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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)

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BA SCORE
88
very good

167 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 4
Gots: 17 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: harrymel on 12-06-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

as ive said before, i love the pilot series. this one is no exception, a wonderfully rich and deep imperial red ale. a style i dont always love, i love this one. burnt red on the pour, dense and tough on light, 2 fingers of lacey off white head with great retention and a real hoppy nose. i also smell the classic american red malt, sweet and dusty, as well as bitter orange peel in small quantity and some booze. the taste to me starts like a normal red, excellent and layered malt, smooth and satisfying. it turns into an almost barleywine style ale though, with a warming alcoholic thing in the finish, and a grainy sweetness. i can still pick out citrus though, orange, and the richness of the malt makes this a unique beer. i can taste its color somehow. that brick red im staring at has a flavor, and its fantastic. very hearty, very wintery. huge body, enough carbonation, expansive mouthfeel. bold but approachable, this is next to marbles for the best imperial red ale ive ever had. the whole pilot series rocks. pick this up asap.

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of mactrail
3.53/5  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 MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

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 kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -28.4%
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 superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
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 rab53
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
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 LiquidAmber
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
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 Bitterbill
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a deep dark red with a huge head of foam(served near room temp)

The beers smells very hoppy, lots of grapefruit in the nose with little to no malt presence.

A big hop bomb with the taste as well. Grapefruit dominates but I do get a wee bit of a malty sweetness that seems to grow with every sip. Now, it's like a 75-25 mix of hoppy vs malty and that works for me.

Medium body, lightish carbonation. Good mouthfeel.

This is good, very good. I'll buy more.

Photo of popery
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours red with a beige head. More interestingly, it appears to have some chill haze, which is odd. I thought it was just a cloudy beer after my first pour, but no, the cloudiness has disappeared as the beer warms. It also foamed up a bunch when I poured, which I guess is another sign. It doesn't really bother me, but I am surprised to see it from a brewery of Alaskan's size and experience. The aroma is mostly hops, floral and citric, but there's a deep toasty malt sweetness in there as well. Candied grapefruit peel. It's a nice enough aroma, though the hop contributions are a bit drab for a new beer, at least compared to all of the more interesting work with hops of late. The taste is a bit more disappointing. There's a funny DME-ish sweetness to the beer. It's a sweet tang that doesn't sit quite right. Booze is evident. Lots of caramel and toasty, bready malt. More drab hops. They're not terribly bitter and there is flavor to them, but it's just a basic grapefruit/pine resin note that's muted and stale. I don't really mind the lack of hop complexity, and I quite like standard American CTZ flavors, but this is just boring. Mouthfeel is smooth and mostly pleasant, but the beer gets a bit sticky and boozy, particularly in the finish. I'm not quite sure what to do with this beer. I feel like I'm being overly harsh, but I'm struggling to find positives. These flavors have been done better in other beers. Neither the malt sweetness nor the hops are handled well. There are some really good big hoppy red ales out there, so I don't really understand bringing a new one to market without a good reason, and I'm not seeing any real reason to buy this beer over beers that have been around for years and are widely available.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, $8.99. I bought this because I really like hoppy red ales but I almost never find any good ones. . I feel like all of Alaskan's pilot series is disappointing except for the barleywine. This was no exception. Smells nice and hoppy. Clear, garnet colored, huge head, some lace. Flavor is strong alcohol, bitter hops, malty. The alcohol flavors really detract from this. I should have known better.

Photo of jophish17
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of twelveinches
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of cdwil
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of srandycarter
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear, reddish brown, amber, nice near white head, TONS of cling lace. Inviting.

S - Light malt and hops, somewhat metallic. Fruit in there too, but everything very subtle.

T - Nice deep rich malt, backed well by hops.

M - Medium body, creamy, well balanced and good carb.

D - Even at this abv, would session. Nice beer.

Photo of harrymel
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by 13MAY13

Pours a clear crimson red with a finger of light cream foam and some spotty lace. Smells of citrus, grapefruit, spiced malts, some tea and a bit more of the centennial and cascades - this is a nice nose. Bitter, malty, spicy and hoppy - layered with nice complex malts and a good dry bitterness, along comes some pine and resin with a hint of grapefruit rind and a little touch of pekoe. Medium bodied with moderated, prickly carb and a wet finish. This is a nice surprise - Alaskan Brewing is like my permanent sleeper; so many great beers, so little sincere appreciation.

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Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.