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XS Imperial Red - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Imperial RedXS Imperial Red

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

284 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 284
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
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:
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 added by: TurdFurgison on 12-22-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of XS Imperial Red Alström Bros
Ratings: 284 | Reviews: 190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle tried 26 Mar 2009. Courtesy of jtrockchalk, thanks!

Poured in Sierra Nevada pint. Medium sized light orange-brown head, long lasting. Moderate carbonation. Cloudy brick reddish brown in color. Aromas of butterscotch, salt water taffy, cashews and peanut brittle. Initially seems like a light barleywine, ethanol and raisins to start. Alcohol gradually moves to the background and some toffee becomes apparent. Light chocolate undertones. Bittersweet and alcohol finish. Some citrus in the aftertaste. Medium body, sticky mouthfeel. Alcohol seems more than 9%.

Well done but judging by the other reviews and beerspy I can see how the price would keep people away from this.

htomsirveaux, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of Kendo
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got it on tap at the Lionheart in Albany on 3-25-09.

A: Body is dark amber with a ruby-red tint to it. A small ivory head leaves behind sheets of lace.

S: Mainly sweet stuff -- caramel malt, toffee and even some brown sugar. A hint of piney hops in there too, however, with a touch of citrus fruit.

T: Follows the nose -- caramel malt, toffee, baked bread and an unidentified spice character. Hops add some citrus and pine. Pine finish balances the sweet malt profile a bit.

M: Heavy in weight, slightly slick and oily in feel.

D: I like this style, so I did pretty well with it. But I think the heft and sweetness will lead many to go slow with this one.

Kendo, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of Lukie
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Dry Hopped Red is one of my favourite beers, so I have been hankering out to try this one. What better then to celebrate my graduation!

Pours out a very dark brown/ruby colour, with a fluffy bubbly head which slowly dissipitates into lacing around the edges of the glass. A slight cloud sits in the middle of the liquid, all spotty.

Big malty caramels, hints of chocolate coated licorice, and a candy like alcohol give way to some mild hoppy, woody notes. Not as hoppy in smell as I would think it would be, and more robust malts.

Initial burst of malt notes, with hints of chocolate come through, before a delicious balanced hoppy taste. This beer seems to be just below a barleywine in terms of maltiness, but similar flavours from the malts, with a way more balanced hop taste.

Not really what I was expecting, but very nice and drinkable, with very little alcohol noticed. The body is smooth and moderate to heavy, with a tingling sensation.

Lukie, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev -1%
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.

tempest, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml ceramic swing-top bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright coppery red color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, some hops and some citrus.

T: The taste is malty up front with sweet flavors of caramel, tea and citrus. Then there's a strong hops bitterness that comes in to provide a good balance. There's a mild alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, like all of the XS Series beers that I've had, this is a good beer with a lot of strength and a lot of substance that is well-worth drinking for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of stephens101
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm working my way through the XS series slowly, mainly because of price, but also because they seem to be hit or miss so far. This one looks promising though. A thin, mostly bubbly two finger tan head quickly turns into a fairly thick one finger head, stands still for a while, then fades, leaving a good sheet of lacing around the pint glass. Color is dark amber. The nose involves a good amount of caramel like malts mixed in with some chocolate, some nuttiness, then some hops at the end. Taste big on the caramel with a nice hop bite on the finish. There's not a whole lot else going on, maybe some alcohol in there. It has a medium mouth-feel and medium carbonation. Not my favorite XS so far, but I'm not really for sure what an Imperial Red is supposed to taste like, so I have nothing to judge it against. That being said, it's not bad overall, and I like the good mix of sweetness and bitterness and the fact that they're taking the Red Ale up a notch.

stephens101, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of aerozeppl
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice looking clear red color with a finger of slightly off white head. Really good lacing.

S: It is a Rogue so the first thing you get it a very over hopped nose. There is some sweetness in there as well with a slight hint of the alcohol.

T: Mostly just some malt and hops. Nothing too crazy which works in this beer's favor. It can get a little bit overpowering at times. Tons of hop bitterness with some citrus as well.

