Hop Head Red Ale
Green Flash Brewing Co.

Hop Head Red AleHop Head Red Ale
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Imperial Red Ale
Ranked #13
ABV:
8.1%
Score:
89
Ranked #6,365
Avg:
3.99 | pDev: 11.03%
Reviews:
966
Ratings:
3,424
From:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  180
Gots
  545
SCORE
89
Very Good
Hop Head Red AleHop Head Red Ale
Notes: In 2011 the recipe was altered to bump the IBU’s from 55 to 70; ABV also increased from 6.4% to 7.0%. In 2014 the ABV increased to 8.1%.

A luscious beauty, Hop Head Red® exudes resinous hoppy qualities from Amarillo, Warrior and Nugget to overtake the full-bodied depths of a caramel malt base. Captivating and seductive floral aromas and alluring hop flavors are the result of dry hopping with mountains of Amarillo. The blissful union of Double India Pale and Red Ale make Hop Head Red an unforgettable obsession. Experience love at first sip. Every time.
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Reviews: 966 | Ratings: 3,424
Photo of dave_ackbar
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

4oz pour at local bottle shop.
Look is that of a red ale.
Smell is hoppy, but not overly hoppy.
Taste was way smoother than an IPA, it was listed as an IPA at the bar, the combo of red ale and ipa made it very distinctive.
Feel is smooth like a red ale.
Overall not too shabby, not sure I’d buy it, but if a friend offered a bottle I wouldn’t turn it down.

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

I poured this into a tulip. The appearance was a fairly dark hazy amber color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within seconds. There was some lacing and it was mainly stringy. The aroma has a roasted caramel and toffee maltiness with an earthy and resinous resounding citrusy conglomeration. The taste took those flavors and combined nicely. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. There’s a decent earthy bitter but caramel aftertaste with a drying finish. Overall, I liked it, and am pretty sure I’d have it again.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From notes taken 01/08/17:

Very deep copper or perhaps ruby, essentially, not quite Scotch Ale status. From what I can tell, just barely clear, snifter bends the light too much to be sure. Sandy tan head of thick froth, creamy, chunky, with good retention. Walls of thin lace. Resin, spice, caramel, touch of dark and candied fruit, light toast aromas. Very sweet, boozy, and enticing. Palate is spicy and perfume hops, booze, caramel to nearly toffee, a toasty backbone, dark fruit (both stone fruit and to an extent, berries). Finish and aftertaste are fairly leathery, perfumy, and soapy, with peppery and somewhat herbal retro-olfaction. Full-bodied but too sloshy and sudsy to be either syrupy or creamy. That is, plenty of loose but strong tingly carbonation. Rather astringent, as expected. Alcohol is well-hidden, i.e., this is not as balanced or warming as I would like it to be.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On the darker side of amber, auburn and brown. Real impressive 4/5" thick, tight bubbled off white head. Aroma kicked down hops and tree trunk and sticks.

Taste is a good red ale, lots of hops, boatloads for a red, I think they're using Amarillos in a few different stages on this beer. Its a heavier malt feel that keeps the hop flavor from going to hard into grapefruit citrus territory. Its nothing complex, red ale meets crystal malt ipa.

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Photo of Squire
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dusty golden red with light tan cap and good lacing.

Aroma: Malt structure with a hop roof. The two work nicely together with neither dominating. The hops give off a floral spiciness as well.

Taste: Malt forward with a body that feels more heavy than rich but is pleasant none the less. The hops come into play fairly soon and remain to the finish leaving a slight hop aftertaste that is mild and clean.

Texture: Medium leaning towards full.

Overall: A far better flavor than my description indicates, perhaps because I don't find complex layers of flavors, rather just a few but they are good ones. Imperial anything is a difficult act to pull off and this one plays well.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky amber brown (some bottles with swimming particulates) producing a nice 2.5 finger, tan, nicely lasting head that leaves strings of lace. Nose is caramel, biscuity toasted malt & citrus/resinous hop heavy. Taste nicely balanced with toasted caramel malt imparting a subordinate sweetness, finishing full bodied pine, citrus & spicy hoppiness. Nicely bitter finish & aftertaste. Overall malt & hops have a high degree of balance. Some noticeable similarities to Lagunitas Red Imperial Ale.

