Great Lakes Rally Drum Red Ale | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

very good
148 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed w/ Pacific Northwest Hops.

Added by CaptCleveland on 04-07-2012

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 148
Photo of Spider889
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass at Mad Mex. Excellent red color with great clarity. Short light tan colored head with slightly sticky lace.

Smelled fairly modest. Some green American hops in there along with a light bready malt base.

This one tastes fairly hoppy for a Red Ale, though the bitterness level is quite low. The hops are green with a decent citrus punch and some floral pine is hidden underneath. Cascades perhaps?

Smooth, creamy, easily drinkable.

A solid brew, but not one I'd ask for again most likely.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Served in a willibecher at Firkin.

Yet another Great Lakes brew that rarely leaves the greater Cleveland area comin' right to my backyard thanks to the folks at Firkin. Gotta love 'em. This stuff pours a clear amber-copper topped by two fingers of cream-white foam. The nose comprises earthy greens, light Connecticut tobacco, and mild caramel. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a bite of pine resin, some bitter grass in the background, and a touch more caramel than before. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a decidedly dry finish. Overall, a solid red, though one that comes across a touch too bitter for its own good at times. Still, not a bad little brew.

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Photo of jwc215
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Three Cellars, Franklin, WI:

Pours reddish amber with a thin head that becomes wispy.

The smell is of caramel, toast, pine (some citrus?)

The toasted caramel almost clashes with the bitterness of the hops - which add more bitterness than flavor. It has a mint-like finish.

It has a sharp medium body.

An interesting brew. It could be smoother, but overall, it a solid brew - malt-forward but with a bitter finish.

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Photo of barczar
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant amber with a frothy khaki head that lingers.

Caramel malt, fruity specialty malt character, bubblegum, and muted grapefruit form the aroma.

Flavor reveals a toasted breadcrust and nutty backbone, accompanied by floral hops. Bitter hops take over in the finish. Underpinnings of citrus are muted, more pithy than tart. Floral hops are intriguing.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with light alcohol warmth.

A little more bitter than I'd prefer. There's a struggle between bitter hops and overly toasted malt that I don't enjoy. The floral hops are nice, and a welcome change.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opening Day weekend at GLBC in Cleveland!

Pour is deep red with a thin ring of a head. hm. I want more head. It smells dry and nutty. Think Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale. Theres a touch of herbal and floral hops mashed in somewhere with the dry malt base. The taste is well, dry. Very malt forward. Totally different monster than Nugget Nectar. The floral hops do come in, but they were just kind of lost with the dry nutty malt flavors.

I had just come off Hop Madness, but I wanted more hops than I got. I guess thats the nature of this beast.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

As with many American Red Ales, Rally Drum starts bittersweet with citrus and pine resins and with a balance of toffee and caramel. Finishing lightly roasty the dense taste finishes remarkably dry and drinkable.

But first, it starts with a bronze amber hue that casts a mild hop and yeast haze against its tawny highlights. Off white in color, the beer's foam stance is creamy, dense and provides a blanket of froth that retains well and laces concentric as the beer fades.

Toffee and toasted grains drive the aromas, however its the distinctive hops that give identity to its scent. Sharply citrusy and piney, the earthen grass elements balance the grains to perfection.

Burnt caramel, light coffeeish roast, burnt toast and roasted pecans dictate the beer's taste and does so with a hearty yet understated sweetness. Its dry taste allows for a more complete hop balance to occur over the middle palate. Sharp citrus peels, pine needles, herbal woods and grasses all align on the tongue for an even-keel taste heading into finish. Here, hop bitterness outlasts the malt with a clean and assertive tilt.

Medium bodied, but somehow the ale seems drier and less weighted. As the beer prefers and more complete attenuation and less reliant on caramel malts- it instead drives toward a complex roasty-toasty dryness that's only aided by hop resins, mild alcohol warmth and light grain husk astringency.

Rally Drum is a masterfully crafted ale that has been beaten into obscurity by all those who afraid of dryness, complexity, or drinkability. Those sweeter ales don't know hop good they have it. But the Great Lakes guys do.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tap pour into a pint glass.

Ruby red with a frothy head. Sweet malt and nutty hops. Taste is mellow hop flowers, nutty, sweet malt and plum flesh. Easy drinker, tight soft carbonation. A pretty nice red from Great Lakes. It won't set your pants on fire but I found it to be refreshing and approachable. Would have a gain.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft pour 1120 AM Tribe opening day, April 5th, 2012.

New brew in honor of John Adams, the drummer at Tribe home games for 38 years. I have met John and he is a very personable, unassuming gent.

16oz pour into GLBC pint glass. Thick two-finger head a top ruby red elixir. Thick Belgian lacing and the head maintains a nice covering throughout.

Wonderful hop pine, a bit of grapefruit, and sweet, heavy malt.

This is a very nice red ale, well balanced, with a bit more hop presence than your standard fare. The bitterness comes through from start to finish.

Medium body, well carbonated, tangy.

