Galactic Imperial Red - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Galactic Imperial RedGalactic Imperial Red

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BA SCORE
88
very good

35 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 107
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 4.26%
Wants: 7
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hopworks Urban Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jdense on 03-22-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 107
Photo of PDXHops
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a tulip. Deep amber with a thickish head that is in no hurry to disappear. Impressive amount of sticky lacing.

Huge citrus and pine aromas swimming in an equally huge caramel maltiness. Hard to figure out what's the most impressive thing going on here: the robustness of the malt profile, the scathing bitterness, the complete absence of booziness, or the insane pine and grapefruit flavors. Regardless, this beer is pretty much Exhibit A of how to construct a big badass red ale. Great stuff. (513 characters)

Photo of loren01
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear dark reddish color, nice sized head with good lacing down the glass
S: Piney, sweet pineapple like scents
T: Caramel maltiness up front with a nice piney/earthy hop flavor
M: Medium bodied beer, abv is pretty well hidden...until 5 min later that is
D: I love this beer, very well done. Price is a little steep though...got this one for I think 8.50 from John's Marketplace...wont be buying regularly because of that. (433 characters)

Photo of PZBREW
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

a. red with some brown. big head that stays for awhile. nice color. clear.
s. caramel and fruit with hops. very nice.
t. tasty. rich but refreshing. lots of caramel again. citrus too.
m. very nice. rich. not thick. good carbonation.
o. very happy. will buy more. a good suggestion. (281 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid red and amber appearance, even keeled 1" head to it. Nice aroma, legitimate dry hopping, HUB always delivers in this department in my experience, and you even get a nice dallop of that malt sweetness that you can get out of a legitimate red beer, even some tropical smell to it. Interplay = nice.

More of the same in the taste, solid hopping, but not so much that it vitiates what makes a red a red. Caramel enjoyable, a bunch of C hops, some more modern ones for the aroma, nuggets seem to pair best with red ale malt bills as well, bitterness not out of control. Munich like mild spice presence pairing with smoothness. Dichotomy! Alcohol hidden well.

This beer owes Nugget Nectar no apologies, one of the things I liked even better here was how the bitterness was not over the top. A legitimate challenge to the throne I says. Only problem is, this stuff is expensive, at $8.50 a bomber. (899 characters)

Photo of chumba526
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to say this beer has a great label. Old school videogame inspired= great label.

Appears dark red with a tan head.

It smells of potent citrusy hops, chocolate and caramel malts. There is also a grassy hop presence as well. It has a very clean hoppy and malty smell to it.

It tastes of pine like and citrusy malts. There is a nice roasted and dry malt flavor to the beer. I like this Imperial red a lot because the malts they use are mostly dry not sweet though there is a mild toffee flavor as well. The beer ends with a nice bitterness to it.

The beer has a somewhat thick mouthfeel to it.

Overall a great hoppy imperial red ale that has a nice malt flavor and a nice hoppy flavor. I really enjoy this beer. (722 characters)

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hopworks in Portland Oregon.

A: 1/8" cream coloured head that left a nice lacing over cherry red liquid.

S: Faint smell of sugars and cherries.

T: Tart with a sweet finish and aftertaste. Very nice.

M: Medium level of fine carbonation.

O: Excellent Imperial IPA that is very easy to drink. (304 characters)

Photo of sixheadedgoblin
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm currently on a hunt for the perfect hoppy red ale. I want a relatively light body, truly red malt, and the intense hops one finds in an exceptional IPA. It's a pretty rare style of beer, and I haven't had much luck, even though I live in the Pacific Northwest - the home of hops.

This beer had been recommended to me by one of the owners of the Gravity Room - whose opinion I trust - when I asked them about that style. When I saw it on tap at the Eastside Club, it was a no-brainer.

It's an imperial, so obviously I was out of luck with regards to its body. Indeed, when I asked the bartender to describe it, the first word he used was "big." It is big. It's one of those beers that might be described as a meal. Many of the reviews here criticize it for its sweetness. This is the same complaint I hear from many IPA drinkers when they have an imperial IPA. I see this almost as a compliment: Drinkers who, like me, wanted an IPA-like red ale - which focused on hops instead of malt - were disappointed because this beer features both in abundance, which is, of course, what an imperial should feature.

