Mad River Jamaica Red AleJuly 1, 2000 Blue Lake, CA
Mad River Brewing Co.
Blue Lake, CA
Available: AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, VA, WA
Jamaica Red is described as “a unique malty red bitter.” Mad River Brewing Co. has just celebrated its tenth anniversary, located in a small town in the heart of California redwood company
Original gravity: n/a
The pleasing roasty hints on the nose invite one to enter. The palate is a rich embodiment of those same roasted grain aromatics. Further investigation reveals assertive hop character to back that satisfying roast bitterness. The "Jamaica" brand reflects another well-known regional crop from this northernmost area of California, rather than any Caribbean beer character. This beer also demands a nibble of dark chocolate for company.
- Charles Finkel
The beer pours a muddy reddish brown with a loose-knit tan head (I hope it’s bottle-conditioned⎯the label doesn’t say). The aroma is hoppy with strong notes of green apple peels and bubblegum. On the palate, broad hop bitterness coats the tongue, followed by a bit of sweetness in the center. The bitterness pulls in the malt at the end for a clean finish. A bracing and somewhat idiosyncratic beer with enough personality to win you over. Of course, there’s no such thing as a Jamaica Red Ale, but this would still be pretty nice with spicy jerk chicken.
- Garrett Oliver
Attractive russet apple or plum color. Fruity, slightly coffeeish, distinctly leafy aroma. Very smooth body. Malt-accented and slighty toffeeish palate. The malty middle is big enough to balance a late surge of figgy fruitiness and bitterness, the latter from malt as well as hop. Less of a red ale (which I normally take to mean the paler, more buttery, Irish style) than an American Brown Ale. Could go well with spicy food.
- Michael Jackson
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Style and Saké.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.