G'Knight Imperial Red Ale | Oskar Blues Grill & Brew

1,351 Reviews
G'Knight Imperial Red AleG'Knight Imperial Red Ale

Brewed by:
Oskar Blues Grill & Brew
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Classified by the brewery as an "Imperial Red/Double IPA" 8.7% ABV, 60 IBUs

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2003

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Reviews: 1,351 | Ratings: 3,898
Photo of ElCommodoro
1.56/5  rDev -62%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The brewery calls this an "Imperial Red," so I'm going to rate it against that description. BA has it listed as an imperial IPA. If Oskar had warned me that it was an IPA, I'd be more lenient, but they did no such thing. I'm a big fan of reds and that's why I bought it. So, I'm a little cheesed off that none of the goodness of a red ale was present.
The colour was hardly red. It looked like a typical amber, with a fluffy amber-style head. The smell was simply awful. Like a full lawnmower bag that sucked up too many pine needles. The taste had way too much of that smell in it. It tastes like grass growing out of an evergreen tree, with sap dripping all over it. It was icky. If there were any malty, or toasted qualities that make a red ale so delicious, they were completely and utterly masked by this abysmal flavour. I seriously can't taste a damn thing under that over-hopped madness.

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Photo of JoshRadTxist
1.93/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I don't believe it but I had Gordon before & liked it. Actually poured this one though (because I want to end the night on a higher note), and now I will not be buying Gordon again.

A: Amber

S: One-note good heavy malt bill, barely accentuated with the spicy hops.

T: Sweet, unbalanced. Plus, a weak and troubling solventy aftertaste evident in this batch. Mishandling or what?

M: A little squishy in the finish.

D: F- it.

Batch 6-30-10. Sorry, was not good.

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.09/5  rDev -49%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Was excited to try this as it got great reviews as an Imperial Red which is a style right up my alley. Boy was I disappointed.

Pours a deep garnet with off white head dissipating fairly quickly. Lots of lacing down the side of the glass. All downhill from here.

Nose is of heavy caramel/brown sugar. Hardly any hops detectable, maybe a bit earthy but malt overpowers.

Taste offers litte in the way of hoppiness either. Sweet caramel malt overpowers throughout finishing with a brown sugar aftertaste.

Very thick syrupy beer and way unbalanced in favor of malt. Any more than a 12 oz. can and I'm not sure I could've finished it. This is really a mess and I can't agree with the consensus at all. One of the worst beers I had on my west coast trip.

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Photo of charlzm
2.3/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Consumed 06/19/08 during Lucky Baldwin's IPA fest.

Deep burnished copper color. Less than one finger of white head, but lacing is excellent.

Smells of green, earthy hops.

A bit of malt sweetness, almost toffee. Same hop character from the nose. Also features oxidized and ammonia notes. Kind of like eating cardboard from a cat litter box.

I did not care for this one at all.

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Photo of caminato80
2.31/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

A saccharine brew; an imbalanced amount of molasses flavor out-muscles what little piney hops and malt it has to offer. Too sweet, too sticky. Hides its Abv well but unfortunately at the cost of its taste. I would have liked a bolder, drier more robust brew for an imperial IPA. A good effort, but an awkward compromise with a sweet sticky red ale.

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Photo of LarryV
2.39/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Aroma is raw, hoppy - reminds me of homebrew wort. Pours with a decent head that lingers for a bit. Taste is raw, hoppy without much of a malt backbone to balance it. The second one I had was a drainpour, I didn't care for this brew at all. At $11.50 for a 4 pack, this beer is WAY overpriced.

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Photo of JerseyKirk
2.53/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served from a Gordon can...not G'Knight.

A: Poured a less than 1 finger off white head. Beer looks cloudy and deep amber. Cannot see through it.

S: I know this is an odd thing to say but it smells like shampoo. A musky odor that isn't pleasant. Malty citrus in the background.

T: Tastes sweet and malty. There is some alcohol present in the back. Notes of lemon are subtle too. Somewhat tastes like an old fruit roll-up.

M: Carbed and full bodied. Not too drying but alcohol is definitely present.

O: Would never drink again. Not impressed. Honestly was surprised how much I disliked the beer given it's hype. Maybe I'm just not a high gravity amber guy.

