Hell’s Basement Red Shed Irish Red Ale

Reviewed by on July 13, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Hell's Basement

  • Origin: Medicine Hat, AB, CA

  • Rated On: July 13, 2017

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Irish Red Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

What we have here is an apparent tribute to the Irish-Canadian family who run Red Shed Malting, provider of custom malt to many a new and old Albertan craft brewer alike.

This 355ml can pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with two fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and mildly bubbly tan head, which leaves a bit of streaky dripping paint swath lace around the glass as it quickly bleeds away.

It smells of very cereal-forward, grainy and biscuity caramel malt, some muddled dark orchard fruitiness, puffed-wheat squares, a hint of free-range ashiness, and some plain earthy, leafy, and floral green hop bitters.  The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, a bit of overripe pome and generic citrus fruity esters, subtle wispy smoke notes, further mixed malt essences (wheat, again?), and some still understated leafy, weedy, and musky floral verdant hoppiness.  The carbonation is fairly tame in its quotidian frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and pretty much smooth, with a wee airy creaminess arising as things warm up a tad out of the ol’ basement fridge.  It finishes well off-dry, the complex malt not really paying any heed to the concept of lingering hops.

Overall, this is exhibit A (or B, maybe, after what Troubled Monk recently did with their golden ale) in what local malt can do for you.  And if there’s any style that can benefit from such a focus, it’s this one – lots of cereal and mild roast character abounding here.  Worth checking out, full stop.

Brady White



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