Red-oric - Beer Camp #65 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale) - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Red-oric - Beer Camp #65 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale)Red-oric - Beer Camp #65 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale)

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very good

501 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 501
Reviews: 192
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 7
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drabmuh on 06-08-2012

Chico, CA—July 18, 2013—Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is highlighting the best of its 2012 Beer Camp sessions with a new variety 12-pack featuring three hop-forward brews.

#95 Imperial Red Ale—Our aggressive Imperial Red Ale is a massive mix of smooth malts and West Coast hops that have no patience for the lupulin leery. This crimson beer starts with caramel-like malt flavor that can’t suppress the assertive, citrusy hop finale.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 501 | Reviews: 192
Reviews by cosmicevan:
Photo of cosmicevan
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

very big thanks to scott for tossing this beer my way the other day. been meaning to try these for a while. enjoyed from a sierra nevada snifter.

a - brew poured a deep ruby mahogany red with a thin bubbly off white head that was gone in moments. no lacing.

s - brown sugar and malts. lots of grain and earthiness.

t - taste mimics the nose. HUGE earthiness...malts. very grainy.

m - a bit boozy. super earthiness.

o - overall, a bit too earthy for me. although ambers aren't my favorite, i do enjoy a good take on the style and this one is a bit boozy and way too heavy on the grains.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep copper color with some red hints here and there. Off-white, beige like head, thick and foamy leaving some nice lacing even as it's just settling. The aroma is a delightful blend of pines and biscuit-like malt. Toasted bread, yeasty, hoppy, piney and resinous, with just a slight fruity hint; orange zest, grapefruit, sweetness.

Taste starts off nice and slow with the hops beginning slightly citrusy and leafy in character; then they begin to crescendo into a more piney and woody flavor with some peppery-spice flavor that looms in the background. The malts start off subtle but hit hard, right as the hop flavor hits its peak. Just as in the nose, the background they play into is very biscuity and toasty, but the caramel and toffee malts jump to the foreground quickly and apex just before the end of the sip. The peppery and pine-heavy bitterness from the hops is present through the entire thing and leaves a pleasantly bitter aftertaste in the mouth, along with a slight yeast character. As the beer gets warmer, the caramel aftertaste gets stronger until eventually, it actually becoems more prominent than the hops! Quite a nice surprise.... Medium-thick body, pretty sticky and dense in the mouth, carbonated well. Alcohol is noticeable at times but never makes an unwanted appearance.

Overall a very tasty red ale. More on the bitter-hop side than the citrus-sweet side, which is just fine. Caramel malts play a big role in the balance and work nicely with the pines through and through. Another solid release from the guys in Cali.

Photo of MadScientist
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A medium copper with deep red hue and good clarity. The rocky off-white head is fairly thin.

S: Moderate cItrusy and resinous hops aroma with a toffee-like malt aroma and some flowery alcohol aromas. There is a moderately-light grassy note like it was dry hopped.

T: Smooth hops flavor and caramel malt flavors with a restrained malt sweetness and moderate hop bitterness. The hops flavor is of citrus. The balance between the hop bitterness and malt sweetness is about even with the finish being medium dry. The aftertaste is of citrus hops and a kind of toasty malt flavor.

M: Medium bodied with moderately-high carbonation. There is a slight creaminess to the body and a very light astringency from the hops bitterness. The is a light warmth from the alcohol.

O: I'd happy take this hop bomb over many of the IPA on the market.

Photo of bsp77
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Wood stain red with thick off-white head and some lacing lines.

Smell: Grapefruit, caramel and chocolate. Somewhat sweet aroma.

Taste: Taste is not as sweet, although there is a slightly sweet core. Grapefruit, caramel and chocolate are prominent in the taste as well. Some notes of peach and melon, although I must admit that the bottle description clued me in on that. Spicy and pine-like on the bitter finish, as well as lingering grapefruit.

Feel: Moderate carbonation. Medium-full body that is quite creamy and smooth. Finish is dry as desired.

Overall: Great Imperial Red Ale. While not reaching the apex of the style (see Great Lakes Nosferatu), it is still damn good and much better than the average on the site suggests.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Reddish amber colored with a good inch of khaki colored head. Lively carbonation. Cereal grains and amber malt combine with pine like aromatic hops in the nose. The mouthfeel is sticky and warm. The cereal grains and amber malts are on the front of the palate and are quickly drenched with intense pine hop flavors that burn a bit and then fade. Intensely hopped.

