Alexander Keith's Red Amber Ale
Alexander Keith's

Alexander Keith's Red Amber AleAlexander Keith's Red Amber Ale
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American Amber / Red Ale
Ranked #1,217
Ranked #48,355
2.92 | pDev: 20.21%
Alexander Keith's
Nova Scotia, Canada
Alexander Keith's Red Amber AleAlexander Keith's Red Amber Ale
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Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 221 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by sulldaddy:
Photo of sulldaddy
2.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a can of this brew on a trip to Ontario.
Drinking at cellar temp, poured into a pint glass.
The beer pours a nice clear amber color with a small fluffy oatmeal colored head foaming up and fading gradually.
Aroma is grainy malt and some herbal hops but also just a touch of some unpleasant plasticy phenol notes. uh oh.
First sip reveals an average body and fine rolling carbonation. Texture is a little watery.

Flavor is caramel and husky grain with some herbal hops in the background. the flavor is probably the best thing this beer has going for it. not an outstanding flavor but certainly not awful either.
I probably wont buy this one again.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.52/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

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Photo of Barraclou
2.33/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I went to vacation for two weeks and here's what I see advertised everywhere back home. If I like the Keith's IPA (regular green label) and red beers, it might worth a try (even if that brand seems now to be marketed too hard by Labatt / Interbrew).

Apperance: It is quite weird. When I pour it, it was a reddish orange fluid, but it changes to a reddish brown with a little white head in my glass. Not impressed, but I saw worst elsewhere.

Smell: Not really good. Just some macro smell and nothing else to let you appreciate it for real.

Taste: Nothing to make you calling your mother. Way too bitter, then just a generic ale taste.

Mouthfeel: Well, it is probably the best part of the review. It burn a little bit my palate, but I like its creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It is disappointing. Yes, it is ale, but I feel ripped off. For a domestic (canadian) macro, I still prefer their green label IPA or a Kokanee. This ale is another Labatt macro under a fancy label.

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Photo of pootz
2.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Finally got to review the canned version from the singles bin at the LCBO.

Poured the same clear copper as the draft version...same flaccid head

Aroma: Not very fresh..sweet caramel notes some graininess

Flavor: Not much substance for a darker ale , fruit notes no real malt notes but a pervasive caramel sweetness...quick clean finish, no off tastes just exceedlingly bland and nondescript.

Again this is a unchallenging commercial ale...very approachable for a wide segment of the market...but not for me personally...I may have been harsh on it but I'm getting sick of this fear-to-challenge-blandness trend in new beers from corporate brewers...times have changed go bigger or go home.

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Photo of slitherySOB
2.21/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

More of a dark orange than a red colour, with a small but lasting half finger head. Very light smelling. Some sweet scents, but nothing I can specify. Tastes alright. Bit of malts and candy, with a dry aftertaste. Little overcarbonated, almost to the point of being harsh. Not bad, but nothing great either. A rather forgetable ale.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
1.5/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a light amber color ale with a small bubbly white head with minimal retention. Aroma of adjunct is mostly dominating. Taste is light on barley and quite strong on adjunct with a dry finish. All in all, this is just another bland offering from those fine folks at Labatt.

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Photo of Sammy
2.96/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Bugsby's in St. Catherines. A little cheesy aroma, reddish brown colour, a lot of white foam. Malty, a tad of bitterness. The smallest amount of toasted malt. Drinkable, but not something to seek out.DRying, average mouthfeel.Taste is not that complex, weak for style.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
2.49/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber color with a small shortlived head and minimal lacing. The aroma is sweet and weak. There's a bit of cooked cereal and sourness in the nose as well. The taste is one dimensional and sweet with some astringent flavors. Hops are very restrained. A bit of caramel is muddled in the background. The mouthfeel is medium and somewhat coating. The finish is sweet and malty.

This is the best Keith's beer Ive tried. Its still pretty lackluster though. They need to start using hops.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.96/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

CANned beer from CANada in support of the CANQuest! CAN you believe it?!?

My pour created a lovely two fingers' worth of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a lovely deep amber with ruby highlights, in fact closer to deep red than amber, with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a slight tang along with its malty sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a raspberry-like sweet/tart flavor on the tongue. Finish was mild, still sweet-tart, very tasty. Decent lacing throughout. Frankly, I really liked this and would definitely set some room aside in my cooler for it, if I could get it regularly.

