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Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

666 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 666
Reviews: 200
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 64
Gots: 31 | 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: 666 | Reviews: 200 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of socon67
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%

A - Maroon\amber color. Cloying foam laces the glass.

S - Best feature of this beer. Smell of fresh english malt, caramel, and wood, combines with oily scent of hops. Just impressive.

T - Hearty malt flavor, with notes of caramel. Behind that is a slight bitter bite. There is a subdued boozy burn at the finsih.

M - Feels heavy, and the robust styles lead to this being a bit overwhelming. Surprisingly it went very well with dinner. So it can compliment food though I'd never session this.

O - A great amber for folks who want a very robust beer. Liked some things about it but not everything.

socon67, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of HarleyCorps
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

HarleyCorps, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

rolltide8425, Jul 11, 2012
Photo of kennethkearns
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

kennethkearns, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of MickeyHops
4/5  rDev +2.3%

MickeyHops, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of jordanmckell
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

jordanmckell, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of Popp24
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Popp24, Jul 05, 2012
Photo of Drinkerofales
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%

A huge dark tan head forms above a clear reddish amber, with golden coppery highlights, leaving tons of sticky lacing.

Smells of caramelly toasted malts, pungent piney hops, the two aromas in balance.

The taste flip flops in strength between bitter piney hops, tangy toasted malts and it lingers.

Texture starts out smooth, but as the name implies, finishes kind of rough, with a lot of bite. It makes my tongue feel like sand paper. Full bodied, and almost viscous, the beer doesn't feel like 10%.

Strange that it lives so well up it's name, and has some great flavors.


Drinkerofales, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Colorwise, a deep ruby red to an amber fade. Thick ecru head is dense enough to survive the trip down to the bottom of my glass. Sparse lacing driblets.

Aroma is intensely juicy peach candy and citrus. Lots of sugar malt sweetness as well. Smells gooey?

Gooey brown sugar and sugar coated raisin malt is almost intense enough to keep pace with the citrus hop onslaught. Sharp pine. Not as bitter as I had expected which is good...because I expected too many IBUs. Dry and bitter fade which helps wipe my palette of the initial sugar malt.

A fine big ass hoppy amber, up there with the best of the style. This is my favorite style BTW.

donkeyrunner, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of WillCarrera
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%

22 oz bottle, best before date of 05/24/13, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a deep, clear red garnet color, it really is a gorgeous color, thin layer of beige head, nice retention and lacing.

S- Big malty aroma, caramel and brown sugar, very grainy with some noticeable booze. A nice kick of piney, grapefruity hops are thrown in for good measure, aroma is pretty nice.

T- Explosion of hops and malt, big fruity grapefruit flavors but decidedly more rind and spice oriented than tropical or juicy, piney bitterness is powerful and remains till the end. Malts are equally huge, with sweet caramel, brown sugar and some spice. Booze adds a nice touch and isn't overdone. Big bitter grapefruit rind in the finish, which lasts a long time.

M- Full-bodied, smooth, creamy feel, alcohol is noticeable but not overly harsh.

O- A pretty awesome beer, very aggressive and bold but still drinkable, the name really isn't joking.

WillCarrera, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of Bilco
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Bilco, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

SocalKicks, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of heresy22
4/5  rDev +2.3%

heresy22, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of JRod1969
4/5  rDev +2.3%

JRod1969, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of Steasy66
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Bomber into pint glass, "enjoy by 040513"
A- Deep amber, a bit cloudy, two finger lacy white head.
S- Citrus hops, sweet malt, very nice
T- Very hoppy, bitter, the hops are not citrusy like they are in the nose, quite sweet, but a strange sweetness.
M- Good consistency, a bit low on carbonation.
O- Decent beer, smells great but the taste doesn't hold up.

Steasy66, Jun 28, 2012
Photo of smutty33
4/5  rDev +2.3%

smutty33, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of argock
3.83/5  rDev -2%

Served on-tap in a nonic pint glass at Toronado (San Diego, CA).

A: Very dark garnet with a short cap of light beige head that fades to a fair amount of lacing.

S: Aroma is fairly grainy with a big dose of raisin but smashed downw ith pine and tropical and fruity hops aromas of pineapple, orange, and mango.

T: The flavor is very bitter and fairly boozy up front but the hops flavors try to poke through the bitterness with mango and pineapple the most prominent. There is a significant malt presence with a lot of toasty, raisiny character.

M: The feel is exceedingly heavy with all of the dark malt sweetness, alcohol, and bitterness.

O: While I liked it, I would not be ordering this a whole lot because it is a chore to drink.

argock, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of VonZipper
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

VonZipper, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of kk73
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

kk73, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%

Reds . . . man, we gotta work out these reds. The style is all over the place. This is definitely a powerful, big-ass red. An "imperial" or "double" red/amber style would help sort this out. Some of the bigger reds even get thrown into the "american strong" catch-all. Styles, styles, styles.

Comparing this to Red God, Nosferatu, Nugget Nectar, Zoe, Eagle Claw Fist, Spring Hop? They're all over the place, and so fucking different!

Ruby, dank pour. I'm not a pour person. Well, I love a great pour. However, I've never been able to explain the visuals the way I'd like. Great pour.

Anyhow, interesting nose with a tingling hop, dry-hopped with something I can't finger? Earthy and spicy/piney crossing. Sweet dried mango and molasses.

Mouth and taste come in huge. Big-ass body with cloy and caramel/molasses flavors enhancing the feel. The hops never let this big viscous malt take over, and bite along the way. A little drying impact to clean up the cloy and some tropical notes to "juicify." If I sit the last tiny sip out overnight, I will have a sticky/gummy yield in the morning. This is not a clean tasting beer, but what pirate wants that?!?! This is a strong-ass American beer with that west coast signature.

CheezyBlaster, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of Rado
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Rado, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%

A-Pours a color close to amber but it looks both brown and orange at different angles. Head is big, dense and lasting. The head is a pronounced tan color. The head also refuses to die off. The tall foam cap leaves much less lacing than I would expect. One of those heads that is big but refuses to stick to the glass and would rather keep its height throughout the drinking process. A great looking brew.

S-Piney hops are very potent. The aroma does not jump out of the glass and hit you from a distance, but when you do commit to smelling the beer you find its intimidating power. Sweetness seems to be set quite high as well, but the herbal, super-spicy and resinous hops really provide the thesis to the overall aroma.

T-The incredibly intense pine-oil hops collide with a comparably tough chocolate covered caramel flavor. The choco-caramel battles the spicy/herbal/dank hops but eventually the abrasive hop bitterness wins out. Both components are shockingly rich and coercive. There is some sort of sadistic balance to this beer with both the malt and the hop working together to eviscerate my tongue's flavor receptors.

M-Creamy, full body. Carbonation is almost muted by the combination of the flavors and the beer's lasting bitterness. Resinous (hop) and syrupy (malt) on the tongue.

O/D-This brew is brutish in both malt and hop. A supremely intense drink. It will take me a while to finish this, but I really enjoy beers of this magnitude. Tongue Buckler is a great name for this; it fits the beer well. At nearly $10 a bomber it is pricey; but if you're looking for a beer to literally burn away the uvula in the back of your throat, this is the beer to choose.

VelvetExtract, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of Stumpy29er
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Stumpy29er, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of timwardjr
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

timwardjr, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of kevgod
4/5  rDev +2.3%

kevgod, Jun 13, 2012
Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 666 ratings.