Ruedrich's Red Seal Ale

The label proudly states, "Water, malted barley, hops, yeast & that's all."

It's a reddish coppery color with a good head. the head slowly dissipates to a sticky film of bubbles that grips the top and also remains pretty well on the sides of the glass. The aroma is magnificent - all hoppy and yeasty. It's powerful, too. I can smell it from a few feet away, and I want to do more than smell it already.

First sip has a bit of a bitter bite and then a smoky sweetness that eases onto the tongue. It's a nice beer as far as I can tell, but it seems a bit unrefined. While I respect the limiting of the ingredients, they might have been smart to include a few different types of hops or malt to even the taste out a bit. I know I often complain about some beers being too boring, but trying to force taste where it doesn't work isn't a good solution. Maybe I'm not getting the full effect.

A bigger draught improves matters a bit, but it's still too primal. The hops are lively at the outset, and they don't really get mellowed by the malt. In fact, there's not really enough malt in there to do anything substantial. So, the hops are permitted to run ragged throughout the beverage, but it's not the pleasant sensation that I get with Lagunitas or Heady-Topper. Instead, the hops are too harsh. It's a shame - I had very high hopes. Maybe it will improve with a bit of warmth.

Meh. Moderate improvement, if any. I hate to give a beer with such pure ingredients a low score, so I guess this will get only a moderately low score.



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