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

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of dbalsock
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

App: Poured a dark amber with a thick vanilla head that dissipates slowly and stayed around for the long hall. It's kinda darker than I thought it would be, but still looks pretty good.

Smell: Deeply malty with very noticeable yeast. I can't pick out any particular hops, but there's an underlying hop essence (I think) that adds nicely to the fruity grainy smell.

Taste: Very grainy and fresh with a nice roasted character. It tastes very much like homebrew with good crystal and bready malts, especially on the aftertaste. I also pick up a hint of rubbing alcohol that is a bit of a turnoff.

Mouthfeel: A little watery and a little overly bitter with out any taste of what should make it bitter.

Drinkability: I wasn't totally enthused to drink the whole bomber, but it's a nice change up from my west coast beers. I probably wouldn't buy it if I saw it in the store, but I know a lot of other people who would like it.

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Photo of cichief
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on draft at the brewery outlet, the Norwich Inn, in Norwich, VT.

A- Poured a cloudy copper-red, not much of a head

S- Some sweet malt, a little hops, nothing special

T- I thought the beer was a bit thin, not overly hopped, but a little sweet

M- Again it was thin, not as good as expected

D- Nothing special here, but no terrible either, just an average beer

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Photo of Hhawk06
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was my first offering at the Jasper Murdock Alehouse while I was waiting to be seated for dinner. Sadly, I was a bit disappointed.

It poured with a thin, off-white head that displays a body that's deep red to mahogany in color. The nose is pungent with pale malts that might be a little over the top. The body could be described as medium, but there is certainly a gritty robust edge that robs from the drinkability. The bitter barley and hop feel drives the beer. There's some burnt caramel and faint candied notes in there as well. It finishes dry with a sure gritty edge and a bitterness that ties up appropriately. It's a bit below average and fairly strange for the style. I want my red ales quenching and a bit smoother!

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Norwich Inn
Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights and thinnish off white head that says goodbye after the first sip. Smells of toffee and caramel with some earthy bitterness that barely cuts through the sweetness. Slightly fruity esters add a touch of complexity to the aroma. Taste is sweet and malty with toffee and caramel mixed with a hint of mineral water and earthy hops. Surprisingly dry finish for the medium bodied ale. Moderate carbonation level with a sweet sticky mouthfeel. Of the 4 I had at the Norwich this was probably my least favorite. It's an ok English style ale but not really to my liking.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dull brown with amber red tint and an off white skim of a head.

S: Smells kind of dull and has the twang of a lager.

T: Actually very good. A significant caramel is present amongst subdued and smooth classic red ale flavors. Some super mild christmas like spices seem to be present. Light on the hops, basically not there.

M: Smooth, low carbonation, light. Very enjoyable.

O: Excellent middle of the road beer. I'm a bock nut, and I can get down on this with ease

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Photo of tobelerone
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of ScottP
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SaintPeter
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first thing I notice is the undercarbonation of the beer, as you would find in England. The color is a beautiful copper red. Very flavourful, caramel, cereal grains, and mellow maltiness, some hop bitterness. A bite initially, but finishes crisp with lots of off flavours. A creamy mouthfeel, with very little carbonation making every mouthful a pleasant experience. The touch of bitterness really completes the beer.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very soda-like in appearance. Kind of a pale brown with a red tinge to it. Lots of bubbles carbonation on the sides. Aroma is a lot hoppier than other samples of the style The hops follow into the flavor. Great hop tingle on the tongue. Bits of grass. Malt is there, but a bit of an after thougt with the hops--but still balanced. Makes me think of herbal tea actually. There is a bit of a grainy roastiness, but only hints. Mouthfeel is also a bit like soda. Bubbly. Medium body. Very drinkable and the hop additions will keep this beer from getting boring.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of JLK7299
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TTTBeer
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of kaszeta
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
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 -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of scottg
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of Todd
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of phingdong
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of phishbone23
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Wukk
4/5  rDev +5.5%

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Whistling Pig Red Ale from Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse, Dining Room & Microbrewery (The Norwich Inn)
3.79 out of 5 based on 34 ratings.
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