American Red or Amber Ale is a style with a pretty broad spectrum. I have had some tremendous examples over the years and my share of duds as well. One of my all time favorite examples of this style is Mad River Jamaica Red from the Mad River Brewing Company, of Blue Lake, CA.
This beer was originally brewed for a Reggae Festival held in Humbolt County, CA each year. This beer delivers on what American Red or Amber ale should really be all about. Lots of vibrant hop aromas, flavors and bitterness paired with lots of good sweet and stewed malt character.
Jamaica Red pours to a beautiful deep amber to red color, with a thick, creamy, white head and a moderate amount of carbonation. The nose is fantastic on this beer with lots of good citrus and pine hop aromatics paired with good malt sweetness and estery aroma of ripe fruit. The palate is soft and full with lots of good biscuit and caramel malt flavors paired with tangy fruit flavor. JamaicaRed finishes with more great malt and fruit flavor up front, then end with a pleasing citric hop bitterness that lingers.
This is a great beer loaded with flavor that would work well with a number of different foods. This would work really well with spicy dishes. Jerk chicken or curried goat anyone? Great beer from a great Northern California brewer. For more information visit the brewery's site at: http://www.madriverbrewing.com/