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 LilBeerDoctor
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/9/08. Bottle courtesy of scrizzz. Pours a deep, dark amber with a very small white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of light sweet fruits (raspberry seeds) and sweet malt. Flavor of nice light fruity sweetness (more raspberry and strawberry seeds). Nice, light, and tasty.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

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Photo of zeff80
3.74/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a very cloudy, muddy, brown color almost like water from the Mississippi. It had a small, tan, bubbly head.

S - It smelled grassy, floral and of pine and citrus.

T - It tasted of burnt toast maltiness with a piney/citrusy hop kick. One of the hopppier ambers around.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - Despite its unusual appearance it tasted quite good. Pretty hoppy and malty.

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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 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 argock
3.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass

A: Murky red-brown ale with mountainous foamy head with numerous clumps floating.

S: Sweet and toasted malts dominate the nose with not a lot of woody, earthy hops aromas.

T: Flavors seem mismatched with an extremely sweet malt backing with highly citrus hops that give this beer a lot of cardboard flavors with a very dry finish.

M: The strange combination of overly sweet malt and orangy citrus hops flavors and dry finish leaves an unpleasant mouthfeel. Medium-to-full body with more-than-expected carbonation. Aftertaste is mainly toasted malt flavors.

D: A unique attempt at a strong red ale that doesn't quite come off.

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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 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 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 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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.41/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, ruby red body with a fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of toasted bread crusts, citrus fruits, and caramelized sugars.

Taste: Toasty, chewy caramel malt flavor with a decent amount of sweetness. Plenty of citrus fruitiness, but the overall bitterness remains light. Fairly mild finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not bad, but not all that exciting either.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.84/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. I really did not think I was going to like this cheaply packaged looking beer, but I was wrong. It really did not have a great head, it was very small and tan. The beer was a nice amber color. Smell was of caramel and sweet and so was the taste but not overly sweet. A tiny bit hoppy for me but not to darn bad. I think I would actually buy this beer again.

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Photo of Gusler
3.84/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer evacuates the stubby 12 ounce bottle a deep reddish brown, the head is average in size, two fingers or so, the color white, the texture semi-creamy, as it disappears, the lacing forms a thin but covering sheet. Nose is sweet malt, fresh, with the hops providing a nice pine like aroma. Start has a nice malt presence, somewhat sweet, but with a bit of tartness, top is light to medium in its feel to the palate. Finish has a decent hop bite, the acidity acceptable, dry aftertaste, a drinkable beer, a nice change of pace for me.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
3.62/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour reveals a hazy, bold rusty amber color that yields just over a finger of head that produces thick lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Malt presence is evident, just slightly less than the subtly floral and citrusy hop character. Smells like a delicious balance, and looks like it could be a winner.

T: Sweet and bready malt character helps deliver a hoppy side through the middle and into the finish that brings with it some bitterness, but not the flavor expected from the bouquet. Aftertaste is a bit lackluster and leaves a weak hop syrup on the back of the mouth.

M: Carbonated well and a fluffy texture to go along with it. Only a bit of oily hop feel in the back in the finish.

D: A drinkable beer, to say the least, but definitely not an outstanding amber. While a great balance is struck here, the flavors don't really taste all that great, malt and hop; both seem merely average, but in sync with each other. I definitely give it credit, but wouldn't recommend it as highly as others of its style.

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Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Scored this at Davidson's. Pours coppery red with 2+ fingers of chunky sand colored pudding-skin head. Very good lacing & excellent head retention

S: Rich cakeyness, toasted malt & some grainyness, flattens out as this warms

T: Caramel with metallic & herbal hops up front. Hop tea with woody dryness/vanilla are there as this warms. Finishes with grapefruit, dryness, some tartness, toasted malt with herbal & metallic hops

MF: Medium-bodied with low carbonation& skews a bit hoppy

Drinks too easy, but as an amber this one is kind of all over the map. Not a bad red/amber

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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 ArrogantB
3.82/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well the name and the labeling are crafty with the whole Stalin-communism vibe but the beer looks more like light brown disappointment than red menace and I prefer American-Imperialist vibes anyway. The smell is a little like perfume and reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which is instantly a good sign. It leaves a dry after taste, has a good pale ale flavor, slight bit of grassy hops, bitter, good stuff but nothing approaching Nugget Nectar. In addition to this and the Mongoose, Hale’s is looking like a good addition to the selection here.

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Photo of rowew
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Statue of a communist icon on the label, along with the quote "Join the party .." How about putting some freshness info on it?

