Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series) - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series)Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

55 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 55
Hads: 223
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 9.74%
Wants: 11
Gots: 38 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: harrymel on 12-06-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 55 | Hads: 223
Photo of BenGap
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Decent red but just feel that the smell falls flat. Taste is red ale with some lingering bitterness. Look is nice red ale hue. Overall solid offering but wish there was more smell to open the beer and give some complexity. (222 characters)

Photo of SometimesIfart
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ahhhh bout time we finally got this reviewing systems back!.

Born onf 7/13/15 so you know it's gonna be good ;).

Look -Pours deep ruby with a three finger off-white head that sticks around and leaves a ton of lacing.

Smell - Alright so...It's malty and there is a touch of the hops but this smell is fairly weak.

Taste - Perfectly balanced malts with fresh squeezed grapefruit juices and a touch toasty.

Feel - Medium, sweet jolly rancher juice like body with heavy carbonation.

Overall - A greeat red. Sessionable as well for the 8.5% ABV. (547 characters)

Photo of Foyle
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle pint glass.

Appearance: pours 1" cream colored head that drops slowly with some lacing. Color is a rich red-mahogany with tons of streaming carbonation.

Aroma: complex and strong with citrus and floral being dominant along with bread dough.

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied with a somewhat astringent dry finish.

Flavor: complex combination of strong hops grapefruit, orange, and floral along with rich roasted malt, caramel and raisin.

Overall: very well made. A sipper, definitely not a 'lawnmower' beer. (537 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found a bunch of these, and I mean a bunch...for $2.99 a four pack. Normally about a $10 adventure for admission.

Appearance : Pours a popcorn colored three fingered head, with a deep, rich copper-meets-murky-amber colored body. Held up to the light some blood orange hues come through. The body is about 70% opaque.

Aroma : Strong from afar. Upon closer examination, a strong piney hop presence with slight sour dank armpit. Some orange notes float around in there too. Not a fan of the aroma although it is strong in volume.

Flavor : Waves of flavor, some good - some not so good. The first punch is of piney hop, a sting to the tip of the tongue like a buzzing powerline. As this juice moves further back the toasted malt character starts to dry politely and more tropical notes leak through. It ends rather rough and sand-papery, with harsh notes of cactus plant and copper malts. It's very strong, imperial is definitely appropriate wordage - but it's closer to a very strong Red DIPA than anything.

Feel : Sharp and biting, ends dry and parched with a rough ending - yet slightly slick from the hop oils.

Overall : I'll be hanging on to these for a long time. A lonnnnnng time. Hell they'll probably be discontinued before I work through the other twenty I got. Whoops. (1,282 characters)

Photo of ducktoadecoy
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm always looking for a nice smooth beer that's also strong and flavorful. This beer is close to perfect in that sense. At 8.5%, this beer is still smooth enough to drink all day long. The pour is nice dark color and the smell is nice caramel/citrus combo that gets better with time. I can't wait to have this again! (317 characters)

Photo of SweetwaterTuonker
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Maybe it's because the love of my life is an Alaskan. Maybe it's because this beer reminds you of a moment in Alaska. Maybe it's because this beer is liquid red beer gold. If you have this what are you waiting for? (214 characters)

Photo of jonboyd_md
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle, Poured into a tulip. Clear, dark, red in color. Tan, dense head. Good lacing. Smells of orange ring. Tastes of pine needles, orange rinds, and caramel. Has a nice mouth-coating quality. Overall an enjoyable beer. It was darker than I was expecting. Worth getting again (282 characters)

Photo of RJLarse
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I bought a bottle of Alaskan Imperial Red at a bottle shop. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a red mahogany color, clear, with a creamy beige head.

Smell is a sweet caramel and juniper aroma.

Tastes a lot like the smell, caramel with a little bourbon heat along side.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and a little cloying.

Over all a good red ale. A little on the sweet side, but good. (385 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Alaskan Brewing Company's Imperial Red Ale last week for $2.19 at The Lager Mill. A Red Ale sounds pretty good tonight and I'm interested to see how this one turns out, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from shorter brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it goes well with the name and it's eye catching. It poured a nice amber red color that took on more of red color when held to the light with a little over a finger and a half of creamy tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some patchy and sticky lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and they impart a nice mixture of fruity hops with some nice citrus aromas showing up with some green hops showing up in the background. Up next comes the malts which impart a sweet malt, caramel malt, brown bread and bread crust aromas with some doughy yeast showing up in the background. This beer has a good aroma, I like the fruity hop profile.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but more balanced and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and this time it imparts some fruity and nice citrus like hop flavors with no green hops showing up this time. Up next comes the malts which show up just a little more than they did in the aroma and they impart the same aspects with no single aspect seeming to stick out the most. On the finish there's a lower amount of medium bitterness with a nice buttery malt and citrus hop aftertaste. This is a good tasting Imperial Red Ale, I have no complaints.

