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
95 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.4/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic. No date or info.

A - Red Menace pours quietly despite it's tall height and settles to a crystal clear red-amber color with an off-white head. The retention was rather low but it left some thin fingers of lace on the glass.

S - Toasted bread and flaky biscuit emerges from the nose immediately followed by a grassy, green, and slightly floral hop aroma. The amber malts become less distinct the longer it sits. I'm starting to pick up a metallic touch which, coincidentally, goes away as well. A swirl releases more of the citrus from the hops. It's a decent amber nose.

T - The toasted bread and biscuit flavor remains from the amber malts but is forcefully pushed to the background from the amount of strong-armed hops in this. Lots of bitterness and pine potency with a grassy backing and hint of citrus. It's a pretty hoppy amber.

M - Medium-bodied and round, Big Amber is big in hop flavor and bitterness. The finish has a dry, bitter kick and a hard mouthfeel. It's not really on the smooth side bit all-in-all it works decently.

D - This amber is a little hoppier than I like mine to be, but it's brewed well nonetheless. The bitterness with a low malt backing is the issue for me though. Still a solid beer but it lands around the lawnmower side of the scale. One is enough for this reviewer.

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Photo of HugePlume
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Unique appearance a deep burnt red hue. Pours with a low but somewhat thick head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

S- The best part of this beer may be the aroma. A healthy well roasted smell, with minimal fruity hop influence. You can imagine your nose immersed in the barley.

T- A little weak, the roasted flavor is still there but does not translate as well. Nothing inspiring, however the roasty flavor once again makes its presence known as it finishes, a quality i found memorable.

M- A little watery, appropriate carbonation.

D- The strong yet pleasant roasted aromas and finish make this worth sampling.

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Photo of Redrover
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hales Red Menace drank from an imperial pint at the Elephant and Castle in downtown Seattle. The beer is a dark red with a light tan head.

Caramel malts and slight citrus in the nose.

Taste leads with caramel malts that are slightly roasted. It is well balanced with some light hops (centennial) that lend a pine note and add balance. It is almost dry in the finish.

The mouth is thickish and slightly oily.

I thought it was an easy drinker that is well balanced. Nice example of what a red can be.

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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 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 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 blackc5
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle at 40F.

A - Deep reddish copper with very minimal head but at least a bit of lacing from what was there.

S - Very faint but mainly grassy and earthy hops with a bit of malt.

T- Pretty unremarkable for a red. Grassy. Pretty hoppy with a bit of zest and pine. Very dry.

M - Carbonation is light. Crisp and medium bodied. Aftertaste is bitter.

D - Goes down easy enough, but leaves one wishing for a bit more in terms of taste. Low alcohol.

Not one of Hale's better efforts. That said, have had this on tap, and I remember it being better. Perhaps this was an old bottle...

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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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Photo of olmatty
4.02/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a low one finger tan head with good retention, beer is a dark reddish brown amber

Smell- Sweet and fruity amber malts and some nice fresh hops

Taste- Sweet amber malts, biscuity with notes of molasses, orange rind and dried fruits. Hops are citrusy with a bit of pine. Complex and balanced. An absolutely outstanding flavor.

Mouthfeel- Light smooth carbontion, moderate body and somewhat mouthfilling

Drinkability- Smooth and quite flavorful. Big flavor and still surprisingly drinkable.

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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 timtim
3.62/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

head and lace on this burnt amberish beer are almost non-existant. off white head fades quick and leaves no lace. i can't put my finger on it, but i just wasn't terribly fond of this one. i love a good red ale, and it doesn't have to be a hop bomb, so... if you ask me, a couple of reviews down nailed it. strawberry and raspberry SEED, mixed with lightly burnt toast a touch of pine in the nose. more of the same with a touch of metal in the finish when tasted. above average brew, depending on what you consider average. decent medium body and fairly easy to drink. i won't be revisiting this one.

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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 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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Hale's Red Menace Big Amber from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Beer rating: 3.42 out of 5 with 95 ratings