*Paired with turkey lasagna.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.56/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured on tap into a pint glass, this beer pours a rich amber color with a moderate head. I soon sense that the amber color is likely from the crazy amount of rich dark malts in this brew. Not as sweet as Dale's Pale Ale, yet it seems to be just a variant of Dale's. Needless to say, I've never seen an IPA anywhere near this dark.

Smell is unusually malty for an IPA, yet offers some muted hop scents. Taste is bland, muted, sugary. Feel is that of light oily syrup on the tongue. Sweeter even than a Maharaja or 90 Minute and yet offers nowhere near the complexity.

A poor example of the style in my opinion.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
2.66/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle into a snifter/ no freshness date

P: Deep tangerine-infused amber with just the slightest film of foam on top, even after a vigorous pour. It's just not impressive-looking at all with big, soapy bubbles on top and no lacing to speak of. The apparent lack of carbonation has me a bit worried.

A: No doubt, the lack of any head on top of this brew is hindering the strength of the aroma, but what's there is respectable. Initially, a boatload of caramel sweetness hits me upside the head along with a toasted biscuity malt. As for the hops, the pine-scented variety is the most dominant, followed by citrus in a distant second. I also get some toffee and the slightest hint of chocolate in there, too.

T: Initially, I realize that this is a hop-forward brew, but only by the slimmest of margins. A resinous pine-flavored hoppiness is most evident, followed by some citrus notes that taste like grapefruit and pineapple. But as the mouthful progresses, the toasted caramel malt becomes humongous, too much so in my opinion, and overthrows the hops with brute force. It combines with the overly-sweet toffee to concoct a cloying sweetness that just overwhelms me over the course of the glass. As if that wasn't enough, the chocolate malts add another layer of sweetness (although subtle) that sends me over the edge. This tastes more like an Imperial Red than it does an DIPA, and a ridiculously sweet Impy Red at that. I just don't get what they were going for here.

M: Gordon is a medium-bodied beer that seems smooth enough, considering how 'still' it is in appearance. But, the carbonation seems fine on the tongue, which has me more than a bit confused. Having said that, it offers no silk to its smoothness, nor does it offer up any rich creaminess or even the slightest amount of chewiness to speak of. Regardless of whether or not it's a DIPA or Imperial Red, it's sub-par for the style as far as I'm concerned.

Notes: Boy, I really wish I knew how old this can was. I can't help but wonder if this beer is just past its prime, or if the beer just simply isn't within my realm of what I would consider tasty beer. It didn't look very impressive at all, it's waaaay too sweet, not nearly hoppy enough, and the chocolate malts just seemed really out of place. Now, do you see why freshness dates are so important? If I knew this beer was old, I wouldn't review it. But with no way of telling, I have no clue if that is a factor or not. As is, I have to review the beer sitting in front of me, and the beer sitting in front of me is not very good at all. But, since they make one of the best IRS's (Ten Fidy), I will have to track down a can that I know for a fact is fresh and update the review, just to give them the benefit of the doubt. As is, though, not recommended.

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Photo of ibbjamin
2.77/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Paid $10.49 for a 4 pack of 12oz bottles from BevMo in San Jose, CA. As indicated on bottom of can, this was canned on 11-13-08. Poured into a small snifter with one pour.

This beer yields a small head of less than a quarter inch after an aggressive pour. Slightly cloudy amber/orange color. Minimal carbonation. No retention. Minimal lacing.

Smell is quite strong and well balanced. There is a good malt backbone to this DIPA. The alcohol could be better hidden for its ABV. Hops are well balanced and could be fresher and stronger. Adjunct/raw aromas put turn me off a bit.

Taste is pretty well balanced, but I'm missing the hop character I look for in a DIPA.

Mouth is average for a DIPA. Lacks good carbonation, which in turn affects its drinkability. Medium body. Light aftertaste.

Did I get a bad batch? Wow, this is VERY unimpressive.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.83/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've had beer from the can before, but not craft beer. Gordon will change that tonight. On to the beer:

The body is clean...sizeable one-inch thick creamy head on top this amber colored brew. The aroma is big on sharp piney hops, a touch of tropical fruit. After tha smell and look, I could have confused this with Pine Sol, though I won't need to call the poison control center as I cosume this beer. Surprisngly light body with a somewhat watery and flat feel and little carbonation. It's not even that gooey. What's weirder is I don't feel the high alcohol in this brew considering the taste seems muted. Faded hops are dominant in the taste. There is some bitter green vegetable flavor, kind of like chopped celery crossed with pine. Finish is a bit unusual.

