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Imperial Red I.P.A. - Blue Hills Brewery

Not Rated.
Imperial Red I.P.A.Imperial Red I.P.A.

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

74 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.57%
Wants: 1
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Blue Hills Brewery visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: portia99 on 12-24-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Red I.P.A. Alström Bros
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bottle.

The lacing retains very well, lots of stickage on the glass. Brassy reddish color, good clarity. Citric minty hop with toasted grain and a peppery alcohol make for a lively nose. Big creamy smooth body. Hints of caramel, cake batter, toasted bread, dried grass and portuguese sweet bread show of a well rounded malt profile. Hops hammer away at the malt and only in the end finally breaks it. Citric rind, wild herbs, spice and earth from the hop flavor melds well with the warming alcoholic dark ripe fruitiness. Bitter semi-sweet spicy finish.

Part IPA part Red Ale and all Imperial. Delicious.

Jason, Oct 27, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of jondeelee
4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Red IPA doesn't necessarily bear the nose of an IPA, but it is a good nose nonetheless, being heavy with brown sugar malts, caramel, lychee nut, apricot, and fig, all over a bed of toasted grains. There is little in the nose to suggest a large IBU rating, as the aromas are almost devoid of pine or grapefruit.

On the tongue, however, the hops come out in good force, existing as both a grapefruit-bitter sting as well as a sugary rosewater caress. IBUs are not high enough to ward off those unfamiliar with an Imperial IPA (and in fact I wouldn't have known this was an Imperial had the label not said so), but they are present in good enough quantities to tickle the senses, and delight hop enthusiasts. The brew's malts are equally nuanced and tasty, with brown sugars, wheat, apricot and fig balancing the hops. The aftertaste is mostly hops, with a stronger emphasis on the bitter grapefruits than the sugary rosewaters. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is an excellent IPA, and in many ways resembles a tamer and more accessible version of Dogfish Head's 120-Minute IPA. Hop lovers will still find plenty in Imperial Red IPA to rejoice over, and newcomers to the style will find this flavorful and less overpowering than many of its peers. Superior fare.

jondeelee, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours ruby red color, somewhat hazy. Upon pouring there was an amazing swirling action going on that resulted in a very thick two finger head. It slowly dissipated to about a 1/2 finger head that lasted for much longer. Sheets of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: A good bit of caramel and some bready sweetness. Slight citrus aroma and a little bit of alcohol.

T: Much maltier than I hoped or expected. Not much hops at all, a little bit of a citrus flavor, but reminds more of malty red/amber ale. There is caramel and a flavor I recognize, but can't really place right now.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Leaves me with a slightly dry mouth. Not sure whats really going on here. As an imperial IPA I expected a lot more hop flavor than this had, I get more hops in single IPAs than this beer. As for its "red" description, I would say it hits that quite well. It if were hoppier, I think I would be happier.

mdaschaf, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of gdkersey
4/5  rDev +9.3%

gdkersey, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of Boohausen
5/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an awesome IMP. IPA i first had this at a beer festival, after tasting many other brews my palate was saturated with all kinds of beer flavors, and for some reason as i walked up to the booth i selected the IMP. IPA i took a sip and my palate bursted with flavor and recepted emensly, the redish copper color lures you in for a sip then thw hoppy malty flavor you'd expect doesnt let you down, not to mention the alcohol is hidden quite well you can drink many of these and be taken by surprise!!! very very good IPA

Boohausen, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of dumptruck81
4/5  rDev +9.3%

dumptruck81, Jul 11, 2012
Photo of Denzo
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Denzo, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of bum732
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

S: Candy like hops, orange, pineapple, caramel sweet backbone, tangerine and mango.

L: Hazy orangish-amber with an eggshell like head. Decent 1/8 inch retention with amazing lacing.

T: Mineral like bitterness with some lemon rind like dryness. Caramel sweetness in the background. Bitter orange melds with light caramel sweetness.

M: Medium high carbonation, medium bodied. Alcohol fairly well hidden.

The mineral component in this beer is pretty strong, really takes away from the other components. Too bad.

bum732, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of inandon
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour - Amber, copper in coloring. Nice tan foamy head which kept for a bit. Nice carbonation streaming up the sides of the cup

Smell - Definitely get the classic red ale smell with the citrus hoppy ipa notes. Grapefruit, caramel and malty.

Taste - Starts out very sweet, then turns malty and finishes with the bitterness. It is not exactly what i expect for a red ipa.

I agree with some other users that it reminds them of a barleywine.

