Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 938 |  Reviews: 242
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of BeerHunter76
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Irrationalist
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of maximum12
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't know why this beer was so bloody hard to find, but it was on my wants list forever until martin123012 took pity & traded me a bottle. All this build-up? Kind of like Indiana Jones IV? God, I hope not. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife. Best by date of 6/13 (?) on the neck.

Pour is certainly red. The dull, mucky variety. Taking in several liters of air through my nose, I manage to tease out some sweet malt & earthy hops, but that's it. Down low.

Tongue Buckler is like malt-on-malt porn. Malts spill over one another in an amazing amount of positions. Sweet bread, caramel, grain, booze, light toast. The hops aren't as aggressive as advertised, but they pack a wallop that's mostly bitter & faintly citrus. I don't know how to describe it, but the malts & hops seem at odds - the effect is almost oxidized, though not quite. The mouthfeel is heavy as a malt-soaked anvil...I shouldn't have eaten dinner. This could be a meal in itself. Doesn't exactly invite slugging.

Especially given my love of Ballast Point's hoppy beer, this is a touch of a letdown. The heaviness & ingredients that appear to be sparring with one another means this one only lands in the pretty good airfield.

 1,198 characters

Photo of itsromy
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Beerbuddy21
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of sea1961
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of wilfonzo
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of seplo
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of mattdbh
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of GradyS1
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of sbanacho
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Bubbalito
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of macrosmatic
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a CCB pint glass.

A: Reddish amber, mostly clear. Lots of visible carbonation leads to a one and a half finger off-white head.

S: Roasted and caramel malts, with pine and grass hop profile.

T: Follows the nose very closely. The caramel malts pull through a little more, as do the pine hops. Hop bitterness in the hang.

M: Medium body. A lower-than-expected carbonation sensation lends to a creamy-ish mouthfeel. Alcohol is well-hidden given the ABV.

O: This is a reasonably good hoppy red ale. But there is more caramel malt than I'd like, and I'd think a fruitier hop profile would have helped here. Not bad, but not my favorite american red by a long shot.

 708 characters

Photo of BeerBaron238
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Hopblooded52
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Cloudy unfiltered dark amber with a rocky looking two-finger head of light beige foam with good retention. Great lacing.

S - STRONG aroma of west coast hops with fruity overtones, and lots of caramel malt. Smells inviting.

T - Nice combination of big hops and big malts. Malts are sweet and bready, and the hops are lush, piney, and resiny. An almost candied sugar flavor in the mid-palate. Just a slight booziness in the finish which becomes more prevalent as it warms, which is pretty amazing for 10% abv. Not the most complex beer by any means, but the flavors that are there are jacked up to 11, and it's well balanced.

M - Medium to full bodied, with lively carbonation that combined with a drying finish makes this easy to keep in drinking large gulps until you start feeling that 10% abv kick in. (LOL)

O - "Amber" and "Red" ales are not normally high on my list of favorites because I usually find them to be too pedestrian for my tastes. This beer changes that and I appriciated the assertive (aggressive?) flavor profile and abv. Packs a punch for the price point, and I'll be buying again.

 1,150 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is copper brown with a light brown head and lots of mid size bubbles. Nose is lots of toasted bread and grain with a powerful citrus and pine hop behind it. Lightly green and sweaty. Taste is much of the same, a bit stale piney hop with citrus notes, strong bread crust and cooked caramel. Body is lighter with decent carbonation but a bit of a grainy feel in back.

 370 characters

Photo of DonDirkA
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into DFH laser-etched snifter.

Pours a deep, opaque red/mahogany with a thick light brown head that dissipates down to about a half finger. Nose is super hoppy. Pine, tangerine, caramel, grapefruit, molasses and brown sugar. The taste is pine, grass, red grapefruit, black tea, caramel, toffee and bitter orange. Pine explodes and quickly turns into tart grapefruit then plunges into caramel/toffee with a hint of grassy bitterness and some notes of black tea (almost like unsweetened iced tea) that all fades out into a bitter orange and caramel that clings onto the tongue and doesn't let go. This "red ale" is a better DIPA than many beers that are classified as DIPAs (I'm looking at you Palate Wrecker!). Very awesome, love me some Ballast Point.

 759 characters

Photo of crowsoup
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of brotherloco
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of thegerm87
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of ocelot2500
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

 715 characters

Photo of shand
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, needless to say, my hopes are high for this one. I love Ballast Point, and I love big, hoppy reds. Tongue Buckler pours a hazy blood-red color with a tiny head. The aroma is robustly malty, with a touch of citrus hops. The taste is excellent, this is a big, brash beer with a huge caramel malt kick and bitter pine notes. An explosion of flavor right to your taste buds. The mouthfeel is, well, big. It's got a thicker mouthfeel that suits the beer quite nicely, and the drinkability is great. Overall, this is a great, big imperial red. Bold and delicious.

 563 characters

Tongue Buckler - Imperial Red Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 938 ratings.
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