Lady Luck Imperial Red Ale
Karben4 Brewing

Lady Luck Imperial Red AleLady Luck Imperial Red Ale
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Irish Red Ale
Ranked #11
Ranked #19,838
3.86 | pDev: 10.88%
Karben4 Brewing
Wisconsin, United States
Very Good
Lady Luck Imperial Red AleLady Luck Imperial Red Ale
Notes: More than just a beer to satisfy and soothe – it’s an emotional experience. Deepest ruby red and filled with a symphony of malt flavors including caramel, toffee, raisins, and currants that finish with a simple hint of roast and chocolate tones lingering like a half-remembered dream. This gentle giant, balanced with English hops, dominates all senses without destroying the palate. Sexy. As. Hell.
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 110 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ordybill
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear dark amber color with a tiny white head. The aroma is cherries and caramel malt. The taste follows the nose.

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Photo of pweis909
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a presumptive bad bottle of what I think might have been a very good beer. I'm enjoying it, but it could be better.

What I like. Cocoa notes without trying to get in your face, some sweetness without cloying, beautiful garnet highlights (but otherwise, opaque), silky mouth feel. If really in the 7% ABV range, well hidden. Perhaps that sweetness is deceiving.

What was missing: head retention. The beer settled down into lifeless liquid, lickety-split. It released carbonation, but oh, so fast. I don't think it is my glassware, as this is not a problem I have often encountered. I think if I had head retention I would be scoring 4 or higher in every rating category.

Hops in this seem strictly for balance. That's OK. Perhaps if there were some carbonation, it would have been more aromatic, but I suspect the aroma would be dominated by the chocolate note.

This is the 3rd Karben4 beer I have had this week. It is the first one that I sat down to review. The others, a pale ale and an IPA, were very good. Each of these beers had a sweetness (crystal malt, I presume?), but always in balance. Hope to try this one again under more favorable circumstances. Will keep my eye out for more offerings

My numerical ratings are a compromise, b

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I bought this off a single shelf in a grocery store outside of Milwaukee whilst there for a hockey tournaments. It poured a clear nearly opaque dark amber with no head and no lace. The scent had caramel malt. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with caramel malt base. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation Overall it's a solid beer.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark amber color. Minimal head, and lacing on the glass. Lots of carbonation bubbles in the glass in spite of the lack of head.
The nose is quite boozy smelling. That is really the main aroma to this beer.
Taste is a bit sweet up front. Malty. Boozy on the backside.
Fairly full bodied beer. Some carbonation bubbles going down. Boozy burn going down.
I don't know about this beer. It might be a bit better at a lower ABV.

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Photo of beerguy04
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an amber color with little head or lacing. Smell and taste is of mild sweet carmel. Has a smooth mouthfeel. Overall it's a unique Irish red ale.

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Photo of handmuffin
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from bottle into glass at home. Pours amber brown in color, ruby tinted, low clarity, with small tan colored head. Deep fruity aroma, like dried cherries, with caramel malt character. No hop aroma detected. Flavor is primarily clean caramel maltiness with some light fruitiness. Low bitterness and mild sweetness. No alcohol flavor detected. Medium full body with medium low carbonation. Overall this beer is interesting. The lack of hops in both aroma and flavor is surprising and results in a sweet malty beer. Intensity of flavor is also lacking for an imperial and the alcohol strength is not apparent. Even with the deviations from style expectations, this beer is enjoyable and easily drinkable.

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Photo of jzlyo
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is a mix of English malts and complex toffee, caramel and nutty. The flavor is nutty malts, toffee/caramel, fruit/dark fruit and a mix of tart and slight earthiness in the finish.

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Photo of megapyro6
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First off, I dig this. This is more of an imperial irish red ale, as opposed to a red ipa.

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby/mahogany color. Deep brown to almost black at first, but held up to the light it displays beautiful red colors. Had an off-white head, which fades to lacing in a few minutes.

Aroma: It has a wonderful aroma of rich malt, caramel, a lingering dark fruit, and some hints of burnt sugar. There are also some notes of molasses or brown sugar, vinous qualities, along with an earthy or vegetal aromas, but in a good way. Some may call it tobacco type aroma.

Flavor: This is full of wonderful malt. It's sweet, bready, toasted malts, caramel, with lingering light molasses and dark fruits like raisins or figs. There is a mild tart, fruity or red wine character. Everything blends really well.

Mouthfeel: This is a full beer. It coats your mouth, and the flavor lingers. The beer is slick but dry.

Overall: This is a quality beer. This would pair really well with a flavorful cut of red or dark meat with root vegetables. It drinks pretty easily for 7.5% ABV, but I'd probably still only be able to have one or two.

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Photo of CannedHeat
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Like a lot about this. Agree that it's edgy for an Irish Red. Wish it had a bit more head, but really like the nose, mouth feel and taste of this. Carmel/toffee and tobacco notes. Rich burnt orange/brick red color. I live an hour and 30 from this brewery. Doing good things there.

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Photo of woemad
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle courtesy of the largesse of @Ri0. Although the Lady Luck pictured on the label looks nothing to sneeze at, the artwork isn’t as epically absurd as that of Fantasty Factory, my only previous brew from Karben4. No obvious freshness date.

