Alexander Keith's Red Amber Ale
Alexander Keith's

Alexander Keith's Red Amber AleAlexander Keith's Red Amber Ale
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #1,190
Ranked #50,049
2.93 | pDev: 20.14%
Alexander Keith's
Nova Scotia, Canada
Alexander Keith's Red Amber AleAlexander Keith's Red Amber Ale
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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 221 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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rapayn01 from Kentucky

3.29/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I had this on draft at on Ottawa pizza parlor on Bank Street. It was OK, if you like malty and slightly sweet amber ales. Personally, I prefer a bit more hop in mine.

Sep 19, 2018
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Act25 from New Jersey

3.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A) nice color, fast head a splash of lace.
S) Malt cola.
T) More malt cola, with a double cola finish. Tho not cloying, it’s sweet. Low quality red ale.
F) Thin and feel the sugar on my teeth.
O) Hoped for more, but satisfying quick beer at Montreal airport.

May 31, 2018
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staubot from Canada (MB)

3.38/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Have not tried this one before so gave it a shot poured from a bottle. Look was a clear rich golden brown with a One finger head with some lacing. Smelled of some malt and floral. The taste started the let Down however. Nothing paticularly special and didn't scream red ale to me. Fell flat as far as enjoyment once started to drink it.

Dec 30, 2016
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JayQue from Virginia

3.49/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is more true to style than Alexander Keith's IPA but it is still fairly mediocre. Average white head and retention, some lacing and a nice reddish amber color. Smell is mild sweet malt. Taste is more of the same, sweet caramel malt, a little toffee, fairly mild. Mouthfeel is a bit watery. There are better Red Ales out there, in Nova Scotia!!!

Jun 19, 2016
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VbolieuV from Canada (QC)

2.78/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pretty stander amber color with an almost non-existent head. Bread in the nose, also smell of hard water. Tastes really watered down, with a really subtle sweet malt taste but almost unnoticeable.

Feb 06, 2016
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Poljazz22 from Canada (QC)

2.27/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

From473 ml can
The color is a nice red copper. Head ( pale cream) disappears instantly. Fizzy and watery. Some malt and a bit of hops Salt? Better than a Bud but not by much...

Feb 01, 2016
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kevinlater from Canada (ON)

2.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

on tap at twelveighty, mcmaster university, hamilton, ontario. sep 29 2015

a: dark red, transparent beer with almost-white head

s: caramel with a bit of raisin

t: a quick showing of the raisin notes, then fades out into a very faint caramel presence. essentially, the beer is nearly tasteless

m: light-bodied with moderate carbonation. not watery

o: nothing offensive but nothing interesting

Sep 30, 2015
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Bunman3 from Canada (AB)

2.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Keith's Red. Not nearly as tasty as Rickard's Red. If nothing else, it has a bit of caramel malt to give it the appearance of flavour. There is a bit of sweetness, but it really does nothing to stand out in any way. I order this when options are limited in the pub.

Aug 07, 2015
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kevofficiel from Canada (QC)

2.83/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Alexander Keith's Red Amber Ale:

The look of it: Very red on the light. More on the brown side when it is not on the light. Light carbonation with no finger at all

The smell of it: Very sweet, some caramel I guess. The smell if ok for a red ale

The taste of it: Still very sweet. A touch of caramel. Very light also on the aftertaste. A bit of sour on it.

So overall would I recommend it? Sure, why not.... It is not a bad beer but for a red ale Im sure there is much better, there is nothing special about that beer but it is ok

Jun 16, 2015
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3.71/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: dark copper with very little head and small spots of lacing.
S: crystal malts and moderate noble hops. Clean.
T: similar to the nose. Malty sweetness up front with crisp bitterness in the finish. Minimal hop flavour.
M: fairly thin, highly carbonated.
O: decent beer to pair with my blue cheese burger but unimpressive overall.

