Red-oric - Beer Camp #65 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale)
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Red-oric - Beer Camp #65 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale)Red-oric - Beer Camp #65 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale)
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American Imperial Red Ale
3.82 | pDev: 10.21%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Red-oric - Beer Camp #65 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale)Red-oric - Beer Camp #65 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale)
Notes: Chico, CA—July 18, 2013—Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is highlighting the best of its 2012 Beer Camp sessions with a new variety 12-pack featuring three hop-forward brews.

#95 Imperial Red Ale—Our aggressive Imperial Red Ale is a massive mix of smooth malts and West Coast hops that have no patience for the lupulin leery. This crimson beer starts with caramel-like malt flavor that can’t suppress the assertive, citrusy hop finale.
Reviews: 194 | Ratings: 503 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DrinkThemAll
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very light bodied, with minimal flavor. Guess I was expecting more out of this one. Minimal head and no lacing. At 8.5% it is very easy to drink. Probably would not revisit this one again.

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Photo of barczar
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage, so rating set to current average.

Specialty malt fruitiness, toasted notes, muted grapefruit, cantaloupe, pine, and floral hops form the aroma. Hops are still strong.

Flavor is similar, with a bitter finish. The fruity and floral hops greet the palate initially, fading to deeply toasted and lightly roasted malt notes toward the finish. Nice malt presence, though the balance is still toward hops.

I like this a lot more than the rating indicates.

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beer Camp Imperial Red Ale pours from the bottle to a dark garnet hue with a nose that invokes scents of citrus and bready malts. The body of this beer is clear and there are generous amounts of lace left in the glass as you consume.

This beer tastes about the way you would expect based on the nose. There is a tasty, bready malt backbone with flavors of biscuits and some roasted notes. Then, the taste switches to that of citrus hops with resiny bitterness. The taste of alcohol is evident as well, and it comes through in the finish. It isn’t harsh, however, and is appropriate for the style.

This Imperial Red Ale is a very tasty one and yet another winning beer from Sierra Nevada, one of a handful of breweries that cannot seem to make a below average product. This beer is a little on the strong side and certainly one to take seriously, but the alcohol presence in the flavor is not so pronounced as to dissuade from taking another sip. In fact, as stated before, it seems just about right for an imperial red ale.

Try this one while it lasts. Mine is labeled as #35 for 2013, which I notice is a little different from some of the other release numbers I see in these reviews. But the style is still the same, as far as I know. It may not be around for long so give it a try if you can.

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Photo of mooseisloose
4.29/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is #95 no clues on what is cancelled for review or whatever. Popping the top the bottle smell is black licorice with alot of malts and strong sweetness. Pouring into the SAPP yields a deep bronze with a permanent multi size bubble tan head that is as I said, permanent. Taste is smoothness beyond all comprehension will an up front bittersweet maltiness that then kicks into a a sweet but mildly balanced bitterness that then fades to a slight bitterness that never exceeds the butterscotch bite. A fine brew.

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Photo of Dsimenson
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a 16 oz champaign flute. Yields a 1/2" head which stocks around for a couple sips, and then leaves lovely lacing in rings on the inside of the glass. Unfiltered slightly ruby-tinted honey color. Aroma is rich, complex, fruity and hops. Flavor is rich, complex, caramel, hops, fruit, alcohol, and more hops. Mouthfeel is medium thick and potent. Overall I really like this. It is quite a bit better than the seasonal Flipside Red IPA, which is a little bit different style.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Reddish amber colored with a good inch of khaki colored head. Lively carbonation. Cereal grains and amber malt combine with pine like aromatic hops in the nose. The mouthfeel is sticky and warm. The cereal grains and amber malts are on the front of the palate and are quickly drenched with intense pine hop flavors that burn a bit and then fade. Intensely hopped.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

A: Dark red verging on purple. Creme colored, fluffy head. Decent lacing. Sterling presentation.

N: Pineapple and mango. Leafy hops. Sweet bread dough. Touches of pine.

T: Well balanced. Rough hops propped by good malt sweetness. Hints of citrus, and lots of pine/earth.

