Uncle Rusty | Columbus Brewing Company

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Uncle RustyUncle Rusty
57 Ratings
Uncle RustyUncle Rusty

Brewed by:
Columbus Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: American Imperial Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Part of the hop odyssey.

Gold medal in Category 90: Imperial Red Ale at the 2014 World Beer Cup.

Added by MbpBugeye on 04-02-2010

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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by 2Stout4u:
Photo of 2Stout4u
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite of the series so far. This red kicked some major ass. The deep mahogany color is one of the most attractive colors in all of beerdom. The smell is great but nothing compared to the taste. This beer should be the new standard for all reds. Complex, big hops, malt backbone, flavor flavor flavor, and a nice bitter bite to finish. Masterpiece! My only knock is this beer is a one timer... or is it? Please Eric at least make this one once a season. Long live CBC!!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of markmo
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of GOBLIN
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Columbus Uncle Rusty

Poured into pint glass

A: Simply beautiful in a rugged way . . . Deep brown to ruby red glow

S: Caramel, fruit punch, oak, molasses, and other spices

T: Could be way way . . . Way off but what this is to me is a hoppy old ale.

M: Full flavor and full bodied.

O: Columbus brews awesome beers across the board. Nothing is boring. Nothing is average and everything is good to great ! That being said Uncle Rusty is their sleeper beer.
Get it !

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Photo of jminch
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SomethingClever
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into willybecher glass bottles on 1/8.

A: pours a nice deep ruby amber color with great clarity. Head is a khaki copper color that looks creamy and settles slowly.

S: smells like marmalade and deep malts with resiny hops. Has a little honey and tangerine as well.

T: lots of sharp hop bitterness rounded out by sweet citrus fruits and a heavy malt backbone. Finishes with lots of lingering bitterness, resiny quality and malts.

M: medium bodied tangy carbonation this beer drinks big and really coats the tongue.

O: I’m not much of an amber guy, but this is quite tasty drinks a little like Bigfoot, but with more sweet fruits.

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Photo of prototypic
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Uncle Rusty is the 4th installment in the 2010 Hop Odyssey series.

It pours a deep copper color and is moderately hazy. Backlighting gives it a deep red look. An off-white head tops it off. It rises to about a finger before trailing off. Lacing is sticky, but rather light in terms of volume.

The nose is very impressive. Hops seem to be front and center, but are buttressed by a healthy amount of malt. The hops smell primarily citric. Grapefruit, pineapple, and orange are all easily noted. Sweet caramel malt fights for airtime, and puts forth a valiant effort. They definitely give it a nice sweet scent. Ultimately, hops carry the day here. I was hopeful that this wouldn't be balanced, and it smells like my hopes will be realized. Alcohol doesn't come through very strong. This smells right up my alley for an Imperial Red. I'm impressed.

Wow. Columbus Brewing knocked it out of the park with this one. The flavor profile kicks off with an aggressive hop attack. The hops are citric, and have the usual grapefruit, pineapple, and orange flavors. There's a bit of pine, as well. It's very bitter and a little resiny. Caramel malt adds a bit of a sweet flavor, and works hard to balance things out. But, the hop force is very strong with this one. The delicious hop flavor and bitter bite continue to wreak havoc on the palate. I'm thoroughly impressed. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but is masked pretty well for 9%. I wouldn't have guessed it to be that strong. It finishes bitter and dry.

Uncle Rusty has a medium body. Carbonation feels light and doesn't impede the feel. It's smooth and easy drinking. Drinkability is very high. This stuff goes down too easy for a beer of its stature. I'll plow through a good bit of the growler tonight, though I'm nearly certain I won't finish it. I'm really enjoying it.

I really like the approach Columbus Brewing took with Uncle Rusty. It's an aggressive, hoppy Imperial Red. Too often, breweries go for balance with this style. I prefer the viscious hop attack, and that's exactly what this is. I really don't have any complaints about it. To my surprise, this is every bit as good as the Black IPA that was released earlier this year. Go grab some while it's available. You won't be sorry.

