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Odell Extra Special Red Ale - Odell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Odell Extra Special Red AleOdell Extra Special Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

59 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 69
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 6
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Beaver13 on 11-01-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 69
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a 6 pack of this during our ski trip to Pagosa Springs. Glad I did, one of the better "red" ales out there. Would seem like a better classification than strong ale.

Pours red, deep red, small 1/3" head on it, like a light tan color. Good retention, spotty, inconsistent lace down the pint glass.

Aroma was a hoppy first, Scottish malt thing second vibe.

Taste, mmm, this is what I'm talking about for red ales. Just hop the shit out of it, hides both the alcohol and the amber malts quite well. Mouthfeel just keeps rocking as it warms, you get used to the strength, of hops and alcohol. (601 characters)

Photo of JAXSON
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 rate.

Rating this from memory from a 12oz bottle, thanks Malcolm! Pour a clear amber-garnet with a tan cap. Tons of really fresh west coast hops, pine, and citrus in the nose. Spicy, fresh, wonderfully balanced. This one actually blew me away, just awesome. This was obviously a super fresh bottle and was almost perfectly done. (334 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must start out by saying that I miss this one a lot. Pours a beautiful hazy red color, with a nice inch or so of light tan head. Huge hops on the nose, citrus, pine, grapefruit and lemon. On the palate, more of the fresh, delicious hoppiness, balanced beautifully with some good sweet malt, caramel, milk chocolate and in the background some drying alcohol. A wonderful beer that was sadly discontinued. (405 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to BigDank for this rare treat. Review from notes on 2/13/10

A - poured crystal clear deep amber with a towering, fluffy, and well retained beige head. Lovely lacing all over the place. 5.0

S - lots of caramel and hint of figs. Very sweet and fruity, with the faintest hint of light bitterness of hops. A bit light in aroma overall though. 4.0

T - Very similar to the aroma. Lots of good fruity and caramel sweetness. Like a good old ale. Excellent. 4.5

M - Rich and smooth, dancing carbonation and a medium body. 4.0

D - Immensely drinkable. 1 bottle simply isn't enough. (590 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber, near white head that leaves to ring. Some trace lace.

S - Slightly bready and hoppy, with some wood tannin.

T - Sweet, malty, hops come up to the plate but don't quite deliver.

M - Not completely balance, not carbed enough for me.

D - Fun to try once. (271 characters)

Photo of wnh
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a rich, ruby-tinted mahogany, brilliant red when held up to a light source, with a foamy, creamy light tan head that leaves moderate lacing.

Nose is quite interesting, with resinous hop aromas on top of old-ale-like brown sugar and dried dark fruit, with a good bit of woodsy damp leaf aroma thrown in for good measure.

Lightly sweet molasses on the entry, turning earthy before fading into hop bitterness on the finish. Medium to heavy bodied, with a lasting stickiness that promotes a lingering earthy bitterness, and quite dry on the finish. Exceptionally well-balanced and easy to drink. It's a shame Odell is phasing out their single batch series beers to be replaced by seasonals, regardless of how good the seasonals are. (774 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to russpowell for the trade.

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Aggressive pour yeields 2 fingers of creamy beige head. Decent retention with a lot of splattered lace. Color is a ruby red/amber red. A red beer that is red... I like it.

Aroma: Very hoppy and sweet. A lot of citrus. Grapefruit and pineapple. Hops are earthy and floral. There is a sweet like bread, but I can't distinguish it. The beer smells a lot like a DIPA.

Taste: A lot of hops going on here. Citrus, pineapple, bready malts. There is something in the taste (very sweet) that I just can't figure out what it is.... unless it is caramel mixed with all the hops. A pretty solid big red, but very hoppy (as it is supposed to be).

Mouthfeel: Very bitter. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. A very 'in your face' red ale. Leaves a very dry and hoppy aftertaste.

OVerall, I am having a tough time finishing this one. I just wasn't expecting so many hops. It is ok, but nothing I would want a lot of.
Edit: this beer drank a lot better once I got half ways through it and it warmed up a bit. (1,071 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to russpowell for this!