Overall recommendation would be that if you are looking for a Red IPA, i would go with green flash's instead.

inandon, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of Kmlund
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Kmlund, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of Sailracer
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

Sailracer, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of DomingoOrtiz
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

DomingoOrtiz, May 06, 2013
Photo of WhitmansNiece
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

WhitmansNiece, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of bobdelt
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty darn good. If you're expecting a double IPA, this isnt it. Very little hop aroma, could be a little more bitter. That being said, it's called an Imperial Red IPA for a reason.

I'm not a fan of these irish red beers, but this, this I could get used to. Poured with a half inch of head into a tall pilsner glass, about 1/8inch lasted the whole drink, leaving lots of lace... in a pint glass might not produce the same effect.

It's very drinkable, strong, leaves a very good feeling afterwards. Very drinkable.

If you find, give it a shot, better than the average IPA or red beer, granted it cost a whole lot more, but occasionally, its better to have one of these, than four of those.

bobdelt, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of BostonTriggs
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Quick review on this one. Poured from bomber into a pint glass.

Has a thin off-white head that doesn't last too long.

The smell reminds me a rye beer. It's also grainy w/ a bit of a medicinal edge. Not sure how to explain this, but I could tell from the smell that the beer would be very sweet. For a 9% alcohol beer, it certainly doesn't show in the smell or taste.

There's a lot of sweetness up front. The bitterness from the hops slowly creeps through the sweetness and then lingers on the back of the palate. I feel like the sweetness and the bitterness clash a bit.

I enjoyed the first glass of this one, but I think this is one of those beers you need to share w/ a friend. I drank most of the bottle, and I'm feeling full and quite sleepy.

BostonTriggs, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of bkny27
2.3/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

opaque, dense, cloudy. dark gold/brown, violin stained wood. 3-4 finger head, dissipates quickly, with a thick nearly uniform lacing.

not much on the nose. after several deep inhales, start to pick up a very mild dull melon.

barely noticeable if any malts at the front. not much complexity, dull. bitter at the end. nothing special from the beginning to end.

mouthfeel is medium to almost thick. creamy. carbonation is big and loopy, coating the mouth, but at the same time this is not characterized
as chewy.

i can drink this as a session beer, only because there is not much to it, and it does go down fairly easy. it is 9%, but i don't notice it. aftertaste lingers, bitter, but not something i would want to sit there for a while.

at $10.99 for a bomber, this is extremely overpriced. i was contemplating on spending $14.99 for some long time wants but
because i randomly met the president of sales at the store and he hyped it up, i went in for the kill. really wish i didn't. i could have spent three dollars less and gotten a variety of better
quality locals, or shelled out the few extra bucks and picked up some stuff on my wish list.

bkny27, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of greenec81
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

greenec81, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of andylipp
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

andylipp, May 29, 2013
Photo of ColdOneKev
4/5  rDev +9.3%

ColdOneKev, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of ZacharyJ
3/5  rDev -18%

ZacharyJ, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of Massbmx
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Massbmx, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of donkeyrunner
2.4/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear amber with a darling white head. Slightly hazy from disturbed yeast (bottle conditioned). Fair lace and retention.

Aroma is malty orange marmalade. Bready. There's a definite artificial orange cleanser scent to this - like orange scented Pinesol or the orange scented Clorox wipes at work with which I use to sanitize my lil' cubicle. If you're gonna call it an IPA "balanced" or "malty" can't describe the aroma.

Orange citrus and bread crust make the first impression before the whole experience melts into a sloppy, overly sweet mess. Timid grapefruit bitter. Unnecessarily boozey.

This is like a novice homebrew. In fact, I recently brewed a red IPA that was a little bit better than this...and I'm a terrible brewer. I want to like this brewery so much because I've done a lot of my long training runs in the Blue Hills. After 3 mediocre to blah brews by Blue Hills I think I'm done with them.

donkeyrunner, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of ppoitras
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased at Ryan & Casey Liquors, Greenfield, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" beige head over the cloudy dark amber brew. Head recedes very deliberately, with pleasing sticky lace. Aroma is low-intensity, but reasonably balanced between sweet malts and citrus hops.

Taste starts slow with some light to moderate sweetness, citrus hops in the middle, which become bitter towards the close. Alcohol not really evident. Mouthfeel is okay, with drinkability about the same. Potential here, but the end for me it didn't really come together.

ppoitras, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of IHC
4.85/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This imperial is without a doubt top quality. The idea of a red ale and an IPA combined for one big beer is brilliant. The 9% abv is a surprise if you did not see it on the label. The nice sweet caramel malt flavors balanced with some great hops and just a touch of roasty make this a great brew. Its a nice well made balanced beer and even some of my friends who hate IPAs love this beer.

IHC, Feb 25, 2012
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Imperial Red I.P.A. from Blue Hills Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.