Aviator Red | Flying Bison Brewing Company

82 Reviews
Aviator RedAviator Red

Brewed by:
Flying Bison Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by shirfan on 03-24-2003

For Trade:
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Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 142
Photo of Rock_Glenn
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Red Ales are just plain hard to pull off. This one smells and tastes pretty average, but the beauty of this beer is the texture. Unlike most Reds they got the body on this perfect, it's not too light (and therefore weak tasting) and it's not a heavy mess like many.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #84 (Jan 2014):

A serious and tasty little Red Ale here, with a high level of drinkability. Perhaps more to style than the mass-produced, over-processed Irish Red Ales of today. Quaffing back a pint or few would be the only proper way to approach this ale. We swear it was daring us to pair it with some crubeens ...

STYLE: Irish Red Ale
ABV: 5.5%

LOOK: Dark chestnut hue, thin layer of lacing

SMELL: Bready, toffee, baked apples, brown bread, hint of alcohol

TASTE: Tight crispness, layered smoothness, dried hay, toasted bread, apple skin, herbal, balancing hop bitterness, toasted grain, caramel; drying, grainy finish

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Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.44/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not overly carbonated. Some chocolate mid-taste with a Soggy bitter and heavy malty finish. It's a little of everything but not much of anything. Decent red ale, have had much better. Wouldn't buy on my own, got in the flying bison variety.

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Photo of Kevuas
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aviator Red poured a deep ruby to brown with a spirited head that laced down the pint glass. The aroma of Aviator Red is predominantly caramel sweet malt with a touch of spice. The taste of Aviator Red was as expected from an Irish style red ale with malt shining through. Where I think Aviator Red excels is the blend of other flavors surrounding the malt character, including Kent Golding hops. The mouthfeel of Aviator Red is light and the carbonation level is on target.

Aviator Red is certainly malt-centric, but I found Aviator Red to be not as malty as other Irish red ales. I feel there is a unique balance achieved by Aviator Red: malt dominance is balanced exceptionally well with hop modesty.

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Photo of Carolvs
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Tending more to the malty side than hoppy side, with mild notes of sweet chocolaty malt. Poured from a bottle, which yielded hardly any head no lacing at all. Entirely drinkable beer, but nothing remarkable at all about it.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep ruby brown with a mild off white head. Dissipates in a minute or so, doesnt leave much lacing.

S: Chocolate malts come to mind when I smell this beer. Nice roasty quality to it. Dark fruits also come into play.

T: This beer comes across as a malt forward, roasty red ale. Hops take a back seat as the malt dominates the profile. A pretty sweet beer. Touch of a metallic taste.

M: Medium body with a fairly creamy mouthfeel. Finish is clean enough to keep this sessionable.

Overall not a bad beer. Lots of good malt flavor going on. Give it a go if your into red ales.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a rusty, dried blood red with a wispy tan head that fades quickly, but keeps a thin blanketing throughout drinking. The nose and taste are all malt and NO hops or spice. There is big upfront caramel and a slight bite from the alcohol. The aftertaste is slightly tangy and bitter, but it's way overpowered by the malt. I
t's still a pretty drinkable beer while waiting for food...Probably would pass on this beer in the future.

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Photo of match1112
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a beautiful ruby red color. an inch of thick creamy tan head slowly settles into a patchy sea foamy cap leaving minimal lacing. nose is very sweet and malty, some chocolate, dark fruit and hops. taste is also very sweet from the malts used. not overly hopped or bitter. unfortunatly there is a certain something in there that gives it an astringency that makes the after taste unfavorable. almost like i let an asprin dissolve on my tongue. mouthfeel seems a tad thin for the style. carbonation is good.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a nice mahogany color with a white head. The head faded relatively fast to leave a persistent film on the top of the brew with some moderate lacing.

Smell – The smell was largely of roasty malt with some toffee and caramel sweetness.

Taste – The taste is very similar to what was detected in the nose. There was a roasty malt flavor up front. Some sweeter flavors of toffee and caramel develop in the middle of the taste. These sweeter flavors persist, but toward the end are again dominated by a more roasty flavor which lingers on the tongue well after the brew is gone from the mouth.

Mouthfeel – Creamier then the average beer of its strength with a lighter to moderate level of carbonation. The body feels nice on the tongue and allows the roasty tastes to really permeate the tongue.

