1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

XS Imperial Red - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Imperial RedXS Imperial Red

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

281 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 281
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 17
Gots: 7 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of XS Imperial Red Alström Bros
Ratings: 281 | Reviews: 190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thehand


4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark red, 2 finger thick foamy tan head dissipates slowly leaving some sticky lacing

S: Sweet, fruity, caramel

T: Very rich, complex, firm malty backbone well balanced with hops

M: full, smooth, rich, long dry finish

D: the full body, firmness, and a little alcoholic heat makes it a sipper

Very nice beer, a little pricey for what you get. I can't imagine buying this in the bar, you wouldn't even get to keep the one pound ceramic bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2008 06:13:46 | More by thehand
Photo of BlindPig


3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Creamy tan head on a cloudy dark brown red body.
S- Bunch of toasted malts, grass hops, and that classic red ale aroma.
T- Toasted malts, hints of caramel, light roasted notes with some grass hops to help balance it out. Alcohol comes in the back of throat and chest.
M- Full body with medium/low carbonation.
D- Tastes like a basic red ale with more alcohol, not much more and not much less.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 03:22:41 | More by BlindPig
Photo of getalife2k5

New York

3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

not too much of a head, just a ring around the edge of the glass. a bit cloudy and burgundy in color like cognac.
smelled of raisin, plum and alcohol.
tasted a bit sweet and syrupy with hints of raisin and even oak. at the end of each sip there was a stinging bitterness... i couldn't tell if it was from hops or alcohol. i'm sorry to say that it was not very flavorful.
it was ok... i was expecting something more floral and hoppier... it was nicely warming. but as for Imperial Reds, it was sub-par.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2008 20:40:11 | More by getalife2k5
Photo of Jason


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2008 03:03:52 | More by Jason
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Standard Rogue 750 crock picked up at the Coop earlier this week for a pricey $13.. got bored tonight and poured a nice looking glass into my New Belgium snifter.

1" head would have probably been better had it not been so cold.. spotty lacing.. brew is a dark hazy red/chestnut brown with a good red glow when held to a light.

Aroma is light dried fruits that are pummeled by citrus hops.. a little caramel and chocolate as it hits room temp.. it really needs to warm to get interesting. Piney and biscuits.

Flavor is thin .. probably to big bitterness and a nice toasty malt mid palate.. citrus/floral hops and a good dose of brown sugar without the sweetness.. a little yeasty fruitiness.. that seems to find its way into most Rogue brews.. finish is medicinal hops and a lingering toffee quality. Body is fairly light for a brew of this caliber/abv.. carbonation is pretty much perfect.

Complaints are.... seems young.... but aging it will cut down on the hoppiness, and I wouldn't want to do that. The Imperial Red could qualify itself as a lesser American Barleywine.. Everything is in place.. but.. again.. all the flavors seem to overlap and not ever meld.. and I am drinking the same 6oz over about an hour... warmth helps.. but if I had this beer in a blind tasting... I would guess.. a barleywine.. not an energized version of a red ale.

As are all Rogue crocks (IMHO) it's too expensive.. I wish brewers would put beers in 22's and be happy... at least then, we can weed out the beers that don't deserve the huge price ticket.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2008 08:25:36 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Comes in a 750 ml black matte ceramic flip-top bottle. Pours out a deep mahogany, a cloudy red oak when held to direct light. Creamy off-white head that settles to a swampy cap, loads of lacing.

Chewy caramel malt on the nose, hints of grassy hops, alcohol and grains are also present.

Alcohol presence gets in the way of the flavour, overshadows it. Flavour initially starts out with a burn, then roasted woody malt, more charred character in the middle, and a full fledged charcoal finish, combined with herbally hops, a serious dandelion/arugula greens character. Things only really sweeten up in the aftertaste, bready caramel malt all the way. A very smokey profile all the way through though.

Medium-bodied, it suits it well, smooth and velvety, the alcohol presence doesn't interfere as it does with the flavour, although the burn is fairly omnipresent, though contained until the finish and aftertaste.

Really, I take this strong red ale as a bit of muscle flexing that isn't completely necessary, it's overtly woody and smokey and could be easily mistaken for a high octane brown or porter if one isn't paying attention to the details on the bottle. As a Red alone it doesn't maintain its solidarity, just ends up in the smokey, woody backyard of many of Rogue's Extreme beers, to be sorted out later.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2008 09:58:37 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of charlzm


3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 05/06/08.

Color is an intense deep reddish-orange. Nice lacing, no real head.

Aroma is caramel malt sweetness.

Flavor is big and boozy. Strong malt sweetness present; hops are restrained and overwhelmed. Malt character is still agreeable despite lack of balance and high alcohol. Surprisingly drinkable in light of the "malt bomb" character.

This ought to age well.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2008 03:23:13 | More by charlzm
Photo of mhewes


3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A : Pours a nice red hue with lots of head.

S : Lots of malt sweetness and a touch of alcohol

T : It's well balanced with strong malts and some hop bitterness on the backend. However, the alcohol really shines through on this one. It would be better if that was mellowed out.

