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Climax Noel - Imperial Red Ale | Eel River Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
83
good
40 Reviews
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Climax Noel - Imperial Red AleClimax Noel - Imperial Red Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co.
California, United States
eelriverbrewing.com

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This robust Imperial Red Ale is a hop showcase. The first sip reveals hints of toffee and caramel flavor notes, accentuated with dry hopped organic Centennial, Chinook, Simcoe and Citra hops.

Named after the Climax Engine, a steam locomotive used to haul logs out of the forest, this beer was made for the winter season. With a 9.2% ABV and 62 IBUs, you can count on a nice, warm, drinking experience.

Added by cswhitehorse on 11-22-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
40
Ratings:
54
Avg:
3.67
pDev:
12.53%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
2
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 54
Photo of clickpush
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Super red body, clear, big light tan head. Lots of carbonation. Looks delicious. Head lasts a decent amount of time. Sticky lacing remains the whole time.

Nose: Sweet vanilla wafers, malt richness. Some cherry cough syrup, alcohol.

Mouth: Tastes strikingly familiar to cherry cough syrup. I mean, it's a tasty Christmas beer, thick, rich & malty. I like it. Just some astringency that I'm not fond of. Also some cardboard-y after taste. Creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Climax Noel pours a cloudy copper color with a creamy, one finger width off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly down to a thin sheet on the surface leaving behind spots lf lace on the glass.

The aroma is faint with notes of caramel malt, orange citrus, clove and pepper. Each sip of this full bodied beer is soft on the palate with a mild fizz on the sides of the tongue. The flavor is typical for a Belgian style beer. Orange citrus, clove, pepper combined with some apple and light fruit flavors. It finishes sweet with a medicinal taste of alcohol. Once gone some of the spice notes and orange citrus linger on the palate.

I guess for a Christmas beer I was looking for a bit more spice. Still, it's a nice, smooth beer with a well balance flavor.

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Photo of largadeer
2.16/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Cloudy reddish-brown with significant chill haze, not the most appealing color, but the head retains nicely, fed by high levels of carbonation. The nose is fruity, spicy, yeasty. Orange juice, apple cider, apricots. Intense esters backed by a lot of malty sweetness. On the palate it isn't nearly as sweet as the aroma suggests. Big fruity esters meet somewhat astringent spiciness and surprisingly harsh solventy alcohol. There's some pleasant bready malt mid-palate, but I can't get past the sharp alcohol and overall astringency. Finishes like spiced rubbing alcohol. This is the worst climax I've ever had.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

it's a nice fiery red color with some dense haze. smells belgian, with a strong toasted marshmallow thing happening. a slight sweet fruitiness emerges too, enough to tell you this is a belgian strain of yeast at work here. the marshmallow thing continues, and is slightly plasticy. the beer finishes wicked boozy too. underneath the chaos there is promise of a well-rounded belgian abbey ale, warmth brings out a nice gingerbread malt/spice note, but it's not enough to save the beer overall.

ps: my bottle says 9% abv

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Photo of flannelman808
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours very nicely... lots of white foamy head with nice lacing.... It is a murky brown color, pretty opaque and rather dense looking. There is a hint of orange in the color as well.

S: There is a nice bouquet of pie spices which seems to dominate. I also Smell some fruit.. apricot and other stone fruits. There is a mild Dulce de leche quality here as well.. smells nice.

T: This beer is 'bready' and approachable, not overbearing. I'm thinking almost too approachable. The aroma renders more pungent than the taste does potent. That said its not bad. I still get the cinnamon and allspice quality and can detect a little bit of caramel. The stone fruit I was hoping for is not really there, instead I get a baking soda like carbonation that seems to wipe out what I was hoping would be a very complex brew.

M: I wish this beer had some more body too it... It smells like a bombshell and looks like a hot babe but tastes like a model with a really bad eating disorder. There is a little too much carbonation on this one I wish it was a little more tongue friendly.

D: pretty drinkable, and the alcohol is extremely well hidden

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Photo of RedBrewer83
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip....2009 vintage

A: Amber body with hints of orange and ruby, two finger head forms and maintains half finger head for large portion of beer. Very creamy with nice lacing.

S: Candied caramel malt, orange, hints of hop citrus aromas as well. Nice and straightforward but not overly intense or complex.

T: Flavor follows suit with the nose for the most part, yeast is more present in the taste and just a hint of booze is noticed mid palate. Finish lingers with hops, but needs a little more to really crisp things up and help the drinkability.

M: Pretty smooth, medium body and the abv is not really felt, warming as it goes down but not overpowering.

D: As I said before, needs a little more dry hopping and this would be a very drinkable beer, as is being a 9% belgian imperial red its pretty drinkable...

 828 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cream, three-finger head that fades quickly to a ring leaving no lace. Amber/red color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Light caramel nose. Flavor is caramel and hops. Higher ABV is hidden. $6.39 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tropical sunset orange-cherry with a gorgeous glow when backlit with late April sunshine. Electric tangerine edges look good as well. The three finger crown is the color and texture of orange-caramel mousse. Abundant and attractive lace are the finishing touches on this attractive winter warmer (that looks like an Imperial red should look).