Overall – Easy drinking and affordable. It is somewhat one-dimensional, but overall makes for a good session brew.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2011-11-22 in Columbia, PA

A - Pretty clear mahogany with a 1-finger head that fades quickly and leaves little lacing.

S - Caramel, bread and minty spice.

T - Raisin and prune, medium-roasted astringent malt hinting at caramel and chocolate. Not much citrus flesh but there's a breath of mint and some zest bitterness as it dries.

M - Light-medium body and carbonation. Watery feel.

O - Not a bad. There's a fair amount of flavor for this 5.25% ABV brew but it's not a flavor profile that really grabs me.

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Photo of gabedivision
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz to a snifter glass.

Pours a dark amber red with hints of brown and orange and big healthy 2 finger head. Sweet bready malts hit the nose with touches of chocolate, cherries, almost a fudge brownie kinda smell with a smokey touch on the finish. A not too overwhelming caramel and chocolate, big malts on the tongue mixed with touch of bittersweet spice from the hops, again a little bit of a smokey/roasted feel. Medium to full bodied in feel, yet very easy to drink. This is Flying Bison's best year round beer, its an excellent choice if your in the Buffalo area.

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Photo of brentk56
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear mahogany with a sturdy, three-finger head; nice stickage leaving clumps of lace

Smell: Caramel malt and grain, with a hint of mint

Taste: Caramel malt, up front, with the bitter grainy character arriving in the middle; the mint in the aroma turns into an astringence on the tongue that clobbers the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The astringence was a real setback, as I liked the other elements of the beer

Thanks, silverx, for the opportunity

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Photo of Stoutman88
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle with bottled on date.
"A malty red ale, brewed in the Irish tradition."

Appearance: Deep red color, very little transparency. Good head retention.

Smell: Not much on the nose with this beer. Smells faintly of grains

Taste: Malty sweetness that ranges from caramel, to vanilla. Some biscuity notes. Hops have a spicy note, with some bitterness and citrus. possible floral notes.

Mouthfeel: A light body. Good carbonation

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Light body with balanced taste aromas goes down smoothly.

Notes: This beer was very well balanced and flavors were complimentary. Not the most complex beer, but delightfuly simple. A good beer from Buffalo, where I live. An Irish style drank in an Irish City.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pulled from the fridge. split with my father, poured into a standard pint. a local staple here in buffalo. pretty much the only brewery in the city that bottles there beer. bottle says its brewed in the "irish" style.

the pour reveals a clear bodied brown, ruby red color. small layer of biege colored head with average retention. tiny bits of lace.

the smell is quite malt forward. various kinds of caramelized malt, toasty, a touch biscuity, and a bit of a fruit like aroma, similar to that of a brown ale.

the taste follows suit, mostly toasty, caramel malts, a little fruit, and a little buttery biscuit. small doses of herbal hop bitterness in the finish.

light to medium bodied, carbonation is decent.

i could drink this all night, nothing extraordinary, but its a well crafted local staple. definatly a nice session choice if you live in the buffalo area.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear ruby red with a thin head of tan foam. Malty, caramel aroma, toast, coffee and dark fruit. Caramel flavour with maltiness, hints of plums and cherries and a moderately bitter finish. On the sweeter side, slightly astringent, and medium carbonation. Fairly drinkable.

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark brown with purplish-red highlights and a big beige head. The smell is lightly toasted malts with a tiny bit of hops. The taste starts off with some slightly smokey sweet toasted malts that gives way to a kick of hops that stay through to the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly watery with some crisp carbonation. This beer is pretty drinkable and even though it's a bit one-note it's still worth snagging if you can find it for cheap.

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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at the old pink:

A: Relatively dark amber in color, hard to contrast with the dark interior. Frothy foam head that stays around for most of the trip. Lacing is a timepiece in itself.

S: Caramelized malts

T: Sweet on the intake, the sweet malts take over...

M: Semi-medium bodied, little sticky, pleasant withdraw

D: Good local brew at best. Recommended to those who want to embrace local bohemia. My favorite Flying Bison beer, their staple, my gateway into craft...

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Photo of penguinjive7
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is a nice deep brown with a substantial, fluffy head. Lacing carries all the way to the bottom of the glass.