A nice session ale. Also had the Firkin Rally Drum which was dry hopped with warrior hops. Improved with a smoother finish. Overall a nice red ale.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours red-orange. Nice foamy topper. Laces with pleasure.

Floral, pine, and bitter citrus hops in the nose. Bitter like Campari. Underlying sweetness. A bit saline.

More of that bitters flavor with husky and toasty malts and more salinity. Pine and pith. Not very citrusy or fruity, for that matter. Finishes dry and minerally.

Lighter in body than typical. Carb levels are decent. Okay feel.

Tasty malty red ale with minerality. Drinkable. I'm good after this one.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

32 ounce growler
Served in a Great Lakes pint glass

It is copper in color with bronze highlights. On top rests over an inch of beige head that leaves some pretty good lacing.

This beer has a toasted biscuit aroma with hints of caramel.

It takes exactly as it smells. Maybe the caramel is more pronounced in the flavor. It does have a mildly bitter finish.

Medium mouthfeel and velvety smooth.

It's been a few years since I have last had this. It is a solid red ale. With the demise of the hop profile in Nosferatu, this is very similar to it.

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Photo of oberon
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Melt a few days back.Iam not sure if this beer is named after that annoying drum at the Indains games,Iam guessing it is...I hate that thing.Came in a standard pint a clear rich brownze with a tight very sticky full one finger head atop,great looking beer here.Earthy and more subtle piney hops in the nose along with nutty malts.Nutty and caramel malts on the palate up front but not overly sweet,some earthy hops in the finish.A solid amber without the huge hops,I like it.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish amber with an off white head, good retention and some nice lacing.

Smells of pine and citrus. Nice grapefruit backed by slight bready malt notes.

A good punch of bitter grapefruit up front with some nice fleshy grapefruit notes ( slightly sweet.) In the middle is a chewy malt with mild sweet notes. Rolls to the back with a bitter pine finish. The finish is dry. A very nice red ale - some similar notes to Founders Reds Rye, but not quite as good.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

LOOK: Pours a clear copper color with a white foam cost that recedes to a ring. Leaves plenty of lace on the pint glass

SMELL: Caramel malts, pungent hops.

TASTE: Opens up with toasty malt flavor and a good lemony hop bitterness. Leafy hop flavor lasts long on the palate. Caramelized malt and a small spicy rye suggestion. This is a hop forward ale, but the malt is strong enough to at least support the hops, if not steal the show.

FEEL: Medium bodied and well carbonated.

OVERALL: Good red ale, the hops and malts balanced well.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Cont. Liquors(Ashland, Ky.) poured into a growler by a friend of mine and I must give a shout to doing it the right way and filling it to the rim allowing minimal air into the brown growler. These guys do it the right way. Rally Drum Red has a label worthy of America's pastime though it took some inet time to find it. Anyway this new classic was poured into a standard American pint glass.

A - dark amber with flashes of red and burnt dark copper. One could say close to a bronze hue. Off-white head sits in place on top of this red bodied ale subsiding into a blanketed ring of lace still covering the body while looking down from above with its off white color. Head poured well in size and some stick clung to the walls of the glass throughout.

S - grain and break like malt are noticed before the typical citrus and soft pine hop aromas of a good red/amber ale. Nearly wet and earthy with a touch of toffee and caramel before the hops take control and do most of the work balancing the aroma.

T - nice toasted bread flavor here. Lighter fruits creep in up front. Soft sweet caramel that almost seems burnt. Citrus like and pine flavored hops again do well to balance the array of malt flavored notes. Woody and nearly roasted malt with a good portion of a just down right tasty hop profile. Finish is on the dry side of things with the hops laying the malt to nothing more than the backbone. Almost a rye like flavor in the back end.

M - pretty smooth and much thicker than I would have expected. The feel has a lot going for it and is almost too easy to drink. It's well balanced and is no slouch in terms of complexity of flavor given what it has to work with. How easy going it is paired with its flavorful character not mentioning its smooth texture and dry finish makes for an all evening drinker.

O - let's face it, there are a lot of breweries who don't have a flagship of this quality. Is it mind blowing or something you'd drive 300 miles for? Well no, but neither are the Cleveland Indians lol. All jokes aside this is an ale that has some quality and is better than most breweries flagship offerings yet GLBC is offering this up in late spring as a tribute to their local Major League Baseball team. That's saying something about the quality and just down right blue collar style these guys have. I didn't expect much from Rally Drum Red, but man did it surprise me with its class. It's not the best of the best, but its damn tasty and has some quality about it nonetheless. Hats off once again to GLBC.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 16 oz. perfect pint glass at the Winking Lizard in Columbus.

A - One finger of off-white fluffy foam that falls evenly inward rather quickly. Beer is a deep sunset red. Clear and slightly opaque.

S - Big grapefruit and pine hops jump out of the glass, followed by toasted malts and fresh hard rock fruit candy, like pear or apple.

T - Hop-forward grapefruit leads this beer right into the finish, with the straight-forward malt sugars showing up on the back-end underneath. Hops linger on the tongue.

M - Touch of fizziness. Light carbonation. Rather thin, but great structure and nicely integrated components. Short-to-moderate finish.

