It has been a lazy past month and for those who pay attention I give you my condolences. However I believe I can make it up with what is sure to be another tasty ale from the fine West Coast folk of Mad River Brewing. While I didn’t get around to writing about their Barleywine earlier this month I assure you it is more than worth consuming and will be described in all of it’s glory as soon as I grab another 4-pack. Today I finally made the brutal trek over to St. Louis Park in the approximately -5 Â°F Minnesota weather to stop by The Four Firkins to pick up a few gems including this Jamaica Brand Red Ale that I have been meaning to sample for some time. While only the 2nd ale from Mad River I have had the opportunity to try the aroma alone already has me confident I will be satisfied. So lets get to the fun part. This ale pours a rather dark burgundy hue that brightens a bit when brought to light but is still incredibly opaque with small sprinkles of sediment settling to the bottom of the glass. A tight three finger off white head is easily produced when poured straight down the glass leaving a moderate amount of lacing around the glass and on the surface of the ale. Aroma is of modest hop bitterness and very light citrus esters as well as a decent amount of malty sweetness that is contrasted by a sharp alcohol note. Flavor is malt forward with sweet amber notes complimented by very gentle roasted esters and a nice gentle citrus hop character finishing with mild hop bitterness. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is very clean and smooth. While I was a bit surprised by how forward the 6.5% ABV of this brew was in aroma it is in no way over powering in flavor making this one smooth and drinkable ale. A well balanced red ale with enough malty sweetness to compliment the delicate hops and make one solid ale that most people should be able to enjoy. While not quite as hoppy as I expected based on its name this is one tasty brew that I will happily continue to drink. If you enjoy red ales in general and don’t mind some moderate hop notes you will be happy you tried this brew. Give it a shot and ride your bike.