Photo of MattyG85
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. From the 2012 Beer Camp pack.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish mahogany with lots of ruby red. Lots of rising bubbles and a huge five finger off white head with very good retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A fairly vibrant mix of hops with a strong malt presence. Citrus hops with hints of grapefuit, orange peel, and lemon. Pine resin and a lot of grassy hints. The hops are also herbal and floral. Big malt scents with hints of toasted bread, caramel, toffee, biscuit, and crackers.. Even a light hints of roast and chocolate. A fairly complex aroma that is very balanced between the hops and malts.

Taste: Like it smells, a complex mix of hops balanced by a strong bready malt presence. Starts with some sharp bitterness from the hops. Good notes of citrus including orange, grapefruit, tangerine, and lemon. Spicy and oily pine resin. Big taste of floral and grassy hops. Behind the hops is a big taste of malts. Toasted malts with notes of caramel, toffee, burnt bread, biscuit, crackers, and a very noticeable taste of roast and chocolate towards the finish. This starts like a big IPA and finishes like a Porter. Quite a nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very chewy and somewhat oily. Finishes with a nice roasty bitter aftertaste. Alcohol is hidden fairly well.

Overall: A very well done IPA/Red Ale. Good mix of hops and a good malt balance. Nice undertones of roast.

Photo of LXIXME
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big light brown head settles into a nice long lasting lacing above a clear dark burnt red colored beer.

The aroma is blended well with a nice roasted caramel malt and floral to citrus hops sharing in a nice balance on this beer.

Light roasted caramel malts that mix well with floral to citrus hops to give a balanced malt/hops taste on his imperial red.

A dryish aftertaste with some of the caramel malt tastes on this medium bodied beer.

This is a pretty decent red ale, I'd drink my share of these and maybe a bit more.

Photo of Arnesaab
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good balance of hops and malt. Can't taste the 8.1 percent alcohol but you can feel it. This is a big beer that is my favorite beer camp beer so far. Cloudy red color with a good quantity of malt. Some citrus notes in the hoppy finish. A very well made ale that I wish I could buy more of.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled Jun 26, 2012.

A: Pours a ruby brown with a 1.5 finger yellowish white head. Clear body with visible carbonation in the body. Head sticks around for a bit and leaves some lacing as it dwindles.

S: Hoppy upfront with a floral characteristic. Certainly loads of malt in the background. Sweet and carmely with dark fruit hints. Malts become more dominant as the beer warms.

T: Roasted malts and toffee start off this brew. Some bittering hops hide in the background. Definitely malt forward. A carmely sweetness too. Good balance.

M: Medium bodied with a slightly slick feel. Average carbonation. Pretty easy drinking.

Overall a beer I would certainly drink again. A solid entry in this beer camp that any amber ale fan should try. Plenty of hop but still malty enough to be a red.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep reddish/brown with an off-white foamy head, about one finger in height with good retention. Foamy lacing forms all around the glass. Very nice looking.

S: An interesting combination of slightly floral/citrus upfront which is immediately overtaken by caramel, bready malt, and some nuts.

T: Was expecting this to be a bit hoppier, being an imperial red and all, but it was quite malty. Mostly some toasted, bready malt and plenty of caramel.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. A little thick.

O: A malty imperial red, and a pretty good one at that, though I prefer my red ales on the hoppy side.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a deep, near ruby amber with an off-white, 2 finger head. Good retention. Resulting lace is thick and somewhat sticky.

Smell - Notes of caramel and dark fruits. Brown sugar. Not really getting any of the grapefruit, peach or melon as described on the back of the bottle.

Taste - Mostly dark fruit. Raisin. Hints of dark chocolate and caramel. Light citrus hoppiness. Finishes metallic and with too much alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body. Feels a bit flat in the mouth.

Overall - At 8%, I was surprised by the amount of alcohol that presents itself on the palate. I thought it may have been closer to 10 or 11% until I read the bottle. Not very impressed.

Photo of GilGarp
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served cold into a pint glass.

It's a hazy redish amber with thick head and good retention and lacing.

