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Imperial Red Ale - Epic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Red AleImperial Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

125 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.94%
Wants: 3
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company visit their website
Utah, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wasatch on 08-08-2010

A boldly flavored double red ale. Combining caramel malt for sweetness mixed with nice alcohol and plenty of dry and late kettle hop aromas from three killer America strains create a beer that is tough to compare.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 41
Reviews by Arithmeticus:
Photo of Arithmeticus
4.14/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in short ale glass

A: dark ruddy red; beautiful head, great lacing, excellent carb
S: beautiful hop bomb; Cascade esp. prominent; lingers long, and is very inviting
T: complex hop bomb; balanced, but with preference to the hops; not spicy; sweetness based in the very thick malt profile;
M: thick, viscuous

Really great big beer

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

8.1%ABV. per bottle label.

Poured into a stange a somewhat murky deep amber with a tight two finger sticky off white head.The aromas are just fantastic,first the "green" hops smack ya and then big fruity esters, telling you this is a ballsy big red even before trying it.There is some serious hop resin going on here,herbal and citric,the hops really jump out on the palate,a sweetish brown sugar malt base comes into play in the finish after the tirade of hops,even some earthy tones develop as I drink more.This is exactly the type of American style amber I like,hopped to the hilt but still with a hefty malt presence,I like it more than most.Gotta love the hop burps this beer gives off.

Photo of Beaver13
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, release #6 - 7.9% ABV. Pours a hazy amber reddish brown with a small off white head that diminishes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet caramel malts and reisny piney hops.

The flavor is sweet toasted caramel malts with some dark fruit and a good amount of piney resiny hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a nice big hoppy red. It's more toasty than expected.

Photo of Jason
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with a batch # on the label.

LOOK: Muddled reddish amber, light tan lacing puts on a great show

SMELL: Orange peel, grapefruit pith, tobacco, mint, ripe pineapple, caramel, toasted bread, estery

TASTE: Creamy, chewy full-ish body, hop resin, warming alcohol, hop bitterness, citrus peel, caramel, figgy, plum pudding, bready, nutty yeast, piney, semi-dry hoppy finish

Pretty massive, no doubt the "Imperial" tag is fitting. Very well balanced from hops to malt to alcohol. Great job Epic!

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is Release #9 according to the website brewed June 2011, WTF I bought this last month...I will bitch next time I'm up to the store I'm at versus bitch about on BA. Pours a clouded burgundy very deep clouded amber with a light tan caramel head. Aroma has astringent notes of alcohol and hops, with some green mint and herbal leaf components alongside caramel malts flowing free. Flavor has stale hops, go figure, caramel malts with green leafy vegetable notes and herbal qualities somebody please get a fresh version of this to let me know how it pans out. If you're a store selling a year old version of Epic's beers let them know I'm sure they will be pissed about it, if you don't let them know I will I'm sure they will still be pissed about it when it's called an Imperial Red Ale...by the way this is 8.0% abv. Again muddled malts and hops, it's bitter tea leaf, astringent vegetable green with hops and caramelized malt sugars found in a fresh imperial red ale. WTF, again I hate to curse but what's going on either don't brew beer to send to Ohio or brew it and send it fresh. Also have an agreement with the beer stores to sell fresh product. Medium to full bodied texture with ample carbonation slick hop oils that last throughout each sip. Mouthfeel has medium bodied slow bubbling carbonation that many others should think about, slightly resinous still not horrible despite the age issues. Overall enjoyability isn't bad I'm actually liking it, thanks guys from Utah for the well aged Epic beer you have poured me for full price.

Photo of tdm168
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 #20 8.7%

A - dark amber with a large, dense, thick, foamy, off white head that has great retenetion

S - the foam is a bit soapy, there are some citrusy, piny hop aromas, bread, faint sugar

T - piny, caramel, dark bread, sugary, bitter, faint citrus

M - medium to full bodied, well carbonated

This is a decent beer. The flavor isn't overwhelming but it's decent and enjoyable. It's intensely malty with a noticeable hop presence. I enjoyed this beer, and I wouldn't hesitate to have it again.

Photo of humulus
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a snifter.

A: pours a reddish brown, with a beige foam that leaves plenty of lacings on the glass. The foam is high but goes down quickly, leaving a small lid.

