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Betrayal Imperial Red - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Betrayal Imperial RedBetrayal Imperial Red

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

52 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 134
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 7.2%
Wants: 4
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 52 | Hads: 134
Photo of Zorro
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Have the bottled version. The bottle says 8.2% Alc/Vol.

Reddish brown colored ale with some chill haze evident. Small tan colored head.

Smell is sweet and full of roasted malt. Fairly strong German chocolate cake aroma. Chocolate coconut and caramel are quite strong. Strong hop scent mostly it is mint and menthol.

Starts out sweet and bitter with some chocolate and coffee flavor. Bittersweet is the one word that describes the taste. Slight savory flavor here but not to the point of soy sauce. Besides the chocolate and coffee there isn't much other flavor here.

Mouthfeel is good and fairly thick.

Overall this is pretty tasty but not super-outstanding. (663 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from BevMo in early November for $5.99. Bottled in 2013.

Beer poured reddish brown with a beautiful tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is toasted malts and citrus hops.

Taste is toasted caramel malts, citrus, pine. Pretty well balanced but the pine resin lingers in the end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is nicely made double red. Its got the big malt base going and the big hop bite that one would expect from this style. I have not had a brew from Speakeasy in a long time. They left Arizona for awhile but came back this past fall. Nice to see them back and i look forward to the next one! (666 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light brown and light red appearance, good head, another quality looker from Speakeasy. Mild aroma of toastiness and hops, a little nuttiness to it.

Great taste, smooth, still kept a hop mouthfeel, but stayed away from just making a super bitter nugget hopped red or something along those lines. Rich, toffee, even vanilla. A little bit of citrus as well.

Very good mouthfeel, alcohol not noticeable at all. All those nuances. Great balance, hoppy, yet not bitter, smooth, not high alcohol, a little bit of everything.

Where did BA get 5.9% for this? Says 8.2% on the bottle. Maybe because it tastes like 5.9%? (616 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pour from the growler station at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.

A- Dark and near glowing orangy amber. Clear under a dark khaki dense and lasting 1/3 inch head. Leaves fine lace up top, frothy light sheeting and better then average fine patterns of lacing.

S- nose seems somehow muted, could be a stuffy nose...I just get some light malts.

T- Flavorful and quite worthy/sturdy brew, nice layers of malt, caramel, some light rye, spicy alcohol infused dark honey. Malted up and moderately complex brew.

D- Yes, I'd want to drink this over and over again...so good "drinkability" (585 characters)

Photo of brotherloco
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber. ABV is actually 8.2%.

Pours a half-opaque deep brown with a big dark-beige pillowy head. Hangs around for a nice long while. A good bit of fine lacing.

Aroma of caramel and bready malt and some metallic tangerine hops. A bit of alcohol.

Initial taste is fairly sharp, but backed up with a nice dose of caramel malt sweetness. Tastes better than the nose. Middle dries up to a very dry, slightly metallic bitter finish. Alcohol emerges in the middle and sticks around through the finish, but isn't overwhelming.

Medium light body with medium-sharp carbonation. Quite drinkable. (593 characters)

Photo of aquazr1
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark reddish brown with a small off white head. The head leaves a lot of lacing on the glass with a ring on top. It's got a medium mouthfeel and goes down rather easy. It's a good imperial red, but doesn't cover the excess alcohol as much as I would have liked. A definite add to my list though. (310 characters)

Photo of socon67
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark amber pour with a tan foam head. Active carbonation. Lacing is rings on the glass.

S - Scents of caramel and rich malt.

T - Rich malty beer that has some sweetness but is essentially a malt bomb.

M - Rich beer that finishes with a raspy feel. Perfect pair with BBQ. Strong flavors stay in the palate.

O - I'd have this again. Surprised how good this is was. A solid amber from a brewery that for some reason I haven't had enough from as of yet. (459 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey yesterday. Served in a mini-snifter.

Pours a dark copper color with a thin light tan head and some spotty lacing. Thin collar throughout. The nose brings forward some heavy pine and a bit of toasted malt. The flavor brings a heavy dose of pine and some slight citrus along with some amber malt sweetness. The two don't complement each other as well as I would have liked. Sweetness isn't nearly as prevalent in the feel, which is heavily bitter and slightly chewy. Solid beer. (497 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pi Bar, in San Francisco.

Speakeasy Betrayal pours a deep, deep crimson that only directly into the light reveals its shocking secret - that it's actually transparent! (but you need a bright afternoon sun, artificial indoor lighting isn't strong enough to penetrate the sooty red beer). It has a well proportioned head that leaves ornate lacing that looks rather dapper in the tulip glass.

The flavours in the aroma smell faint, but are still perceptibly characterful; you'd think they made the beer with the peels of the most bitter oranges they could find, squeezed in a drop of grapefruit juice and let the malts they'd use sit near the stove before hand (they have a lightly smoky, toasted quality to them). Hard to know if it will be more bitter or sweet.