Poured into a Chuckanut Brewing pint glass, this was a dark, coppery, mahoganyish color, not unlike a cola. Held up to light, it took on a lighter shade that was somewhere between ruby and burnt orange. Good sized, beige colored head to start with. It dropped fairly quickly, but was easily agitated back to life, leaving spotty lace on the sides of the glass.

Malty, bready sweet nose, as I expected with anything claiming to be a red ale, imperial or not. What I didn’t expect was an additional component: a dry, roasted malt scent that was almost coffeeish. As it warmed, toffee notes emerged as well. Hops were generally mute.

Whoa! Very different tasting than I expected, even with the unusual notes detected by my schnozz. It does drink like a robust red/amber ale, with some dry, nutty, roasted malt notes, but what seemed almost like coffee and toffee in the nose is more like Dr. Pepper in the taste. Sweet but dry finish.

Medium bodied, with a mouthfeel that was coating and slightly creamy.

Truly not sure what to make of this beer. Easily the most unique thing I’ve had all week, even after the Selkirk Abbey IV I recently drank, which was essentially a beer without a style. This is a little too sweet for me to session (at 7.5% abv, it’s not a session beer in any sense), but in one-glass per sitting increments, I would have it again.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark coppery reddish color with ivory colored head. Pine, toffee, dark fruits, and some floral notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied. Finishes with pine and some caramel malt.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Second Salem brewpub in Whitewater. I really enjoyed this beer although it didn't adhere to my definition of an Irish red ale. Great earthy malt and deep taste sets this beer apart from most Irish ales.

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Photo of Millersbrewers
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark red, little to no head and light-medium lacing.

Primary aroma is caramel, roasty malt, and a bit of fermented fruit, like a cheap red wine

Taste is figs, caramel, heavy toasted malts, a little bit of fruit. Very well-balanced for what it is

Medium body, very easy drinker at the abv. A little over-carbonated for my taste

I agree with reviewers below that I'm surprised to see this labeled as an Imperial Irish Red. The fruit, fig and roastiness threw me off compared to what I expected, but it is a good and easy drinking beer no matter the classification

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a 12 oz bottle on January 31,2016. Look is deep dark ruby red with a thin head and little lacing. Caramel, toffee, raisin, chocolate and roasted malt flavors and aromas.

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Photo of milwaukee512
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am a big fan of Karben4 Brewing, but not of this beer. It is a little bit overwhelming; and not in a good way. Very sweet, yet unpleasantly bitter.

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Photo of zeff80
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Poured out a clear, golden red color with a small, khaki-colored head. Sweet toffee, roasted malt and earthy notes. Big roasted malt taste with sweet caramel and a sharp bitterness.

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Photo of Lesingnon
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A very dark red, appearing almost black unless held up to the light. Almost garnet in appearance when it is. Doesn't form much of a head without a hard pour, which gives you a pretty frothy one a finger and a half thick or so. It does fade fairly quickly, though. Not much lacing is apparent.

Smell: Definitely malt-forward. Rich and a bit biscuity, fairly complex overall with some fruitiness present as well.

Taste: An absolute explosion of robust malt flavors. A little bit of biscuity sweetness but darker flavors are more prevalent. There's definitely some chocolate in there. Notes of fruitiness as well, currant and jam is what always comes to mind for me.

Feel: Has a very full, rich, mouthfeel. Alcohol heat isn't very apparent, but this'll never be mistaken for a session beer. That's just fine, though. The beer's definitely a rich, rewarding experience.

Overall: Karben4 says that malt bombs are a goal of theirs, and one they certainly achieve with this offering. It's all but bursting with a complex array of malt flavors. I'm not entirely sure that Irish Red is the correct classification for it, given the style's description here on BA. But whatever it should be classified as, it's definitely an excellent beer that I'd recommend picking up if you happen to find yourself in southern Wisconsin.

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Photo of Ri0
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter. A deep brown with amber highlights and 1.5 finger off white head. Nice collar and some lacing on the glass. Big notes of toasted bread and caramel along with a nice malty aroma. Savory with some soft chocolate and toffee. Starts off with a big malt caramel and toffee flavor. Has nice subtle touches of biscuit and toast coming through, even a touch of chocolate and dark fruit. Feel is medium and creamy. K4 made a nice malty red ale to sip on any day of the year.

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Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark crimson with a thin head that eventually fades to a wispy cover. Some lacing sticks.

The aroma is very malty - rich caramel, dark fruit with a hint of chocolate and light roast.

The taste is of caramel/toffee, chocolate. Malty sweet with a light roast with tannin-like (red-wine-ish) fruity balance in the finish.

Very smooth and easy-to-drink. A solid choice for a beer with rich, dark-ish malt character. A red that has some stout character. It has a complex malty character. A unique, enjoyable, brew.

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Photo of anticipation23
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A dark red/almber colored beer poured on tap at the Karben4 taproom. Not much head, very little lacing. Smells like chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, fig, and overall sweetness. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin, almost pilsner-like. Very drinkable, but not very flavorful. Roasted malt finished, caramel/chocolate undertones and earthiness throughout. Nothing special, but solid as they come.

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Lady Luck Imperial Red Ale from Karben4 Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 110 ratings