O - As a non-hophead, this beer strikes me as a tasty hop delivery system. The underlying malts really show off the hop flavors, letting you taste and enjoy them without being overly bitter. Well-made, and clearly a quality brew. Good beer for those who avoid hop-bombs, but want to taste a recipe that reverses the traditional malt/hop roles.

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Photo of Brenden
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

At one time extremely limited and brewery only, there are now a few bars in Toledo that have this beer on tap.

Red it is, deep and ruddy with a bright ruby hue though on the dark side of the color, just shy of brown. The head is a compact half-finger tall and keeps together pretty well. Eventually what remains is a thinnish layer of foam that is able to drop down some pretty good patching.
The aroma isn't as strong as I expect at first, nor as strong as the flavor. It comes out with time, though, matching the flavor hand-in-hand.
That is to say, this beer is very nicely hopped without going overboard, being a strongly hoppy beer for the style without overwhelming the malts completely. Aside from floral and moderately piney notes, along with a somewhat prefumey variety in there too, there's a nice, even caramel sweetness. Otherwise, it's strongly earthy and has a bite to it that gives the impression of rye.
The body is medium with quite a bit of bite to it in terms of crispness countered by a lesser but substantial enough smoothness. It has a very slightly leafy feel to it toward the end of the sip, which ever so slightly loses the activity on the palate just into the finish.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pint glass
A: Amber color with a 1/2-finger head that slowly settles
S: Rye, grain, hops and earth
T: Matches the nose. Bitter hops and spicy rye are quite prevalent, again a bit earthy
M: Medium-bodied, a touch spicy
O: Actually looking at the beer's details on the GLBC site they mention the malts/hops used - rye does not make an appearance but it sure tastes like it's there. Either way this has a nice distinct dry/earthy component that adds complexity; overall quite enjoyable to drink

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Chappy's. Clear, deep amber color. Decent off-white head fades to a ring leaving some impressive lace.

Well hopped in the nose, notes of pine and citrus. Caramel and toffee malt backbone shines in the nose as well.

Nice malt character, similar to other Great Lakes beers. Malt is a bit sweet, and on the bready side. Toffee and caramel shine through without being too sweet or cloying. Hop bitterness is present, but does not dominate. Nice piney and citrusy favors. Bitterness lingers for a bit, drying finish.

Medium body with ample carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well. An enjoyable red with nice hop character.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a fresh growler into a British pub glass, at around 45 F or so. A large ivory head forms on the pour, eventually collapsing to a nice cap. Nice lacing follows the head. Clear amber beer. The nose is mowed grass, floral hops, cirtrus rind. Lots of hops flavor up front with pronounced citrus/grapefruit notes, but the bitterness is moderate and very well balanced with a solid malt base. A bit of tart fruit, maybe green apple skins, in the middle, with a drying finish. Medium bodied. A very nice, easy drinking, almost-sessionable beer with a moderate ABV. If you can find this, try it.

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Photo of 57md
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a reddish-copper with a thin layer of head, most of which dissipated rather quickly leaving only a few traces of lace on the glass. Hops are upfront in the nose, but there is also something sweet discernible as well.

A little bit creamy and a little bit malty. However, the hop forward flavors are dominant over the previous mentioned qualities.

This offering has a relatively light body, which makes it very drinkable on a spring day that feels more like its the middle of summer.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoying a glass of this on-tap at Great Lakes' Hopkins Airport on before I get on my flight to go to Southern California for a long weekend. This is another on-tap only "pub exclusive" of theirs. Served to me in a pint glass, this beer draws a clear, dark red/Amber color with a small white head about 1-4 inch thick when first poured that settles to a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass along with some cluster swirls of foam on the beer's surface along with some decent lacing. Aromas of toasted, bready caramel malt sweetness along with some earthy, floral hops. The taste starts out with a nice sweet, toasted caramel, biscuity malt presence that gives way to earthy, slightly grainy, floral, dry hopped bitterness. Has a fairly crisp, slighly smooth, slighly prickly, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a clean finish with a dry aftertaste. Another very goon beer overall from the fine folks at the GLBC.


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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a shaker glass at the Glenwillow Grille

A- Poured a clear dark red color with some visible carbonation. Nice frothy head that left tons of glass coating lace

S- Big piney, grapefruit, and resin hop aroma. Some nice biscuit and caramel malt aromas as well. Very hoppy aroma with some nice maltiness

T- Big on the piney hops and resinous hops, big grapefruit taste too, with a very nice biscuit and caramel backbone. A really nice hoppy red ale

M- Medium body, smooth, some prickly carbonation on the finish, very drinkable

O- This is a very good hop forward amber ale from great lakes. Reminds me of a more balanced and less bitter Nosferatu. The bitterness was akin to a stronger pale ale or maybe a lower ABV IPA. Very drinkable amber ale.

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Photo of cyguyjg
4.78/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Draft. Dark red. Head dissipates to a fine lace around the sides of the glass. Hops present but not forward. A substantial ale with great taste. Best red ale I have had.

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Great Lakes Rally Drum Red Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 148 ratings.
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