Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red AleTongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale
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Red Ale - Imperial
Ranked #35
Ranked #12,971
3.93 | pDev: 11.2%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red AleTongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale
Reviews: 253 | Ratings: 990 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Greywulfken:
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Greywulfken from New York

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: amber brown and perfectly clear; towering head of fine bubbles draped lace behind

S: piney and resinous hop aromas with spikes of a dark, pithy citric aroma; hearty malt character underscores it all

T: caramel sweetness preps the palate for the slow-moving train of hop action that follows - lots of pine and resin draped over the citric elements and flavors; malt flavors are rustic and roasty, with suggestions of nuttiness and earthy spice

M: medium-bodied, ample carbonation; slight chew, but the abv airs it out quickly; dry wood aftertaste hovers o'er the numbing bitterness...

O: hop-forward "American" Imperial India Amber Ale (new style category!) - essentially a dark IPA Imperialized effectively - big hops, hearty malts - easy-drinking with a hammer of hops to hide the high abv. I really dug it.

Nov 16, 2014
More User Reviews:
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beercam from Washington

4.78/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is red-ale lover's review. If you don't like strong strong malty wild fresh sugary raging fruit unnameably tropical intonations and spicy incantations upon the palate. Just go elsewhere, don't hate!

Been on the coat tails of this brew for a minute. Glad to catch up with it.

L: Ballast Point's Handsome labeling excels once again. This is a special painting, of label, and of beer in a dogfishhead pint glass. It's a deep, brassy, ruby. Tough to see through, like a dusty powder of snow borne in a sturdy, icy breeze. This stuff really is beautiful, especially if you pour it at about ehhh, half a foot above the -*bottom*- of your glass. This gets some foam in there! Come get some fome!
S: Rich and sweet. Deep grainy breeze from the bottle says this has really been fermented artistically.
T: Really good. There, I said it. Meets the deep deep and rigorous requisites for a red, and meets them imperially. Literally. The perfect deep Fall beer, if we're talking seasonally. This taste really that good. Taste is a very competitive category overall for me, and the redness of this beer blasts its rankings way up, because of how much gravity i give to my red beers.
F: Smooth, quick, thick, fruity, wild. Kind of new. Again, passes quick is and is dry, yet within this constrains achieves huge things as an imperial red with ease....

O: Drink this asap if you can, it's availability is dwindling in my areas. Probably cellars really really well, frankly. This beer is uniquely sturdy for its lofty hoppiness.

Mastery. For more red mastery, and more of my reviews, chase after Anchor's Big Leaf Maple and Alaska's Imperial Red, and thanks for enjoying ballast point's tongue buckler with me. Keep drinking, reading, chilling, etc.

Jul 16, 2016
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Apellonious from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into a tulip, a dense ruby red with brown and red elements. Couldn't decipher the code on the bottom. A one finger fluffy tan head decorates the top. Smells like a red, with some orange citrus and some bread. The taste is barley wine esque, heavy hops, a touch of heat, and dark fruit sugars. Very dense, carbonation is medium low. Things get a little sticky as it warms. Overall, I like it, but not quite the top the style.

Jul 17, 2016
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MattR2014 from Virginia

3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had out of 22oz bottle. This is a big beer. 10%. Taste the booze but it's hoppy also

May 02, 2015
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ballast Point : Tongue Buckler

Poured ontap into a snifter. Deep brown in color with a small white cap. Aroma is full of sugary malt and floral hops. In the flavor, deep peaty malt notes and grapefruit rind like hops. Very close to a scotch ale with a sweet and unexpected maltyness. For 100 IBU the bitterness is moderate. Sweet malts battling a good dose of hops kind of overshadows the lofty alcohol. A hybrid style, Scotch IPA is what it had me thinking.

Aug 15, 2011
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bradcochran1234 from Georgia

4/5  rDev +1.8%

May 12, 2012
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Nunya from Ohio

4/5  rDev +1.8%

May 16, 2014
Photo of Nabs350

4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Mar 29, 2015
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EnojysAnyBeer from Colorado

4.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite styles done right. Huge beer here, balanced though. Pretty easy drinking for a 10%er

Incredibly balanced. Resiny hop flavors and sugary sweet malt flavors blend together to provide a feeling of perfection.

Feb 11, 2015
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funkel81 from Colorado

4/5  rDev +1.8%

Feb 10, 2013
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Smooth-Hoperator from Ohio

3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A) Beautiful thick and hazy dark orange-amber colored beer with very little head.

S) Smells like orange, pine and caramel with a little bitterness that hits the nose.

T) Woah. A very complex beer that starts off kind of sweet and very malt-forward with a little orange citrus balance that fades into a deep bitterness.

M) This is a fairly thick an heavy beer but good for an Imperial Red Ale.

O) A decent Imperial Red but leaves a lot to be desired. I would take Great Lakes Nosferatu over this one in a second. It is almost too bitter for my taste but overall, a decent beer.

Jan 10, 2013
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beerinmybelly from California

3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Apr 02, 2015
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ocelot2500 from Maryland

4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a tight, off-white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of piny and citrus hops with some toasted malts.

Tastes of big hops upfront on a supportive malt backbone. Big notes of grapefruit, pine, and herbal notes. Moderately bitter, but not overly so. Malts come in with caramel, toffee, and a bit of toasted bread. A bit of fruitiness comes through as well and add to the grapefruit notes. Sweetness balances out what bitterness comes through. Alcohol is very slight and pleasant.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a big amber ale and I would definitely think it was a barleywine if not told otherwise, but this is tasty either way.

Sep 26, 2012
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JVan from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Jul 02, 2013
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powdersoldier from Washington

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sep 01, 2016
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Drew_V_dt from California

3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mar 11, 2016
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emmasdad from Colorado

4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this one on tap at the Ballast Point Brewery/Home Brew Mart in San Diego. Poured a dark amber color with a little beige head. Aromas of juicy hops, citrus, toasted malt and sweet caramel. On the palate, this one is medium bodied, with flavors of citrusy hops, oranges, caramel and sweet malt. Very hoppy, without a bitter finish.

May 28, 2011
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VonZipper from New York

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Jun 27, 2012
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3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Feb 07, 2013
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CaliforniaBurrito from California

4.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Good taste. Ballast Point never disappoints.

Mar 19, 2015
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ThreeWiseMen from California

4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brent (Swimsum) shared this with me. Thanks buddy!

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Crystal clear deep red with a white halo on top. No apparent carbonation. Nice lacing, nice retention. I really dig the color.

Smell: Sweet caramel and amber-like characteristics. The ABV also comes through a bit. Not a whole lot to smell here unfortunately, but what is there smells nice.

Taste: Toasted grains, candy apple caramel, red berries, pine and citric hops. Nice, balanced profile of flavors. Very enjoyable. Alcohol comes through in the finish, but isn't too pronounced. Mild bitterness. Nice!

Mouthfeel: Creamy, sweet, and well-balanced. Beer becomes frothy when swished. Sticky and syrupy to an extent. Kinda heavy. Definitely warm.

Drinkability: Pretty syrupy and hot at times, but otherwise a solid imperial amber. I recommend splitting this with someone else.

Nov 09, 2009
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Jspriest from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1.8%

Jan 13, 2012
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Seanecy from Virginia

3.17/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Feb 01, 2016
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Heeenrik from Finland

3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sep 20, 2018
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Soneast from Wisconsin

3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jan 17, 2015
Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 990 ratings