XS Imperial Red | Rogue Ales

XS Imperial RedXS Imperial Red
Liked This Beer
3.81 w/ 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 291 |  Reviews: 191
Photo of CHADMC3
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red to almost walnut brown with a thin, foamy tan head leaving very little lacing behind.

Sweet caramel and toffee malt with dry earthy hops and some bread like aspects.

Earthy hops, more caramel malt, and dark fruitiness highlight the palate.

Medium in body and carbonation with a nice dry finish and very nice palate balance hiding the abv.

This beer has a great flavor balance and hidden abv, is very refreshing and well built.

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Photo of Seru1
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On Tap into a snifter

Appearance- Dark Ruby hues, with a medium tan head a dime in thickness.

Smell- Red fruits with bready and floral notes, spicey citrus aromas near the top of the glass.

Taste- Pleasant mellow maltiness, builds to extreme earthy hopped notes. Almost overwhelming

Mouthfeel- Very longlasting and pervading, this beer will stick around.

Drinkability- Extremely hoppy, I'd find it hard to have more than one in a sitting. The bitterness and spiceyness is abit much for me. Fans of such thyings would be pleased though.

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Photo of coachdonovan
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
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 atpben
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at the El Bait Shop in Des Moines. Poured into a snifter. Appears a nice dark amber color with a big malty aroma. I got hints of a strawberry choclate cake. More of the same in the taste with hints of caramel and cherries. Excellent balance in this beer with good smoothness. Finishes quite dry. I love this beer. Will definately try again.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An expensive bottle, thanks Boutip. An amber with good bitterness, balanced malt and some roast. Off white head lots of lace,even barleywinish. A tad chocolate malt, Palisade and Aroma Crystal hops, Pacman Yeast. A winner for people moving up the crafty brew food chain.

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Photo of jgap
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Year old bottle pours a ruby read with a good amount of head that fades after half the glass. I can hear the carbonation. Smell has a strong malt character and a hint of hops with some alcohol. Taste is strong, thick toffee malts up front fading to a nice, easy hoppiness then to a slight alcohol. Feel is thicker than most similar styles. Overall it's very close to a nice barleywine. I really like this beer. I have a second bottle I'll keep for another year.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful, rich, dark ruby in color, nice thick creamy tan head (maybe a finger and a half) and good lacing. Slightly cloudy.

Smells sweet and fruity, a little wet pine.

Taste is a strong but not overwhelming hoppy bitterness with a great balance of fruity sweetness, slight molasses flavor and a little smoke.

Mouthfeel is thick but airy -- good level of carbonation. Nice drinkable beer.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle tried 26 Mar 2009. Courtesy of jtrockchalk, thanks!

Poured in Sierra Nevada pint. Medium sized light orange-brown head, long lasting. Moderate carbonation. Cloudy brick reddish brown in color. Aromas of butterscotch, salt water taffy, cashews and peanut brittle. Initially seems like a light barleywine, ethanol and raisins to start. Alcohol gradually moves to the background and some toffee becomes apparent. Light chocolate undertones. Bittersweet and alcohol finish. Some citrus in the aftertaste. Medium body, sticky mouthfeel. Alcohol seems more than 9%.

Well done but judging by the other reviews and beerspy I can see how the price would keep people away from this.

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Photo of Kendo
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got it on tap at the Lionheart in Albany on 3-25-09.

A: Body is dark amber with a ruby-red tint to it. A small ivory head leaves behind sheets of lace.

S: Mainly sweet stuff -- caramel malt, toffee and even some brown sugar. A hint of piney hops in there too, however, with a touch of citrus fruit.

T: Follows the nose -- caramel malt, toffee, baked bread and an unidentified spice character. Hops add some citrus and pine. Pine finish balances the sweet malt profile a bit.

M: Heavy in weight, slightly slick and oily in feel.

D: I like this style, so I did pretty well with it. But I think the heft and sweetness will lead many to go slow with this one.

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

The Dry Hopped Red is one of my favourite beers, so I have been hankering out to try this one. What better then to celebrate my graduation!

