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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

37 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 80
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 17.49%
Wants: 1
Gots: 10 | 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:
Beer added by: portia99 on 12-24-2009

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  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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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 80
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 (524 characters)

Photo of IHC
4.82/5  rDev +31.7%
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. (389 characters)

Photo of bpratt01
4.74/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very tasty beer, has a slight citruis flavor, but very heavy and good. You can taste the strong hops flavor with a very nice caramel flavor. I would recommend this to anyone who likes imperial IPA's. A good twist on the traditional IPA, definately pick it up at your local package store. (287 characters)

Photo of jondeelee
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
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. (1,302 characters)

Photo of Duhast500
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass.

The color is a cloudy orange/red with a finger or two of white head. Some slight lacing.

The smell is a pretty fruity with some nice hoppy flavor. IT smells just light a my homebrew boiling.

The taste is really hoppy and is bitter but quite enjoyable for a hop head like me. Has a nice fruity flavor with some hints citus and caramel.

The feel is pretty medium with a bit of a spicy aftertaste. IT goes down really easy and it the best beer I have had from Blue Hills so far. (521 characters)

Photo of bobdelt
4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
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. (694 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well it's certainly red, a very nice color. Slight chill haze and light cloudiness made it somewhat opaque. The creamy head was almost two fingers, and very slowly faded to a nice white film. Lacing was thick and in sheets.

The hoppy smell was really good. Quite floral, with malty notes and just a touch of pine.

Taste was really smooth and delicious.

Light alcohol warming, but exceptionally luxurious feel, great smooth tiny bubble carbonation, and a sweet/bitter lingering aftertaste.

Really nice. This is a good beer. I'd love to have it again. (555 characters)

Photo of MoreThanWine
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 2" beige head. Looks more of a burnt sienna brown color than a red. Smell is complex with malt, caramel, hops. Taste is more of the same, almost even quad-like, with a long finish. The higher alcohol is very apparent, definitely imperial, but I wouldn't call it distracting. This probably is Blue Hill's best beer currently. It's probably not a good example of an Imperial IPA but it's a flavor powerhouse nonetheless. (427 characters)

Photo of DrinkingDrake
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my chalice with a small amount of head that mainly left a ring around the glass. A deep reddish orange with a thin haze. The nose contains a lot of sweet, somewhat dark malt and a sugary candy aroma. No hops and a lot of caramel. A smooth body with a big malt character. Darker fruits like plums and red grapes but also some chocolate malt. The hops show up in the finish doing more to dry off your palette from the intense sweetness leaving a light grassy taste. The bitterness makes you want more giving how sweet the body is. I had to watch myself though with the 9% and a growler's worth. (604 characters)

Photo of portia99
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours a bright medium amber...mostly clear, but has some fine particulates floating throughout. A finger + of dense, off white head sits atop the beer and has decent staying power. Finally falls to an uneven mound of foam on one side of the glass and thick, even lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Fruity and citrusy hops up front in the nose. Some sweet malt in the background...touch of fresh baked bread, good amount of yeast and just a hint of caramel in there too. Pretty well balanced with neither hops nor malt dominating the aroma.

T - Fruity and spicy hops and a clean, sharp bitterness. Malt backbone is solid with caramel and bready flavors contributing. Fair amount of yeastiness and a little bit of an alcohol presence that seems to enhance some of the fruity flavors here. Like the aroma, pretty balanced...good hop bitterness, little bit less hop flavor, enough bready and sweet malt flavors to round things out...

M - Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Carbonation is smooth and not at all harsh. A nice creamy feel and just a touch on the oily side as it slides over the tongue. Fruity and bitter hops reach all areas of the mouth and linger past the swallow.

D - Seems like an American interpretation of a stong English IPA...pulled off fairly well. Enjoying this bottle, but probably one is enough at a time. Good overall double ipa. (1,425 characters)

Photo of KarlosT
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this to be a great, very refined IPA. Didn't know about the high ABV until after I had tasted it (at a Blue Hills beer tasting event).

Prefer the taste of this much more than their regular IPA. Also enjoyed this much more the Harpoon Leviathan (their high ABV IPA).

Bought the remaining bottle in the liquor store. (325 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served at 48 degrees in my SA Sensory Pint - no freshness dating indicated on the bottle. Poured a hazy caramel/copper with a loose one inch, cream-colored head that eventually dissipates into a skim with minimal lacing. Nose reveals sweet citrus (tangerines?) on a malty backbone. Taste consistent with nose - getting some caramel malt behind the sweet citrus with some sugary sweetness and hops bittering blending together and coming out at the back. Mouthfeel is medium-light (but closer to medium) with an even background carbonation and a slightly oily character. This is a really tasty IIPA I have to say. Nice, balance and really tasty. A great local brew and worth seeking out. Would love to see this on draft. (731 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I saw this new brewery come to a local brew shop so I had to give it a try. Plus, an imperial red ale sounded delicious...

A: A nice clean deep red color with a 3/4 in off white head that fades quickly to a small lace atop the brew. Good.

S: Smells of some nice spicy hop upfront with some sweet malt quickly followed. Some caramel sugars on the back. Good.

T: Very well balanced brew. It has a quick sharp hop that is immediately beaten into submission by a sweet malt wall with some caramel and mild almost cinnamon. A watery spiciness on the backend. Good.

M: Medium body with a fabulous carbonation. A spicy finish. Good.