Aroma is hoppy in an English or PNW kind of way. More pine and spice than citrus.

Flavor is malty and full flavored. Rich in caramel malt and a hint of toasted grain as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Good body and balance.

Overall a very good and very big red ale. I wouldn't mind seeing this in six packs soon.

Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spruce, piny aroma. Soapy head and lace dots on cloudy amber. Initially complex hoppy melange with a dry malty finish. Worth sipping to enjoy. A good balance between hop bitterness and sweetness. A tad of chestnut, fruitiness, star anise. A must try.

Photo of tdm168
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark, ruby red with a large, dense, soft, off white head that has great retention

S - huge floral nose with some faint caramel notes

T - bread, caramel, floral hops, faint sweetness, faint bitterness, after some time a hint of roasted, coffee notes come through

M - well carbonated, medium bodied

This is an easy to drink red ale. It's solid and balanced, but unfortunately it's not very flavorful. It's malty with some light hoppiness. It's good and worth trying, but unfortunately, I won't have this again.

Photo of secondtooth
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, clean ruby, with a big and foamy head of off-white foam. Very fine and ultra-micro-detailed lace. Beautiful!

Aroma is citrusy and hoppy, alongside a big and malty (almost rye-like) presence. Heavy is the vibe I'm feeling.

Taste is sharp, with a bitter grapefruit hops character dominating. The big malt presence comes through later in the finish, smoothing things over a bit. Overall, a solid, tasty, and very enjoyable brew.

Photo of prototypic
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Imperial Red Ale pours a nice crimson tinted copper color. It’s crystal clear. Backlighting showcases its crimson color. A really nice tan head sits on top. It stands nearly two fingers tall and is extremely slow to recede. Hangs around forever. Lacing was very thick and sticky as it trails down the glass. Good looking stuff.

The nose is pretty good, but is limited by its lack of strength. Needs more in the aromatics department. It does have a nice caramel malt base. Smells sweet. Despite the wealth of malt, hops are definitely noted. They have a primarily citric scent. Grapefruit and pineapple seem to be the strongest. Pine is also present. It smells pretty well balanced for the most part. Alcohol is definitely noted and comes through just a bit too strong. Not bad.

The flavor is very consistent with the nose. A caramel malt base anchors things down nicely and adds quite a dose of sweetness. There’s a rather strong toasted malt flavor, as well. Hops add a nice mix of citric and pine flavors. Grapefruit, orange, and pineapple are all noted. Despite the nice hop flavor, it’s not very bitter. The malt base is too heavy. Nevertheless, it does have a nice balanced flavor. Alcohol is a bit strong in flavor. I’d prefer a little less. It’s not quite warm or hot though. Finishes toasty with a nice hop flavor.

The body is medium and feels pretty smooth. The bubbles seem very active, but feel quite soft. The 12 ounce bottle is the perfect size. It goes down alright, but the alcohol flavor is a bit limiting.

Imperial Red Ale is pretty good. It really doesn’t make any huge missteps, but the alcohol is a bit much. A little less would go a long way. Otherwise, it performs pretty well all around. Definitely worth checking out.

Photo of MrKennedy
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, thanks to mulder1010, into a Mikkeller tulip.

Red amber in appearance with a nice off-white rocky head of foam that measured a finger and retained well leaving a good bit of lacing hanging around.

Sweet smelling. Caramel, mixed with a bit of spice and some bread and only a faint bit of pine. Seems to gel pretty well.

A good bit of caramel, some earthy spice and sweet malt come through. A little bit of booze, but nothing too over the top, though it does hinder a touch.

Well balanced, solid body to it. Yet the spice makes it pretty drinkable and prevents it becoming too sweet and cloying. Drinks pretty well and quite sessionable for the ABV.

Done well. Clean, consistent and easy and fun to drink. A very enjoyable beer.

Photo of HalfFull
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a globe glass, the name of the beer here seems a bit odd. But indeed this is a #65. The bottle pours a clear bright and light crimson with a sticky half inch of off white foam. Offers good retention for the style.

Aroma of notable hops both citric and piney in nature with the resin enhanced by a sublte caramel backbone. Touch of floral attribute with the hop spice as well. Bit of dark cherry is revealed as the cap settles but this is still a hop forward brew, even at 8%.

