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Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale
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very good

718 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 718
Reviews: 204
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 68
Gots: 42 | 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: 718 | Reviews: 204 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of jenray
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of Sideswipe
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Barley and Hops

Deep red/amber color witha finger of off-white foam. Thick, sticky lacing. Caramel malt and citrus hops in the nose. Taste follows true to form with a big caramel presence up front. The malt is offset by huge citrus hop bitterness on the back end. There's mango, tangerine and a bit of pineapple. Some booze is apparent in the finish and there's a lingering bitter aftertaste. The beer is full bodied, quite thick and viscous. Medium level of carbonation. A good imperial red, emphasis on the imperial. I like the combination of caramel malt and hoppiness, but the 10% ABV starts to wear on me a little as I near the bottom of the pint. A good brew for a chilly November evening.

Photo of tmarq9
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of ineva
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of rbrefbeerman
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of MasterMustace
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of RichBeer
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of BigMilkDan
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of jeezie
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Booman
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of patm1986
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of codynevels
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of UncleJimbo
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of aandresen
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy red, small amount of activation in the pint glass served at Toronado SF but head retention and lacing pretty damn solid.

S - Malty...hops there evened out with the malts but you can tell this one is going to be maltier than the average West Coast Imperial Red.

T - Follows smell exactly...this one is BIG...a sipper. Took me longer to finish than my usual Imperial Red or Imperial IPA. Thick, hoppy and equally malty.

M - Big, creamy and heavy due to the ABV and large dose of malts.

O - Everything about this beer is good but nothing mind-blowing. Recommended.

Photo of bbeane
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into an oversized snifter... starts with a nice finger thick fluffy head with decent retention and lacing. Beer is amber in color and cloudy with little activity

S- Has a dry hoppy aroma with very little if any malt presence

T- Taste is spot on with the aroma... Starts out with a dry hoppy taste that lingers straight through the finish. No malt ever comes through, though there is a hint of booziness coming through in the end

M- Medium body with light/medium carbonation

0- Nothing special in my book... had a nice flavor, but I definitely would prefer other American Ambers/Red Ales to this one


Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pulled this out of my.. cellar for a marathon beer tasting session. Live review.

Cloudy ruby into my pint glass. Nice head. Little lacing.

Sweet malty nose. hint of alcohol. Apples.

More apples on the mouth. I think this bottle is far past its prime. Bitterness there, but not much hop flavor.

Medium mouthfeel. Coats the palate.

Overall I think I blew it by aging this too long. I thought it would be ok, given the alcohol level. After reading other reviews, it seems like I'm missing out on a lot of hop flavor.

Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a goblet at Liberty St. Tavern. The alcohol was well hidden, but overall this was a thick beer without as many stand-out flavors as I'd have liked for something this strong. The hops were juicy, with a citrus rind finish, but lacked depth for such a big beer. The malts were also fairly big, with a soft bready character, but oddly indistinct. Finally, the bitterness, likely thanks to the residual sugar, was far too balanced for anything with the name "Tongue Buckler." I don't want to give the impression that this is a bad beer, but when we're talking about 10% ABV hop-bombs, there are better options.

Photo of 57md
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy dark copper with a finger of head. There is little retention or lacing, however. The hops are way upfront in the nose, which is definitely a harbinger of things to come. There is a brief malty taste with the first sip, but it quickly becomes overwhelmed by the blast of hops that follows. The finish is very crisp and bitter - much more reminiscent to a DIPA than an imperial red.

This offering is a puzzler. I am a genuine hop fan and I loved this beer for its aggressive hop profile. However, there must be some minimum style standards adhered to so that we beer nuts can compare apples with apples. This is simply NOT a red, as it is not at all true to style. I am not sure what it actually IS other than a tasty big beer. Let's just go with that, ok?

Photo of augustgarage
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap first at Mohawk Bend where I took very brief notes, then at Blue Palms Brewhouse which is the primary source of this review. Served in a goblet.

Clear, carnelian liquid with a lasting dense creamy layer of ivory foam. Thick pasty lacing refuses to dissipate. Superior retention.

Strawberries, bubblegum, oranges, and floral hop aromatics blend seamlessly with a honey-infused malt base.

Ester-heavy, like a field of berries in a summer rain. Candy-like sweetness is persistent but balanced by a moderate faintly peppery bitterness from the citrus-forward hops. Finishes medium-dry and crisp.

Medium-bodied, somewhat oily and creamy with a solid alcohol kick.

It's interesting to compare what I think was a super-fresh keg against this one which has been on for many days now. The fresh keg was more astringent and biting (in a good way) but maybe with a little less nuance...while the hops seem to have fallen off a bit in the older keg, allowing more fruit to come forward albeit with more sweetness.

Photo of mactrail
2.55/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Starts out with a kiss of barley wine, ends with a serious dog bite. After a brief honeymoon with the big malt it turns into a shrewish storm of hop overdose.

I can't find what hops these are, but they do a good job of bittering. This tastes like they took a batch of Sculpin and dosed it with quinine. The color is a nice orange mahogany with really good lacing in the tulip glass. Aroma of roast malt. I'm not sure what the point of this exercise is. Anything for research, but after a few sips I'm grateful I don't have to finish it.

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.

Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 718 ratings.