From the CAN: "Using only the finest ingredients, Alexander Keith brewed slowly, carefully, taking the time to get it right. Today, we still brew his Family of Fine Beers his way, only in Nova Scotia. Those who like it, like it a lot."

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Photo of ramrod666
2.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of DrJay
2.04/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear red/amber with a thin layer of fine beige bubbles topping the beer. A bit of lace, fair head retention. It doesn't smell very good, sour with some fruit and grain aromas. The flavour's a bit better, but still not great. Sweet with very low bitterness, fruity and grainy for the most part. Light to medium bodied with higher than average carbonation, a bit of dryness. I won't be going back to this one.

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Photo of Viggo
3/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear reddish brown, decent medium white head forms, some lacing, good retention. Actually looks okay. Smell is sweet, some malts are in there, adjuncts, kind of a spicy herbal aroma. Taste is sweet, corny, bit of caramel, light citrus, balanced. Mouthfeel is light body, medium carbonation. Lightyears better than normal Keith's, but still not very good. Pretty drinkable though.

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Photo of jaymirage
2.45/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

What's kind of funny about this was when my family were on vacation for the first time in Montreal, I begged them to bring back some sort of local, markedly unobtainable craft brew. They managed to conveniently pick up Alexander Keith's at a gas station on their way back to the States, which, I suppose, is just as good.

Appearance is definitely brownish, with flecks of amber. Carbonation evident. No visible head retention.

Taste is smooth. Inoffensive. The hop profile is rather nice, actually. Not much going on here, though.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated. Smooth and slightly fruity; sort of thinnish, too. Drinkability? This might make an ideal session beer. Verdict: better than a Killians.

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Photo of BigBry
3.03/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

October 5, Alexander Keith's Birthday, let's go out for dinner. Keith's on sale, good... only the IPA, not the Amber, bad...
Nice looking amber ale, actually was quite a red color when held to the light. Clear liquid with an off-white head with good retention and some thin lace. Some caramel malty aroma. Slightly sweet, malty flavor. Smooth, low carbonation made it slightly creamy mouthfeel. Comparable to Rickard Reds, I would drink this before Keith's IPA.

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Photo of Noelito76
2/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of BDTyre
3/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bland, uninspired brew from Keith's.

Copper colour with a thick white head. Generic malt with a metallic tone. Low hop profile.

Boring malt taste with a slighlty acidic hop undertone. Nothing too exciting, but not overly horrible. A bit light on the taste.

A bit watery, but otherwise not horrible. Sessionable, but not the best for that.

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Photo of CrazyMike
2.71/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reddish-amber appearance with minimal head. Smell is sweet and slightly malty.

Taste is overwhelmed by bitterness, it is a bit sweet and picked up some floral hops, but overall watery. Body is light with high carbonation. As for the aftertaste, once the bitterness is gone, it is mostly dry.

Overall, a very mediocre Red Ale. At first I was surprised Keith's made anything besides IPA, and I suggest Keith's fans stick to IPA over this.

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Photo of Derek
3.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, amber-red with a fluffy off-white head. Some retention & lace.

S: Floral hops (with a little grass & spicyness). Mostly caramel from the malt. It's a modest, but pleasant aroma.

T: Fairly plain, mostly a caramel sweetness (balance is a little too sweet for my liking). Hops are very subtle... probably a blend of multiple varieties so that nothing is overwhelming (floral, grassy, spicy, earthy, orange-rind... it's got it all... just not very much). Their IPA would probably seem hoppy & bitter after this!

M: Moderate body & carbonation; slightly syrupy.

D: Easily approachable & modest alcohol, but it won't bring the afficionado back for more.

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Photo of OldSock
2.42/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Brought back from Canada by Jaymirage's parents. Crystal clear amber with some red tones. Thin white head that quickly falls to a thin misty covering.

Smell – Mild grainy aroma, and a hint of roast. I also pick up some DMS.

Taste – Similar to the aroma, dry with some grain and a bit of caramel. Not much going on, but its pretty clean.

Mouthfeel – Rather thin with sharp carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – A Canadian answer to Killian's me thinks. Not particularly unpleasant, but there really isn't much to complain about.

