Odell Extra Special Red Ale | Odell Brewing Company

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very good
61 Reviews
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Odell Extra Special Red AleOdell Extra Special Red Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Beaver13 on 11-01-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
61
Ratings:
71
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
9.77%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
0
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 71
Photo of schoolboy
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a funny brew. Some people didn't care for it, but I loved it and so did one other person in our group. We were in Vail and bought probably a dozen or more Colorado beers. In my opinion, this was by far the best.

Great balance of bitter, malty, aroma.

For a high gravity beer, it has outstanding drinkability.Unfortunately, we couldn't find any in Vail (we got it on the way up).

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Photo of Rumblebelly
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice red pour, pleasant smell. But hey, I'm more interested in the taste.

Well balanced, fruity undertones (berries, fig), and alcohol taste is hidden well. The sweet undertones compliment the brew. Normally I don't like sweet beers but this one is just sweet enough. Reminds me a bit of a barleywine but more drinkable due to the lower alcohol content.

Probably one of my favorite beers. I liked the Curmudgeon Nip a great deal and almost cried when it was retired. I'm dreading spring when it's all gone.

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

I just recently bought my second 6-pack of Extra Special Red, and thought I should review it since I think it is a fantastic brew!

The beer poured nicely into a pint glass, with about 1" head; left lace as I drank, and the foam never entirely disappeared. Loved that!

Excellent hops and malts combined; bitterness and sweetness all at once. I'm a fan of hoppy beers, but like the maltiness of this one, as well. Reminds me of Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale!

This one is definitely a sipping beer, but it was easy to sip 3 beers in 3 hours! I'll go back to the liquor store for more...it's now one of my favorites.

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Photo of sevopie
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Brilliant mahogany with a rocky, creamy tan/light-brown head. Laces incredibly well.

Smell - A nice blend of citrusy hops and Caramel malts shine through. There's some spices and a bit of nuttiness in there as well.

Taste - This really tastes like a mild barleywine to me, rather than any hint of a red ale. The hops nicely accent the abundance of malts which are roasty and nutty in addition to caramelly. The spices are also somewhat noticable throughout, and there's also a flavor I can only describe as that of iced tea.

Mouthfeel - Creamy goodness with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - I had always been reluctant to try this due to the fact that I rarely if ever find a red/amber that I like. I was stupid to have waited so long. Odell's delivers yet again, this one has quickly become one of my favorites.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper red with a thick white foamy head and extremely sticky lacing.

S: Yep this one has sweet whole flower hops all over it. It took an hour or so until the smell left my nose. I really didn't get much else though.

T: Again the hops overwhelm everything else but it was sweet and citrusy like roasted red bell peppers. The malts showed up later on in the aftertaste as the hops mellowed out and let you taste other flavors.

M/D: Crisp and refreshing at fist but then really dries out the mouth so it is good for sipping but should probably be limited to one beer per session.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two fingers of light tan head that slowly fades leaving some webed lace as it fades. Body is a deep brownish red with ruby tones at the edges. Nose is big with woodsy hops and mineral based malts. With first sip I am suddenly shocked that I have never heard of this beer. Big bold hops that are rich and woodsy. Malt character is ther to nicely balance. As you continue to drink a thick slightly soured bitter feel comes about on the mouthfeel. At 8% alchol it is very well hidden. I would rank this one with Nugget Nectar and Big Hoppy Monster. Wonderfully drinkable.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
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 TYE
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep reddish brown producing a wonderful creamy thick off white foam head that retains its form like few others I've seen, holding it's head at a thick covering all the way to the end with lots of smearing. Wow!
S - Sweet fruit scent of peaches and watermelon mixed is the overwhelming scent, almost smells like Sweet Tarts. A light layer of malt hides underneath. Maybe a little too sweet of aroma. Masks the others a bit, but overall very good.
T - Hoppy, sweet fruit, with maybe a hint of brown sugar or caramel? Great lasting flavor that lingers for just long enough, then fades clean to nothing, making you want to take another drink. Wow!
M - Medium carbonation, medium to full body, creamy, hoppy bite, sweet nip at tip of tongue and a little sour jabs on the sides. Finishes clean. Wow!
D - Very, very good beer! I'm not a huge fan of reds, although I like them, but this one is my favorite. Awesome balance of flavors and great mouthfeel. I wish the aroma wasn't so overwhelmed by the sweet fruit, otherwise it's fantastic!!

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I opened this as I was getting ready for bed, expecting to find a 4-5%ABV amber ale or lager... instead I'm pleased to discover that my nightcap is in fact a 8% strong ale. Well, I'm gonna sleep well tonight!

