Odell Extra Special Red Ale | Odell Brewing Company

very good
71 Ratings
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Odell Extra Special Red AleOdell Extra Special Red Ale

Brewed by:
Odell Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 71 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of bort11
2.7/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams pint glass. Thin white head that drops quickly and leaves just a spotting of lace. Color is a clear copper red with active carbonation.
Smell is malty and sweet, with some red berry and fruit aspects, with a thin hops character background. Taste is is sweet, almost like a red Kool-Aid. Slight peppery spice notes with the hops.
Mouthfeel is sticky. I'm not overly impressed with tis one, which is too bad. I generally like Odell beers.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
2.76/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a hazy amber. Not sure if it was bottle conditioned, but there appeared to be a thin layer of yeast in the bottle. Fine bubble off white head, less than a finger. Some citrusy hops in the aroma and lots of malt and some fruitiness. Medium body with plenty of malt. Lots of hop bitterness.

This beer didn't do much for me. I had a hard time trying to place the flavor that I didn't like in this beer. It had a bit of a sour tang to the malt in the flavor and aroma. Bigger is not alway better. I've liked the other beers in their Single Batch series.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Beerandblues2: Poured a deep red/brown color ale with a quite large foamy head with adequate retention. Aroma of medium citrus hops with some weak caramel malt. Taste consists of semi-sweet caramel malt with some medium citrus and bitter hops. Body is about average with some medium carbonation and no sign of alcohol. Overall, I thought this was a light version of an American strong ale and definitely lacking on character to make it truly worthwhile.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.17/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer was pretty unique, but I can't say I was tremendously impressed by it. It is supposed to be an ancient recipe plus hops, but I didn't find the bitterness they imparted to be particularly pleasant.

This beer pours a very bright red color...almost to the extent of "Big Red" cola, but still appears quite beer-y. Aroma is light and floral, and reminded me a great deal of champagne. Flavor was OK...I got some nice light hoppy as I first sipped on the front of my tongue, but I got a thick unpleasant malty-tasting bitterness on my tongue in the back of my mouth. Mouthfeel was unremarkable. This beer is pretty unique, but as a total package I wasn't super-impressed by it.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.31/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to beernut7 for this hand delivery...
Pours a dark ruby color with a full finger of off-white head...lacing is thin as it recedes, but has decent hold.
Piney hops up front with a slight caramel malt underneath.
The taste is decent...a bit too green as the hop bitterness wins out over the malty sweetness. The alcohol is not felt as hot, but at the same time, you know it is there...slightly tart in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is average and the carbonation is a tough high for me...not something I'd drink a few of, but a nice one to try.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.35/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark red color with a 1/4" thick head made up of small tan bubbles. The bubbles could be seen rising in the liquid, but they were doing so slowly, indicating that this is a pretty full bodied beer. Within a minute the head had faded into the beer to leave a small ring around the glass.

Aroma: My initial impression was of dry, almost chalky hops. Maybe this beer has some age on it. After this impression, I get some strong malt with a very toasty and fruity nose. The toastiness has some of the almost buttery British beer qualities, while still hinting of the melanoidins of Munich malt. As it warms up some the fruitiness comes out as a dark cherry and slight plum. There is some spiciness coming into the equation really quickly as the alcohol starts to volatize.

Taste: The thickness of the mouthfeel was the first thing I noticed as I practically had to pull the beer between my teeth. There is some malt to give you a sweet impression right as the hoppiness kicks in and makes the balance bitter all the way into the finish...and then some. There is a very evident alcoholic warming setting on the back of the throat that fights with the hops a bit for control...but loses.

Opinion: This is a decent beer, but not what one would expect from an Irish Red. It says on the bottle that this is a "hopped up" version of an Egyptian recipe. It is definitely "up". Alcohol and hops won't disappoint even the numbest of palates. It is an alright beer, but a bit too bold for my taste in a number of ways. I would drink it again because it sure isn't dull, but I wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of davistabuff
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

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

Photo of OldSock
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Poured into an Odell Brewing pint glass I just picked up. It appears a deep, clear red/brown, just a shade lighter than a brown ale, with a thick tan head. Adequate lacing is left as the head slowly sinks over about 8 minutes.

