Extra Special Red | Odell Brewing Company

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Extra Special RedExtra Special Red
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Extra Special RedExtra Special Red

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Imperial Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Extra Special Red is our imperial red ale, a crimson-hued brew full of juicy hop flavors and aromas of pine and stone fruit. After 6 months of aging in rye whiskey casks, it was roused from its oak cradle to the bottle in your hands. The barrels impart notes of sweet vanilla and soft tannins, while the hops settle into the background in favor of the strong malt foundation. Slainte!

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 109
Photo of GrumpyGas
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle dated 2018 poured into a becher glass shows a royal, clear, reddish-copper color and floats a 2in proud cream colored head of mixed-sized bubbles and leaves a mix of robust spots and islands of lacing.

Aromas include caramel, toffee, stone fruit, and even a rye spice.

Flavors of slightly toasted malts dominate with notes of peach and apricot, rye, and toffee filling in behind. A touch sweet.

Mouthfeel is medium and drying.

Overall a great looking red.

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Photo of omahawk
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pretty dark copper reddish brown. Very little head or carbonation. Smell is of malt, oak and whiskey. Taste is light malt and caramel, with hints of whiskey, oak and bitter hops on the back end. Body is quite dry. This isn’t a bad beer but not great.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Welcome to my New Barrel-Aged Beer Sunday (Week 720)! This began as a misguided missile last week when I realized that most of what I had earmarked for the day were merely vintages, NOT new beers. 8=( I vowed to do better this week & I both laid in & scoured for anything that would qualify. This is another Tavour purchase from before our amicable parting of the ways.

From the Bottle: "Imperial Red Ale aged in Whiskey Barrels"; "Cellar Series 2018"; "Extra Special Red is our imperial red ale, a crimson-hued brew full of juicy hop flavors and aromas of pine and stone fruit. After 6 months of aging in rye whiskey casks, it was roused from its oak cradle to the bottle in your hands. The barrels impart notes of sweet vanilla and soft tannins, while the hops settle into the background in favor of the strong malt foundation. Slainte!"

Once more, I had to gently peel away a foil cover in order to expose the cap. For those that wonder, I have a local artist who takes caps, corks, foil, et al for incorporation into her art. I then Pop!ped the cap & began a slow, gentle C-Line pour into the now well-seasoned snifter, rinsed after each use today, but still … It needed an in-glass swirl to coax up a finger of dense, foamy, rocky, tawny head with moderate retention, but leaving loads of lacing in its wake. Color was a stunning Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity! Hello, Linda Lou! One of the ones who got away had wiry hair of just this color.

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Photo of arizcards
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from the Craft Beer Hop Stop on 5-28-18 for $4.99. Bottled in 2018.

Beer poured an amber brown with a beautiful white head that has some very nice hang time.

Nose has a hint of whiskey and citrus, very nice.

Taste is a nice medley with a large malt base, citrus, pine, and a touch of whiskey.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall a smackable beer as the base beer is solid and the whiskey addition is nice!

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Photo of dcscientist
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another well-executed beer from Odell. This is an imperial red that has been aged for several months in oak barrels, though the oaky flavor is somewhat muted by the strong traditional red ale taste. I would have guessed the ABV to be a bit higher than 8.7%, but I wonder if that could be due to the type of barrel they used. I do agree that the smell is a bit stronger than the taste, but I still thought this was plenty flavorful, if maybe a touch short of what people might expect from an oak-aged beer.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Full bodied, let's get that right. The whiskey barrel is present, but not overpowering. The smell has a nice rich mahogany and tobacco flavoring to go with the biscuit malts and typical amber ale yeast and hop aromas. Taste is actually a little bland, not bad, but I thought would be as rich as smell. Just getting whiskey booze and red ale malt. Sneaky high abv though

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear crimson. Fluffy off white head. Good lacing and retention.
Nose is some pine, resin, a touch of guava. Caramel, toffee, malty backbone.
Taste is similar, pine, resin, a touch of tropical fruits. Subtle vanilla. No trace of alcohol. Barrel character is hard to pick up - may not realize it was barrel aged if it wasn’t on the bottle. That said - good red ale.
Medium carbonation, with a lingering piney bitterness.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L - Red with clarity, 1 finger of head, and some minor lacing left on the glass and on the brew

S - Honey, sweet, sugar, and fruit

T - Citrus and sweet up front, malty towards the end. The whisky barrel aging is very subtle, if existent

F - Medium body and lightly carbonated

O - An average red ale, was hoping for more with the whisky barrel.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium orange-copper amber with a fine two finger off-white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of biscuit and lightly caramel malt, light citrus hops with mild pine notes, red berries and mixed fruit. Flavor is caramel and lightly biscuit malt, light citrus and piney hops, red berries, faint hints of oak and very light whiskey. Medium bodied with light creaminess and mellow carbonation (beautiful carbonation in the glass, but oddly somewhat subdued on the tongue). The base is classic red ale with nice balance of fruit flavors and malt, with light, but satisfactory oak and whiskey character. I was a little disappointed at first that the whiskey was muted, but this is so nicely balanced and such a sturdy red ale that I ended up enjoying every sip. This is a nice introduction to this this legendary Colorado brewery.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pretty heavy malts and flavorful hops. Lacks complexity, but definitely a big red to enjoy. Feels great: fully slick and velvety smooth. For about 5 bucks a bottle, worth a try.