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Photo of BrewMaven
3/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of allergictomacros
3.33/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a fairly dark red with a copious head. A little loose but thick.

S - Quite malty, with a touch of hops. Kinda lagery with a toasty kick.

T - Not bad. Reminds me of an EPA-lite - a bit of toastiness, slight hops. Bitterness isn't huge, but perhaps more hop bitterness than flavour here.

M - Carbonation is a bit harsh - no surprise there. Odd spiciness as well that bites at the tongue. Not as light as expected.

D - Not bad, esp. for a Keith's product.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.07/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Went into the newly-available (in Ontario, at least) Keith's Red expecting either a Keith's IPA with red dye or a bland Rickard's Red clone. So in this respect, at least, I was presently surprised, because it's neither (though certainly much closer to the latter). It's also worth pointing out that I rather detest the standard Keith's.

473mL can, a single picked up from the LCBO. Pours into the pint glass a copper-red-amber, fairly translucent (but not too bad). Capped by an unfortunate head of only one finger (a head which dies almost immediately). Fairly significant lacing, but nothing special. If this brew could support a healthy cap, it would look quite appetizing. Sadly, it can't, and so doesn't.

Smell is pleasant, but neither complex nor particularly compelling. Sweet malt, mostly, big caramel, maybe some vague honey and heather. Biscuity and/or bready. I thought, at first, that I'd picked up some aromatic hops (slight citrus, flowers) at first, but if they're there, they quickly disappear.

Taste is more of the same - no hops to be detected, just lots of malt. Which is sometimes nice, but makes this (like Keith's other offerings) a not very-well rounded beer. On the plus side, you can't taste the adjunct (if there is any). Quite sweet initially (and throughout), caramel malt, with some bread and biscuit a bit subdued under that. Finishes nicely, and leaves a sweet malt aftertaste - but again, where are the hops? Some citrus hops finally assert themselves after almost twenty minutes, but they're hardly noticeable, on the whole.

The carbonation, thankfully, is not macro-heavy; unfortunately, though, it feels almost flat instead. Seems to be trouble in finding a nice balance. On the whole, however, I do rather like the mouthfeel - the body is good, if a bit... oily. And drinkability, when you combine the complete lack of bitterness with the under-carbonation, is exceptionally high. I could see this as a session beer, but only if my stated goal were to get completely blitzed from drink one. Otherwise, there's really not much point to this malt-water.

Part of me likes Keith's Red, part of me loathes it. I can see myself drinking it, but certainly not when I'm in a Beer Advocate mood. Rickard's Red is still the flagship macro red, and this shows a bit of promise, but I think I'll stay away for now.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.3/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at an Irish bar in Toronto. As with other Alexander Keith's beers that I've had this was unimpressive. It might be the best of the buch so far but still, pretty mediocre. The beer is clear, dark red or mild brown color, 1 finger of foam. The smell is malty sweet, not unlike Killians. Taste is likewise pretty close to Killians, balanced more or less, bitter hops and caramel malts. Drinkable red ale, not horrible, not great though.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.92/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Taken in context this is probably the best brew I've had since arriving in eastern Canada. They advertise 2 cans of this in my box of IPA from Alexander Keiths. It has a reddish hue around the edges and copper in the core. Smell is sweet malts and a subtle baked bread in the distance.

This was very refreshing and has a wonderfully quick snap of bitterness and carbonation to keep it clean and drinkable. The sweetness is mostly up front and reminds me of dark hard candy with some brown sugar. The sweet side is hardly the story here though as a quck fizzy and sharp carbonation holds it together and allows the hops to bring it full circle.

I just hope I can find this at the JK's pool hall tonight. Oh well, If not I can't go wrong with some Alpine or Molson Canadian. This my friends is a winner and would seek this out if I return to this area again soon.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have tasted this beer at the brewery itself from tap. I also had this beer from bottle and there is a distinct difference between the two. The draught version was more aromatic, more hop flavor and more depth.

Color was reddish, brown with a small lasting head.

Smell was little citric, grapefruit. According to the guy from the tour, Cascade hop are used for this one.

Taste is caramellic and fresh fruity, there are some floral and fruity notes. Bitterness is low and the beer is very easy to drink. The biggest difference with the bottled version is the depth of the beer. This is more complex, but certainly has a definate macro taste.

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