Smell – Strong America hops, mostly pine and candied citrus. There is some malt behind the hops and the yeast character is clean.

Taste - More sweet than bitter at the start, with a mild lingering bitterness, overall to me it’s just too sweet for the style. The flavors blend nicely, hints of toasted malt, a wave of citrus and pine and a faint alcohol note.

Mouthfeel – Medium body with medium-light carbonation. Nice, a bit creamy.

Drinkability/Notes – A bit too sweet for easy drinking, a few points lower on the gravity and better attenuation would serve this one well. A solid double red, but it is not something that I’m going to stock up on before leaving Colorado.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Bottle Date, Sampled December 2006
Pours with a brilliantly clear, deep, dark ruby-red color. It is topped by a frothy, tan colored head that easily starts out at three-fingers thick when roused a bit. The aroma is quite sweet and fruity smelling; it is a mix of berry notes, raisins, caramel, a touch of toffee and something that reminds me of sticky brown sugar glazed pastries. There is also quite a bit of malt depth here; lots of complex dark malt notes that remind me of complex maillard browning aromatics. There is even something here that reminds me of tart plums or even something like tamarind. I get some rum like aromatics as well, or at least something almost like this. There are some notes here that I can't quite pinpoint and it makes me wonder what exactly was used in the recipe of this beer.

Fairly thick and meaty, though without being really sweet. Clearly there is lots of malt character here, again it is rich and chewy with lots of complex sugars present, but without being sticky or sweet. This tastes of caramelized raisins and figs, or perhaps those two fruits that have been glazed in a reduced brown sugar sauce. Hints of toffee mix with subtle molasses and round out the malt depth here. If this wasn't so thick and chewy, more toasted malt notes and biscuit flavors would be much more prominent; as it is though, they play a supporting role here.

This is one of those beers that is truly a meal. I can certainly envision a pyramid worker taking this as a liquid lunch, though the 8% alcohol might do him in. An interesting back story, but this really tastes like an English old ale or barley wine.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
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 rye726
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure i would call this a strong ale, definately closer to a red. The color is a dark amber with silky tan head. The nose is fairly light with mellow malts and subtle hops. Taste is more on teh malty side. Not much of a hop presence. Medium body drinks well.

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Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Onenote81
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Special thanks to breity for this extra beer in a recent trade.

First off, this is one cool looking bottle. I love the 3-D etching on the bottle side as well as the label. Well done.

This beer pours a deep ruby with brownish tints. Decent finger width white head on top. Retention lacks a bit, but still leaves some alright lacing globs. Smells of oranges, pineapple, bread, caramel, and alcohol.

First sip yields a weird metallic bite that is unpleasant. As I continue to drink though this gives way to the true flavors. Nice burnt caramel flavor, some cherry in there as well. Slight booziness to it, but it finishes nice and fruity. Hops are there alright. Not biting or harsh, but adding just enough bitterness to keep me sipping. I like this beer. Strong Ales are becoming more and more one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.79/5  rDev -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 jacobseyb
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A=Deep red coloring, light carbonation with light head.

S=Fruitiness apparent along wiht alcohol

T=Nuttiness and Fruitiness along with some oaks. Alcohol content is apparent in taste.

M=Nice, light carbonation tickles the tongue

D=Good though alcohol content could limit intake.

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Photo of raiderandbeerfan
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
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 vurt
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. Bottle date is 2007, but what the heck, let's see how this has held up.

The head is eggnog-colored and composed of very tiny bubbles. It does not last very long, but it slides up on the glass like heavy cream and leaves behind some lavish lacing which recedes back into the beer slowly. The body is a deep reddish orange with amber highlights. Great color.

Sweet battles hoppy, and there's no clear winner, though "sweet" throws the first punch. Caramel, toffee, fresh glazed donuts. Then a solid burst of piney hops with a citric finish like orange oil. Plenty of fruity aromas emerge- boysenberries, plums, a touch of pear, and a meaty, cantaloupe-like funk. A whiff of alcohol cuts through the mix. Age has given this beer a touch of oxidation, but it is neither predominant nor unpleasant.

