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Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale
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BA SCORE
88
very good

701 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 701
Reviews: 204
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 65
Gots: 36 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 11-25-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 701 | Reviews: 204 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Lueken's Liquors. A smooth mouthfeel, with an initial maltiness followed by a pleasant citrusy hop finish. Well integrated blend of malt and hops, the perfect imperial red beer. Another master craft from this brewery. Above average mouthfeel.

Sammy, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +9%

t0rin0, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

spycow, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Library Alehouse in Santa Monica, CA.

Pours a clear dark copper with a beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thick chunks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grapefruit, citrus zest, and a slight alcohol kick. Taste is of malt, grapefruit extract, and very bitter citrus zest. The bitterness with each sip is quite assertive and lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a somewhat full bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it is extremely bitter just like the name implies.

UCLABrewN84, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

djrn2, Apr 18, 2014
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

zestar, May 16, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

acurtis, Mar 15, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Thorpe429, May 29, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Texasfan549, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber in appearance and has just a few bubbles floating on the surface.
S: A distinct hoppy aroma dominates the smell. There are also some hints of caramel and toffee.
T: The taste very much follows the smell and is of bitter hops, although there is a good amount of balance in the flavors from the underlying caramel malts.
D: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and the finish is somewhat dry.
M: The alcohol content is well masked but this is a beer that tastes like it is strong and definitely needs to be sipped.

metter98, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +2.6%

GRG1313, May 09, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2.6%

kjkinsey, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with a sturdy ecru head that leaves a fair amount of lacing

Smell: Pop the cap and the piney citrus wafts out of the bottle; stick your nose in the pint glass and the hops aroma almost burns like a chili pepper

Taste: The hops don't wait for the malt to make an appearance, jumping into the fray from the get go, with a juicy, almost fiery, citrus and pine combination that truly tries to buckle the tongue; after the swallow, the malt leaves a trace with some residual sweetness on the tongue, but the bitterness persists for quite some time afterwards

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; burning warmth in the gullet after the swallow

Drinkability: Fun to taste for a hop head, but a tough one to consume in any quantity; one of the most aggressive beers I have ever tasted

brentk56, May 26, 2009
Photo of kylehay2004
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: amber with red hues. Lots of lace and single finger head.

S: wet sock odor hops

T: lots of grassy and floral hops with dominant caramel malts. Some citrus notes.

M: Moderate carbonation and medium body.

Overall: The beer was very good. This wet sock hop aroma that I see in some imperial beers and IPAs is a bit of a turn off before the taste. Otherwise a decent beer.

kylehay2004, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

ygtbsm94, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one as an extra in a recent trade. I had actually almost gone out and bought some so I was glad to see it hit my doorstep. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/18/2009.
 
The pour was very big. Lots of dark orange colors swirling about and a good sized head of white reaching up and over the top to around two inches before settling back down again. Really nice layered look to the sides of the glass as it was thoroughly coated all the way down, really good retention here I have to say. Lots of malt in the nose right off. Caramel, sweet notes mixing with a very big hop note, especially as it warms. Piney with a sweet orange rind like citrus touch as it comes close to room temperature. Very thick feel, sticky and full with nice carbonation, definite enough to get it done. Initially you get the piney hop bite as you take the first sip, but it became very well balanced mid palate as the rich, almost scotch ale like buttery notes start to come through and really give it quite a smooth flavor. A bit hot still and a definite big one, it hurts the session ability of it a touch, and by the end you are really pushing it with this one.
 
Overall not bad, actually very, very good. Straddles the line of several styles, but I would call it a strong ale as a catch all. A bit strong and young still, this would serve up great after 6 months I am sure.

mikesgroove, May 19, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at 38 Degrees

A: The pour is amber though it leans more toward red than anything else. The head has a slightly tan hue and leaves some nice lacing.

S: A blast of dank, juicy grapefruit is the first thing to hit the nose. The intense citrus and pine hop aroma lasts throughout the sniffing process, and is mixed with some brown sugar and caramel.

T: The hop flavors, particularly the grapefruit, are not quite as bitter as I would have expected. There is a definite sweetness to the beer, provided by some caramel malts and a brown sugar taste. There is some decent bitterness on the finish, however.

M: A medium to full bodied beer (for the style, anyway) with a crisp carbonation and bitter finish.

D: The alcohol doesn't necessarily show itself in the course of the smelling or tasting of the beer, but it does make itself known (and not surprising at 10%). Still a nice beer, but it can sneak up on you.

womencantsail, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

SocalKicks, Jul 02, 2012
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.

oberon, Aug 03, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt, served in a 12 oz snifter.

Cloudy brownish-red with a frothy tan head. Lots of scattered lacing with solid head retention. Very resiny aroma, pine and crystal malt, grapefruit, light alcohol presence. Similar on the palate, not particularly sweet but heavy on crystal malts and sticky, resiny hops. Grapefruit, pine, plenty of lingering bitterness in the finish that balances the heaviness of the malt. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden, though there's a slight sting toward the finish. Very easy to drink for such a big beer.

largadeer, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
2.73/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Kinda reminds me of the War of Jenkins's Ear, only with a tongue. Yeah. This stuff pours a clear midnight garnet-copper topped by a finger of dirty cream foam. The nose comprises sweet caramel, light leek, pine resin, and light spicy greens. The taste brings in more of the same, with less leek and a light menthol character in the finish. Unfortunately, what is present--in abundance--is the clash between the caramel and the resin, which are apparently acting out a centuries-old feud right on my tongue. Buckle, my ass, it's a fucking raze job! The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, this just didn't work for me, as the hops and the malts just clash far too much for any enjoyment to result.

TMoney2591, May 30, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Assuming this is the recent "robust series" bottling, the original listing should be updated if there's an ABV change. Huge thanks to Jason for dropping this in a recent trade!

Lovely burnt crimson color, fluffy foam, and minor lacing. Dank hop oils in the nose. Sweet fruit and a hint of maltiness buried underneath. Later there's a waft of the alcohol, but it blends in well.

Huge smack of melon/cantaloupe sweetness, dank fruity hops are massive in this one! Lush, sweet almost syrupy body. Reminded me a little of oak-aged Unearthly minus the oak. Drying with moderately bitter finish. Traces of alcohol only seem to come out as it warms. Pretty damn strong, but tasty. The sweetness and booze are integrated well enough that it isn't a distraction. I'm going to miss this bomber when it's gone...

emerge077, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flowing at Smokin' Joe's in the Southside pours a copper hue with a light off shade of white head, big chunks of lacing. Aroma has big abrasive pine/caramel blended with some dank smelling herbaceous goodness, quite a nose with a some booze edging in this good just as easily be a barleywine in most beer cultures. Flavor again earthy herbaceous and citrus peel accented hops bring a strong bitterness full big booze and big caramel malts with a bit of dirt/mineral quality going on. Alcohol is soothing and fits within the massive arrangement of this beer, never seen bottles in the Burgh but definitely scattered on a limited basis on tap. Mouthfeel was big a bit harsh with bitterness and alcohol but I new what I was getting into when I ordered this one. Overall a high quality big aggressive West Coast Tongue Buckler, meaning it pretty much assaults your palate with intense flavor.

WVbeergeek, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a murky reddish amber color, with a large dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains rich caramelized malts, floral hops and fruity citrus.

T: The taste starts out sweet with barleywine-like flavors of caramel, brown sugar and fruit that are quickly followed by a hearty malt character and a strong but not-overpowering hops presence. There’s a touch of an alcohol sting and a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sticky and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid flavorful stronger beer to drink for a as long as you can handle it.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 06, 2013
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Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 701 ratings.