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Photo of Roby923
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Musty hop smell, smooth and aggressive. Impressive collection of amarillo, warrior, and nugget hops. Bottled from somewhere in Naples. Took the risk based on the best before AUG 2015 expiry date, but found this to be smooth and aged well.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a flute glass straight from the tap.

Appearance: Deep Amber with medium bubbles and an off-white head settles quick with even lacing. Head upon initial pour rose to about one finger's length.

Smell: Light hop scent, but a little more light than you would expect.

Taste: Malty and little sweet, like honey oranges and grapefruit sweet with the nice touch of bitterness to offset the sweetness.

Mouth: Sticky brew, little thin on the body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Good brew and very hard not to pass up, if you like IIPAs this might be one to lean towards to. Enjoy in a glass as always....Salud!

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

Bought a 12oz bottle from Don Quiojte. Amber color, hops smell comes through, medium mouthfeel, high carbonation, slight hint of chocolate, alcohol aftertate, some bitterness, overall an ok beer. Nice to try, but I won't buy it again.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

i feel bad reviewing this. my friend went to Green flash brewery in San diego and couldnt stop raving about this beer. A couple days later on Oct 26. 2015 i was in total wine and saw it so i grabbed it. when i was about to drink it i saw BB date March 9 2015. i decided to drink anyways and wasnt too bad so here goes
Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass
L- deep opaque red with thick cream colored head
S- tons of hops, yeast, dark roast malts
T- malty base definitely yeasty and here come all the hops on the finish but well balanced not too hoppy
F- nice and crisp smooth
O- was good and drinkable didnt feel like a hop bomb even though 70 IBU and hid the 8.1% abv pretty well would like to try it fresh

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Photo of mr-jj
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an IPA glass from 12 oz bottle.

Color is amber with a thick, fluffy off-white head that lingers for a while. Aroma is hop-forward, with some citrus and floral notes balanced by sweet biscuits. Flavor is similar - lots of floral hops balanced by biscuity malts. Body is medium with lots of carbonation. Very nice mouthfeel. Overall, a real good red ale for those of us who like hops.

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Photo of BethanyB
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: A fat, tan head floats above a slightly cloudy body whose color wavers between deep copper and light brown--dark for an IPA. No lacing is left on the glass, but the foam does leave a light film.

Smell: Hop forward, with resin as the star scent. Toasted caramel malt plays a strong supporting role, while a faint air of sweet citrus, e.g., mandarin oranges, shimmies in the background.

Taste: Not a beer for those unaccustomed to hops, although hop heads will be able to detect and appreciate the delicate, yet laudable hop/malt balance. The strong bitterness kicks in straight away, but sweet, complex malt in the finish reveals a softer side. The hops still dominate, however, showcasing flavors of resin, peppered herbs, and citrus rinds.

Mouthfeel: A creamy mouthfeel accentuates the toffee-like flavors, while medium-high carbonation adds a refreshing crispness. Alcohol warming is unmistakable, yet tame.

Overall: A wildly hoppy beer with the perfect amount of malt required to keep it from teetering over the edge. Despite its complexities, it remains smooth, clean, and crisp. While I could personally do with a bit more malt, this is a fine hop showcase for sure.

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Photo of stevoj
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark orange amber with thick, fluffy head. Aroma is perfect balance of malt and hops. Taste is smooth, with just some spicy bitterness on the tail end. Beauty of a beer, delicious!

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Photo of SINKTIPS_N_SUDS
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Full disclosure, I'm a fan of green flash. What they do and how they do it. This bottle was over a month past its best by date, and was still very very good. Beautiful red hue, big hops on the nose. Malty sweetness offset by more beautiful hops. I will try to find fresher and re-rate but this beer is damn good.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle BB 09 Jan 16 at 42 degrees into shaker
Aroma of spice and citrus, weak but lasts
Head large (Five cm, aggressive pour), light tan, frothy, slowly diminishing to one cm frothy layer
Lacing fair – irregular partial curtains and arc of tiny to medium bubbles
Body dark amber, chill haze
Flavor - lightly bitter, not picking up any particular flavor; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, slightly oily, lively carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3.75, Overall 4

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.91/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours deep copper with a very wide tainted foam head. Smell is great, hoppy and malty, well balanced. Taste is very good, caramel notes, malts and hops are there, bitterness is not too strong. Great Red Ipa.

