Devils Head Red Ale (7.3% ABV) from Pikes Peak Brewing Co. pays homage to the Devils Head Lookout, a 70-plus-year-old structure with a several-hundred-mile view used to spot forest fires. While the U.S. Forest Service uses Devils Head to search for hot red flames, Pikes Peak instead cans fire’s antithesis: cool red beer. The results are commendable.
Color: A dark cherry or ruby red, Devils Head possesses the glow of a dying ember. While technically clear—no haze—Devils Head is so dark it cannot be seen through lest it’s held to a strong light source. Its tan head of foam is akin to a lightly-toasted marshmallow.
Aroma: Dark fruits like black cherry and raisin along with a touch of chocolate blanket the noticeable-yet-stifled alcoholic aromas.
Taste: Devils Head’s flavor begins with toffee and chocolate which gives way to a hoppy aftertaste. There are toasted malt notes throughout and the piney (sometimes lemony) hops become more and more apparent with each sip but Devils Head always remains a malt-forward beer.
Mouthfeel: This beer is fairly thick and oily. The hops help keep it moderately dry, though.
To quench the burning flame of craft beer craving, douse it with a tallboy of Devils Head. It’s a beer hefty enough to showcase complex flavors but light enough to be approachable. There are a number of places around the Denver-area that carry Devils Head and can sometimes be found in a mix four-pack with another of Pikes Peak’s flagship beers, Elephant Rock IPA.