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XS Imperial Red | Rogue Ales

very good
191 Reviews
XS Imperial RedXS Imperial Red

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
12 Ingredients:
Malts: Great Western Harrington, Klages, Hugh Baird Crystal, Black, Munich, Chocolate and rolled oats.
Hops: Willamette, Cascade and Chinook.
Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

19.4º PLATO
58 IBU
76 AA
47º Lovibond

Added by TurdFurgison on 12-22-2007

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 290
Photo of CowsandBeer
2.59/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

7oz brown bottle found on sale for $1.99. I haven’t had much luck with these tiny Rogue bottles but I couldn’t pass it up at the discounted price. No bottled on date that I could find. A bunch of sediment was visible at the bottom of the bottle. The bottom of the cap had actually started bubbling for some reason. Drank out of a Blind Tiger Brewery snifter.

Appearance: Poured down the center the beer produced no head and a dark, murky, dull mahogany colored body. There was a very thin ring of khaki colored head. A film hung out on top. Does not look good.

Smell: Dark malts, dates, prunes, faded chocolate malts and some soapy hops. Smells old and stale.

Taste: More of the same chocolate malts, an herbal bitterness, ends on a long raisiny note. Also some kind of weird steamed veggie taste. Maybe I didn’t decant carefully enough?

Mouthfeel: Very still. Low carbonation. Dry and dusty. Very warming.

Overall: Recommended only if you feel adventurous and have the $1.99 to burn. I can tell that at some point the chocolate malts would have stood out and maybe it had potential but now it’s falling apart. Basically a sad barleywine.

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Photo of champ103
2.77/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours a murky, mud like color. A dirty brown with some reddish highlights. A minimal and bubbly head forms at first, but recedes in a second. Light lace.
S: Burnt toast, very sweet malt, and light diacetyl. Some alcohol in the nose as well.
T: Follows the nose. burnt and charcoal like malt. Very sweet and some diacetyl. Plenty of alcohol.
M/D: A medium body that is a bit syrupy. Oddly, some prickly carbonation at the same time. Lots of alcohol, and way to sweet. Hard to finish the small 7 oz bottle.

Not impressed with this. Boozy and way to sweet. I will not get this again.

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Photo of phisig137
2.79/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a murky deep amber color, with a one finger head. Retention is decent, but little lacing is left behind.

S- Wow, mostly solvent alcohol here, with a hint of hops towards the back. A bit of a surprise from Rogue, who usually hides their alcohol pretty well. This on the other hand, is right in your face.

T- The best that I can say for this, is that it is well balanced. There is a touch of caramel sweetness up front, and some firm hop bitterness after the swallow, but on the palate in the middle, this is pretty boring. Alcohol is very apparent approaching the finish, and is hot and astringent. Not a whole lot of good to say here....

M- Lightly carbonated, smooth, yet a bit thin.

D- decent at best.... Way to prevalent alcohol, thin mouthfeel, and a general lack of flavor.

Overall, I'm quite disappointed with this. Usually, the Rogue XS crock bottles are a solid buy, well worth the money. This however is barely acceptable. In addition to a heavy alcohol presence and an overall pathetic flavor, this is outrageously overpriced at $17 for a bottle.

In the end, expect a St. Rogue's red that was beefed up in alcohol, but severely dumbed down in flavor. I will not be buying this again, and can't honestly recommend it to anyone else. Sorry Rogue, but you missed the mark on this one...

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Photo of Floydster
2.86/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml swing top ceramic bottle that was about fifteen dollars, split with my dad last night, poured into my Chimay goblet

A-Deep amber color that is on the brown side, one inch off white head that is somewhat creamy, some retention, weak lacing
S-Sweet malt, spices, cinnamon, caramel, apples, toffee, faint hoppiness, oranges, booze, and sugar
T-Starts off sweet and full of fruit, bready in the middle, finish is boozy and in desperate need of dryness and hops from the very beginning, gets even more sweet each sip I take, too sugary and reliant on malt, this style needs balance and this definitely does not have it, need to see less hot flavors too, pungent going down
M-Medium bodied but pretty thick, needed a lot more carbonation because of its thickness, spicy, sweet, hot, oily, and chewy mouthfeel, taste lingers a long time
D-This stuff is hard to drink and tastes much hotter than it really is, ABV is only nine percent but it is not hidden, heavy on the stomach with sweetness too, not smooth or inviting

