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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
88
very good

199 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 199
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 12
Gots: 32 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 199 | Reviews: 54
Reviews by dtivp:
Photo of dtivp
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep ruby brown with a One and a half finger foamy white head that fades slowly into a nice cap with moderate lacing.

Aroma of grainy malt, citrus, floral hops and a wiff of caramel.

Taste followed the nose with a strong malt beginning, followed by hops and grapefruit, orange peel with a slight caramel sweetness balancing some of the bitterness. You were left with a slight dry bitter after taste.

Moth Feel was medium body and carbonation, slightly dry and the alcohol was very well masked.

Overall this was a nice balanced ale to sip and enjoy.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours ruby amber with a huge fluffy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet nutty caramel malts and piney hops.

The flavor is sweet nutty caramel malts with a big bitter piney hop finish and a little fruit and resin. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly watery.

Overall, nice balance of the malts and hops. I like it.

Photo of Motleydrunk56
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ozBomber.Very run of the mill beer.Lot of reds out there that are a lot better.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

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.

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany amber red with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of off white head that slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: Rich aroma with a good balance of strong malt and hops. Hoppy upfront with earthy hints of grass and pine. Hints of citrus grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, and lemon. Big sweet malt balance with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, yeast, and a mild hint of roast. Some noticeable scents of alcohol. A very solid balanced aroma that is big and sharp.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a big rich and sharp taste of hops and malt that is balanced. Starts with some sharp hops upfront with notes of earthy grass, spicy pine, and herbal notes. Citrus grapefruit, orange, pineapple, apricot, and lemon. Strong toasty malt balance with notes of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, grain, yeast, and toast. Slight undertone of roast. A little alcohol taste is detectable. Very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Somewhat chewy. Fairly drying on the finish. Some alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: A very solid red ale. Aggressive but well balanced mix of hops and malt. Even with a few months on it the hops are still lively.

Photo of moundbz
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big bitter and strong, malt with power hop

Photo of Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%

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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Amber body with a nice off white head. Settles to a nice collar and surface foam.

Smell - Grapefruit and pine hops. Nice caramel malt backbone. Smells good.

Taste - Has almost a hoppy American barleywine taste. The malt flavor is very similar. Aggressively hopped. Lots of deep caramel but not sweet. Medium bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Aggressive malt and hop character. I like it.

Photo of atalayafr
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Golden brown, pretty color. Nice head that slowly subsides.
S-Hoppy with alcohol content obvious in the smell.
T-A nice balance of hops but a bit overwhelmed by the alcohol. Finishes hoppy.
M-Dry.
O-Good beer. Better than ABC's normal line of beers IMHO.
S-22oz bottle

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium russet amber with a half finger off-white head that dissipates quickly to patch foam and a ring around the glass. Light aroma of bready malt and light piney hops with a hint of alcohol. Flavor is piney and citrus hops with light malt up front, fading very quickly to a lingering light piney hop bitterness. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. The hops are pleasant and appropriate for a red ale, but they are not quite supported by the malt body. Finishes too abruptly, although the residual bittering and lightly aromatic hops keep it interesting to drink. In the end, a bit unbalanced.

Photo of RyanK252
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%

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 quickly

S: bright citrus and tropical fruit hops 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.

Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of blakelive784
2.8/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pt 6 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a tulip, reviewed live:

A - Pours a deep amber/blood red color with three fingers of soapy off-white head. Retention is very good give the high ABV, and the head leaves nice lacing as it recedes.

S - Spicy resinous hops notes counter the sweet malty notes. Balanced, though a bit musty.

T - Stale and musty hops dominate. Muted toasted malt. The hops are indistinct and uninviting. Imbalanced. Lacks body.

M - Strangely coarse and dry. Not ideal.

D - Not Alaskan's best offering. I'm not sure why they didn't base this one on the flagship amber. Won't be having it again.

Photo of Zorro
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

Photo of hopsputin
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a: dark copper and caramel, almost purple. hints of ruby red. frothy 2 finger off white head that is unevenly fading away

s: caramel, fig, pine resin, sweet malt. hint of pineapple, smells slightly yeasty. nice and clean

t: for me, a slight let down from the nose. bread and bitter. the bitter is piney and earthy - like tea leaf. the sweetness comes from the caramel malt which almost fades to a brown sugar flavor. there is like a sweet syrup flavor on the backend.

m: fuller side of medium, and very syrup-like. the bitterness fades quickly, and your mouth is left coated with the syrup-like flavor

o: the bitterness is a little too one dimensional for me, but the malt sweetness is nice. it gets a little better as it warms. reminds me of a mellow American barley wine. would be a nice sipper to end your night on, but i wish there was just a little more complexity here to the sweetness.

Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
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!

Photo of SweetwaterTuonker
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
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?

Photo of JackieTH
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Garnet red with a half inch of khaki foam that fades leaving nothing for coverage and just a trace of lacing. Smells quite strongly of caramel malt with earthy and spicy notes. Taste has a washing of bitter hop, earthy and spicy elements across the tongue with a heap of caramel malt. Zingy carbonation adds rather than distracts to the flavors present. Body is adequate for heft. Dry and lightly bitter finish keeps the palate fresh.

Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

651ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 stem-snifter in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. 8.5% ABV confirmed. There's a crab on the label. Purchased earlier today.

Served refrigerator cold and side poured as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger light khaki colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and good retention (>5 minutes). Decent lacing. Colour is a pale dull sanguine. Translucent but nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Heavy floral hops, some chinook if I had to guess, and some underlying malty sweetness with vague hints of light caramel. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Floral and somewhat nectary hops, with a hint of oily character. Malty sweetness underlies, but no caramel is detectable. Slightly imbalanced but drinkable for the style. I want more from it, but it doesn't deliver. No yeast character is notable. It hides its alcohol pretty well. More simple than I'd like; lacks complexity but not necessarily subtlety - elements of the execution (like the floral hops) are well handled. There's a weird off-flavour I can't quite place; it's not metallic or glassy or soapy or astringent, but it's deeply flawed.

Mf: Dry, musty, a bit oily, and smooth. Troublesome, indeed. Good carbonation.

Dr: Drinkable but I wouldn't have another. A failed experiment, and something of a disappointment coming from a brewery I regard as highly as Alaskan. Its flaws severely impact its quality, holding it back. I'd much sooner reach for Alaskan Amber.

Low C

Photo of ISmith87
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of Rizalini
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber bottle into my Stone goblet....

A - Pours a very clear ruby color, with almost no head at all. On first impression, I would think that this is going to be under carbonated.

S - Smells super malty with notes of some earthy hops.

T/M - The flavors are a little muted, but I'm getting caramel malts and some earthy undertones. Kind of disappointed with the lack of malt character this one is displaying. On the other hand, it does leave a nice residual hop flavor for the aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel, average carbonation.

O - In my opinion, this is a very average, run-of-the-mill red. It doesn't really strike me as something I would want to buy again.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of mactrail
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful glowing dark coppery brown color in the Duvel tulip. Nice head to start. Surprisingly light bodied but plenty tingly on the tongue. Smells like alcohol and cheap brandy with some fruit cocktail.

Sharp and hoppy. This tastes stronger that the ABV. Maybe it's the light malt and the hot hops that give this the tangy boozy taste. There is a fruity taste, like peach schnapps, some burnt sugar, and rum. Very rummy and quite sweet, though cut by the glowering hoppy bitterness.

I guess you could call this an after-dinner drink. Just needs a cigar. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at The Bottle Shop in Santa Barbara.

Photo of ducktoadecoy
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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!

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Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.