THE SOLID BUT UNSPECTACULAR is the staple of Emmett’s, and few brews embody this more than their McCarthy Red. Promising in looks with a rich and deep amber color and a bountiful and prodigiously-laced head, its flavors tumble over themselves trying to keep up. Aromas don’t avail much aside from a few toasted malts and bit of grassy hops at the conclusion. On the palate, though, a heavy hand with the flavoring hops—heavily bitter and grassy—can’t be balanced by an intense malt infusion that spikes around the midpalate as a nutty (pecan) tang almost reminiscent of extract. Medium in body for all this and with fairly high carbonation, but not enough to compete with the aggressive profile.
Served: On tap (Emmett’s Tavern, Palatine)