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Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red AleTongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

227 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 227
Hads: 870
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 22.82%
Wants: 87
Gots: 105 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 11-25-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 227 | Hads: 870
Reviews by SplitsAtoms:
Photo of SplitsAtoms
4.25/5  rDev +9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: amber brown and perfectly clear; towering head of fine bubbles draped lace behind

S: piney and resinous hop aromas with spikes of a dark, pithy citric aroma; hearty malt character underscores it all

T: caramel sweetness preps the palate for the slow-moving train of hop action that follows - lots of pine and resin draped over the citric elements and flavors; malt flavors are rustic and roasty, with suggestions of nuttiness and earthy spice

M: medium-bodied, ample carbonation; slight chew, but the abv airs it out quickly; dry wood aftertaste hovers o'er the numbing bitterness...

O: hop-forward "American" Imperial India Amber Ale (new style category!) - essentially a dark IPA Imperialized effectively - big hops, hearty malts - easy-drinking with a hammer of hops to hide the high abv. I really dug it.

 815 characters

Photo of MattR2014
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had out of 22oz bottle. This is a big beer. 10%. Taste the booze but it's hoppy also

84 characters

Photo of oberon
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Iam a big fan of uber hopped imperial reds so here we go!Poured into an imperial pint glass a clear rich bronze color with a billowing one and a half finger off white head that spits and shoots into a craterous mass leaving a full ring of lace behind.Herbal and grassy hops with a tinge of pine resin,not a big malt profile wich surprised me a little,but I loved the hops.Not quite as full as I would have liked in the mouth,not watery but for the style I may have liked a little more fullness.Flavors of alcohol dipped malty-gummy fruitiness and brown sugar then more of a herbal/leafy hop flavor that turns into a big of grapefruit rind,as I drink more the complexities unfold more.There is a nuttiness that keeps the beer from becoming overly sweet and boozy.At first the beer didn't impress much but as I drank more it impressed more.

 838 characters

Photo of MikeSJbeers
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Dmann
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer hit the spot the other night and I hope to come back for more. Had this on tap at the San Diego Brewing Co. and it was great. Poured a great amber color with a great head and nice lacing. The smell leaned more towards the IPA side of things with a nice wiff of hops and a little carmel malt scent in there too. The taste was very good and was a perfect mix between a strong amber and an IPA with a nice healthy hoppy flavor backed by a sweet malt that broke through very nicely and came to the foreground to ballance. I too hope they bottle this one someday, I'll buy!

 578 characters

Photo of freshflesh
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Afroman
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Beaver13
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours red amber with a big creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet caramel malt blended with green resiny hops.

The flavor is some sweet nutty caramel malts and lots of fruit with tons of piney resiny hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a nice big hoppy red. The alcohol is well hidden.

 378 characters

Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of megamass
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled at DeCicco’s In Ardsley, NY

Nose is boldly of hoppy goodness.

Pours ruby hued amber, medium tan head, stays and then leaves a thicker collar and plenty of fine lacing.

Dense layers of hops, resins and spruce. Big and bold brew, with interest, quality and attitude abounding. About what I would expect from the Ballast Point brewers.

Complexity, character and density of flavors adds up to a quality brew thats well worth seeking out.

 456 characters

Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Motleydrunk56
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber poured into a Stone glass. Golden color. This has a very boozy taste. Very hoppy with a lot of bitterness. At 10.0 ABV it is quite powerful. There are a lot of better Red`s out there. Not up to the usual Ballast Point standards.

 241 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kaiser81 for sending this beer my way.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is caramel and toffee malts with some nice fruit tones. The aroma smells very sweet. The flavor is caramel and chocolate malt with a good amount of orange and pine hops. The malt backbone goes very well with the strong hop profile. Medium bitterness overall. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 421 characters

Photo of GarrettB714
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of SudsSurfer
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of magictrokini
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is huge. Pours dark crimson with a tiny tan head. Aroma is mostly hops and caramel malt, with some fruitiness. The taste is very strong. Thick with malt and caramel, but offset by the heaping of bitter hops. Some citrus towards the back. Creamy mouthfeel with some stickiness. Its a sipper, but a really good one.

 323 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A deep and dark auburn red with a thin tan head. Leaves nice lacing.

Best part of this beer was its aroma. Pungent grapefruit burst followed by more citrus notes. A bit of sweet and caramel malt aroma as well. Pungent and powerful.

I can't taste the citrus hops as well as I hoped I might. Extremely bitter, though that should be expected with the name. Sweet, bready, and caramel malts do their best to match up, but this beer banks on bitter.

Thick mouthfeel. Heavy and substantial, which is appropriate given the style and the ABV, but there's no way to drink a lot of this, nor would I particularly want to.

A true tongue-buckler. This beer has earned its name, perhaps the most bitter non-DIPA I've ever had. Tasty, but not incredibly drinkable.

 804 characters

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of sourdog
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of far333
3.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Burnished copper with bright red highlights and a thick head of dimpled foam that settles slowly. Aroma of sweetish malt, lots of caramel.

Rich flavor of caramel malt and toffee, but piney hops burst to the surface. The hops are missing the sharp edge that a bold hoppy beer normally has, leading me to wonder if the undated bottle has some age on it. There is a definite ABV contributing sweetness.

Full mouthfeel, with noticeable alcohol warmth, fairly viscous. Would like to try another bottle knowing that it's fresh to see if it's any different. Decent beer overall.

 573 characters

Photo of doremite
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excited to try another of the semi-rare but delicious imperial red ale style. This pour is breaking in my new DFH signature glass. Pours a deep, clear blood red with a thick fluffy off-white head. Smell is boozy caramel malt, completely overshadowed by hops. The hop scents start off with some mild pine/citrus rind, followed by tons of sweet fruit. Taste is sweet toasted malt, a sudden wave of booze carrying tons of juicy and bitter hop flavors with it. Finishes with sticky sweetness rolling in bitterness and the heat left over from the alcohol. Definitely a sipper, but great if you like big hoppy beers.

 610 characters

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Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.