Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,273 | Reviews: 685 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jondeelee:
4.23/5 rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Imperial Red opens with a nose that is mostly hoppy, though strong touches of sugars do shine through. The hops lend the beer an overwhelmingly grapefruit-based nose, with heavy pink grapefruits predominating, as well as touches of grapefruit zest; in fact, the beer bears more than a passing resemblance to a grapefruit spritzer because of the potency of these aromas. Some pine and a hint of mint do add a bit of nuance, but are deep in the background. The beer does also bear good droppings of sugar, with orange and orange zest, lemon, white grape, and apricot rounding out the fruit esters, and brown sugars and vanillas adding complexity. The faintest touch of rising wheat dough helps ground the brew slightly, but for the most part the nose is heavy on citrus and sugary aromas. As a whole, because of the high levels of these aromas, the beer does come across as well-made and appealing, but does seem slightly overly fruity, and reminiscent of wine coolers or spritzers.
On the tongue, the beer opens with a fraction-of-a-second grapefruit spritzer sweetness, then delves immediately into deeper, darker hop flavors, with heavy vinous, stem-like flavors rising and bringing dandelion stem, rose petal, and pine resin overtones, as well as peppery oils and touches of anise. Sugars once again largely take a backseat, but do offer apricot and orange notes, and the grains do come through more strongly in the mouthful, bringing toast crust and biscuit. The 54.2 IBUs tingle playfully on the tongue and soft palate, but do not get in the way of the beverage’s flavors. The aftertaste is largely hop-dominant, with the darker flavors from the main mouthful carrying through almost exactly, and lingering on the tongue for a good while. Mouthfeel is a slightly syrupy medium, and carbonation is medium.
Overall, I do like the hop flavors present in this beer, and am glad that the grapefruit spritzer aromas didn’t translate into flavors. I do, however, question an Imperial Red that has so many hop flavors that the sugars are somewhat lost; I would have been happier with this beer tasting it blind, rather than knowing its supposed style. As it is, the beer comes across to this drinker as overly-hopped and therefore out of balance, and needed a stronger sugary backbone to better showcase the Imperial Red flavors. Still, it is worth trying, for the hops are rather nice; think of it as a strong IPA, and you’ll be fine.
Serving type: bottle
04-27-2012 15:27:20 | More by jondeelee
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Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,273 ratings.