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

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1,337 Reviews
G'Knight Imperial Red AleG'Knight Imperial Red Ale

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

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: 1,337 | Ratings: 3,851
Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good for it's style with lots of hops and balancing malt, and a very good balancing act. A potent lacey mix with cloudy yellow and beige head. Hoppy "C" aroma. Some citrus, drying aftertaste.This is an aged version, we went back one year, and it worked.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Canned on 11/7/11.

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber with a 2 inch foamy tan head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is very malty with some very nice herbal and peppery hop aromas. There is also a pineapple aroma I am getting as the beer warms up. Taste is of sweet malt balanced with herbal, peppery, and citrus zest hops. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a light carbonation with a medium bodied and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good DIPA but I am enjoying the aromas more than the flavors.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On draft at Boneyard Bistro. Pours a dark hazy amber with a thick, firm off white head with lovely full lacing.

Nose is assertive perfume citrus to cooked pineapple to light pine. Layers in the nose. Big creamy thick full body and huge flavors with great character and balance.

Initial taste give a short sweet fruit "hit" on the very front palate that quickly gives way to gigantic fresh and clean citric pine and pine resin. A wonderfully flavorful, big balanced beer where hops are the star.

One of richest and well made big hop beers ever tasted. This could be a "go to" beer for flavor, character, style, quality and versatility.

An all around rock star.

EDIT: 10/16/12 - Tasted on draft at the brewery during GABF 2012. Not as memorable as foregoing experience 3 years ago. Gave it a 3.5 at best this time around, on draft

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

3 finger frothy head with lots of lacing on a murky amber with gold hues body. Very nice caramel malt and hop rich aroma. Some citrus notes. Flavor is excellent with one of the nicest citrus finishes of any IPA I have tried. It is mellow but a little more boozy than I was expecting for an 8.7 ABV. The hops character is complex and can be detected throughout the experience. Medium body and moderate carbonation. This is very drinkable, fruity and hop-rich beer with one of the best finishes in a beer I have experiences.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not usually my style, but i loked thie one a lot. amber in color, with a tall white head. smells quite hoppy, cakey but not too sweet, and like a dry irish red. its anything but a dry irish red, despite the nose though. it tastes fairly sweet and downright potent. the alcohol reaches almost rubbing alcohol status as it warms, but it doesnt detract somehow. okenty of good malt body and hop bitterness to close it out. feel is great for a beer this big, solid body and bright carbonation make it dangerously drinkable. another excellent beer from oskar blues!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gordon poured out as a nice red color with a foamy white head on top. The head was very thick and have a good retention to it. The smell of the beer was hoppy and very inviting. The taste of the beer had a great hop quality on the tongue and has a good flavor overall. The malts were mostly found in the aftertaste along with the dry hop bitterness. The mouth feel of this beer had a good thickness to it. Overall I found this beer to be very enjoyable it was probably one of my favorite beers of the American craft beer festival in 2010. I would definitely drink this beer again.

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Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It poured deep amber in color with a dense head. A low to moderate level of carbonation is visible. The head didn't last that long, but it left nice lacey patterns on the surface.
S: There's a moderate aroma of piney hops in the nose.
T: Piney hops dominate the flavors, but they are balanced somewhat by the underlying malt, which adds a slight amount of sweetness to the overall taste. There is some bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate, crisp and a little sticky.
D: The alcohol is well-hidden so it's relatively easy to drink. Who would have thought that something that tasted this good could come out of a can?

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think the beer probably falls into an Imperial Red catagory rather than an Imperial IPA. Big, Red, Sticky is how the can explains it. Good enough.

The beer pours into a new Sam Adams pint glass with a deep amber hue, moderate haze, good head formation/retention and solid lacing throughout. A good look.

The nose is a good blend of candied malts (caramel and toffee), orange zest, grapefruit, bready-toasty maltiness, and grains

Deep toffee coated malts provide a lot of caramel and syrup sweetness that is soon enough balanced and overtaken by citrus and pine hops. Understandable why the beer is included in the IIPA catagory, but the caramel sweetnes is so heavy that it keeps the beer from complete hop dominance. Mild fruits of pineapples, papayas, and appricots give a mild and understated complexity to the taste.

Sticky it is, but not offensively so. A good portion of the beer falls into rich and full maltiness and not cloying, syrupy textures. The sweetness gives way at mid-palate and allows the bitterness and dryness of the hops to take over going into the finish.

