Bone Head Imperial Red | Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon

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Bone Head Imperial RedBone Head Imperial Red
Bone Head Imperial RedBone Head Imperial Red

Brewed by:
Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
Ohio, United States

Style: American Imperial Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
We can boldly say that this hoppy red is unlike any other you’ve tried. Hopped-up to the max, deep ruby in color, with a smooth as silk mouthfeel and an almost pungent piney aroma. Malts bone-up their magic with a hearty, biscuity, almost rustic touch of flavor and a slightly bitter fruitiness. A creamy head always tops it off. Bonefide with a gold medal at the GABF.

A full bodied Imperial Red Ale brewed with a massive amount of Pacific Northwest hops that are complemented by caramel malts. Dry hopped and hop-backed with Simcoe hops give this beer it’s pungent piney aroma.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 270
Photo of hosehead83
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep amber in color, with a moderate-to-short head of light tan foam.
Aroma-Big piney hops
Taste-Up front onrush of piney hops, followed by toasted malt, caramel and tropical fruit. Dangerously drinkable for strength.

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4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a oversized brandy snifter. A vigorous pour achieves a solid inch of light tan head. Body is a deep mahogany in tone. Nose is a beautiful mix of hops and malts. Hop tones are of resin and citrus pulp in terms of smell. With first sip I think WOW this beer is very well put together in terms of smell. Big and bold with tons of resinous hop characters playing here. Malt stays strong as the backbone but really acts to make this beer creamy smooth. This beer gives you such a wonderful gelling of big hop flavors and bold malts. It is a true joy to drink but watch out, at 9.4% this one sneaks up on you in a hurry.

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Photo of ClePaul
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fat Heads Bonehead

Look 9/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 36/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 18/20

Overall 88/100

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Photo of Brenden
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is a deep medium-dark red with a big, soapy off-white head. It sticks around pretty tall for the duration of the session, leaving creamy lacing on the walls of the glass in good volume.
This is a big, rich red that is surprisingly balanced for its size and depth. It shows lots of fruitiness in wide variety through both the aroma and flavor, from a touch of tropical to ripened dark fruits to some more citrusy. This balances with some toffee and caramel sweetness, and all of this balances against a huge hop bill (some of the fruitier notes being a part of that). Thick, toasty breads, earth, and something spicy and rye-like add some more balance and flavor to it. As for the hops themselves, they seems to all be a part of the overall while attributing some more earth, herb and pine. This is big and robust, massively flavorful but still more drinkable than one might think.
The feel is just as big, rich and robust as the aroma and flavor. The body reaches full while flowing smoothly, even with a great creaminess, going right together with a full crispness. It ends up being somewhere in the middle but leaning semi-dry, adding to how easy it is to drink.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: A nice blend of heavy grassy hop notes with some bready, caramel like malty sweetness. Clean fermentation character. Very inviting with a richness of dank grassy hop aroma and caramel malty sweetness.

Appearance: Hazy brick red pour with a low white head. Head retention is good. Appears still in the glass.

Flavor: A rush of caramel-like sweetness with grassy bitter hop flavors. Balance is to the earthy bitterness but there is a nice sweet bread malt base with lots of grassy hop character. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is lingering and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation. Has a slightly oily and creamy character to it.

Overall impression: Very nice hoppy amber! Approaching American Barleywine character while remaining lighter and drinkable. Another winner from Fat Head’s!

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Photo of ONUMello
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle dated 3/24/15 poured into a pint glass
A: Reddish brown with a 1/2-finger head
S: Lots of hop notes, particularly pine and tropical fruit, with a solid malt backbone
T: Matches the nose, adding a nice peppery/herbal note
M: Medium+ bodied, bitter
O: Another enjoyable hop-forward ale from Fat Head's

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz.

Pours mostly clear dark reddish brown. Off-white head retains indefinitely.

Smells of bready malts, caramel, hempy grains, and lightly piney bitter hops.

Tastes of bready malts, piney hops, and caramel.

Medium to full body, tingly carbonation on the tongue.

Really nice hoppier red ale, nothing super unique about it, but just well above average on every point. Very worth trying.