M : Smooth with good carbonation

D : Drinkable but not worth the price due to the ceramic bottle

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 21:40:41 | More by mhewes
Photo of turbine2475


3.05/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Great maple red hue with an agressive cream colored head that leaves a moderate lace.
S - Maltedd toffee sweetness, slight caramel, and smokey hop presence.
T - Ester and hop start that has a slight roasty bitter.
M - Slightly chewy with a higher then normal carbonation.
D - Good beer, not really my style, but definately worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2008 01:59:46 | More by turbine2475
Photo of tpd975


3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep red hue, yep it's an imperial red. The head is big and bold the bartender ran this one over and it is somewhat sticky and has nice lacing to prove it.

S: Lots of malty sweetness with a hint of citrus hops. Perfect balance of bitter and sweet.

T: Nice malty sweet fruit character up front with some spicy citrus bitter hops for balance.

M: Full bodied sweet and sticky.

D: Pretty drinkable, I like it.

Overall: A nice tasty brew from Rogue. A real nice balance of malt and hops. They call it an Imperial Red, but you could pass this off as a barleywine any day of the week.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2008 17:27:33 | More by tpd975
Photo of jmz62565


3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 22:31:26 | More by jmz62565
Photo of phisig137


2.83/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a murky deep amber color, with a one finger head. Retention is decent, but little lacing is left behind.

S- Wow, mostly solvent alcohol here, with a hint of hops towards the back. A bit of a surprise from Rogue, who usually hides their alcohol pretty well. This on the other hand, is right in your face.

T- The best that I can say for this, is that it is well balanced. There is a touch of caramel sweetness up front, and some firm hop bitterness after the swallow, but on the palate in the middle, this is pretty boring. Alcohol is very apparent approaching the finish, and is hot and astringent. Not a whole lot of good to say here....

M- Lightly carbonated, smooth, yet a bit thin.

D- decent at best.... Way to prevalent alcohol, thin mouthfeel, and a general lack of flavor.

Overall, I'm quite disappointed with this. Usually, the Rogue XS crock bottles are a solid buy, well worth the money. This however is barely acceptable. In addition to a heavy alcohol presence and an overall pathetic flavor, this is outrageously overpriced at $17 for a bottle.

In the end, expect a St. Rogue's red that was beefed up in alcohol, but severely dumbed down in flavor. I will not be buying this again, and can't honestly recommend it to anyone else. Sorry Rogue, but you missed the mark on this one...

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2008 02:44:34 | More by phisig137
Photo of DHGranstrand


4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium dark, unfiltered, honey brown with very nice foamy head. Minimal lacing.

Not really very aromatic but with nice scent of hops & citrus.

Great balance between the malts & hops followed up with citrus rind. Hides the 9% alcohol extremely well.

Very smooth and mellow in the mouth.

I really could drink this all night long. It is extremely well balanced, has nice alcohol kick but no bite.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2008 02:40:19 | More by DHGranstrand
Photo of StoutyMcHaggis


4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A beautiful brew. Super dark ruby red with light-tan head, gorgeous.

S-Hops, yeast, and almost a slight alcohol smell.

T-Very hoppy, like most Rogue ales. A tad dry, like a Irish Red on roids. Lots of bittering hops.

M- Not as much body as I expected, like I said earlier, a little dry. Overall great mouthfeel.

D- Surprisingly drinkable for a beer that is 9%, probably because of the lighter body.

From a 22 oz. ceramic body from the brewery in Newport. Goes great with chili-dogs.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2008 02:11:23 | More by StoutyMcHaggis
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML black, ceramic, swing-top bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield for $15.99... For the hefty amount I shelled out for this one, I was seriously expecting great things, and I wasn't dissapointed...
A dark, ruby-red, amber colored hue was the result of an aggressive pour along with a minimal head that soon receded and left copious amounts of lacing around the head of the glass...
The typical grainy, red amber smell was not too prevalent on this one... Certainly a more subdued, mild aroma of faint yeast and vanilla...
The taste is what made this one stand out the most, a hard-hitting Rogue brew, bursting with sweet flavors of caramel, vanilla, honey, slight grapefruit and florals with a nice balance of malts and hops...
Great, creamy, rich mouthfeel led to a superb level of drinkability... This one went down really easily and the hefty 9% ABV was hardly detectable...
Great stuff, but pretty pricey...

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 17:55:06 | More by dsa7783
Photo of cbn


3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy, deep copper, nearly mahogany body, a quickly receeding tan head, with some lacing left behind.

Faint tea-like aroma with a hint of citrus zest, some alcohol yeasty end-note.

Sweet malt and bitter hop. Caramel sweetness, with bitter citrus bite, a bit fruity.

Smooth, medium body, clean somewhat dry yet sweet.

Very well done red ale.

Serving type: growler

02-24-2008 18:44:52 | More by cbn
Photo of BigJTrucker


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this bottle at the brewery in Newport today, so it 'should' be relatively fresh. Poured a deep brown/mahogany color, light tan head that settled fairly quickly. Smell is a mix of sugar cane/molasses sweetness, some dried apricot fruitiness, and some faint aroma hops. Wow, taste is slightly toasted, with a nice respectable does of what seems to be european style hops, a bit of alcohol is detectable on the finish. Mouthfeel is fairly moist, with lingering finish and just the slightest bit of alcohol harshness. Not my favorite rogue beer, but it's a quality beer by one of my favorite brewers. Good job!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 03:24:00 | More by BigJTrucker
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Coles in Buffalo.