Pours out a very dark brown/ruby colour, with a fluffy bubbly head which slowly dissipitates into lacing around the edges of the glass. A slight cloud sits in the middle of the liquid, all spotty.

Big malty caramels, hints of chocolate coated licorice, and a candy like alcohol give way to some mild hoppy, woody notes. Not as hoppy in smell as I would think it would be, and more robust malts.

Initial burst of malt notes, with hints of chocolate come through, before a delicious balanced hoppy taste. This beer seems to be just below a barleywine in terms of maltiness, but similar flavours from the malts, with a way more balanced hop taste.

Not really what I was expecting, but very nice and drinkable, with very little alcohol noticed. The body is smooth and moderate to heavy, with a tingling sensation.

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Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse. Served in a 20 oz. pint for $7. Appears a dark red with a short off-white tan. The aroma and flavor are surprisingly mild, but the drinkability is good for such strong beer. To me it'd be more accurate to call it an imperial Irish red ale, as the amped up flavors, when dialed back seem more like the mellow caramel malts of an Irish red. There's a splash of spicy citrus at the beer's finish, but the flavors here are noon too big.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml ceramic swing-top bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright coppery red color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, some hops and some citrus.

T: The taste is malty up front with sweet flavors of caramel, tea and citrus. Then there's a strong hops bitterness that comes in to provide a good balance. There's a mild alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, like all of the XS Series beers that I've had, this is a good beer with a lot of strength and a lot of substance that is well-worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of stephens101
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm working my way through the XS series slowly, mainly because of price, but also because they seem to be hit or miss so far. This one looks promising though. A thin, mostly bubbly two finger tan head quickly turns into a fairly thick one finger head, stands still for a while, then fades, leaving a good sheet of lacing around the pint glass. Color is dark amber. The nose involves a good amount of caramel like malts mixed in with some chocolate, some nuttiness, then some hops at the end. Taste big on the caramel with a nice hop bite on the finish. There's not a whole lot else going on, maybe some alcohol in there. It has a medium mouth-feel and medium carbonation. Not my favorite XS so far, but I'm not really for sure what an Imperial Red is supposed to taste like, so I have nothing to judge it against. That being said, it's not bad overall, and I like the good mix of sweetness and bitterness and the fact that they're taking the Red Ale up a notch.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice looking clear red color with a finger of slightly off white head. Really good lacing.

S: It is a Rogue so the first thing you get it a very over hopped nose. There is some sweetness in there as well with a slight hint of the alcohol.

T: Mostly just some malt and hops. Nothing too crazy which works in this beer's favor. It can get a little bit overpowering at times. Tons of hop bitterness with some citrus as well.

M: A little bit on the sticky side. Medium to heavy mouthfeel.

D: Not too bad. Glad I got it on tap and did not have to try it out of one of those overprices ceramic bottles. A decent beer. Reminded me of lagunitas Lucky 13 which IMO is better and less than half the price.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Equal parts brick red and ferric oxide orange with bright tangerine borders. What a lovely (and appropriate) hue given the style. The pale butter toffee colored cap is richly creamy and is sticky enough to leave impressive looking sheets of lace on the upper part of the glass. Subsequent pours look even better.

The aroma is a mixture of caramel (crystal malt) and an earthy nuttiness (Munich malt), in addition to a nonspecific fruitiness from the Palisade and Crystal hops. The chocolate malt isn't appreciated per se, but it's undoubtedly adding 'oomph' on the bottom end. A more impressive hoppiness on the top end might have led to a higher score.

I'll say one thing for Rogue, they Nine Inch Nailed the style. It can't be easy to brew a beer that tastes like an Imperial red ale and nothing else. Whether it's good beer or not is an entirely different matter. Hmmm... the jury is still out. It is growing on me, however.

The beer earns points and respect by having an impressive amount of boldness, not all of which is due to a considerable (although fairly well-buried) alcohol presence. The sneakily complex flavor profile includes well-toasted brown bread, steely caramel, orange peel, peanuts and tobacco. The hops make more of an impression as the beer gains a few degrees, especially with respect to bitterness.

