Red is one of my least favorite styles of beer in the spectrum. The
only thing I dislike more is an Irish Red that’s gone bad, much like
Broken Bow Red Ale. This is the second beer I’ve had from this brewery
that’s been barely drinkable and sour (and not in a good way).
I poured a 12oz can into a mug. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.45 ($0.20 per ounce).
Appearance: Initially, a rather dark but pretty red/auburn hue. It pours
to a massive yellow soapy head and spastic carbonation is visible. Once
I get the rest of the can in the glass it becomes extremely cloudy due
Smell: A slight lacto tang is the first thing I detect. Eventually, I smell some malt aroma but it’s quite mild.
Taste: Anyone who knows beer knows that lacto only belongs in select
styles like Berliner Weisse, Gose, etc. I highly doubt this is an
intentionally soured beer so I can take an educated guess and say the
sourness is due to either old age or poor sanitization at the brewery.
It’s a shame because that tanginess actually kind of works in the beer’s
favor. It actually is a bit reminiscent of a Flanders Red rather than
an Irish Red. The usual dark malts are here, though they’re fairly mild.
I do get a bit of a chocolaty taste on the finish, which would be nice
if the lacto didn’t make the beer taste like I’m drinking it from a
glass with dish soap still in it (I wasn’t). Perhaps this is nice on
tap, but not so much out of the can.
Drinkability: I notice that beers that have intense and clearly visible
carbonation tend to be crisp at first but die down quickly (e.g. every
adjunct macro lager and malt liquor ever). That’s how Broken Bow Red Ale
drinks, too. The mouthfeel is light and bubbly at first, but then
becomes rather tepid and muddy. The sourness lingers on the tongue
momentarialy, but otherwise finishes clean. Though 5.5% ABV isn’t that
strong, there should be a lot more body and complexity than what’s here.