Pours a cloudy rust/brown, thin off white head, some lace rings, settles to a thin ring. Smell is nice, pine and floral, grapefruit, caramel, some bready malts, brown sugar, pretty standard but nice and balanced. Taste is caramel, grains and bread, big citrus and floral hoppy middle, alcohol, grapefruit, not bad. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, some warmth, pretty easy to drink. Solid beer, I'd have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2008 23:36:58 | More by Viggo
Photo of Dodo2step


3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I also had this beer at the Knickerbocker in Altoona, PA when i went back to visit some friends.

It poured very smooth and a nice reddish tint hint the bottom and rose to the top of the pint glass. Very little lace was left.

S- once again i didnt smell it that much.

T- I am not a big fan of the red ales and this didnt change my heart either.It actually had a bland bitterness to it and it felt l ike i was eating the hops.

M- it felt like i was drinking dry beer. It was alright but my mouth just did not like it.

D- some people might like it but not me. I wont have another.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2008 00:30:50 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of ajr24


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Monk's, pours a nice deep and cloudy amber with a creamy off white head. Head dissipates into a little covering with a bit of lacing. Smells of hops, and toffee, sweet smell. Tastes of fruit, hops (bitter and citrus) plus some caramel. Nice mouthfeel, it's tangy and alive, almost. For 9% ABV, this could go down many times for me.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2008 04:44:19 | More by ajr24
Photo of jwc215


3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml black ceramic swing-top bottle:

Pours hazed dark copper with a pretty thick head that settles to a thin, lasting head. Good retention for the style.

The smell is of chocolate and caramel. Rogue's signature Pac-man yeast strain is there. Some floral notes mix in.

The taste is malty - toffeeish - with a tea-leaf/floral bitterness. Sweetish with a bitterness mixed in.

Medium-bodied - alcohol covered pretty well in the taste, though it comes out quickly in the aftertaste.

There is a contrasting sweetness and bitterness. Not bad, but not a big fan, esp. considering the price.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2008 19:59:13 | More by jwc215
Photo of bluegrassbrew


4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep red, nearly brown with a nice few fingers of off white head. Leaves some sticky lacing as well.

Smell is interesting. Just a hint of citrusy hops take a back seat to chocolate malts.

Taste goes the same way. Suprisingly chocolatey malt dominates. Develops a fruity characteristic as it warms.

Overall, tasty beer. Not what I was expecting. I never really know what to expect with the Imperial Reds and American Strong Ales. Either way, this was enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2008 01:05:32 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of Deuane


4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep dark reddish brown with a quickly falling tan head...nice lacing thru.

S-Rich malt with hints of peppery hops.

T-Strong peppery hop bitterness with nice balance from healthy malt sweetness. A bit of smokiness creeps into the background.

M- Big, bold and rich with tons of residual hop bitterness.

D-Solid, not my favorite hop profile but I enjoyed this nonetheless. A very rich beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2008 13:48:40 | More by Deuane
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fancy, 26 ounce ceramic bottle. I still miss the very reasonably priced 12 ounce Rogue XS glass bottles but I do have to admit this bottle is cool looking. Been ecited about the Rogue Imperial Red since I first saw that article about it on BA.

Poured into a snifter glass.

A - Very very nice deep dark red. Beer lets nearly no light through, can barely see my fingers on the other side of the glass when I hold it to the light. Nice finger of off white head. Great looking DARK red beer.

S - Smells of nice fruits, along with some hop added in there.

T - Wow. Booze is totally hidden. Beer starts with flavors of dark fruits. Goes into a caramel tone with hop bitterness coming through in the end. The alcohol is barely, if at all noticeable. Beer finishes with a spicy flavor and then a dry after taste.

M - Nice and full. Fairly heavy feel with some surprisingly lively bubbles on the tongue.

D - An incredibly drinkable beer. To hide the alcohol this well in a strong red like this leads to serious drinkability with all that flavor going on. Very nice.

Notes: Imperial red is a style that is so open to interpretation. This is almost a cross between an American Strong Ale (Ala Arrogant Bastard) but has many characteristics of an American Barleywine, just less abrasive than most. A very unique beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 04:18:20 | More by EStreet20
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark red body with a small, creamy, and downright lasting beige head.

Smell: Caramel aroma with full notes of fruit and pithy citrus rinds. Just a pinch of spiced brown sugar.

Taste: Caramel and brown sugar bring a fair amount of sweetness. Moderate bitterness and a citrusy hop flavor. Some earthy spice hints along the way. Finishes dry and bitter, as one would expect. The 9% really makes itself known in this brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Creamyish mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Decent enough for a hop-forward Imperial Red.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2008 22:58:36 | More by ChainGangGuy
XS Imperial Red from Rogue Ales
86 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.