Appearance: Pours on the dark end of amber, quite a bit of haze. Average head, good retention.

Smell: A hint of malt sweetness, and some floral hops.

Taste: Definitely malt dominated, sweet and bready, with some yeasty flavor as well. Just a bit of floral hops in there too.

Overall impression: Not bad - some interesting flavor characteristics.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a frothy, initially two-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head that leaves a bit of lacing on the side of my glass. The beer itself has a brilliantly clear, dark red color with a touch of amber to it. As I pour this brew I get a nicely hoppy aroma of grapefruit and even a touch of pine. Once I go in for a more in depth look at the aroma, I notice that it is quite well balanced between malt and hop notes. Caramelized malt sugars, bread crust notes and biscuit character mix with the soft, afore-mentioned, overlaid hop notes.

The taste has a nice creaminess to it along with a chewy, malty body to it that is quite nice. This malt is immediately balanced by a sharp, yet in line, biting bitterness that lingers on in the finish. The hops show up from the get go; starting out as a light grapefruit / bergamot note, then moving to a herbaceous, pine and even menthol like note that intermingles with the bitterness that one is left with after the beer has passed. The bitterness is not all that remains though, as, in keeping with the overall balanced character of the beer, a nice chewy malt note remains lingering on the palate; light sweet in a caramelized way and with a nice toasted, cracker like note that just rounds out the edges. While I describe this beer as balanced, it really is a hoppy brew with a nice malt profile.

This is perfectly fine with me as I am in the mood for some hops tonight. A well made beer, that is better than I was expecting. In the end this is just a really nice quaffing beer, it is certainly not any where near the biggest, or the most original, but the components & flavors are all here at a level that makes for quite a sociable brew. I can't wait to try some more of Hale's Ales.

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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 oberon
3.89/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light amber more of a copper color really with a very thin wispy head that was gone very quickly,ahh very nice left coast hoppy nose very piney over top of light roasted and caramel malt.A tad thin in the mouthfeel department but not watery, I like a good hoopy red and this fits the bill quite piney,citrusy flavors they dominate over a lightly sweet biscuity malt base but its pretty well balanced in flavors.A pretty nice hoppy red ale here a tad thin like I said bit its very drinkable and has a great hop profile.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.98/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been selling this for many months and finally decided I'd give it a try. Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a reddish amber topped by about an inch of creamy, off-white head that recedes to a halo in a couple of minutes. Not a whole lot of aroma - light red and caramel malts with a slight roasty character. Like others have said, palate resembles more of an ESB than an amber. Mellow, semi-sweet malt balanced by lightly fruity hops. A touch of astringency emerges before the swallow, giving way to a slightly bitter finish. Body is smooth and a bit creamy, quite nice. A thoroughly drinkable ale, without the metallic character that so many ambers tend to develop.

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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 BDTyre
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed this one by mistake, but it turned out not to be a bad find. I like the Lenin-esque label and faux-propaganda. My first foray into Hale's, and I'm presented with a decent, drinkable session ale.

Nice amber colour, bordering almost on copper. Very slightly off-white head that puffed up quite a bit. Faint malt smell with a bit of hop bitterness. The hops really cut the malt sweetness and prevent this from becoming a brown ale.

Tastes a bit on the bitter side, tinged with a faint copper hint I often associate with bitters. The mouthfeel is affected somewhat by this, as it feels rather harsh on the way down. Regardless, this makes a good accompaniment to snacks and is a decent session ale.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.07/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Easily managed head is off white to tan and supported by slow rolling variety pack of carbonation. Brilliant amber color, milkshake style lacing. This beer screams "drink me now sir"

Green, grassy, hop profile is well placed. A spritzy kind of uplifting lightness to it, some bitterness comes from deep in the malt profile, a kind of charred twist that comes out in the finish. Overall its a damn fine amber, session quality, session priced, I'm in.

Notes: Hale's has been in the so cal area for some time but I have noticed lately the stock and variety has increased. The more the merrier.

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Photo of masikon
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked this one recently while playing a little poke with the boys. Poured less red and more amber with a nice head which stuck around pretty well. Smell was slightly malty and sweet with a faint floral suggestion as well. Taste was not off-putting in any way but not really very exciting either, just a nice easy drinking amber. Well balanced with a slight malty bias, somewhat filling and easy to gulp down...unfortunately after the first few sips the taste was uninteresting enough that by the time I thought about it again the glass was empty. A good beer to share with friends who might not be into craft beer much, but nothing that will interest a well developed palate.

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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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