This can was a dud for what I was expecting. A muted Double IPA is not very exciting to drink. Next...

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.83/5  rDev -31%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Light auburn with a large frothy head and tons of gorgeous lacing. A very slight haze, but clear for the most part.

S - Pure hop resin. Pine and just a touch of herbal aroma. No malt.

T - Very, very medicianal - like a medicinal cherry, but without the cherry. There is a bit of pine hops as well. Almost like a medicinal blackberry schnapps. Not a good flavor at all.

M - Fairly smooth, pretty refreshing, medium bodied.

D - Meh, its taste is all medicinal - definitely not something I would want to have again, but at least it is finishable. Smells nice.

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Photo of saintwarrick
2.87/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is my third time having this brew, and I have yet to be wowed. Pours a deep red with a nice creamy head. Aroma is very thick and sweet like syrup, a good amount of caramel too, lots of pine and a hint of citrus. Unfortunately little, if any, of that shows through in the taste. The flavor is fairly bland and the nice hop oil characteristics lend little to the watery biscuit taste. There is some dark chocolatey caramel taste at the end, but any IPA, much less a Double IPA, should be sweeter, hoppier, thicker and a lot more flavorful than this brew.

The hops are there but there is nothing to balance this beer. It just tastes like a watered down hop-juice IPA. This is a far departure from Oskar Blues' Dale's Pale Ale, which is great. This beer just doesn't measure up, to Dale's or any DIPA I have had.

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Photo of Trombone69
2.87/5  rDev -30%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I have been generally unimpressed with the Oskar Blues offerings, although I liked the Old Chub nitro. I love that it's offered in cans, I want to like it, but...

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.88/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A--Deep copper color with one finger of head on my 16 oz. snifter

S--Musty, earthy hops, big sweet malt backbone

T--I don't see a date code on the can, but I'm almost thinking this may be old because it just doesn't have much good going for it. Its got a lot of flavor, but it is mostly a sweet maltiness...where are the hops? Perhaps it is labeled wrong on Beer Advocate, maybe Oskar Blues does not intend for this to be a double IPA. Very average.

M--Medium bodied and slick, not much carbonation

D--I won't be buying a sixer of this any time soon. Maybe mine was out of date, but I doubt it. Just an average beer overall.

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Photo of crossovert
2.9/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz can.

It pours a brownish red with a soapy, slightly off-white head.

The smell is sweet with some pine.

The flavor is thick and malty. The hops are there providing some back of the tongue bitterness but the mouthfeel here is super thick and syrupy. There is just a huge blast of caramel in there that makes it so sweet.

This is a thick, syrupy DIPA, not my cup of tea.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.9/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Oskar Blues Gordon

12 oz can, poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark amber with a smallish beige head that soon reduces to a skim, and leaves scattered bits of lacing.

Smells citrusy sweet (orange, pineapple) and tastes pretty much the same. Seriously lacking in bitterness, though. A thick, coating caramel flavor dominates, and the hops are too gentle to compete. This beer is begging for a dose of pine and/or grapefruit to cut through the sweetness. On the positive side, the mouthfeel is rather substantial, and the pineapple/orange combo provide a nice juiciness. A bit boozy at the finish.

Overall impression: Overrated (and underhopped)? Old can? Hard to say with no date info on the can, but I won't be purchasing this again unless I see it on tap somewhere.

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Photo of Fish113d
2.99/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured chilled from a 12 oz. can into a pint glass, it pours a dark amber color to mahogony with a thin bone white surface layer that forms on top w/ some slight lacing on the glass as it dissipates slightly.

Nose is fairly mild w/ hints of brown sugar and a bit of caramel malt. Also some florals come through, but again, fairly mild and nothing real exciting.

Sipping reaveals a much sweeter malt than expected. Sweet caramel...wow! A bit of biscuits come through on the floral hops, along with some of the alcohol becomes aparant to help balance the sugary sweetness a bit. Tingly on the tip of my tongue for some time after. A bit too sweet for my liking, but I think this would be better with some aging to it.

