Blood Shot - Beer Camp #95 - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 382 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
2.86/5 rDev -25.9%
I don't see "Blood Shot" anywhere on the label, but this is definitely a 2013 vintage Beer Camp #95 beer and is called "Imperial Red Ale." I'm assuming this is a discrepancy due to the initial limited beer camp test releases versus the wide release of the beer camp pack; maybe this was called Blood Shot in the test release and then they renamed it "Imperial Red Ale" for marketability? Anyway...
12 fl oz brown glass bottle with fun lively label art and a standard branded silver pry-off cap acquired yesterday as part of the beer camp variety 12-pack box at Wheatsville Co-Op and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I thought Beer Camp #65 (Red-o-ric) was above average and it was also an imperial red. 8.50% ABV confirmed per the label.
Served cold, straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as I pour.
Pours a 2.5 finger wide head of light khaki colour. Decent creaminess. Nice thickness. Decent frothiness. Complexion is somewhat soft. Inconsistent messy lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head slowly recedes. Head retention is pretty good for the 8.50% ABV - about 4-5 minutes.
Body colour is a dark seductive amber. It's not so much vibrant as it is understated and glowing - which suits the style. Transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible.
Overall, it's looking pretty good for an imperial red - and is darker than most beers I've seen in the style. I'm looking forward to trying it. Not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws. I'd say it's well above average; the head retention is a highlight.
Sm: Has a lovely albeit generic floral hop presence as well as some fruity and citrusy hints. Loads of caramalt overwhelm even the amber malts. There's also pale malts and clean barley. Has a light toasty character more befitting a winter warmer than an imperial red. There's also a light candi sweetness. Overall, it's a bit closer to the sweeter end of the bitter/sweet spectrum than I would have anticipated given the style. It's hard to tell, but there might be some chocolate malt in there too, as well as a couple other darker malts. Judging by the aroma, it seems too much caramalt was used.
No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. It's a clean aroma, and I suspect a medium-attenuation American amber yeast was employed.
An inoffensive aroma of moderate strength.
T: Loads and loads of caramalt lend it an unbecoming caramel sweetness and overwhelm the other malts (pale, a bit of chocolate, and amber). Way too sweet, even coming off candied. Loads of residual sugars here; a higher attenuated yeast might bring a bit more balance to it. It does have a tea-like bitterness, and the hop presence - while not up to the task of balancing the caramalt - does lend it a bit of hop bitterness about the climax, primarily in the form of subdued pine. Where the first two acts are too sweet, this piney bitterness goes untamed, leaving the drinker with too much bitterness on the finish. Middling floral hop presence.
No explicit yeast character or boozy alcohol presence comes through, though it does have a light alcohol-induced warmth which I'd argue is pleasant.
As abovementioned, it's quite imbalanced. Has too sweet a build for the style. There's little complexity here, and certainly no subtlety or nuance. Below average depth of flavour for the style. Average duration and intensity of flavour.
There are no egregious off-notes here.
Mf: Smooth and wet for the most part, with a moderate body. It does have a subdued dragging coarseness throughout the second act, seemingly to drag a bit more flavour delivery out. A biteen too thick. Feels full enough. Decent presence on the palate. Coating. Overcarbonated, but not to the point of sharpness or bite. Suits the flavour profile adequately, but feels far from custom-tailored specifically to it. Unrefreshing.
Not buttery, astringent, boozy, or hot.
Dr: A downable but forgettable Imperial Red from Sierra Nevada. It hides its ABV well enough. There's just nothing remarkable about it. By no means a unique or special beer. Just a generic pedestrian Imperial Red that I see no need to buy again. I'll happily polish off the other bottles from the variety box, but I wouldn't recommend it to friends or anything. This is now my "average" benchmark for the emerging imperial red style.
If you're into comparisons, Troegs Nugget Nectar is a far better example of the style, and dareisay a paragon.
10-07-2013 20:54:55 | More by kojevergas
Blood Shot - Beer Camp #95 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 382 ratings.