I had heard this one was not worth the money from a few people but I had to go and see for myself, I agree with them, the only way I would drink this again is if I saw it on tap for five bucks or less and that was the only interesting thing there, with that said I do not recommend this one

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Photo of BigPlay1824
2.91/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a very murky reddish brown color with a ton of suspended sediment and a solid amount of carbonation bubbles that float towards the top supporting an ample head that is creamy and tan (kind of looks like pancake mix as its put on the griddle), lingers for a solid amount of time and leaves
S: interesting, im catching hops, a solid sweetness that is deep but not quite like molasses, birch syrup maybe? also dark fruits
T: finishes with an intense hop bitterness, through the middle is kind of thick and muddled with a bit of a drywall note (gypsum?) slight sweetness, malt notes are decent but not all that cleaned up
M: thick, minimal carbonation tingle, finishes smooth with a bit of a dry note that lingers on the palate long afterwards
O: its ok, not grand, not well rounded IMO, like i said all of it is just kinda muddled, there are far better imperial reds out there than this

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Photo of coachdonovan
2.94/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifer from the black ceramic 750ml swingtop bottle, no freshness date to be found. This one has a Jekyll and Hyde appearance... from across the room it has a dark brown, nearly black color, but when held up to the light it has an almost ruby hue. The alcohol definitely comes through in the smell, too much for me, as I get hints of port wine and even a little cough syrup. Alcohol is very warming in the mouth as well; could use more hops to balance things out. Overall this one just seemed a little bit off, almost as if the taste represents a higher ABV than it actually is.

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Photo of MrBoz21
2.96/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured opague amber brown with lacy head. Minimal retention and mild carbonation.

Malty aroma with hints of chocolate, caramel and raison. Not much hops and a bit of alchohol. Some spice notes. Comes together sort of musty/oxidized.

Taste: Pretty flat up front, boozy and malty in the middle and some burnt bitter in the finish. Spice, chocolate and caramel malt dominate.

Mouth: Chewy.

Overall: I dont think the flavors really come together all that well. It seems that it can be more balanced and dryer. It has an oud bruin quality to it (without sour notes), which makes it inconsistent with style.

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Photo of AndrewOToole
2.97/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Murky brownish red with a thick tan head that dissipated slowly leaving little to no lacing.

The smell of this beer was overpowered by the sweetness, if you've only smelled it you have no idea what you're getting into. Otherwise, the aroma is very pleasant and seems appropriate when you're actually drinking the beer.

The taste is what got me on this one, the flavors were scattered everywhere. It was sweet, fruity, and slightly smoky at first, but that flavor is quickly lost to something of an alcohol burn. I've had a lot of 9% ABV beers that cover the alcohol a lot better. It finishes dry and bitter, but not a really good bitter. Definitely an interesting array of flavors, but too scattered.

Smooth mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

I warmed up to this beer after a few sips (and once it warmed up a bit), very different tasting than most beers I've had. I wouldn't turn down a glass if someone offered it to me, but I don't think I'd buy this beer again.

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Photo of hosehead83
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 7oz. bottle into a "tall" tulip glass
Brownish ruby in color with a rather short, off-white head of foam
Aroma-faint malt notes, spice
Taste-Malty, spicy, underlying hop notes that hang on to the rather dry finish. Chewy, with muddled flavors that seem to come from two or more beers mixed together, instead of balanced to complement each other. I've had better beers from Rogue at a better price. 3.99 for a 7oz bottle thet doesn't even fill my glass or dazzle my tastebuds was not worth it.

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Photo of capra12
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a short pilsner glass. Enjoyed solo

Appearance: Poured a 2 finger head with nice lacing. Deep red and brown in color. rather clear with no floaters (all left in the bottle)

Smell: I get a ton of caramel malts with a hint of roasted malts. A floral and earthy hop aroma comes and goes.

Taste: This opens with a subdued floral hop, a mild malt backbone is present with start to finish. Very one dimensional and leaves a mild hop bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation and slightly coarse.

Drinkability: This is a one and done for me only because its not one of my preferred styles. I recommend this for those seeking a amber ale with mild floral hops and a muted malt backbone. Kind of reminds me of a low ABV barley wine.

