Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
242 Reviews
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Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red AleTongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 11-25-2002

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Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 936
Photo of Stoutmaster9
4.82/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I have been craving an Imperial Red for some time, and just knew this would satisfy!
Dig the Pirate Skeleton label art!

One and a half finger head, diminishing quick. Mild ruby giving way to Blood Orange, then murky burgundy.
Light carb, no lacing.

Masterwork red ale, with an aquatic titan's Barley Wine strength! Malty toffee with well-balanced hoppy bitterness.

Deeply satisfying indeed.

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap served in a pint glass at Wishbeer, Bangkok.

It comes in clear deep reddish brown color with thick silky tan head that stands proud with great retention, it just slowly dissipates to a thin everlasting foamy film on the surface along with plenty of lacing trails.

Super solid and sweet malty profile in the aroma, it ranges from roasted, biscuit, bread, grain, slight buttery, to some smoke while hop with touch of lemon, citrus and some earthiness.

Malt leads forward with the same qualities as in the aroma, then it is earthy hop and solid bitterness but not that overpowering the malt bill, very good balance, also some zesty citrus and lemon.

Medium body with very smooth mouthfeel from its crisp and lively carbonation through the palate, refreshing, and dry finish.

Great in any aspect, alcohol is deceivingly hidden and such big IBU figure is not devastatingly wrecked the palate because it is being leverage by solid malt profile.

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Photo of vikinggary28
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into my handy chilled glass mug. Nice looking cloudy amber/red with an off white head. Smells of both pine and citrus. Taste has a great combination of both hops and malts as well as a hint of citrus and bread. Mouthfeel is great as well, goes down smooth. This is a great beer. PROST!

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Photo of jrsqc7
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very hoppy flavors sliced by malt sweetness
Mouthfeel is quite good. Possibly the best aspect of this brew.
Subtle alcohol derived bread flavors
Is it busy or complex? It's busy

Musical allegory wise, less Mingus more dream theatre. And that's an insult.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Bomber
Bottled On: 16018

Poured into a chalice a very nice cloudy amberish color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus off-white head, which also leaves some islands/oil slicks, and sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with a nice touch of hops, some citrus. The taste is very nice, malty, nice little sweetness, hoppy, some citrus. Full Body, ABV is hidden very well, nice little dry/bitter finish, a pretty complex brew for an amber, lol Overall, this is a very tasty brew, job well done BP. Recommended!

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Photo of Apellonious
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of beercam
4.78/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

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Photo of Prager62
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't see a bottle date, but it was fresh off the truck when I was at my local store. Pouring this bomber in my 13oz. tulip for the unveiling.

Look- Pours a very clear dark amber color leaving a very generous finger of light tan foam.

Smell- A mix of mild grapefruit and pine along with some spice.

Taste- Grapefruit, pine, and solid floral notes in the finish. A slight amount of caramel malt emerges as well.

Feel- Slick and oily with a bitter dry finish.

Overall- I bought this $4.99 bomber when my beer guy said some new BP bombers were being unloaded off the truck. A solid imperial red at a great price with wonderful hop flavor washed down by a slick malt backbone. A big beer at a economical price.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 13 oz Weyerbacher tulip glass not sure when it was bottled. Pours a gorgeous ruby red with a 3 finger off white head that leaves gobs of lace all over the place.

Smell is caramel, biscuit, apricot, toffee, pine, and grapefruit rind.

Taste follows nicely toffee, caramel, and apricot upfront and a massive hit of pine, grapefruit, and a little hint of alcohol in the enormous finish.

Mouthfeel is on the large side, plenty of life, a little dry, and even with the alcohol presence it is still very approachable.

Overall this is very good, I will drink this fairly often this Spring.

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

4-11-16 - On tap at the Ballast Point Tasting Room in the Little Italy section of San Diego. 8 oz. pour into a tall tulip glass. Super hoppy "red" ale. Menu notes that "IBU's top 100". Super smooth and tasty. Get this one again when you can.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.34/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Darker than average red here, borders on light brown, mahogany, auburn. 1/4" head, off white. Aroma was just not dropping the hoppy notes here.

Gigantuar amount of toffee and caramel from the malt and a grip load of bitterness. Expected more from these guys, this comes off more like a red barleywine. Tons of hops, almost all bittering, nothing late stage or giving a tasty mouthfeel. It was cool to be all big and barleywiney, but would be nice to be more robust in other more complex ways too.

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Photo of FFreak
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bomber purchased locally for $10.49. Poured into a tall tulip. Pours a turbid mahogany color with a tall, off-white head that takes forever to settle down and leaves some nice lace. Aroma is a mixture of malty sweetness combined with a citrusy hop scent, maybe a bit of bread and yeast. Taste is nicely balanced mixture of amber malts and a bracing bitterness that lingers and offsets the sweetness quite well. Feel is just right for the style, medium body, perfect level of carbonation, not too sweet or dry, with the high-ABV quite hidden. Overall, this is one of my favorite styles so I probably rate this higher than some others. I really liked Hop Flood by Evil Twin and compared to that this is not quite as good, but a pretty good example of the style.

