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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

72 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.89%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | 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)
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 01:39:05 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of WJDobbs321
WJDobbs321

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 01:05:48 | More by WJDobbs321
Photo of bum732
bum732

Lesotho

3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 04:15:58 | More by bum732
Photo of CliffBrake
CliffBrake

New Hampshire

3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 01:21:47 | More by CliffBrake
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 01:40:46 | More by Jason
Photo of soze47
soze47

Massachusetts

2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2010 23:50:40 | More by soze47
Photo of mlazzaro
mlazzaro

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 01:26:42 | More by mlazzaro
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

2.5/5  rDev -31.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2010 00:40:19 | More by DrJay
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 23:58:13 | More by ppoitras
Photo of bobdelt
bobdelt

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2010 23:48:26 | More by bobdelt
Photo of sccala
sccala

Rhode Island

3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 12:04:24 | More by sccala
Photo of Liverpool08
Liverpool08

Massachusetts

3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 01:10:28 | More by Liverpool08
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

2.63/5  rDev -27.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2010 17:50:57 | More by morebeergood
Photo of BostonTriggs
BostonTriggs

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 05:34:55 | More by BostonTriggs
Photo of bpratt01
bpratt01

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +30.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 00:37:32 | More by bpratt01
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2010 23:56:33 | More by Jwale73
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2010 19:23:55 | More by smcolw
Photo of Boohausen
Boohausen

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +37%
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

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2010 09:54:53 | More by Boohausen
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 23:04:49 | More by jlindros
Photo of Duhast500
Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2010 03:41:26 | More by Duhast500
Photo of jamie2dope
jamie2dope

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 22:04:08 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2009 20:57:02 | More by portia99
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Imperial Red I.P.A. from Blue Hills Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.