S: resin, pine, chocolate, hops, bread and rye.

T: hops dominates the start, but gives way to a milk chocolate type sweetness. It also tastes of bread, citrus and caramel. Very complex.

M: medium carbonation, full bodied and slightly sticky.

O: a very good red ale. Bitterness from the hop is there but is never overpowering, same goes for the bready and sweet notes. Very balanced and complex.

I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of SHODriver
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bottle from release 34

A: poured into a pint glass to a deep red with a half finger of dense off white head that slowly fades and leaves plenty of lacing
S: smells of caramel, pine and citrus
T: taste is pine oil, caramel sweetness, toasted malt, citrus and some oily hop. swallow is a nice blast of pine resin and herbal hop flavor
M: this beer sits medium in the mouth with a soft but present carbonation and a refreshing finish
O: this is a very nice imperial red. it has a good dose of hops but there's a firm enough malt backbone to balance things out and it has great flavors as well. Definitely a solid example for the style

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
4.01/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt 6 fl.oz. bottle. Tumbler glass. Enjoyed on jan´13. Pours reddish brown in color. Chill haze. Off-white froth creates a lasting creamy crown. Aroma profile is amazing. It shows toasted caramel malts, pine & resins, toasted bread, tobacco, hints of fudge chocolate & ripe apricot. Toasted malt flavor rounded by orange chocolate touches. Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Citric astringency in the middle. Dry bitter finish & orange peel on the aftertaste. Delightful & easy drinkable.

Photo of claspada
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy deep ruby red color with a large, thick, creamy tan colored head leaving real nice lacing on the glass.

Aromas begin with caramel malts up front, a little sticky and somewhat sweet. There is a lot of oily hops, somewhat piney resign, and a touch of grapefruit. As it warms, I get some more darker roasted malts which I didn't expect.

The taste is really full flavored, lots of sticky sweet malts with notes of caramel and lightly toasted toffee. The hops transition pretty smoothly, resinous pine and hints of grapefruit. There is a nice subtle lingering bitterness but the subtle background roasted malts help to balance out.

The mouthfeel is quite thick and heavy for the style; almost drinks like an American Strong Ale or an American Barleywine. Plenty of carbonation and hop oil which helps this to finish pleasantly dry and crisp in the finish.

Overall I am pleasantly pleased with this beer, especially because it is so fairly priced at $7 for a 22oz. It is not mind blowing or revolutionary, but really solid in the taste. Lots of dark malt flavors surprisingly for the style. Much more so than your typical American Red Ale. I would classify this as an American Strong Ale if it was up to me; anyway. Good, fairly priced and tasty, what else do you need.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint. Release #20.

4.0 A: Lightly hazed deep amber color. Two fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is pretty good and a good bit of irregular lacing is left.

3.75 S: This smells much more like a barleywine than an amber ale. I suppose an imperial red ale might be a barleywine anyway. Chock full of caramel, toffee, and myriad fruits. Currants, plums, and grape lead the way. Toasty with a rich neutral maltiness. Reasonably hoppy too with floral and citrus notes.

3.5 T: Tastes like a barleywine too. Again lots of caramel, toffee, and the fruits mentioned. Moderate bitterness, toastiness, and thick maltiness. Floral and citrus hop flavor.

3.75 M: Heavier body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy. Good here.

3.5 D: It's amazing how barleywine this beer is at just 8.7%. I would have guessed it to be much bigger. It's a good beer too. GIve it a try, but don't expect a red ale.

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chill hazed red colored beer with a thick tan colored head.

Smells malty and hoppy with a sharp citrus aroma. Strong tea and woody aromas. Grapefruit, lemon and pine, they didn't spare the dry hops in this one. Some toffee candy but this stuff is hoppy.

Starts out malty and a bit savory with a slight burned candy taste. Spicy and woody in the mouth cedar wood is a major flavor component. Little bit of a butter flavor. Not bad has the basic parts of the style both strongly hoppy and malty.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Overall a solid imperial Red Ale.