M: A little bit on the sticky side. Medium to heavy mouthfeel.

D: Not too bad. Glad I got it on tap and did not have to try it out of one of those overprices ceramic bottles. A decent beer. Reminded me of lagunitas Lucky 13 which IMO is better and less than half the price.

aerozeppl, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Equal parts brick red and ferric oxide orange with bright tangerine borders. What a lovely (and appropriate) hue given the style. The pale butter toffee colored cap is richly creamy and is sticky enough to leave impressive looking sheets of lace on the upper part of the glass. Subsequent pours look even better.

The aroma is a mixture of caramel (crystal malt) and an earthy nuttiness (Munich malt), in addition to a nonspecific fruitiness from the Palisade and Crystal hops. The chocolate malt isn't appreciated per se, but it's undoubtedly adding 'oomph' on the bottom end. A more impressive hoppiness on the top end might have led to a higher score.

I'll say one thing for Rogue, they Nine Inch Nailed the style. It can't be easy to brew a beer that tastes like an Imperial red ale and nothing else. Whether it's good beer or not is an entirely different matter. Hmmm... the jury is still out. It is growing on me, however.

The beer earns points and respect by having an impressive amount of boldness, not all of which is due to a considerable (although fairly well-buried) alcohol presence. The sneakily complex flavor profile includes well-toasted brown bread, steely caramel, orange peel, peanuts and tobacco. The hops make more of an impression as the beer gains a few degrees, especially with respect to bitterness.

The mouthfeel oozes quality, which is typical for these guys. It has the smoothness (due to malt) and the firmness (due to alcohol) of tempered glass. Big beer lovers should be right in their comfort zone. Did I mention the perfect carbonation?

Rogue Ales has taken their fair share of shots for their business practices, but they almost always come through where it matters most. Even though I have no interest in purchasing another bottle of Imperial Red anytime soon, I have no regrets about plunking down the cash for this one.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of ArrogantB
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got a chance to try this thanks to a friend. Amber-red color, not much of a head. Smells malty, grainy, hmmm. Flavor has a little bit of hops but seems a lot more like a pumped up amber than what I think of as a hoppy red. This is nowhere near other imperial reds like OB Gordon. I feel sorry for anyone who actually paid the retail price on this beer....

ArrogantB, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/3/08. On tap at Ginger Man. Pours a dirty brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of caramel and toasted malt, flowery hops, and perfumy sweet malt. Flavor of cracker malt, sweet fruits, raisin, raspberry leaf cookies, and slight iced tea. Nice and tasty.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of kevd193213
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ceramic bottle. Reddish amber pour with a huge frothy tanned head that stayed there forever. Great lacing. Aroma of malt and hops. Overpowering sticky taste of malt with a bitter peppery and citrus hop and alcohol finish. Good, but the price tag was pretty steep.

kevd193213, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of brendan13
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured from the 750ml ceramic bottle into a tulip glass a dark copper colour with a couple of centimetres of off white head that falls leaving a bit of lacing down the glass.
S - A toasty and caramel malt with some dark fruit hints dominates but there is some floral and fruity hops to back it up.
T - Much like the smell. The toasty and caramel malt is at the front but then the fruity and floral hops come through to balance it out.
M - Medium to full bodied, lingering sweet caramel taste. Sticky sweetness hangs around too. Fairly low carbonation.
D - Full of flavour and something I'd drink again, not on a regular basis however.

brendan13, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of ccrida
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at the PDX public house, Imperial Red is hazy amber with with a small eggshell head that leaves decent lace.

Smell is pretty hoppy, citrus, and sweet, a bit like a BSPA or saison.

Taste is great, very bright, the citrus hops and sweet malts combine in a watermelon jolly flavor that is very tasty if you don't mind candy like beer.

Mouthfeel is oily and slick, not to heavy, a nice, softer carbonation.