Pours slightly hazed dark reddish amber with a foamy tan head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of citrus/pine with caramel/toffee backing.

The taste is of citrus/pine with a firm "red ale" malty (caramel/toffee) character. There's a slight peach-like fruitiness as it progresses. There is some mild alcohol in the flavor. Finishes bittersweet.

Medium-bodied and smooth.

A well done hoppy red. Very drinkable, especially for the alcohol presence.

Glad Russ sent me a few of this! (516 characters)

Photo of PEBKAC
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Received a couple months ago from resident red fanatic SuperWhite92. Refrigerated all this time. The newer, sessionable Odell Red he sent was way too intense & raw for me, so let's hope this one does me better. :)

Raised dot lettering along the bottom left corner that I can't quite make it out. 2??804

Poured into my DFH tumber, pretty cold.

Nice sturdy inch of chewy-looking, lightly tan, creamed head. A slightly murky, reddish brown body. Inactive. Wavelength-like lace.

Smell is sugar syrup & plenty of sharply & zesty grapefruit rind, a bit perfumey & floral, & also a touch of something refreshing like cracked celery. Not aggressively raw or fresh, but more solvent-like because of the abv.

Taste is first brushed off by it's creamy mouthfeel. Really great initial feel. Malt comes on a little sweet, settling to be doughy instead. Hops are grassy & slightly bittersweet. Nothing too intense, but very sappy & resinous. The bitterness is quite lingering, giving a menthol-like effect. A little clove works it's way in there too which is interesting. The alcohol is in everything, though always mingling with some aspect of the beer.

A very tasty beer with a little more demanding heft & aftertaste then expected. Great for a nightcap ...or a lunchtime nap. ;) (1,273 characters)

Photo of brewdoc75
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been meaning to try this beer, but everytime I pick up some Odell's I get the IPA because its so damn good. Today I picked up both.

A: Reddish brown in color. A bit cloudy. Dominant, off-white head atop. Good lacing.

S: Fruitiness abound with some mild caramel from the malts. Also a slight "brown sugar" sweetness. A slight spiciness, that seems to be from the hops. In the end the hoppy citrus aromas are faintly there. Definitely a bit more heavy on the malts.

T: Beautiful fruitiness hits the palate first. This follows with a lovely citrus note. Orange-grapefruit flavors here. It blends well with the fruitiness. There is a faint, spiciness I get from the hops. The malts are definitely solid in this brew with caramel and brown sugar flavors. The beer finishes with a lovely fruity flavor.

M: A solid medium bodied beer. Not too heavy, definitely not too light. The carbonation is pretty strong, which makes the beer feel crisp. Finishes fairly clean, with some left over stickiness in the throat.

D: A really solid brew. It hides the 8.0% alcohol very well. I would go for this when I'm in the mood for a maltier IPA. It doesn't quite have the hoppy bite as an IPA, but it is close. Definitely worth a try. This brewery is great. (1,249 characters)

Photo of GruvisHops
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 12 oz. brown bottle with another great label. Seriously, I love their labels. A big 1-1/2" frothy, tan head sits beautifully on top of a slightly hazy, amber/red body. The head just refuses to fade, and leaves thick patches of lace behind.

S: Loads of toasted malt in the nose; a bit of caramel. Citric hops linger in the background.

T: More caramel malt with a great citrus hop balance. I'm loving this beer more and more as I drink it. Great balance between the malt & hop profiles.

M: Full & sticky

D: Quite

Notes: Another solid effort from the guys at Odell. Imperial red is quickly becoming one of my favorite styles. (630 characters)

Photo of jacobseyb
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A=Deep red coloring, light carbonation with light head.

S=Fruitiness apparent along wiht alcohol

T=Nuttiness and Fruitiness along with some oaks. Alcohol content is apparent in taste.

M=Nice, light carbonation tickles the tongue

D=Good though alcohol content could limit intake. (282 characters)

Photo of Rayek
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Garnet hued amber with nice clarity and active carbonation from tiny bubbles. Tight cream head starts big and settles to a 1/4" pillow that sticks the whole way down the glass. Leaves a tremendous amount of lace. This is one good looking beer.

