XS Imperial Red - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Imperial RedXS Imperial Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

289 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 289
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 18
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TurdFurgison on 12-22-2007

12 Ingredients:
Malts: Great Western Harrington, Klages, Hugh Baird Crystal, Black, Munich, Chocolate and rolled oats.
Hops: Willamette, Cascade and Chinook.
Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

19.4º PLATO
58 IBU
76 AA
47º Lovibond
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 289 | Reviews: 191
Reviews by CHADMC3:
Photo of CHADMC3
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red to almost walnut brown with a thin, foamy tan head leaving very little lacing behind.

Sweet caramel and toffee malt with dry earthy hops and some bread like aspects.

Earthy hops, more caramel malt, and dark fruitiness highlight the palate.

Medium in body and carbonation with a nice dry finish and very nice palate balance hiding the abv.

This beer has a great flavor balance and hidden abv, is very refreshing and well built.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Iam not a big fan of the 7oz bottles of the XS series but I have wanted to try this beer for awhile,so I bought one today.Poured a deep murky amber with a tight formed one finger off white head that held pretty well.Aromas are a mixture of the signature deeply piney and citric Rogue hop character,and caramel malt with a touch of slighter roast.The biggest thing I noticed about this beer on the palate was the lack of alcohol presence for a beer that packs so much of it,the resiny hops although not dominant played a big role intermingling with caramel malt and some biscuit.A real nice beer,not worth what I paid for the small bottle,but still quite good.

Photo of JasonA
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Im not exactly sure when this is from. I want to say either 2006 or 2007. There is no best by or born on date. The ABV says 8.25, not 9. Recipe as follows:
Crystal 40, Chocolate, Munich and Two Row Pale Malts; CBitterig palisade and aroma crystal, free range coastal water and top fermenting pacman yeast.

Pours a deep mahogany red. No head momentarily, but bubbling up to a solid finger with ample lacing. I cant imagine a red looking any better. Its still got some staying power.

Carmel malty deliciousness. Slight aroma hops, but no pine or citrus.

Boozy and quite bitter. Not bitter in a bad way per se, but almost like an english hop character. I need it to warm a little to get more malt. Im surprised at the level of bitterness. Weird, but as I dont drink Red Ale's often, I doubt this is to style, but Im digging it.

Sits well. Definitely needs to warm over non-imperial counterparts. While the bitterness makes it unbalanced, I think couples with the malty character it goes for a unique representation of the style.

A+++ will buy from again

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tulip glass this beer was a dark red/brown color with a rim of tan head. Sweet malt aroma, as well as a bit of flowery odor. Mostly sweet malt taste, some cherry, and a little bit of piney hops. Dry mouthfeel. Not bad, but I was expecting more. Maybe try again.

Photo of andyfrancis
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

7 oz bottle.

Pretty deep amber color. Creamy tan head. Some visible light carbonation.

Some hops on the nose along with some dark fruit and spice.

Nice bloom of flavors. A little dry hop bitterness followed by spicy sweetness.

Lingering mildly bitter, yet sweet finish.

Very drinkable considering the complex flavor and alcohol content.

Photo of Jason
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

.75L ceramic flip top bottle with no freshness date. I persoanlly don't like these bottles, they make for sloppy pouring due to the weight and not knowing where the liquid is at any given time. The higher pricing doesn't sweeten the reasoning behind the use either. Thankfully this is not beerbottleadvocate.com so I can move on.

Big bubbly dense off white frothing drops thick patch curtain of lacing on the glass. Garnet meets amber for the color, good clarity as well. Wild flower hop aroma, soft yet earthy with a tea-like backend. Strawberry and plum fruitiness from the alcohol couple with the nougat and toasted maltiness in the nose. Alcohol, hop flavor and a roasted / toasted graininess battle for domination though all seem to call a truce and meld well together. Alcohol is warming with ripe fruit and a faint solvent breath. Hop flavor comes in thick yet soft with an semi-oily herbal flavor but then the bitterness kicks in with more of a grapefruit peel taste. The malt is just as toasted as it is roasted with faint coffee and chocolate flavors as well as some sweet cake batter and fresh toasted bread within. Finishes bitter sweet with a lingering alcohol.

