Tall Tales Brewing Company was founded in 2011 in Parsonsburg, Md. One of their more popular brews is Red Headed Step Child Irish-style Red Ale. The bottle boasts, “A dark Irish red with roasty overtone and a subtle, apple, fruity finish.”
The beer poured a reddish-brown with a foamy, slightly tan head that was about a finger and a half at its height. You notice the fruitiness of the beer in the aroma right away which was still a shock given how most Irish-style reds tend to be malty and yeasty. You do get notes of malt and yeast as you would expect but the fruit played a large role in the aroma and invited you in to discover its flavor. There is some moderate carbonation showing.
Even though I had the apple, fruity aroma I still was not prepared for how much of a front seat the fruit takes. The first taste you get is a bit of yeast and malt but the fruit immediately follows. You expect some of the apple flavor from the aroma but this beer really brought the sweetness and tartness that apples offer.
The beer feels pretty light in the mouth. There is some carbonation but it is still a smooth beer. The finish is a bit on the dry side, almost like a cider but not quite in the same neighborhood. It is just dry enough to get you wanting another sip. The apple really makes this unique. It isn’t often you see a beer in this style given a new twist but Tall Tales Brewing took the chance and I think it works well.
Overall, this is a fun beer. The name is fun, the taste and aroma are fun. I might enjoy this more in the fall but you can definitely get away with it any time of the year. The beer clocks in at 6.5% ABV so there is some heft to it but the alcohol taste doesn’t really come through which is nice. If you are looking for something fun and different you might enjoy this.