M: Surprisingly thick and creamy. Resinous. Yet very easy to drink. Very impressed here.

O: I tend to hate Imperial reds because they’re so abrasive. Pretty happy with this.

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass

A- Deep ruby/garnet with a medium height, slightly off-white head.

S- Medium malty sweetness, bready, medium-high bitter aroma

T- Medium roast, faint sweetness, and big bitter hops, slight alcohol coming through, lingering hop resiny bitterness

M- Medium-heavy body, good carbonation

O- A pretty good offering from SN, it's got the big hop bitterness I expect from them but not a overpowering as in some of their other beers, but most of those are IPAs. Not as good as Bear Republic's Red Rocket but I don't think that is an Imperial.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours a muddy brown with highlights of red. Toffee colored head quickly dissipates to a thin collar. It's hazy and really not a pretty beer.

Beer smells of caramel, grapefruit, brown sugar, and pine. A really nice balance and each characteristic coming together wonderfully. Taste is similar beginning with a brown sugar and bittersweet toffee that turns to the very forward hop flavor of with a slightly acidic pine and citrus. Finishes with a sharp bitterness. Mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium with a nice round fullness.

Overall this is an enjoyable beer, but comes off as unfinished compared to what I would normally expect from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada never releases a bad beer. Pours to a frothy beige head that leaves endless lacing. Reddish brown color. Aroma is spicy, citrusy hops, caramel malt, and sweet, comforting alcohol. Flavor is an intense blend of specialty malts, assertive hop flavors and residual malt sweetness balanced by strong, resiny alpha acids. Mouthfeel is medium, full and satisfying. Overall, a full malt and hops experience.

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Photo of Thads324
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep mahogany with ruby tones. Hefty light tan head with tiny bubbles. Dissipates slowly.
Aroma of citrus hops, grass, juicy plums and some zest of lime. Not much malt aroma at all. Maybe some toast and caramel there.
Flavor starts with mild guava and peach fuzz. Bitterness sets in and is coupled with pleasant juiciness and a hint of mint. Grass and finally some toffee and dark caramel flavor. Musty hop finish
Full bodied and nicely carbonated. Hides the alcohol behind bitter hops.

A pretty good beer but it shouldn't have that musty hop flavor already. As it warms the booze comes out. Solid and tasty.

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Photo of bmwats
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark amber hue. Pours a large, frothy, white head. Settles very slowly and unevenly leaving some dry, sticky residue behind as it does. Lots of beer ring lacing.

S: Roasted oats, rye bread, and wood chips.

T: Roasty malted grains, a little coffee, wood chips are prominent...hickory I'd say....and a little peat and black licorice.

M: Full and hearty body. Peaty and pungent.

D: Not much resistance, but flavorful enough for a savoring experience.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Frothy head, and substantial lacing. Roasted grains, rye, and wood. Wood is prominent in the flavor, roasted malt and coffee make up the body. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

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Photo of gpogo
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

A- Clear red amber body with thick heavy tan head. The head is ridiculously sticky and leaves an almost opaque lacing.

A- Caramel bready malt, citrus and resinous hops.

T- Delicious. Sweet bready caramel malt. Smooth bitterness throughout. Lemony citrus hops. Light alcohol warmth.

M- So damn smooth. Creamy smooth. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

D- This beer is damn good. My favorite of the Beer Camp series.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

"This Imperial Red Ale takes the intense hop profile found in a traditional double IPA and turns up the malt. It has big aromatic hop notes of grapefruit, peach, and melon- balanced by a smooth and surprisingly robust malt body." Brewed in the style of an American Amber / Red Ale, liberally hopped. Available as part of the 2012 Sierra Nevada best of Beer Camp. No bottle date, released in August 2012.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Sierra Nevada snifter. Served north of 51º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a beige-white head of a semi-thick, creamy consistency. Lacing is thin and curtained, body color is a deep amber red with a medium haze and thin sediment in tow. Carbonation is subtle and relaxed. It's a rather pleasing appearance with no major shortcomings. 3.75

