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

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Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale - Beer Camp #65Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale - Beer Camp #65
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142 Ratings
Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale - Beer Camp #65Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale - Beer Camp #65

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Duplicate of

Added by flexabull on 08-04-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high light beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops in the nose along with hints of caramel malts.
T: A moderate amount of bitterness stands out throughout the taste, but this is most evident in the finish. There are flavors of spicy hops along with notes of caramel malts and citrusy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The hop bitterness really cleanses your palate.
O: This beer presents an interesting mix of hops and is rather bitter for the style. This delivers a nice amount of lingering bitterness.

 814 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sierra Nevada's fascination with hops has now lead them to the land of "red". Though the ale's appearance is of deep red Amber Ale, its taste leads with the distinct character of Pacific Northwest hops.

Deep brownish red in color, its overall appearance is of rust and equipped with a haze that signals dry-hopping. A very creamy, ivory head rises to cap the beer with confidence and longevity. Lacing with broken rings, the ale exudes a sense of quality even without taking a sip.

Equal parts of pine and grapefruit meet the nose first. Those sharp and pungent scents are both citrusy and earthy and nearly topple its scent. But then a backdrop of malt peaks through with dry toast, burnt caramel, bread crust, pecan and sorghum.

Those dry sweetnesses greet the early palate but only briefly before giving way to toast and bread crust. Its that gently cynged grain husk taste that brings about a nutty taste. But all that is quickly cast to the wayside because of the onslaught of hops that rise in the middle. That's when the sharper taste of white grapefruit pith and peels give its taste a bright and vivid taste. As the ale continues a quick turn to finish, its citrus tone turns resinous, piney and gripping with hop bitterness in the back of the throat.

Its medium body is lead by a creamy-dry start. Somewhat arid and toasty, its middle is incredibly light even if the toast floats just above the tongue. And then that dry malt character paves the way for for an ultra clean, ultra crisp, and ultra refreshing finish of mild warmth.

Like Sierra Nevada does, this ale completely satisfies every requirement that its style describes. But it's the straight forward taste and lack of complexity that hinders the beer even if everso slightly.

 1,750 characters

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a lightly hazy reddish amber in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation and some garnet red highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy beige head that slowly reduces to a couple of small patches of thick film along with a very thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts along with some citrus/grapefruit rind hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of caramel and toasted malts that have just a hint of sweetness. That is followed by some moderate flavors of spicy hops and citrus/grapefruit rind hops. Moderate amounts of bitterness that really linger.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: I like how bitter this beer is for the style, the hops are almost palate cleansing. I found this beer to be pretty enjoyable but it does have a high ABV which means you should be sipping this a little more slowly.

 1,052 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp series dated 2012. Poured into a Sam Adams lager glass.

A: Nearly perfect appearance upon pour: Deep red-amber colored, this Imperial Red Ale is capped with a thick, nearly creamy, tan head that leaves an impressive coat of sticky lacing on the glass. The head dies down a bit rather quickly but retains a full tan coat for a long time.

S: More hops than malts in the nose, as expected. The aroma is rich, modestly spicy and bready, mildly floral, and has hints of citrus.

T: Less hop heavy than the aroma, with a nice contribution from sweet malts, leaving the brew only moderately bitter, even in the finish. Rich and complex flavor mix seems to be an exceptionally well-crafted mix of several varieties of malts and hops.

M - Smooth and soft feel with medium-full body. Well chosen medium carbonation.

O - A bold take on a red ale that successfully melds an IPA with a red ale in a finely balanced mix of styles. [4.25]

 975 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of russpowell
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My bottle shows this as Beer Camp#35 at 8.5% abv, but who am I to get all anal about this...