Drinkability is good, I really like this beer, but it's a bit sweet and strong to session with. Still, the alcohol is well hidden, and it's damn tasty.

ccrida, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of Fatduck
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a hazy deep red color, with a sticky thick head.

S - Fruity, hoppy and malty. It's balanced and fresh.

T - This beer is great! Its malty sweet and robust, well rounded hop bitterness. Very good beer.

M - Thick and chewy, this isn't what I expected, but its great, feels like a strong ale, or a trippel...

D - One was more than enough, even split between two people. I love the big XS rogue bottles, but they can be hard to finish.

Fatduck, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of riored4v
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 4/27/08

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Fairly thin, off-white/tan head. Murky and ruby in color.

Smell was dominated by malt sweetness and raisins.

Taste was of caramel, malt sweetness and some roastiness. No real hop character although there was a mildness bitterness. Alcohol hottness was very present which surprised me for the 9% and it being a Red.

Mouthfeel was fairly thick and semi-sticky.

Drankibility is so-so. The flavors and aftertaste are interesting, but not something I would probably want to try again. Alcohol hottness is very present and doesn't make it much of an easy drinker.

riored4v, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy copper color ale with a good size foamy head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma consists of big caramel malt notes with some slightly bitter notes also discernable. Taste is also a mix between some big caramel malt with some slightly dry bitter hops at the end. I was expecting a hop bomb since the bottle is relatively fresh but all I got was a big malt bomb (not that this is a bad thing I just wasn't expecting it). Full body with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well done.

Phyl21ca, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of Douglas14
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-brown color with a nice thick head. The nose is predominately of hops, malt, and oak. It has pretty nice aroma. The taste is similar but it has a much larger earthy-wood flavor to it and is very sweet. Hops are very present and the carbonation fits perfectly with this beer. Good stuff.

Douglas14, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of bonbini26
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Deep amber color that is on the brown side, one inch off white head that is somewhat creamy, some retention, weak lacing
S-Sweet malt, spices, cinnamon, caramel, apples, toffee, faint hoppiness, oranges, booze, and sugar
T-Starts off sweet and full of fruit, bready in the middle, finish is boozy and in desperate need of dryness and hops from the very beginning, gets even more sweet each sip I take, too sugary and reliant on malt, this style needs balance and this definitely does not have it, need to see less hot flavors too, pungent going down
M-Medium bodied but pretty thick, needed a lot more carbonation because of its thickness, spicy, sweet, hot, oily, and chewy mouthfeel, taste lingers a long time
D-This stuff is hard to drink and tastes much hotter than it really is, ABV is only nine percent but it is not hidden, heavy on the stomach with sweetness too, not smooth or inviting

Nothing too special here, def wouldnt spend the $15 again for this

bonbini26, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of soccerman7
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - deep brown with a pleasant sandy head that left a touch of lacing.

smell - sweet, malty, toasted bread. faint hops.

Taste - very different. complex, sweetness, citrus almost grapefruit bitterness. flavor lingers to coffee somewhat.

mouth - a nice lingering feel. smooth but not coating as many imperials are.

drink - worth trying and is a very new style. its interesting.

soccerman7, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of swizzlenuts
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The nose on the beer has a sweet malt with hints of caramels. The beer pours a very dark red with a off white/tan head with pretty good retention. The beer looks pretty good and like an extreme red ale. The beer has a really good caramel malt with a nice hop bite at the end. This is pretty much like a buffed up Rogue American Ale. This has a really good balance from the sweet usual red taste, bitter, and hop flavour. The beer is thick and creamy, this is about perfect. The beer is really drinkable.

I'd like the beer to be a bit more aromatic with hops, but other than that, it's solid. The beer is exactly what you'd expect.

swizzlenuts, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of DefenCorps
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle received from the man that will be named in the lawsuit when I die. You know who you are, chump. Into my Duvel tulip.

A: Crystal clear ruby red with a massive beige head that recedes leaving a ton of lacing. A good deal of carbonation is present here.

S: Mostly malty sweet with a mild citrus hop aroma. Fruity.