(Smell) Aroma is citrusy, fruity, resiny, floral hops forward, with touches of tangerine, grapefruit, and lemon zest. Malt body is just as dominant, with a pinch of bready malt character, a moderate sweetness and a wafting edge of graininess that complicates an otherwise clean, lively beer. Smells just balanced in the nose, there's a pinch of grain alcohol but otherwise this beer is very accessible. The potency is medium+. The aroma is overall very inviting. 4

(Taste) Despite being a hopped-up version of a Red Ale, this beer matches the hop donation with a charitable dose of malt depth and aggressiveness. The hop character is definitely more assertive and forward in the flavor, with slightly less emphasis on citrus and fruit in lieu of a piney and earthy hop blend. Malt body is notably rugged with a moderate grainy persona, seconded by a mellow roasted caramel, slick molasses and licorice sweetness. The beer finishes with a rustic grain, alcohol and lasting piney resinous hop finish. Very flavorful and bold. Although much of the bright citrusy and fruity hop characters are misinterpreted through the aroma, what remains is still very influential on the build of this flavorful beer. 4.25

(Mouthfeel) Carbonation makes for a fuzzy, spritely texture. The graininess and hop presence gather a strictly dry finish. Body is medium/high for the style and medium/high overall. Alcohol presence is medium/high as well. It's a pretty filling and heavy beer, no doubt. I found the carbonation turned up a bit too high for this one- I don't find that it accurately reflects the malt bill nor the hop choices. 3.25

(Overall) A welcome addition to an often overlooked style, the beefed-up hop additions and specialty grain bill make for a far-more-than-mundane drinking experience in this beer. Age hasn't negatively impacted this one in the least, and the hop character is still potent as ever. So far, it's my choice beer of the pack. A well-assembled recipe, kudos to the original brewer for pushing the boundaries of what a Red Ale is capable of. 4

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's
Beer Camp #65: Imperial Red Ale

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Photo of isualum12
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Look light red. Nice head.
Smell is alright.
Taste is less then I expected. It is not the best red I have had this season. Bitter with sour flavor. I was abletorelax though with this beer.

Very carbonated.

Overall not my favorite. Severalotherbeer camp beers are better this season.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of citrus and earthy hops with some caramelized malt notes. Taste is dominated by some citrus and earthy hops with some good notes of caramelized malt notes with medium sweet notes. Body is about average for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad but a bit short on complexity and hops punch could be more pronounced.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle purchased from Leura Cellars.

Pours pretty much the perfect colour: deep ruby hued, with a frothy off-white head consisting of large bubbled honeycombed together. Lacing leaves fine tracings as the head settles down. Body is quite weighty, with some heft to provide a thick canvas for the fine bubbling that expresses itself when tilted. Overall, it's a really good looking beer.

Nose is clear and clean, but not as big and exciting as I'd hoped. Mild, smooth faintly fruity hop aromas mingle with a muted caramel malt character to give a red ale aroma that feels like it's just going through the motions. Some brighter, leafier characters come through when the beer is swirled, along with the faintest hint of slight roast. It's not bad, but it really should be significantly better given its pedigree.

Taste is similar: mildly fragrant hops, blended with a rather empty but noticeable malt presence. Some booze on the back kills everything quickly though, leaving a rather astringent emptiness that allows the hop bitterness to slice through on the back—this is despite the fact that the hop flavour is actually rather minimal. Faint acetone character on the finish, mingled with some crushed grass.

Feel is fine, although the lack of sweetness suggests a lack of body as well, even though it probably feels ok.

Overall, I'm woundedly disappointed by this. I love red ales (imperial all the better), and I really hoped that Sierra Nevada would give me a better example than this. While it's still decent enough, "decent enough" is far below the benchmark set for Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of Gmann
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky reddish brown color, muddy. The tan head is thick and fluffy, slowly disipates and leaves some nice lacing.

The aroma is sweet. Loads of toffee and caramel to go along with a tropical fruit and apricot hop presence. Grassy and peppery as well.

The malt is bready and sweet. Honey notes to go along with a light nuttiness. A hint of toffee. The hops are grassy, peppery and have a resin finish. Some tropical fruit notes but not much. Old school hoppy amber ale.