S: Slightly vinous, with hints of red grapes. Sweetness rules the day in the form of toffee. Pepper, citrus, a mild whiff of alcohol, plus a little oak round things out.

T: This a very balanced beer. Toffee and black grapes start things out, with the grapes giving the beer a wine-like quality. A mild oak flavor adds a woodsy presence. Bitterness comes on in the form of pepper and citrus. The alcohol is well masked aside from a slight warmth as the beer goes down. Finishes dry and woodsy with a mild lemon flavor.

M: Medium body is somewhat dry. Carbonation level is right on.

D: ESR is a supremely balanced beer that I thoroughly enjoyed. This beer went down really easy, given the high ABV. I'm really glad I picked up a full six-pack. Thank the Gods that this wasn't yet another American hop bomb. I've had a few too many of those recently. (1,098 characters)

Photo of sevopie
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Brilliant mahogany with a rocky, creamy tan/light-brown head. Laces incredibly well.

Smell - A nice blend of citrusy hops and Caramel malts shine through. There's some spices and a bit of nuttiness in there as well.

Taste - This really tastes like a mild barleywine to me, rather than any hint of a red ale. The hops nicely accent the abundance of malts which are roasty and nutty in addition to caramelly. The spices are also somewhat noticable throughout, and there's also a flavor I can only describe as that of iced tea.

Mouthfeel - Creamy goodness with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - I had always been reluctant to try this due to the fact that I rarely if ever find a red/amber that I like. I was stupid to have waited so long. Odell's delivers yet again, this one has quickly become one of my favorites. (849 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Special thanks to breity for this extra beer in a recent trade.

First off, this is one cool looking bottle. I love the 3-D etching on the bottle side as well as the label. Well done.

This beer pours a deep ruby with brownish tints. Decent finger width white head on top. Retention lacks a bit, but still leaves some alright lacing globs. Smells of oranges, pineapple, bread, caramel, and alcohol.

First sip yields a weird metallic bite that is unpleasant. As I continue to drink though this gives way to the true flavors. Nice burnt caramel flavor, some cherry in there as well. Slight booziness to it, but it finishes nice and fruity. Hops are there alright. Not biting or harsh, but adding just enough bitterness to keep me sipping. I like this beer. Strong Ales are becoming more and more one of my favorite styles. (823 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I opened this as I was getting ready for bed, expecting to find a 4-5%ABV amber ale or lager... instead I'm pleased to discover that my nightcap is in fact a 8% strong ale. Well, I'm gonna sleep well tonight!

A - The label is exotic and Persian, and reminds me of a pack of those "fancy" Camel premium up-market smokes. The beer is a remarkable dirty-red-russet hue that at times appears purple or brown. It's slightly murky, and topped with a very thick and dense two finger chunk of tan cream. Solid sheets of lace slide into the brew and leave lots of sticky lace behind. This is a beautiful brew! Oh, did I mention that head retention is stellar?

S - Earthy "wet" notes, like a campsite (smoldering fire, soaking tents, wet firewood and kindling) after a summer shower. Brown leaf hops add to the woodsy aroma. I'm getting pictures of autumn walks in the woods, old log cabins, decomposing logs covered in wild fungi, and some really nice hops. There are also some caramelized sugar and maybe brown sugar notes there too. Outstanding. Could use a little more oomph though.

T - This is a perfectly balanced combination of malty molasses, brown sugar, and woody/nutty notes combined with the most glorious "brown autumn leaf" hop characteristics. Tangy hops, leafy notes, and a ton of really nice woody flavors make this a damn fine beer.

M - Creamy and rich, carbonation on this one is actually quite forceful, but that keeps it lively and out of the "syrupy" category of heavy hitting brews. The finish is hoppy, gritty, and dusty-dry... and that also really helps keep this from showing it's true girth. It's like a fat chick in a corset. The corset keeps everything in place, and has you admiring her figure, but you know that there is some nasty flab underneath. But you don't care because that corseted busty figure is really doing it for you at the moment.

