XS Imperial Red | Rogue Ales

very good
291 Ratings
XS Imperial RedXS Imperial Red

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 291 |  Reviews: 191
Photo of beertunes
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

7oz Nip bottle. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clear, deep ruby color with about a 1/4 inch of light tan head that had low retention and lacing.

The aroma was slightly hop forward, with a nice malt base also having a solid presence. On the tongue it's bitter hops upfront, slightly sweet malt in the middle and very bitter hops on the finish.

The body was a bit thinner than I like for this style. Drinkability was decent but not special. Overall, a decent beer that's worth a try, especially since you can just get a Nip and not commit to a whole 22.

 555 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 7 oz (small!) bottle.

This score/review is based on allowing this beer to warm and drinking it cool, not chilled. Review of the chilled beer would be substantially worse and I changed this review significantly after beer warmed closer to room termperature.

Pours dark copper brown with a very thin and quickly fading tan head.

Extremely faint nose-almost non existent but hints of cooked fruit and prune and chocolate coffee. Nose improves with time and a bit like Dr. Pepper or warm cola. Get more like elegant cooked fruit and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is actually bold, full and lightly creamy. Mouthfilling and leaves you wanting more.

Flavors are somewhat unique. First taste or two is not very good and is like stale burned coffee. Flavors improve as beer warms and become much more appealing - malty, big coffee, bitter espresso, hints of Dr. Pepper and undertones of black chocolate. Rich malty toasted grain and "sweet toast."

Finish is really best part - all chocolate espresso with a rich bitter character.

A great example of give a beer a chance to open up like you would a wine. The one ends up being very appealing and would likely be really good with BBQ, big meats, among other things.

 1,217 characters

Photo of joshstevens87
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a red/slight brown with about a half inch of dirty white head
S-big bready malts and dark fruit with a bit of hops and alcohol in the background
T-much like smell with a little bit of a nutty character, a nice complex taste of tons of malts and a bit of hops that are perfectly understated
M-a rather light mouthfeel even for a heavier beer and a modest bit of carbonation
D-overall a delicious complex beer that drinks dangerously for its abv

 452 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Ceramic 750ml XS bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Pours a dark brownish red color with a light tan head with good lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is largely comprised of malt and caramel with a hint of dark fruits and a moderate hop presence. A pretty solid aroma, would like to have a bit more of a hop presence in this one but it is solid the way it is.

T- The taste like the aroma is big and malty with caramel and dark fruits. The hops come out more in the taste compared to the aroma. This is a pretty nice balanced imperial red, I like it so far!

M- The mouthfeel is full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Rogue Imperial Red is a winner in my book. The price in the ceramic XS bottles is a little out of my price range for a repeat purchase, but it is a solid beer that is definitely worth a try.

 859 characters

Photo of gordavidson
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A deep, red-orange liquid with a touch of haze to it. The creamy bone white head is thin and has good retention.

S- Grapefruit rind, vanilla, and alcohol. A little subtle and plain.

T- Watermelon, vanilla, alcohol, and grapefruit. Has a bit of a bourbon aspect to it. Complex and intriguing.

M- Smooth with a warming alcohol presence at the end.

D- The alcohol becomes more apparent as the beer warms. Smooth and complex, but does not live up to the almost $1 per ounce price tag.

 487 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One-finger head, leaves nice ring lace. The liquor is dark amber and quite cloudy.

Mild aroma of darker malt and light alcohol. I smell some cream as well.

Starts off as lightly sweet malt, but quickly gives way to a strong bitterness that did not show up in the smell. Nicely complex. Expected body and carbonation. The aftertaste is bitter and lasting. Interestingly, there is nearly no notable alcohol.

 407 characters

Photo of Tilley4
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 7 oz bottle into a Perfect Pint...

A very cloudy murky reddish brown appearance to this one... Not the brilliantly deep red I was hoping for... A little carbonation and a decent head make up for it a bit but not the most beautiful of reds ever... Appearance is overrated in my book anyway..

Very sweet malty aromas mingle with a sharp piney hoppiness and a pronounced whiff of heat... Neither one wants to dominate here but I can say the booze is coming through loud and clear... Yowza... Almost a cotton candy-like sweetness to the malt aroma...

Very thick creamy brew with a fruity maltiness that's loaded with booze right off the bat that finishes with a longering piney aspect... No hop bitterness here, just a piney flavor that seems overwhelmed by the malts... Not sure how fresh this is or how hoppy its designed to be but it seems a little lacking to me...