Though I did not find the beer I've been looking for, I still think this beer is very good. It's everything an Imperial IRA should be. The color is perfect. It's flavor has a lot of depth - the hops are bold, at once bitter and floral, and the malt is at once sweet and toasty. The alcohol is high, but not ridiculous. I'm not sure I've had a better one. (1,467 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Hopworks BikeBar (Portland, OR) on 9/5/11. Served in a tulip glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby, topped with a ½ finger cap of slight off-white head. The retention on this is great, with this having a rich ¾ finger flare-up when swirled, and throwing up a robust cascade of spotty lace onto the sides of the glass. The aroma smells floral, piney, and VERY spicy. Underneath lays a green and ripe feeling twang of grapefruit, sweet caramel, and burnt toast. Man, this has a real flavorful power to it in the nostrils.

The taste is aggressive with the hop flavors here, with a bold grapefruit character and assertive notes of resins and spice. This is buffered by a malty backbone of caramel (which really takes to those ripe citrus flavors here) and a darker roasted feel that lingers in the finish along with leftover remnants of pine, spice, and bitter rind. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a big mouth filling creaminess that spreads all of those aggressive and rich flavors out into the mouth. This is really creamy feeling underneath and while there is some light warmth to the body, there is no way that this feels almost 10%. The alcohol is extremely well hid here and I think that really speaks to the depth and robustness of the flavor profile.

This is a VERY nicely done Imperial Red, with a warm and flavorful heft to the profile that kept me coming back sip after sip. It’s awesome that this is available in bottles. I’m going to have to track a few of these down. (1,500 characters)

Photo of distantmantra
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best bottle art ever? BEST BOTTLE ART EVER.

With that out of the way...

22 oz. bomber poured into a straight pint glass. August 18th, 2011.

A: The beer pours a dark reddish brown color with a nice fluffy head of white foam. While the lacing is not as epic as the name would suggest, it does stick around on the sides of the glass at a medium level.

S: Galactic Imperial Red gives off a strong caramel malt aroma along with some bitter pine hops and a bit of citrusy floral notes. There are also some random grassy bits floating around in there.

T: Very earthy and dank with major bread and sweet caramel and molasses malt flavors. There is a strong pine component from the hops in the beer as well, which helps to bring balance to this galactic space invader. The booziness in this beast is noticeable but not overpowering.

M: This beer has a medium body with a chewy mouth feel. It's a bitter beer that leaves your mouth feeling slightly sticky, but it's a good thing. Carbonation is medium.

O: While not really an Imperial IPA, this is a damn good imperial red ale. The retro kitsch factor from the label is what got me to buy it, but I ended up loving this beer. A great balance of over-the-top malt and hops make me one happy drinker. (1,246 characters)

Photo of DeschutesNut
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JohnnySmiles for bringing me this from the land of beer(Oregon).

Opped it and poured it into a tulip. Very little head. I would say maybe a fingers worth. Maybe slightly under that. Off-white in color. Poured a redish amber looking color almost brown.

Was smelling some piney notes with a rich carmelly malt base.

Tasted delightful. Those carmel malts really came out. Very sweet and almost syrupy like. Almost tastes along the lines of a barleywine.

I would definately say give it a go if you have the chance. Once again a wonderful product from Hopworks! (570 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. 9.5% alc.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a crisp clear dark molasses brown and ruby red color. Big fluffy off-white head with big planetary galactic spotty head that settles to a nice frothy ring of lace-making goodness.

Smell: (4.0)
- The smell is somewhat masked in the beers body. But I get some wonderful sweet caramel scent, as well as a sharp bitter pine hop, with some fantastic citrus and floral notes all melded together in perfect unison. Very grassy, earthy, and herbal as well.

Taste: (4.5)
- Great bready and sweet caramel malts. Not too overly sweet which I like. There is a big bready earthy touch to balance this bad boy out. The super bitter pine forward hop certainly plays a big role as well in balancing this beast. Some light caramel, brown sugar, and a roasty earthy flare hits first, with a nice grassy herbal and floral finish. Certainly well balanced while still being very bitter. The heat from the alcohol exists, but is not overpowering or boozy. Very well done.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Medium bodied, chewy and cloying. Drying from the mad bitterness, and leaves the palate a bit sticky. Overall expected from the style. Well carbonated and bubbly.

Overall: (4.0)
- Overall a very nice and smooth malty imperial red. If you don't like very bitter early boil hops, this beer probably won't be for you. It's certainly for me. Very true to the style, all organic, and hits the spot. I like that it isn't so overly syrupy and sweet like so many can be. Well worth the purchase. (1,515 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - very hazy swampy reddish brown, one finger of tan head held respectably, decent random lacing as it receded
S - candied fruits, dark toasted bread, pepper, and caramel, smells very much like an ESB
T - pepper and raisins up front, molasses maltiness, touch of pine hops, just like the nose i find the flavour to be very ESB like
M - towards the heavy side, somewhat spicy with a healthy bitter finish
O - bottle says imperial red, its categorized on here as a DIPA, and I think it tastes like an ESB which in some ways is in between those two, so all in all a solid brew that is big tasting yet sneaky drinkable for 9.5%, price was a bit high relative to previous HUB bombers in Alberta but thats a minor detail (715 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Medium off white to tan head recedes into a pretty decent lacing over a clear reddish copper colored ale.