Dec 24, 2014
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CalgaryFMC from Canada (AB)

2.83/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Sampled a pint on tap at the Black Swan in Calgary. The color is not good, a murky root beer-like brown with bronze highlights, none of the rich ruby red character one should get in well-executed examples of the style. Aroma was the expected coarse grain and light grape character one gets in many macro-brewed ales (and lagers ... One could certainly be forgiven for assuming this was a cold-fermented brew without prior knowledge of its ale designation). Maybe a hint of butterscotch as well. Palate is similarly uninspired although to be honest I expected this to taste worse based on the visual and olfactory assessment. Light brown sugar (very light) with bread-like malts winking in and out, unripe pears or apples, cherry chewing gum, not super sweet and even a tad tangy, but with no hop aroma or flavor to speak of. Overly carbonated, which mutes the already subtle flavors, thin-bodied and featuring some husky notes in the finish (and again, no hops to speak of). Not worth trying in my view, although I'd drink this before its pale "IPA" stablemate.

Aug 10, 2014
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Jsmick from New Hampshire

1.3/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

This is quite possibly the saddest excuse of a red ale I have ever had in my life. It was dark and appealing upon pouring.

The taste? There was no taste. It tasted like someone dumped food coloring in a Bud Light in an attempt to pass it off as a red ale. I'd have a coke next time instead if offered this.

Jul 05, 2014
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BuckyBeerBeaver from Canada (ON)

3.52/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alexander Keith's Brewery was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1820 and is therefore one of the oldest commercial breweries in North America. It was founded by Alexander Keith who emigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1817. Today, the brewery is owned by Labatt, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Keith's produces an India Pale Ale, Red Amber Ale, Premium White, Light Ale, and Keith's Dark Ale previously known as Stag's Head Stout for Canadian beer drinkers. Keith's also produces its Nova Scotia Style Pale Ale, Nova Scotia Style Lager, and Nova Scotia Style Brown Ale for the US market. Keith's has also produced a Harvest Ale, and Tartan Ale as seasonal brews.

On this occasion we sampled Keith's Red Amber Ale which is 5.0% alcohol by volume, in a 473 ml can.

This is a great looking ale which pours a beautiful mahogany colour, with about 2 centimeters of off white head. The head lasts for quite a while and leaves some lacing down the glass. There isn't much of an aroma to it, just a faint sweet malt. The Red Amber Ale ("RAA") is lightly carbonated with a light/medium body. The taste is respectable with a slightly sweet malt coming through and a clean finish. In all, there is certainly nothing offensive about RAA, but aside from the beautiful colour, nothing to really distinguish it either. I would certainly drink it again, but there's just not enough here to elevate it into the ranks of my favourites.

Apr 17, 2014
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

3.32/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the pub at the end of the street. Served in an Alexander Keith's 500 ml pint glass that was too cold.

Appearance - Dark red almost brown in color. Only 1/2 finger of head when the beer arrived to my table, but left soapy wisps of head for the during of the glass.

Smell - Nothing unpleasant, but there wasn't really much of anything other than "beer". This may have partially been because the glass was too cold and kind of dulled the aromatics of the beer a bit, but really there wasn't much here.

Taste- Crisp and clean, light caramels blended in. Also a bit of bite from other malts. Taste is a bit watery but since it was very cold seemed to work well.

Mouthfeel - Crisp, clean, seems reasonable balanced to my tastes. Lowish carbonation and thin feel.

Overall - I like this beer as a quick quaffable amber ale. Better than most offerings from Macro-Breweries and thus unfortunately would be one of the best beers on tap at a lot of establishments. While not a great beer, this is one that for whatever reason I rather enjoy.

Oct 22, 2013
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The-Jolly-Imbiber from Antarctica

2.16/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 473ml can into a conical pint glass.

This beer was quite a let-down. I am very much a lover of red and amber beers, so I was expecting something good. Where to start?