A good beer that refuses to allow the malts or hops to dominate- they seem to take turns at every sip.

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Photo of largadeer
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy amber with a huge, frothy, sticky white head that stuck around for the entire pint.

Smell: Floral, citrus, a hint of pine and malt; very aromatic, but not the best hop nose I've encountered.

Taste/mouthfeel: Earthy, citrusy hops with a big toffee and biscuit malt flavor. Medium-bodied, crisp and easy to drink despite the high ABV. I prefer my IPAs with a bit less malt, but this is a great brew nonetheless.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a sturdy head that leaves sheets of lace

Smell: Rich caramel and citrus hop aroma, floral and pithy

Taste: Opens with a tug of war between the resinous citrus and the rich caramel malt flavors; after the swallow, the malt surrenders and the bitter flavors triumph; sweet and floral in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A nice DIPA, that is well-balanced and flavorful

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Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can (o' bliss, apparently...)

This beer pours a hazy medium amber colour, with two broad fingers of thick foamy pale beige head, which leaves a high thin band of lace around the glass as it slowly recedes. It smells of bitter citrus, herbal and pine hops, and sweet nutty caramel malt, with some strong latent floral notes. The taste is sweet, somewhat sugary caramel malt, some equally saccharine almond paste, fairly strong bitter grassy, piney hops, and a mild booze undertow. The carbonation is quite sedate from the get-go, the body a medium, unassailable weight, and quite agreeably smooth. It finishes on a somehow reserved note - hops and malt doing their best to seem innocuous, without selling out entirely.

The brewery's definition, as it is, along with BA's pigeonholing, still do not detract from a genuinely enjoyable quaff - more big IPA than red ale, truth be told. Overall: quality hops and malts, ramped up further, with the attendant booze well obfuscated. Bliss, indeed.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of gford217: Poured a deep brown color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter and citrus hops are dominating. Taste is also dominated by those citrusy and bitter Qwest Coast hops with a nice caramel malt profile that is overshadowed by the hops. Full body with some good carbonation and no discernable alcohol behind all those hops. One-dimensional for sure but still very tasty and nonetheless a beer I wouldn't mind having access on a regular basis.

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Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dense honeycomb of foam, dimpled on the surface. Webs of lace, with several rings forming on the way down. Deep reddish-amber tone, with good clarity.

Huge citrusy hop aroma, riding up against a hearty maltiness. Honey, pine, butterscotch, fresh grapefruit juice, and weeds all come across in the nose also.

Lush, creamy mouthfeel, that really couldn't improve at all. Buttery smooth, huge malt presence pairs with a citrusy component, descending into a pine tar bitterness in the finish. Bitterness isn't harsh or abrasive, it's fairly mellow, but lingers for a long time.

One is a real treat, maybe two if you're feeling ambitious. The alcohol is tucked away, but you will definitely feel it after having one or two...

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Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on draught into a pilsner glass at Oskar Blues Liquids and solids. Cost was $6.00. Expectations were above average given the brewery. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige head of decent cream, pretty good thickness, and above average retention. Colour is a clear copper. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Pleasant amber hops form the aroma. The hoppy bitterness seems tamed with a floral quality. Nice toasted malts. Some cream. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Nice amber hops alongside fresh crisp toasted malts, slight caramelization, and other clean malts. Nicely balanced, though I don't know that its high ABV is working for it. Somewhat simple but nicely subtle. The hops are nicely tamed. Built pretty well.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Unrefreshing. Adequately carbonated. Good thickness. It has presence but is somewhat light on the palate.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable for the style. I might have it again if paired with spicy food. A decent little imperial red. A solid mainstay from Oskar Blues, but not unique or special. Held back by its simplicity.

Likely best on-draught.

Low C+

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.69/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The last of Oskar Blue's beers I had yet to try.. bought can of it for $3.

Poured a dark red color with tons of head. Smell was very hoppy, practically oozed out the hops. Taste I thought was a little underwhelming.. kind of a weird mouthfeel to it and very light bodied, especially for the style The high ABV was well hidden for sure, but the beers bark was worse than its bite. The hops weren't there for me in the taste. While its still a good beer.. its not as extraordinary as Old Chub, Ten Fidy, or Dale's... not sure if i'd shell out the $13 for a 4 pack of it.

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Photo of zeff80
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a bubbly, tan, two-finger head. It left heavy, sticky rings of lace. Also, cloudy in appearance.

S - It smelled of malt and a ton of hops.

