XS Imperial Red | Rogue Ales

very good
191 Reviews
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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 291
Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml black ceramic swing-top bottle:

Pours hazed dark copper with a pretty thick head that settles to a thin, lasting head. Good retention for the style.

The smell is of chocolate and caramel. Rogue's signature Pac-man yeast strain is there. Some floral notes mix in.

The taste is malty - toffeeish - with a tea-leaf/floral bitterness. Sweetish with a bitterness mixed in.

Medium-bodied - alcohol covered pretty well in the taste, though it comes out quickly in the aftertaste.

There is a contrasting sweetness and bitterness. Not bad, but not a big fan, esp. considering the price.

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

750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep red, nearly brown with a nice few fingers of off white head. Leaves some sticky lacing as well.

Smell is interesting. Just a hint of citrusy hops take a back seat to chocolate malts.

Taste goes the same way. Suprisingly chocolatey malt dominates. Develops a fruity characteristic as it warms.

Overall, tasty beer. Not what I was expecting. I never really know what to expect with the Imperial Reds and American Strong Ales. Either way, this was enjoyed.

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Photo of Deuane
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep dark reddish brown with a quickly falling tan head...nice lacing thru.

S-Rich malt with hints of peppery hops.

T-Strong peppery hop bitterness with nice balance from healthy malt sweetness. A bit of smokiness creeps into the background.

M- Big, bold and rich with tons of residual hop bitterness.

D-Solid, not my favorite hop profile but I enjoyed this nonetheless. A very rich beer.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.41/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fancy, 26 ounce ceramic bottle. I still miss the very reasonably priced 12 ounce Rogue XS glass bottles but I do have to admit this bottle is cool looking. Been ecited about the Rogue Imperial Red since I first saw that article about it on BA.

Poured into a snifter glass.

A - Very very nice deep dark red. Beer lets nearly no light through, can barely see my fingers on the other side of the glass when I hold it to the light. Nice finger of off white head. Great looking DARK red beer.

S - Smells of nice fruits, along with some hop added in there.

T - Wow. Booze is totally hidden. Beer starts with flavors of dark fruits. Goes into a caramel tone with hop bitterness coming through in the end. The alcohol is barely, if at all noticeable. Beer finishes with a spicy flavor and then a dry after taste.

M - Nice and full. Fairly heavy feel with some surprisingly lively bubbles on the tongue.

D - An incredibly drinkable beer. To hide the alcohol this well in a strong red like this leads to serious drinkability with all that flavor going on. Very nice.

Notes: Imperial red is a style that is so open to interpretation. This is almost a cross between an American Strong Ale (Ala Arrogant Bastard) but has many characteristics of an American Barleywine, just less abrasive than most. A very unique beer.

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

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark red body with a small, creamy, and downright lasting beige head.

Smell: Caramel aroma with full notes of fruit and pithy citrus rinds. Just a pinch of spiced brown sugar.

Taste: Caramel and brown sugar bring a fair amount of sweetness. Moderate bitterness and a citrusy hop flavor. Some earthy spice hints along the way. Finishes dry and bitter, as one would expect. The 9% really makes itself known in this brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Creamyish mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Decent enough for a hop-forward Imperial Red.

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Photo of atsprings
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Village Draft House. Served in a standard pint glass a deep copper amber with a decent off white head that diminishes to a ring and leaves spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma was a nice amount of citrus hops with caramel and toffee not far behind. Hops dominated in the taste as well, the beer became slightly more balanced as it warmed, but not much. The beer was medium bodied, I was quite surprised to bring my notes home and discover that the beer was 9%, it was very well hidden. This one is certainly enjoyable, just not quite worth the usual Rouge XS bottle price tag.

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Photo of ojiikun
4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the lovely and typical XS line bottle - a heavy stonework 750mL with a cap and flip-top. Popped with a good hiss but no fireworks, slid into my tulip with zero excitement and only a layer of head like fog rolling across a field. Settles to a solid ring around the glass's edge with spidery lines across the middle. Dark cherry-red body with a fine, fine haze of particles. What head you can conjure with a swirl (which is surprisingly a lot, considering how much it started with) is rather tan.

Smell is banannas and caramel - Banannas Foster, maybe? Malt structure is complex to this nose with a full spectrum of sweet, light notes, savoury caramel notes, and tight chocolate hints now and then. Booze is apparant and is the vehicle for the bananna along with a nice blood-orange tinged hop scent. Warm tones of fresh oak and leather abound.

Taste comes in many waves. At first things are much more mellow than expected with bready, funky yeast hiding under a really open palate. Then things sweeten back up and the booze hits you, bringing some spice and more citrus - peel this time. Finally the alphas grab hold and bring you to an almost herbal and taste that compliments the finishing chocolate.

Mouthfeel is heavy by any standard, but the brief feeling of lightness at the beginning of every sip really keeps it going down smoothly. Carbonation is right where it ought to be. Coats the lips, but only for a moment.

