Mad River Brewing Co.: Jamaica Brand Red Ale

I have seen the Jamaica Brand Red Ale at Bevmo in the past but though that the name seemed kind of odd . . . so I never bought it. I saw it again at the Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles for sale as a single bottle. After thinking about it for a short while, I decided to just buy it and give it a shot . . .

I will have to add this to my short list ASAP. I cannot believe that I have been passing this up for almost two years now. Why?

Well, first, the color is anything but red. Alright, its close to red, but nothing like any red I have seen in a long while. It looks more like a mahogany-stained dinner table than a red ale. Its dark and opaque with a rich head. The aroma reminds me of some of the finer IPAs on the market . . . the hops provide an array of floral notes that are nicely balanced by the rich malt scent. The taste of the Jamaica Brand Red Ale is crisp and clean. It starts off with a bite on the tongue followed by the mellowness of the caramel malt while finishing with a lingering tingle in your mouth. It is not the kind of lingering that makes you feel as if someone just gorilla-glued hops to the roof of your mouth. It is far more subtle than that . . . enjoyable in fact.

According to Mad River, the Jamaica Brand Red Ale has 42 IBUs and 6.7% ABV. Personally, I think this is within the range of very drinkable beers, not too hoppy, yet not bland and just the right amount of alcohol so that you can enjoy more than one in an evening.

The bottom line: Darn, Bevmo is closed already . . . I will have to wait until tomorrow to stock up on the Jamaica Brand Red Ale


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