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

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Climax Noel - Imperial Red AleClimax Noel - Imperial Red Ale

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BA SCORE
83
good

53 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 53
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cswhitehorse on 11-22-2008

This robust Imperial Red Ale is a hop showcase. The first sip reveals hints of toffee and caramel flavor notes, accentuated with dry hopped organic Centennial, Chinook, Simcoe and Citra hops.

Named after the Climax Engine, a steam locomotive used to haul logs out of the forest, this beer was made for the winter season. With a 9.2% ABV and 62 IBUs, you can count on a nice, warm, drinking experience.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by Liana:
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Who are these guys? Found this in the winter beer selection at Tully's. After drinking this beer, I hope that Dawn will be getting some more beers from Eel River. The beer, when poured, is quite pretty. A dark red amber color with a thick tan head and plenty of lacing. A caramel aroma with a hops presence. Taste was a good caramel malt as well as a good belt of hops. Pretty chewy beer, and quite enjoyable.

Photo of Beerswag
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of morimech
3.23/5  rDev -12%
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.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of largadeer
2.16/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Cloudy reddish-brown with significant chill haze, not the most appealing color, but the head retains nicely, fed by high levels of carbonation. The nose is fruity, spicy, yeasty. Orange juice, apple cider, apricots. Intense esters backed by a lot of malty sweetness. On the palate it isn't nearly as sweet as the aroma suggests. Big fruity esters meet somewhat astringent spiciness and surprisingly harsh solventy alcohol. There's some pleasant bready malt mid-palate, but I can't get past the sharp alcohol and overall astringency. Finishes like spiced rubbing alcohol. This is the worst climax I've ever had.

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of RedBrewer83
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip....2009 vintage

A: Amber body with hints of orange and ruby, two finger head forms and maintains half finger head for large portion of beer. Very creamy with nice lacing.

S: Candied caramel malt, orange, hints of hop citrus aromas as well. Nice and straightforward but not overly intense or complex.

T: Flavor follows suit with the nose for the most part, yeast is more present in the taste and just a hint of booze is noticed mid palate. Finish lingers with hops, but needs a little more to really crisp things up and help the drinkability.

M: Pretty smooth, medium body and the abv is not really felt, warming as it goes down but not overpowering.

D: As I said before, needs a little more dry hopping and this would be a very drinkable beer, as is being a 9% belgian imperial red its pretty drinkable...

Photo of claspada
3.67/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of cleeze
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Red ale on steriods right here.

Poured a deep dark amber with a nice frothy head. Also had some bad ass lacing that was glued to the side of the glass.

smell was very hoppy. Also some deep malts in the mix.

Taste is full of hops. again deep malts. It has a boozy after taste though. Little too boozy for my liking though

Photo of jdhilt
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cream, three-finger head that fades quickly to a ring leaving no lace. Amber/red color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Light caramel nose. Flavor is caramel and hops. Higher ABV is hidden. $6.39 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Climax Noel pours a cloudy copper color with a creamy, one finger width off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly down to a thin sheet on the surface leaving behind spots lf lace on the glass.

The aroma is faint with notes of caramel malt, orange citrus, clove and pepper. Each sip of this full bodied beer is soft on the palate with a mild fizz on the sides of the tongue. The flavor is typical for a Belgian style beer. Orange citrus, clove, pepper combined with some apple and light fruit flavors. It finishes sweet with a medicinal taste of alcohol. Once gone some of the spice notes and orange citrus linger on the palate.

I guess for a Christmas beer I was looking for a bit more spice. Still, it's a nice, smooth beer with a well balance flavor.

Photo of Gavage
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of robbyc1
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

Photo of goodbyeohio
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

it's a nice fiery red color with some dense haze. smells belgian, with a strong toasted marshmallow thing happening. a slight sweet fruitiness emerges too, enough to tell you this is a belgian strain of yeast at work here. the marshmallow thing continues, and is slightly plasticy. the beer finishes wicked boozy too. underneath the chaos there is promise of a well-rounded belgian abbey ale, warmth brings out a nice gingerbread malt/spice note, but it's not enough to save the beer overall.

ps: my bottle says 9% abv

Photo of Kakaraht
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of mactrail
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of clickpush
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of Durge
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of Yeastcakes
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving notes: snifter, half-inch head.
Aroma: Full malty body dominates the aroma.
Appearance: Dark red and clear. Nice half-inch head.
Mouthfeel: full body, light on carbonation.
Taste: Alcohol flavor prevalent with full malt flavor. Nice floral hop flavors.
Drinkability: A decent red ale although not necessarily one that I will seek out.

Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into my Meantime snifter. Climax Noel is a dark amber with a dense khaki head that leaves sheets of foamy lace.

Smell isn't to strong, but a really nice caramel note, reminding me a bit of cream soda.

Taste is malty, some of the caramel from the nose, plastic phenols, a bit spicy. On the simple side, it opens up just a bit as it warms, but I'd like more sweetness. Or bigger hop flavor, which isn't really obvious here, although this is getting on a few months since the release...even though I bought from a cooler, it may not have been there all winter.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, medium heavy body.

Drinkability isn't too bad, not really that exciting though. One of those where if the nose matched the flavor better it would really be great. The alcohol is well hidden and it's overall rather smooth, make up for the lackluster flavor.

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Climax Noel - Imperial Red Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.