And the great thing about this style is that it needn't chose one over the other, it can be (indeed, should be) both! Here they co-exist in virtual harmony, as if the brewer somehow made a bitter tasting caramel, or a grapefruit that is as sweet as they normally are sour. No alcohol shows, so far as I could tell. But it could be concealed in the soft rose petal flavour.

The mouthfeel turns out to have lots of ashy, lightly smoky malts; they taste toasted just to the point that any more so and we'd call them roasted. Still, there is a lot of caramel sweetness and, lest you forget, a great deal of hoppy bitterness on the finish. The impression I get is of it being very dry and "nutty", like toasted almonds or hazelnuts.

Betrayal doesn't have the thundering properties to suggest that it's been brewed with the hop head's iron palate in mind, and while that might cost it the highest marks on this site, it should afford it a lot more success with the general populace. And with the amount of character it has, my guess is it will guide that populace to better tastes and higher standards. (1,873 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at Rattle N Hum in New York, NY

A: Pours a clear dark garnet red to amber in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some amber + orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall dark beige head that slowly reduces to medium patch of thick film, some very thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with light amounts of alcohol.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted and caramel malts with a light amount of sweetness. That is followed by some lighter pine hops and hints of alcohol. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which lingers for a short while.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with some alcohol warming in the finish.

O: This one is a little too boozy for me, the alcohol is just much too present int he is beer. The presence of the alcohol makes this one tough to drink and not as enjoyable as I might have hoped. (1,033 characters)

Photo of AwYeh
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into pint glass; bottle says its 8.2% ABV.

A: Deep, clear, reddish brown color. Lots of bubbles– looks a bit like cola. Half inch of tan head, subsides quickly but leaves thick lacing.

S: Sweet smell– lots of caramel and toffee, joined by some pine resin hop aromas. Hint of alcohol.

T: Nice balance of sweet and bitter here– initially the caramel and toffee are strongest but there's a very noticeable hop presence in the middle, and the finish is lingering and bitter.

M: Smooth and with medium-high carbonation– goes down easily and finishes dryly.

O: Just a bit less than the sum of its parts, found myself enjoying this one less as the glass wore down. Still a good beer, and definitely worth a try if you're a big fan of (imperial?) ambers. (778 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear dark reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high dark beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a short dense head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of alcohol and caramel malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of caramel malts and pine resin hops along with hints of alcohol. It has a moderate amount of bitterness that particularly lingers through the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and relatively crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Hints of warming from the alcohol are perceptible.
O: This is a rather bold imperial amber ale, but the smell and taste of alcohol is somewhat of a turnoff. (811 characters)

Photo of david18
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a twelve ounce draft of this at the Ginger Man in Manhattan's mid town. I was told that it was an imperial but, in any case, I liked it a lot. The color was a deep amber or red with a light colored head and interesting aroma. Speakeasy makes great ipas but I haven't been crazy about their other brands. This one, however, was quite good. (344 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, earth, caramel, citrus zest, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with brown sugar and candied citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that has a nice malt and candied citrus zest combination going on all around. (583 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice Red Ale. Not an overly sweet, mild boring one. Pours a hazy red color with a lot of light coming through. Small white head with worse than aerage retention. Some lacing. Spell ispiney hops and caramel malts. Fairly strong. Tastes good. Strong piney hops presence balanced by a strong caramel malt presence. Kind of like a barleywine lite. Very impressive for a red ale.

Mouthfeel is crisp. I assumed it was 5.9% but if this is an 8% beer, it is very smooth with no hint of the alcohol level.

A good Red Ale, I would drink this again. (540 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

more of an imperial red ipa here than what we usually associate with imperial reds, this is hop driven, and well driven at that. darker copper amber color with some clarity and a massive khaki head with no retreat. nose is pretty understated from a grain standpoint, i get a whole lot of resinous west coast style hops in this, some balance, but hops hold the trump card. the taste is a slow jog up the spectrum from malty to hoppy. semisweet amber malt flavors blend into the danker hops with ease, and the finish showcases both rather effectively. bitterness after the swallow comes out of nowhere, no hop flavor left over just that bitter, its drying for such a full bodied and frothy brew. speakeasy has filled a mid price point quality niche perfectly, these beers are right on for what they cost, and different enough to stand out. betrayal matches the rest of the lineup and gives us a generously hopped malty red that is big enough for cold weather. (957 characters)

Photo of mikechance
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My tasting is coming from a 22 oz bottle I recently got at BevMo. It has a nice caramel color with a slight head. The smell is very malt heavy --- I can’t pick up anything else. It is a nice tasting beer that is very malty, creamy and smooth with very little aftertaste. I’m picking up a little bitterness and hints of vanilla. It’s a very solid beer, but it doesn’t seem to capture the essence of red ale for me --- as if focusing on the “imperial” (8.2% ABV) was more important than retaining the red ale experience. (530 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at TJ Finley's in Bayshore, NY. Tasting notes from July 2011.