D - Despite the high ABV and the heavy mouthfeel, I would gladly drink another if I had one left. The booze isn't really all that noticeable, and the super-bubbly carbonation and dry mouthfeel help keep this one from getting cloying or rich. Damn fine beer. (2,128 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Odell is another good brewery I wish we could see in nyc. Thanks to russpowell for the west side love.

Pours a fairly darker, yet clear, ruby hue. Thick frothy creme head. Nose is that fruity/woody/hoppy thing you'd expect from a red ale. Flavor is a good mix of hops and malts with a firm leafy and woody fruits as well. Bitter sweet tones. The only flavor detractor I'd have to say is that it borders on getting almost hot. Feel is smooth on liquid and the typical carbonation. This is a good robust red ale. I'm sure this would be pretty nice on cask. (555 characters)

Photo of jjazz
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a coppery orange-brown with a nice tan IPA looking head.

Aroma has grapefruit and toast. Grass-like Hoppy notes dominate, but don't quite do it for me in the same way that Odell's IPA does.

Surprisingly full mouthfeel. Nice balance between bitterness and the other components. Maltiness makes a nice apperance.

This one was actually more bitter than I was expecting...in a good way. Decently complex.

Finish is all hops, with bitter grapefruit leading the way.

Overall, quite nice, but nothing any more special than Odell's normal line. I actually much prefer the IPA, although it is quite different in style. (620 characters)

Photo of Kemmerlin
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper red with a thick white foamy head and extremely sticky lacing.

S: Yep this one has sweet whole flower hops all over it. It took an hour or so until the smell left my nose. I really didn't get much else though.

T: Again the hops overwhelm everything else but it was sweet and citrusy like roasted red bell peppers. The malts showed up later on in the aftertaste as the hops mellowed out and let you taste other flavors.

M/D: Crisp and refreshing at fist but then really dries out the mouth so it is good for sipping but should probably be limited to one beer per session. (588 characters)

Photo of joe1510
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

This Extra Special Red is yet another brew sent to me from the man himself, BitterBill. Thanks Bill! I can smell pink grapefruit as I pour this one. Smells like a big hoppy red. The body would be crystal clear amber but I got a little careless and dumped some yeast in the glass. The tiny yeasties suspend throughout the body. A head of bone white grew to two fingers on an easy pour and settled to a thick cap after a few minutes. Some great looking sheet lacing gets left behind as the head settles and the ruby highlighted body grows.

The pink grapefruit doesn't quite jump out at me like it did when I was pouring and part of the reason is the big, balancing caramel malty backbone. The hopping brings as much orange as grapefruit. There's a slight toasted maltiness and a surprising and unique, although faint, gingerbread character. That little bit of spice in the back is very different. I like the smell of this brew but overall it's a little on the weak side.

Now on to the important part, the drinking. Caramel and toasty malt laid it down right off the bat. The grapefruit stands out nicely on the tongue and shows up mid-palate while the orange seems to fall to the back. The hoppiness lingers on this brew and every now and then I even seem to pick up a squeeze or two of lemon juice and even some pineapple here and there. This is a solidly hopped big red and I'm really digging the flavors.

The lively carbonation fits this beer nicely and makes it an easy drinker. The body is medium and a slight stickiness on the back of the tongue shows up as it sits in the glass. Bitterness flashes through quickly on the end.

This hoppy red is highly drinkable for the 8% abv. Zero alcohol is noticeable and the, somewhat, balanced body keep this glass tipped.

I'm a fan of big hoppy reds and I don't think there are enough of them out there at the moment. This is a quality brew just like the rest of the lineup from Odell's. Thanks for the treat Bill! (1,976 characters)

Photo of rye726
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure i would call this a strong ale, definately closer to a red. The color is a dark amber with silky tan head. The nose is fairly light with mellow malts and subtle hops. Taste is more on teh malty side. Not much of a hop presence. Medium body drinks well. (261 characters)