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Photo of getalife2k5
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

not too much of a head, just a ring around the edge of the glass. a bit cloudy and burgundy in color like cognac.
smelled of raisin, plum and alcohol.
tasted a bit sweet and syrupy with hints of raisin and even oak. at the end of each sip there was a stinging bitterness... i couldn't tell if it was from hops or alcohol. i'm sorry to say that it was not very flavorful.
it was ok... i was expecting something more floral and hoppier... it was nicely warming. but as for Imperial Reds, it was sub-par.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.04/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ahoy there, matey!!! This here ale is FUKKIN EXPENSIVE!!! $4.49 for a 7 oz. bottle!!! "Oh, but it's so cuuute!"...Listen, bitch, you and toto can go back to fukking Kansas for all I care with that damn price point...this better be freaking GOOD, is all I can say...

Smells really awesome, like a bowl of crushed cherries...I like cherries...

OK, is it just me or is there really no flavor to this? It's really well balanced - perfectly in fact, between the malty and hops, but it's got no verve to it, no heft. It's balance is key and is excellent. The cherries hang out way in the background and the finish is long and good-bitter. But, seriously, that price point? Not for this, folks. Try once as novelty...

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Photo of jdhilt
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a one finger off-white head that fades quickly leaving traces of lace. Cloudy brown color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Light hoppy nose. Flavor is piney, resinous hops, hints of caramel, lingering bitter aftertaste. $4.49 for a wussy 7oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of bobhits
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark red color that turns opaque dark cloudy reddish. A small head that leaves some lacing, but the head vanishes in virtually no time.

A deep over powering malt aroma. Huge fruity, lightly hopped, very amber aroma. Smells like candy and perhaps grape soda?

Thick and syrupy body opening sweet, and just getting sweeter and sweeter as it goes down. There's a noticeable amount of hops at the finish, but they are just enough to barley subdue the malt before it just takes back over. I'm used to more hops in imperial reds. I'm sure this beer is at least a year old but thanks to rogue not labeling their beers I'm kinda left to guess on this one.

Despite the lack of carbonation in the head the beer drinks decently carbonated. A thick and creamy mouth that works rather well with the malty presence in this beer.

No my style but I enjoy what I'm getting here. It's far too malty for me, but somehow unlike most overly malty beer like this, this one does it in a very enjoyable way.

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Photo of dgilks
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Muted hop aroma out of this beer with light caramel and pine notes. fairly resinous but lacking a sense of vibrancy.

Hazy, red colour with a nice, fluffy, tan head.

The flavour isn't doing a lot for me. Moderately malty with a light toffee note with a moderate resinous hop presence. Firm bitterness is good but it lacks freshness and something really exciting.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

I don't like it that much. The hops I expect of a Rogue beer and of an Imperial Red Ale are lacking.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not gunna lie. It was the cute 7oz little bottle that persuaded me to drink this beer.

Pours a deep red/brown syrupy color. Mostly just a ring for a head. No lacing.

Aroma is mostly just malty. A little hops in there but mostly malt.

It tastes like an average brewpub beer. Like a brewpub making an imperial red. Nothing that just makes it stand out. It's imperial, it's red, it's just kinda hoppy, it's just there.

Mouthfeel is too thick. Carb needs to be bumped up too.

Overall I won't buy this again. Not worth it. Most rogue beers are just not exciting enough and living in so cal I can get my hands on way better beers.

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Photo of turbine2475
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Great maple red hue with an agressive cream colored head that leaves a moderate lace.
S - Maltedd toffee sweetness, slight caramel, and smokey hop presence.
T - Ester and hop start that has a slight roasty bitter.
M - Slightly chewy with a higher then normal carbonation.
D - Good beer, not really my style, but definately worth a try.

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Photo of farrago
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gives you a finger's worth of reddish brown foam, moderate density, yet, only average retention and little stick to the lacing. Cherry red wood coloration, just dark enough to get to opacity, more rust orange further out from the center. Caramel, butterscotch and coffee ice cream race out in front of the hops in the nose but the green grasses, orange rinds, pine needles run the former down quickly enough, the apricot, peach scents have a weak grip, peppery dissolve with elevating bitter white grapefruit citrus. Medium-bodied, the carbonation churns up the mouth entry to make it seem a touch bigger. More or less the same here except that the spicy pepper, pine and earthiness more pronounced, very herbaceous which ratchets up the sourness of the grapefruit, lemon, orange citrus. As your mouth acclimates to being scrubbed raw you can discern more toffee, caramel, honey maltiness, still, delivered in a roasted fashion. Apricot, apple, peach fruit nowhere near ripe but you can say it marks out a clear place. Provides enough of the raw material but somehow it does not coalesce into a greater whole. Becomes tiring to drink after awhile.

