When the bottle of Portland Brewing Raise the Roost Belgian-Style Red Ale showed up on my door I was intrigued. As a self-described "non-Belgian" fan (with a list of Belgian-style beers that seems to grow daily and says otherwise) I wasn't expecting to love it but was curious to taste what Portland Brewing had crafted with Belgian yeast in the form of a red ale.
The aroma was most definitely Belgiany and I tried to keep an open mind as I tasted it. The flavor played true to the aroma but to my pleasant surprise the characteristics I generally dislike were muted or mitigated by the choice and usage of malts (2-Row, CaraRed, Melanoidin, C-120 and roasted barley) and hops (Liberty, Nugget and East Kent Golding). It struck me as a beer that nicely bridges the gap between the heavy, roasty beers of winter that are slowly departing and the lighter beers on the horizon that will herald the return of spring.
Will this be a beer for you? I don't know and there's only one way to find out - give it a go. I'll be interested to hear what you thought of it.