The nose isn't exactly jumping out of the glass. Even though it's low on power, aromas include caramel-covered cherries and oranges. A New Zealand hop known as Motueka (a Saaz variant) is present, but isn't appreciated. Nor is alcohol. If it opens up with warming, I'll give the score a well-deserved bump. Note: it does, just not enough.

A few ounces in.... Climax Noel is probably Eel River's second best beer, behind Raven's Eye Imperial Stout. It's tantalizingly close to being a well-crafted Imperial red, but better than average is about as high as I can go. This is sort of brew that Rogue knocks out of the park on a routine basis.

Suggested fixes are more malt (especially caramel malt), as well as a better choice of hops. More hops wouldn't be a bad idea either, but malt is more crucial to CN's ultimate success. Flavors mirror aromas: maraschino cherries and orange slices swimming in a light caramel and brown sugar syrup. Simple and direct. Sweet and bitter are pretty evenly matched.

Given the style and the ABV, the body/mouthfeel is a fraction light. It isn't bad though, and almost pulls it off in the end. A glassy smoothness is probably the result of an ideal amount of bubbles.

Climax Noel is enjoyable beer, even though it's destined to be forgotten once the final drop has disappeared. It's a friendly sort of 8.0% winter warmer that makes no major missteps. I'm sure it warms the cockles of many a beer-loving heart in Scotia, CA come Christmastime... when it gets down to a bone-chilling 45 degrees.

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Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into my Meantime snifter. Climax Noel is a dark amber with a dense khaki head that leaves sheets of foamy lace.

Smell isn't to strong, but a really nice caramel note, reminding me a bit of cream soda.

Taste is malty, some of the caramel from the nose, plastic phenols, a bit spicy. On the simple side, it opens up just a bit as it warms, but I'd like more sweetness. Or bigger hop flavor, which isn't really obvious here, although this is getting on a few months since the release...even though I bought from a cooler, it may not have been there all winter.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, medium heavy body.

Drinkability isn't too bad, not really that exciting though. One of those where if the nose matched the flavor better it would really be great. The alcohol is well hidden and it's overall rather smooth, make up for the lackluster flavor.

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Photo of Yeastcakes
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving notes: snifter, half-inch head.
Aroma: Full malty body dominates the aroma.
Appearance: Dark red and clear. Nice half-inch head.
Mouthfeel: full body, light on carbonation.
Taste: Alcohol flavor prevalent with full malt flavor. Nice floral hop flavors.
Drinkability: A decent red ale although not necessarily one that I will seek out.

 342 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bomber bottle bought in Orono, Maine, that I shared with one of the best women I've ever dated, this beer was a mahogany color with one-finger of beige head. The retention of the thin cap was good and the lacing was great in genuine curtains. The aroma was of doughy/bready malt, light alcohol, some mustiness and a lightly toasted character. The flavors were excellent, butterscotch, nuts, wood chips, vanilla, brown sugar and a light spiciness. A great example of the flavor profile one would hope to find from a Winter Warmer. The higher ALC was well-concealed too. The mouthfeel was smooth and soft, the carbonation subtle and the body medium/full. If you find it, buy it.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Who are these guys? Found this in the winter beer selection at Tully's. After drinking this beer, I hope that Dawn will be getting some more beers from Eel River. The beer, when poured, is quite pretty. A dark red amber color with a thick tan head and plenty of lacing. A caramel aroma with a hops presence. Taste was a good caramel malt as well as a good belt of hops. Pretty chewy beer, and quite enjoyable.

 409 characters

Photo of cleeze
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Red ale on steriods right here.

Poured a deep dark amber with a nice frothy head. Also had some bad ass lacing that was glued to the side of the glass.

smell was very hoppy. Also some deep malts in the mix.

Taste is full of hops. again deep malts. It has a boozy after taste though. Little too boozy for my liking though

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a rich dark red with a very robust off white head and good thick lacing. Very attractive pour.

Nose was of caramel malts and floral and pine hops. Mouthfeel was rich and creamy. Flavor is both bitter and spicy and he finish is bitter as well.

This listed on the bottle as an Imperial Red so am not why it is called a winter warmer, but it was indeed just that. I have a feeling this will keep well in my beer cellar so in case this is going to be a limited offering I intend to lay in a supply to entertain my beer loving friends this winter. This is excellent stuff.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Climax Noel pours a dark brownish red with a strong head of at least 2-3 fingers with a tight bubble snow lacing. The label shows a train going through a snow storm.

The aroma was spicy and of caramel with some hoppiness in the background. It had the smell of a red but a more aggressive nose. The first taste was spicy up front with a good caramel malt backbone and a bitterness stay took a nap on the tongue. It was spicy all the way through and was yet real smooth. The 8 percent made itself known by not in a "in your face" sort of way. Overall I was really impressed with this brew. It makes me want to revisit some of their mainstream offerings that I may have written off as average.

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Climax Noel - Imperial Red Ale from Eel River Brewing Co.
3.67 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
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