 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle isn't getting any fresher sitting in the cellar, best get to drinkin'. 22 oz...er, '1 pint 6 Fluid Ounces Liquid Measure' per the label. This one arrived courtesy of Pamola a couple months back. Brewed and bottled at The Norwich Inn (Norwich, VT).

Of note: Left side of the label has spots for notching the 'Bottled' date (none are used, however). The typical Jan-Dec ones are there, but the Year options are 96-00(!). Time for a label update, guys???

A: Good-looking ruddy auburn, nearly clear but for the finest-of-fine misty sediment. Head crests just shy of 2-fingers, a fizzy khaki cream that settles in a couple minutes to a thin sheet. Not much carbonation, only a handful of random bubbles. Lace in long, thin trails.

S: Modest grain, lightly roasted. Hops are there, seeming a bit muted, but retain a notably 'green' herbalness.

T: Good toasted malt and a kick of spicy hops. Nuts and traces of citrus fruit ebb and flow, covered by those spicy/dry hops.

M: Crisp feel then ebbing to a milder tingle. Lasting spice hangs around for many minutes, leading to a slightly tongue-curling dryness. Medium body, but seems to weaken over time.

D: Good ale, borderline better. Without a verifiable date on the bottle, it's tough to know just how fresh this one is, but it has been 'sleeping' in a dark, cool cellar for at least 3-4 months. A treat from a brewery I'd never see in these parts, one I'd probably have again. Thanks, Kyle.

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Whistling Pig Red Ale from Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse, Dining Room & Microbrewery (The Norwich Inn)
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 34 ratings
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