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Photo of SovereignGood
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Deep dark red with a small head. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Hoppiness with some dark cherry maybe?

T: Like the smell, hoppy flavors with some dark fruit notes. You can taste the alcohol in the back but the beer is still smooth.

F: Good mouthfeel with a medium body.

Pretty good imperial red ale!

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Photo of BNLTandem
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Poured a clear deep copper with a full finger of foam. Very nice!

Aroma: fresh light hoppines. No underfermemted sweet nose like some "imperials".

Taste: nice balance. Enough Malt to balance the up front bitterness. Mainly back of the ton bitterness. Maybe a touch of grapefruit find..but not a ton of roasted Malt or Hop flavor.

Feel: The highlight by far of this brew is the surprisingly creamy mouth feel. How do they do that in this hoppy of a beer. Really a nice job. I need to learn how to do that.

Overall very enjoyable. I might like a tad more fermentables left in the brew. Up the gravity and the Brix a click. Can't wait to find the Bourbon barrel version of this!!!

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Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent orange/scarlet with o finger of cream colored head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Toasty, piney& catty

T: Toastyness, pineyness & a little caramel up front, woody hops as well. Slight astringency with slight brown sugar sweetness & with faint grapefruit , & stronger piney & woodiness as this warms. Finishes dry with a little caramel sweetness & piney & woody bitterness

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation, slews hoppy & bitter

Drinks fairly easy, I could've stood more alt backbone t balance it out, but well worth a go if you like them hoppy

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Photo of zizouandyuki
3.01/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a tall glass.

Deep amber color with very good clarity. Very little lacing. Smell gives me a headache. Taste is extremely dry and masks some of the better tastes. Has a medium body with moderate carbonation.

I can see how hop heads may like this, but I won't be purchasing this again. Far too bitter for my liking -- The label even warned me.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bomber poured into a Stone glass. Golden color. This has a very boozy taste. Very hoppy with a lot of bitterness. At 10.0 ABV it is quite powerful. There are a lot of better Red`s out there. Not up to the usual Ballast Point standards.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a very hazy dark red almost brown color. It has a bug pillowy tan head with giod retention and nice lacing. The smell is sweet, caramel and malty with just a hint of dank hops. The taste is sweet malt and alcohol, very boozy. Feel is medium and resinous. Overall I really didn't enjoy this beer, drank side by side with Founders Redankulous and it wasn't even close to as good.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.41/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a awesome, murky, dark red with a two finger, off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Smells of a sweet malt with candied funk. Funk is forward tasting that surrounds the tounge and slides down the hatch. The malted amber tastes balanced the big hop bite. A boozy burn in the end goes well with the hop bitter bite. I love the lingering resin. A great example of a hoppy red. I do,not see a good combination like this anywhere else, Ballast Point pulls it off. I am beginning to really like BP.

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Photo of anteater
1.31/5  rDev -66.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

I must have gotten an off batch because it tasted like someone poured a shot of vodka into a red ale. Taste was completely overwhelmed by fusel alcohol, basically undrinkable.

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Photo of Zach136
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy burnt orange, rocky light tan head.

Aroma: Medium intensity spruce and citrus hop character. Touch of roasty malt.

Flavor: Big caramel and mild roast malt character over spruce tips hop flavor/bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium+ sticky.

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Photo of ZakFaruki
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Beautiful dark copper, 3 finger tan head (aggressive pour), spots of lace occur as you drink

Smell: Didn't really get much of a smell other than a slight earthy scent

Taste: Carmel malts hit on the nose, then fade into a boozy aftertaste, occasionally I'll get a couple lingering notes of hop, but mainly the booze taste overpowers

Feel: Medium bodied leaning towards heavy, has a nice chewiness to it similar to DIPAs

Overall: An enjoyable take on a style I haven't really experienced much, but I don't think I would have again unless it was available on tap. Obviously the major takeaway here is the 10% ABV, so if you're a broke college student looking to catch a nice buzz and can find this on sale, go for it.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Limited I tap review:
Clear deep Amber, tons of light red-tan head.
Mildly sweet pitted fruit or maybe even citrus behind a piney hop bite.
Smooth start with a light chocolate caramel malt beginning, but a punch comes with pine and even a light spicy hops bite. Carbonation is nice, end is fairly dry.
Very impressed with this pour of this beer. This style is one that is hugely hit or miss for me, and this one is a hit.

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Photo of smcolw
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a touch of chill haze. Impressive head that settles very slowly. Lots of small spots for the lace.

Darker malt start to the nose. Floral hop thereafter. A bit of I cleaned beer line but I did kick the keg.

Lot of alcohol and caramel to start. This is almost like a bitter cocktail. This is from the initial sweetness, which becomes completely dominated by the peppery hop bitterness. Long bitter alcohol aftertaste.

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Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Brown/red, great head, dry and bitter with a very pleasant hop taste and a weak aroma. Big and chewy on the palate and really a nice brew, but a BEAST at 10%.

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Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 936 ratings.
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