Newcastle Werewolf Blood Red Ale

I am not a fan of most brown ales, and that would account for my review of Newcastle's last ale at a middling 2.5/5. That makes it dead center - completely average. Fact is, the only reason it got there was because my food came, and I noticed the beer stood up well to the food. So, I grabbed this red ale from Edinburgh in the hopes that they will have a better chance to get all the way over to the positive side of my scale.

The beer is a dark red, as its name might imply. The head is big and thick and sticks around; the sides stay caked in the frothy goodness while the top keeps a light coat. Sweet malt can be smelled coming off the top, but it's not particularly pungent. I can smell a bit of nuttiness in there with it.

The first sip is a bit on the not great side. The carbonation bites right at the outset when the beer hits the tip of the tongue. Then, the malt hits with a sweetness and roasted nutty flavor. The finish keeps the roasting taste rolling across the tongue almost back and forth. It's not terrible, but it's not something I'm going to go far out of my way to get. Perhaps a big drink will solve this problem; sipping is for sissies.

A big gulp helps matters quite a bit. The bite from the carbonation hits and dissipates in an instant. The middle is crisp - almost watery. The finish is still nutty and smoky, but it's more mellow with a full drink. I'd have to say this has definitely increased the score of this beer. I have to remember to always recommend that anyone ordering this drinks it quickly.

I expected it to be similar to other red and amber ales, but this is very different. It's better than some and
worse than others, but it is a completely drinkable beverage. I suspect, like its brethren, it would do very well paired with some salty food.

3/5

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