Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 41 | Hads: 131
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.

 524 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

 914 characters

Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

 692 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.13/5  rDev +9%
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].

 695 characters

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!

 510 characters

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.

 453 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

 1,546 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

 501 characters

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.

 691 characters

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.

 551 characters

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.

 351 characters

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.

 1,078 characters

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!

 668 characters

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.

 1,290 characters

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.

 789 characters

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.

 1,200 characters

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.

 921 characters

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.

 430 characters

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.

 301 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
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...?

 671 characters

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.

 648 characters

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.

 309 characters

4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 489 characters

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.

 316 characters

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.

 909 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Imperial Red Ale from Epic Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.