A – Creamy, fine bubbled, off-white head with nice retention and ok lace. Medium grade maple syrup body.

S – Bright orange and grassy hops on top of caramel and nutty breads.

T – Tart, dry, tannin-like fruit pits and an earthy, hay-like hop open the profile. The malty center stays dry and carries into a dark fruit, flint, and char-roast finish.

M – Medium body is smooth and dry.

O – A bit sharp, but not bad. (499 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Clear, ruby amber color in the New Belgium snifter. Big foamy head with a pleasant mouth-filling sudsiness. Big aroma of that fruity mango hop.

A sweet maltiness greets the lips, followed by a boar-load of hops. Qite bitter initially and long into the aftertaste. Quite acidic along with the fruit. A little dank but mostly pineapple, pear skins, and mango. Big dark roasted malt flavors dominate the rest of the story. An interesting variation on the Imperial Red that should please the hop lover. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Beach Front Liquor in San Clemente. (567 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours dark ruby amber with a big creamy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet caramel and toffee nutty malts with some leafy hops.

The flavor is sweet caramel, toffee and chocolate malts, some nuttiness and some grassy hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit thin and watery.

Overall, a nicely balanced red. (380 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not being a huge fan of Amber Ales, I do get a bit curious when they get Imperial on me, especially if they kick it up in the hop department so we'll see how this one fairs. I hope I won't get betrayed.

Poured form an etched bomber into a wine glass/globe. A touch soft spoken on the pop of the cap at 45 degrees, the beer nonetheless pours with a frothy inch of light tan foam. Largely clear and a crimson/ruby in the light, appearing a deep amber otherwise. Offers good retention and classy lacing.

Aroma of caramel malts, touch of dark fruits and a moderate piney hop sense. Bit too malt forward for my tastes for the style within a style. This one weighing in at 8.2% not the 5.9% noted here.

Flavor matches the nose. Malty with caramel notes and a light cherry touch. More caramel and a bit of subdued milk chocolate on the finish.

A bit sweet and almost overbearing. Try this one with grilled meat or sloppy BBQ for a good balance. Rather lightly hopped and slightly askew overall for the ABV, otherwise intriguing and fairly well done. (1,047 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: dirty rust body, trace tan head,
brilliant lacing

S: sweet malt, rock candy, big rye

T: same as nose, slow oily bitter finish
mild boozy in finish, hint of metallic taste

M: med body, solid oily mouth,
hint of bubbly on front of tongue

O: Don't know how old this is, but
the odd metallic aftertaste is holding me
back from truly enjoying this brew.

PRETTY GOOD; NOT MUST HAVE! (389 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle $6.99, I'm a sucker for Imperial Reds. Orange-amber color, soapy head and lace. Aroma is mostly malt with a twinge of hops in the back. Flavor wasslty but there was a note of citrus and pine just not enough. Overall a decent beer but I was hoping for something really hoppy like Lagunitas lucky 13. (310 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to MexicanSkittel for the chance to try this. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a dark burnt copper to amber color. It initially looks quite hazed but when held to the light displays quite a bit of clarity and more of a reddish look. The finger's worth of creamy head is caught between a yellowish stain and dark tan. It provides patches of lacework on the glass and decent retention.

The smell of this brew is quite filled with toasty malt sweetness. It has almost a burnt aspect about it, somewhat like toffee and caramel and a bit of a mustiness about it. The alcohol is present with a bit of a solvent kick. The hops display themselves with a fruity and floral aspect that includes quite a bit of vegetable aspect as well.

The taste of this brew is modestly bitter with a toasted malt inclusion that is somewhat burnt in flavor. Hops present themselves with a veggie flavor just like the aroma indicated. There is a light fruited and floral somewhat reminiscent of raisins included with a warmth of alcohol that is fusel in character that really warms the back of the throat. The aftertaste is a combination of cooked veggies and a bit of burnt caramel sweetness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is a bold brew with an expected bitterness and maltiness to contend with the alcohol level. However, it seems a bit disjointed and doesn't meld together all that well. I am not a big fan of hoppy beers that have a solid vegetative feel in either the aroma or flavor and unfortunately this one displayed it in both. Worth a try if you have the chance but not something I would seek out or drink on a regular basis. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to give this one a try. (1,728 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber color with a thin cream colored head.

S: Caramel, oak and some citrus hops.

T: Tons and tons of oak here along with caramel and a hint of dark chocolate. Overall, pretty messy tasting and way too oaky for me. I would not have this one again. (259 characters)

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Betrayal Imperial Red from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.