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Photo of Bone53
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Amber color in the glass with a one finger light beige head

Smell: That sweet caramel malt right off the bat that youd expect in an amber ale, ton of dank tropical and slight citrus fruit, onion undertone

Taste: A great balance of sweet caramel malt and dank citrusy, onion hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body, goes down smooth considering the abv. with a little more hop bitterness than i prefer in an amber

Overall: Really nice imperial amber ale right here. The balance of sweet malt and dank hops is awesome, although it does have more onion/garlic spice than i really prefer, which keeps it from being world class for me. Also huge bitterness that i dont relate amber/red ales with. Nitpicking aside, this is one of the better imperial amber ales I've had. Id almost put this up there with Nugget Nectar, but not quite

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Man, Fat Head's can do no wrong.

This has that fruity tone that I really love to see in an amber, but rarely do to this level. This is an amber ale at its best.

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Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I normally dislike red ales quite a bit but this is the best I've ever had. So hoppy, slightly sweet, tons of caramel and the head is fluffy like a pillow. What an outstanding beer!

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 3/26/2015. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, mango, pineapple, peach, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, caramel, toffee, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, mango, pineapple, peach, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, caramel, toffee, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, mango, pineapple, peach, lemon/orange peel, pine, caramel, toffee, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an excellent imperial red ale style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle:

"We can boldly say that this hoppy red is unlike any other you’ve tried. Hopped-up to the max, deep ruby in color, with a smooth as silk mouthfeel and an almost pungent piney aroma. Malts bone-up their magic with a hearty, biscuity, almost rustic touch of flavor and a slightly bitter fruitiness. A creamy head always tops it off. Recently Bonefide with a Silver Award at The World Beer Cup."

Spot on. I couldn't do it any more justice. The creamy head is not an exaggeration by any means. Pungent piney hops and chewy malty body. Together they are doing battle American Gladiator style and it works to near perfection.

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Photo of WilliamLazaroff
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The last guy who reviewed this beer is an idiot who shouldn't drink beer. This beer smells like heaven, tastes like fresh vagina and looks like Kate Upton. How could anyone not like it is beyond me.

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Photo of msquared36
3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Blood red. Looks like a Halloween prop. Scent is carmalized onions. Not overpowering but a little off putting.

This is a malt sandwich between two slices of hops. Piney first. Followed by a slightly sweet caramel. Finishes dry although a little sweetness lingers.

Thick and chewy. Not bad. I'd prefer a red ale to be a little less hoppy. Also, the smell takes it down a notch.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a tulip glass

It is a beautiful garnet hue with no visible particulates. It was topped with a generous beige head that leaves some decent lacing.

At first it had a great citrus aroma. It smelled like a world class IPA from Fat Heads. As it warmed the malts had more of an impact along with some pine.

It started out as a citrusy delight. Once again, as it warmed the malts came into play balancing it. The finish is loaded with pine.

Medium, smooth, low carbonation

This is another great beer from Fat Heads. It is really tough to beat their hoppy beers right now. Great example of a hoppy red ale.

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another delicious and well crafted beer from Fat Heads. This is a fantastic imperial red ale. Deep ruby in appearance. Smooth and silky in it's feel. Hoppy and touch of caramel in it's flavor. Not much in the way of aromas however. Sticky traces of lacing on the glass. Shhh . . . if it weren't for Nosferatu, this would be my favorite imperial red ale. Not just in Ohio but in the country. Well done.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Triple Digit tulip. Crystal clear pour. Very red in color - almost burgundy when held up to the light - and an impressive head of rocky ivory-colored foam with good retention and clumpy lacing. I get lots of nice citrusy hops on the nose. It smells like a good IIPA. Lemons, grapefruit, orange blossoms, and a hint of fresh linen.

Medium body with a slick feel and a nicely balanced flavor. Rich toasted malt, fresh bread, caramel, and biscuits with honey. A nice salvo of American hops charges in quickly and scours the palate without destroying it. Nice tropical fruit bitter notes of lemon peel, oranges, and grapefruit juice. The malt never leaves the palate. The toasty notes remain lingering in the background and the sweet breadiness supports the hops through the finish.

I'm usually not a big fan of this style, but anything from Fat Head's that involves lots of hops is usually worth a look so I took a flyer on this beer. I'm glad I did. The reason I don't usually like this style is because the precise combination of toasted malt, hops, and alcohol one finds in it makes the beer taste like an American barleywine that has been sitting around for several months and whose hops tend towards an herbal, tea-like character. That is not the case with this one. The hops are bright and fruity with nice tropical citrus notes. The toasted malt is there, but is content to play second fiddle.

