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Climax Noel - Imperial Red Ale - Eel River Brewing Co.

Climax Noel - Imperial Red AleClimax Noel - Imperial Red Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

53 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 53
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.2%


Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
"Belgian Imperial Red Ale"

(Beer added by: cswhitehorse on 11-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 39 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours two fingers of head on a cloudy light brown colored body.
The aroma is a pleasant barnyard, grain and lemon mixture.
The taste is a sharp malty sweetness, a hit of lemon bitterness, caramel and pine.
The texture is thicker with moderate carbonation.
A bold red ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 21:41:50 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful, unbelievable cherry red color in the tumbler. It's like a drink in a fancy cocktail bar plus the beautiful tall head. A pleasant sudsy mouthful. Expansive aroma of piney hops.

Malty and wheaty, in the cereal sense. Warm with malt and hot with alcohol. It's like having a shot with your IPA. Lots of hops but not overly bitter, but spicy with all the hop aromatics. Sharp and tangy with a thin body. It's really like a mixed drink dosed up with bitters.

The best I've had from Eel River. From the 22 oz bottle bought at La Bodega Wines & Spirits in Riverside.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 08:06:08 | More by mactrail
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2013 vintage.

Pours a hazy orange-red with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus fruit, candied citrus zest, and slight herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of citrus forward qualities in the aroma and flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 06:29:02 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Beerswag
Beerswag

California

3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 bottle updated tan and blue logo poured into 25cl tulip
Appearance is dark mahogany/dark brown woth a yellowish-tan 1" frothy head which is gone in 1 minute. Lacing is nice and sticky. Smell is a definate hop bitter front backed by juicy fruit, pine, brown sugar, grapefruit, apricot. A very juicy winter
Beer.. Taste is a nice bitter hop front with nice malt back bone, not too much spice here. Mango fruit and tropical undertones throughout.A hoppy/piney/sweet imperial red with complexity. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a medium carbonation, and sticky resin feel to the mouth. Would be appreciated by hop heads,'as a christmas ale. should be drank fresh I believe. Pair with a aged yellow chedder/ beemster, cashew/brazil/chesnuts, black truffels, beef bone-marrow.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 16:24:51 | More by Beerswag
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 10/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a lovely clear red amber with a small white head and lacing. Hoppy aroma with light malt. Medium bodied with a nice malty, light citrus, hoppy red ale start, but the finish is overly bitter, a bit boozy and not supported by the other flavors. The bitterness stays starkly on the palette. I liked the looks of this and it seems well made, I'm disappointed it's a miss.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 02:58:29 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy brownish amber in color and poured with a thin off white head.
S: There are aromas of malty sweetness in the nose.
T: There is a moderate amount of sweetness in the taste, which also has some hints of dark fruits and spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
D: The beer definitely tastes strong but the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 04:08:42 | More by metter98
Photo of Kakaraht
Kakaraht

British Columbia (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy amber brown with a thumb of tan head with little retention but good lacing.

S: Warm caramel and dried fruits with a spicy hoppiness to it.

T: Yum, dark malts and a raisin prune like flavor are the most dominant, with a nice citrus hop just present in the background. The high ABV ties the bitterness and maltiness together quite well, and gives the drink a warm flavor.

M: Medium body, good carbonation, and a wet warm mouth feel.

D: For a nice cheap organic brew, this is a good find.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 01:47:37 | More by Kakaraht
Photo of magine
magine

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brew is a 2009 bottle.

Poured into a chalice glass.

Pours a cloudy reddish brown. Brew has alot of sediment in the glass, which I always appreciate. Light tan head quickly leaves into a lace patch island. Good sediment and cloudiness, no real lacing, head is rather ho hum. Above average looks.

Nose is sweet dark fruits, yeasts, spices. Bready malts and it is a nice balanced nose. Above average smell.

Brew is nicely carbonated in the beginning, spiciness and dark fruits. Yeasty, malty smoothness in the middle. The brew finishes clean and has a slight bitterness to it. A little thinner then expected, but honestly its a refreshing Dubbel. the alcohol is well hidden. Good flavors and taste.