Tasty and certainly with in that "Imperial" realm that American brewers have created. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 7 oz nip. The beer pours a dark red color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee and brown sugar with some alcohol mixed in. The flavor is full of alcohol and toffee malt with some earthy hops. There is also a little bit of sweet brown sugar in the flavor. Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. Decent, but not worth the high price you have to pay for it.

Photo of jondeelee
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring a deep amber with red tinges, Imperial Red has an intensely sweet nose, malty sugars (maple syrup, apricot, orange) intermingling with grapefruit-like, rosewater-laden hops. So sugary is the nose that I felt as if i were sniffing liquid candy, or what would happen if Jolly Rancher outsourced their flavors division to a champagne factory.

On the tongue the ale turns out to be far hoppier that the nose belied, the grapefruit/pine bitterness coming in at medium to medium-heavy strength (58 IBU). Beneath that, however, is a sublime layer of malts containing an incredibly complex and nuanced variety of sugars. Maple syrup is here, but also port wine and cognac flavors, strong hints of oak, vanilla, spiced orange liqueur, and lychee nut. The only detraction is that the high alcohol content (8.25% ABV) does result in a slight alcohol twang. The sugars last well into the aftertaste, then peel back to let the hops shine one final time, and just at the end is a port-like swirl. Mouthfeel is medium.

Overall, this is an excellent ale. It might be argued that the hops could be toned down slightly to better let the malts shine through, but I don't personally have any problems with the ratios. The beer is also slightly more expensive than usual (probably because of the fancy ceramic bottle), but it's well worth the cost.

Photo of rickmick
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice thick head that contains a lot of flavor.

Smells hoppy, nothing too complex going up the nose.

Taste is very full bodied, hoppy but not piney. Slight notes of malt, a nice finish.

The mouthfeel is great: the beer is thick and nicely carbonated.

The flavors are very strong. Combine that with the high abv, and I wouldn't want to down a bunch of these, but I had no problem doing it with just one.

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

7oz bottle, a souvenir from a visit to the Pearl District pub in Portland a few months ago.

This beer pours a hazy, murky rust-tinted dark golden brown hue, with one finger of tight foamy beige head, which leaves a few amoebic specks of lace as it fades away. It smells of caramel cream malt, citrus and pine hops, some mustiness, and a slight booze edge. The taste is hoppy up front, with muddled aged bitter citrus peel and pine needle essences, over top of a decent bready, caramel malt, with touches of fortified wine and unprocessed dark fruit. The carbonation is on the soft side, the body medium weight, and approaching smoothness. It finishes fairly clean, the emphasis on the lingering tangy, resinous hops.

A decent strong red ale, the big booze quite well integrated, and enjoyably hoppy, for when that itch arises.

Photo of jmz62565
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark deep mahogony with a huge tan foamy head. The head lasts forever and leaves great lacing. The smell is pungent with bread yeast,sweet malt, and some carmel. The taste is sharp with bitter and citrus hops,carmel,sweet malt,and alcohol. The taste is dominated by the bitter hops and alcohol and overpowers the sweet malt and carmel flavors. It's OK,but not Rogues best. The m/f is medium with the flavors not mixing all that great. This is only an average beer and I'm alittle disapointed in Rogue.

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An expensive bottle, thanks Boutip. An amber with good bitterness, balanced malt and some roast. Off white head lots of lace,even barleywinish. A tad chocolate malt, Palisade and Aroma Crystal hops, Pacman Yeast. A winner for people moving up the crafty brew food chain.

Photo of augustgarage
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 7oz bottle into my petite Moinette tulip.

Pale buff foam assembles over a dark burgundy body which glows a luminous rose madder when held to the light. Sticky soapy lacing, and good retention.

Pale malt, faint caramel, barley syrup, and grass in the nose.

Incredibly deep maltiness on the palate, a perfect blend of chocolate, crystal, and Rogue-grown varieties. A pleasing woodsy bitterness emerges slowly but steadily, suggesting herbs, and clove-studded citrus peel. Dry finish hints at pumpernickel and grapefruit seeds.

Medium-light bodied, not quite oily but substantial mouthfeel. Alcohol is nowhere to be found.

