Hale's Red Menace Big Amber | Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

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Hale's Red Menace Big AmberHale's Red Menace Big Amber

Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Washington, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by freed on 09-23-2004

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 92
Photo of Renfield
1.56/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A - More brownish copper than red. Slightly cloudy. Thin head.

S - Caramel and toffee crystal malt notes. Plain hop nose neither citrusy nor piney. Pretty subdued nose for the style.

T - I drank three sips, my wife had two and I poured the rest of the bomber down the sink. I've never had to dump a beer before. Intense wet cardboard flavor with obvious metallic notes on the aftertaste. Hop flavor came through with an unpleasant coarseness. Malt profile hid behind the unpleasantness.

M - Reasonably full mouthfeel. Average carb level for the style.

D: Undrinkable. Note that I poured it out.

WTH?? I thought Hale's knew how to brew and package a beer?

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Photo of Goliath
2.14/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a rather dark and hazy amber color, almost brown, with a one inch slightly yellowed head sitting on top. Decent retention and some traces of lacing.

The aroma is a bit of a disappointment. Certainly a bit of hops, spicey and earthy, with a bit of grainy malt and caramel. For some reason this one is reminding me of tomato soup.

The taste is terrible. A washed out musty malt with basically no hops. A little bitterness with metallic notes on the finish. Muddy flavors, and poorly constructed.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with very low carbonation.

Drinkability is low. Flavors are just wrong. The alcohol is low making for a sessionable beer, but the flavors are horrible making for a poor drinking experience.

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Photo of Offa
2.36/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is a fairly typical, heavy-handed, west-coast red ale, rather similar to Napa Smith beers in particular and not a very auspicious introduction to a brewery about which I'd heard a lot.

Hazy red amber, it has a medium orange-tan head soon shrinking to a foamy ring. Aroma is caramelised citrus, very flowery, pungent, with an exceedingly perfumy character that i find hard to pin down, and mixed citrus, dust and pine needles, but overly strong and rather unpleasant. It's specifically similar to Napa Smith Amber Ale but also broadly similar to many other west coast beers of this style which I have had. It's unbalanced and unpleasant.

The taste is similar, if not as unpleasant as the aroma, It's sweetish up front before bitterness moves to the fore at the finish and aftertaste, but overall sweetness-bitterness are at least pretty balanced at first. Caramelised grain and perfumy, grapefruity citrus dominate the character and esp. the aftertaste. The balance slowly destabilises and drinkability, never high, soon plummets.

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Photo of marcobrau
2.71/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours suitably red with a moderate to light amount of carbonation that produces an off-white head that falls rather quickly. Unfiltered. Lots of stuff at the bottom of the glass. Odd metallic aroma. Touch of cedar hidden behind the metal. Sweet malt, light caramel flavors mix with earthy hops which leads to slightly powdery, slightly tart finish. Kinda weird...tastes like a beer I had at a brewpub that served English-style ales in Augusta, Georgia many years ago.

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Photo of csmiley
2.71/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Color is a cross between red and brown. Pours slightly cloudy. Head ended up at around a quarter inch. Retention was average. Lacing was poor.

S - Caramel stands out on the nose with some generic hop aroma following it up. The distant background has some nuts, dough, and dirty feet.

T - After the smell I had to force myself to taste this one. The caramel and hop flavors seem to co-exist in this one. Hops come across as citrus. The caramel is big and sticky sweet. The background does have a strong nut and yeast flavor.

M - Medium bodied with a mild dry finish. Carbonation is much less than I would have liked.

D - Drinkability is not too good. I will probably not be having another Red Menace. Disappointing.

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Photo of mralphabet
2.73/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 Oz Bottle Poured into Pint Glass

A: Brownish Red and Copper in color 1/2 a finger of head with very little retention and little lacing.

S: Hops Hops and more Hops, very leafy and full of citrus noted hops. Maybe some burned malt. I'm also catching some glass like smells and some steelyness.

T: Like the smell hops, hops, hops and green leafy hops... There are some citrus like notes here but the grassy like taste in the aftertaste that kills any citrus notes that are left. The aftertaste to me is a little to bitter for my liking.

M: I'm go with medium-bodied but I wouldn't call it full. There is a grassy bitterness in the mouth. The carbonation is pretty lite.

D: Note I'm not a big Red Ale Guy.... and this brew is a bit more Hoppy than I like.... So this one is not that much up my alley. Over all I think the Grassyness is killing it for me...

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Photo of Beaver13
2.75/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a slightly hazy reddish amber with hardly any head at all.

The aroma is sweet caramel malt, toffee and some hops.

The flavor is some sweet caramel malt with a pretty big metallic bitterness. It tastes a little vegetal. The mouthfeel is medium and watery with almost no carbonation.

