Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

223 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 223
Hads: 847
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 83
Gots: 87 | 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: 223 | Hads: 847
Photo of TMoney2591
2.77/5  rDev -28.6%
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. (790 characters)

Photo of bendern
3.12/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a tulip.

Bottle stated best by 08/16/13, had on 4/21/13.

Appearance - Very hazy, opaque dark copper. Around two and a half fingers of beige head with a gentle pour. Head dissipated fairly quickly, but left a lasting layer throughout the rest of the glass. Minor lacing.

Aroma - Malts, caramel, pine hops, biscuit and other bready smells.

Taste - Pine hops, sweet malts, caramel. Definitely taste more of the malt than the hops. The alcohol is not hidden well, especially in the finish. Alcohol warmth throughout. Drinks like a barley wine, which is a style I don't care for.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied. High carbonation.

Overall - Not a bad beer by any means, but nothing I'd particularly care to pick up again. Tastes more like a barley wine than a red ale. Good to try once. Not terribly impressed, especially considering the typical quality that Ballast Point puts out. (892 characters)

Photo of Not_John_Wayne
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice coloration. Sriracha brings out the sweetness quite a bit. Good head if all you care about is presentation and bouquet.
Flavor is maltier than I want in any Imperial Amber. I'm eating a biscuit that has absorbed all my hops.

I would never drink this beer again unless someone bought it for me. (301 characters)

Photo of InlandTaipan
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured and drank on 4/17/2013

Bottled dated best by 3/23/13

A: Beer poured a hazy reddish mahogany. Off-white head was not long lasting and left minor lacing.

S: Aroma is of figs, caramel, butter (Diacetyl), fusel alcohol, pine, worty.

T: Flavor is caramelized malts, lingering punchy hop bitterness, and alcohol.

M: Velvety, thick. A lot of sugar so your lip sticks to the glass with each sip (Not sure if I like that)

O: An interesting take on an imperial Red Ale. I really enjoy Ballast Point's beers, but I feel this one neglects some of the balance that defines the great beers they make. I would still try it again. (634 characters)

Photo of Oakenator
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brown to amber. Darker in color with a slightly cloudy look. Healthy head - at least a finger and quality lacing. Smell is dominated by a great hop aroma and slightly balanced with some malts. Taste is good with malt and candimsugar more present with the hops some hidden well. Spicy. Good. (298 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle.

Pulpy, hazy, burnt sienna body. Some light around the edges shows sediment. Small, gauzy, dirty light khaki head. Some lacing. Plenty of resinous hops on the nose. Pungent but pleasant. Also peppery, spicy, and piny. Nice wallop of fruity and caramel-y malt backs it up. Faint alcohol notes as well.

First sip and wow. Big bitter hop goodness. Herbal, piny, and resinous. Lots of sweet malt fills in quickly, though, providing some reprieve. Fruity, caramel-y, and figgy. Scotch tape and pine resin bitterness fights back, winning the battle for hoppy bitterness into the finish. Warming. Dries out a lot in the finish, but there is still some lingering fruity malt sweetness. Full-bodied and chewy. Nice. (723 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber 2 weeks ago from BevMo for $7.99. Best by 050913. I also had this on tap at the San Diego Toronado about a year ago.

Beer poured a murky reddish brown with a pretty decent head that is leaving an smear of lacing behind.

Nose is a nice blast of citrusy hops.

Taste is a big caramel malt backbone that is overtaken by a whopping amount of citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth, very satisfying.

Overall not the cleanest of finishes but very flavorful and fun to drink. (494 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle from Rollin Oats Tampa FL for 10$

Appearance - Slightly hazy red/copper with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, apricots, pineapple

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and hops. There is also some grapefruit, cherries, and apricots. It ends with a very hoppy fruity aftertaste.

Overall – Wow.. a lot of hops going on here. I've been looking for this one for a while and it doesn't disappoint. It is definitely over the top flavour wise.. it has a lot of sugary sweet flavours and a giant dose of hops. (734 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (254 characters)

Photo of Smooth-Hoperator
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A) Beautiful thick and hazy dark orange-amber colored beer with very little head.

S) Smells like orange, pine and caramel with a little bitterness that hits the nose.

T) Woah. A very complex beer that starts off kind of sweet and very malt-forward with a little orange citrus balance that fades into a deep bitterness.

M) This is a fairly thick an heavy beer but good for an Imperial Red Ale.

