I am bigoted against Red Ales. I pre-judge all red ales, thinking that they are all bland, somewhat but not too malty, watered down beers that the brewer has whipped together in a bid to appeal to timid beer drinkers, those that order an “amber, like a Bass Ale” when they belly up to the bar, but never explore the world of beer beyond that. The lesson here, as always, is that I am an idiot.
Proof of my idiocy is found in this beer, the Tocobaga Red Ale from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Co. This Red Ale is excellent. It pours a deep copper with red highlights and terrific lacing. The aroma is hop forward, lots of pine, some citrus, and some sweet caramel malts. You get an initial blast of hoppy bitterness, followed by sweet caramel malts, and then a dry and hoppy finish. It starts with a creamy mouthfeel which gives way to sparkling carbonation. Minds are like parachutes, they only work when they are open, and I need to open myself to more red ales. The Tocobaga Red Ale is a good first step, 7.5/10.