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Photo of mhewes
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A : Pours a nice red hue with lots of head.

S : Lots of malt sweetness and a touch of alcohol

T : It's well balanced with strong malts and some hop bitterness on the backend. However, the alcohol really shines through on this one. It would be better if that was mellowed out.

M : Smooth with good carbonation

D : Drinkable but not worth the price due to the ceramic bottle

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.26/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got a chance to try this thanks to a friend. Amber-red color, not much of a head. Smells malty, grainy, hmmm. Flavor has a little bit of hops but seems a lot more like a pumped up amber than what I think of as a hoppy red. This is nowhere near other imperial reds like OB Gordon. I feel sorry for anyone who actually paid the retail price on this beer....

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Photo of jmz62565
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark deep mahogony with a huge tan foamy head. The head lasts forever and leaves great lacing. The smell is pungent with bread yeast,sweet malt, and some carmel. The taste is sharp with bitter and citrus hops,carmel,sweet malt,and alcohol. The taste is dominated by the bitter hops and alcohol and overpowers the sweet malt and carmel flavors. It's OK,but not Rogues best. The m/f is medium with the flavors not mixing all that great. This is only an average beer and I'm alittle disapointed in Rogue.

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Photo of bashiba
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

From a $5 7oz bottle, Poured a deep amber color with a thin ring of tan head.

The smell was a nice deep caramel malt with subtle hop aroma.

The flavor is mild and balanced with some nice dark fruit notes in the malt and a good mild bitter pine finish.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick and a touch warm.

Might be a decent drink, but at the price it would cost you $10 for a full glass, pretty out of control when I get 6pks of other top notch imperial reds for about the same price. Between this and the XS bitter it has made me swear off every buying another Rogue again, I always end up feeling angry and embarrassed that I paid this much for what is always an average beer.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Small 7oz bottle, which I love. Perfect sampling size for one.

Pours a murky reddish-brown mahogany colour, with a fine head of beige. Almost frothed open when uncapped, and there was plenty of disturbed sediment, even leaving the last centimetre or so in the bottle. Nice heavy body. Looks pretty decent.

Nose is very malt-driven, with a big boozy alcohol presence as well. Caramel and port, with touches of brandy, raisins and butter, with only a slight herbal or grassy tone to suggest any hops. Oddly, it lacks a little roundness, as though it doesn't have the real sweetness of the characters, just their essence. Not bad, but not astonishing.

Taste is also very similar. Weak body that doesn't fill the palate, with just a whiff of overcooked toffee before a melange of booze and hop oil bitterness creeps in through the centre to the back. Shocked at the lack of body and sweetness—this feels unbalanced and empty even for what would be an insane hop-driven beer—it makes it feel stale, thin and rather insipid.

A big let-down from Rogue. I love American Reds and I love Rogue (mostly), but this dropped the ball on both counts from my expectations. It ends up being a pretty average beer, and it should be a lynchpin of their high-end range.

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Photo of froghop
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear burgundy with a large tan head, and very good lacing.

smell of cocoa, burnt caramel, spice, hint of dark fruits, some citrus, and malt.

taste is smooth, hoppy, nutty, some malt, a little sour, caramel, spice, pepper, and some chocolate, ends on the bitter side and a little dry.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Deep amber color that is on the brown side, one inch off white head that is somewhat creamy, some retention, weak lacing
S-Sweet malt, spices, cinnamon, caramel, apples, toffee, faint hoppiness, oranges, booze, and sugar
T-Starts off sweet and full of fruit, bready in the middle, finish is boozy and in desperate need of dryness and hops from the very beginning, gets even more sweet each sip I take, too sugary and reliant on malt, this style needs balance and this definitely does not have it, need to see less hot flavors too, pungent going down
M-Medium bodied but pretty thick, needed a lot more carbonation because of its thickness, spicy, sweet, hot, oily, and chewy mouthfeel, taste lingers a long time
D-This stuff is hard to drink and tastes much hotter than it really is, ABV is only nine percent but it is not hidden, heavy on the stomach with sweetness too, not smooth or inviting

Nothing too special here, def wouldnt spend the $15 again for this

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XS Imperial Red from Rogue Ales
86 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.
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