Photo of Domingo
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm pretty skeptical of most of the "double red ales" that are starting to show up everywhere. Most are just IPA's with a different coloration.
This however, is a big exception.
Pours a copper color that's nearing bronze territory, but with red highlights. For an 8% brew, it still has a good amount of carbonation to it and a slightly off-white head forms immediately.
Smells hoppy like an IPA, but with a little sweetness mixed in. I'd guess it's using similar hops to 5 Barrel and 90 Shilling as you can certainly pick it out as an Odell brew.
The beer starts off sweet and malty...almost like less sweet barleywine, but then the hops kick in. Tropical and citrus hops come up big in the middle. The finish is gingerbread-like and biscuity. It truly is like a kicked up amber ale, but obviously with a larger dosage of hops to boot.
The mouthfeel is the perfect thickness for a sipping beer, but it's also one you could have another of without getting sick of it or overwhelmed.
Think of this like a "Double 90 Shilling" if you need a reference point.
This is a winner in a category that's usually a bland one. It's one of the few double reds I've had that isn't just an IPA or barleywine with an odd pigment. The malt is there, and it's unique.

Hopefully Odell will keep this around in one form or another. (1,311 characters)

Photo of MashMouth
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow I did not expect that slap in the face. I purchaces this beer not knowing what I was buying. This has become one of my favorites. The smell is rich with sweet malt and citrisy nutty hops. This still does not prepare you for the tast. The color and clarity are brilliant and although the head quickly resides, the laceyness stays till the end. The flavors are intence at first and will catch you off guard. You will quickly come around to notice the great ballance between the malts, hop bitterness and alchol. This beer had good drikability that seems more drinkable the more you drink. (but then again what beer insn't ha ha). (631 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is certainly one of my favorite Odell offerings.

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass with an inch of head. It's truly red and an exceptional looking beer. Good clarity too. The head is gone soon after the first sip but the lacing is very good.

Aroma is very hoppy, fresh and piney.

Flavor is excellent as well. It's very well bittered but with plenty of malt to balance it out. Citrus notes in the flavor but not too sweet like some American strong ales can be. In fact, I would probably be more likely to classify this as a double IPA that just happens to be red.

Mouthfeel is good and although it's high in alcohol, it hides it well. Drinkability is only hindered by strong hop bitterness and ABV.

I have been looking forward to this one since it disappeared last winter and I'm happy to say it was worth the wait. True to it's name: Extra Special. (867 characters)

Photo of vurt
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. Bottle date is 2007, but what the heck, let's see how this has held up.

Appearance:
The head is eggnog-colored and composed of very tiny bubbles. It does not last very long, but it slides up on the glass like heavy cream and leaves behind some lavish lacing which recedes back into the beer slowly. The body is a deep reddish orange with amber highlights. Great color.

Smell:
Sweet battles hoppy, and there's no clear winner, though "sweet" throws the first punch. Caramel, toffee, fresh glazed donuts. Then a solid burst of piney hops with a citric finish like orange oil. Plenty of fruity aromas emerge- boysenberries, plums, a touch of pear, and a meaty, cantaloupe-like funk. A whiff of alcohol cuts through the mix. Age has given this beer a touch of oxidation, but it is neither predominant nor unpleasant.

Taste:
This is an extremely sweet beer. It starts out with flavors of brown sugar, malt, and molasses. Underneath lies a citrus/bitter mixture like a good marmalade. (The whole effect is rather like liquid limpa bread.) More fruits come through in the middle: oranges again, plum, cherry, and honeydew melon. Herbal bitterness and a light licorice note creep in at the finish, along with a booziness like rum and vanilla extract.

Mouthfeel:
Medium-bodied, silky textured, and a little sticky. The body is a bit lighter than I was expecting, actually, though the sweetness does a good job of coating the mouth. Carbonation is soft and provides an excellent, fine texture.

Drinkability:
Here's where the beer takes a hit. It has an interesting aroma, some good flavors, and an appealing mouthfeel, but the sweetness is just too overwhelming. If it were drier, or spicier, or had a bit more earthy bitterness, it would be a much more drinkable beer. Maybe the hops do a better job of balancing this beer when it's fresh. I'd like to find out. (1,903 characters)

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Odell Extra Special Red Ale from Odell Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.