Very pure and dry, it seems to engender thirst more than quench it.

I'm pleased that Rogue is returning to offering their beers in 7oz servings, but I would have preferred a bomber of this really.

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4.5
rDev: +4.8%

Appearance: Dark brown with decent foam. Lightens up a bit to a medium brown in the light. Pretty nice carbonation effect as well.

Smell: Great smell of chocolate malt. Pretty sweet as well. Some dark fruit in the background here as well. Great balance.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Tastes and feels like smooth chocolate. Almost like alcoholic hot chocolate.

Drinkability: Comes in a 7 oz. bottle you should be ashamed not to finish this with ease.

Overall: I quite enjoyed this beer. It's kind of a hard beer to describe. Worth the experience. I wish the bottle was bigger so I could get a better feel.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of BeardedRiker
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, it's time to try another beer my brother got me for my birthday. I had seen Rogue's ceramic bottles before but never bought the beers, mostly because of the price. It's time to see what's inside!

This is a bit of a difficult one to pour out like you want to because of the ceramic bottle. It comes out in little gushes. Fortunately, there's not much head on this beer so unless you're an idiot you won't mess it up. The head is maybe a bit over half a centimeter thick, foamy, and off-white. It fizzes away quickly and there's no lacing. The beer is an interesting, cloudy reddish-brown, mostly opaque.

This doesn't smell like any red ale I've had before. It has an almost quad-like smell. Sweet molasses, apples, slight tropical fruit, and a woodsy oakiness. Earthy hops.

The taste gets better as it warms and is much like the smell. Sweet molasses mixes with earthy hops and oak woodiness that make the stronger flavors. The hops also add a bit of spiciness while a slight booziness makes an entrance towards the end.

This XS is excessively (sorry) smooth. Medium-bodied with medium carbonation.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pour from a 7oz bottle into a snifter yielded a half-finger of creamy tan head atop a hazy chocolate-brown body. Laces pretty well.

The smell is sticky malt and maybe un-sweet toffee. It really smells more like I'd expect from a barleywine.

The taste more or less follows the nose, but with some more hop bitterness in there; not excessive. There's an interesting roasty flavor on the end and recedes into black coffee. The middle is thick and very malty.

Mouthfeel is good; for being so powerful-tasting, it's definitely not syrupy.

Overall this is intense; I could probably see it going with steak, as proposed by the bottle, or maybe even dessert (also proposed); it could really offset a lot of sweetness, being so potent. It's pretty good, but (especially considering the price), I'm glad it's offered in a 7oz bottle. Seriously though, this is inscrutable from a 'barleywine' in essentially all aspects.

Photo of Snow81
4.78/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark, Hazy, Reddish amber

Smell: Dark hoppy citric, some roosted malts, and almost a small amount of heat

Head: Nice tan head but dissipates quickly

Taste: Heavy malts with a deep hardy citric, some heat on the backend

Weight: Very heavy, carbonation seems a bit low

Finish: Hops blanket the palate and the heat is in the background, lips sticky

Photo of cjgator3
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Ceramic 750ml XS bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Pours a dark brownish red color with a light tan head with good lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is largely comprised of malt and caramel with a hint of dark fruits and a moderate hop presence. A pretty solid aroma, would like to have a bit more of a hop presence in this one but it is solid the way it is.

T- The taste like the aroma is big and malty with caramel and dark fruits. The hops come out more in the taste compared to the aroma. This is a pretty nice balanced imperial red, I like it so far!

M- The mouthfeel is full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Rogue Imperial Red is a winner in my book. The price in the ceramic XS bottles is a little out of my price range for a repeat purchase, but it is a solid beer that is definitely worth a try.

Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse. Served in a 20 oz. pint for $7. Appears a dark red with a short off-white tan. The aroma and flavor are surprisingly mild, but the drinkability is good for such strong beer. To me it'd be more accurate to call it an imperial Irish red ale, as the amped up flavors, when dialed back seem more like the mellow caramel malts of an Irish red. There's a splash of spicy citrus at the beer's finish, but the flavors here are noon too big.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not gunna lie. It was the cute 7oz little bottle that persuaded me to drink this beer.