This is a good solid brew, nice smooth balanced brew that probably benefited from over a year of sitting. A brew that is sessionable as well. Good solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 02:55:31 | More by magine
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a vibrant red, good initial impression of the head, 1" deep, dissipates rather quickly that doesn't have any lace to it. This was a 2009 bottle, so it has about 1 year of age on it.

Fair presence of dark fruit, dark sugar possibly, cane. Isn't overpowering, reminded me of a tamer Salvation, which is a good thing. Aroma is tame, has some of that red aspect to it, can't really describe it, but you know how a red smells, tame. No hop presence, plenty smooth. Hides the alcohol well. Seems like a winter warmer. Could be some hazlenut or nutmeg to this one. Equal parts red and amber ale, but then takes on dimensions of a dark belgian hybrid.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 04:17:03 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber: This one pours a cloudy reddish-coppery color. There was a fairly large off fizzy white head on it that dropped away rather quickly. Interesting nose. Yeasty and bready, with a hint of a little funk. Some raisins, faint spices and caramel malts also. Definitely some fizziness on the tongue. Toffee, faint raisins, toffee, and some distant, faint citrus bitterness to the taste. A touch harsh. It's not too bad, but just doesn't seem to work.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 20:52:49 | More by Boto
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The brewery calls this as an Imperial Red, but it's listed here as Dubbel. Whatevs. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear red, with a bit of a mahogany tint. Just a thin cap of light tan head dissipated quickly and left very light lacing.

The aroma was very sweet and had sharp alcohol note. behind that was some nicely blended grainy malt scents and a hit of hops. The grains take center stage on the tongue, with the hops in the background and on the finish. The beer also was sticky-sweet and had a noticeable alcohol bite.

The body was pleasantly solid, without being heavy, but that sticky-sweetness got a bit boring. Drinkability was pretty good, would have scored it a bit higher if not for that annoying stickiness and the alcohol burn.

Overall, a decent enough brew. I'd probably like it better on tap, but it's certainly worth a try if you see it.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 02:36:52 | More by beertunes
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Armomas are of doughy bready and sweet malts with some hints of herbal hops and some Belgian musty yeasts.

The taste is pretty darn good, yet simplistic. I agree with the last reviewer that a year in the cellar has helped this 2009 version. There are some butterscotch, nuts, a bunch of vanilla, citrus/sour from the yeast and some lighter hints of brown sugar, alcohol and a light spiciness in the finish. Not your typical winter warmer because of the lighter malt backbone but enjoyable regardless. The high ABV is masked well by the yeast and the age (I assume). The mouthfeel was smooth and soft, the carbonation adequate and the body medium yet extremley full. I recommend if you find this 2009 version today to give it a try because it is probably discounted (because beer merchants are tools) and it is a good value regardless.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2010 00:50:31 | More by claspada
Photo of ricke49
ricke49

Oregon

4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a 2009 version....so I suspect that by fall 2010 it was at least 9 months in the bottle ....and that may be key. Because it drank with a smooth pleasurable sensation that is not reflected in many of the "B" reviews that have appeared to date. It's my guess that waiting 9-12 months, or longer, on this creation brings out a whole other experience. This offered a near perfect balance between malty sweetness, hops, and moderately high ABV. It sipped very pleasurably. It had a complex and satisfying taste. It was just a damn fine brew. Hopefully the $4.49 bombers that were on closeout last month at a nearby store are still there, when I make my next trip into 'civilization.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2010 00:10:51 | More by ricke49
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this off-season holiday brew at The Muddy Pig in St. Paul, MN. It has a deep orange-brown / copper color with a decent light-tan bubbly head and great lacing. The aroma brings a quiet sour cherry and cider malt. Pleasant enough but maybe too understated. The flavor offers a grassy hopped malt and sour fruit and cinnamon. Not an obvious Christmas brew for sure but a nice enough brew with a heavy leaning to the leafy bite while carrying a goodly honey malt to balance things. It's medium bodied or so, with a crisp feel that finishes with a dry cover. Plenty drinkable for the style with little alcohol evidence. Nothing conjuring images of sleigh bells and snowfall but it's a good brew that goes down happily. Fair grade for general ale goodness, low grade for my Christmas list.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2010 20:00:07 | More by Durge
Photo of BeerResearcher
BeerResearcher