This beer's appearance is a nice, dark red-brown. Head is quite tall, due to the significant carbonation, and it lasted a few minutes. Barely any scent from the head, and still not much after the head had dissipated, except for some faint metallic smell. Moderate to high carbonation level.

I can't get over the taste of this beer. The flavour is nothing special, but the aftertaste is this really off-putting metallic flavour. To be honest, it is bringing to mind the iron taste of blood, like when you bite your lip or something. Obviously not the sort of mental experience you want when you're trying to enjoy a beverage or a meal.

Definitely would not buy this beer again.

Sep 18, 2013
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Haydn-Juby from Vermont

2.78/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a 473ml can into an English pint glass.

Appearance: Light amber color. Decent transparency. Average size head.

Smell: The smell was definitely the worst part of this beer. I can't quiet pin what it is but the IPA also carried this scent or "funk" aswell. Almost cornish maybe?

Taste: Not too bad but fairly watery. A decent session beer and could be easy to drink quiet a few. Slight caramelish taste. Not too hoppy and kind of sweet. Somewhat watery as well.

Mouth feel: Goes down somewhat smooth and not too bad feeling overall.

Overall: Not really a beer to enjoy and savor but more of a swill. I could see it being popular with party goers looking to down a couple beers that are a little better than the regular macro-lagers but honestly not really that much to offer in terms of flavor and taste. Slightly less than average for me but might be the reverse with others.

Dec 30, 2012
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JamesHenjum from Florida

2.65/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: This beer looks very nice. A deep see through red with a hint of gold to make it amber-like.

S: Smells very sweet. I was so surprised how sweet it smelt. It's a little caramelly.

T: Still has that sweet caramel to it but not as strong. Hops come in too strong and cover up the nice malts. Still good though.

M: Very carbonated. Watery and light.

O: I tried this in Montreal Canada. It is ok but it has too much bite for my liking. I would only drink if I wanted a canadian ale. Amber ale's should not have more malt than this.

Aug 08, 2012
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andrenaline from Canada (ON)

2.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another left-over...

A - Pours a light amber colour, finger of head with little retention or lacing.

S - Musty buttered bread, grassy notes and a hint of caramel.

T - Very mild, almost as light as their 'light' ale. Musty, metallic buttered bread, sweet corn and the caramel lingers on the tongue.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and wet.

O - A poor example of the style, and lacks the flavour that a good amber ale would typically have. A mass produced ale that appears amber, but bears no resemblence to the style.

Dec 27, 2011
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nickfl from Florida

3.09/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a clear, amber body, topped with a finger and a half of off white head. The foam settles quickly but leaves thick lace on the glass.

S - A sweet caramel aroma with some herbal hops.

T - lightly toasted malt and some grassy hops. a dry, toasty finish with light bitterness.

M - medium body, average carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - there isn't much going in in this beer, but it is drinkable and completely inoffensive. If nothing else, it its an unusually good looking beer.

Dec 25, 2011
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CharlyNovember from Canada (ON)

1.79/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had on tap, poured with a finger of white head, little retention, some lacing. Glassy copper-red colour, completely translucent. I think I'm giving this one bonus points for appearance for being in one those nice Keith's pint glasses. Smell is bland and boring, not much to say about it. Tastes like it smells,very light malt and that slight chemical astringency very reminiscent of Keith's "IPA" (which, by the way, is not an IPA by any stretch of the imagination). Nothing interesting at all. And the worst part is a repulsive sour aftertaste that lingers for a second or two, almost reminds me of spoiled milk. It's big on the carbonation and has a thin mouth feel, pretty quaffable on that front.
Overall there's nothing ale-ish about this beer, it tastes and smells almost exactly like Kieth's "IPA". I can't call it completely inoffensive, because it kind of is... mostly due to that horrid aftertaste. Avoid if possible.

Nov 11, 2011
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SebD from Canada (ON)

2.95/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It has a nice clear amber colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down quite fast and has minimal lacing.

