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Imperial Red Ale - Epic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial Red AleImperial Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

41 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 41
Hads: 131
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 24.54%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Red Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 131
Photo of Wasatch
2/5  rDev -47.2%
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.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.34/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Body is red with brownish overtones. Four fingers of off-white rocky foam. Nice stretchy lacing.

Aroma requires a really deep sniff. Mostly a sweet alcoholic pixie stick.

Extremely sweet malt overpowers the tongue. Big taste of alcohol. Barely blunted by earthy hops at the swallow, with seem to be mainly cutting the sweet and the fire instead of making their own statement.

Many times we talk about how well hidden alcohol is in a beer. In this case, at least taste wise, it seems like there is even more booze than the posted abv.

This not what I'm looking for in an imperial red. Turn up the hops to 11 while bumping up the booze next time.

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Photo of staticGenerator
2.86/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

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Photo of Jaynuze
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have to say I was hoping for a Lagunitas Lucky 13, so I'm not sure if I've fairly judged this brew.

Poured from a 22oz into a clean beer glass. Release#6 7.9% but does finish a bit hotter than expected.

A: Nice head and a great amber hue
S: As an imperial I was really expecting a bit more floral from additional hops and I really didn't get that with this beer.
T: It's a nice beer,but a little too "red" for me. The malt characteristics come out first with very little hop finish similar to the nose.
MF: A bit thin and not as much body as hoped for
O: I still think I was unfairly judging this one,but it just didn't live up to what I expected an Imperial red to be, a bitter hop rounded off with a biscuity malt. Malt lovers may have some more positive reviews, but I was really hoping for a little hop-ier version with less malt ... then again, would that really be a red?

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Photo of Gavage
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of doucmehu
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer #52 in my great Utah Brew Hunt.

For a beer that isn't even at 8% abv, this thing is quite boozy. I would not have expected so much burn. There do seem to be some nice amber tones to it, but they are overpowered and end up taking a back seat. That changes fairly soon, thank goodness, and the earthiness of the amber ale aspect show fairly well. But, there is still a lingering burn, and, eh...it just misses the mark as well as it could, I think.

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Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Release #7

Pours an opaque, deep dark ruby color with mahogany edges and a 2.5 finger beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic chunks of lace left behind.

Dank, earthy aroma with lots of resinous, oily hops. Lots of soily pine needle character that is countered by some sweet chocolate and other dark malts. Hints of chocolate, toffee, biscuit and caramel as well as some dark fruit, especially dark cherry. Decent balance of malt and hops without the malt profile overpowering things.

Chewy bodied and much fuller than expected for the style with a strong dry, bitter, earthy hop presence up front that lingers over the sweet malt backbone into a slightly dry finish. Some resinous floral/pine needle flavor that is countered by a very strong malt backbone with tons of chocolate and subtle roasted malt. Hints of toffee and biscuit as well as some tart dark cherries. The sweetness is a nice balance to the bitterness from the hops. The malts are a bit prominent for my liking but this beer is still well balanced and pretty quaffable considering the ABV.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle split between a pair of chalices. Release #33, DEN#1394.

Pours cloudy red-brown, tiny head, not much carbonation. Smell is mild, caramel, spice, a little pine.

Taste is caramel, slight toffee, a little coffee, toast, a little soap.

Mouthfeel is gritty and medium. Overall, it's pretty good.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.6/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
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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Photo of SHODriver
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
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

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Photo of denver10
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a red with a tint of grey to it, and an off white head. Aroma offers some caramel, some fruitines, some breadiness, and a nice dose of moderately bitter hops. Flavor follows suit. A medium bodied, crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this one surpasssed my expectation. Really dug it and would be happy to drink it again.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared with a testing group, this imperial red ale was served in a sampler goblet. The ale poured a brownish tinted red color with an off-white head. The ale left generous lacing in the glass. The smooth red maltiness immediately leaves an impression. A mildly hoppy backbone is a nice surprice, particularly coupled with the smoothness. The citric hops, giving grapefruit and grass notes, do not overtake the malts. It blends well with the malts, almost like an added bonus. The citrus notes become bigger in the aftertaste, even becoming warming as it goes down the throat. The mouthfeel on this one is particularly striking. I went back for seconds and thirds when time allowed. Not my favorite imperial red, but still very good.

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Photo of Jason
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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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Photo of Beaver13
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
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!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of delta490
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of mr-jj
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of claspada
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Imperial Red Ale from Epic Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.