Moderate feel with tingly carbonation, lays slightly limp on the palate. Sweet and bitter on the palate. They offset each other but cannot say its balanced. Definitely has a bitter finish. Drinks well.

Slightly above average amber. Except for the head, not very attractive looking. Straight up bitter amber ale.

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Photo of Briken
3.02/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Clear reddish amber and moderate off-white foamy head with good retention. Malt forward and caramel sweetness rounded by a sharp spicy rye and high hop bittering and linger. Light roasted notes and the sweetness is subdued. Tacky, dry and thin.

This is really not my idea of a good red or imperial red. I like the spicy element of the beer but it just follows the American over hopped variety of the style.

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Photo of dgilks
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear red colour with a foamy, off-white head. Poor head retention.

Lightly sweet malt with plenty of resinous hop character. Light touches of caramel.

Bitter with a big cohumulone hit up front. Backs off to a somewhat stonefruity, resinous hop character. Malt is present but subdued with a milk chocolate and toffee note being most apparent.

Medium to medium-full body with moderately-high carbonation. Actually quite ticket for what it is.

Not a bad beer but it is definitely lacks a bit of panache.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a stemless tulip pint. Bottling date June 27 2012.

Look- A vigorous pour leaves me with a glass of foam that settles over the course of several minutes, leaving three fingers of frothy foam. Beer is a nice amber-brown with ruby highlights. Excellent lacing.

Smell- Graham cracker, grapefruit, earthy, spruce, a bit of savory spice. Appealing. As it warms, it becomes significantly breadier and boozier.

Taste- Moderate bitterness washes the palate, followed by grapefruit and pine, nutty malt comes out towards the middle. Somewhat nougaty, followed by dank pine. Finishes with a touch of caramel and navel orange pith. Not quite what I was expecting from an American Red, but not bad.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, light carbonation. Slick, juicy feel. Moderately boozy, you know it's 8%. Fairly drinkable, although a full pint would be enough for me.

Overall- Pretty nice, another solid offering from SN and a nice addition to the beer Camp series. Worth trying, but there are quite a few other reds/imperial reds on the market that I would choose over this one if they were on the same shelf.

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Photo of Mojo
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle -> Dogfish Head glass

This beer pours up a murky deep red with a lucious two finger foamy caramel colored head, awesome retention, and world class lacing. The smell is pine, floral, citrus, grasses, and biscuit. Taste is very citrus, probably more orange than grapefruit, some caramel, sweet malt, and a nice hops finish. Mouthfeel is good with a bit of an aftertaste, but not too bad of one. I liked this one a lot!!!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.26/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a mini snifter. Pours a moderate red-amber color with an off-white head and some lacing. The nose carries some citrus hops and a touch of pine atop some bready malt. Flavor has bready malt with a slight bit of toast and amber. Citrus hops and a bit of pine and earth. Medium body with good carbonation. Somewhat bitter. Pretty good.

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Photo of ChrisPratz
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours to a nice ruby mahogany color with an inch and a half ahead of head that sticks around and smooths into a nice pillowy head.

S: Light pine hops on the nose up front blended well with some smooth malt and dark fruit aromas.

T: Piney hop bitterness right up front, mingles with some light citrus rind bitters. Some roasted malt towards the black with a very light sweetness. After taste is residual pine bitterness and some light spice notes.

M: Light carbonation works with the hop bitterness. High ABV leads to a dryness in the aftertaste that also works well with the bitterness.

O: Not a bad Imperial Red, but a bit too hoppy for my tastes. As far as the style, i'd say its on par with most Imperial Reds though, nothing really stands out for me. It is nice to see SN putting out a nice broad array of beer camp brews though.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Bear World Watertown NY for 2.50$

Appearance - Hazy redish copper colour with an above average size fizzy beige coloured head. There isn't a lot of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, citrus

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts mixed with a fair amount of hops. There is also some grapefruit/resin mixed with a sugary sweetness. It ends with a sweet malty aftertaste with some lingering bitterness.

Overall – I think I expected more from Sierra Nevada but this is still a very tasty beer. I'd like a little more citrus punch but maybe that would make it more of a IPA/DIPA. Glad to have tried.

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Red-oric - Beer Camp #65 (Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 503 ratings