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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

776 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 776
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 72
Gots: 60 | FT: 2
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 776 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrBURTON55
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of John_M
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Al's of Hampden the other day.

The beer pours a reddish amber color with good head retention and lacing (especially for cask). Don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some light cherry and light honey/vanilla. On the palate, this moderately sweet beer is pretty yummy, showcasing considerable butterscotch, vanilla and light cherry cough drop. The alcohol is fairly well disguised in this 10% abv. beer, especially considering the sweetness in this beer. Mouthfeel is soft, full and very long, with almost a creamy consistentcy.

Couldn't drink a lot of this, but the one glass I had was pretty tasty.

Photo of BoRaeCho
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of MikeDre
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of pmarlowe
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tulip glass. Can't read the "Enjoy By", but this just came out about 2 weeks ago. Arrr.

A: Pours a hazy, dark reddish amber, with a finger of head which manages to be both coke-float brown and a brilliant white. It recedes to some sloppy looking head and lacing. It clears up as it warms.

S: Pine, some amber/crystal/caramel malts, and a little sugar coated grapefruit.

T: A blast of hop flavor (mostly pine, hint of citrus) and amber malt in good balance, with the hops hitting you up front and then slowly fading out over a good minute; maybe some burnt caramel as well. Almost no trace of bitterness.

M: Medium-full body and medium carbonation.

O: Overall, I applaud Ballast Point for bringing more of a pirate theme to their bottling labels. That was one of the biggest weaknesses of the brand. The beer is less abrasive than expected; good, if pretty big, amber. Hides the alcohol well.

Photo of teleman
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%

Photo of baybassboy
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of mhaugo
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a very deep and murky amber brown. thick tightly packed deep tan head. decent retention. spotty lacing.

S - dark and dank resinous aroma. notes of spicy herbs and citrus, with a dark bread malt profile.

T - the flavors are a more intensified version of the nose. dark bread up front with lots of citrus/grapefruit rind character. the bitter fruit flavors last long after the finish.

M - milky. lighter bodied verging on medium than one would expect. carbonation is medium.

O - a decent "IPA" with an interesting malt profile.

Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A handpull at Al's; KBS warming beside it.

A: Darker than I was expecting (maybe I glossed over that red ale part), a deep reddish ochre brown, barely translucent, under an off-white head. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: Thick and malty, again I was caught unaware. The caramel roasted aromas are strong, to the point of a barleywine; even the prodigous dry hopping can't avoid that thickness.

T: Anyone else expecting the tongue to buckle under the intense bitterness of the hops? I sure was. The only buckling is from the overwhelming malt load - this is as close to a barleywine as a red ale can get - with caramel and roasted malts. The hops are present, adding to the thickness, but they don't bring the fresh bitterness that dry hopping ought to impart. The ale goes down well, tastes good, and packs a mean punch; it's just too dark and roasted. I didn't really get into this one.

M: Very much a red ale, verging towards Black red ale with the roasted undertones. It's not as hoppy as one might expect it to be though.

Photo of tbeq00
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of wattershed
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Ralphs66
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of hpthebull
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a majestic clear and beautiful rich amber that gets deeper in color as you peer deeper to the middle of the glass

S: Huge floral and pine brightly caress the nose. Smells so good with hints of caramel that creeps

T: Full massive hop flavor and bitterness kicks your socks of in the friendliest way possible. Huge piney hops murder the forward end with a lovely dough/bread and caramel back end. Slight alcohol trickles up in the middle. 

M: Full bodied with medium carbonation and wonderfully dry

O: So amazing this beer is. I always get it on tap whenever u see it at my local san diego brew pubs. Bad ass beer that provides full crazy amounts of flavor. So amped there bottling again. 

Photo of ridedatrainmarv
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of srandycarter
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear mix of reddish brown amber. Small tan head appears. Lots of cling lace.

S - Lots of sweet caramel in the nose, and a large hop presence.

T - Nice FAT caramel center, invading your mouth. The hop jump on top of it and destroy the sweet, making that lingering bitter dry smack at the end.

M - Not as carbed as I would like, medium body, pretty good balance for size.

D - Drink it till it hurts, baby!

Photo of ScottyC54
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of DZales1000
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of claspada
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber leaning toward red with a light tan that leaves some nice sticky lacing.

Aromas begin with a blast of dank, juicy grapefruit with less intense citrus and pine hops. As it warms you detect more of the malt backbone highlighted by some brown sugar and caramel.

The tastes begin with light sweet maltiness; brown sugar and darker caramel once again. Then the hop flavors, particularly grapefruit, a bit of citrus and lesser pine are not quite as bitter as I would have expected. Bitterness increases as it warms in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied for the style with a crisp carbonation and lightly bitter finish. Alcohol is little to none exisitent.

Overall this is a very nice example of a West Coast Amber Ale. Plenty of dank, resinous, citrusy hops to balance a mellow but substantial caramel maltiness. Very easy to drink and dangerous @ 10%ABV. Not my favorite of the style but definitely worth a go if you see it on tap. Not mind-blowing but super solid beer.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange to amber in color with a finger tall beige head. The head reduces to a ring at the edges of the glass and some patches of bubbles. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Lots and lots of hops - pineapple, pine, and grapefruit are all present with pine being the most dominant.

T: Pine hops with some pineapple and grapefruit notes. There is a real lingering bitterness after each sip of this beer. The flavor of the beer is very sharp and the finish is almost resin like.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly chewy.

O: Very nice for the hop head in all of us but not an easy drinker - the hops are really intense and the name of the beer is appropriate. Probably would be amazing with the correct food pairing but on it's own it is a little difficult to consume much of.

Photo of iskeptopotamus
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of UltimateLivewire
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 776 ratings.