Imperial Red Ale - Epic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Red AleImperial Red Ale

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BA SCORE
84
good

127 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.94%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | 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: 127 | Reviews: 41
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 pkalix
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

nice tan head comes in large volume (could be that I poured it into a tall Blue Moon pilsner glass....). as dark red as you could call it, and nice soapiness down the sides.
smell is sweet and malty with some pine and tangerine, and a little caramel.
taste is much the same. sweet with a balance of bitter, lots of malt holding it together.
feels nice and silky on the tongue.
overall, a very nice offering. kind of on the fence regarding most of their stuff. this one included. I can drink it, and like it, but not sure I would want too many of these in succession. but then, how many people out there are looking to drink more than a single beer in a single setting...?

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

Poured 4/19 into a pint glass.

Pours a nice reddish almost brown with a one finger cream head, really nice lacing.

A lot of grapefruit, pine and caramel.

Follows the nose, really nice caramel malt up front, toffee, nice citrus and pine, orange peel, has a nice brightness to it.

Very smooth, perhaps a little thick, not overly carbonated like some beers of this style.

This beer is truly a delight to behold, a really wonderfully balance to it, which really allows both the malt and hops to show off their true strengths, Epic is really producing some great beers, will be buying more of this in the future.

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

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 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 DenverLogan
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle shipped from Letspour.
Poured into a Corsendonk chalice.
Medium brown with medium amber head.
Aroma of light rye, malts.
Medium carbonation and big mouthfeel...penetrating.
Flavors of rich dark and medium malts, significant grassy and grapefruit rind bitter hops, rye, cream of tartar, pine sap. Cream and big body...no shortage of hearty ingredients. Could be considered an affront on the taste buds for the inexperienced big beer drinker, but for others this is quite tasty and fulfilling.

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

Release #7. 7.8% ABV.
Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep amber/red with a one finger tan head.
S: Hoppy with some caramel malt in the background.
T: Floral hops give way to sweet caramel and toffee malts. There is no alcohol bite and very low bitterness; the beer's focus is on the hop profile.
M: Smooth, medium bodied, and well carbonated.
O: For a style that isn't really well defined, I'll judge this based on the fact that it is listed as an Amber/Red Ale, and it is a slightly stronger, hoppier version of a Red Ale. This is nothing at all like Nugget Nectar, but it doesn't try to be; instead of citrus, floral and sugary flavors fill this beer.

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 sonata2008
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lovely, creamy foam. About a finger's width. Extremely cloudy. Reddish brown. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Hops, lots of hops. A sweet aroma.

Taste: Roasted with a little bitterness. Can detect the alcohol. Definitely some candy sweetness but not fruity. Tastes almost like a bit of malt extract of the kind you use to brew beer. A great taste, almost Belgian.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel. Light carbonation, sweet finish with just the slightest bitterness.

Drinkability: Tastes lovely but you won't want too many. With 7.70 ABV, it is definitely not a session beer.

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 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 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 StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a flat out fantastic red ale, one of the best around, and you cannot beat the price at under six bucks a bomber. fabulous color to this, brassy tinted brick red with a full inch of copious white lace, rising above the rim, and lasting awhile. it smells more hoppy than anything else, fresh pinecones and forest scents to this one, with more subtle bready red malt underneath, neither sweet or dry, but a sort of fusion of the two. full bodied for sure, this is a hearty wintery type. hoppy throughout the flavor, with bitterness increasing as it progresses. fluffy feeling to it, lighter than what it is, oatmeal maybe? there is also a touch of something else in the finish, autumnal, like a dried cranberry or apple tartness, but it only lasts a second before the hops take over. its another interesting layer. overall a supremely enjoyable bottle from epic, who I am so glad is now in our fine state of Colorado!

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 delta490
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep cloudy red big a creamy tan head. The head has pretty good retention and a nice collar and leaves sticky lacing throughout. The aroma is malty, dark fruit, sweet, with just a hint of hops. The flavor is very similar, with dark fruit and dark bread flavors with some lighter hops in the background. It has a nice weight on the palate and is quite smooth. Overall an outstanding example of a big malty imperial ale.

Photo of mr-jj
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 22 oz bomber.

Color is hazy reddish brown with a massive tan head that fades slowly. Lots of lacing for a red ale. Smell is caramel malt, pine and a touch of citrus. Taste is a nice balance of caramel malt and piney hops with a generic bitter finish. Body is medium with moderate carbonation.

Overall, I liked the extra hops flavor in this red ale.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy orange-khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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 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!

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Imperial Red Ale from Epic Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.