A - The label is exotic and Persian, and reminds me of a pack of those "fancy" Camel premium up-market smokes. The beer is a remarkable dirty-red-russet hue that at times appears purple or brown. It's slightly murky, and topped with a very thick and dense two finger chunk of tan cream. Solid sheets of lace slide into the brew and leave lots of sticky lace behind. This is a beautiful brew! Oh, did I mention that head retention is stellar?

S - Earthy "wet" notes, like a campsite (smoldering fire, soaking tents, wet firewood and kindling) after a summer shower. Brown leaf hops add to the woodsy aroma. I'm getting pictures of autumn walks in the woods, old log cabins, decomposing logs covered in wild fungi, and some really nice hops. There are also some caramelized sugar and maybe brown sugar notes there too. Outstanding. Could use a little more oomph though.

T - This is a perfectly balanced combination of malty molasses, brown sugar, and woody/nutty notes combined with the most glorious "brown autumn leaf" hop characteristics. Tangy hops, leafy notes, and a ton of really nice woody flavors make this a damn fine beer.

M - Creamy and rich, carbonation on this one is actually quite forceful, but that keeps it lively and out of the "syrupy" category of heavy hitting brews. The finish is hoppy, gritty, and dusty-dry... and that also really helps keep this from showing it's true girth. It's like a fat chick in a corset. The corset keeps everything in place, and has you admiring her figure, but you know that there is some nasty flab underneath. But you don't care because that corseted busty figure is really doing it for you at the moment.

D - Despite the high ABV and the heavy mouthfeel, I would gladly drink another if I had one left. The booze isn't really all that noticeable, and the super-bubbly carbonation and dry mouthfeel help keep this one from getting cloying or rich. Damn fine beer.

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Photo of MashMouth
4.36/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow I did not expect that slap in the face. I purchaces this beer not knowing what I was buying. This has become one of my favorites. The smell is rich with sweet malt and citrisy nutty hops. This still does not prepare you for the tast. The color and clarity are brilliant and although the head quickly resides, the laceyness stays till the end. The flavors are intence at first and will catch you off guard. You will quickly come around to notice the great ballance between the malts, hop bitterness and alchol. This beer had good drikability that seems more drinkable the more you drink. (but then again what beer insn't ha ha).

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Photo of GilGarp
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is certainly one of my favorite Odell offerings.

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass with an inch of head. It's truly red and an exceptional looking beer. Good clarity too. The head is gone soon after the first sip but the lacing is very good.

Aroma is very hoppy, fresh and piney.

Flavor is excellent as well. It's very well bittered but with plenty of malt to balance it out. Citrus notes in the flavor but not too sweet like some American strong ales can be. In fact, I would probably be more likely to classify this as a double IPA that just happens to be red.

Mouthfeel is good and although it's high in alcohol, it hides it well. Drinkability is only hindered by strong hop bitterness and ABV.

I have been looking forward to this one since it disappeared last winter and I'm happy to say it was worth the wait. True to it's name: Extra Special.

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Photo of wnh
4.35/5  rDev +9%
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 DmanGTR
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
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 donaldchapman
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - beautiful red-amber with great clarity, and a substantial head.

S - Citrus hops accompanied by toasty malt aromas.

T - malty sweetness of toffee, caramel, toast balanced by a citrus hop flavor.

M - Medium full bodied, with a good carbonation and some alcohol warmth.

This beer has prominent hops and malt that balance nicely with the alcohol in the beer. Very tasty brew

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

Poured from a bottle a gorgeous, clear red-amber color with a light frothy off-white head.

Aroma of caramel, butterscotch and malts with some citrusy hops thrown in.

The taste is very similar to the aroma along with some palate-warming booziness mixed in. Some slight bitterness is found in the finish.

Medium mouthfeel, warming to the palate, and lightly carbonated.

I'm a sucker for anything from Odell, and this does not disappoint. A bit boozy but oh, so flavorable.

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

Poured from a bottle into a delirium snifter
A: Cloudy red very appealing for a red
S: very hoppy smell, hints of alcohol
T: very distinctive Red, slightly more of a hop bitterness than a normal red. does well to hide the alcohol. very earthy flavor, but not dirty.
M: good carbonation helps with the hop bitterness
D: this is very enjoyable but due to an 8% ABV I would take it easy.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid dark red, good starter head and some lovely lacing. The aroma is pretty solid, heavily toasted malts, lots of citric hopping, not too complex but still quite good. The taste is similar, but has a stronger malt backbone, nice toasted malts and caramels, with a delicious citric hop in tones of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. The mouth is solid, good carbonation, really its a pretty solid beer.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Redheads have it all. Pours a mostly red color with a off amber hue. Great clarity overall with a soft white head with good retention but doesn't last through the tasting.

The nose is a nice blend between hops and malt. To start there is a sweetness with some nice toffee and toasted aromas. Some very feint stringency with a slight roasty note. The hops are mostly citrus with a more lemon zest smell. Very clean yeast wise but some noticeable esters and alcohol.