The mouthfeel oozes quality, which is typical for these guys. It has the smoothness (due to malt) and the firmness (due to alcohol) of tempered glass. Big beer lovers should be right in their comfort zone. Did I mention the perfect carbonation?

Rogue Ales has taken their fair share of shots for their business practices, but they almost always come through where it matters most. Even though I have no interest in purchasing another bottle of Imperial Red anytime soon, I have no regrets about plunking down the cash for this one.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
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 LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/3/08. On tap at Ginger Man. Pours a dirty brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of caramel and toasted malt, flowery hops, and perfumy sweet malt. Flavor of cracker malt, sweet fruits, raisin, raspberry leaf cookies, and slight iced tea. Nice and tasty.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

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Photo of kevd193213
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ceramic bottle. Reddish amber pour with a huge frothy tanned head that stayed there forever. Great lacing. Aroma of malt and hops. Overpowering sticky taste of malt with a bitter peppery and citrus hop and alcohol finish. Good, but the price tag was pretty steep.

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Photo of brendan13
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured from the 750ml ceramic bottle into a tulip glass a dark copper colour with a couple of centimetres of off white head that falls leaving a bit of lacing down the glass.
S - A toasty and caramel malt with some dark fruit hints dominates but there is some floral and fruity hops to back it up.
T - Much like the smell. The toasty and caramel malt is at the front but then the fruity and floral hops come through to balance it out.
M - Medium to full bodied, lingering sweet caramel taste. Sticky sweetness hangs around too. Fairly low carbonation.
D - Full of flavour and something I'd drink again, not on a regular basis however.

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Photo of ccrida
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at the PDX public house, Imperial Red is hazy amber with with a small eggshell head that leaves decent lace.

Smell is pretty hoppy, citrus, and sweet, a bit like a BSPA or saison.

Taste is great, very bright, the citrus hops and sweet malts combine in a watermelon jolly flavor that is very tasty if you don't mind candy like beer.

Mouthfeel is oily and slick, not to heavy, a nice, softer carbonation.

Drinkability is good, I really like this beer, but it's a bit sweet and strong to session with. Still, the alcohol is well hidden, and it's damn tasty.

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Photo of Fatduck
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a hazy deep red color, with a sticky thick head.

S - Fruity, hoppy and malty. It's balanced and fresh.

T - This beer is great! Its malty sweet and robust, well rounded hop bitterness. Very good beer.

M - Thick and chewy, this isn't what I expected, but its great, feels like a strong ale, or a trippel...

D - One was more than enough, even split between two people. I love the big XS rogue bottles, but they can be hard to finish.

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Photo of riored4v
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 4/27/08

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Fairly thin, off-white/tan head. Murky and ruby in color.

Smell was dominated by malt sweetness and raisins.

Taste was of caramel, malt sweetness and some roastiness. No real hop character although there was a mildness bitterness. Alcohol hottness was very present which surprised me for the 9% and it being a Red.

Mouthfeel was fairly thick and semi-sticky.

Drankibility is so-so. The flavors and aftertaste are interesting, but not something I would probably want to try again. Alcohol hottness is very present and doesn't make it much of an easy drinker.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy copper color ale with a good size foamy head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma consists of big caramel malt notes with some slightly bitter notes also discernable. Taste is also a mix between some big caramel malt with some slightly dry bitter hops at the end. I was expecting a hop bomb since the bottle is relatively fresh but all I got was a big malt bomb (not that this is a bad thing I just wasn't expecting it). Full body with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well done.

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Photo of Douglas14
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-brown color with a nice thick head. The nose is predominately of hops, malt, and oak. It has pretty nice aroma. The taste is similar but it has a much larger earthy-wood flavor to it and is very sweet. Hops are very present and the carbonation fits perfectly with this beer. Good stuff.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
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
Beer rating: 64.6% out of 100 with 291 ratings
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