STYLE: Red Ale
APPEARANCE: Very murky red with amber highlights along the edge of the glass
HEAD: Excellent. Tight-knit, creamy heady that holds on for a very long time.
LACING: Very good. Nice, steady rings.
NOSE: Inconclusive hops (really, that’s the best word I could come up with) sit atop a caramel malt aroma with muted hints of spice and toffee.
TASTE: Caramel malt up front, but it has an almost rye-like spiciness to it. It’s immediately overtaken by a bitter hop profile that’s neither particularly citric or piney, just…bitter. It’s like the brewer just threw in Alpha Acids without adding any of the other wonderful aromas and flavors that hops provide. The malt backbone fades quickly leaving just prickly, drying bitterness in the finish.
MOUTHFEEL: Medium to light-bodied. It’s a bit drying and astringent.
DRINKABILITY: Alas, the Roots Brewery is no more, so this is the last Island Red I’ll ever have. As Beerford wisely pointed out, in this case, it’s no great loss. The Island Red is an OK brew, but it isn’t particularly impressive. Drinkable? Sure. We polished off the bomber pretty quickly. But it was forgotten almost immediately thereafter. It wasn’t bad, but not the kind of bottle you need to save for posterity.
RATING: 2.5 Hops