This beer is truth in advertising - imagine a really basic red ale, then double all the characteristics and make the ingredients twice the quality. It'd be unimaginative if anyone else had done it first, but precedent aside this one stands on it's own. Highly recommended as a continued intro to real beer for the initiate when weird, spicy belgians aren't an option and the IIPAs are getting a bit overwhelming.

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Photo of grub
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

sampled on tap at coles in buffalo, ny jan 5/08.

pours deep red-brown, almost opaque, with a small dense tan head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is good. toasted wheat bread. light alcohol. bit of grapefruit. hints of dark chocolate and smoke.

taste is good. medium-high bitterness level. grapefruit and orange. toasted wheat bread. light alcohol. bit of toffee.

mouthfeel is nice. medium-low carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is pretty good. slightly unbalaned towards bitterness, but good overall.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a Pint Glass at Barleys Taproom in Greenville, SC

A – Poured a very deep ruby tinted brown with lots of reddish hues easily visible on both the sides and bottom of the glass. A nice and quite large three finger high head of sticky and foamy off white lace was perched up on top of it and hung around for a good five minutes or so making a very strong and long lasting impression. When it did finally decide to come down it only left behind large quantities of sticky side glass lace that coated the entire inside of the glass. The appearance was somewhat cloudy obscuring any visible view of the carbonation that might have lain inside.

S – The aroma was full of hops which made my day as soon as I caught a whiff of it. Very deep resin like hops just permeated through the air creating a large sweet aroma. This was huge with pine nugget goodness and stickiness so strong you could smell it. After I was able to push my way past this I found a very nice and thick malted backbone that was full of deep earthen grains and roasted malts, and a nice caramel coating that seemed to tie it all together very nicely. The aroma was just fantastic and to be honest almost seemed as though it had been dry hopped, just very fresh and full.

T – The flavor was just spot on. I was not really sure what this was going to bring, especially since I did not even know that they had it before I asked, but once I finally got to try it, I new exactly what Rogue was going for here with this one. This was a big highly hopped and very full red ale. The flavor was great, huge resin pine with a sugary caramel sweetness balancing it very nicely. The backbone being the roasted malts consisting of a nice spattering of cereal grain and earthy grasses. All of this seamlessly blended together in a thick mix of almost chewy goodness. The finish was very long and drawn out, soaking up every last bit of flavor from your mouth before finally letting go and relaxing its grip on you.

M – This was quite thick actually, much more full bodied then I thought it would be. It had a very thick feel, almost syrup like in consistency, but the carbonation kept it from getting out of hand. The hops were almost chewy they were so thick and prominent here. The finish was very long and drawn out, utilizing the best of the deep hop flavors.

D – This was simply amazing as to how drinkable it actually was. Now for a large red, being over 9%abv I did not even for a second realize or think that this was that strong. It was just too good to think there was that much alcohol in it. It was simply smooth, with a great profile and a chewy fresh hop consistency. I honestly could have drunk this one all day long, it was just that good.

Overall this is by far and away a winner. I was extremely impressed and to be honest would consider this one of my favorite I have ever had from Rogue. Now I am sure it will still be wonderful in the bottle, but I have to admit that on tap this one is almost perfect. I would love to have this again any day, and will defiantly seek it out once I see the bottles floating around.

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

I got this Rogue JLS series on tap at the Brew Kettle on 12/28/07. It came to me at the right temp and in a standard American pint glass. At first glance it looks like a cranberry red, but when held up into the light, it's a totally different color. In the light, it's a strong murky mahogany brown. It almost looked like dirty brown water you wouldn't touch with a 10 ft pole. It had a small off white colored head of foam with decent retention that left behind a small white film, white foamy rings, and 3 big streaks of white lace. The aroma was that of sweet juicy fruits, citrus fruits, citrus hops, and a pinch of toffee and toasted malts. I've never had a beer where the initial taste of dry citrus hops kept on getting stronger and stronger as the taste wore on. Along with these dry citrus fruits (if you can find them), there was just a hint of toasted malts and toffee. The mouthfeel was extremely dry with dry citrus hops and toasted malts. Since this was a strong dry citrus hop aftertaste, that taste lingered on your taste buds for quite a long time. For some reason, I actually enjoyed drinking this Rogue beer. I don't know if I would enjoy it this much if it came from a bottle, but I'm sure as hell would like another pint of this if I can ever find it on tap again.

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

Had on tap at Eli Cannon's in CT. The beer was a dark brown shade of red, nearly opaque from the haziness, with a very thin head. The aroma wasn't nearly as hoppy as I'd hoped (guessing from the "Imperial" in the name that this would be highly hopped). Mostly it was malty to the nose, while slightly biting with hops to the tongue. Actually I tasted no sweet complements to the hops, this really does not offer competition to Lagunitas Imperial Red. It's OK but not terrific.

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