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

Not Rated.
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

193 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 193
Hads: 502
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 10.32%
Wants: 7
Gots: 11 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 193 | Hads: 502
Photo of maximum12
2.43/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Enjoyed my first beer camp last night, so pulled out a second tonight. 12 oz. bottle split with my wife.

Pour is a clear ruby red. Smell is on the unique side, dominated by a burning barn full of grains. Not much else.

Red-Oric: Beer Camp shouldn't step in the ring with the Imperial Pils I enjoyed last night. More of that burnt grain, with a dose of fire-rimmed earth & caramel. Aimless, low-level bitterness rounds out what passes for this experience. Frankly, I'm happy I opened this with my wife, because six ounces is going to be plenty.

What happened? The Imperial Pils was clean & lovely, this beer feels like it was left on simmer for a couple hours too long. Not very good.

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Photo of JRed
2.8/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark, deep red in color with white frothy head that stays. Aroma of apple skins, booze, malty, grass, hazelnut. Apple skins, citrus, cough syrup, booze, cola, hop resin, bitterness towards the finish. Thick in body with light carbonation. Big, boozy, fruity, unbalanced, and amateur.

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Photo of BB1313
2.82/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a beautiful auburn, really nice fluffy off-white head, very sticky lacing and retention. Looks great, just like most Sierra Nevada beers. The aromas are full of chocolate and caramel malts. There's a touch of grass blended with some lemon zest. The flavors match the nose, which isn't extremely impressive. Everything is just so subtle. More cocoa and butterscotch. I notice a hint of pine and spruce. The hops are there, but seem to be dominated by the malts. I really wished the hops shined more. Mouthfeel is nice, it's light and thin, smooth enough making this is easy drinker. The alcohol goes unnoticed. There's no denying this is a smooth beer, but the nose and flavors are such a let down.

I expected much more, especially considering this is Sierra Nevada we're talking about. It should satisfy, but it's too boring.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a very typical amber with orange hues and about 3 fingers of off-white head.

The aroma is heavy bready malts with caramel and some hints of floral and citrus hops.

The taste is pretty much the same. There is a lot of bready malt and caramel notes. There are some hops, but they aren't that forward. They do lend some nice citrus and grassy notes though.

The finish is pretty dry and the bitterness is nice. It's not a bad beer, but is is pretty average for a big Red Ale.

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Photo of Bfarr
3.02/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Clear reddish amber and moderate off-white foamy head with good retention. Malt forward and caramel sweetness rounded by a sharp spicy rye and high hop bittering and linger. Light roasted notes and the sweetness is subdued. Tacky, dry and thin.

This is really not my idea of a good red or imperial red. I like the spicy element of the beer but it just follows the American over hopped variety of the style.

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Photo of Chaney
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a FFF shaped-glass.

A: Poured a crystal clear, amber-orange color, with a ridiculously frothy 2 finger head that stayed put for a long time.

S: Yeasty, hoppy, red velvet cake batter, with a good bit of yummy graininess thrown into the mix.

T: Not as delectable as I was hoping. Fairly bitter, but in a coffee ground sort of way. The marketing speak on the bottle says: grapefruit, peach, and melon. To be honest, I didn't get any of that.

M: Malty and infinitely bitter, in a "Fat Tire" sort of way. The lacing was substantial and the bitter linger was something I won't forget.

O: This was my least favorite in the "Beer Camp 2012" box available in my area. Perhaps I was searching for something the brewers didn't intend?

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Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

8.10% according to my 2012 bottle. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Acquired as part of a Beer Camp variety 12 pack at Cap N Cork in Los Feliz. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I think little of this brewery but I quite like the style.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Poured clean without any issues or surging.

A: Pours a two finger khaki colour head if nice cream and thickness, and good retention for the high ABV. Colour is a semitransparent copper-amber. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Right on the money for the style. Nothing stands out as unique or special, though.

Sm: Hops are the first thing I detect - grapefruit citrus, floral, bittering, even a little tropical. No pine or oily hops, however. It's also got a nice toasted malt backbone, very evocative of a good amber. Autumn malts. Some caramelization. A good aroma for the style. I'm looking forward to trying it. Average strength. No alcohol or yeast is detectable. When I look for peach and melon (per the label), I sort of find them - but not really in a significant sense.

T: Floral hops join nicely with caramelized and toasted malts to form a slightly imbalanced but pleasant beer. Hop bitterness isn't all that well hidden, and the malty sweetness gets to be a bit much, but it's nice all around. Caramel is too overt. Simple but enjoyable. Not complex or subtlety. It's got some nice flavours, but I'm not much of a a fan of it.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and of good general thickness - but not ideal. Decent presence. Moderately heavy on the palate. Unnecessarily so methinks.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. A fairly generic beer in the style. I wouldn't have this again. Hides its ABV well. It's otherwise pretty meh. You're better off going with Tongue Buckler or the like if you fancy yourself an imperial red.


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Photo of Bendurgin
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. This one pours a dark chestnut color with a bit of a reddish hue to it. Nice finger of thick beige head.