The taste is more pronounced than the nose indicated. The malt comes out more but still somewhat balanced. The sweetness is there with more prominent toffee and toasty flavors. There is some astringency but more of a slight coffee flavor. Some fusel alcohols but nothing over the top. The hops do have a more grassy, earthy flavor but some lemongrass like flavors come out. Mostly finishing hops, there isn't much on the bittering.

The body is in between moderate and full. Light carbonation but works and enhances the body. Some alcohol bite but nothing over the top. Overall a very good beer, but I would suggest to try it fresh as it doesn't stand up to aging well.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
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 BradLikesBrew
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a cloudy deep amber with white foam that stays with the beer as I drink. good lacing.

s: sweet malts and floral hop notes

t: strong hop flavor with caramel malt. good balance of sweet and bitter.

m: medium bodied, sticks to the tongue. good balance, lowish carbonation.

d: the flavor is great, but hop level and alcohol content do it in. I don't think I would want more than 2 in a sitting.

Overall: I really like this beer, hopefully it isn't a single batch as the label indicates. Excellent balance, good hop flavor.

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Photo of rowew
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck - great looking bottle, and a classy label. ABV, brewed date both clearly marked (this is from last year, but has been well cared for).

Appearance: Poured into my new SA glass (quickly becoming a go-to glass, thanks bA). Reddish brown with just a slight haze, nice tan colored head fades slowly and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell: Carmel malt and a bit of hops, slightly sweet maltiness.

Taste: Similar to the aroma - lots of carmel sweetness, good malt backbone. A bit more hops than in the aroma, but they are fairly muted.

Overall impression: Nicely balanced beer - Odell's makes some very nice specialties, and this one is too..

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rusted tangerine with a smattering of brick red. The small head is equal parts pale orange and pale caramel in color. It looks good as it melts and is beginning to deposit a thick band of lace just above the nonic bulge.

The nose is balanced and smells pretty much how an Imperial red ale should smell. It's toasted and caramel malty, with a side order of citric hoppiness. Solid, if unspectacular.

Extra Special Red Ale tastes like it smells, and achieves roughly the same level of quality. Isn't it time that Imperial red ale was added as a style? I wouldn't want to see dozens of new styles, but this one begs to be included. Maybe then, AleSmith YuleSmith (Winter), Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale, and any number of others, would finally have a home.

The malt backbone is sturdy without being rock-ribbed. Again, the beer's biggest strength is its impeccable balance between sweet caramel malt and bitter orange-lemon-grapefruit hops. Assuming the alcohol is effectively buried, this stuff should be killer when ultra-fresh.

This is one instance where a bigger, more plush mouthfeel might not be an improvement. The beer isn't overly sweet and sticky, but has a lightly silky feel, complemented by a moderate alpha acid raspiness. Gulping is encouraged... which could quickly become dangerous given the ABV.

Extra Special Red Ale and Double Pilsner fall short of Imperial Stout when it comes to the three Single Batch Series beers. That said, all of them are deliciously drinkable and would be regular purchases if I was fortunate enough to have access. I'm a huge Odell fan.

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Photo of Domingo
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm pretty skeptical of most of the "double red ales" that are starting to show up everywhere. Most are just IPA's with a different coloration.
This however, is a big exception.
Pours a copper color that's nearing bronze territory, but with red highlights. For an 8% brew, it still has a good amount of carbonation to it and a slightly off-white head forms immediately.
Smells hoppy like an IPA, but with a little sweetness mixed in. I'd guess it's using similar hops to 5 Barrel and 90 Shilling as you can certainly pick it out as an Odell brew.
The beer starts off sweet and malty...almost like less sweet barleywine, but then the hops kick in. Tropical and citrus hops come up big in the middle. The finish is gingerbread-like and biscuity. It truly is like a kicked up amber ale, but obviously with a larger dosage of hops to boot.
The mouthfeel is the perfect thickness for a sipping beer, but it's also one you could have another of without getting sick of it or overwhelmed.
Think of this like a "Double 90 Shilling" if you need a reference point.
This is a winner in a category that's usually a bland one. It's one of the few double reds I've had that isn't just an IPA or barleywine with an odd pigment. The malt is there, and it's unique.

Hopefully Odell will keep this around in one form or another.

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Photo of SpecialK088
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A-very deep red color with a low head and goos lace throughout.
S-malty/hoppy with hints of alcohol and something sweet.
T-very smooth hops are not overpouring as the scent might lead you to belive, very good flavor for a red little malty and bitter.
M-good not overly carbonated and goes down nice and smooth.
D-im not a huge red guy but i get a 6 of this everytime i have the chance when it shows up again.

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Odell Extra Special Red Ale from Odell Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 71 ratings.
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