Photo of staticGenerator
2.86/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This is much too hoppy for a red ale. If you like Pale Ales, you'll probably enjoy this ale. However from a traditional red ale perspective, this brew is over hopped. It is true that more and more beers are exhibiting higher IBUs. And I enjoy good Pale Ale now and then. But the label on this beer has no indication of the high hop levels. Does not represent nor is an indicator of a traditional red ale, but could have been. The malts and yeast get lost in the bittering hops.

Photo of Gavage
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a hazy dark red almost brown color with a 1" head that falls to some large bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell: loads of caramel and fruit sweetness rise from the glass.

Taste: nice malty profile here. Caramel, dark fruits, some pine, a bit of grapefruit, and a moderate bitterness. Overall this seemed a bit unbalanced to me as the sweetness and bitterness seemed to battle each other rather that work together.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smooth and velvety at the finish.

Overall: slow quaffing beer that misses the mark for me. A very hoppy red ale that doesn't marry the sweetness and bitterness in a balanced fashion.

Photo of Douglas88
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle picked up at the brewery. Pours a pretty picture; very dark red mahogany hues with a large tan head. The aroma is huge wet hops, pine and lighter citrus- like a massive IIPA. A really nice flavor; creamy, strong caramel, dry malts, light sweet fruit, lots of pine and citrus hops balance it out. A fine American Strong Ale. Smooth and very drinkable with a very large hoppy bite.

Photo of doucmehu
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22os. purchased from the brewery a couple weeks ago, gift from father-in-law in his case-o-bombers gift box.

A: Pours a murky brown that fades into a sickly pee yellow at the edges. Cappuccino head is robust and slightly soapy, leaves beautiful lacing. The color seems off.

S: Sweet caramel malts do battle with rich orange peel hops, with just a slightly earthy finish.

T: Sweet, dank hops are followed by a moderate malt backbone. Overall a very bittersweet presence.

M: Lively carbonation and a slightly heavier than average mouthfeel, some alcohol and plenty of bittering hops on the finish.

O: Solid beer. I did not compare it to other imperial reds, as it is a relatively new style to me and I think there is room for interpretation. This one is a bit more malt forward, but with plenty of bittering hops. I would have preferred more hop flavor instead of just the finish, but overall a solid brew.

Photo of tobelerone
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a cloudy reddish brown; small head with impressively thick lacing that clings to the side of the glass for the duration. Aroma is malty with traces of juicy citrus hops; faintly alcoholic.

Very nice tasting beer...expected a Nugget Nectar knock-off but this is something different. Sweet and malty, but offset by a subdued hoppy tang. Booze is there but it's restrained. The mouthfeel really shines on this beer; very creamy but not too sticky. Carbonation is on the medium to low side. Drinkability is somewhat compromised by the high ABV but overall this is really a nice beer and a somewhat pleasant surprise.

Best features: great lacing and mouthfeel!

Photo of mactrail
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my top favorites from July visit to Utah. Appealing cloudy brownish red in the tall wine glass. Attractive long-lasting foam.

Rich and hoppy, with a big aromatic flavor and long nose of flowery hops. Spicy, like it's all buds and pollen. Roasted malt is the other flavor, with a big caramel taste. Fairly sweet, like a rich style of DIPA. But the other flavor is grainy, with an expansive bitterness and a sharp finish. The malt is always there to mellow the bitterness, and the acidic note is refreshing.

Certainly one of the best red beers of any style I've had this year. From the 22 oz bottle thanks to our friends at Utah State Liquor Store in Sugar House. [From notes 07-12-2012].

Photo of emmasdad
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at Oskar Blues Liquids and Solids yesterday. Not all that impressive. Poured a dark honey brown color with a little white head. Aromas of caramel, sweet malt and a barely present hit or earthy hops. On the palate, this one was medium bodied, with flavors of sweet malt and caramel.

Photo of bishopgary
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass from 22oz bottle.

A: Dark amber, with brownish orange tones. Medium amount of head, with some lacing that stays around for a bit. Slightly less than clear, in an intriguing way. If you had not read the label you may wonder what you were about to drink. Nice

S: You can really smell the caramel malt, with warm bread aromas. Noticeable but not strong hop aroma.

T: Tastes like it smells. Somewhat sweet up front, but balanced nicely by the slight hoppiness. The malt flavor is what you should expect from an amber.

M: Slightly more body than most ambers, but still nice. Dry finish that runs counter to the sweetness upfront.

