Colorado Red is another collaboration, this time between Thornbridge and Doug Odell, the respected brewer behind Colorado’s Odell Brewery – although Doug learned the craft of brewing at the Anchor Brewery in San Francisco. Anchor was one of the first American ‘craft’ beers I can remember tasting, so that’s fine by me.
Inevitably it took several years for Doug and the Thornbridge guys to actually get things sorted, they first met in 2008, the again in 2009 and it wasn’t until 2010 that they got together to concoct what became ‘Colorado Red’, which Thornbridge describe as ‘an English twist on the American Red Ale style of beer‘. I don’t think we get enough Red ales here in Blighty, so bring it on.
The original brew was brewed with what Thornbridge described as a “full of a range of speciality malts” (Maris Otter, Munich, Crystal, Caramalt, Dark Crystal, Wheat) along with “a list of hops that is enough to make your mouth water” ( Admiral, Bramling Cross, Phoenix, Pilgrim and First Gold – all British) and while I wouldn’t be surprised if the recipe has been tuned and modified in the intervening five or six years, Thornbridge get it right more often than they get it wrong.
So,to the beer, that pours a reddish Amber colour, with a loose – large bubbled – off-white head that fades slowly.
The nose definitely has hints of citrus in there, with caramel toffee.
Flavour-wise there’s orange and toffee, dried fruit – raisins and sultanas – maybe some mixed spice, but that’s when those English hops kick in. Rich and darkly bitter, not aromatic or metallic, but strangely rewarding.
It’s good, it’s very good, that shouldn’t be a surprise coming from Thornbridge, but not quite great.
That’s why I’m giving it three and a half Brewclub Stars.