Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

XS Imperial Red | Rogue Ales

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
XS Imperial RedXS Imperial Red
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 291 |  Reviews: 191
Photo of soccerman7
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - deep brown with a pleasant sandy head that left a touch of lacing.

smell - sweet, malty, toasted bread. faint hops.

Taste - very different. complex, sweetness, citrus almost grapefruit bitterness. flavor lingers to coffee somewhat.

mouth - a nice lingering feel. smooth but not coating as many imperials are.

drink - worth trying and is a very new style. its interesting.

 388 characters

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The nose on the beer has a sweet malt with hints of caramels. The beer pours a very dark red with a off white/tan head with pretty good retention. The beer looks pretty good and like an extreme red ale. The beer has a really good caramel malt with a nice hop bite at the end. This is pretty much like a buffed up Rogue American Ale. This has a really good balance from the sweet usual red taste, bitter, and hop flavour. The beer is thick and creamy, this is about perfect. The beer is really drinkable.

I'd like the beer to be a bit more aromatic with hops, but other than that, it's solid. The beer is exactly what you'd expect.

 632 characters

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

25.4oz bottle received from the man that will be named in the lawsuit when I die. You know who you are, chump. Into my Duvel tulip.

A: Crystal clear ruby red with a massive beige head that recedes leaving a ton of lacing. A good deal of carbonation is present here.

S: Mostly malty sweet with a mild citrus hop aroma. Fruity.

T: Starts off mildly hoppy with a decent citrus hop flavor and is followed with a solid, juicy malty flavor with plums and yellow raisins. Alcohol appears on the finish, which is dry and bitter-sweet

M: Well carbonated, medium bodied and nice finish

D: I should be able to finish this 750, which is always respectable for a 9% beer

 663 characters

Photo of Floydster
2.86/5  rDev -24.9%
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

 1,312 characters

Photo of McLovinmybeer
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale was poured from a twenty-five ounce, resealable black ceramic bottle. Chocolate malts dominate the beer's aroma and all but hide the ale's hoppiness. The color is deep red and the brew poured very little head. The taste is malty, chocolatey, sweet, and a bit hoppy. At 75 IBU's I expected the hops to be more pronounced, however, they were dominated by the beer's robust maltiness. At 9.25% ABV, this is definately a sipper. Overall, a fine Rogue Ale that I would definately recomend.

 493 characters

Photo of BeerSox
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml ceramic swingtop bottle into nonic.

Deep mahogany hue; it looks slightly cloudy but it's hard to tell because it's so dark. The head is a little taller than one finger, tan, and slowly settles to a razor thin rim, leaving behind some sticky lacing.

A good mix of caramel and some dark candy-like fruit.

The dark fruit is in the flavor as well, mixing with some toasty grain. The hops come in toward the end adding a little bit of citrusy bitterness. Full bodied with slightly lower carbonation. The finish is a mix of lingering fruit and some of the citrus hops.

This is probably the fruitiest Red Ale I've ever had. It's pretty close to a Scottish/Scotch Ale as well, but much fruitier. This one is a little sweeter than I would like.

 747 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL swing top bottle poured into a nonic. Is this where I'm supposed to complain about the bottle?

A: Dark, hazed red-brown color with a off still, dense white/yellowish head. Great retention and sticky clumps of lacing.
S: Strong, sweet malty and candied fruit aroma with a strong earthy hop background. Walks the line of almost being too sweet, cloying, but still pleasant.
T: Medium, creamy body with light carbonation. Flavors are strong, both sticky malt sweet and dry, flowery hop bitterness. Surprisingly balanced. Alcohol is noticeable in the finish and is very warming. Backbone of this is clearly a very strong malt presence, slightly toasted and grainy. There is a sweet fruit presence that lingers throughout and the finish. Start also has a pinch of bitterness that fades into the sweeter finish. Obviously a strong floral, earthy hop bitterness throughout as well.

Yep, an imperial red. I tried to avoid any thoughts about the packaging of this beer and I ended up enjoying this a lot. Not quite a Nugget Nectar or Cane and Ebel, Big Hoppy Monster or whatever, definitely more Imperial than those (whatever that means). Worth a try, but worth the price, well, I don't think any of the XS beers are.

 1,219 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on Tap at 1702, Tucson AZ; August 2008
Arrives from the tap with a dark tan, deeply amber stained, one-finger thick head that sits on top of a hazy, red-toned, dark amber colored beer. The aroma has lots of caramelized flavors in it with a mix of concentrated citrus notes thrown into the mix. Sweetened grapefruit and candied orange peel aromas are backed by sugar-coated pine needles and a citrusy spruce note. As the beer warms up a full, toasty, biscuit-like character starts to become much more noticeable.

