Paddock Wood Red Hammer

Reviewed by on September 17, 2014 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Paddock Wood Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Saskatoon, SK, CA

  • Rated On: September 16, 2014

  • Best Before: Packaged June 25, 2014

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Red Hammer is a regular brew for Paddock Wood, not just coming out around this particular time of year – they classify it as a ‘European Amber Hybrid’, a sort of meta-hybrid of certain BJCP classifications.  At any rate, there is some convincing Soviet-era workers’ imagery depicted on the label.

This 355ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber hue, with one finger of somewhat puffy, and mostly foamy beige head, which leaves some sudsy lace around the glass as it steadily settles.

It smells of sharp, candied orchard fruit, rich bready, and mildly biscuity caramel malt, a soft nuttiness, and floral, somewhat herbal hops. The taste is a nice biscuity, grainy caramel malt, a touch of seasonal (pick any one this time of year) spice, mildly earthy dark fruit, and decent herbal, grassy hops. The carbonation is fairly sedate, but still supportive in its playful stabs at frothiness, the body a comfortable medium weight, and pleasantly, simply smooth. It finishes with a surprising, and entirely welcome, wafting caramel/vanilla updraft, tempered yet by the enduring biscuit malt and grassy/herbal hop notes.

Well, this is most definitely in the ballpark of an Oktoberfest/Märzen, its rounded malt sweetness pushing it beyond the initially tempting ESB red herring markings. If this is “Old World Style” for a red beer, then more red beer brewers should follow Paddock Wood’s lead in looking to the past – but I’m sure it’s not just the historical context that’s responsible for this tasty offering here.

Brady White

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