Imperial Red | Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

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Imperial RedImperial Red
58 Ratings
Imperial RedImperial Red

Brewed by:
Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dcmchew on 01-04-2014

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by djcreepshow:
Photo of djcreepshow
3.37/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

More User Reviews:
Photo of vinivini
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Marius
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.29/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Dec 2014. Acquired a while back from a supermarket. The label calls it a deep ruby ale.

A: Poured into a tulip pint glass. A bright reddish-amber hue with good carbonation. Yields a large head of frothy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Some lacing.

S: Aroma of caramel malt with hints of fruity ale yeast, mild grain, a touch of barley sugar and subtle stewed leaves. Malt-forward and quite dull.

T: Tastes of vague caramel malt with a dry finish. Notes of grain, mild caramel, fruity ale yeast, stewed leaves and a hint of earthiness. A twinge of harsh cardboard in the background. Slightly sweet, followed by a subdued, leafy bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and decent body. Somewhat astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of grainy malt, ale yeast and stewed leaves.

O: A fairly average red ale - not terrible but hardly outstanding either. Looks nice, while the aroma and flavour are a pretty staid blend of caramel malt, fruity yeast esters and stewed leaves. Decent body. Uninspired - no need to hunt it down.

 1,161 characters

Photo of Robertas
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tux_alin
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
3.37/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

500ml bottle, part of the mixed four pack of this brewery's wares available in Alberta. An 'Imperial' red ale, at 4.7% ABV - wow, how charming!

This beer pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some decent grotto cave lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of grainy, doughy caramel malt, an overripe apple and pear fruitiness, earthy yeast, and a soft weedy, leafy, and grassy hoppiness. The taste is more gritty bready, doughy caramel malt, a twinge of biscuity toffee, muddled pome and citrus fruit esters, a still relevant yeastiness, and more understated leafy, herbal, and grassy hop bitters.

The carbonation is quite light and shifty on its frothy and fizzy feet, the body a so-so middleweight, and a bit too clammy and pithy to be considered particularly smooth. It finishes off-dry, and more grainy than caramelized, with a lingering herbal and grassy counterpoint.

There's nothing all that imperial about this offering - besides the lack of a big ABV, the rest of the flavours just seem anemic and hard to get excited about. A step up from bland Euro-lagers and pallid cask ales, sure, but there are much more interesting ales coming out of the good ship Britannia these days.

 1,299 characters

Photo of jcubz
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Iaido
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of mishi_d
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Cybr
4.5/5  rDev +24%

A solid red ale.

17 characters

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of UniversitateaDeBere
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ikidunot
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of monkist
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I loved their Hobgoblin so I gave Wychwood another chance and bought this red ale. Could have been better off with something else? Maybe.
But let's not be that downgrading, it is not a bad ale at all. It looks good and tastes also acceptable, just doesn't get as high as the "great" ones are. It has a medium amount of maltiness, gets quite light and watery halfway and leaves you with a dry bitterness. Strange experience, leaves you wanting... something better? Something more full bodied.
Is this how red ales supposed to be like? If so, then it's my fault that I'm not that enamoured by them. If not, then it's my fault too for not being stunned - but the "imperialness" just doesn't come through. This is rather a page than an emperor.

 740 characters

Photo of Drummermean
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of parintele
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vinicole
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +10.2%

A: Rusty brown with a light haze, fair carbonation, a finger of deep beige head and random lacing.

S: Caramel, apples, apple candy, rich toffee malts with a light fruitiness of apples and blossoms.

T: Caramel, apple candy, apple blossoms, hard water, light bitterness on the finish. Light sour note, almost lemony.

M: Light, medium body, very little carbonation, clean crisp finish.

O: Imperial Red is a misleading name, as others have mentioned, for this ESB. Going into it knowing the style saves one from depression and disappointment. As an ESB, its good, up to par, a nice beer. The label is quite cool. Otherwise, find a real imperial ale to save disappointment.

 684 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a cherrywood body with at first huge frothing foamy white head that soon reduces to a 1-mm (2on the rim) 95% coverage white multi sized bubble

Really enjoyable aroma some aniseed and wholemeal bread

Sweet malty start that just then takes on some redcurrant and then stalls

Okay MF okay carb but the imbalance makes a watery affair

 341 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle included in their "Beers of Character" mixed four-pack. Best before Aug 17 2016 and served slightly chilled.

Pours clear, ruddy amber in colour, capped off with 1.5 fingers of compact, creamy off-white head. Its frothy crown seeps away steadily over the next couple of minutes, leaving behind a few wisps of bubbly foam and a thin collar, producing minimal lace. Nothing too notable about the aroma; caramelized sugar/toffee, bready malts, lightly toasted nuts, some dark fruit esters and leafy, grassy hops. The brewery's house yeast character is also noticeable. Smells like a sweeter version of Hobgoblin to me.

Kind of tastes like one, too, though honestly this red ale falls a bit flat compared to their flagship bitter. Bready, lightly toasted malts, supported by some toffee/caramel sweetness, leads into a fruity mélange of red apple, fig and pear mid-sip. The back end of the sip reminds me of watered-down Hobgoblin - the same house yeast character, earthy quality and grassy, leafy hop bitterness can be found here, though its magnitude has been diminished substantially. Finishes dry. Relatively light-bodied, with moderate carbonation levels that prickle the palate continuously, giving this light "imperial" ale a somewhat crisp, generally refreshing mouthfeel.

Final Grade: 3.43, a B-. Wychwood's Imperial Red Ale isn't a bad beer, but I still find it to be a tad uninspiring - both generally speaking as a bitter/ESB, and also when compared to the bulk of this brewery's other products. I wouldn't turn this beer down in the future, but I would definitely not go out of my way to pick up more. I will also add that this sampler pack provided a pretty weak selection, with all of its contents being either forgettable (Scarecrow, Dr. Thirsty's No. 4 and this Imperial Red) or already ubiquitous (Hobgoblin).

 1,840 characters

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%

Pours a dense, off-white head which reduces to a lasting ring; lots of lacing; body is a deep reddish copper. Aroma includes soft caramel with a buttery undertone; light floral, resiny hops. Flavor comprised of a nearly ideal ratio of soft but pronounced bitterness and subtle, bread crust-like malt (lacking a distinct caramel quality, unfortunately); pleasant hop flavor includes pine, grapefruit. Medium-light body; smooth carbonation with a slight bite; faintly metallic finish.

I am enjoying this one a good deal. I can't find much to fault—perhaps a more noticeable and complex malt presence would help. It's otherwise appealing across the board, one I'd love to have again.

 685 characters

Photo of 123321123321
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DarrenBrule
4.5/5  rDev +24%

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Imperial Red from Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 58 ratings