Noble Rey’s Off the Leash Sits Well With Us.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Noble Rey Brewing Company‘s Off the Leash.

 

Fast Facts on Noble Rey Brewing Company’s Off the Leash.
Style:Irish Red Ale.
ABV: 6 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 22.
Color: Deep copper.
Availability: Cans & Kegs.

Overview.
Noble Rey is known for its whimsy and playful side. Now that its cans have been on the shelves for a month or two-ish, you can see that whimsy shine through in its designs. Each one contains a wacky cartoon-ish character that’s sort of cut in half but, stay with me here, when you stack the cans on top of each other, the character comes to life as you have that “aha” moment. Side note: Did you ever drink Pepsi Cool back in the day? Well, it’s like how one of the Pepsi Cool designs spelled the word “SEX” on the can if you stacked two of them up just right. Ah, teenage memories. But back to this can: Off the Leash has a zippered- and chained-up leather daddy on the front, and he’s holding some weird crown-type object. I’m guessing it parallels the crown and noble situation that Noble Rey has going on with the rest of its branding.

 

Background on Red Ale.
In a previous installments of this column, we reviewed Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye and Bitter Sisters’ Knockout. Both of these beers represent the red ale style. Unlike Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out, Off the Leash has a lower ABV, so you can enjoy in multiples without ending up in the paper tomorrow. Irish Red Ales offer a wide latitude on ABV, but they are generally known to be a more popular, lower-alcohol pub offering.

Appearance.
Red ales are one of the most beautiful beers from a color perspective — at least in my book anyways. Off the Leash pours a deep copper color, reminiscent of red velvet cake. There is a small amount of head that hangs around just for a moment, and then it’s gone. The other noticeable thing I see — and this may be a one-off situation — is that there are a lot of weirdo floaty particles in this beer. From far away, the beer looks great! But once you zoom in close, there’s both suspended bits and larger bobs that settle to the bottom of my glass. I would have guessed that this beer clears up in its time in the bright tank, or it’s filtered like some of their other beers. Maybe I ended up with a six-pack from the brewery that was the dreggy bottom of the tank or something. Dunno. Don’t worry, though; I will test another beer just to make sure. Because particles or no particles, this beer is great-tasting and it’s easy-drinking to boot.

 

Aroma.
Off the Leash is more about malt notes than aroma hops. First on the nose, I sense a toffee situation. Along with the toffee aroma is its common partner, caramel. There’s also a sweet smell, which is very smooth. At first smell, I wonder if this beer will be too much sugar on the tongue.

Flavor.
Flavor is where Off the Leash excels. There’s a biting, almost bitter sharpness at first from the carbonation and hops. Yes, the hops are there, and the flavor is where I really pick up on them. After the initial burst of flavor dissipates, the caramel and rich toffee round out the flavor. The sweetness from the malt seems to hang around forever, and I dig that. The aftertaste is clean and inviting, with just a tiny hint of residual hop bitterness.

 

Mouthfeel.
As I mentioned in the aroma section, I wonder if the sweet sensation will continue through to the mouthfeel via a residual sugary sweetness. But no, this beer is attenuated nicely and I get a little bit of the sweet flavor, but not really any residual syrupy or over-the-top mouth coating. Off the Leash maintains a nice level of carbonation throughout the pour, even though the head tapers off a few minutes in. Overall, the mouthfeel is excellent on this beer; it’s a nice balance of malty sweetness and drinkability.

Overall Impression.
While Off the Leash is a decent red ale, it falls a bit short of claiming the spot of DFW’s top red ale. The floaty particles thing doesn’t mean that it’s a bad beer by any stretch, but it’s more of a distraction than a turn-on. Will I buy this beer again? Yes, for sure. This is a good beer to have on-hand for when you want an easy-drinking red ale, or for when you have a guest over who wants a craft beer that’s not completely over-the-top or obnoxious.

Score.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Noble Rey Brewing Company Off the Leash a 7.

 

What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Saturday, April 9. Dallas Brew Bus’ April Tour.
• Saturday, April 9. Saint Arnold Pub Crawl in Downtown Denton.
• Saturday, April 9. Breakfastfest at Martin House Brewing.
• Saturday, April 9. Cornhole Tournament to Benefit Cedar Creek Lake Humane Society.
• Saturday, April 9. Brawl and Brews Kickboxing Class at Texas Ale Project.
• Saturday, April 23. Brewfest on Crockett at West 7th in Fort Worth.
• Saturday, April 30. One-Year Anniversary Party at Texas Ale Project.
• Sunday, May, 1. Bugs and Brews at Granada Theater Parking Lot.
• Sunday, May, 15. Brew Riot at Bishop Arts.
• Saturday, May, 21. North Texas Firkin Fest at Globe Life Park.
• Saturday, June 11. Untapped: Fort Worth at Panther Island Pavilion.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
Nine Bands’ Cactus Cat: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
Tupps’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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