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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
BA SCORE
3.42/5
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94 Ratings
Hale's Red Menace Big AmberHale's Red Menace Big Amber
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#41,016
Reviews:
59
Ratings:
94
pDev:
15.5%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
6
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 59
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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Photo of beertaster13
3.82/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful ruby brown with a nice off white head that minimizes quickly. The aroma has a nice blend of citrus and honey malts. The hop smell is suprisingly strong for an amber, will crave those hop-head cravings. The taste is a blast of hops, I was blown away at the hoppiness of this amber ale, unlike any I've tried before, a nice sweet honey is light and goes well with the hops. A well rounded beer and went great with Spicy chicken. A very nice offering.

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

22 oz bomber. Very nice lookin amber in my pint shaker. Amber with red trints with a nice sized bubbly/frothy tan head, that goes fas but leaves nice laceing. A very "caramel" aroma to this one almost to the point of butteryness actually quite inviting. Again I liked the malty/toffee sweet flavour of this only broken up by a hint of bitterness as the mouthful vanishes down the throat. Nice on the palte, sweet but not sickeningly so. I liked this beer a nice laid back sweet amber!

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

Flawless coppery orange suffused with a dash of red. The ecru colored cap picks up a faint orange cast from the beer beneath and looks, for all the world, like it belongs on an IPA. The foam is milkshake thick with a rumpled, heavily pitted surface and leaves scads of pocked lace that covers the majority of the available glass. It doesn't look menacing, but does look good.

I'd call beer this an IPA if I didn't know different. The nose isn't as spectacularly hoppy as the best of that style, but it's certainly more hoppy than almost any amber ale that I can think of. Sweet caramel and brown sugar are appreciated as well. The top notes consist of a Pacific NW hoppiness that reminds me of (from most prominent to least) orange, grapefruit and pine.

While Red Menace Big Amber is still pretty hoppy on the palate, it isn't quite the 'be all and end all' hoppy amber that I'd hoped for. In addition, it feels a tad undermalted. There's no shortage of well-toasted caramel malt flavor though. It's interesting that a small amount of black malt was used. I can't believe that's a common ingredient for a beer of this style.

There's a juicy orange, lemon and grapefruit hoppiness that doesn't dig in as ferociously as I'd like (for which I'll blame the too light body/mouthfeel). The beer is more sour than it is bitter. Bitter attempts to make a comeback on the long finish, but never does completely offset the tangy puckeriness.

The Red Menace label sports a statue of Lenin with a partial border of hop cones. Although it falls short of revolutionary, Hale's had the right idea and deserves points for chutzpah. With a tweak or two, this could be one for the ages, unlike those wannabe revolutionary Communists. That Red Menace is no more, but this Red Menace is alive and kicking.

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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 canucklehead
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This really should not be labelled as a big beer as the flavours are not in your face but rather aimed at drinakbility. I like this beer but it is not a typical big special edition. Lots of malt with a good balance this just goes down easy with an attention to quality. Drink with the feeling that the next pint will also be as smooth.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one is a dark, brownish-red in color with a beautiful off-white head with moderate retention and good lacing.

Smell – The big leafy citrus hops are evenly mixed with the thick malts. The malts are somewhat biscuity with some good sweetness. The sweets are refined sugars and very well done.

Taste – The hops here are leafy, not the big PacNW pine or super-charged citrus that you often get in these parts. The biscuit from the nose comes out in the taste and is, again, very leafy and almost green. Overall a very powerful and balanced flavor profile.

Mouthfeel – This is much bigger than medium-bodied but I wouldn’t call it full. There’s some vegetal bitterness in the mouth along with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability – This really is a Big Amber Ale that went down quite well. It’s a heavy hitter for sure and offers a rare glimpse of a big, malty ale brewed here in the PacNW.

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Photo of freed
4.11/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was recommended by our server at the Rose and Raindrop, and it seemed like a nice way to finish the evening. The glass held an enchantingly deep amber liquid with good clarity and a curious head. The foam was made of a great variety of bubbles sizes like you'd find in pancake batter. It created a nice milkshake look, though I feel that it may have kept the aroma down. It was just slightly sweet and roasty, but that might have also been masked by the yolks sitting behind me having 2-3 cigarettes for ever bottle of PBR they drank. Who drinks PBR in bottles anyway?

The taste was a surprising mix of sweet and solid amber flavors with a brightness from the hop choices. The ale had a wealthy body that filled the mouth and drank easily. The crisp hops gave the beer nice dimension as well.

This ale was quite drinkable, and I'd love to have it again.

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Hale's Red Menace Big Amber from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Beer rating: 3.42 out of 5 with 94 ratings
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