O) A decent Imperial Red but leaves a lot to be desired. I would take Great Lakes Nosferatu over this one in a second. It is almost too bitter for my taste but overall, a decent beer. (581 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick bubbly tan head into a snifter that left a thick ring throughout. the body was a dark amber color.
s - overwhelmingly piney with a hint of malt underneath. as this beer warms the malt begins to balance it out more.
t - big piney hops with a hint of bready malt underneath. tongue buckler tried to warn me!
m - medium and slick mouthfeel.
o - really good red ale and one i'll seek out again. (420 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A fairly clear copper-brown color with a proud oatmeal colored head and plenty of chunky lacing. The aroma offers a deep nutty malt and pine hop and a bit of toffee alcohol. Very nice! The flavor brings a very sweet pine malt with a nice leafy bitterness and a somewhat boozy finish. There's plenty of graham cracker-rye grain goodness mixed with the grassy-pine. This beauty is medium-full bodied with a frothy carbonation and feel. This is yet another triumphant effort from Ballast Point. (491 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
2.83/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured in a taster at Ballast Point in San Diego, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger width tan head. Long retention, fluffy lacing. Reddish brown color, nice clarity.

S- Caramel malts and spicy hops. More subdued than I thought it would be.

T- Some bitter hops, but balanced out with sweet malts. Not terribly impressed.

M- Medium bodied and fairly wet.

O- I wasn't really impressed with this beer. (409 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber says enjoy by 05-24-13. Consumed on 11/30/12.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is turbid amber - kind of looks like apple cider - that is more orangey-amber when backlit. 1-finger ecru-colored head on top settles to leave some splotchy lacing down the glass.

S: At first I thought I sensed some oxidation, but that seemed to go away quickly. Lots of hops, sure, but I think there's more malt - of the caramel, brown sugar and toffee type smells. Reminds me of a barleywine, though I'm having a hard time remembering which one. Hops present smell of citrus and pine. Alcohol is noted too.

T: First impression is the booze. That 10% ABV is obvious. Overall I get some grapefruity hops on top of a big malt profile - caramel malt, toffee and brown sugar again. Decent bitter finish, however, provides a bit of balance offsetting what I'm guessing is a big malt profile. Finishes with drying alcohol spice and warmth - which is felt as heat (not just warmth: heat) down the gully and into the belly. Lingering bitterness at times surprises me given that big malt profile.

M: I'd call this full bodied. Carbonation is good, provides a slightly sharp bite.

O: I wouldn't classify this as an Imperial Red Ale (which is how Ballast Point describes it on the bottle), but rather as an American Strong Ale, along the lines of Stone's Double Bastard - though like I said, at times this even brings to mind an American Barleywine. Definitely a "big" beer, with the alcohol announcing its presence and telling you to slow down. (1,528 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz, Best before 03/23/12
Bruery tulip

A: Cloudy murky reddish orange. Full finger of off white head. Some lacing sheeting. Alcohol feet are present.

S: Lots of sweet malt. Bready. Caramel. Light toffee. Bitter citrus pith hop bitterness.

T: Not anywhere as bitter as I was expecting. Sweet malts. Some caramel. Piney hops. Dank citrus. It's a good beer, but I was expecting more of a hop bomb/malt bomb blend and that wasn't what I got.

M: Medium bodied. Not as bitter as expected. (487 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber colour, with a tan coloured head. Lots of spongy lace. Aroma is more caramel and dark fruity malts, with some floral hops notes. The taste is not "buckling" my tongue though. The bitterness is noticeable, but tame. But there's a lot of sweet malts, caramel and toffee. It's a solid upper medium body with a slick, almost oily feel.

It's a nice beer for sure, but the name makes it not as enjoyable as I was expecting a hugely bitter beer. (459 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't know why this beer was so bloody hard to find, but it was on my wants list forever until martin123012 took pity & traded me a bottle. All this build-up? Kind of like Indiana Jones IV? God, I hope not. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife. Best by date of 6/13 (?) on the neck.

Pour is certainly red. The dull, mucky variety. Taking in several liters of air through my nose, I manage to tease out some sweet malt & earthy hops, but that's it. Down low.

Tongue Buckler is like malt-on-malt porn. Malts spill over one another in an amazing amount of positions. Sweet bread, caramel, grain, booze, light toast. The hops aren't as aggressive as advertised, but they pack a wallop that's mostly bitter & faintly citrus. I don't know how to describe it, but the malts & hops seem at odds - the effect is almost oxidized, though not quite. The mouthfeel is heavy as a malt-soaked anvil...I shouldn't have eaten dinner. This could be a meal in itself. Doesn't exactly invite slugging.

Especially given my love of Ballast Point's hoppy beer, this is a touch of a letdown. The heaviness & ingredients that appear to be sparring with one another means this one only lands in the pretty good airfield. (1,198 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a CCB pint glass.

A: Reddish amber, mostly clear. Lots of visible carbonation leads to a one and a half finger off-white head.

S: Roasted and caramel malts, with pine and grass hop profile.

T: Follows the nose very closely. The caramel malts pull through a little more, as do the pine hops. Hop bitterness in the hang.