Overall, some off notes make this a slightly substandard hoppy amber.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.76/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- One finger head that leaves very quickly. Amber body with high clarity.

S- Amber malts, subtle smells. Nothing great though.

T- Stale malts, caramel flavors, some earthy hops. Average.

M- Light, watery. Semi-dry finish.

O- Not an impressive beer.

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Photo of phisig137
2.85/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium copper color, with a good amount of chill haze, and a two finger head. Decent retention, with a little lacing.

Aroma is light and refreshing smelling, with a dominate floral hop. Slight hint of DMS.

Flavor is much the same. No malt flavors present, and only a small dose of those same floral hops. Again, the slight DMS is there. Nothing much else to say. Mouthfeel is thin and insipid. Drinkability is decent.

Overall, not so hot, and definitely not worth the price for a bomber. Although it's not majorly flawed in any way, it is completely forgettable. If more of Hale's shows up around here, I'll try it, but after tasting this, I'm not expecting much.

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Photo of Superjimbob
2.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Minimal head that disappears quickly, nice colour though. Smells tinny and as expected, has a hoppy bitterness.
Mouth feel is watery and dry aftertaste. Didn't really get me excited. The remaining 5 will outlive other beers in my fridge.

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Photo of troutmask96
2.91/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Decent session brew here, but nothing too special. Pours a thick, foamy head that hangs on for a bit. Appearance is a pretty, dark red amber with lots of carbonation bubbles. Taste is biscuity, citrusy, and semi-sweet. Because of all that carbonation this one doesn't go down without a wee bit of gastic distress. All in all a perfectly mediocre amber...

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.93/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a vrimson color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Bread, green fresh hops, caramel

T: Caramel, green hops and some bread, perhaps toasted

M: Lighter bodied and very thing mouthfeel, barely detect booze

D: Not bad but not good either

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Photo of kimcgolf
2.96/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pretty decent amber ale, especially given the gimmicky name. Almost more along the ESB line. Pours to a colorful amber, with an off-white head, that lasts through the entire drink. Good lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops, predominantly lemon. At beginning, beer is pleasantly bitter, but by mid-glass, touch of malt weighs in, and leads to a smooth finish.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
3.09/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber purchased through LetsPour.com. Chilled and poured into a tulip glass. Pours a clear, deep reddish amber with a light tan head that does not last long.

Aromas of toffee and caramel.

Flavors of light toffee, caramel, sweetish maltiness. Light on the hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light, good level of carbonation.

Overall a decent amber ale. Nothing to make it stand out from the crowd.

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Photo of Pinto21
3.1/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

solid amber color, lack luster white head though. doesn't stay long at all.

Smells of biscuit malts, some weak hops to it.

Hop bitterness, some citrus. malt finish, but not too much. not a lot goin on. kinda lame.

Just kinda lame and one dimensional. Not bad but i wouldn't call it good. I was hoping for more of something from a "Big Amber"

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Photo of ccrida
3.12/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic, Red Menace is a murky dark chestnut with a thin ivory head that leaves moderate lace. I like the color but there's not enough head.

Smell is soft toasted malt, semi-sweet with perhaps a touch of brown sugar.

Taste doesn't have that touch of sweetness on the nose, and is pretty standard toasted malt amber, with no distinct hop pressance to speak of flavor or bittering wise. I've done a NW amber tasting tonight and this one is perfectly average. No real flaws, but totally indistinct. Not sure exactly how strong this is, they only give the OG, which is pretty pointless w/o the FG! Still, it's 1.056, so if this finished at say 1.015, it's only 5.3%...not very big at all!

Mouthfeel is average, perhaps a bit slick and thin.

Drinkability is average. Blah, boring, one and done with this one.

 835 characters

Photo of froghop
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a clear copper with a hue of orange, a thin egg-shell head, and very good lacing.

smell is woody, slight grapefruit, malt, caramel, roasted nuts, and a sweetness.

taste is a little watery, some metallic, a little grapefruit, caramel, hops, and some malt, ends dry and slightly bitter.

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Photo of uwmgdman
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a hazy deep amber color with an off-white head that quickly diminished. The aroma is moderately hoppy -- citrus, grass, and some pine along with a bit of warm alcohol. The flavor is moderately hoppy -- mainly citrus with some underlying caramel sweetness. Hop bitterness is moderate. The body is medium-thin and moderate carbonation. Overall this beer comes across as a bit too thin and rather one dimensional generic hop. Join the party? Not so much.

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Photo of woemad
3.15/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $1.66. The label features the statue of Comrade Lenin that was rescued from a post-Soviet scrapheap and placed in "the center of the universe" (Fremont, Seattle, if you didn't get the memo). It commands the drinker to "join the party." I think this party has been over for a while, though there's no freshness date to confirm it.

