Hop Head Red Ale | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Hop Head Red AleHop Head Red Ale
Very Good
3,422 Ratings
Hop Head Red AleHop Head Red Ale

Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by sleazo on 03-06-2007

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,422 |  Reviews: 965
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grapefruit aroma fom the fragrant amarillo. Initially big head. Smooth easy drinking, I can just picture the guzzlers downing 6-paks. A nice bitterness that is left on the aftertaste. Well balanced at 45 IBU.A fresh and bold taste, can use to transition to craft.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a bright red amber ipa with a 2 inch white head. smells like a west coast ipa, extremely hoppy with a touch of malty sweetness. taste is much sweeter than the nose, with a rather heavy feeling sucrose element. very little bitterness for such a hoppy beer, more resin like and sticky. mouthfeel is pretty good, plenty bubbly and medium bodied. overall a good ipa, but because of the sweetness i wouldnt want to drink them all night.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger off white head with nice lacing on a hazy deep amber body.

S: earth and grapefruit hops. Caramel malt base is nicely represented. Hops are a little musty

T: the hops are again earthy with some citrus and a nice dose of pine and grass greatest in the finish. The caramel malts base is best noticed up front.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: a nice beer. Very drinkable and flavorful. Nice contribution to flavor and both feel from the malts.

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Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


On tap at Green Flash Brewing Company in San Diego, CA.

Pours a clear amber with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great aroma and tasty flavor.

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Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured deep amber in color with a finger-sized head. A light level of carbonation is visible and there is a good amount of head retention.
S: The aroma is mainly dominated by piney hops; there are some notes of caramel malts and floral hops in the background.
T: There's a good balance in the taste between the flavors of hops and malts. Like the smell, piney hops stand out but these are subdued by flavors of caramel malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and rather crisp.
D: This beer can be considered sessionable given its low alcohol content.

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Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, another souvenir from the Great Cross-border Beer Pilgrimage of 2010...

This beer pours a dark, murky russet hue, with two fingers of thick, foamy light beige head, with leaves a commendable latticework of lace around the glass as it duly recedes. It smells of grapefruit, toasted caramel malt, nougat, and some light pine/grassy hops. The taste is creamy roasted caramel malt, and bitter grapefruit and pine oils. The carbonation is on the low side, the body north of medium weight, smooth, and somewhat crisp. It finishes off-dry, the biscuity caramel malt still in a dance of death with the resinous citrus and pine hops.

Definitely a mish-mash of styles, a decent red ale hopped to the nuts. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but should be pretty fresh. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy ruby copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of tangerine, orange zest, lemon zest, grapefruit, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, toast, biscuit, toffee, and floral/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of tangerine, lemon zest, orange zest, grapefruit, floral, grass, pine, caramel, toast, biscuit, toffee, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pine, floral, grass, caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of hop and malt flavors; with crisp and quite balanced malt/hops with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent red IPA. All around great balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.47/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a three finger head of nice thickness, okay cream, and respectable retention. Colour is a semitransparent copper-amber.

Sm: Bittering hops are all me broken nose detects.

T: Bittering hops are tamed, which I like. Caramel is in there as well. Moderately complex, but more importantly balanced. I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Complements the flavour of the body in a general sense.

Dr: Very drinkable, above average ABV, and fairly priced. I'd certainly have it again if it were on draught.

04/23/15 Nutshell impressions:

Appearance is decent, playing to the ostensible imperial red elements with an amber-hued body colour. The head suggests overcarbonation, but has decent creaminess and thickness. Not a bad looking beer by any means, but far from unique or special.

Aroma immediately betrays this beer's obvious overhoppiness, with scattered notes of cotton candy, floral hops, and vague fruit. Sweet caramalt and generic pale malt add little, and I even find the beginnings of candi sugar notes. Not a pleasant aroma by any means. Aromatic intensity is moderate to high.

Taste is as obnoxiously aggressive and off-the-mark as the aroma, if not moreso. Soapiness indicates too much time spent in primary. The hop profile is lacking, bringing only underwhelming notes of imbalanced floral hops, caramalt, pale malts, vague fruit, cotton candy, and candi sugar. Too sweet but also strangely resinous to no good effect.

Texture is coating. Medium-bodied and overcarbonated. Artificial presence on the palate. Poorly executed. There's no harmony of texture to taste.

Overall, it's not a gestalt beer and offers nothing of interest within its style. More garbage from one of the USA's most misguided breweries. I'd avoid this; it's a poorly executed beer even outside of style conventions - let alone as an imperial IPA or red ale.

D+ (2.47)

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Is it an American IPA? Is it an American Amber Ale? The lines blur with this very hoppy Red Ale and appeal to those who like the hearty malt flavor of Ambers but think that higher hop additions would better offset the sweetness typically associated with Amber Ales.

The deep amber ale opens with a hazy red rusty hue and quickly builds a sturdy and slightly yellowish head. With great retention and lace, the beer sings the praises of hop-heavy ales.

Sharp aromas of pine, grapefruit, and fresh-cut grasses dominate the nose while the toasted barley malt supports the hops in a very IPA kind of way. With little influence from fruity esters or spicy phenols, the beer carries a clean malt and hop conversation through and through.

And so go the flavors- hop dominant with the early taste of spruce, white grapefruit (pith and pulp), and a grassy herbal taste that develops into a resiny bitterness at finish. Meanwhile, the medium toast flavor of barley brings about mild caramel sweetness, bread crust savory notes, and with a clean, fresh baked barley taste not only support the hops but add greater balance than the nose suggests.

Medium in body, the beer feels lighter on the tongue because of the creamy carbonation, higher attenuation, and hop derived dryness late. The beer really lightens considerably as the resiny hop bitterness closes the beer, and without watering causes a very high rate of drinkability to occur.

For one, I appreciate a well balanced amber ale, but these more hoppy versions appeal much better to me as the hop-forward nature of the beers give more intrigue and better offset the caramel sweetness and weight of most beers of the style.

 1,672 characters

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh shipment finally arrived in Chicago, thanks EehaiCJ for the single!

Dark jeweled amber with a reddish tint, tons of intricate lacing. Fresh leafy botanical nose, candied hop sweetness with underlying toffee. Really different from the bottle I had earlier this year that was older. Much more vibrant and like a fresh IPA. Some citrus, but not what I expected from an all Amarillo beer. Really nice firm bitterness, with a lingering trace of sweet caramel malt. Good balance and session worthy. Get it fresh!

01-26-2009 - bottle

B+ / 3.9
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

Six-pack from Rudy's in LaSalle, IL. Undated bottle, inside the holder is printed 03-08.

Billowing tan head that puffs up above the rim of the pint glass. Creamy texture to the surface, and and intricate ring of lace inside the rim. Slightly hazed reddish amber, micro-sediment in suspension. Traces of citrus in the aroma, rounded and pleasant malt dominates, leading me to believe this isn't a "just born" beer. No punchy Amarillo citrus that I was craving...However it isn't completely lost. There's a firm hop bitterness in the flavor, again traces of citrus, light sweetness of bready malt lingers. Good feel from steady carbonation, and perfect for a session. I've got to track down a fresh bottle, and then re-rate...

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Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a very dark, red color with a two-finger, thick head of tan foam. It was fairly long lasting and left some sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of citrus, pine and strong grapefruit notes.

T - Good bitter hop bite of citrus, grapefruit and pine. Then there's a strong roasty character, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is an outstanding red ale. I really was impressed with this one, although it really could just be called an IPA.

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Hop Head Red Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 3,422 ratings