Betrayal Imperial Red - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Betrayal Imperial RedBetrayal Imperial Red

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BA SCORE
85
very good

134 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 3
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: womencantsail on 06-27-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 52
Photo of Totalpackage411
4.85/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally special ordered a few bottles of this to try. This was a very heavy red/amber with a dynamite taste. I love all of speakeasy beers but this is very different from the rest. If you can find this beer anywhere other than San Francisco Bay Area you should get it, had to order online from So Cal to even be able to get this one. Speakeasy is hands down the best brewery in California in my opinion.

Photo of elNopalero
4.74/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This pours a dark intensely amber-ruby hue. Great big and lovely dank aroma, with piney grapefruit notes. Flavor comes off as sharply hoppy with a thick piney taste, like grapefruit zest and a heavy dank gobsmack. Almost medicinal hints emerge as it opens up. Not too sweet, not at all dry, this hit the spot and scratched that itch. Loved it.

Photo of avaldivia
4.36/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A: Excellent dark red color. Very bright and enticing. Nice head. Good lacing.

S: Whoa! Good amount of hops and caramel. A bit of alcohol on the nose.

T: Deep malt flavor that I really enjoy. Definitely hoppy for a red ale. A hint of an alcohol burn on the finsh. This is a very deep, complex, and wonderful taste.

M: Medium to thick body. Good carbonation.

O: excellent limited release that I hope will be released again and again. I will pick this up and order it, wherever I can find it.

Photo of jfmorey
4.34/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a stemware glass.

Got a perfect head of creamy bubbles that dissipated to good lacing. Color is dark ruby-red.

Smell is not pronounced, average.

Taste is a near perfect balance of sweet, sour, and bitter. Some floral, but more wood notes.

Mouthfeel is the best; very creamy almost like a stout.

Overall, a fine example of an Imperial Red, which is one of my favorite styles.
(This mean the Amber Ale / Red Ale designation is incorrect.)

Photo of argock
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.99.

A: Opaque rusty burgundy with thick, frothy, rocky beige 2-finger head with very good retention and a thick craggy line of lace with scattered spots.

S: Strong earthy aromas of pine resin and wood are greeted by slightly sweet maltiness with caramel, vanilla, cocoa, and toffee. Alcohol give a little nostril heat.

T: The flavor is a great mix of spicy, piney, and woody-herbal hops component with a strong somewhat sweet malt contribution with chocolate, roasted malt, and sweet raisiny caramel notes. The alcohol is masked very effectively. The aftertaste is herbal and earthy but with a definite pine-wood character.

M: A little sticky and a little too much carbonation but all in all the body is nice and its easy to drink.

O: I was really impressed by this beer - most imperial red ales are overly sweet alcohol bombs. This brew really solves that problem well and moves into the realm of supremely smooth beers with an exceptionally well-balanced mix of big hops and big malt. It is an imperialized Prohibition Ale with the same raisin and caramel notes that I really like in an amber ale. I wish this was priced a little more in the range of Arrogant Bastard at $4.50/bomber. It is one of Speakeasy's best beers and one that I will try again a couple time before it fades away for the year. This beer is one of the biggest surprises of the year for me.

Photo of birchstick
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a brownish chestnut color with a nice tan head

S - smells of biscuit and toasted malt with a bit of grassy hops

T - this starts off with caramel malts and fades to a nice toasted and biscuit malt flavor. This beer is all malts and in a good way. Really flavorful and delicious.

M - super smooth and a nice body

D - one of the best amber ales I have had to date. Big thanks to KevSal for the hook up on this one. If I lived in San Fran I would drink this frequently. Recommended!

Photo of facundoCNB
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a deep clean amber in color with a finger of beige head that stayed for the whole glass. smells of caramel, honey, wheat, lots of grapefruit/pine/grass notes. a delicious tasting sweet bready malt profile with tons of flavorful and floral/citrus hop notes. getting a hint of grapefruit and coriander. medium in body, moderate in carbonation. creamy and sticky on the lips. i think this is my favorite beer from this brewery. they've all been awesome so far but this one stands out.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.26/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep ruby/scarlet/blood red. Very beautiful hue. It pours with about an inch of head, huge globs of lace are left behind.
Caramalts, strawberry, citrus and sweet country white bread make up the smell.
The taste is bready and fruity, with a good amount of hops to bitter it up at the finish. Citrus and herbal hop taste more specifically. I like the balance quite a bit. The brew is thick going down, bit not in a bad way. It's a bit highly carbonated, but not bad.
A little high in price for the style, but still pretty good. I'll probably grab at least one more before they disappear.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$6.99 bomber purchased in Warwick, NY.

Dark, almost murky maroon amber body. Two fingers of bone china colored whip cream foam. Drippy lace.

Big bread and biscuit aroma. Whiffs of alcohol and licorice. Deep soaking fruits bubbling up.

