The good people at Shiner were kind enough to send me a sample of the summer seasonal Ruby Redbird recently — and since spring beers started coming out in January, and summer beer were out last month, I’d better fire off a review before the fall seasonals come out later today.
Let’s dive in:
-For starters, the beer has a pleasing orange-copper hue and good clarity, though I found it to have minimal head and fast dissipation of the foam.
-The aroma was slightly sweet and I got just the faintest hint of buttery, almost-burnt popcorn.
-It had an average mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.
-A light, sweet grapefruit taste is evident up-front; I expected the grapefruit juice would impart a certain bitterness, but I didn’t get that. I didn’t detect any predominant hop character, either in bitterness or taste/aroma. The beer finishes with a light malt presence.
-My overall impression: This beer would fit in the easy-drinking category — it won’t strip your palate with hops or weigh you down with heavy malts. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. I would have loved just a dash of hop aggression — especially with some cascade or centennial hops that would have accentuated the grapefruit juice nicely. You would do well to have a couple of these on ice for a hot summer’s day, but at the same time, I could see wearing a little thin on the grapefruit if it was the only beer you had on hand for a whole weekend.
-As of this morning, there were only 30 tickets left for the grand finale Tulsa Craft Beer Week beer tasting festival on Saturday. You can scoop up tickets, and a schedule of events, at www.tulsacraftbeerweek.com.
-Showing up in state liquor stores soon: Prairie Okie Imperial Brown Ale aged in oak whiskey barrels; Prairie Noir Imperial Stout; Prairie Bomb Russian Imperial Stout brewed with coffee.
-For all my Canadian fans out there — you know who you are — Goose Island just announced expansion into Canada. You Canadians have grown up so much since I left!