O: All in all, this is a decent beer. Not amazing, but good. I think it is mis-clasified on here as a DIPA. This is just a standard Imperial IPA. There's nothing double about it. The hop profile is a lot more tame for a DIPA. This is for the IPA lover who likes a more balanced, tame hop profile, type IPA. If that's you, you'll love this beer. If you're looking for a hop annihilation, then this will disappoint you. (1,048 characters)

Photo of mlazzaro
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- very properly carbonated. good head retention. A hazy red colored beer, under a cream color - cream textured head. looks pretty delicious.

s- the nose of this beer is great. Hops, sweet malt, and a slight booziness. pungent and delicious smelling.

t- Really similar hop regiment to the Blue Hills IPA. Taste the same in terms of hops. I like this beer much more though. The sweet malts and hight ABV mix well together. Bitterness suits ABV and is balances nicely at the end of the sip.

m+d- All the flavors are really distinct. Hops, Booze, Malt, and Yeast are all separately noticeable. They go well together, but don't mend like I would expect. I accidentally aged this beer and I am really glad I did. Kind on the verge of being unbalanced, but really good. One of the better beer I have had from this crew. (817 characters)

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

Thick, but modest head. It lasts and leaves significant lace (both blanketing and ring lace). The brew is cloudy with a dark amber-orange color.

Extraordinarily malty for a DIPA. Here's an odd smell--I smell olives. Where's the hop nose?

The taste starts off malty but it succumbs to the non-descript hop bite. Alcohol shows up on the swallow. The aftertaste is surprisingly brief.

Other than the alcohol punch, this is an atypical DIPA. (441 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imperial red ipa? Seems like a stretch for the style. Either way, I couldn't resist.

Pours a decent amber color with a two-finger head into my glass.

There's a decent citrus hop aroma that awaits the adventurous nose. Perhaps a dash of mango from the hops?

Not as hop-forward as I thought. Chewy, lightly-buttered malt is the norm here.

Alcohol is well-hidden, which can easily deceive the taste buds.

Hmm, I don't see the point here. Its a good beer but it reminds me more of a light-barleywine than an imperial IPA. Regardless, don't let this review stop you from trying it! (581 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$9.00 bomber from Bottles in Boston.

Hazy darkish red-orange body, topped by three-fingers-plus of various sized micro-bubbles. Good dripping lacing quickly evident.

Assertive and inviting pine aroma with some juicy fruit background.

Sweet malt slides quickly by, not really gaining much foothold. Plenty of juicy fruit follows. Big pine in the finish and aftertaste.

Sloppy mouthfeel could use some firming up.

An enjoyable Imperial Red well worth sampling, but no match for Nugget Nectar. (495 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (617 characters)

Photo of WJDobbs321
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am all for every beer having it's own signature. And I appreciate them all. However, this one came up a little short for me. Loved the crisp aroma and the taste was good too. The hop/malt balance worked very well. However, the body was a little dead for such a sweet beer. I have seen other reviews that said the body was decently carbonated, but I don't agree. (363 characters)

Photo of stonermouse
3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For my first Blue Hills brew, I chose to sample one of my favorite styles. Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Pours a murky reddish-orange. Cloudy enough to block most of the light. I love when IPAs look like this. Gorgeous.

Smell is is mostly mild, fruity hops. A little bit dull. A little sweetness, too.

Taste is solid. It's not the cleanest red IPA I've had- the malt seems a bit too spicy for the mild, fruity hops. While the combined flavor misses the mark slightly, the components are nice. The alcohol hides nicely, and adds just a touch of punch. Finish is sticky and sweet, with a dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is dense, again, almost too dense for the mild hops that try hard to poke through.

Decent offering overall. With a bit more punch to the hop profile, this could be a winner. (792 characters)

Photo of jamie2dope
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kind of cool to see Blue Hills stepping it up with some stronger offerings. Color is not quite red, but close enough, with half an inch of white heading. Sticky hop resins come through in the smell, along with citrus and pine. The taste on this beer is big and juicy, with the hops showing a lot of personality. Mouthfeel is somewhat light for the ABV, and could possibly use a bit more weight malt wise. Drinkability ain't half bad, and the alcohol is kept in check. I am liking this beer more and more with each sip. Cheers to one of the newest breweries in Massachusetts. (574 characters)

Photo of BostonTriggs
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (753 characters)

Photo of CliffBrake
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy brownish amber color, with a short-lived head and little lacing.

The nose is malty and a bit of grape, or wine-like. Flavor is dominated by crystal malt with some herbal hops and bitterness taking a backseat.

Decent mouthfeel and reasonably drinkable. But this is not the hop-showcase one usually thinks of for the imperial IPA style. (345 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't too impressed with their IPA or regular red ale, but perhaps this one will be better. I want to like their beers as I grew up 5 miles from the brewery (before it existed that is).

A: Pours huge head of 2+ fingers that slowly settles from the middle of the beer to the top and slowly fades. It's a slightly hazy darker amber orange color.

N: Nose has a lot of malts, pale and crystal seems like, with a slight boozy aroma and hints of grassy chewy hops.

T: Taste is more of the same, with lots of malty flavors at first. Toasty malts, some malt sweetness and thick. Some boozy warmth and flavor. A little bitterness, and slight hop flavors, but not much. Some juicy flavors a little bit.

M: Semi thick with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes a little more bitter, and gets more bitter as it goes. It still doesn't have any real hop flavor though. The boozy flavor is gone at the finish, and its mostly just thick semi sweet malts and some bitterness. Another one that just doesn't really impress. It's not really Imperial, red (but does have some nice malts), or IPA. But, it is somewhat enjoyable and hides the 9% pretty well. (1,138 characters)

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. (577 characters)

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Imperial Red I.P.A. from Blue Hills Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.