Buckbean Tule Duck Red Ale

I received a special can of Tule Duck Red as a sample from Buckbean Brewing Company before the official cans were released so my photos of the can may not represent what you’ll find in the stores. This red ale is refreshingly different from other West Coast breweries in that it is not super-charged with the 3Cs (Cascade, Centennial, Chinook), instead the hops reveal themselves as more herbal and floral. The malt of this beer also gives is a sweeter flavor.Buckbean Brewing describes Tule Duck Red Ale as follows:

This red, robust ale combines a silky smooth, rich body with a fruity, caramel malt flavor and a soft herbal dry hopped finish. A full flavored, classic beer that pairs well with hearty foods of all types.

Update (May 30, 2012): Unfortunately Buckbean Brewing closed their business in 2012. But worry not, craft beer is still growing strong all over the United States.

Date Reviewed. August 21, 2009

Where I Found It. Sent to me by Buckbean Brewing.

Serving Type. Can to a glass.

Appearance. Tule Duck Red Ale has a deep red-brown mahogany color and almost matches the color on the can. The head is off-white yellow-tan that is almost like a cappuccino. It is such a deep color it is hard to ascertain the clarity but it looks to be slightly hazy. The head has a mix of tiny and medium sized bubbles and lasts about as long as you would expect.

Smell. This beer has a sweet roasted malt aroma with a biscuit quality and with a touch of brown sugar and caramel. Unlike others of this style that I’ve had recently, it doesn’t smell like brew day or a brewery, fresh malts. This doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the beer, just an observation and quite to the contrary the aroma of this beer is great. It also has a little hint of coffee smell but a sweet and roasted coffee smell and not a burnt or woodsy. The hop aroma enhances the sweetness with floral notes and a hint of vanilla.

Taste. Tule Duck Red Ale has a sweet roasted flavor almost a woodsy earthy but weak roasted coffee with a touch of sugar added. I has little bit of caramel.  It also has a bit of bitterness that somewhat adds to the coffee flavor. The sweetness is malty but seems a little candy like.

Mouthfeel. This is a medium bodied beer with an average amount of carbonation.

Drinkability. This beer goes down smooth and is easy to drink. The candy-like sweetness is a little different and would probably keep me from having more than two, at the same time I rarely want more than two of event the best beers before I move on to try something else, sometimes it’s even just one.

Rating. My ratings below are on a five point scale with five being the best score.

  • Appearance (20%): 4.0
  • Smell (20%): 4.5
  • Taste (40%): 3.5
  • Mouthfeel (10%): 3.5
  • Drinkability (10%): 3.5
  • Overall: 3.80


  • Style: red ale or amber ale
  • Brewery: Buckbean Brewery
  • Alcohol by volume: 6.2%
  • Beer Advocate rating: 3.19 (as of May 15, 2010)

Other Reviews

Buckbean Tule Duck Red Ale reviewed by David Jensen on August 21, 2009.
Sweet roasted malty flavors with just enough bitterness to balance the beer nicely.
Tule Duck Red Ale is an American-amber style ale made in Reno, NV by Buckbean Brewing.
Rating: 3.8 out of 5

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About David Jensen

David is a craft beer and photography enthusiast.
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One Response to Buckbean Tule Duck Red Ale

  1. Never even heard of this! Looks like it is an acceptable beer. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for it.

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