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Photo of jzlyo
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is malts, fruit and a mix of slight sugar and citrus. The flavor is fruit, caramel, malts, grapefruit/mild tropical fruit and a mix of whiskey/liquor and hops/alcohol in the finish.

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Photo of beergoot
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A reddish copper hued body; decent frothy head. Deep caramel aroma; very malty; toffee. Heavy presence of toffee and roasted tree nuts; caramel; mild hop bitterness. Heavy body; rich and silky; residual sugars providing a dull sweetness to the mouthfeel.

This is a fine example of a strong, malt-forward ale. Rich and complex, well-balanced.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

They should make this again, it was one of top 10% red ales out there. Gleaming the cube red, not that ugly brown. Aroma hits you with hops, then you get some of the red/peat moss type of malt in the nose

Taste, hops are in the forefront, plenty of them. Downplays the malt, which is hefty and sturdy, but the bitterness to boot really made this quite enjoyable. Like a slightly less hoppy, redder Celebration ale on roids.

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Photo of raiderandbeerfan
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep ass red, around 1/2" head on it, coming up all tan. Good retention but spotty and inconsistent lace.

Aroma was hoppy and then that weird red/scottish malt vibe. Good taste, especially for a red ale. Hopped heavily, hides alcohol and doesn't let the sturdy malt overwhelm the hopping. Was a good score while skiing in Pagosa Springs.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a 6 pack of this during our ski trip to Pagosa Springs. Glad I did, one of the better "red" ales out there. Would seem like a better classification than strong ale.

Pours red, deep red, small 1/3" head on it, like a light tan color. Good retention, spotty, inconsistent lace down the pint glass.

Aroma was a hoppy first, Scottish malt thing second vibe.

Taste, mmm, this is what I'm talking about for red ales. Just hop the shit out of it, hides both the alcohol and the amber malts quite well. Mouthfeel just keeps rocking as it warms, you get used to the strength, of hops and alcohol.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 rate.

Rating this from memory from a 12oz bottle, thanks Malcolm! Pour a clear amber-garnet with a tan cap. Tons of really fresh west coast hops, pine, and citrus in the nose. Spicy, fresh, wonderfully balanced. This one actually blew me away, just awesome. This was obviously a super fresh bottle and was almost perfectly done.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must start out by saying that I miss this one a lot. Pours a beautiful hazy red color, with a nice inch or so of light tan head. Huge hops on the nose, citrus, pine, grapefruit and lemon. On the palate, more of the fresh, delicious hoppiness, balanced beautifully with some good sweet malt, caramel, milk chocolate and in the background some drying alcohol. A wonderful beer that was sadly discontinued.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to BigDank for this rare treat. Review from notes on 2/13/10

A - poured crystal clear deep amber with a towering, fluffy, and well retained beige head. Lovely lacing all over the place. 5.0

S - lots of caramel and hint of figs. Very sweet and fruity, with the faintest hint of light bitterness of hops. A bit light in aroma overall though. 4.0

T - Very similar to the aroma. Lots of good fruity and caramel sweetness. Like a good old ale. Excellent. 4.5

M - Rich and smooth, dancing carbonation and a medium body. 4.0

D - Immensely drinkable. 1 bottle simply isn't enough.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber, near white head that leaves to ring. Some trace lace.

S - Slightly bready and hoppy, with some wood tannin.

T - Sweet, malty, hops come up to the plate but don't quite deliver.

M - Not completely balance, not carbed enough for me.

D - Fun to try once.

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Photo of wnh
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a rich, ruby-tinted mahogany, brilliant red when held up to a light source, with a foamy, creamy light tan head that leaves moderate lacing.

Nose is quite interesting, with resinous hop aromas on top of old-ale-like brown sugar and dried dark fruit, with a good bit of woodsy damp leaf aroma thrown in for good measure.

Lightly sweet molasses on the entry, turning earthy before fading into hop bitterness on the finish. Medium to heavy bodied, with a lasting stickiness that promotes a lingering earthy bitterness, and quite dry on the finish. Exceptionally well-balanced and easy to drink. It's a shame Odell is phasing out their single batch series beers to be replaced by seasonals, regardless of how good the seasonals are.