Big fat caramel maltiness bulldozes the tongue. Dump truck of earthy hops. Sense of alcohol but not a burn, more of a late tingle.

Smooth creamy mouthfeel.

An imperial red leaning more toward malt, but still a winner with this hophead. Well worth a try.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: deep mahogany, tan head - I poured it into a frosted tulip glass and saw a lot of the head lacing to the sides

S: mild; hop and malt aromas

T: wasn't sure what to expect in an imperial red ale - never even had a red ale - and it reminded me of Double Bastard and Devil Dancer - it has an almost food-y taste - meaty, if you will, with the malts and hops present and balanced; lots of flavors meld together - may be too bold for some, but it was right up my alley

M: filling, solid, "chewy" beer - medium body; leaves a savory aftertaste on the tongue

O: very pleased - would buy this beer again; strength was good, making it drinkable and worthwhile abv-wise

Photo of JohnnyKuhl
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a very rich, dark amber, 1/4" head.

Smell: Quite hoppy, lots of caramel notes at the beginning.

Taste: Again, hops are prevalent at the front, with a slight caramel and piney finish.

Mouthfeel: Perfect level of carbonation (just my opinion). Doesn't leave the mouth feeling malty, just a smooth beer.

Overall: One of my favorite red's I've tried so far, it's the type of beer that makes me want to keep drinking it. I always enjoy this beer, it is definitely a treat.

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: It is a dark amber somewhat cloudy which dives it a little bit of an opaque appearance. Head which is an off white to white-orange rises to maybe 1/3" of an inch.

Smell: Deep caramel scent with a slight of hops coming off a little floral.

Taste: Complex with a little sweet meeting a little bitter. Floral with caramel.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, with an everlasting sticking after-taste.

Overall: Not described as one but if you're a fan of double/imperial IPAs this is for you. It is robust and rich...with so much going on; it just feels right when it hits your lips. Salud!

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this from my wife. She picked it up at her work.

Appearance- dark reddish color, thin head

Smell- piney hops, sweet and bitter smell, very nice

Taste- balance of sweet and bitter, piney hops, very nice

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was very good. I would buy it again.

Photo of Philousa
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red against the light, almost brown in ambient light with one finger head and good lacing from beginning to end. Sweet malt in the nose up front, mixed with earthy, slightly tangy hops. Taste is, in a word, chocolaty. Some burnt caramel notes give way to bitter hops with the chocolate lingering throughout. The mouthfeel is very nice and balanced.

For such a big beer, this is very delicate. Delicate in the way it's balanced, that is. It could have easily been too malty and felt like a brown, but the alcohol content and hop presence prevents the malt from taking over. The burnt caramel and dark chocolate dominating the palate make this an uncomplex beer, but those are the ones I love. The balance actually makes this a bit of a dangerous beer, when you consider the ABV. Speakeasy didn't reach too far for this beer and instead made a palatable, easy to enjoy beer. Cheers!

Photo of woodychandler
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I was at my local speak, The Fridge, and Erin was working the stick this particular evening. She passed it across to me in a tulip glass and I went back to my table to contemplate where it had all gone so horribly wrong. I knew that I had been playing with fire of late, indulging in dalliances with Scarlett and Tallulah, the molls of Big Daddy and Double Daddy, respectively. Word on the street was that there had been some sort of Betrayal and like a calendar, my days were numbered. This was the era of Prohibition and I was reading "Chicago Noir" for inspiration.

A finger of deep-tan/light-brown head sat atop this gem, slowly fading into the same obscurity that seemed to be my future. Color was a a deep-copper, reddish, but not quite ruby-red (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality and I was suddenly wishing myself in Omaha or Lincoln, anywhere but San Francisco or Chicago. Nose was redolent with pine hops underlain with a pleasant malty sweetness. My first sip filled my mouth with a bubbliness that rendered it almost creamy, but not quite. This was followed by a burst of pine hops and then a wash of malt in a one-two sequence that left me reeling. Suddenly, one of the co-owners, Futty, braced me just as the bulls burst through the door! I reached for my chatterbox, aka my trusty, ever-present Thompson, but I was too slow and they were too quick and kicked it out of my reach before I could clear it from my bag. I was prepared, however, and snatched the cyanide cap out of my faux signet ring, popped it in my yap and washed it down with some more Betrayal. I'll be damned if I'll let them take me alive! This was just the way to go - drinking a beer. Finish was minty-cool, initially, followed by a caramel sweetness that stuck with me into my grave. The only remaining question, other than how will they get the sticky lacing out of the glass, is "Who inna f**king hell Betrayed me?!?" At least, I went out happy.

Remember kids, beer and noir do NOT mix!

