Odell Extra Special Red Ale | Odell Brewing Company

Odell Extra Special Red AleOdell Extra Special Red Ale
Liked This Beer
3.98 w/ 71 ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 71 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +3%
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 schoolboy
4.73/5  rDev +18.8%
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 homebrewhawk
2.76/5  rDev -30.7%
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 zeff80
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
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 OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean copper/ reddish color, with a tan head. Aromas of a huge grapefruity hop and small malt presence. In the taste, just like the smell, big grapefruity hops and a small malty balance. A nice bitter hoppy mouthfeel, with a dry sticky-sweet hop aftertaste. Big on hops, hides 8% quite well, a very nice red!

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Photo of bort11
2.7/5  rDev -32.2%
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 BeerBelcher
3.17/5  rDev -20.4%
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 BradLikesBrew
4.1/5  rDev +3%
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 russpowell
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 1 2007

Pours Coppery red with 1.5+ fingers of tan head into a thistle glass. Good lacing & above average head retention

S: Huge breadyness & pineyness

T: Caramel, loads of breadyness, oily hops & some booze warmth up front. Piney& grapefruitty hops and some boozey warmth as this warms. Finishes dry with grapefruit hops, caramel & more booze

MF: Chewy, a little oily & low but useful carbonation. Balances pretty good

Not bad, drinks a bit hot for the abv. Maybe a little aging is in order? Seemed to help a little last year

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4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
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 ArrogantB
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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 rowew
4.1/5  rDev +3%
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 ClockworkOrange
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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 Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -24.6%
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 Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
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 Rumblebelly
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
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 bjohnson
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a maroonish dark blood red color with a rim of fizzy white head hugging the edges of the glass. Clear.
S: Sweet caramel with a good floral and grassy hop presence. Slight sweet tartlike strawberry and raspberry notes in there also.
T/M: Spicy blast up front gives you the illusion this beer is hot. Calms very nicely and relaxes into a smooth coating across the tongue. Chewy and syrupy, though not in a bad way. Sweet with fruity and caramel malt flavors. Hops are surprisingly big for this beer, but the malt profile asserts itself also. Nice fruity and slightly dry aftertaste. Big body.
D: Interesting strong ale with much flavor and hop presence. The abv is in there but isn't shouting. A damn good one. Thanks to beernut7 for passing this along to me.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle(room temp) a deep amber with a medium sized head of foam that quickly shrank to a fine broken layer with little lacing.

The smell is pretty fruity with notes of lemon citrus and there's some sweet caramel malt in the nose as well.

The taste is big sweet malt up front that is joined quickly by some nice citrus hop bitterness and...the flavour is suggesting to my palate...sour cherries, especially in the finish. No sign of the alcohol in the flavour and the warming really is kind of minimal. I like this Strong Ale.

Bottom line: This is another in their Single Batch Series and another solid brew, imho!

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.31/5  rDev -16.8%
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 OldSock
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
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 Beaver13
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
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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Odell Extra Special Red Ale from Odell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83.1% out of 100 with 71 ratings
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