T - Led off with some bitter hops. Had a nice malty character. Also, a hint of sweet orange flavor.

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

D - This is another great Oskar Blues product.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate amber-red color with an off white head. The nose is citrus hops and a bit of sweeter malt in the background. The taste is a bit overly sweet, almost verging on being cloying. A pretty good amount of citrus and slight bitterness. Bitter and sweet both for sure in the feel. Drinkability is pretty good, but it's a bit too sweet in the end.

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Photo of oberon
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured aclear rich bronze with a nice white sticky 1/2 finger head leaving a ring of lace as it settled slowly,I know giving a 5 for for anything really means something when reviewing but I had it give this a perfect score for the nose of this bad boy the pine jumps out and grabs ya the underlying citrus just adds to to it its just resiny and piney and just damn good.Long lingering hops on the palate no big wallop and done here a nice coating mouthfeel the piney flavors just coat the mouth and just seem to linger over top of a pretty sweet malt base but the hops seem to just go on late into the finish inducing those blessed hop burps.Big thanks to my buddy Dale aka "hoppedup" (Dale) thru AK Smoked Porter hey every once in awhile even an Ohioan makes me happy.

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Photo of nickfl
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of light tan head on top of an amber-brown body with just a hint of haze. The foam settles pretty quickly but leaves nice lace.

S - Meaty aroma of caramel malt and hops. Notes of grapefruit and pine that blend with toast and caramel to form the velvety malt and hop character that one often sees in barleywines and old ales. Some herbal notes of basil and ginger as well.

T - Sweet malt up front with lots of toffee and caramel. There is a somewhat minty flavor in the middle that blends with herbal flavors that echo the basil and ginger of the aroma. Finishes with more sweet toffee that is balanced by moderate bitterness and some pine hop flavor. Lingering spicy notes that blend with the malt and hops to produce a tea like character that coats the mouth as well as some smoky tobacco qualities.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is very different for a DIPA. The malt is dark and sweet; so much so that it almost comes across as a barleywine. The hop character is a bit weak for the style with a good level of bitterness and flavor but surprisingly little aroma. The herb/spice character is strange and unexpected, but not unpleasant. There is a great tea-like quality that took me a while to identify as well as some other unusual herbal characteristics. As a DIPA it is kind of weird and lacking in hop character, but it is still worth trying.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can into a nonic pint glass.

Pours a hazy orange amber with a big 2 fingers of foamy off-white head that sticks around with a sturdy 1/2 finger of nice, full, creamy retention that leaves huge rings of sticky hop lace behind. The aroma is fresh pine, subtle citrus notes, deep roasted oats, and a touch of alcohol heft in the surroundings.

The taste is a big resinous, hop bite up front mixed with a touch of tangy citrus notes. That's nicely balanced by a beefy backbone of roasted bready oats (that smooths out as it warms) and chocolate sweetness. Hop bitterness runs the whole way through, leaving the palette drenched with a warm, bitter, sticky feel. The mouthfeel is almost full bodied with a creamy feel and a hint of warming alcohol.

This is one of my favorite Hop-Head fixes and just tastes so fresh coming out of the can. A great mix of juicy hops, bready malts, and a big drinkability that belies it's almost 9% ABV. This is a complete winner for me.

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Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An interesting spicy but earthy strong ale. Hops are big and aromatic, but less bitter than many other DIPAs. Starts with some large malty flavors, runs through the gamut of hop flavors, and finishes with a rather flat taste.

Orangey amber in the wine glass. Odd oily mouthfeel. Aftertaste dissipates fairly rapidly. The sweet and spicy flavors are the best feature. Slightly woody and even metallic. Eventually the bitterness becomes more dominant. Not my favorite of this style.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.77/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a plain metal can with a green and white sticker on it. I'd better get to this before it gets old...

I never knew Gordon Knight (the guy this beer's named for), and I never will, but if this beer's any reflection of him (as the can suggests), I think we would've gotten along just fine. He was a seemingly unstoppable brewer, involved in the opening of many brew pubs early in the day, and a helicopter pilot that fought forest fires (and died doing it in 2002). It's a winner, and he was too; and I could only dream that if my friends made a beer in memoriam to me it would be this good!

