Maybe he’s not as famous any more as the Troll that lives under the bridge, but there’s a genuine Soviet-era statue of Lenin in Fremont that I’m fairly fond of – so when I saw him staring out from this bottle of Hale’s Ales Red Menace, I knew I had to have it. Been a while since I tried a properly local brew, too, so this was something I was looking forward to.
Unfortunately, like the old communist on the front, things turned out to be not quite as wonderful as we’d been promised once the initial blush wore off. Definitely a nice ruby-amber in the glass and with a fat cloud of foamy head to top things off, it started out looking pretty good for this bottle.
It wasn’t long, though, before the red revolutionary romance began to fade: a slightly carboardy aroma was a off-putting, and taste-wise there was something about this beer that just didn’t feel (or taste) quite right. Not completely bad by any means, but too up-front in the hops and with a vaguely soggy feeling about it, this was on pint that missed the mark for me.
Sorry, Hale’s – wanted to like this more, but just… didn’t. Guess that’s the way it goes sometimes.
JBB6 Rating: Middle of the Road