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Ard Ri - Upland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ard RiArd Ri

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

133 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 133
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 8
Gots: 2 | 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:
"High King" is an Imperial Red Ale

(Beer added by: Bitterbill on 10-09-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 133 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to robwestcott for sending me this one as an extra in a past trade! Bottled February 2011! Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured a deep reddish-brown with a two finger off-white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, caramel, citrus hop, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty tasty brew. Not the best Barleywine I've ever had, but definitely not near the bottom either. I really liked the citrus aspect that was going on in this one, but I think it was still a little to 'hot' when I had it. I could see this one really shining in a year or so when the alcohol has a chance to mellow out slightly. Definitely worth trying at least once even if it is fresh or aged.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 16:23:49 | More by thagr81us
Photo of nrbw23


3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a dark red maybe brown color with an off white head. Head is gone in a flash and leaves little lacing.

S- Picking up carmel and vanilla at first. Quite a bit of malts here, sweet and some booze.

T- Malt bomb going on here for sure. Alcohol warmth here too. Bready, caramel, vanilla and toffee.

M- Medium in body and a good amount of carbonation.

O- Wife is a much bigger fan of this one than I. A bit of a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 21:36:57 | More by nrbw23
Photo of robwestcott


3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

cold from the tap to 12oz goblet at the brewpub a deep caramel reddish brown with a big foamy two finger long lasting off white head that's leaving lace to the rim.

subtle hoppy aroma followed by sweet malts and caramels (?)

fairly big bitter hops up front and all over the tongue. slowly fading to caramelly sweet. but really, the hops are big. as the beer warms a bit the bitter settles and the sweet character is more present.

big bodied, big bitter, creamy smooth.

drinkable - one or two.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2011 17:43:47 | More by robwestcott
Photo of Wisconsinality


3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into standard pint.

A- Pours a deep amber with a decent amount of haze to it. There is a decent sized head, about two finger's. The head sticks around for a while and leaves some good lacing on the side of the glass.

S- The sweet malt dominates the nose. There is a little bit of hop presence buried in there as well. A little bit of alcohol peaks out at the end.

T- The malt again, dominates the taste. There is a little sweetness to it as well. There is a better hop presence than in the nose. A slight bitterness and not much else.

M- Medium bodied with pillowy carbonation. There is a slight dryness on the tail end.

O- Not a bad beer but nothing that really sticks out about it. It says Imperial Red on the bottle which I get but it says American Barleywine on here which I can also see. Hops are a little lacking though.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 12:31:01 | More by Wisconsinality
Photo of jsh420


3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours bright reddish amber brown with a tiny bit of sediment big 2 finger head that left lacing all down the glass

smells brown sugar and nutty malts

taste is along the same lines of the nose - sweet caramel biscuit malts but i also detect some fruity hops

mouthfeel is a full heavy body that is a tad sticky - decent carbonation - very smooth

overall - i am not the biggest fan of red ales but this was enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 03:53:49 | More by jsh420
Photo of AgentZero


2.75/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Reddish-brown beer that yellows on the edges. Small head with no real retention, sides left clean.

S - Lots of rye, some malts, big caramel. Smells like a big red ale.

T - Bitter with hops, there is a lot of caramel that becomes very sour. This beer gets progressively worse tasting as you go.

M - Medium bodied, lower carbonation.

O - Really hard to drink, didn't like this, taste is strong, but it's not a good thing.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 02:46:50 | More by AgentZero
Photo of jrallen34


3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured in my Narke glass... The body is a dark but bright copper. The head is fantastic, a bright off white that forms a great cap, and outstanding lacing that hands a full half finger above the base... A simple aroma, mostly malty with a hint of spice. Whopper malt, and toffee. I'm intrigued to see where this goes... The taste is a rye bomb, just dominating and makes its undrinkable, especially on the finish. A nice sweet malt note on the front is nice, but then its all downhill. Was this aged in an old oak tree?

I wouldn't have again.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 02:37:06 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Sean9689


2.9/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jason for this one. 22oz bomber poured into tulip.