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Photo of LennyOvies
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L- Dark amber/ruby body, very little visible carbonation. Excellent beige creamy head.
S- Caramel toasted malts with noticeable hops.
T- Very well balanced caramel toasted malts with floral hops. Leaves a lingering pine taste.
F- Medium, sligthly creamy.
O- Superb beer. Cant understand the hate against GF, all theur offerings have been very solid.

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Photo of car2052
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to tulip glass.

A:Clear auburn, with ruby hues. Ample amounts of tan head.
S: Pine, orange, grapefruit, peach, and a subtle smokiness
T: Nice pine and citrus at the front of the tongue, followed by roasted malts and a dry grapefruit rind aftertaste.
M: Medium. Sticks around a bit.
O: Very good. This is a favorite style of mine. I think it could be even stronger and would be great.

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Photo of EMV
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

L: Poured a clear mahogany-red color with 1-2 fingers of off-white head.

S: Sweet and hoppy. Citrus fruits and evergreen.

T/F: Caramel and toffee malts up front giving way to a big hop punch. Great profile with citrus and pine... nice astringency and a bit warming. Nice carbonation and a bit sticky on the mouthfeel.

O: A lovely brew from Green Flash.... and a hopped up Imperial Red with great flavor. Works great as a palate wrecker.

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Photo of Gajo74
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber/red, nice creamy head and sticky lace. Sweet malt aroma and lots of hops. For an amber ale, this one is very hop forward. The toasted malts come through well to balance it. Dry hoppy finish, also with a hint of spices and raw cacao. Smooth and drinkable. A solid brew.

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Photo of stormgasm7
4.64/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I was hesitant to try this at first because I've not had the best experiences with IPAs of any kind, however, this beer was absolutely magnificent. Surprisingly enough, it paired well with ceviche.

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Photo of Raime
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Green Flash Hop Head Red.

If there is one brewery that has one me over recently it is these ladies and gentleman of good ole California. This was the one I went back for the next day after having three of their other brews. Let us hope the legacy lives on.

Look - Everything they promise they seem to deliver. This is oneeee red fucking beer haha. Poured deep, blot clot red with a one finger white head thag doesn't fully retain though stays relevant with a continent formation all around the top of the swill. Cannot get a good read on the carbonation. Lacing isn't there but it is still attractive. 4.

Smell - Holy fucking toffee candy bat man. This thing smells like a heath bar infused with maltiness and a dank hop background. That's all we got going on here folks. 4.

Taste - Yep the toffee aspect remains. Very toasty, and I mean VERYYYY toasty maltiness melds with the toffee flavoring. The hops aren't exactly all that present in this one. I get a bit of the sweet juicy bite but overall this is a sweet, heath bar esque malt bomb with a touch of flowery aspects. 4.

Feel - The body is quite large though not exactly heavy. Carbonation seems pretty high and it is slightly creamy. Not much else to say about the feel on this one. 4.

Overall - While it is probably my least favorite in the bunch I've tried from Green Flash, that isn't saying a whole lot. It is still a very solid beer and truly one of the most sessionable reds I have ever had. Almost too sessionable actually. Sometimes I wonder if I have a drinking problem..haha. I've had better in the style, at higher ABV's. Think of this as a Red half light. 4.

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Photo of SSS
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Definitely a human redhead in the sense of an orange amber color, you can see hop sediment floating around. Off-white head that lingers.
S-Big hit of caramel/crystal malt on the nose. Some hop aroma in the dank/pine spectrum
M-Medium body with medium carbonation
T-Nice mid-level bitterness. Malt forward with caramel/crystal dominating.
O-A nice ale, that composes a couple of dimensions nicely. Better than the average.

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Photo of rjd722
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love me some reds and some IPA so this was bound to be an instant favorite. Beautiful deep red color with a tan foam head and excellent lacing. And for the smell, let's go with "dank toffee", caramel notes as well. The bottle states "rich caramel malt base" and it absolutely was on point with regards to the taste. Mouthfeel is certainly bitter and the dry-hopped Amarillo is very nice.

Another great Green Flash offering!

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Photo of muldersha
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at Kay's Bar in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood of Portland, OR

Sports a deep amber hue with a formidable creamy white head with superb retention.

Aromas were somewhat more muted than I would have hoped. Was expecting giant aromas of orange and pine, but got little more than a flutter.

Incredibly well balanced despite a hefty 8.1% ABV. Flavors of caramel malts were balanced with a a pleasant, but not overly bitter finish of hops.

And all-around great beer, just not something to write home to mom about.

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Hop Head Red Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 3424 ratings