That said, unlike many other big IPA's that slap you down with raspy hops and loaded bitterness, this one is soft like a baby's blanket. It's rich malty base is the perfect support for it's resiny hop load. It's caramelish, and even slightly chocolatey, but perfectly balanced by the softly piney and grassy hops. The bitterness is even soft. It's 85 IBU's are barely felt - against the plush malt background it seems more like 35 or 40!!! It's remarkably rich and mellow at the same time... hoppy, but not so hoppy... malty but not sweet. IT'S RIDICULOUSLY GOOD! And stunningly drinkable!!! And I have to say this, but not because of the can thing, although that's great and I'm all for it, and excited that it's catching on, but... this is one hell of a beer for relaxing around the campfire with. It reminds me of my homebrew club camping trips... big, soft, hoppy beers - and you only need one or two because they satisfy. Good times! Oskar Blues keep doing it!!! It takes a lot to turn my head, but damned if this one didn't do it! Highest praises! ...Now I need to go get more!!!

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

Gordon is a stupendous shade of orangish, reddish bronze that positively glows when viewed with the benefit of bright sunlight. There's no letdown where the head is concerned either. The beer is capped with a hugely thick and creamy lid of orange-infused golden brown sugar-colored foam that is in no hurry to depart and that covers the glass with thick, buttery lace. I love the look.

And I love the nose as well. There's a wee bit too much caramel for me, but it's a sweet, candy-like caramel scent that is enjoyable. No worries though because there's a 'mutha lode' of hoppiness in the house (I gotta agree with the brewery there). So much so that the 4-C dominant hop bill easily overrides the caramel maltiness.

This just might be the sweetest, most caramel malty DIPA that I've ever had. My favorites of the style are slanted much more toward hops, but it's hard to find too much fault when the beer is so damned good. The flavor profile is saved by a huger than huge hop load that is high on sticky resinousness. If I had my druthers though, I'd back off the caramel malt a good bit. I don't believe that the 'dash' of chocolate malt was such a good idea either.

The beer tastes like sugar-crusted orange, lemon and grapefruit peel swimming in a brown sugar syrup. I don't really appreciate chocolate malt per se, but the maltiness is definitely darker and richer than the usual. Ain't no way that 9.2% is accurate. Two percentage points lower is the highest that I would have guessed. If it wasn't for the cloying sweetness, I could down several cans in quick succession... and would then have to find a soft place to land.

Gordon is proof that a ton of malt results in a plush, lush, velvety, viscous mouthfeel. Given the sweetness, calling it syrupy wouldn't be out of line. Even though I heard no escape of gas on tab cracking, the good-sized head is evidence that plenty of carbonation is working behind the scenes. The bubbles also lay low in terms of mouthfeel; just how I'd draw it up.

Forget about the can, this is a good, solid (if overly sweet) version of my favorite style of beer. If I had read my own review prior to tasting, I wouldn't have been thrilled with the emphasis on cararmel malt. In the drinking however, Gordon is a big, gooey, friendly sort of DIPA that I'd probably buy on a regular basis if I was fortunate enough to live in Oskar Blues's distribution area. Thanks to hopsaplenty for the opportunity.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a semi-cloudy brown-amber body with a rich, fluffy off-white head.

Smell: Ahh, finally an assertive nose demanding of one's attention! Pacific Northwest hops bring pine and, to a lesser extent, grapefruit to the table, while the malts deliver some caramel, biscuitiness, and maybe even some brown sugar, too.

Taste: Begins with a sweet butterscotch maltiness that's quickly succeeded by a myriad of fruit flavors including grapefruit, peaches, and blood oranges. Eventually, the pine and grassy hop flavors show up to welcome in the bitter, dry (but still somewhat sweet) finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Oily texture.

Drinkability: Extraordinarily well-balanced, just as it's secondary Dale's Pale Ale is. A beer good enough to help you pull yourself up out of the muck and make your life something worth living. Thanks a million, Oskar Blues!

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce can into tulip glass, canned on 10/16/2012(G’iant G’Knight slogan). Pours fairly clear reddish copper color with a 2 finger fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, floral, pine, orange rind, caramel, bread, light pineapple, and herbal earthiness. Damn nice aromas with nice hop complexity and malt balance. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, caramel, orange rind, floral, pine, toast, grass, pineapple, and herbal spiciness. Moderate pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus rind, caramel, toast, floral, pineapple, and herbal spiciness on the finish. Fantastic hop complexity and balance; with a great balance of malts that still puts the hops out front; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent imperial red ale! Great hop complexity and malt balance; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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G'Knight Imperial Red Ale from Oskar Blues Grill & Brew
4.1 out of 5 based on 3,851 ratings.
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