Pours a deep red/brown syrupy color. Mostly just a ring for a head. No lacing.

Aroma is mostly just malty. A little hops in there but mostly malt.

It tastes like an average brewpub beer. Like a brewpub making an imperial red. Nothing that just makes it stand out. It's imperial, it's red, it's just kinda hoppy, it's just there.

Mouthfeel is too thick. Carb needs to be bumped up too.

Overall I won't buy this again. Not worth it. Most rogue beers are just not exciting enough and living in so cal I can get my hands on way better beers.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a decent tan head that retains as well as you would expect. The aroma has a nice big caramel presence upfront, along with some piney and citrusy hops, some dark fruits, toasted bread and some alcohol. The flavor starts off with a load of piney, citrusy, and resinous hops, followed by a massive caramel and toffee malt base, along with some dark fruits (cherry, fig and plum), and some ethyl alcohol. Mouthfeel is full and rich without being sticky, and drinkability is quite good. A very solid Imperial Red, but perhaps a bit pricey to buy on the reg.

Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7 oz bottle opens with a slight whoosh & a bit of mist. Pours a not so bright, semi-turbid chestnut with a sliver of tan head. Nice viscosity to this, good head retention & average lacing

S: Oaky notes, cakeyness, smokey notes (oak & hickory) up front. Leafy hops show once warm, plums, plus some sharp booze, that never shows up in taste...

T: Cakeyness, rich dark fruit, herbal hops, persimmons & Christmas Pudding up front, dryness. leafy hops, along with a fairly potent smokeyness. Dark fruit, oaky dryness, cakeyness & leafy hops once warm, starts breaking towards an American Barley Wine. Finishes dry, oaky & fruitty with some nice cakeyness as well

MF: Chewy enough, slightly assertive carbonation, fairly decent balance & a nice warming sensation

Drinks easy enough, not sure on the age of this, or what Rogue was actually shooting for here. Having said that this work for me on enough levels I would tell you to give it a go

Photo of bashiba
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

From a $5 7oz bottle, Poured a deep amber color with a thin ring of tan head.

The smell was a nice deep caramel malt with subtle hop aroma.

The flavor is mild and balanced with some nice dark fruit notes in the malt and a good mild bitter pine finish.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick and a touch warm.

Might be a decent drink, but at the price it would cost you $10 for a full glass, pretty out of control when I get 6pks of other top notch imperial reds for about the same price. Between this and the XS bitter it has made me swear off every buying another Rogue again, I always end up feeling angry and embarrassed that I paid this much for what is always an average beer.

Photo of thagr81us
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from 7 ounce bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint. Pours reddish brown with a one-finger off-white head that subsides to a minimal amount. There was minimal lacing throughout. The flavor was comprised of hops and malt. The flavor was of hops with a slight malt note upon being swallowed. It was medium on the palate with low carbonation. Overall I was surprised to see this amount of hops show up in a red ale. While surprised, it was welcomed as well. I mainly bought this one due to the little bottle. It was a very nice brew but I don't think I could drink a large quantity of it in one sitting however.

Photo of GRG1313
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 7 oz (small!) bottle.

This score/review is based on allowing this beer to warm and drinking it cool, not chilled. Review of the chilled beer would be substantially worse and I changed this review significantly after beer warmed closer to room termperature.

Pours dark copper brown with a very thin and quickly fading tan head.

Extremely faint nose-almost non existent but hints of cooked fruit and prune and chocolate coffee. Nose improves with time and a bit like Dr. Pepper or warm cola. Get more like elegant cooked fruit and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is actually bold, full and lightly creamy. Mouthfilling and leaves you wanting more.

Flavors are somewhat unique. First taste or two is not very good and is like stale burned coffee. Flavors improve as beer warms and become much more appealing - malty, big coffee, bitter espresso, hints of Dr. Pepper and undertones of black chocolate. Rich malty toasted grain and "sweet toast."

Finish is really best part - all chocolate espresso with a rich bitter character.

A great example of give a beer a chance to open up like you would a wine. The one ends up being very appealing and would likely be really good with BBQ, big meats, among other things.

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XS Imperial Red from Rogue Ales
86 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.