Smell: The aromas give out hints of bready/grainy malts with slight caramel and some light grassy hops.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a grainy taste with some light caramel and light grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a light balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with fairly bland flavours and aromas.

Oct 14, 2011
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Converge from Canada (AB)

2.98/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - One finger of fluffy, light-beige head after a gentle pour. Deep amber red hue sits below a decently retained head. Doesn't look half bad. Impressive lacing for a Keith's brew.

S - Bready grains and light caramel malt. A light earthy, grassy aroma lingers in the background.

T - For a split second I thought I tasted a well hopped ale as the brew started off, only to have it finish with a slightly sour, metallic grain finish. Way too close to a macro-lager in this department to be considered an amber ale. And while this is a clear step up from most fizzy, golden-yellow lagers, it doesn't really do anything for me.

M - Little carbonation with a fairly thin body. Could be worse. Dries my mouth out by the end.

D - It sort of irks me that Keith's try to market their beers as real craft beers, yet their catalog seems to be filled with watery brews that are only a minor step up from boring macro-lagers. This ale is alright, and I'd take it over a gross Corona or something any day, but this really isn't anything special.

Aug 18, 2011
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

2.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've always maintained that big, commercial breweries would make great consultants for the cosmetic industry - the way they can use adjuncts, chemicals, stabilizers, etc. to make a beer so bland look so attractive must surely be useful to the people at L'Oreal or Yves Saint Laurent. This clear, sparkling, candy-apple red offering would make a fine spokesperson.

Keith's Red Amber smells nothing like an amber ale should, but I'm somewhat impressed that it at least doesn't smell foul. Most Labatt brands - and Alexander Keith's IPA chief among them - reveal in their aroma alone that their brewers have stooped to using adjuncts and hurrying the brew process. To its one and only credit, Keith's Red Amber at least smells neutral.

Being 'neutral' isn't normally a quality worth commending, especially not for a style that can boast the richest maltiness, the most resinous hop profiles and, in the best examples, the operative balance between the two. But the fact that this one lacks a cloying corn syrup feature almost makes up for the fact that it also lacks the other two features just mentioned.

Given its colour, I keep expecting to taste *some* degree of malt flavour or sweetness, but it's as if I had a cold. I reckon this has less flavour than Keith's IPA and while less of a bad thing is good, more of a good thing would have been better. This is so plain so as to be utterly unrecognizable from even the most average amber ale. This is like drinking stale lager.

Alexander Keith's Red Amber Ale is by no means offensive like the Alexander Keith's IPA, but it's equally as pathetic an example of the style it claims to be. If you came looking for rich, caramelly maltiness and/or pine-y hop zest, you've come to the absolute wrong place. If you're content drinking something that tastes virtually like nothing, pony up.

Aug 17, 2011
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spinrsx from Canada (ON)

2.98/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

341ml Bottle

Appearance – Clear reddish brown colour with a large size fizzy and frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for close to 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell – Malts, an earthiness, breads/grains, dark fruits, butterscotch

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation but it still feels kind of thin. I can taste malts mixed with grains and an earthiness. There are also notes of dark fruits and butterscotch. It finishes with a malty slightly sweet aftertaste.

Overall – Well, it's one of the better beers I've had from this brewer.. but that still isn't saying a whole lot. It's drinkable, but nothing something I'd buy again.

Jun 07, 2011
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evlu1441 from Canada (AB)

2.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This seems to be a staple at local pubs. I've had a bunch of other keith's brews, and have yet to be impressed.

Pours a clear reddish amber colour (go figure?). Almost no head to speak of.

The aroma is faint. Kind of grainy. Also faintly metallic or chemical.

Taste is weak. Slightly sour, but some nice malty notes come out towards the end and stick around.

Really heavily carbonated, and thin.. Not my thing.

I wouldn't turn this beer down, but I'm definitely not seeking it out in the future.

Mar 12, 2011
Alexander Keith's Red Amber Ale from Alexander Keith's
Beer rating: 69 out of 100 with 221 ratings