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 Pint 6 Oz brown bottle. No Freshness date. Brewed 2009.
First point: This can't be a "Belgian" Imperial Red Ale, or Belgian anything because it's brewed in California. Bad form.
It pours a ruby-hued amber color with a medium-sized off-white, pink tinted head with wispy trails of lacing.
An upfront smell of a horse barn is noticed but fades soon. A light yeasty/vinegar smell lingers. While it is a hoppy tasting beer, I only notice a faint citrus aroma along with a hint of cut copper.
A rummy alcoholic fuminess is present throughout.
The foremost flavor is of light rum. The 9% abv seems a bit low as the rummy alcoholic flavor is pretty potent. There is certainly a Belgian quality to the slightly sour yeasty bitterness. Sharp lemony citrus and slight orange/tangerine tastes counterbalance a syrupy sweetness. Again the alcohol punch seems more like something in the 11-12% abv range. Its effects are noticable as well. The malt body is slightly cloying, although not off-putting.
Nice BIG brew all in all, but there is no real clear definition to the style. Sort of a bastard...a likeable bastard.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 23:30:00 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Certified Organic, 9% ABV, 2009, no bottled on/freshness date.

A - A moderate pour into the base of the glass released a dense and tight, tiny bubble tan-khaki head. The retention was ok even with the nucleation point feeding it a giant plume of carbonation. The color is a lightly hazy bronzed-amber with orange-ruby highlights.

S - The nose instantly reminds me of the funky infected yeast from a home brew. After sitting a bit, that aroma went away and became much better. Toasted bread and amber malts with a Belgian yeast nose. A light nose of alcohol has a slight band-aid phenol hint apparent on a harsh swirl. Low fruits and hops even the nose out a bit.

T - The presence of a lightly acidic-sour touch is a bit off to start with. The alcohol level is rather strong too. The phenol band-air thing is back again but more so overshadowed by a hot, solvent-like flavor. The malt flavor seems to come in secondary and is fairly amber-driven with a toasty caramel touch and light fruit hint. Hop flavor isn't present as much as it's bittering qualities are. The finish has a light spicy flavor too.

M - The fairly strong carbonation tingles on the tongue through the length of the beer. It's medium-full in body with a light sweet finish that's quickly overcome by dryness and a well-balanced hop bitterness.

D - The hot alcohol is one of the best parts of the beer giving it a nice winter warming quality but shouldn't overshadow the other aspects. A fair beer that could use some work and some age. If the last bottle is available there I may pick it up and sit on it for a while.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 03:32:55 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of 4000qtrap
4000qtrap

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: 22 oz. bottle. No expiration date.

Smell: Very spicy (coriander and a little nutmeg), Belgian yeastiness, brown sugar, ripe plums, a little sour, a little brown, and a hint of apple cider. Very nice.

Taste: Sweet and carbonated. Quite sweet ripe fruits meet with a sharp bitterness at first. Yeast flavors are prominent and notable caramel apple notes. Underlying grape skin bitterness provides just enough balance though sweet malts do dominate the flavor profile but are quite complex...syrupy plums, apples, brown sugar along with a touch of coriander spiciness. Finish is quite spicy, fairly bitter, and a pinch cidery. No sign of the 9% alcohol...and VERY drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 21:35:51 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The foam explodes out of the glass during the pour. But once it settles down the beer has a clear red color. The head is off-white and very large. Good retention and a lot of lacing is left on the glass. Interesting aroma and flavor. Aroma consists of spicey hops and fruity esters. The malt that usually plays a big part in red ales is nonexistent. The flavors are a little disjointed and do not meld that well together. It is a combination of spice, fruity esters, and alcohol. This is seriously lacking in malt character. The body feels a tad light for a red or a hearty winter warmer. But it is nicely carbonated and posesses a nice texture. This beer could use some improvement but as it is, an interesting drinker and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2010 23:21:42 | More by morimech
Photo of robbyc1
robbyc1

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice hazy orange/red look, with good head, off white.