Medium body with little carbonation. Lots of alcohol phenols come through instead and really burn this up a bit. A bit too powerful for less than 9% in my opinion.

Not a bad brew by any means, but not quite what I had hoped or expected. Less hoppy in terms of bitterness and more sweet and "burny" from the alcohol. I'd recommend trying, but don't buy a case of it.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz canned Nov 3, 2010.

Pours orange/red with a decent light tan head, leaves some spots of lacing.

Aroma is some floral and grassy hops, light caramel malt, rather boring.

Flavor isn't much better, a little grassy and floral, some caramel malt sweetness, some alcohol.

Mouthfeel is slick, low to medium carbonation.

At six months old, I don't expect it to be at its best, but this is already only a shadow of what I expect fresh Gordon to be. Will seek out a better sample in the future and re-review.

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Photo of Trilogy31
3.01/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pretty cleark dark ruby amber with a slight creamy white cap. The nose carries some simplistic rich caramel malts along with a light hoppy pine smell. The taste brings more of the same easy going and drinking, with little to no complexity. In the mouth it had nice carbonation though i found it to be a bit astrigent and the abv was noticeable. It is what it is i would much rather drink this beer at the higher abv to get a buzz going than something similar you could find at around 5-6% for comparable quality.

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Photo of tewaris
3.04/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not really "red" but whatever. Red (or its absence) is one of the least important things I would look for in a beer. Medium head, medium retention. Somewhat hazy.

Muddled aroma, some malts that are quite nice, hint of hops. Doesn't smell like much, let alone an Imperial anything. Taste is also mellow, slightly sweet, definitely lacking any hop flavor or bitterness. Muddled finish but not overly sweet.

Great mouthfeel, silky and smooth. Goes down with some warmth or burn depending upon how you look at it. Overall a very meh beer though.

4, 2.5, 3, 4, 3

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Photo of Vierenner
3.05/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lighter color than expected and I don't see any red, but then again I'm mildly color-blind.

Sort of a sweet smell and flavor, with the taste of pine ever present. Not that I've ever eaten pine but this is what I'd expect it to taste like.

It's a refreshing beer ... could easily see myself enjoying it outside on a hot summer's day ... but it still tastes good being consumed in my 70-degree hotel room in Springfield VA.

I selected this beer primarily because of the awesome flavor/experience of TEN FIDY. This one isn't nearly as satisfying.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.06/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber in color with a quarter inch of frothy off white head. Smell is some hops, but there's a lot of malt to help support it. Lots of spotty lacing staying on the side of the glass after each sip. I actually get more malt than hops in the nose. Taste is more of the same. Just a tad bit more malt than hops are there. I have been more than pleased with every other Oskar Blues beer that I have had, but this one is a miss. I won't right it off, I'll try to find another sample and give it another try.

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Photo of samie85
3.08/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours an auburn brown color with two fingers of thick, white, sticky head.

S-A ton of pine with some grapefruit, pineapple, and some caramel malt.

T-All pine all the time with this one... almost a little too much for my taste. A bit of grapefruit as well.

M- Really dry with medium mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation.

D-The combination of the intense pine notes and the dry mouthfeel encourage me to never pick this one up again. I think I'm going to try to age the rest of it and see how some time treats this beer.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.08/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce can, $3.49 from Whole Foods in downtown Seattle, states 8.7% ABV.

Visual: deep hazy reddish amber, light lacing. Creamy, dense head dissipates rapidly.

Aroma: slightly flat and metallic, sweet, with hints of pine.

Taste: sweet, sweet, sweet with some pine/resin notes. Really quite limited for such a huge beer. The alcohol is not evident, except for a slight tingly burn in the mouth in the finish and aftertaste.

For a DIPA style, it's VERY lacking in pronounced hops. This is much more like a strong red ale, or perhaps a thick, sweet barleywine.

After it has warmed from the serving temp (about 53-55) to room temp (70, if my thermostat is to be believed) a distinct rauch-like smokiness comes out, and the alcohol warmth is a little more evident.

I've wanted to try this beer for a long time, and to be honest, I'm somewhat disappointed. It's kind of blah. I really like the Dale's, and Old Chub, but sadly, this one really doesn't match up to the hype. Good beer, sure, but not excellent.

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G'Knight Imperial Red Ale from Oskar Blues Grill & Brew
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,898 ratings.
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