Imperial Red | Hop Valley Brewing Company

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Imperial RedImperial Red
Very Good
29 Ratings
Imperial RedImperial Red

Brewed by:
Hop Valley Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RedDiamond on 07-29-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by ccrida:
Photo of ccrida
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is murky dark brown with a creamy tan head that leaves big chunks of foamy lace.

Smell is piny hops, sweet caramel malt. Not as hoppy as I expected, but definitely on the robust.

Taste is mostly malty, semisweet, a little citrus from the hops, very spicy, moderate bitterness and smooth alcohol. Not as full flavored as I expected (which was something more like a red DIPA), but I like the caramel and chocolate notes of malt. I was hoping it would open up more as it warmed, but really no significant change.

Mouthfeel is dry, sticky hop resins, medium bodied.

Drinkability is okay, it's not too heavy and the alcohol isn't too obvious, but it's not to compelling either.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A super thick and sturdy red to brown pour, more red, aroma was boozy.

Taste, still a little boozy, was expecting it to be hoppier, but it is about 60-90 days old. Nonetheless, the high 85 ibu or whatever on the bottle is either matched by a very legit malt backbone (very possible) or full of it. Doesn't come across on the taste buds. Just a big alcoholic red.

Chewy throughout, I'd really compare this to a red barleywine more than anything. Next time I'll drink it right away.

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Photo of Docer
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle right out of my 12 deg. C cooler... Interesting name... Cliche name of a brewery... Natty... haha... looks like a couple others had the name before them but oh well...

- Big fluffy beige colored head... down to a large sticky ring of creamy froth... thin blanket rests over a slightly cloudy red... lots of sediment lines the bottom of my tulip...

- Thick sweet caramel malts... bright pine hop, citrus zest... sweet cream..

- Great creamy caramel, grain, meaty grain.. bitter pine hop... sweet woodiness... maple, oak... cream...

- Medium bodied... dry from the bitterness... slightly chewy and sticky..

- A great impy red... not such a malt bomb, but more balanced with flavor, a nice creaminess.. and hops that compliment it perfectly... this one is a winner.

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Photo of Bearman13
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of hophopandaway14
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of Reidrover
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought from "Lifesource" natural grocers in Salem. $3.79 This is now called Imperial Red ( but has the Rasta lion logo bottom of label) and its now 8.5% alc. Pours a wonderful dark amber.cloudy and with a lovely looking bubbly yet thick light tan head. Heavy toffee/caramel malt notes in the aroma..slight spicy/resiny hop. Nice thick bitter burnt toffee type malts,smooth dark chocolate and cold espresso tasty indeed, hops show inn the end nicely. Great smooth ,thick yet drinkable mouth feel. Lovely aftertaste. Excellent strong amber!

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very responsive beer gives me almost a two finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is slightly off white (just found a green plastic thing about the size of an ant floating in the head....not too pleased with that) mostly small bubbles but a fair amount of medium ones as well. Pretty dark creamy looking head for a amber ale, excellent lacing throughout the glass. The body is very very dark, almost burgundy until it's held up to the light and more red comes through, still a very dark red though. There is almost zero visibility through this beer due to the dark color. From what I can tell the carbonation looks about right, but it's hard to see in the dark body. The head has disappeared now, but it's left a substantial film of head on top of the body. Overall this is a very good looking imperial red ale. The nose is also very nice on this beer, very hoppy and lively smell to it. Mostly hops on the smell, but there is also a small malt and a very distinct fruit note in here, bigger than the malt even. More light fruit than dark fruit, that's for sure, which is confusing when you look at the color of the body, but light fruit would for sure go better with the style. Apples, mango, pear, all these come to mind when trying to identify the fruit. Very very good smell on this beer, almost 4.5 worthy, not quite there though. Whoa, well for starters there is a lot more alcohol in this beer than I thought, I picked up very little alcohol on the nose at all, and there is a substantial amount here. Not surprising because it is 8%, but I just didn't get it on the smell. Not too boozy, that's for sure, but definitely up there. As far as flavors, they all kinda hit you at once, there isn't much of a beginning, middle, end, all the flavors just hit you at once. Alcohol, hops, malts, lots of sweetness, a little light fruit, slight molasses/maple taste all come at you at once. On some sips the hops do get lost in the alcohol and sweetness, which is too bad, I never like those things to overpower my beer. I mean they are fun to have in there, but too much of them is just unwanted and annoying when trying to taste the true greatness of a beer. Overall the taste is very nice, and for the style it works really well. A little boozy for my liking, but what the hell, it's a quality beer. The mouthfeel is a little thin, I know it's an amber ale, but it's an imperial so it should have some umph in the mouthfeel. Even with a regular amber it's nice to have a big mouthfeel, or any beer for that matter. The carbonation is spot on though, and that does save it a little bit, but the body should be bigger. The drinkability is a little rough, but it's not too bad, and perhaps I'm just still dwelling on that 10% barleywine I recently had, or maybe this beer is just as overly potent as that one was, but it just tastes more boozy than it should be for 8%. Overall a really good beer, a little boozy for my liking, but you can taste all the good stuff, and you know it was made with time and care. Perhaps not my style, but I don't mind a solid double IPA, so maybe my taste buds are just off? Anyways, good beer.

While drinking this beer, it really went back and fourth between being all alcohol and having a very sweet flavor, and being balanced and hoppy. In the end it just came back to where is started, not quite as boozy, but still, boozy, hoppy, malty, and fruity.