Very fruity nose, cherries, lime, apricot, very good.

Taste is similar, with solid malt fruity, balanced by the hops, finish is solid and warming. Really a nice winter warmer which I was looking for on the 33 degree day. Fine and dandy.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2010 21:17:23 | More by robbyc1
Photo of littlebibs
littlebibs

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the new "Grill next door" Haverhill, Ma. Another excellent seasonal winter warmer offering. I try many of these as they come out, this one is right up there with the best of
them, strong, so go easy on this delicious concoction whiles it around. Nice mix of tastes swirl around the tounge, check this out if you can find it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2010 16:35:29 | More by littlebibs
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice cloudy ruby and copper colored brew. Nice bone white and light amber colored two finger head that lasts for a strong few sips till dissipation. Pretty good bubbling considering how hard it is to see it. The aroma is lots o' toasted malts, some sugary gummy bears with some alchy cinnamon. The taste starts with some toasted mlats and Belgian candi sugar mixed in. The middle has lots of sweet rolls and packaged candy sweetness. But from the middle t the finish of the palate, it does get a little hot. The 9% abv of this years Climax Noel is warming at the very end of the mouthfeel of this brew. Definetly a festive sipper ale for the season with lots of Belgian influence. Bu the finish make me think of cough medicine a bit.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 04:25:56 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: cloudy reddish amber in color with a one finger head. No lacing develops.

Smell: caramel, yeast spiciness, and a brown sugar sweetness is easy to pull from the glass.

Taste: caramel, brown sugar, plums, apples, yeast, and some mild spiciness are most detectable. Bitterness is moderate and there is a hint of orange citrus late. Alcohol is slightly noticable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout. Long aftertaste as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Drinkability: so-so at best. Interesting flavor profile, but personally I grew a bit tired of the flavors by the end of the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 13:29:47 | More by Gavage
Photo of jdense
jdense

Oregon

3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle from John's Marketplace served at Twelve Beers of Christmas tasting 12/22/09.

Reddish amber body, 1/2 finger white head, quick dissipation and minimal lacing. Nose is fairly sweet up front, a bit of spice (cardamon?) and decent hoppiness on the back end. The taste is unlike any imperial red I've ever had, very, very sweet cherries dominate the taste, really mask the hops. A bit of alcohol heat, and the IMO cloying sweetness, inhibit drinkability. Pretty smooth, but too sweet for my liking. A decent enough holiday imperial red, though if if wasn't the season I wouldn't drink this. Worth a try if you like fruity winter warmers.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 18:07:51 | More by jdense
Photo of bonk0076
bonk0076

Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, deep amber color with a nice big head that doesn't leave any lacing. Aroma consists of fruits - raisins, plums, apricots something of that nature - as well as underlying notes of toffee and molasses. Taste begins with the sweetness of those fruit notes, but is quicly followed by the slight bitterness of roasted malt. Longer finish that is somewhat boozy.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 02:09:37 | More by bonk0076
Photo of clickpush
clickpush

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Super red body, clear, big light tan head. Lots of carbonation. Looks delicious. Head lasts a decent amount of time. Sticky lacing remains the whole time.

Nose: Sweet vanilla wafers, malt richness. Some cherry cough syrup, alcohol.

Mouth: Tastes strikingly familiar to cherry cough syrup. I mean, it's a tasty Christmas beer, thick, rich & malty. I like it. Just some astringency that I'm not fond of. Also some cardboard-y after taste. Creamy mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2009 02:42:39 | More by clickpush
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Climax Noel - Imperial Red Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.