Caramel malt comes to mind on the aroma. Very malt heavy with just a hint of floral and citrus hops in the background. Mostly bitter on the pallet with just a touch of malt sweetness in the background. Seems backwards as to what the aroma indicated it would be.

The body is a bit heavy with good carbonation. Overall this one is mediocre. It's fair enough, but my least favorite so far of the beer camps.

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Photo of isualum12
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Look light red. Nice head.
Smell is alright.
Taste is less then I expected. It is not the best red I have had this season. Bitter with sour flavor. I was abletorelax though with this beer.

Very carbonated.

Overall not my favorite. Severalotherbeer camp beers are better this season.

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Photo of ToddT
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Clear dark amber with slight ruby highlights, topped with a fluffy off white head. Head is long lasting and leaves lots of sticky lace on the glass.

S- Caramel malts and grass/floral hop notes dominate the nose. There seems to be an underlying sweetness to the aroma.

T- Malty, caramel and roast malt very forward on this one, hops come in in the middle with a floral note, but the malt eventually overpowers this. Finish is a slight hop bitterness being washed away by sweet sugar and toasted caramel malts and them a final bitter hop bite to close things out. It is an odd finish, not unpleasant but odd.

M- Medium in body and carbonation, a little sugary and sweet in the back of the throat. That goes with the style but it is not my favorite feeling on the palate.

O- It's OK, probably my least favorite of what I've had out of this seasons beer camp so far. The 8.0% ABV starts to show up as it warms up too. This is not my favorite style of beer, but I've had much better versions of the style.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.22/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle opened on 9.12.12.

A - Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown with a half inch light tan head with good retention.

S - Hoppy oranges and sweet malts with some nuts.

T - Bitter, nutty malts. Not much hop-flavors.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body. A distinct bitter finish.

O - Bitter and malty. Blah.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. Stamped 2178212:36

A: Two fingers of off-white, creamy head. The beer is a gorgeous, crystalline, ruby beer with good effervescence. Great lacing.

S: Very beery, almost lagery-metallic. Touch of caramel malt, but little hops.

T: I actually don't like it very much. It's...okay, but over-strong and under-flavored. Gentle fruit (the best part), strong malt, lightly dry finish.

M: Biscuity at times and thick on the tongue.

O: It's an alright beer, but nothing I'll revisit. True to its amber ale roots. You should try it; your opinion may differ.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a mini snifter. Pours a moderate red-amber color with an off-white head and some lacing. The nose carries some citrus hops and a touch of pine atop some bready malt. Flavor has bready malt with a slight bit of toast and amber. Citrus hops and a bit of pine and earth. Medium body with good carbonation. Somewhat bitter. Pretty good.

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Photo of nickfl
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours with one finger of off white foam on a deep, amber body with excellent clarity. The head settles at a modate pace and leaves good lace.

S - Hoppy notes of one and tropical fruit. Some caramel and toasted malt notes in the background.

T - Sweet malt and toffee up front with a touch of orange hop character. Some pine and more sugary malt in the middle. Finishes with notes of pine, peach, and sweet toffee.

M - medium body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Kind of lacking in hop character for an imperial red. The malt is excessively sweet and lacking in depth, which means that it further obscures the hops. Another dissapointment from this years beer camp pack.

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Photo of ChrisPratz
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours to a nice ruby mahogany color with an inch and a half ahead of head that sticks around and smooths into a nice pillowy head.

S: Light pine hops on the nose up front blended well with some smooth malt and dark fruit aromas.

T: Piney hop bitterness right up front, mingles with some light citrus rind bitters. Some roasted malt towards the black with a very light sweetness. After taste is residual pine bitterness and some light spice notes.

M: Light carbonation works with the hop bitterness. High ABV leads to a dryness in the aftertaste that also works well with the bitterness.

O: Not a bad Imperial Red, but a bit too hoppy for my tastes. As far as the style, i'd say its on par with most Imperial Reds though, nothing really stands out for me. It is nice to see SN putting out a nice broad array of beer camp brews though.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark red and brown with a 2 finger head of foam, some fine lacing.

It smells lightly fruity hoppy and malty. It's near room temp but I can't quite make out the hop nose...could be some grapefruit. Actually the entire smell sensation is tough to describe.

There's a good kick of grapefruit starting things off, closely matched by some malt sweetness but I find it pretty bitter overall. This, like the other Beer Camp beers of 2012 I've tried all seem to have a fence that don't let the flavours really shine. To be frank, I wouldn't seek any of them out if they showed up in individual 6 packs. Oh well. That's just me, I guess.

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Photo of wspscott
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy red with a faint particulate matter floating in it. Copious narrow rings of lacing down the side.

S - Faint red licorice, brown sugar, faint butterscotch and spruce.

T - There is some pine resin, floral flavors, faint red licorice and brown sugar.

M - Smooth, thin and refreshing.