T: Starts off mildly hoppy with a decent citrus hop flavor and is followed with a solid, juicy malty flavor with plums and yellow raisins. Alcohol appears on the finish, which is dry and bitter-sweet

M: Well carbonated, medium bodied and nice finish

D: I should be able to finish this 750, which is always respectable for a 9% beer

DefenCorps, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of Floydster
2.88/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml swing top ceramic bottle that was about fifteen dollars, split with my dad last night, poured into my Chimay goblet

A-Deep amber color that is on the brown side, one inch off white head that is somewhat creamy, some retention, weak lacing
S-Sweet malt, spices, cinnamon, caramel, apples, toffee, faint hoppiness, oranges, booze, and sugar
T-Starts off sweet and full of fruit, bready in the middle, finish is boozy and in desperate need of dryness and hops from the very beginning, gets even more sweet each sip I take, too sugary and reliant on malt, this style needs balance and this definitely does not have it, need to see less hot flavors too, pungent going down
M-Medium bodied but pretty thick, needed a lot more carbonation because of its thickness, spicy, sweet, hot, oily, and chewy mouthfeel, taste lingers a long time
D-This stuff is hard to drink and tastes much hotter than it really is, ABV is only nine percent but it is not hidden, heavy on the stomach with sweetness too, not smooth or inviting

I had heard this one was not worth the money from a few people but I had to go and see for myself, I agree with them, the only way I would drink this again is if I saw it on tap for five bucks or less and that was the only interesting thing there, with that said I do not recommend this one

Floydster, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of McLovinmybeer
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale was poured from a twenty-five ounce, resealable black ceramic bottle. Chocolate malts dominate the beer's aroma and all but hide the ale's hoppiness. The color is deep red and the brew poured very little head. The taste is malty, chocolatey, sweet, and a bit hoppy. At 75 IBU's I expected the hops to be more pronounced, however, they were dominated by the beer's robust maltiness. At 9.25% ABV, this is definately a sipper. Overall, a fine Rogue Ale that I would definately recomend.

McLovinmybeer, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml ceramic swingtop bottle into nonic.

Deep mahogany hue; it looks slightly cloudy but it's hard to tell because it's so dark. The head is a little taller than one finger, tan, and slowly settles to a razor thin rim, leaving behind some sticky lacing.

A good mix of caramel and some dark candy-like fruit.

The dark fruit is in the flavor as well, mixing with some toasty grain. The hops come in toward the end adding a little bit of citrusy bitterness. Full bodied with slightly lower carbonation. The finish is a mix of lingering fruit and some of the citrus hops.

This is probably the fruitiest Red Ale I've ever had. It's pretty close to a Scottish/Scotch Ale as well, but much fruitier. This one is a little sweeter than I would like.

BeerSox, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of yourefragile
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL swing top bottle poured into a nonic. Is this where I'm supposed to complain about the bottle?

A: Dark, hazed red-brown color with a off still, dense white/yellowish head. Great retention and sticky clumps of lacing.
S: Strong, sweet malty and candied fruit aroma with a strong earthy hop background. Walks the line of almost being too sweet, cloying, but still pleasant.
T: Medium, creamy body with light carbonation. Flavors are strong, both sticky malt sweet and dry, flowery hop bitterness. Surprisingly balanced. Alcohol is noticeable in the finish and is very warming. Backbone of this is clearly a very strong malt presence, slightly toasted and grainy. There is a sweet fruit presence that lingers throughout and the finish. Start also has a pinch of bitterness that fades into the sweeter finish. Obviously a strong floral, earthy hop bitterness throughout as well.

Yep, an imperial red. I tried to avoid any thoughts about the packaging of this beer and I ended up enjoying this a lot. Not quite a Nugget Nectar or Cane and Ebel, Big Hoppy Monster or whatever, definitely more Imperial than those (whatever that means). Worth a try, but worth the price, well, I don't think any of the XS beers are.

yourefragile, Aug 23, 2008
XS Imperial Red from Rogue Ales
86 out of 100 based on 284 ratings.