Great Lakes Brewery - Red Leaf

I was at the LCBO last week preparing for a little beer club meeting and I decided to do a little grab bag of cans from various breweries that I have either never tried, or have only had one or twice in the past.  One of the breweries that made it into the batch was Great Lakes Brewery, and the specific can was one their Red Leaf.  Now, I'm always on the search for a good Red - I love my chicken wings, and I love 'em more when I have a good Red to enjoy 'em with.  I have to say, I'd never tasted their Red before, because when I think Great Lakes, I think of the fan favorite: Crazy Canuck, and that's the first thing I grab from them.

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.)