Aroma is full of different things including a strong sweet caramel malt, a earthy grassy to grains, a light citrus hops, and a light pine to pine cone.

A full medium bodied beer with a sweet roasted caramel malt mixed with a light bitter hops that has a little citrus coming through and a light sweet earthy pine taste.

A lightly bitter on a dry aftertaste is all that is left of this 22 oz. bomber after a short time with this bottle on the table.

A pretty good imperial red, the taste seems to almost border on have a alcohol hint to but then seems to back off, which seems to me what beers should do, If I wanted to drink something that tasted like alcohol I'd drink whiskey or something.

Anyway give this stuff a try, it's pretty good. (850 characters)

Photo of Hoptron_3000
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice red/copper colour with a bit of hop haze. Big dense fluffy cream head. Great lacing.
S: Truck loads of hop stink. Oozes pine & citrus. Seems super fresh.
T: Hoppy goodness with a slightly sweet malt finish. Awesome clean firm hop bitterness. Bit of toffee.
M: Good mouthfeel. Starts to border on sweet hop syrup as it warms.
O: Great beer. Very impressed. You would never guess it's 9.3%! (396 characters)

Photo of djbreezy
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - pours a reddish/amber color, not much of a head, lacing is prominent on the glass

smell - caramel malts and hops are big in the nose

taste - caramel malts are dominant as well as a hop variety, semi complex

mouthfeel - a medium feel, some creaminess, had a cask quality to it

drinkability - this is a big beer, not sure i could have more than one (363 characters)

Photo of oregonskibum
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at the brewery in a tall, straight walled pint glass.

A: Pours a dark orange, almost brown color. Very thin head due to glass. Thick lacing was evident on the glass edge after each drink

S: Big hops right up front on the smell. Floral and citrus notes dominate. A little caramel malts as well. Smells big.

T: Very hop forward with continued floral and citrus flavors fighting for dominance. Some earthy spiciness. Malts come in mid-taste with lots of caramel flavors. Continues to taste big. Bitterness starts to grow on the finish. Well balanced, but definitely a big beer with serious hop bill and malt background. Some heat on the end.

M: Medium to big body with low carbonation. A touch on the oily side.

D: Very good for a pint. Would be difficult to drink more than one. While the taste is excellent, this is obviously a big beer. There's no mistaking it. (873 characters)

Photo of tobyandgina
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a lovely golden copper, medium carbonation and about a finger of frothy, off-white head.

Nose is delicate, not overpowering with some piney hops and some cracker-like maltiness.

After the sip, pine oil up front(very Christmasy), very sweet malty character. Some cinnamon, brown sugar cookie notes. Mouthfeel is on the medium heavy side. Definitely imperial and sweet with a bitter pine finish.

Cheers! (414 characters)

Photo of aaron12
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i love red ales that aim to kick the shit out of you. this is one of those. thick cream-white head, dark pretty mahogany color, the smell of boozy sweet malts, and tastes fatty thick hops that ends piny with a tea-like bitter. the malts show up in the mouthfeel/mid-pallet, sticky with a dark fruit boozyness. did i mention the booze... shit man. i dig this, i dig everything hopworks does, for the price though i'd go with ninkasi's believer. (443 characters)

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

650ml bottle. Nice old-school Space Invaders imagery on the painted label - the laser cannon is a long neck, whuh?

This beer pours a somewhat hazy medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of thinly puffy dirty beige head, which leaves a complete coral reef of lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of fairly prominent grapefruit and orange citrus hops, some lesser pine resin notes, grainy, biscuity, and foremost caramel malt, with an industrial alcohol edge probing the boundaries. The taste is still pretty damned hoppy, the varied American breakfast table fruit well ensconced, but it all seems to have been taken down a significant notch, allowing the burgeoning caramel and toffee-tinged malt to undermine all. This is a boon to the general balance of this whole deal, and most welcome (uh, I left my Hophead membership card in my other pants), along with a crazily AWOL booze component.

The bubbles are pretty well petered out after an initial pre-pour effervescent display, the body a steady, unassuming medium weight, and default-setting smooth. It finishes rather off-dry, the now-emboldened malt claiming reign, over a bristling, still zippy and bitter citrus/pine hoppiness.

