Rickard's Red ("RR") was the first beer brewed under the Rickard's name back in 1983. The Company was subsequently acquired by Molson Coors.
It is brewed using a blend of three malted barlies which give the beer its unique red colour. Other than its colour though, there isn't much else unique about this beer. On the plus side, one of the best pints that I ever had was a Rickard's Red that tasted like it must have come straight from the brewer's vat into my local bar. Alas, I haven't been able to find one that fresh since.
The Molson Coors website describes Rickard's Red as having "a distinctive ruby-red colour and thick body. Up front it layers a hint of brewer's caramel with a light bitterness from the fusion of three roasted malts. But the caramel's sweetness balances out the bitterness to yield a smooth finish with no lingering aftertaste." I'm afraid that I didn't notice the "caramel sweetness" at all, but RR is a decent beer nonetheless and better than most North American mass produced brews. Worth a try...but nothing exceptional. Rickard's Red is available across Canada and is 5.2% alcohol by volume.
Is anybody else out there tired of trying honey browns that don't have the faintest taste of honey, or in the case of Rickard's Dark, a maple porter with no detectable maple flavour? I think we can finally recognize these descriptions as the marketing ploys they are, as brewers try to differentiate their products in a crowded beer market. That being said, Rickard's Dark is a respectable, but uninspiring beer.
The company's web site describes Rickard's Dark ("RD") as an English style porter brewed with a hint of maple syrup, and 4.8% alcohol by volume. RD was not as dark or flavourful as porters that I have tried in the past, it's much more like a brown ale than a true porter. It poured with an off white, creamy head that stuck around for a while, and left some minor lacing down the glass. Little aroma with a decent mouth feel between light and medium, with average carbonation. In short, a decent brew, but I wouldn't go out of my way to try it again...though I may be tempted to try it on tap to see if that makes a difference.