 3,395 characters

Photo of bumchilly25
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of joefc
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of jbakajust1
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Chris-MOC9
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of johnnyboy76
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of artoolemomo
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a pretty good amount of head which looks to have decent to good retention. The head is an off-white/light tan while the body is a dark amber with hints of garnet which appears as medium to (but mostly) dark amber when held up to the light. Lacing is sporadic.

Nose- Shows some fruitier hop notes at first- a tiny bit of citrus (orange and lemon, some grapefruit) which quickly moves to pine and resin. Very piney with touches of matchstick. Maybe papaya. Some caramel as well. Swirling doesn't add much. Overall aroma makes me think this going to be more of bitter hop bomb than I'd like.

Taste- Starts off with a good amount of fruit (much more than the nose) that shows the citrus of the nose but even a splash of cherry. Almost fruit punch in a way. This occupies some of the flavor profile which then gives way to big notes of pine and resin, also matchstick. Nothing that is too domineering at the moment and seems to contrast well with the front. Some tropical fruits with softer fruits of peach and mango which interact well with the cherry. A bit of a mix between a juice and a bitter hop bomb. There is definite woodiness and even earwax on the finish but it doesn't have too much of a linger. Some caramel but the beer is mostly about the interplay of different kinds of hops. The bittering hops are still a little much for me at the moment but I do like what this beer brings to the table. Pretty much a good, solid beer that adds another dimension to a rather vague style.

Mouthfeel- A little bit less than medium bodied with some syrup and appropriate carbonation. It does have some zip to it, which is a little distracting.

Drinkability- Somewhat easygoing but part of its difficulty is what makes it interesting. A complicated beer that is far from sessionable but different enough to legitimize it. 5 bucks is pretty fair for a bomber. There's an off-chance I would buy this again.

Overall- Might not be something I would buy again but still a pretty solid beer. The more bitter aspects of the beer start to mellow and make this closer to the juice bomb type of hoppy beer that I prefer. It still has a good counterpoint of bitterness to give it structure but it does become a little more accessible. Definitely worth a try- I can see this beer becoming a go to beer for some.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is transparent red with a tan head that leaves sticky lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dark malt, earthy and floral hops.

Tastes of biscuity, mildly roasted malt and earthy hops. Sweet up front, then comes a nice hoppy bitterness, with a long dry finish. Bit of copper penny in the finish, especially noticeable on the side of the tongue, but then recedes. Slight bit of cocoa gives it a little more depth.

Body is medium and carbonation nice and round, giving this a nice creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, a nice hoppy malty and balanced red ale that is pretty smooth.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.24/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a snifter glass

A- Poured a dark reddish brown color (closer to brown), off-white frothy head left webbed lacing.

S- Huge pungent and sticky dank, resiny, piney, and some citrusy hops. Really no malt character in the aroma, but this is one powerful, potent, and pungent hop aroma.

T- Big red malt character with fruity and citrusy notes, some dank and resiny hops on the finish with a slight medicinal taste. Moderate to high bitterness on the finish, but juicy malt character up front.

M- Medium to fuller boide, prickly carbonation, smooth, and dry.

O- THe aroma on this beer is ridiculously hop forward. The taste has a lot of hop presence but not like the aroma, the malt and hops balance itself I guess you would say but they are both bold.

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Photo of loren01
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark red color, nice sized head with great lacing down the glass
S: Smell is sweet and caramelly. Some piney hop scent in there as well
T: Sweet caramel flavor up front followed by a nice piney hop flavor
M: Medium to full bodied beer, alcohol is not very well hidden
O: This is a pretty tasty beer. Malty and hoppy...very well balanced.

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Photo of cbnz
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Rudes
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Chuffbomb
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of peacebone116
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle during my 7/4 trip to Bend, OR. Poured from the bomber into a tulip glass on 8/2/11.

A: Deep dark copper, almost brown with red highlights. Tan/light brown head that fades to only wisps.

N: Malty toffee and fig with a piney backing.

T/M: Follows the nose with a nice piney citrus and a hint of coffee at times. Full bodied with a dry resinous finish.

Good balance for an Imperial Red--a bit darker and heavier than anticipated, but very good. Not totally sure how this beer fits with the style, but I thought it was beautiful and delicious.

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Photo of fitius5150
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of chumba526
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appears a dark brownish red color. With an off white head.

It smells slightly sweet malty and bread like. There is also a hoppy citrus grassy smell going on as well.

The taste starts with a bold sweet malt taste. There are undertones of molasses and caramel. A nice strong hoppy bitterness. There is a nice but subtle citrus bit as well from the hops. This is a very rich sticky beer that is loaded with malts but it is also loaded with a bunch of potent hops. The result is a beer that is very malty and very hoppy. A nice take on the style.

The carbonation is moderate high.

The drinkability is ok but this is a very rich beer so probably one bottle of this beast will do.

Overall an interesting take on the style that is bold and intense yet well balanced.

 767 characters

Photo of DrDaves49
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at Hawthorne Hophouse on 9/1/11

Appearance: Pours a medium caramel with honey folds. The crown is 1 finger, white, shows medium retention and medium lace.

Smell: Nice malt profile, a dash of fruit, and some pine to round it out.

Taste: Same as nose with medium hop bitterness for the style.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied with crisp carbonation.

Overall: So sessionable.

 403 characters

Photo of elcrawl
3.75/5  rDev 0%

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Imperial Red from Hop Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 29 ratings