The smell is initially of toasted malt with a hit of caramel.

The toasted malt again comes through first in the taste followed by some earthyness provided by the hops. The flavors are balanced well to create a smooth finish.

This brew is light in the mouth, yet full of flavor and the carbonation is done well.

This is a very drinkable brew. I could easily session this one. Nothing overly complex here. But it does what it does very well.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(On tap at Top of the Falls in Niagara Falls, NY)
Aviator Red is a solid, slightly sparkling red ale with a small, soft off-white head that is fully diminishing. The aroma is of fresh wooden hops, some resin, a bit of caramel malt and peppery alcohol. It is soft and smooth in the mouth; medium bodied and a bit flat. It is well bittered with a wooden resin flavor. The malt is tart and a bit sour. It is a slightest touch sweet when it first touches the tongue. It's pretty well balances but perhaps a bit raw. It leaves the mouth with a chalky feeling. I thought perhaps this was a Scotch ale, but with more hop presence than I would expect from one of those. Not bad at all.
(rated Jul 7, 2007)

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a garnet-hued body with a bubbly, off-white head.

Smell: A simple, straight-forward aroma of dark caramel and toasted grains.

Taste: Dark caramel maltiness with a slight sweetness. Lightly astringent toasted graininess. Earthy hop character and medium bitterness. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Eh, it's just an average red at best.

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Photo of sliverX
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Did the brewery tour and liked this one fresh from the tank, picked up a 6er sample at the store. Poored deep copper in color with about 1/4" of cream colored head that dissipated quickly but had bits hang on around the edge of the glass that left nice lacing. Taste isn't quite what I remember but I was drinking it straight from the tank they were bottling the next day so... typical of other red ales I've tried. Very easy to drink and may have to go straight to the source next time...

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Photo of ffejherb
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into shaker pint glass on 8/8/08.

A - Deep ruby red body with cranberry highlights and light tan head that receded into some patchy retention and left spotty lacing.

S - Prominent toasted grain aroma with just a touch of mild char and earthy hops that are countered with caramel and toffee sweetness, and even a trace of butterscotch candy and vanilla. This has a really strong grainy aroma with lots of sweetness.

T - Much like the aroma, there's lots of toasted grain flavor paired with sweet caramel and toffee as well as an underlying bready maltiness that emerges late in the game. Hops are mild and possess a dark, earthy quality.

M - Medium body with syrupy texture and average amount of carbonation. Residual sweetness on the tongue with very minimal bitterness.

D - I tried this based on a recommendation from a friend from the Niagra Falls area (thanks Doug), and this was a pleasant surprise. This is a nice red ale with tons of grainy flavor complemented by plenty of bold sweetness. I will definitely try other offerings from Flying Bison in the future.

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Photo of number1bum
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a scarlet red color with a soft and very creamy two fingers of khaki colored head. Head retains very well and leaves lots of stick.

Big malt aromas in the nose, caramel especially but a hint of chocolate, as well. Some pine hops, too.

Taste is extremely smooth. Lots of caramel malt flavor, and again a hint of chocolate, but the level of sweetness is very appropriate. Some bitter, piney hops are most apparent through the finish.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth, and this is very easy to drink, as well.

This is a tasty and solid brew. This one is even a bit past what would probably be a best by date (has a brewed on date, not a best by date) and so the hops have mellowed a bit, but it still drinks very well.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with ruby highlights, thin tan head has little retention and some spotty lacing. Smells of sweet and roasted malt and citrus hops. Taste is very sweet, brown sugar and caramel mixed with roasted malts with a citrus rind dry finish. Medium in body and low in carbonation. Semi-crisp with a dry finish. A good effort by Flying Bison, very sweet but with a good roasted kick as well as a nice dry finish.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark for an Irish Red, with dark, mahogany highlights and little head or carbonation. Mostly malty smells here, but there's a slight stony or sulphury element lurking in the background. On the palate, juicy caramel malts and a bit of a roasted character balance with a bit of hop bitterness and dryness at the finish -- but only a bit; the beer is rather sweet overall. Mouthfeel is still and heavier than expected due to the low carbonation level. Overall, this is a pretty delicious Irish red that would make a great session(ish) ale.

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Aviator Red from Flying Bison Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 142 ratings.
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