D: Very drinkable, one of the more memorable amber/reds have had in while.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into an Odell 90 Schilling imperial pint glass. Release #3, 7.4%. Around $7.

A: Fairly cloudy, red/brown in color with a light tan head about three fingers worth or so. Huge gobs of lacing as the head recedes. Decent retention. Pretty nice looking beer.

S: Pretty big pine note in the nose at first that leads into some more resinous hop notes. Really a lot of pine in the nose, a few malty smells but they're dominated by a strong hoppy nose.

T: Interesting, lots of hops and a huge bitterness at the end and a decent amount of malt, some caramel and a little bit of burnt/roasted malts at the end. Very resinous in the hop profile and a ton of pine. Unfortunately, I get some very odd esters from the yeast at the finish, almost like it fermented a little bit on the warm side maybe a touch cidery. Tastes a lot like my imperial red ale that I made that fermented a little warm. Decent.

M: Medium body, perfect carbonation, and just a bit of boozy warmth on the finish. A little sticky on the lips. Not bad.

D: Overall pretty easy to drink, leans a little towards the hoppy end of the spectrum, but that's okay and I like that in the style. Not a bad beer, but could use a little work to push it to the next level.

Photo of kagent777
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. Release #2 (7.8 % ABV) of this particular beer from Epic was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Wow, this is one pretty lady! She had a huge, long lasting thick head, that let some gorgeous lacing. The color was almost brown with flashes of amber and red thrown in for accent.

Smell: I can smell the bitterness of some hop perfume as well as some nice caramel malt. Since this one is 7.8 ABV, I can also smell a little of the alcohol.

Taste: Matches the smell. First, you have the malty sweetness. Once it fades, the various hops kick in and linger for a bit longer. I wish I could put more words to this, it is simply really tasty. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel: This is a big beer. I suspect the final gravity is quite high. Has a heavy feeling on the palate, but not overpowering. The carbonation and alcohol give it a lift.

Drinkability: This is probably not a beer for beginners. It is very good. Unfortunately, this one is a little pricey. So when I have extra money and the brewery is stocking it I will be sure to grab another. I wonder what this would taste like when aged a little? A very good offering from Epic.

Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark cherry color with a very large, rocky, cream colored head with moderate carbonation. The head clings to the sides to the glass.

S - Mild citris in the nose with a moderate dose of piney goodness, toasted caramel malt, and somewhat earthy and mildly spicey.

T - Not as malty as what I expected from a red ale. Toasted caramel nips the tongue up front followed by a hoppy mixture of pine and citrus followed by a dose of alcohol effervescence which then gives way to a warming sensation as it glides down the throat. Buried deep down on the palette is a mild touch of chocolate and toasted toffee. Between the hops and the malt, not one dominates over the other, it's a nice balance. There's also a touch of spicy character to the finish.

M - Somewhat chewy, heavy medium body, quite smooth on the tongue.

O - I'm not one to enjoy the boozy effervesence of a beer but for some strange reason, it really lends an extra dimension to the character that makes it interesting and enjoyable. I also have to say I really don't like red ales because of their big malty character but Epic used the right amount of hops to bring the toasted malt character back into check. Nicely done.

Photo of Wasatch
2/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. Bomber
Exponential Series
1800 Bottles Produced
Release #2
$6.89 ea.

Pours a reddish/amber color, carbonation, one-finger head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hop notes, and caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, hop note, bitter, caramel. Medium body, the finish is dry and bitter. Would not buy this again.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a slightly hazy deep ruby red color with a thick and creamy tan colored head leaving a light lacing on the glass.

S-notes of caramel malts up front, a little sticky and somewhat sweet, lots of oily hops, somewhat piney resign, and a touch of grapefruit. hints of booze in the back.

T-full flavored, lots of sticky sweet malts with notes of caramel and lightly toasted toffee. the hops transition pretty smoothly, resignous pine and hints of grapefruit. light herbal hop presence, faint bitterness in the finish and again a note of bourbon.

M-very syrupy and soft texture, a little thin in the back with a light carbonation.

D-this is a fairly strong beer with notes of booze and a nice balance of malt and hop. assertive hop presence and sweet malt backbone, pretty good stuff.

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Imperial Red Ale from Epic Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.