This American red ale from Molson Coors Canada is a clear amber colour, yielding a large and spongy white head that has good retention, lingering as a rocky cap. Rickard’s Red IPA has a strong, lemony aroma and light peppery tone in front of light toffee malts that carry notes of fresh grain and warm biscuit.
The taste of Rickard’s Red IPA seems somewhat imbalanced at first, but manages to come together, wavering from a sweet but sharp buckwheat honey-like tone to a punchy citric bite and then warm, syrupy peach and mango flavours. A moderate bitterness (40 IBU) transitions to an earthy and grainy finish and though there are pleasant lemon and fruit notes that linger, they are saddled with an unfortunate stickiness that had me reaching for my water glass between sips of this full-bodied ale.
Rickard’s Red IPA is shipped in *gasp* red vented cans with “RED IPA” prominently displayed using a bold white typeface, with the image of three barrels in a darker red behind the lettering. I’m fairly certain this beer will never see the inside of a barrel, but whatever. A “Red Series” logo suggests that this won’t be the last variant of their iconic brand that we see. There’s a description of the beer and serving instructions on the back and coded freshness dating on the bottom.
Though not a particularly bad beer in it’s own right, Rickard’s Red IPA just feels sort of pointless, especially after more ambitious and well-received “experiments” under the brand like their Lederhosen, Radler and Shandy. Rickard’s Red drinkers want Rickard’s Red and your average IPA fan simply wants something that doesn’t say Rickard’s on it.
This ale leans more to the English side of the IPA scale and would pair well with meat pie, roast beef, old cheddar or something mildly spicy like samosas. In Ontario, you can find Rickard’s Red IPA at The Beer Store and it’s being distributed across Canada.
Type: American Amber / Red Ale
Brewery: Molson Coors Canada
Format Purchased: 473 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.7%