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Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to russpowell for the trade.

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Aggressive pour yeields 2 fingers of creamy beige head. Decent retention with a lot of splattered lace. Color is a ruby red/amber red. A red beer that is red... I like it.

Aroma: Very hoppy and sweet. A lot of citrus. Grapefruit and pineapple. Hops are earthy and floral. There is a sweet like bread, but I can't distinguish it. The beer smells a lot like a DIPA.

Taste: A lot of hops going on here. Citrus, pineapple, bready malts. There is something in the taste (very sweet) that I just can't figure out what it is.... unless it is caramel mixed with all the hops. A pretty solid big red, but very hoppy (as it is supposed to be).

Mouthfeel: Very bitter. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. A very 'in your face' red ale. Leaves a very dry and hoppy aftertaste.

OVerall, I am having a tough time finishing this one. I just wasn't expecting so many hops. It is ok, but nothing I would want a lot of.
Edit: this beer drank a lot better once I got half ways through it and it warmed up a bit.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to russpowell for this!

Pours slightly hazed dark reddish amber with a foamy tan head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of citrus/pine with caramel/toffee backing.

The taste is of citrus/pine with a firm "red ale" malty (caramel/toffee) character. There's a slight peach-like fruitiness as it progresses. There is some mild alcohol in the flavor. Finishes bittersweet.

Medium-bodied and smooth.

A well done hoppy red. Very drinkable, especially for the alcohol presence.

Glad Russ sent me a few of this!

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Photo of PEBKAC
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Received a couple months ago from resident red fanatic SuperWhite92. Refrigerated all this time. The newer, sessionable Odell Red he sent was way too intense & raw for me, so let's hope this one does me better. :)

Raised dot lettering along the bottom left corner that I can't quite make it out. 2??804

Poured into my DFH tumber, pretty cold.

Nice sturdy inch of chewy-looking, lightly tan, creamed head. A slightly murky, reddish brown body. Inactive. Wavelength-like lace.

Smell is sugar syrup & plenty of sharply & zesty grapefruit rind, a bit perfumey & floral, & also a touch of something refreshing like cracked celery. Not aggressively raw or fresh, but more solvent-like because of the abv.

Taste is first brushed off by it's creamy mouthfeel. Really great initial feel. Malt comes on a little sweet, settling to be doughy instead. Hops are grassy & slightly bittersweet. Nothing too intense, but very sappy & resinous. The bitterness is quite lingering, giving a menthol-like effect. A little clove works it's way in there too which is interesting. The alcohol is in everything, though always mingling with some aspect of the beer.

A very tasty beer with a little more demanding heft & aftertaste then expected. Great for a nightcap ...or a lunchtime nap. ;)

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Photo of brewdoc75
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been meaning to try this beer, but everytime I pick up some Odell's I get the IPA because its so damn good. Today I picked up both.

A: Reddish brown in color. A bit cloudy. Dominant, off-white head atop. Good lacing.

S: Fruitiness abound with some mild caramel from the malts. Also a slight "brown sugar" sweetness. A slight spiciness, that seems to be from the hops. In the end the hoppy citrus aromas are faintly there. Definitely a bit more heavy on the malts.

T: Beautiful fruitiness hits the palate first. This follows with a lovely citrus note. Orange-grapefruit flavors here. It blends well with the fruitiness. There is a faint, spiciness I get from the hops. The malts are definitely solid in this brew with caramel and brown sugar flavors. The beer finishes with a lovely fruity flavor.

M: A solid medium bodied beer. Not too heavy, definitely not too light. The carbonation is pretty strong, which makes the beer feel crisp. Finishes fairly clean, with some left over stickiness in the throat.

D: A really solid brew. It hides the 8.0% alcohol very well. I would go for this when I'm in the mood for a maltier IPA. It doesn't quite have the hoppy bite as an IPA, but it is close. Definitely worth a try. This brewery is great.

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Photo of GruvisHops
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 12 oz. brown bottle with another great label. Seriously, I love their labels. A big 1-1/2" frothy, tan head sits beautifully on top of a slightly hazy, amber/red body. The head just refuses to fade, and leaves thick patches of lace behind.

S: Loads of toasted malt in the nose; a bit of caramel. Citric hops linger in the background.

T: More caramel malt with a great citrus hop balance. I'm loving this beer more and more as I drink it. Great balance between the malt & hop profiles.

M: Full & sticky

D: Quite

Notes: Another solid effort from the guys at Odell. Imperial red is quickly becoming one of my favorite styles.

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Extra Special Red from Odell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 109 ratings