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Ard Ri - Upland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ard RiArd Ri

Educational use only; do not reuse.

137 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 137
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 8
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 10-09-2007

"High King" is an Imperial Red Ale
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 137 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WastingFreetime
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Bottled Feb 2011, cellared at ambient basement temperature in Wisconsin, consumed Sept 2012.

Pours out a murky clouded copper color with a single finger of off-white fine foam for a head that sticks around for about three minutes, leaving concentric rings of lacing. Semi-sticky full body, light carbonation levels.

Smells and tastes of plenty of sweet toffee / caramel , pine resin, and grapefruit pith with a minimal level of oxidation... Yet honestly, it hasn't really gotten any better with aging. Even though all of the boozey hotness has been removed, the interesting roasted and nutty malt aspects have been removed as well... and there's not quite enough complexity or new traits developing with this (last) bottle to justify the cost of further experimentation with more bottles. I seem to have started with something just simple enough to be appealing, and inadvertently dumbed it down until it became -boring-.

I think I'm going to just call it a 'learning experience" and move on from here.

Photo of Klif
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of mtrain237
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of neckbracesub
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Kegatron
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby, with a finger of rich and creamy off-white head. This retains with a frothy ½ finger which leaves back a robust cascade of sticky lacing. The aroma smells dark and sticky in the nose, with roast, caramel, and green citrus all mixed in while ripe tropical notes and herbal character sits along the back. Some pine and leafy accents hang on the edges.

The taste is a sticky mix of toffee and tropical fruit, punctuated by a green citric bitterness that then segues into more of a roasty backend. The finish is dry and resinous with some lingering bitter pith and then a touch of sticky sweetness and char on the very end. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied with some sharpness on the tongue but does get a bit more slick and creamy as this spreads out in the mouth. This does have some heady warmth to it that really sticks those hops to the palate and is overall getting a wee bit distracting at times.

This really came off as more of an Imperial Red Ale than a Barleywine and while I did appreciate the overall brashness of this in spots, the strong flavors of alcohol, bitterness, and roast just clashed a bit too much with each other to really keep this approachable. This was decent but I’ve seen the style done much better before.

Photo of antoines15
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of hopfacebrew
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber to pint glass the beer arrives a deep amber ruby color and a bit hazy, nice 2 finger white cap with good retention and lacing. The nose is caramel sweet with hints of toasted malt and nice piney hops. The flavor is more hop dominated with a nice sweet caramel sweet base and a hint of toast. Medium bitter. Enjoyable. Finishes dry with a long lingering sweet hop. Medium bodied and well carbonated.Hadn't heard of this beer and received in a trade. Evidently I enjoyed it more than other BA's, lol. The label clearly reads Imperial Red Ale.

Photo of rmehughes
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of SnatchyMcPants
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of ChugginOil
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at an unknown liquor store while headed home from 3 Floyds.

Poured into a FFF pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazed reddish/orange. There is less than a fingers worth of white head. Not too much lacing.

The nose is certainly malty and has a good amount of sweet caramel and biscuit-like malt. Some more bready malts make way to a bit of dark fruits.

The taste is also malt forward and has a lot of sweetness to it. There is a ton of bread/biscuit malts that when added to the sweetness have a great dessert-like taste. Lots of sweetness, not cloying, a bit robust with a bit of roasted malts.

The mouthfeel is medium-heavy with a lighter amount of carbonation. Creamy.

Overall, this is a decent brew for sure. I would have liked to see a bit more hop presence though.

Photo of thewimperoo
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of Massbmx
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of FalconA
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of jmarsh123
3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red with a 1.5 finger off-white head with good retention and awesome lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with a little bit of an earthy/spicy hop presence.

Sweet caramel malts throughout with a bit of an earthy hop presence near the end. Definitely malt forward.

Thick and creamy without being too sweet. Medium carbonation.

I haven't had this in two years and it's not quite as good as I remember, but still a solid brew.

Photo of jheiss
2.5/5  rDev -32.6%

Photo of raveskdr
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of liamt07
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared by Sammy, 22oz bottle into a tulip. Bottled February 2011.

Poured a reddish brown, some orange shades around the edges. Cream coloured head, thing film of retention and some spotty lace. Nose has some very sweet malts, bread, berry fruits and toffee. Taste is quite fruit-y (as per its nose), more berries, sweet malt and toffee notes. Dry breadiness, with a solid bitterness in the finish. Dry, sweet (almost cloyingly so), with a medium body and carbonation. Fairly plain and uninteresting for the better part. Surprised to see this listed as an American Barleywine, initially took this to be an Imperial Irish/American Red of sorts.

Photo of peensteen
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep red colour with a collar of white head, light lace with quite a bit of floaties swimming around. Smell is malt driven all the way, cherry and leather, some darker fruits and booze. Taste is malty, light toffee, generous hop profile, citrus, quite fruity with under ripe cherry coming through. Light carbonation, medium feel, medium body, solid enough feel. This wasn't bad and thankfully much better tasting than the nose would let you believe but still didn't quite do it for me.

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good malting, with a good bitterness in the finish. Light red bodied,caramel,a little brown sugar, a big bubbly head. Lacey. Interesting and decent drinkability, but not overally complex.Really an irish beer and not a barleywine.Also 8.7% abv.Above average carbonation.

Photo of Rempo
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of adamb0719
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of drpdaddy
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of tsauce2
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P: 22 fl oz bottle in to an imperial pint

A: SRM is amber/brick red. Hazy. Head is off white, 1 in., fluffy, dissipates to line rim of glass. Light lacing.

S: Malt and carmel notes come through, followed by hops.

T: Initially malty, but followed by heavy hop notes and a touch of sweetness. Bitter aftertaste. The ABV is very well hidden.

M: Maltiness gives a very appealing mf at first, but hops seem to counter rather than compliment. Bitterness of aftertaste sticks to the sides and back of palate.

O: A hopped up imperial version of a traditional red ale. The maltiness was spot on, but the hops detracted from the overall taste instead of complimenting this beer. Upland did a fantastic job of making this beer 9.5% without being boozy.

Photo of claspada
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesome extra courtesy of rwinzing. Bottled February 2011.
Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a nice eggshell head that retains well, and leaves plenty of sticky/spotty lacing behind; lots of nice tiny bubbles.
Aromas begin with toffee and caramel maltiness. I also get some nice citrus hops but they aren't dominant or prevalent enough to discern exactly. Some more sweeter butterscotch is also present.
The tastes begin with big caramel and toffee maltiness once again with some stone and citrus fruitiness. As it warms you get more of the buttered bread/biscuity maltiness and some light grapefruit hops and light alcohol notes.
Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with plenty of balanced medium level carbonation. The buttery malty flavors and sticky citrus hops linger for a nice pleasant and no where near offensive finish.
Overall I enjoyed this. It is kind of unbalanced and a bit too malty but I enjoy it because it's trying to be different by creating an Imperial Red Ale. I would have probably enjoyed this more if the hops were more floral and traditional for an Irish Red style; even if they were amped up real high. I just feel the dark caramel/toffee flavors don't meld well with American citrus hops. I love Imperial Red Ales don't get me wrong, but when then flavors go beyond the simple bready and caramel flavors and creep into dark toffee it kind of clashes. It's why I hate Black IPAs, anyway. Definitely good and worth a go if you stumble across it, but no need to seek out.

Ard Ri from Upland Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.