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

BA SCORE
86
very good
143 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale - Beer Camp #65Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale - Beer Camp #65
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Duplicate of http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/140/82083

Added by flexabull on 08-04-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
143
Reviews:
32
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
10.91%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 143 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of PicoPapa
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Willibrew during the Sierra Nevada Tap Attack. Pours a murky rusty brown color with almost no head. Almost no lacing. Aroma is citrusy hops with some pine notes. Sweet. The taste is alot like the aroma. Sweet citrus up front with some caramel and pine. Bitter citrus at the end. Slightly bready. Medium bodied with a dry mouthfeel. Overall, a solid hoppy red ale that I'm glad i got to try; especially since its retired (apparently).

 443 characters

Photo of dooglas
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of bzach
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.56/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a balloon glass.

A beautiful deep mahogany so rich you can barely see through it, but the head is even better: Foamy, sea-suds of cream head with rings of thick soapy lacing. (After drinking 1/3 of the beer, the lacing is still soapy and stuck to the glass).

Aroma is both piny, and a bit woody up front. I get some bitter citrus hops in there eventually. And by God, there is a nice sweet melon note as advertised. Really nice nose.

This imperial red is so well-balanced right off the bat. The hops are not overpowering, they are just perfect with muted citrus rinds mixing in with a woody, earthy malt body. Really, really good. A faint pine note lingers in there adding a fresh, crisp feel.

A little dry, but otherwise perfectly clean mouthfeel.

Geez this is good. The 8.1% ABV is nearly undetectable. I love the woody pine body and the amazing balance of malts and hops. To this day I have never had a bad beer from Sierra Nevada. Bad? Hell, I’ve really never had a beer less than exceptional from this brewery.

 1,034 characters

Photo of chefhatt
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just have to say that i love these beer camp beers every year, i look forward to them. This one poured a nice brown/amber color body with a nice thick foamy head that holds it own. The aroma is of nice and toasted malt with some a little bit of hops coming through. The taste starts off a little bitter of hop then balances out on the back of the tongue with the malt. It leaves a after taste of of bitter hops on the tongue also. The mouth feel is really nice and overall this is a pretty darn good beer.

 507 characters

Photo of jeanphony
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of TheCrowsNest
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown with a tan head; above average head retention; above average clarity, there is a slight haze. Aroma is mostly malt and darker caramel, very little hop aroma is present. Butterscotch, caramel, and some toasted charcter comprise the majority of the flavor profile, hops are present in a balancing bitterness that is almost unwelcome considering the sweetness that is initially expressed through the malt bill. Dry finish comes after a nice coating mouthfeel.

Solid beer that looks great and has great body. That said, I'd like to see some more hops hanging around in a style like this.

 603 characters

Photo of Peyton5410
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of duff247
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
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 motorhed
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Surly pint glass.

A - Pours out with a very high level of carbonation, had to stop pouring it about 3/4 of the bottle. Very thick head, about half the pint glass. Dissipated within a couple of minutes and poured the rest into the glass. Very nice, thick foamy head that is light tan in color. The color of this brew is spot on, very dark red/copper in color. Light lacing on the glass as it goes down.

S - First thing comes to the nose is the hop aroma followed closely by floral and citrus with a nice malty base.

T - This is a title bout, hops versus the malt. Get some grapefruits and citrus as well as some pine, malt, and light spice.

M - Very nice balace on this. Oily smooth from the hops, perfect levels of carbonation, medium bodied, a semi-sweet to dry finish.

O - Have had better imperial reds but this one is very good. Would definitely have again.

 893 characters

Photo of cfinch2
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of RyanWantAle816
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
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 GrindFatherBob
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of thecheapies
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer Camp #65: Imperial Red Ale. Pint glass to receive.

Rich and solidified in the head with a good two fingers or more gathered. Off-white in color. Dark brick colored brew with translucency. Not a great deal of light gets through it, in general. Getting some nice lace-effect as the head slowly topples.

Smells of candied grapefruit, burnt toffee, toasted grains, tangerine, lime, and a woodsy note. Stretched out a bit, but mostly simple.

A spike of hop bitterness penetrates right in the opening, but quells in a sweet and semi-fruity ale profile with a gentle roast. A tingling bitterness is piquant and mouth-filling in its intensity. Almost acidic, in a way. The citrus notes don't really get extended, however notes of wine-soaked peaches bleeds through. An underwhelming ale that is satisfactory in that it's fresh and flavorful. Just not terribly complex.

That 8.1% ABV is noticeable, for the most part. I should let this warm up even more to make it more enjoyable. Otherwise, it's a fulfilling drink with great body for the style. The effervescence is rigorous in a way that it needs to be.

I like an obvious rind-y flavor in my hoppy reds. This Beer Camp offering doesn't do much in the way of hoppy nor citrus rind-y. A whole lot of baked grain in here would balance a beer with a heap of humulus, but in this case, it's almost too malty.

 1,357 characters

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Brewsed
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of BeerForHokie
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of shockrocker65
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of minterro
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a translucent garnet red color with a two and half fingers of off white head. Superb head retention with lots of lacing.

S- Toasty malt with notes of caramel. spicy woody hops in the nose with a touch of earthiness.

T- toasted bread and caramel hit the palate at first. The hops soon take over with spicy pine characteristics. Assertive bitterness (which I generally love) on the finish that diminishes the other flavors a bit to much.

MF- Slick mouthfeel with a light medium body. Average carbonation

D- Ok drinkability

 534 characters

Photo of tviz33
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Localdrinklax
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Jmick28
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Best Of Beer Camp: Imperial Red Ale - Beer Camp #65 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 143 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe