About a week after picking it up, I've decided to crack 'er open and do a little tasting before I fire up the grill for a couple steaks I have marinating. So without further ado, Great Lakes Brewery: Red Leaf.
This "smooth red," as they call it, pours a golden red - almost coppery, although the picture makes it look more like a brownish clay - with a frothy light beige head. The interesting part of this is with such a thick and frothy head there was surprisingly little lacing. The aroma is a light combination of caramel, grain and roasted malts. The mouthfeel is smooth - as they aptly describe it - with average carbonation and a quickly dissipating, light aftertaste. The grainy aroma takes on a toasted quality in the taste, combined with flavours of roasted nuts, bread and caramel malts. These different flavours are all light in their own respects and blend together fairly well.
And the verdict? My search for the perfect red to go with my chicken wings continues, unfortunately. While the Red Leaf is an overall satisfyingly smooth Red, it failed to blow me away. Will I buy it again? Sure. But I have to say this Red meets the standard and does little to set itself apart from the rest, unlike so many of the other great brews from GLB.
So I ask you, readers and fellow OBC members, what makes the top of your lists for your favorite Red?
-JDK (And no, contrary to popular belief, the "D" does not stand for Douche.)