M- Smooth, a little clean, crisp, a little creamy, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer has a good mouthfeel that works well with it.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good Imperial Red Ale, I find that most Imperial Red Ales seem to be very hoppy and most of the time I feel like the hops cover up a lot of those nice Red Ale flavors, but in this beer every aspect was kept in check and it made for a nice and balanced Imperial Red Ale and I enjoyed it. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, a little clean, crisp, a little creamy, not too filling and the taste does a good job at holding my attention, I could drink a couple of these with no problem. What I like the most about this beer was the balance, it was right where I wanted it to be. What I like the least about this beer was nothing, there isn't anything I disliked or would change, it's good just the way it is. I would recommend trying this beer especially if you like Imperial Red Ales and I would for sure buy this beer again when I'm in the mood for the style. All in all I was happy with this beer and I was a little impressed with how they didn't take the super hoppy route when it came to this beer and in the end I think that paid off. This is one of the better Alaskan Brewing beers I've had and it's also one of the better example of the style that I've had. Good job guys, this was one tasty beer, keep it up. (3,195 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

In a pint glass, kinda cold, but not as cold as the Bering!

It's a rich, clear crimson red color with with a condensed cap of tan froth on top. Striking.

Definitely some caramel in the aroma, with muted citric fruitiness going on. Smells a little like toasted nuts as well!

Tastes like lemon and lime, grassy hops, astringent citrus rind, pine needle resin, roasted nuts, and bread, in more or less that order.

The feel is pretty robust.

A red ale that puts particular emphasis on bitter astringency. I would therefore recommend it to those who have a taste for IPAs. Like myself. Teehee. (593 characters)

Photo of andrewjraab
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber / red with two fingers of off white head. Nice spotty lace and good head retention. Malt forward in the nose and on the palate. Strikes a nice balance with the hops. In the end the malts are overpowered by the hops and the finish is dry and bitter. Overall - really solid brew and I'd try this again. (324 characters)

Photo of MrBoh
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle date: 11/30/14.

Pours a bright, cloudy, reddish caramel into my sniffer. A little light caramel head which fades quickly.

Aroma is boozy and sweet. Earthy, floral and citrus notes. A little burnt toast, but mainly just booze and malty sweetness.

I had not had an imperial red in a while, so I kind of forgot what to expect for taste. Strong notes of bread, bitter orange peels. Finish is full of toast and floral notes. Very sweet, but it helps masks the alcohol, balanced overall. A little metallic, but other than that, very good on the taste front.

Definitely more body than an IPA. Viscous and chewy. Definitely works well since I think it would otherwise be too boozy. It is lacking in carbonation, which really brings it down.

Good reminder of the style. A fresh tasting, boozy beer that's good for a cold winter evening, or any time in Alaska I'm sure. (872 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear dark red colored ale with a tall tan colored head.

Smells sweet and strongly hoppy. Herbal with a woody scent. Citrus scent but not any specific one.

Starts out sweet and herbal with the taste of cedar plank to it. Caramel and citrus too but mostly this tastes like Cedar wood. Overall it is mild and easy on the senses.

Mouthfeel is full.

Overall a tasty ale it's only flaw is it could be a little more complex. Still this is tasty. (448 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle. Pours a dark reddish almost brown color with off-white head. Pine, citrus, and floral notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a bit of nutty malt. (178 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful clear amber reddish color with beige two finger thick head with great retention and leaving laces.
Nice hoppy aroma with notes of grapefruit citrusy, toasted malts, grains, mango and spices.
Bitter flavor with intense notes of spices, grapefruit, toasted malts, American yeast, resin, lemon, tea bags, tropical fruits juice, bold pine, cinnamon, tobacco and caramels. Dry aftertaste with a very long lasting bitter note. Definitely you can feel the power of its 70 IBUs.
Medium towards full body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 8.5% abv is behind the curtains.
Intense and bitter Imperial Red Ale, with a great hop complexity: citrusy, piney and getting mango tropical once it warms up. Malty base and bold spices complete the tripod. (753 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%

Pours two fingers of head on a clear dark red body.
The aroma is loaded with dark fruit, dry grains and spice.
The taste is mildly sweet at first, then quickly moderately bitter, tending towards a dry bitter finish.
The texture is crisp.
Quite enjoyable. (255 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Imperial Red pours a hazy dark reddish color with a big bubbly lacing head. There is a hoppy aroma with just hints of sweetness. The taste has a big harsh malty flavor, with some noticeable hop flavors. A tad flat and watery. Overall its very nice drinkable flavorful Red Ale. (280 characters)

Photo of leaddog
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark copper with two fingers of frothy cream-coloured head.