Overall not quite up to par with the others in the XS family... Nice to try, even nicer that I found it in the 7 oz bottle as opposed that big swingtop...

 1,032 characters

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

Poured from 7oz bottle into Ommegang branded tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark copper color with a small beige head that dissipates slowly and leaves heavy lace.

Smell: Caramel malt aromas with lots of sweetness and some floral notes, with the distinctive Rogue tea aroma.

Taste: Begins with caramel sweetness, finishing with sweet buttery flavors and a nice toasty bitterness, with some alcohol hints.

Mouthfeel: Thick body with light carbonation and a sticky finish that dries out.

Drinkability: A nice beer overall, and one of the better amber ales I have tried. Definitely worth a try.

Thanks to wahmaster for sending me two bottles of this stuff as a late Cinco de Mayo gift!

 683 characters

Photo of andyfrancis
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

7 oz bottle.

Pretty deep amber color. Creamy tan head. Some visible light carbonation.

Some hops on the nose along with some dark fruit and spice.

Nice bloom of flavors. A little dry hop bitterness followed by spicy sweetness.

Lingering mildly bitter, yet sweet finish.

Very drinkable considering the complex flavor and alcohol content.

 344 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from 7 ounce bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint. Pours reddish brown with a one-finger off-white head that subsides to a minimal amount. There was minimal lacing throughout. The flavor was comprised of hops and malt. The flavor was of hops with a slight malt note upon being swallowed. It was medium on the palate with low carbonation. Overall I was surprised to see this amount of hops show up in a red ale. While surprised, it was welcomed as well. I mainly bought this one due to the little bottle. It was a very nice brew but I don't think I could drink a large quantity of it in one sitting however.

 617 characters

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

Poured a 7oz bottle into a tulip. The deer reddish-brown beer with a yellowish-tan head is slightly cloudy and has great lacing.

The nose is piny hops and floral notes. Malts provide a backbone but hops are the main player. Alcohol warts and reminds me that this is a 9% beer.

The taste is packed with hoppy goodness and malty yummies. It is full and well balanced for anything with this much taste. I enjoy the sweetness and the grassy flavors that accompany the hops.

The mouthfeel is big and full ant the carbonation is likewise strong. I like the dry finish and the lingering grain notes.

This is another awesome beer from Rogue. I am pleased to be a member of the Rogue nation, unofficially at least.


 719 characters

Photo of Durge
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another goody found at the Great Lost Bear in Portland ,ME, this brew is a deep dark carmel brown color with a reasonable grey tan head and a decent rim of lacing along the sides of the tulip glass. The aroma is alcohol wheat caramel, not real special but okay. The flavor is solid toffee malt and very notable herbal hops in a medium bodied brew with mild carbonation. I pick up some raisin and allspice perhaps. A little bit resinous, smooth but not too thick. Quite drinkable and a very tasty red ale with some alcohol presence and plenty of hop enjoyment.

 559 characters

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

Poured from 7 oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: dark, hazy brown with a slight amber tinge. Head is a finger of creamy foam half way between ivory and a light tan color.

Smell: big malt aroma, slightly biscuity, with a hint of alcohol pepperiness. Hops are bright, metallic and citrusy. It smells pretty good!

Taste: thick malt flavor with a pretty nice malt profile. It tastes like a standard red ale, only more so -- which I'm guessing is exactly what they were attempting. Malt is biscuity, which, while not my favorite, is certainly to style; hops tend toward citrus and metallic notes, but aren't overpowering. This beer is not hopped out of proportion to its malt. I'd call it a success.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body has a thick, unctuous, almost syrupy consistency, combined with a solid level of carbonation. This has a creamy, roamy and all-around a great mouth feel.

Drinkability: quite drinkable. I might mark it higher, but a beer with this high an ABV and this much flavor can only be consumed in so-much quantity. Still, very nice.

 1,053 characters

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.

 633 characters

Photo of wahhmaster
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 7 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Dark ruby-red in color. Has a thick, creamy head that dissipates slowly and leaves considerable lacing.

Smell: Caramel malts dominate with a faint alcohol smell in the background.

Taste: Slightly hoppy bitterness up front. Develops into a malty finish with caramel and roasted malts dominating. Has a strong alcohol warmth to it (duh, it's an "Imperial" red).