The taste is quite sweet, though it is heavily caramelized with an almost candy like, definitely toffee character. Viscous feeling, chewy and thick, this is definitely a sipping beer. There is lots of hop character here though the sticky malt character is big enough that the hop character is not the dominant note. Candied grapefruit flavors, lychee, spruce and a pine like edge that couples with a nicely bitter finish. The finish, while bitter, can't quit offset the thick, chewy malt flavors that dominate this beer.

This hides the alcohol well, but has way too much sticky, crystal malt influenced, sweet malt flavors to it. Not bad, but can be a bit much at times.

 1,192 characters

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

Definatly pours out an "imperial red" color. Deep mahagony tones accented by reddish-brown hues. one finger head, settles down quickly, begs for a drink.
Aroms is malty, spicy, loads of red spicy cinnamon flavors, touch of malt hoppiness.
Flavors of spicy cinnamons, tons of malty balance hops spike throughout, complexity is outstanding.
good mouthfeel, light drinkablity. looking foward to the XS Imperial.

 408 characters

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

750ml Swing Top Ceramic Bottle

Poured into a Rogue glass a nice golden dark amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with minimal sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, very slight dark fruits, very slight chocolate, some spices, and caramel. The taste is sweet, very big malt notes, some dark fruits/chocolate, and some spices. Medium body, this is a thick brew, the alcohol is hidden very well. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew from Rogue, recommended.

 483 characters

Photo of thehand
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark red, 2 finger thick foamy tan head dissipates slowly leaving some sticky lacing

S: Sweet, fruity, caramel

T: Very rich, complex, firm malty backbone well balanced with hops

M: full, smooth, rich, long dry finish

D: the full body, firmness, and a little alcoholic heat makes it a sipper

Very nice beer, a little pricey for what you get. I can't imagine buying this in the bar, you wouldn't even get to keep the one pound ceramic bottle.

 454 characters

Photo of BlindPig
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Creamy tan head on a cloudy dark brown red body.
S- Bunch of toasted malts, grass hops, and that classic red ale aroma.
T- Toasted malts, hints of caramel, light roasted notes with some grass hops to help balance it out. Alcohol comes in the back of throat and chest.
M- Full body with medium/low carbonation.
D- Tastes like a basic red ale with more alcohol, not much more and not much less.

 396 characters

Photo of getalife2k5
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

 504 characters

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

.75L ceramic flip top bottle with no freshness date. I persoanlly don't like these bottles, they make for sloppy pouring due to the weight and not knowing where the liquid is at any given time. The higher pricing doesn't sweeten the reasoning behind the use either. Thankfully this is not beerbottleadvocate.com so I can move on.

Big bubbly dense off white frothing drops thick patch curtain of lacing on the glass. Garnet meets amber for the color, good clarity as well. Wild flower hop aroma, soft yet earthy with a tea-like backend. Strawberry and plum fruitiness from the alcohol couple with the nougat and toasted maltiness in the nose. Alcohol, hop flavor and a roasted / toasted graininess battle for domination though all seem to call a truce and meld well together. Alcohol is warming with ripe fruit and a faint solvent breath. Hop flavor comes in thick yet soft with an semi-oily herbal flavor but then the bitterness kicks in with more of a grapefruit peel taste. The malt is just as toasted as it is roasted with faint coffee and chocolate flavors as well as some sweet cake batter and fresh toasted bread within. Finishes bitter sweet with a lingering alcohol.

Tasty and certainly with in that "Imperial" realm that American brewers have created. Definitely worth a try.

 1,286 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Standard Rogue 750 crock picked up at the Coop earlier this week for a pricey $13.. got bored tonight and poured a nice looking glass into my New Belgium snifter.

1" head would have probably been better had it not been so cold.. spotty lacing.. brew is a dark hazy red/chestnut brown with a good red glow when held to a light.

Aroma is light dried fruits that are pummeled by citrus hops.. a little caramel and chocolate as it hits room temp.. it really needs to warm to get interesting. Piney and biscuits.

Flavor is thin .. probably to big bitterness and a nice toasty malt mid palate.. citrus/floral hops and a good dose of brown sugar without the sweetness.. a little yeasty fruitiness.. that seems to find its way into most Rogue brews.. finish is medicinal hops and a lingering toffee quality. Body is fairly light for a brew of this caliber/abv.. carbonation is pretty much perfect.