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look – Medium sized bubbled head. Not too much darker than white. Beer is dark, almost burnt orange. You can see through it, barely.

Smell – It smells like a dank IPA. There is passion fruit, grapefruit, and a little malt.

Taste – It is a mellowed out IPA taste. Finishes with the classic bitterness you expect.

Feel – I like the creamy, smooth feel in the beginning. You don’t really lose that feel going down or after it has settled.

Overall – I was really surprised by this one. I was not expecting the hop flavor, maybe I should have looked at the picture. It is toned down enough to where a hop hater can drink it. Versatile.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

There is no doubt this is an American amber (a double or Imperial at > 9% ABV). It opens with aroma. The appearance, though beautifully foamy and clear, is too deep a shade of amber. That aroma is right there as soon as you take the cap off a bottle. Pungent.

The taste is a robust, hoppy grunge that burns. Tums would be in order if you drink more than one. It's very bitter for the style, but the right bitter. The after burn is fairly nasty and slightly boozy.

This definitely is a great big red from those expert brewers on the west side of town. Recommended.

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Photo of BB1313
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 3/25/15. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a deep auburn with a fluffy off-white head that leaves nice lacing and retention. The aromas are dank and exactly what you would expect from Fat Head's. Tons of tropical notes. Lots of peach and mango. Pineapple is in the mix with a touch of ripe grapefruit. Caramel malts are present in the aromas and flavors, but the hops still dominate. The flavors are bitter with a subtle sweetness. There's also subtle hints of cocoa. More peach and mango. Some sweet caramel in the mix attempting to give this one some balance. Lots of fresh pine needles too. Maybe some rye or black pepper in the finish. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation; very creamy and smooth. Alcohol goes unnoticed; dangerously drinkable.

This is exactly what I expect from Fat Head's. Well executed. This has their classic hop profile, but with a malt backbone. Great stuff. Recommended.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz pour into snifter for $5 at the brewery in N. Olmsted, OH.

Clear, amber/ruby elixir, 3mm slightly off-white head, thick lacing covers the glass.

Huge citrus and piney hops, spice, and caramel. Some underlying earth tones. Really nice, complex aroma.

The piney/earthy hops are at the forefront with a nice smooth bitterness. Some caramel malt at the end, quickly overwhelmed by the hops for a bittering aftertaste.

Medium body, nicely carbonated, the alcohol well hidden.

This is my kind of Imperial Red. Another well done brew by Fatheads.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz pour into a snifter.

Ruby red, clear with a sturdy off white head that leaves sticky lacing around the rim of the glass. Sweet malt, dank, tropical hops. Tropical sweetness, dank hops and and caramel malt blend well to provide an intense flavor without being cloying. Finishes semi-dry.

Another great brew from Fat Head's. Hoppy sweet goodness that is super drinkable for the ABV. Well done.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an amber red color with a white soapy head. Aroma of big malt and perhaps a whiskey element. In the taste, spicy rye, toasted malt and a dry hop bite. Alcohol is there but not overpowering. Has a doughy malt, spicy rye, caramel and bitters thing going on. Medium to full bodied ale, with a dry bite and cleaner finish. Overall, I quite enjoyed the bigger version of the bonehead.

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Photo of DeFaz
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this today at Spinoza's in Beavercreek, Ohio. Served on tap, it had a light red color, and the head left full lacing around the glass. The smell was a nice balance between rye and hop flavor, especially pine. The taste was consistent with the balance, with pronounced rye but also plenty of hop punch in there. It was fairly bitter, and the alcohol was concealed nicely. The mouthfeel was great, as this beer had the right amount of thickness and carbonation and went down very nicely. Overall, while I'm not a huge fan of rye beers, I recognize that this is well crafted and is easily the best rye IPA I've had.

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Photo of TheRemyLeabeau
4.96/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Will edit review from notes, am heading to the taphouse tonight to indulge in more of this one of a kind brew. Simply amazing! Will edit review in next couple days. Please note this is the Imperial version of their Red Rye beer and this is the first time it was brewed.

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Bone Head Imperial Red from Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 270 ratings