A pretty well-wrought big-ass amber ale/DIPA, whatever, this swats balls (and encroaching aliens) without apology - tasty enough from both barrels, and is conspiratorial in its increasingly incredible alcohol obfuscation. Tread lightly, if possible, and barring that - enjoy the ride. (1,494 characters)

Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at the Pine Box in Seattle, WA.

Pours a cloudy dark copper color with golden amber edges and a 1.5 finger off-white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Streaks of lacing left behind.

Earthy floral hop aroma with lots of dank, resinous pine needle character countered by subtle citrus and sweet malt. Rthe hop profile is sort of one dimensional with only fait hits of grapefruit and citrus rind countering the soil-like, earthy pine presence. As it warms, the malt profile comes a bit more toward the forefront but never gets in the way of he hops. Hints of caramel, toffee and biscuit provide sweetness and prevent it from just smelling like a plant.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with a blast of dry, sticky hops that provides a lingering bitterness which dominates the flavor. Very earthy and bitter with tons of grassy pine needle flavor that's countered by a sweet malt backbone. Hints of caramel, toffee, hazelnut and biscuit give off enough sweetness for balance without hurting the strong hop flavors. Could use a bit more complexity in the hop flavor but overall it's a nicely balanced hop bomb that's surprisingly easy to drink considering the high ABV and intense hop character. (1,216 characters)

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

On tap at HUB $6.00 a pint, poured into mug 3.19.2010. 21 OG, 100+ IBU, 9.3 ABV.

Full pour didn't leave much room for head to develop, 1/2 finger off-white head, not enough to measure dissipation, medium lacing. Reddish amber clear body, good amount of carbonation rising from bottom of glass. The nose is caramel malts, citrusy grapefruit hops. Taste is fairly complex,Magnum, Cascade, Centennial, Nugget, an interesting hop bill, sweet up front, some bitterness, malty in the middle, with spicy finish. Mouthfeel is pretty full, pretty dry finish, a bit fruity from the yeast, with some warming alcohol. Pretty tasty, though at this ABV one is enough. Galactic adds black malt and nugget hops to the award-winning Rise Up Red. Worth a try, though to be honest, I prefer Laurelwood's Deranger, though I expect this to be a bit more balanced the next batch. (860 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle poured into tulip 7/7/12

A glowing amber with with just a few visible bubbles but a finger of beige foam that slowly falls to a thin film leaving just a few specks of lace

S piney toffee at first followed by some tropical notes, and candied fruit, smells a little sweet with just a little booze but nowhere near 9.5%

T a touch of earth on top of what I smell with some rind and burnt brown sugar, perhaps even more pine and toffee then I smell. there's somehow a little balance but its definitely a hop bomb

M shes bitter but 100+IBU's I'd never guess, a little sticky and just enough bubbles too give it some life, no booze anywhere and a lingering citric aftertaste

O its a solid beer but not the best I've had from Hopworks, perhaps I got an old bottle because I'm surprised how the malts catching up too the hops

its a good beer for sure but I don't quite understand the 16$ price tag, I'd drink this again if 10$ was shaved off the cost. I expected more for the cash but it was enjoyable and pretty easy to drink considering the strength (1,062 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

bomber into a tulip. Fresh bottle with some amazing Galaga artwork.

Pours a dark copper red with a substantial white head. Smell is very hoppy with centennial hops. Taste is also substantially hoppy, though not that bitter like an IPA. Marketed as an imperial red and thats just what it is. Not a lot of complexity..i get a big caramel flavored hoppy beer with this one. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall a good, not great beer. Very easy to drink but nothing that is new or overly impressive. Still, dont pass this one up if you see it. It's very easy to drink and i finished the bomber like it was 5% ABV. Recommended. (636 characters)

Photo of daveytheformer
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served in a tulip

Pours a see through reddish amber with a thin creamy head that fades to a mild amount of lacing.

Smells like piney hops, flowers, caramel malt, and a little vanilla.

Tastes are pretty malty with a strong resinous hop flavor. There is a lot of lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light to medium and a little creamy.

Overall is and one of the better HUB beers I've had. (388 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours copper with a large, lasting head.
Nose shows floral and piny hops along with resinous notes. Some sweet clean malt underneath.
Minty, spicy, herbal and resinous hops as flavours. Also booze and sweet bready malt followed by an aggressive bitterness that doesn't quite match the malt.
Syrupy body. Could be a little lighter perhaps. (338 characters)

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Galactic Imperial Red from Hopworks Urban Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.