M: Medium body. A lower-than-expected carbonation sensation lends to a creamy-ish mouthfeel. Alcohol is well-hidden given the ABV.

O: This is a reasonably good hoppy red ale. But there is more caramel malt than I'd like, and I'd think a fruitier hop profile would have helped here. Not bad, but not my favorite american red by a long shot. (708 characters)

Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Cloudy unfiltered dark amber with a rocky looking two-finger head of light beige foam with good retention. Great lacing.

S - STRONG aroma of west coast hops with fruity overtones, and lots of caramel malt. Smells inviting.

T - Nice combination of big hops and big malts. Malts are sweet and bready, and the hops are lush, piney, and resiny. An almost candied sugar flavor in the mid-palate. Just a slight booziness in the finish which becomes more prevalent as it warms, which is pretty amazing for 10% abv. Not the most complex beer by any means, but the flavors that are there are jacked up to 11, and it's well balanced.

M - Medium to full bodied, with lively carbonation that combined with a drying finish makes this easy to keep in drinking large gulps until you start feeling that 10% abv kick in. (LOL)

O - "Amber" and "Red" ales are not normally high on my list of favorites because I usually find them to be too pedestrian for my tastes. This beer changes that and I appriciated the assertive (aggressive?) flavor profile and abv. Packs a punch for the price point, and I'll be buying again. (1,150 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is copper brown with a light brown head and lots of mid size bubbles. Nose is lots of toasted bread and grain with a powerful citrus and pine hop behind it. Lightly green and sweaty. Taste is much of the same, a bit stale piney hop with citrus notes, strong bread crust and cooked caramel. Body is lighter with decent carbonation but a bit of a grainy feel in back. (370 characters)

Photo of DonDirkA
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into DFH laser-etched snifter.

Pours a deep, opaque red/mahogany with a thick light brown head that dissipates down to about a half finger. Nose is super hoppy. Pine, tangerine, caramel, grapefruit, molasses and brown sugar. The taste is pine, grass, red grapefruit, black tea, caramel, toffee and bitter orange. Pine explodes and quickly turns into tart grapefruit then plunges into caramel/toffee with a hint of grassy bitterness and some notes of black tea (almost like unsweetened iced tea) that all fades out into a bitter orange and caramel that clings onto the tongue and doesn't let go. This "red ale" is a better DIPA than many beers that are classified as DIPAs (I'm looking at you Palate Wrecker!). Very awesome, love me some Ballast Point. (759 characters)

Photo of ocelot2500
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a tight, off-white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of piny and citrus hops with some toasted malts.

Tastes of big hops upfront on a supportive malt backbone. Big notes of grapefruit, pine, and herbal notes. Moderately bitter, but not overly so. Malts come in with caramel, toffee, and a bit of toasted bread. A bit of fruitiness comes through as well and add to the grapefruit notes. Sweetness balances out what bitterness comes through. Alcohol is very slight and pleasant.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a big amber ale and I would definitely think it was a barleywine if not told otherwise, but this is tasty either way. (715 characters)

Photo of shand
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, needless to say, my hopes are high for this one. I love Ballast Point, and I love big, hoppy reds. Tongue Buckler pours a hazy blood-red color with a tiny head. The aroma is robustly malty, with a touch of citrus hops. The taste is excellent, this is a big, brash beer with a huge caramel malt kick and bitter pine notes. An explosion of flavor right to your taste buds. The mouthfeel is, well, big. It's got a thicker mouthfeel that suits the beer quite nicely, and the drinkability is great. Overall, this is a great, big imperial red. Bold and delicious. (563 characters)

Photo of Googs
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into tulip glass.

A:Medium off white head that dissipates slowly. Lots of lacing on the sides of the glass. Auburn colored body.

S: BIG pine and citrus notes. Caramel and biscuit malts coming through too.

T: Bang Bang on the mouth. First comes the strong bitter resinous and earthy hops. Citrus and grapefruit are very apparent too. Caramel toffee and toasty malts coming through and balancing but this is a hop heavy one. Alcohol is apparent but not overwhelming.

M: Medium body, somewhat thick. Medium carbonation. Does leave a strong taste in the mouth, intense. I'm liking it

O: I enjoyed this brew although it's not my favorite imperial red or Ballast Point offering. They say on the package that it's gonna attack your palate, and it does. A successful beer and reminds me of a hop heavy beer from Stone. I'd have this one again. (863 characters)

Photo of RandyV
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

To the point, not a huge hit with me. Too boozy; I've had higher abv brews that masked it well in the flavor profile. Big hops and malt tend to overwhelm the palate instead of complimenting each other. I've had Imperial Reds that were much more nicely balanced.

I love Ballast Point. Took a tour of their brewery in San Diego and sampled some tasty brews. However, this ale is a miss for me. (392 characters)

Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.