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Sassy Red | Mac's Brewery

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Sassy RedSassy Red
36 Ratings
Sassy RedSassy Red

Brewed by:
Mac's Brewery
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jahsausage on 04-17-2005

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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of flexabull
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dig the pop top bottle, and the beer inside is good too!

Pours a bright and clear amber color with a decent off white head.

Light caramel malt sweetness, a little brewed tea, bright fruits, and some nice earthy hop notes. Nice smelling beer.

Taste is smooth and clean, with a light creaminess, toasty, and slightly sweet malt backdrop. Finish is crisp, with a light spicy hop finish.

Good, crisp, and well carbonated, and a good, smooth and thick feel.

Solid, very nice Amber / Bitter. Very tasty, great nose, and super easy to drink and session. I'm already thinking about having another bottle.

 604 characters

Photo of Kulrak
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown with plenty of foamy tan head that sticks around for a while. The aroma is of hops, presumably NZ Saaz hops as it says on the bottle. Spicy and peppery and malty. You can taste the same hops and the same spicy/peppery flavor in the beer, along with a decent amout of malt flavor. Tiny bit of coffee & roast flavor. Not really detecting the nuttiness that it mentions on the bottle, but it's got a good malty taste all the same. The mouthfeel is a little heavy with some tingliness on the tongue, but not so much as to overpower the flavor. Low carbonation helps the sweetness a lot. Overall, it's a very tasty beer and I'll be looking for it again.

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Photo of Daniell
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: nice ~2 finger head. Colour is a pretty red. Interesting and nice. 4

S: grassy hops, sugar and maltiness. Reminds me a bit of Fat Yak. Intense. 4

T: taste actually evokes the "black pearls" you get at an Asian bubble tea vendor such as EasyWay, which afterwards I also identify in the nose. Rich and molasses-ey. There is bitterness but it's not that intense. 4

M: rich and thick and syrupy. I don't mind it, it's interesting. 4

D: Could probably have another of these before I got bored. That's high drinkability to me. 4

Really tasty beer.

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Photo of foles
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all - cool bottle design, I like the speal on the label.

Pours a deep shade of red 7 copper. Has a nice hop amora, and I now know what NZ saaz B is like. Nice hop presence on the mouth, backed up by the english bitter esters. Good malty backbone, slight sweetness, bit grainy, well balanced caramel without being too sharp. I imagine there are kiwi malts in there - very nice.

To me this beer smells like an APA, drinks like a bitter. I really enjoyed this beer, because it was very unique. Even more surprising was it was only a month away from its use by date. The stuff must be great fresh.

 604 characters

Photo of probert
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of keitho
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-Red brown colour,one finger head,minimal lacing,it looks good.Thumbs up on the packaging.

Smell-Wild berries,toffee,caramel.

Mouthfeel-OK,but felt slightly thin.Good carbonation.

Taste-Bitter hops(N.Z Saaz)crisp,dry,fruity.

Drinkability-It's nice to try something with a bit of complexity compared to N.Z brown draught beers,it's a tastey fine bitter.And quite moreish.

 384 characters

Photo of hopnerd
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Agentveba
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of ZachRusk
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of xylophonica
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep red/brown colour with a good finger of head. Some gentle lacing as well.

S - Sweet caramel-sugar with plenty of malt.

T - Big hit of dark/burnt malt flavours at first. This subsides to a more even malty flavour with some nice sugary highlights. Contrasting this is a peppery/spicy hop flavour sneaking around somewhere in the background.

M - Again loads of malt which coats the mouth but otherwise not much happening - minimal carbonation.

O - Very nice to drink but would've thought this closer to a red or brown ale than an English bitter. Note - the beer I'm drinking is rated at 4.3% alcohol content.

 627 characters

Photo of revdrjbob
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wow! What an excellently surprising beer. I'd tasted Un Zed beers before and was not impressed, but this made my tastebuds stand up and beg for more! Thanks to Darren of Swinging Beef and the Daptoids for this and another of their stable.

Shared this brew with Teaser. Poured into goblet glasses a dark amber red with a dense foamy off white head that dissipated slowly into a 5mm foam. Looked good, nice and bright working well.

Aroma: What can I say but: hops! Hops! Hops! Big pungent, citric, aromatic, peachy hops! I'd say they're Amarillo, reminded me of a less chunky version of JS Speculator or Golden ale. Booya!

Taste: A tad thin, but malty, biscuity, hoppy, nicely bitter, not overly so, and finishes with a slightly burnt toffee. Great dark malt flavours, dry on the tongue, long lasting malty finish. The aromas are awesome, but it seems to belie the flavour. I expected a bigger bitterness in the flavour, but instead I was very pleasantly suprised.

A great Un Zed brew, I wish it was more readily available accross the lake here in Oz. This is what more Aussie brewers need to take heed of. Awesome bottle design and labelling too.

 1,159 characters

Photo of btmo
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh my!

For a macro beer, even a limited release, special run macro, this is *very* good indeed.

The taste of this beer has to be seen to be believed, if I may mix senses like that!

It is spicy and hoppy in a very good way, and is very drinkable indeed. I was recently at a barbeque at a friends place, and this was the beer of choice on the evening. I had never tried it before, and was amazed at the depth of flavour.

The taste just lingers and lingers.

I picked up a six pack the very next day.

What is amazing to me is that this is a dirt cheap beer - one of the cheapest in the chiller at the local supermarket!

Good value, a fine drop from Macs.

Try it.