This is an extremely sweet beer. It starts out with flavors of brown sugar, malt, and molasses. Underneath lies a citrus/bitter mixture like a good marmalade. (The whole effect is rather like liquid limpa bread.) More fruits come through in the middle: oranges again, plum, cherry, and honeydew melon. Herbal bitterness and a light licorice note creep in at the finish, along with a booziness like rum and vanilla extract.

Medium-bodied, silky textured, and a little sticky. The body is a bit lighter than I was expecting, actually, though the sweetness does a good job of coating the mouth. Carbonation is soft and provides an excellent, fine texture.

Here's where the beer takes a hit. It has an interesting aroma, some good flavors, and an appealing mouthfeel, but the sweetness is just too overwhelming. If it were drier, or spicier, or had a bit more earthy bitterness, it would be a much more drinkable beer. Maybe the hops do a better job of balancing this beer when it's fresh. I'd like to find out.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.87/5  rDev -3%
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 Beaver13
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark ruby red with a frothy light tan head that diminishes to a film.

The aroma is fresh hops, slightly fruity, with a little nutty caramel and some tinges of DMS.

The flavor is sweet nutty caramel malts with a good sized bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full and smooth.

Overall, a very fine beer. I'm surprised by the amount of hops in an Odell beer.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. brown bottle into my nonic pint glass. Appears a deep amber/red color with about two fingers of dense, off-white head. The foam lingers for quite some time leaving some decent lacing on the glass as I make my way to the bottom. Smells very fruity and sweet with a good hit of floral hops. Taste is of sweet caramel malted grain, brown sugar, dark berries, and floral hops. Medium in both body and carbonation. You also have to seek out the alcohol because it is well hidden. Very nice example of the style. I'd love to get another bottle or two.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick ruby red color with a sticky white head framing the glass. Smells like grassy hops, tastes hoppy, good flavors in this one. My only complaint is the drinkability is low given the ABV and the thickness. Still, Odell does some interesting things with their seasonals and this is no exception.

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Photo of joe1510
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

This Extra Special Red is yet another brew sent to me from the man himself, BitterBill. Thanks Bill! I can smell pink grapefruit as I pour this one. Smells like a big hoppy red. The body would be crystal clear amber but I got a little careless and dumped some yeast in the glass. The tiny yeasties suspend throughout the body. A head of bone white grew to two fingers on an easy pour and settled to a thick cap after a few minutes. Some great looking sheet lacing gets left behind as the head settles and the ruby highlighted body grows.

The pink grapefruit doesn't quite jump out at me like it did when I was pouring and part of the reason is the big, balancing caramel malty backbone. The hopping brings as much orange as grapefruit. There's a slight toasted maltiness and a surprising and unique, although faint, gingerbread character. That little bit of spice in the back is very different. I like the smell of this brew but overall it's a little on the weak side.

Now on to the important part, the drinking. Caramel and toasty malt laid it down right off the bat. The grapefruit stands out nicely on the tongue and shows up mid-palate while the orange seems to fall to the back. The hoppiness lingers on this brew and every now and then I even seem to pick up a squeeze or two of lemon juice and even some pineapple here and there. This is a solidly hopped big red and I'm really digging the flavors.

The lively carbonation fits this beer nicely and makes it an easy drinker. The body is medium and a slight stickiness on the back of the tongue shows up as it sits in the glass. Bitterness flashes through quickly on the end.

This hoppy red is highly drinkable for the 8% abv. Zero alcohol is noticeable and the, somewhat, balanced body keep this glass tipped.

I'm a fan of big hoppy reds and I don't think there are enough of them out there at the moment. This is a quality brew just like the rest of the lineup from Odell's. Thanks for the treat Bill!

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Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an amber color with a tan, soapy, two-finger head. It left some nice sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled floral and citrusy. It also had a strong malty nose.

T - It tasted very malty, with some bittersweet hops adding a little kick. Also, a slight citrus taste.

M - It was sharp and crisp. A medium to heavy bodied beer.

D - This is a nice strong ale. It reminded me of a mild IPA. Also, the high ABV is understated.

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Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -1%
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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Odell Extra Special Red Ale from Odell Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 71 ratings.
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