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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 cswhitehorse
cswhitehorse

Oregon

4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Climax Noel pours a dark brownish red with a strong head of at least 2-3 fingers with a tight bubble snow lacing. The label shows a train going through a snow storm.

The aroma was spicy and of caramel with some hoppiness in the background. It had the smell of a red but a more aggressive nose. The first taste was spicy up front with a good caramel malt backbone and a bitterness stay took a nap on the tongue. It was spicy all the way through and was yet real smooth. The 8 percent made itself known by not in a "in your face" sort of way. Overall I was really impressed with this brew. It makes me want to revisit some of their mainstream offerings that I may have written off as average.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 04:44:17 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid

Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bomber bottle bought in Orono, Maine, that I shared with one of the best women I've ever dated, this beer was a mahogany color with one-finger of beige head. The retention of the thin cap was good and the lacing was great in genuine curtains. The aroma was of doughy/bready malt, light alcohol, some mustiness and a lightly toasted character. The flavors were excellent, butterscotch, nuts, wood chips, vanilla, brown sugar and a light spiciness. A great example of the flavor profile one would hope to find from a Winter Warmer. The higher ALC was well-concealed too. The mouthfeel was smooth and soft, the carbonation subtle and the body medium/full. If you find it, buy it.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2009 02:37:33 | More by thekevlarkid
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 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 rkuhnel
rkuhnel

California

4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a rich dark red with a very robust off white head and good thick lacing. Very attractive pour.

Nose was of caramel malts and floral and pine hops. Mouthfeel was rich and creamy. Flavor is both bitter and spicy and he finish is bitter as well.

This listed on the bottle as an Imperial Red so am not why it is called a winter warmer, but it was indeed just that. I have a feeling this will keep well in my beer cellar so in case this is going to be a limited offering I intend to lay in a supply to entertain my beer loving friends this winter. This is excellent stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 05:15:39 | More by rkuhnel
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 14:36:09 | More by lordofthewiens
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 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 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 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 flannelman808
flannelman808

California

3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours very nicely... lots of white foamy head with nice lacing.... It is a murky brown color, pretty opaque and rather dense looking. There is a hint of orange in the color as well.

S: There is a nice bouquet of pie spices which seems to dominate. I also Smell some fruit.. apricot and other stone fruits. There is a mild Dulce de leche quality here as well.. smells nice.

T: This beer is 'bready' and approachable, not overbearing. I'm thinking almost too approachable. The aroma renders more pungent than the taste does potent. That said its not bad. I still get the cinnamon and allspice quality and can detect a little bit of caramel. The stone fruit I was hoping for is not really there, instead I get a baking soda like carbonation that seems to wipe out what I was hoping would be a very complex brew.

M: I wish this beer had some more body too it... It smells like a bombshell and looks like a hot babe but tastes like a model with a really bad eating disorder. There is a little too much carbonation on this one I wish it was a little more tongue friendly.

D: pretty drinkable, and the alcohol is extremely well hidden

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 06:41:16 | More by flannelman808
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 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 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 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 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 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 RedBrewer83
RedBrewer83

Oregon

3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
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...

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 01:17:01 | More by RedBrewer83
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 Yeastcakes
Yeastcakes

Colorado

3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 00:53:53 | More by Yeastcakes
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Tropical sunset orange-cherry with a gorgeous glow when backlit with late April sunshine. Electric tangerine edges look good as well. The three finger crown is the color and texture of orange-caramel mousse. Abundant and attractive lace are the finishing touches on this attractive winter warmer (that looks like an Imperial red should look).

The nose isn't exactly jumping out of the glass. Even though it's low on power, aromas include caramel-covered cherries and oranges. A New Zealand hop known as Motueka (a Saaz variant) is present, but isn't appreciated. Nor is alcohol. If it opens up with warming, I'll give the score a well-deserved bump. Note: it does, just not enough.

A few ounces in.... Climax Noel is probably Eel River's second best beer, behind Raven's Eye Imperial Stout. It's tantalizingly close to being a well-crafted Imperial red, but better than average is about as high as I can go. This is sort of brew that Rogue knocks out of the park on a routine basis.

Suggested fixes are more malt (especially caramel malt), as well as a better choice of hops. More hops wouldn't be a bad idea either, but malt is more crucial to CN's ultimate success. Flavors mirror aromas: maraschino cherries and orange slices swimming in a light caramel and brown sugar syrup. Simple and direct. Sweet and bitter are pretty evenly matched.

Given the style and the ABV, the body/mouthfeel is a fraction light. It isn't bad though, and almost pulls it off in the end. A glassy smoothness is probably the result of an ideal amount of bubbles.

Climax Noel is enjoyable beer, even though it's destined to be forgotten once the final drop has disappeared. It's a friendly sort of 8.0% winter warmer that makes no major missteps. I'm sure it warms the cockles of many a beer-loving heart in Scotia, CA come Christmastime... when it gets down to a bone-chilling 45 degrees.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 22:12:06 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 22:33:27 | More by jdhilt
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 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
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Climax Noel - Imperial Red Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.