 685 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love this breweries bottles and labels they definately take pride in their beer,it pours a deep mahogany hue with nice carbonation that leaves a one finger frothy head with nice lacing,it has a spicy hop aroma with some malt aromas in the background,it has a nice medium body mouthfeel with a very nice malty,spicy hop taste at the start and finishes nice and bitter with abit of a liquorice twist in there aswell at the very end but definately moreish,in my books a nice easy drinking session bitter.

 503 characters

Photo of femALEist
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

English Bitter and 4.5% abv. The label says: a real favourite and Mac's most awarded beer. A very hoppy bitter with loads of Saaz B and five different malts. All the flavour you can handle. (Don't you love how the English spell things like flavor?).
It poured a copper red with a touch of a head and minimal lacing. It smelled of some light toffee notes, some berry, and a touch of piney hops. It tasted crisp, with some berry fruitiness, with a good malty backbone that leaves a nice dry hop bitterness on your tongue. I actually liked it. Kudos for the name, plus I was with a sassy redhead, so it actually worked out quite well.

 632 characters

Photo of Macca
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark amber/red colour with a centimetre of dense white head.

For something with that colour I was expecting a lot more maltiness on the nose. Some great hop notes but no malt.

I was hoping to tell you how the malts jumped out on the palate but no, hops again. Very fine tasting hops mind you. A tiny bit of maltiness hiding in there

Some very nice bitterness as you would expect given all the hoppiness going on.

A really nice beer unless you are expecting a lot of malt.

 488 characters

Photo of Bobhoya
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of TubaManJack
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Great Beer- End Review

A- A pleasing dark red color. Its looks like some of the Red Ales I have had. The cream colored head dissipates slowly.

S- Big Bold Glorious Hops, everything else is lost. However the smell is pleasing and not boarding on pungent like some bitters.

T: The hops comes through clearly in a medium boded beer that has a clean finish. There are malt notes are very dark almost like what you expect to find in porters. They occur between the bitter hops and this allows the tastes to be in proportion. This is one of my favorite session beers here. However its kinda expensive for someone at Uni @ $12 for a six pack.

 640 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This has to be my first New Zealand beer…bought at Vintage Cellars in Melbourne along with some nice wines for my return.

Appearance: bizarre bottle to say the least…spiraling ribbed neck, funky gold cap that calls for you to pull a ring back and then pull it up ripping the cap into 3rds of which the middle 3rd allows passage of the bounty. Body is a very rich amber colour with a creamy lace and little retention

Smell: robust caramel aroma, complex malt structure (5 different used), noble hopping

Taste: biscuity/bready, sweet caramel, saaz hops noticeable, nutty, nice red apple sweetness, kind of a cardboard taste (probably just the saaz clashing with the malts)…all in all an interesting beer and worth the try

Mouthfeel: smooth and slick

Drinkability: pretty good

 795 characters

Photo of doktorhops
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's not hard to like Mac's; a brewery based in Nelson NZ that follows the strict German "Reinheitsgebot" (or "purity law") and tries to give their beers an interesting kiwi hop spin to their beers (which generally include the fantastic "cascade" hop to boot!). I certainly enjoyed my last Mac's brew outing (in the form of the impressive Hop Rocker), and I suspect for a beer that proudly includes 5 different types of malt I will likewise enjoy this.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a conical pint... though the conical pint does look a little "glass half-empty" with only 330ml's in it.

A: I'm awed by such a perfect clear sienna body and the mighty 2cm chalk white head that sticks around longer than expected before leaving a healthy lace inside my glass. Top marks here.

S: The aroma has a decent caramel malt base mixed in with a biscuit accent and golden syrup sweetness. It's definitely no slouch with the hops either - I can detect an earthy slightly citrus hop nose, which is quite welcome in my books.

T: Damn this is close to a decent English bitter! The caramel malts are up front with a mid to back palate bitterness throughout and an earthy (even nutty) tone is present. There is very little of the sweetness I was expecting in the nose. The flavour is good but not great - the bitterness of the hops is too present for this style, it needed to be easier on the bitterness (despite being called English bitter the style itself is far from it).

M: Low to mid carbonation as an English style brew should be. The body is also on par being medium-bodied.

D: I want to like this beer more because it ticks all the boxes of being a great ale; all except that present bitter note in the palate, which is really holding this beer from being a real classic drop. Otherwise it's a good brew for the price (when it's on special that is), and it goes down fairly well.

Food match: My food match for this beer is light stews/casseroles or roast lamb, veggies and gravy (or mint sauce). Some of the less matured cheeses would also match well with this.

 2,062 characters

Photo of rec
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Apparently this is dirt cheap in NZ, but here it's over $50 a case.

A light chocolate brown coloured body flows into the glass, with unfortunately little head and almost no retention after dissipation.

The taste is over-the-top spice and hops, just like the aroma, and it works surprisingly well. Upon first sip, I could have almost sworn I was drinking Little Creatures Pale Ale (Western Australia), it's so similar that I honestly doubt if I could tell them apart after a few throw-downs.

The mouth feel is average, a typical macro with med to med-high carbonation, but paired with the aftertaste that just lasts and lasts you can't help but like it.

It's apparently limited release, which is a shame because I'd be buying this over Little Creatures Pale Ale because of the $20 saving otherwise.

If you can find it, try it! It gets my vote.

 857 characters

Photo of BAsbill
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Guden
3.56/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of soju6
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice amber color with a small head that fades to nice lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt sweetness with spice and some grain in the back ground.

T: Taste of malt sweetness and a bit of spice. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: fairly medium body, smooth and a bit creamy. Has a distinct character.

O: Nice drinker that goes down easy. Not bad for the style.

 374 characters

Photo of redmaw
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of labrooy
3.5/5  rDev -3%

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Sassy Red from Mac's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 36 ratings
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