Mouthfeel: A little light-bodied for this kind of beer but nothing too bad.

Drinkability: Overall, not a bad beer but probably not worth the price. Also, the 7 oz. bottling doesn't really lend itself to proper tasting. Nevertheless, the "Imperial Red" style is interesting and something I wouldn't mind seeing more of.

 742 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a tiny 7 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

It hardly looks red at all. It looks more of a muddy brown color with hues of orange and red. Head retention is about average, very little lacing sticks to the glass. The aroma is fine at first, but becomes more intense as time passes. Fruity esters, toffee, and pineapple all greet the nose.

Rogue XS Imperial Red is what I call a good one. Pineapple are first to arrive, then comes some soft notes of fruity esters. A little resin hits and sticks to the palate. Bread crust....ok. The alcohol makes itsslef noticable with a fume of itself. Carbonation is just a touch pricklier than I'd prefer, but the body remains medium in size.

Not mind blowing despite the added XS monikor, but still a good imperial red. Hoppy and malty at the same time is the common way to excecute the style, and that's the path this beer takes.

 871 characters

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.

 506 characters

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.

 1,147 characters

Photo of vkv822
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

7oz bottle into pint glass.

Cloudy amber red color with a thick, foamy beige head. Sweet malty with nice hop notes. The flavor is has a nice malt base, with pleasant hop accents. The mouthfeel is enjoyable and medium bodied, with a good level of carbonation. Overall this is a fairly drinkable beer, though I do wish it was offered in something besides 7oz bottles, as I would like to have a bit more to really be able to get a good taste for it.

 447 characters

Photo of BruMeister
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep red color with creamy head
Smell: Hoppiness noted more than malt character.
Taste: moderately bitter tends to overpower maltiness strong alcohol taste on initial taste.
Body: medium
Drinkability: bite of hop and alcohol content makes this a one beer per night offering.

 289 characters

Photo of evilkalla
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7 oz bottle into an ale glass.

A - dark red/brown color. Poured with a very thin head that disappeared after about 20 seconds.

S - my nose is broken and I'm not smelling much lately.

T - malty at first and then aggressive hop notes. More hops than malt in this one, seems to be Rogue's style.

M - decent carbonation and the feel of citrus hoppiness in the mouth.

D - pretty good. I could definitely drink a few of these in a sitting if it wasn't for the ABV. Would buy again.

 482 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tulip glass this beer was a dark red/brown color with a rim of tan head. Sweet malt aroma, as well as a bit of flowery odor. Mostly sweet malt taste, some cherry, and a little bit of piney hops. Dry mouthfeel. Not bad, but I was expecting more. Maybe try again.

 266 characters

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ordered at a local bar here in Blacksburg. Kinda disappointed in the pour because it has a flat head and little lacing. The smell is a little faint as well. Where this beer shines is it flavor...lots of dry earthy hops and a nice caramelized malt backbone. Finishes super dry with a lingering piney aftertaste. There are hints of caramelized tones from the grain bill.

Overall from the "big beer" series from Rogue I wanted more but still impressed

 450 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7 oz. bottle,

A: Pours darkest of red hues, almost brown with a light off white head with spotty lacing.

S: Sweet smelling, residual crystal malt sugar, light hop notes.

T: Heavy crystal malt flavour, red ale on steriods. Not too complex, the Rogue yeast is very clean, minor hopping on the back end adds an intriguing mint component.

M: Pretty full body, smooth for sure, no alcohol is noticable.

D: This is a nice enough beer. I'm glad I only paid the $4.50 once, $15 for a 750 would have pissed me off a bit. I liked it, it's not worth that price.

 555 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

7oz. bottle split & poured into a snifter. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a cloudy reddish to brown cider like appearance. Left no head.

(S)- A light spiciness with a touch of apples & honey. Small hints of ginger & vanilla.

(T)- A bold spicy hoppiness with hints of apple, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Rather woody; hinting at the hop addition. Crisp. Lots of dry wood & bark-like flavors.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A decent balance of hops and malt, but primarily hoppy. Was expecting more.

(D)- Not bad. Glad I bought the little bottle; definitely not worth blowing $16-20 on the big ceramic bottle of this. Has a good taste & crispness for the style, but was expecting more malts to come through for the style.

 721 characters

XS Imperial Red from Rogue Ales
3.8 out of 5 based on 291 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.