Flavor follows with a light caramel fruitiness and a spicy hop finish. Light apparent sweetness is offered yet only showing a hint of alcohol presence. Feel continues the trend, being light and effervescent.

Overall not very complex on the malt side given the style, yet showing a solid hop character and hiding a notable ABV well. Drinks easily as a result and ranking very low on the 'cloying' meter.

Photo of hdofu
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a good beer, had it as part of this years bear camp. Probably my second favorite in the set. The smell reminded me of hopps and citrus fruits. It had a moderately hoppy taste sort of bittersweetness. The color was reddish . It was crisp. I found it to be very refreshing.

Photo of wspscott
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass
no date

A: Crystal clear and bright red when held up to a light. A thick off-white head tops it off and leaves lots of lace.
S: Smells like hops (maybe a little citrus/grapefruit), nothing more specific than that
T: Hoppy bitterness without a lot of character, some citrus/grapefruit as it warms, seems to be a touch of roasted malts (for color?) or maybe some victory malt since there seems to be a dark toast flavor to the malts. No sign of alcohol.
M: The hops are very tongue coating, definitely lingers on the tongue. Low level of carbonation combined with a bigger body makes for a slightly chewy beer. I get hints of metal by the end of the bottle.
O: A nice beer, but doesn't rock my socks, I Sierra Nevada makes a lot of beers I like/love, but this is not one of them. I'll happily drink the last one of these, but I would not look for more.

Photo of Gmann
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky reddish brown color, muddy. The tan head is thick and fluffy, slowly disipates and leaves some nice lacing.

The aroma is sweet. Loads of toffee and caramel to go along with a tropical fruit and apricot hop presence. Grassy and peppery as well.

The malt is bready and sweet. Honey notes to go along with a light nuttiness. A hint of toffee. The hops are grassy, peppery and have a resin finish. Some tropical fruit notes but not much. Old school hoppy amber ale.

Moderate feel with tingly carbonation, lays slightly limp on the palate. Sweet and bitter on the palate. They offset each other but cannot say its balanced. Definitely has a bitter finish. Drinks well.

Slightly above average amber. Except for the head, not very attractive looking. Straight up bitter amber ale.

Photo of morimech
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

An attractive red ale with nice copper clarity. Two fingers of head sits on top with plenty of retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

The aroma is nice but for an imperial red ale it does not impress. The label describes hop aromas of grapefruit, peach, and melon. Yea, I guess. It is just so subdued. The malt does not add much either. No sign of alcohol.

The flavor is also nice but again I am letdown. Moderately bitter with some soft hop flavors of citrus and melon. The malt adds caramel and toasted qualities. Semi-sweet. Alcohol is well disguised and barely detectable. Nice finish that is just a little bitter and warm.

A bit bigger beer that has really nice carbonation that results in an impressive texture. Sierra Nevada seldoms disappoints in this department and this beer is no exception.

Of the four beers that came in the Beer Camp 12-pack, this was the one I looked forward to the most. Unfortunately it ends up being the least impressive of the four.

Photo of KTCamm
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark red crimsom color. Some white foam resides with a ring around. Nose is red-caramel and toffee blend. There is a bitter hop that bursts through with the sweet malt and takes hold. Really robust red ale. Good.

Photo of mscudder
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fresh bottle poured into a pint.

A - Fairly transparent amber/copper hue with a large slightly ivory head. Fair lacing.

S - Some fruits and malts are all I am getting here. They smell nice but nothing spectacular.

T - Caramel malts and some hops that are more obvious on the back end. Pretty basic and smooth but lacks complexity. Simple, yet too much so for my taste.

M - Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Almost creamy, but not quite. Finishes on the bitter end.

O - I could drink a few of these but it is just below the standard I set for this brewery. I would not refuse one given the chance, although I certainly would not lose any sleep if I never saw this beer again.

Photo of EagleTalon
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada never releases a bad beer. Pours to a frothy beige head that leaves endless lacing. Reddish brown color. Aroma is spicy, citrusy hops, caramel malt, and sweet, comforting alcohol. Flavor is an intense blend of specialty malts, assertive hop flavors and residual malt sweetness balanced by strong, resiny alpha acids. Mouthfeel is medium, full and satisfying. Overall, a full malt and hops experience.

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Red-oric - Beer Camp #65 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 501 ratings.