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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
62 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
62
Ratings:
255
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
18.91%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
42
For Trade:
0
Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series)Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by harrymel on 12-06-2012

User Reviews
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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 255
Photo of TheRealBigC
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As a fairly big fan of big reds, this one doesn't quite stand up to the greats. Much like the pale ale from their pilot series, it's a bold effort but it isn't quite excellent. I like the hefty hop character, but it seems slightly out of balance with the malt. Not in a way that makes it unenjoyable, but in a way that won't make me seek it out in the future. Some may like it a lot, and if I came across it at a bar again I may very well order it again.

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Photo of rawfish
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful dark bing cherry juice coloration with ample head, slightly tan with good lacing and decent retention. Crystal clear, great color.

Dark fruit skins, bread, a bit dank with some fruit juice sweetness, more pine than grapefruit hops with a slightly leafy and green.

Bready with some dried cherries, hawthorn berries and dusty/spicy ESB type of malt, pine hop flavor, very straight forward with heavy oily bitterness and alcohol on the finish.

Literally feels like my taste buds are sweating as the bitterness begins to pinch with an acidic malt stickiness. Smooth body, medium heavy going down. Alcohol evident, this needs some malt, the hops don't hide everything.

Good looker but overall it's kinda average. Mild complexity like a good red should have but the hops are simple and fall off in the finish, really hurts the feel of this beer especially as the booze and bitter come through. Really a a raw beer, punishing in a way.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of popery
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of blakelive784
2.8/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
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

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Photo of Rizalini
3.32/5  rDev -14%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.28/5  rDev -15%
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.

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Photo of Broden
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice dark red color with a beautiful fluffy off white head. Nice lacing noticed while drinking. Very good looking beer.

S- Citrus, and Grapefruit hit you right up front. An amazing hop aroma, but still enough malt to let you know your your drinking a red ale and not a DIPA.

T/M- Very hop forward, with a perfect balance of malt. Alcohol has a definite presence but fits the beer perfectly.

O- Very surprised by this beer. Picked it up on a last minuet whim and was totally blown away. In my opinion it is the perfect example of the Imperial Red Ale.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of harrymel
4.17/5  rDev +8%
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.
86 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.