D - Pretty good. I like it overall. It isn't fantastic among the imperial red ale style - which I love. Beer camp variety is reasonably priced, so I will likely have it again.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz fresh bottle poured into a regular kitchen glass.

A- Beer Camp is a dirty ruby red color with some sediment seen floating. A kind of muddled appearence making it hard to see through. A nicely built tan head reached 1 1/2 inches above the liquid & stuck around a bit before leaving a nice skim, nice amounts of lace.

S- Malts are up front with the hops trailing which I thought would be vice versa. Caramel and fresh bread from the malts, citrus and some earthy scents from the hops. Some grain hiding in the background, no alcohol.

T- And the malts win here again with a big caramel sweetness and some hops adding to the overall taste. The hops give off slight citrus and pine but not bitter. The malts give off big bread and bisquit flavors, yeasty. Really not much else going on as this is a simple style but it's a great representation of a red ale.

M&D- The mouth on this is nice with a medium feel and a bit of carb which I think works perfectly. The ABV is 8.1% which is a bit higher than most reds but the alcohol is completely hidden. I would knock back 1/2 a sixer easily. This is alright.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Healthy two finger overflowing head with heavy lacing. Dark amber to red color

S: Nice bitter aroma with caramel and cascade like hops leading the way. just a bit of peach and grapefruit

T: Taste is a Strongly bittered red ale. Nothing too over the top, but definitely a healthy dosing of bittering hops with a very dry finish. Slightly tannic but due from the imbalance of hop on malt here.

M: High carbonation with a medium body.

O: Its not a bad beer and worth a try, but not my favorite red ale or favorite imperial red. Slightly imbalanced and too dry for me but drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of mscudder
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.44/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: This is a beautiful beer. The thick, foamy, off-white head sticks around for a near-eternity as bubbles race up the sides of the glass beneath it. The color is a deep mahogany. It looks like a Barleywine.

SMELL: There is a big malt aroma here, with some chocolate and caramel notes. A backbone of rye and mild hop bitterness evens out the sweet smell, but despite the complexity, it is not very intense.

TASTE: After the malty nose, the taste is a surprise. There are a boat load of bitter and dry hops that smack the palate right off the bat. Lemongrass dominates with only a touch of caramel malt flavor to balance it out towards the end. This is intense.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to full bodied, the Imperial Red is intensely dry with a mild puckering effect. The carbonation is strong.

OVERALL: This beer seems full of surprises. Each step of the reviewing process seems to throw a twist into the plot. Decent effort here, speaking from a hophead's perspective, but don't give this one to a light lager drinker.

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Photo of jsanford
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruby-brown with a fluffy off-white head that remains a pillowy, 2-inch head. Aromas of amber malt, caramel and toffee, grassy hops, tangerine peel, and a touch of resin. Taste consists of more amber malt, candy, grain, and moderately bitter pine resin and grapefruit hops. Mouthfeel is a touch sticky, with a medium body and good carbonation. Solid Amber Ale, but nothing new or revolutionary.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle purchased from Leura Cellars.

Pours pretty much the perfect colour: deep ruby hued, with a frothy off-white head consisting of large bubbled honeycombed together. Lacing leaves fine tracings as the head settles down. Body is quite weighty, with some heft to provide a thick canvas for the fine bubbling that expresses itself when tilted. Overall, it's a really good looking beer.

Nose is clear and clean, but not as big and exciting as I'd hoped. Mild, smooth faintly fruity hop aromas mingle with a muted caramel malt character to give a red ale aroma that feels like it's just going through the motions. Some brighter, leafier characters come through when the beer is swirled, along with the faintest hint of slight roast. It's not bad, but it really should be significantly better given its pedigree.

Taste is similar: mildly fragrant hops, blended with a rather empty but noticeable malt presence. Some booze on the back kills everything quickly though, leaving a rather astringent emptiness that allows the hop bitterness to slice through on the back—this is despite the fact that the hop flavour is actually rather minimal. Faint acetone character on the finish, mingled with some crushed grass.

Feel is fine, although the lack of sweetness suggests a lack of body as well, even though it probably feels ok.

Overall, I'm woundedly disappointed by this. I love red ales (imperial all the better), and I really hoped that Sierra Nevada would give me a better example than this. While it's still decent enough, "decent enough" is far below the benchmark set for Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of corby112
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slight hazy, dark copper color with dark golden orange edges and a two finger, frothy beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Earthy floral hop aroma with some grass and resinous pine countered by a strong malt backbone. The malt presence is stronger than I prefer with lots of caramel, toffee and biscuit. Hop profile is one dimensional in the nose and gets overpowered by the malt bill.

Medium bodied with a spicy hop bite up front that provides some earthy, dry bitterness that lingers over the sweet malt backbone into a dry finish. Resinous with a grassy pine needle flavor along with a very faint citrus fruit presence. The malt flavors are a bit strong for my liking but they don't really interfere with the hops. There's a strong caramel flavor along with some toffee, nut and biscuit. Nicely balanced with a well masked ABV but I was expected a bit more complexity.

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Red-oric - Beer Camp #65 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.