A - Pours a copper reddish color, nice off-white head, lots of sticky lacing along the sides of the glass, thick ring around the glass, thin cap on top.

S - Huge malt bomb, lots of sweetness, caramel.

T - A shit-load of malts, huge sweetness, caramel, woody notes, alcohol, tons of rye, harsh overly oaked finish that's not so good.

M - Medium, soft carbonation.

O - Meh, not a good BW or Red Ale. The finish is overly oaky and harsh and the rye is overpowering. Can't say I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 02:36:45 | More by Sean9689
Photo of salvo


3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a tulip off the tap at Black Sparrow on St. Patrick's Day.

Ard Ri hoppy red ale is rich and tart with just enough sweetness to hold the bitter herbal hops upright. Smells beautifully of ripe red rye malt with a hint of sugary clover honey. That honey is way in the background and subordinated to the hard rye and medicinal hops. Taste is bitter bitter bitter and keeps me upright with it's astringency and bitterness. Finishes long and clean like a strait-razor.

This is by far the best Upland offering I have tasted. I generally appreciate Upland, I'm grateful it exists, and I'm happy it has its fans. But I rarely enjoy and really never crave Upland's recipes the way I think about and long for Three Floyds, and Sun King, and (I'm finding, more and more, the new local) People's. Just doesn't compare to Mad River's Imperial Red.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2011 01:23:22 | More by salvo
Photo of zrab11


3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a nice cloudy red with a cream head. Has nice lacing

S-Has a strong grapefruit and booze smell with some carmel notes to.

T- Has a strong boozey taste upfront. Has nice maltyness and toffee feel to it.

M-Medium bodied with ok Carbonation

D- This is a tasty beer but slightly unbalanced. Alittle too boozy for me but still a nice beer. Would try this again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2011 16:22:49 | More by zrab11
Photo of flyingspatula


3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is an interesting brew! I had a little of my Dragonfly IPA left when they brought me this. It was a beautiful deep red served in a snifter (so I knew it would be something different). The smell was rich with malt and hop aromas. The first taste seemed sweet compared to my IPA, but after awhile it seemed quite bitter. The bitterness and high ABV (9.0) made this a challenge to finish after about the first half. Still, this was a nicely done brew and I would definitely try it again. One at a time though, no six packs.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2011 19:15:32 | More by flyingspatula
Photo of gtgood


3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trying for the first time. Upland just released a new batch (02/2011).

I've never had an "Imperial Red Ale" before, so I wasn't sure what to expect (especially since it's listed as a barleywine on BA). I was pleasantly surprised. It's smooth, with a hint of something fruity and sweet, and has a rather bitter aftertaste. It reminds me of past experiences with strong ales (which further adds to my style confusion). Overall, it's quite tasty and surprisingly drinkable. I hope it sticks around for a while because I will definitely be drinking it again. Another one of Upland's better offerings, in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 04:06:30 | More by gtgood
Photo of youradhere


4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz, bottle says "imperial red" in small type- whatevs.

Pours bright copper with red hues, small off-white head that leaves behind a nice crust of lacing. Smells fruity, kind of reminds me of gratitude. Some citrus, pear, apple pie, marshmallow, vanilla, beet. Tastes mild, flavors up front are fruity malt, some hop bitter with a follow up of coffee- which is not expected by the way. Interesting for sure, this brew is off-dry which is contrary to the malt bomb smell. Contradictory comes to mind if I had to describe this in one word. Smooth and mellow with tannins bringing up the rear, the coffee bitter cuts whatever sweetness down. The style for this should be imperial red, as bwine does not do this interesting beer justice.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 04:17:21 | More by youradhere
Photo of GregSVT


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a snifter - bottled on 2/2010

A: Pours very cloudy red with an off-white head that fades to a ring leaving lacing on the glass. There are some floaties in the beer which was to be expected of a hopped up beer this age.

S: The nose is grapefruit hops, sweet caramel malts, and an alcohol bite in the background.

