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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:
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 jbertsch
2.33/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Purchased this from the brewery itself.

Poured into a tulip, this has an opaque, dark caramel color with lots of floating yeasties. Didn't get much of a head and I poured aggressively.

Aroma smelled huge of caramel apple. A little cinnamon stick, and toasted bread. Didn't smell too much hops.

The taste was of very sweet malts. Hops come in 2nd and add bitterness, and little apple/orange hop flavor. But just a little. Mouthfeel is a bit syurpy and oily.

This smelled and tasted exciting at first. But its enjoyment quickly went down hill, and I wasn't able to finish the last couple gulps. As it warmed to room temperature it drank almost like a barleywine, and it ended up tasting a little out of whack. The sweet flavor became cumbersome after a while which prevented me from finishing it. This brew would benefit greatly if the malt sweetness was kicked back one notch, and the hops went up a notch.

jbertsch, Sep 14, 2011
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 Sailracer
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

Sailracer, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of DrJay
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Hazed burnt orange colour, kind of a deep amber with a coppery hue, a bit murky. A gentle pour produced a fluffy beige cap about a half inch in height in my tulip. Soapy bubbles clung to the glass and there was some clumpy lacing. Good head retention too. Citrus hop aroma, sharp grapefruit right after the pour, strawberry sweetness, caramel and bready malts, doughy. Juicy hop flavour, leafy, resinous. Bitterness felt aggressive and became coarse in the finish, earthy and rough, almost oily. Nice malt sweetness up front, caramel and biscuit, but this disappeared much too quickly and left the unbalanced bitterness behind. Mild alcohol presence as well. The texture was nice at the beginning of each sip - creamy carbonation and just short of full bodied - but once the malt flavour receded so did the body and texture. My palate was left with a dry astringency that seemed to increase the coarse hop character that lingered too long for my liking. Overall, I was very hopeful when I smelled the beer, but the flavour and texture didn't hold up. It felt like a combination of too little residual malt sweetness with a bittering hop variety that was too rough on the palate and used very liberally.

DrJay, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of morebeergood
2.63/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Was out to dinner last night at Masona Grille in WR. They only have three beers on tap: SA Noble Pils, Peroni, and Blue Hills Imp Red IPA. Served in a standard pint glass. No head at all. No lacing either; odd for an imperial. Color was a dirty orange hue. Smell was faintly pine like. Taste was wrong on all levels. First, no hops at all. This is an imperial IPA? Then, it was way too sweet from too much malt. This beer should be called an imperial red, and leave it at that. Also, with the mouthfeel, it was sticky on the palate, and there seemed to be no carbonation at all. Very flat and sweet beer. Major letdown here for me - I was expecting a bit better of a product under the imperial brand. Another less than stellar offering that I have reviewed from Blue Hills.

morebeergood, May 08, 2010
Photo of soze47
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a bomber today because I'd been reading more and more good things about Blue Hills and I enjoy this style. The Hop Man on the front of this 22 oz. bomber is somewhat misleading, as this is a malt bomb in heart.

Appearance: Thick, slightly tan head, about one finger, floated on top of a murky/stiff looking brown liquid. It has a very deep, almost brown leather color. Little bits of something floating in this. Not sure if this is a bad bottle or not, but I decided to review in spite of the floaters.

Aroma: Almost like a caramel, sour-apple. Bready sweetness and caramel get enhance by the booze on the nose. Hops are there, but are very tart and almost sour when balanced against the malt bill this hot and sweet.

Taste: This is a malt bomb right away. Very thick, caramel bun sweetness sweeps across the tongue in a powerful way. It is cloying and quickly fades into a deep bitterness from the hops. Nothing especially powerful to me in the hops flavor-wise except for deep almost dark bitterness that increases in the hot aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Overwhelmed. This beer is thick for its body, creating a lacquer-like affect. The palette goes from sweet to tart to bitter to hot on every drink.

Drinkability: This is not a highly drinkable beer. This is a big ABV and has a cloying, robust body that gives your mouth a wild ride.

Overall: Even if you enjoy this beer's robust flavors, it is pretty thick for the style. With a different hop profile, this would almost work better as an Imperial Brown Ale. Unless there were few other options, I think I'd steer clear of this one.

soze47, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of ZacharyJ
3/5  rDev -18%

ZacharyJ, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of ssoulf
3/5  rDev -18%

ssoulf, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of MNBeerNE
3/5  rDev -18%

MNBeerNE, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of mbs11
3/5  rDev -18%

mbs11, Jan 14, 2012
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 Denzo
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Denzo, Nov 19, 2013
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 DomingoOrtiz
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

DomingoOrtiz, May 06, 2013
Photo of ElIndio
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

ElIndio, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of sccala
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought 22 oz. bottle from brewery. Poured into a pint glass.

A- brownish mahogany color, 1 finger head that went away before I could really assess how creamy or fizzy if was. Minor lacing, good solid carbonation flow.

S- Obvious flower smell. Like lillies. Very little to smell. Nothing bad coming out, just not much of anything.

T- It's smooth for sure and sort of sweet. Not as hoppy as I thought it would be (it's an imperial IPA, right?) It tastes more like a strong amber ale than an IPA. Phenols are also clearly present.

M- Is this a Red Ale, or an IPA? I don't get it. Is it both? Either way, it's good, I just am having a hard time giving an objective review because although this beer is classified as an imperial IPA, I personally think it tastes more like an Amber Ale, or an Irish Red. Maybe that's why it's called Red IPA?

D- This one is in a class of it's own. I think BHB created a new style here! I've never had anything quite like it. When I really focus on the smells and tastes of this beer, I don't know what to think....other than it's good...but just "good", that's it.

sccala, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of Liverpool08
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to agree with an earlier review, this should be an Imperial red not an IPA. Looks nice,
dark orange/red. But really no aroma. Flavor is a nice sweet malt, with just a hint of bitter hops way in the back of your tongue. Again as an amber ale or red ale this brew is ok. The malts are good and its an easy drinker given the 9% ABV. However its not much as an IPA goes.

Liverpool08, May 23, 2010
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 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 Kmlund
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Kmlund, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of WhitmansNiece
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

WhitmansNiece, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of Massbmx
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Massbmx, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Mikeynas
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Mikeynas, Oct 21, 2012
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Imperial Red I.P.A. from Blue Hills Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.