Smell - Citrus hops, caramel malts, tropical fruit (mango), hint of toffee, hint of pine resin.

Taste - Upfront bitterness from the citrus hops and pine resin followed by sweetness of caramel malts, tropical fruit and toffee.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant lingering bitterness.

Overall - This brew hits all the right marks with the style. Excellent hop profile and balance of caramel malts. Been wanting to try a beer from the Pilot Series for a while. (585 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Had in bottle and on tap at Pig & Fiddle Minneapolis
Resiny hop nose over sweet malt, floral hop spiciness and spiciness from the malts, biscuit.
Very pretty beer. Pours a deep garnet amber to chestnut under 2" frothy light tan tinted head that slowly dissipates to a thick film - lacy.
Palate: Starts with sweet malt and biscuit and rye spiciness along with some cardamom to cola. the initial sweetness lies between vanilla and jam like. There is a strong tea like bitterness along with citrus and citrus rind. Big malt, alcohol and hops that all end up balancing each other.
Medium full to full body, medium low carbonation, warming, oily. (642 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into Speakeasy Ales and Lagers pint glass

A: Pours a gorgeous deep ruby reddish brown with a little light brown head that fades to a thin ring and laces lightly.

S: Bright citrus, some kinda tropical fruit, pine, and sweet roasted malt.

T: Citrus and pine hops, some tropical fruit in there as well, well balanced with caramel malt sweetness, a little grapefruit and pine bitterness on the back end, and a little alcohol warmth going down though well hidden in the taste

M: Medium body, low to medium carbonation

O: Was very happy to come across this bottle and even happier to drink it. Very tasty! I wish it was slightly lower in abv so I could drink more of it. (683 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 12/20/2014. Pours crystal clear ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, floral, grass, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops and dark malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, floral, grass, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of bright citrus/pine hops and moderate dark malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately crisp/sticky, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial red ale. All around good complexity and balance of bright citrus/pine hops and moderate dark malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,482 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

On-tap at 3 Cellars in Franklin, WI:

Pours deep red with a thick, lasting head that leaves lacing.

The smell is of toasted caramel and toffee with pineapple and other tropical fruits, citrus and pine.

The taste is of caramel/toffee/nougat with pineapple and (mango?) a general tropical fruitiness (and a touch of pine). Some alcohol warmth shows in the finish.

It is creamy smooth.

A delightful brew! Hops are certainly present but allow the rich maltiness to show through. Well-balanced for a hop-leaning red ale. (524 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- nice copper color with a decent off-white head and good lacing

S-caramel malt, citrus, pine, slight fruit

T-caramel malt, fruit, citrus, pine, light spice

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp, alcohol well-integrated

O-easy drinking for the ABV (261 characters)

Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

• Poured from the bomber into a belgian style tulip (from the Libbey 6 pack of beer glasses from Target). Pours a straight up gold from the bottle, in the glass it's a very deep, dark reddish bronze with a three finger head that just won't quit. Sticky lacing, almost a root beer float-esque perseverance on this collar of foam, but more dense, of course. Lacing continues to impress as the head thickness approaches 1.5 fingers with a plateau in the center. This is a highly attractive beer.

• Raisins on the nose, liquid bread, potent enough for my bum sniffer.

• I've been hoping this would finally be the amber/red that I could get behind. It totally is. It tastes like all the reds I've had before but that nasty sweetness is just subtle enough to be enjoyed, and is, for once, well balanced out by the hops and alcohol.

• I've never thought of myself as being qualified to judge mouthfeel. I don't know what I'm looking for. All I know is this one is pleasant, so I'm rating it positively. Any cicerone's reading this that would like to give me some pointers on evaluating mouthfeel, please feel free to shoot me a message.

• Great beer. It makes my sardine burps far less unpleasant. I'm being serious! I don't think I'll be buying anymore of this due to the bomber/value issue, as well as availability concerns, but if this beer made a comeback in 6 packs I'd definitely pick it up. Worth a try! (1,417 characters)

Photo of ISmith87
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oskar Blues G'knight anyone? Yea this shit tastes exactly like it...

A - brown/red color that's crystal clear if you look close, 3 fingers of off white head that sticks around forever and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.
S - Nice caramel malt with a citrusy malt immediately balancing it out. Cinnamon in the background, brown sugar. This guy smells nice.
T - Great tasting American Red Ale. Tastes like citrusy hops (papaya, mango, pineapple), with caramel, brown sugar and cinnamon balancing it out. Great beer. I want to put it head to head with G'knight.
M - Medium - heavy. Alc completely covered. Aftertaste is cinnamon sugar, caramel malts, light citrus hops.
O - This is a pretty great beer. For the price it's not so great tho, Oskar Blues G'Knight is right up there and is 15-20 cents less per ounce. (817 characters)

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Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.