Pours an effervescent ruby red with 3 fingers of rocky tan head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Loads of pine & some leafy hops, some pear

T: Follows the nose, a touch of booze & breadyness up front. A touch of dryness & cakeyness cuts through the pine. Finishes dry, piney with a bit of orange peel & just a bit of cakeyness & some astringency (aspirin & grapefruit rind)

MF: Chewy, but fairly firm carbonation, balance isn't quite there; some boozey warmth

Drinks alright, not quite dialed in, but could happily drink this any day

 635 characters

Photo of Zaphog
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the cask and vine.
Comes to the table a slightly cloudy medium brow color with ruby highlights and a decent sized off white head. Smells of pine and resin with a solid bready caramel to back it up. The flavor is sweet bread brown sugar and caramel behind some nice resinous pine and grapefruit. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick sweet mouthfeel. Nice red ale that drank a lot easier than 8% abv. Great caramel expression with enough hops to back it up.

 489 characters

Photo of rab53
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle purchased as single from DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. No freshness or bottling info.

Pour is dark amber, dark tan head, leaves nice fine lacing.

Caramel maltyness on the nose. With some dull hops in the rear.

Big hops/big malts. I get some smoked notes, some tropical fruit and layers of caramel malt.

Big and balanced. Fine job here by the Beer campers.

 371 characters

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured prickly piney hops and a balmy earthy caramel malt.

The taste consisted of burnt sugar, earthy caramel, a touch of cocoa and a smooth nuttiness. Waves of herbal and piney hops cleaned up the experience and lingered well after the finish.

The mouthfeel was full for the style with a dry finish.

Overall a very tasty brawny red ale.

 455 characters

Photo of afsdan
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 Beer Camp Bottle poured in to Bruery tulip. Bottle date code of 2178210. Poured in to tulip glass.

A - Poured a very dark amber colour, almost opaque. One finger of cream coloured head formed and receded to a thin layer. Good lacing.

S - Caramel and toffee aromas up front with some citrus hop aromas in the background. Not an overly robust nose but an inviting one.

T - A big bitterness at first that is immediately followed up a sweet caramel/toffee malt backbone. Some grapefruit and pine notes are present but are in the background. A dry and bitter finish.

M - Medium body, somewhat creamy. Moderate carbonation.

 629 characters

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Daniellobo
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of jaxon53
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.53/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
8.1% ABV, 2012, string of numbers printed on neck.

A - Perfection in the pint, this beer looks utterly outstanding! Clear deep burn amber colored, this Imperial Red Ale from Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp holds it's khaki head for minutes upon minutes, slowly plateauing into a rocky pile of foam all while leaving chunky gobs of lace on the pint!

S - Could Sierra Nevada possibly put out an imperial red without it bursting at the seams with hops? I think not. Assertive pine and juicy citrus; crushed pineapple, lemon wedge, and sticky pine cone, make up this resinous aroma. Plenty of malt counteracts the hops with notes of chocolate and toffee surrounding wafts of warm Bavarian pretzel

T - Hop heavy in aroma but surprisingly balanced in flavor, the malts are up to the task of meeting the hops head-on. Toffee square and bittersweet chocolate give the toasted amber malts a unique twist while the hops spice up the background. Citrus fruit becomes more mild in flavor, giving way to the earthier aspects of the hops; mulchy leaf, grass, and pine with soft wood accents along the way. Quite the intense experience!

M - Smooth and soft opening, the flavor builds steadily and quickly for a total taste bud take over! Medium-full, this amber's body provides a beefy malt backbone with a lingering sharp hop bite that dries out the tongue while balancing the malty sweetness with a lasting bitterness.

O - Assertive and bold, this Imperial Red takes what's normally a run-of-the-mill-style beer and ramps it up, flooding the olfactory sense and taste buds with quite a bit to take in. From the expansive grain bill which keeps you guessing, to the powerful hop profile, this beer seems to teeter back and fourth, appealing to malt and hop lovers alike!

 1,812 characters

Photo of gtermi
4/5  rDev +6.1%

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Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale - Beer Camp #65 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 142 ratings
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