Poured a reddish amber color, with a small white head that vanished quicker than Jim West's hopes for a gubernatorial bid. Tiny bits of lace can be seen on the sides of the glass.

Smell was of mild, herbal hops and bready malt. Not a terribly interesting smelling beer, but not bad smelling, either.

The taste is a bit more interesting than the smell, but not even an old bolshevik would say it was in a revolutionary way. The bulk of this beer's flavor comes from it's mildly sweet maltiness. There is also a mild, herbalish hoppy bite to provide balance, but the hoppiness is subordinate to the malts. This is ok tasting, but it's far from being anything worth writing home about.

Very low amount of carbonation. It could definitely use a little more in this department. This is medium bodied, but the lack of carbonation makes it seem almost leaden. Agitating the beer heavily seems to help it, but that's a temporary fix, unless the drinker wants to be constantly spinning their pintglass.

This is either too old, or it is a flawed beer. I'm not sure which. This could be a halfway decent session amber if there was a little more to it in several areas.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: light clouded apple cider color with more orange tones when held up to the light. Head was gone in a heart beat and left bubbles galore around the rim of the glass. Not to sure what to think, looks lifeless and very uninteresting in the glass

S: pale malts, dry stale hops, and caramel base with light wet paper. Has a shot of spicy hops in the nose, uncharacteristic for an amber ale...nice

T: far from the full flavored category and plenty of room to improve for this one. It does have a little bit of raw and spicy hop edge to it. Grains are watery and shaky in the flavor profile. Sweeter flavors are at times offensive and linger of soaked watery oranges, lemons, and caramel.

M: dry aftertaste, nice acidity, and more of a pucker feel instead of hop presence. Body is not bad and has a medium body feel

D: timid and watery at times, not a revolution! This one missed the mark for me but still maintains a title of acceptable

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Say what you will about old Vladimir, but he deserved a more hearty ale than this. Menace is crimson with a thin film of ivory-colored head and a few stray wisps of lace. It is mostly clear, of medium carbonation, and has a distant aroma of malt fruits with a vague suggestion of hops. Its flavor is of simple pale malt sweetness with an informal bittering compliment that is neither deflated nor memorable.

Menace's most standout quality may be its nicely contoured body, which is rounded and appropriately chewy and significantly more pronounced than in bottled form. Other than that, the Red Menace is routine. Inoffensive but indistinct.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber/red with a half finger of white that melts to very sticky lacing.
Aroma is not really big on sweet amber malts, but they are there. More so, I notice NW hops, pine, and soap.
Flavor has a hint of the sweet amber malts that reds need but that is quickly overpowered by NW hops...orange peel, grapefruit peel, pine oils. Bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is only slightly thin, still decent.
In a blind test I would be inclined to call this an IPA...it's definitely hoppier than ANY Amber or Red I've had and hoppier even than most English IPA's.
Good...sessionable...but out of place in the amber/red catagory.
Marked down only because it doesn't hit the mark in the catagory for me.
Good beer, however.

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Photo of Hawksfan79
3.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Glass: Nonic pint glass

Appearance: Dark amber ish orange. Thin white head that dissipated very quickly.

Smell: strong grapefruit with a slight sweetness underneath. Not much going on in the aroma.

Taste: Strong hoppyness initially. Nice balance of hops and malts. Hops flavor comes in and out, starts off strong then fades into malts, and then comes back in the finish.

Mouthfeel: thin almost watery, very light bodied.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.28/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 picked up today at the COOP... paid about $3.75... poured into my shaped SA glass...

just shy of a 2 finger head.. surprising lace throughout the entire glass.. the brew is a polished amber...

nose is "fresh" .. caramel malts and a descent amount of C-hops.. a little bit of yeasty fruitiness that reminds me of underripe plums..

Flavor is expected maltiness with lesser caramel than the nose.. but the hops are also less.. less citric and more grassy.. there is an odd metallic not that lingers mid palate through the finish.. it isn't overpowering by any means .. just probably shouldn't be there.. as it warms.. the caramel sorta turns into a biscuity element.. the body is a little lite but the carbonation is where it should be..

Overall... this tastes pretty fresh right now.. but I don't expect it to hold well... the metallic note sorta sticks around but doesn't distract too badly... overall.. just an okay amber.. I doubt I'll buy it again.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark copper with a toasted marshmallow head from the 22oz bomber.

Sweet malt and lemon peel aroma.

Taste is malty at first, with a sharp high-alpha bitterness. Burnt caramel in here, with some oily hops and lightly sweet. Getting some metallic flavors in here too, and some bromophenol/disinfectant taint to it. Aftertaste is a bit sicky and oily, but it's not bad. The low abv makes this a pretty good session beer.

A pretty unremarkable amber, though it does have a good memorable name and CCCP'ish logo.

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Hale's Red Menace Big Amber from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
3.42 out of 5 based on 92 ratings.
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