T: The taste is like an aged american barleywine with big notes of hops in the form of grapefruit and a nice malt backbone with flavors of caramel and toffee. The hops are what take center stage here though. Alcohol is also present here as well but it's not that bad.

M: The feel is medium bodied and creamy with a very nice amount of carbonation.

D: This is tasty but I'd like to try it fresh. Even though this is aged it has held up quite nicely. While the alcohol may be a bit high it didn't stop me from drinking the bomber.

I wasn't going to review this due to it's age till I saw it was classified as a barleywine instead of an imperial amber and I'd have to agree.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 08:08:21 | More by GregSVT
Photo of AllFineThings


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a semi-cloudy, deep dark orange/red hues when held up to the light. Has over a inch thick head which settles down after a while and leaves a lot of lacing throughout.

Tastes like a mixture between a Barleywine and an Imperial Red, some alcohol presence, but is pretty well hidden-which translates into easy drinking-watch out-LOL!

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 17:54:19 | More by AllFineThings
Photo of katan


3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A- Pours a deep dark red color. Lots of suspended yeast, very opaque. Head formation is strong, lightly off white and 1/2" in size.

S- Whoa is a malt bomb - huge amounts of caramel, toffee, sugary malts. Perhaps even a bit nutty. Hops are there, but are very muted.

T- Starts off with a combination of caramel and nutty roasted malts. Becomes even more roasted as it transitions into a bitter mid-stream, with light hopping. The rye graininess starts to dominate. Finishes with a somewhat grainy astringency and lots of alcohol warmth.

M - Moderate beer body, somewhat creamy. Carbonation is noticeable, but not out of balance for the beer. As noted in the taste, extremely hot alcohol taste. Finishes with a sugary cling.

D - Not sure how to define drinkability here. This is probably a one and done. High alcohol, lots of bready sugars, not meant for more than a session. Almost a dessert beer.

As far as barleywines go, this is decent. Wish they could mask the alcohol better.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 01:54:02 | More by katan
Photo of Thorpe429


3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate red color with a bit of a white head and not too much lacing. The nose brings out some caramel, sugar, light citrus and pine hops, and a bit of fruits. The taste is a bit sweet without too much of a hoppy character. Some caramel, bread, and sweet cake underneath. Moderate body with a decent amount of bitterness. Drinks fairly well and is a pretty good offering from them.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2010 14:21:46 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of billshmeinke


3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz poured into a pint glass. Bottled said imperial red, but yes, this is certainly a barleywine.

Murky amber body with half an inch of off white head.

Smells of caramel, hints of toffee, and ripe dark fruits. Just a touch of oxidation.

Tastes of dark fruits only present in a barleywine, some toffee, and bitter resin.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, but rather slippery for a barleywine if it wasn't for the resinous hop character. Well carbonated, quite bitter.

Honestly, a bit similar to gratitude, but way less nice (more bitter, less smooth, mouthfeel is not nearly as good.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2010 08:38:23 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of coldmeat23


3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

This pours a slightly dark shade of amber with some nice crimson highlights. The eggshell colored foam head is almost a full fingers worth thick. The retention is good, leaving a nicely thick, surface covering, foamy film. The lacing is great, but very slippery.

BIG notes of caramel malt sweetness are mildly balanced by the bitternes of hops. Light hints of buttery toffee.
Overall, the nose is rather mild, as far as components.

I was looking forward to a maltbomb, from all of the things that I've heard about this one. The nose tried to give that indication. Sadly, there is just way too much hop bitterness in this one. This should be a lot more malt forward.
Caramel and toffee malt notes are here, but they are overshadowed by pine and citrus hop notes.

Medium-to-full bodied beer with a nice light-to-medium level of carbonation. Very smooth and has a good touch of creaminess to it.