#akashicbooks

Photo of DovaliHops
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle says 8.2%...not 5.9. Pours a dark crimson red color with a medium, off-white head. Scent is very malty with a nice balance of hops and tropical fruit. Boy does this beer remind me of something...I can almost promise I'm not the only one who finds this very similar to Bigfoot with a little age on it. Definitely reminds me of a hoppy barleywine. Strong dark fruit flavors with bitter hops and caramel malt. Just a pinch of alcohol flavor. Very bitter hop finish with brown sugar. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a creamy finish. Drinkability is high. This is definitely one of the better offering I've had from this brewery.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a dark russet amber with a nice two finger light brown head with good retention and massive lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, piney hops, chocolate and an interesting estery component I can't identify. Flavor is dominated by pine and citrus hops, developing into caramel malt and finally to grassy, piney hop bitterness. Hints of chocolate and toasted malt. Very nice creamy, medium body. A different red ale with an interesting flavor progression; very hop forward, but supported by the caramel and toasty malt. Nicely done. My first introduction to Speakeasy and now certainly not my last.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is amber to orange in color with an off white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the snifter. The aroma brings a large helping of pine and hops. The flavor follows suit, though not quite as good as the aroma. Lots of pine in the flavor with a more assertive malt presence than the scent would indicate. Medium bodied with minimal alcohol presence. An enjoyable beer, I would have this again.

Photo of Kendo
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is reddish coppery-amber with a 1-finger bubbly tan head. Leaves good thick rings of lacing.

S: Nice. Strong caramel malt backbone but also a touch of juicy hops. A nice balance of malt and hops, which is what I like in an Imperial Red Ale.

T: Follows the nose - still balanced between malt and hops. Sweet caramel malt foundation, along with some brown sugar, and then hops - tropical fruit, citrusy and piney all come to mind at various stages of the sip. I get a touch of alcohol spice at the finish too.

M: Call it medium in heft, with a slight slickness to it.

D: A solid beer. Doesn't blow me away like Nugget Nectar or even Cascazilla - it's more balanced and malty than hoppy - but I'm enjoying it.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

To date this is probably the nicest screen printed bottle I have seen. I wish that they did the design in 12 ounce bottles.

Oddly, this bottle is a gusher. Nice flavor profile. A bit boozy. Still carries a good earthy tone with leafy fruit as well. Easy to drink, in spite of the burn to it. I like it.

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a nice amber color with a tan head.

S: Quite a nice caramel malt backbone to the beer with a hint of bread and piney hops. Not much citrus, but a good balance of malt and hops.

T: The balance continues in the flavor. Again, a good sweet base with some hops and bready malt to prevent the beer from being overly sweet. A bit of piney and bitter hops on the finish.

M: The body is medium with a middle of the road level of carbonation.

D: A pretty nice beer. Not my favorite red ale, but good flavors and balance that I don't find any major faults or problems with.

Photo of Klym
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my sister for this unexpected bottle! Poured into a Surly darkness snifter.

This poured a translucent dark cherry red with a big, slightly dirty head composed of big bubbles that left patchy lacing everywhere. The nose is very caramel maltiness with big cocoa and hop notes. Still some malt and cocoa notes and sweetness in the mouth, but hopes take over with a real grassy, hay-esque hoppiness that bitters with a pine feel. The bitterness never gets nasty, though it bites hard. I always approach speakeasy expecting disappointment but this was a pleasant surprise. A very drinkable imperial red with some interesting character, something worth hitting on tap or picking up a bottle of if you cant find anything else too interesting.

Photo of dwilson01
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my figueroa pint glass. The body color is a deep red/caramel brown topped with a slightly tan head about a finger thick.

The scent is a refreshing hop in the forefront that also lends to a nice bitterness in the middle of the smell. The very end finishes with a hint of malty sweetness, enough to tell you there is some body to this brew.

The flavor is exactly what I expect out of an imperial red, and nice malt backbone providing maple brown sugar throughout the taste. This is balanced by a hopping that starts off floral, fades into a more bitter type and then ends with a crisp combination of bitterness and aromatic hops the finish you off.

The mouthfeel is solid, not too thick and goes down smooth with the spicy hop bite to keep you coming back for more.

Solid brew, not the best imperial red I've had but it's worth trying.

Photo of Ratman197
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Half Time poured a clear reddish amber with a small lingering amber head. Aromas of carmel, earthiness, floral notes and citrus. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and crisp with a dry finish. Flavors of carmel, floral notes, earthiness, citrus and light tropical fruit with a crisp dry lingering floral finish.

Photo of Bryanjpg
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look
Betrayal presents a misty deep red orange.

Smell
The sweet smell of toasted malts joins the bitter smell of hops and gets tossed around with dark chocolate covered orange aroma's

Taste
the hoppy bitterness maintains the whole time as oranges and caramel toasted malt flavors alternate. Medium finish with lasting bitter taste

Feel
Medium thick body, could be a little thicker.

Overall
Great beer, solid flavors. This beer is great for fall. It reminds me what winter has in store for us. Without immediately jumping to a thick stout. It has a nice balance of flavors, and a lasting bitterness.

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Betrayal Imperial Red from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
85 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.