Complaints are.... seems young.... but aging it will cut down on the hoppiness, and I wouldn't want to do that. The Imperial Red could qualify itself as a lesser American Barleywine.. Everything is in place.. but.. again.. all the flavors seem to overlap and not ever meld.. and I am drinking the same 6oz over about an hour... warmth helps.. but if I had this beer in a blind tasting... I would guess.. a barleywine.. not an energized version of a red ale.

As are all Rogue crocks (IMHO) it's too expensive.. I wish brewers would put beers in 22's and be happy... at least then, we can weed out the beers that don't deserve the huge price ticket.

 1,542 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Comes in a 750 ml black matte ceramic flip-top bottle. Pours out a deep mahogany, a cloudy red oak when held to direct light. Creamy off-white head that settles to a swampy cap, loads of lacing.

Chewy caramel malt on the nose, hints of grassy hops, alcohol and grains are also present.

Alcohol presence gets in the way of the flavour, overshadows it. Flavour initially starts out with a burn, then roasted woody malt, more charred character in the middle, and a full fledged charcoal finish, combined with herbally hops, a serious dandelion/arugula greens character. Things only really sweeten up in the aftertaste, bready caramel malt all the way. A very smokey profile all the way through though.

Medium-bodied, it suits it well, smooth and velvety, the alcohol presence doesn't interfere as it does with the flavour, although the burn is fairly omnipresent, though contained until the finish and aftertaste.

Really, I take this strong red ale as a bit of muscle flexing that isn't completely necessary, it's overtly woody and smokey and could be easily mistaken for a high octane brown or porter if one isn't paying attention to the details on the bottle. As a Red alone it doesn't maintain its solidarity, just ends up in the smokey, woody backyard of many of Rogue's Extreme beers, to be sorted out later.

 1,315 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 05/06/08.

Color is an intense deep reddish-orange. Nice lacing, no real head.

Aroma is caramel malt sweetness.

Flavor is big and boozy. Strong malt sweetness present; hops are restrained and overwhelmed. Malt character is still agreeable despite lack of balance and high alcohol. Surprisingly drinkable in light of the "malt bomb" character.

This ought to age well.

 378 characters

Photo of mhewes
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
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

 376 characters

Photo of turbine2475
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

 339 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep red hue, yep it's an imperial red. The head is big and bold the bartender ran this one over and it is somewhat sticky and has nice lacing to prove it.

S: Lots of malty sweetness with a hint of citrus hops. Perfect balance of bitter and sweet.

T: Nice malty sweet fruit character up front with some spicy citrus bitter hops for balance.

M: Full bodied sweet and sticky.

D: Pretty drinkable, I like it.

Overall: A nice tasty brew from Rogue. A real nice balance of malt and hops. They call it an Imperial Red, but you could pass this off as a barleywine any day of the week.

 593 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

 515 characters

Photo of phisig137
2.79/5  rDev -26.8%
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...

 1,310 characters

Photo of DHGranstrand
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium dark, unfiltered, honey brown with very nice foamy head. Minimal lacing.

Not really very aromatic but with nice scent of hops & citrus.

Great balance between the malts & hops followed up with citrus rind. Hides the 9% alcohol extremely well.

Very smooth and mellow in the mouth.

I really could drink this all night long. It is extremely well balanced, has nice alcohol kick but no bite.

 405 characters

Photo of StoutyMcHaggis
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A beautiful brew. Super dark ruby red with light-tan head, gorgeous.

S-Hops, yeast, and almost a slight alcohol smell.

T-Very hoppy, like most Rogue ales. A tad dry, like a Irish Red on roids. Lots of bittering hops.

M- Not as much body as I expected, like I said earlier, a little dry. Overall great mouthfeel.

D- Surprisingly drinkable for a beer that is 9%, probably because of the lighter body.

From a 22 oz. ceramic body from the brewery in Newport. Goes great with chili-dogs.

 490 characters

Photo of dsa7783
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML black, ceramic, swing-top bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield for $15.99... For the hefty amount I shelled out for this one, I was seriously expecting great things, and I wasn't dissapointed...
A dark, ruby-red, amber colored hue was the result of an aggressive pour along with a minimal head that soon receded and left copious amounts of lacing around the head of the glass...
The typical grainy, red amber smell was not too prevalent on this one... Certainly a more subdued, mild aroma of faint yeast and vanilla...
The taste is what made this one stand out the most, a hard-hitting Rogue brew, bursting with sweet flavors of caramel, vanilla, honey, slight grapefruit and florals with a nice balance of malts and hops...
Great, creamy, rich mouthfeel led to a superb level of drinkability... This one went down really easily and the hefty 9% ABV was hardly detectable...
Great stuff, but pretty pricey...

 956 characters

XS Imperial Red from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 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.