I don't know. It's okay. Nothing that I really want again though.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2010 03:53:57 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of SuperNova777


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle in to a imperial pint glass

A:Semi dark ruby red with highlights when held up to the light, half a finger worth of head that quickly resides with not much lacing

S:Sweet malt smelling with a tiny hint of hops as well

T:Those sweet malts come thru up front with a tiny hint of some dark fruits in there as well, nice coating on the palate with the malts and fruits. Also has a slight alcohol burn on the backburner

M:Medium bodied with good carbonation

D:Not bad at all, fairly easy to drink for the ABV and the price is right at $5 for a bomber. Upland seems to actually be stepping up the game with their imperial series lately definitly digging it

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2010 00:55:54 | More by SuperNova777
Photo of womencantsail


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mark for this one. Shared with some fellow BAs this past weekend.

A: The pour is a dark copper color with a fluffy off-white head and plenty of visible carbonation bubbles in the glass.

S: A nice balance of sweet, caramel malts and citrus hop notes. Just a touch of pine is in there as well. Perhaps some vanilla and fruit.

T: The hop flavor is solid and nicely compliments the maltiness. A bit of brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla. Grapefruit comes through from the hops as does a mild bitterness.

M: The body is medium with a fairly substantial carbonation for a barleywine/imperial red.

D: There's nothing bad to say about this one, really. Good balanced flavors, nicely bittered and enjoyable all around.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 22:58:47 | More by womencantsail
Photo of BeerAdvocate


3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue IV:

Bubbly eggshell-colored head rises and leaves a healthy-looking lacing on the glass. Cloudy red color, cloudy to the point of not being able to see through to the other side, though most of it cleared up when the beer warmed a little due to it being chilled. Malty buttery aroma, lots of butter. Bread and caramel with a ripe fruitiness in the nose as well. Full, creamy smooth body. Pungent to start with a hop bitterness twang and biscuity maltiness. Big caramel flavor from the malt and a butter tone from the yeast take over the palate in the middle. Hop flavor plays off of that a little bit but does not make a big impact. Fruity with suggestions of rhubarb and ripe honeydew melon. Finishes sweet with caramelized sugar, bread and vague hop flavor.

Not bad at all, perhaps a bit too sweet, fruity and buttery, but that is the path that was taken with this Imperial Red Ale. Great for anyone that digs malt bombs.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 14:49:34 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of Lukafer


3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours 2 fingers light tan head. There is some sediment, and it's a reddish-beige. Smells of dark fruits, and malts. A lot of malt. Taste is malty with some hops, and a slight nutty flavor. I may taste some oxidation as well. It is slightly sticky, with a decent amount of carb. This is a sipper, but the ABV is well-hidden. Tasty beverage, I would drink it again, especially at $5.00 a bomber!

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2010 07:12:36 | More by Lukafer
Photo of TMoney2591


3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Killian's nonic pint glass.

Big thanks to brundo4 for this guy!

One of the highlights of my Spring BIF box. It pours a clear crimson amber topped by some minor ecru micro-foam. The nose comprises cherries, molasses, sharp florals, and nutmeg. The taste is very similar, though the cherries are somewhat subdued and the florals provide a good amount of bitterness. The body is kinda hefty, with moderate carbonation and a thick, chewy feel and a slight oral coating. So this is what an imperial Irish red is like...I'm game!

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2010 03:05:22 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of cokes


3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium ruby-auburn with and modest sandy head. It leaves decent lacework even as it quickly evaporates.
The aroma brings plums, black cherries, brown bags, caramel, spruce, pine, herbs, oxidized copper, and a good dollop of booze. It smells a bit aged or old, even though it isn't.
Toffee enters the mouth first, expanding to plum and caramel. The minerally bitterness cuts it short. It's hops from now on. Metallic. Piney. Iron-rich and blood-like. Pulpy herbals. Weathered. Booze is noticed in the taste, but lacks defining characteristics.
The build is a fleecy full-ish, masked a bit by the carbonation. It's built to be drank.
The balance is here, but it's off. The maltiness begs to be featured but the less-sure hops grab the stage. They bring a necessary bitterness, but the flavor is askew. It seems way older than it is.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 09:38:51 | More by cokes
Ard Ri from Upland Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.