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Photo of dailyminefield
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of zimm421
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip. Appears a dark, copper, slightly amber color, with a decent off-white head. The head sticks around for a bit, never completely dissipating, and leaves a decent lacing.

The nose is deep and complex, and smells wonderful. Lots of good caramel in the malt backbone, placing some nice sweetness in the nose. The hops then quickly come through, with lots of citrus and tropical fruit. The taste is full of the caramel malt, pineapple and citrus. The alcohol is wonderfully masked, and I just keep going back for more.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied, with good carbonation levels, and doesn't finish overly sticky. Overall, this is a great beer, that is wonderfully complex, and keeps you coming back for more. The sweet undertones work well with the bitter, topical and citrus hops. This is another great offering from CBC, can't believe I haven't reviewed it before.

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Photo of FalconOne
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ChilliHeights
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice red ale but not the great taste I thought it might be. Great color and good aroma. Nothing bad about this beer just not spectacular.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of BB1313
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32oz growler filled at Rozi's Wine House in Lakewood, Ohio

Growler filled into a tulip. Pours a deep auburn with ruby hues and has nice clarity; off-white head that fades leaving solid retention and little lacing. The aromas basically have that signature Columbus hop profile, but maltier. Sweet caramel malts blended with some tropical notes. Some toffee and cocoa in the mix as well. The flavors are bold, but clean. Some pineapple notes shine, but is blended with the malts. Lots of caramel and toffee. Perfect blend of malts and hops. Slightly spicy. Maybe some rye and black pepper in the mix. It starts off bitter, but everything becomes balanced the more you drink. Very subtle warmth, but it's not hot or boozy at all and the alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is nice. It's full-bodied with active carbonation. Very smooth and dangerously drinkable.

Very nice brew from Columbus. They're great at making complex beers seem simple. Well done.

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Photo of ttylicki
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of masterofsparks
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of ppoitras
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Screw-top growler received in trade from bb8189. Thanks for the opportunity to fill in the GATM gap in my life for a bit, Brian!

First imperial pint pours with a 1/2" orangey tan head, over the cloudy red brew. Head falls slowly, with sticky lacing. Aroma is prickly green hops. Taste starts malty, goes citrus for a moment, then comes at it full on with piney bitterness, rounded by some alcohol. Mouthfeel is soft over the tongue, with chewy body, and drinkability is great. Glad I got to try this limited offering, nice one.

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Photo of ItsBeer4Me
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of JoeLacy
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AleWatcher
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An unlabeled bottle courtesy of MbpBugeye.
Thanks Seth! (January shoelaces are yellow!)

Served in a snifter while enjoying a Futurama movie... Good times.

This beer is super dark-- like deep purple, plum, almost brown it's so dark red... Awesome lacing and retention.
Smells a bit like an aged barleywine-- lots of sweet malts, some dark fruit notes, and a big booziness.
The taste follows the nose with a big sweetness. Light bitterness on the finish, but the boozy dryness overpowers all else.

The body is velvety like cola-- lots of carbonation and lots of sticky sugar that coats my teeth.

The beer is pretty drinkable, albeit not exactly what I would have expected. Lots of flavor, decent body, just a touch to boozy to be a good amber ale...

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Photo of crashdavisinoh
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at CBC. Part of their hop odysey...

A-dark red, copperesque...amber...sexy.

S-smells citrusy...grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, orange and hoppy....

T-Hell to the yes. Hop heaven. Very hoppy...bitter goodness that cbc is known the country over for. Citrus flavors that appear in the smell are very present in taste as well. I can't detect any alcohol...which is DANGEROUS with something this tasty.

M-medium carbonation...not too much...not lacking either. Perfect for this beer. Smooth. Again...b/c it is so smooth...this leads to danger.

O-My second favorite from the hop odysey so far...only behind the arnold. Cannot wait to see what comes next in this hop adventure.

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Photo of SHDoyle
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Description: Rudy red color with only a bit of off white head that quickly dissipates. Clear and not at all cloudy. Smell headlined by bitter hops, pine and some tropical dankness. Taste follows the smell and even enhances on it. Big, bold notes of everything in the smell along with some sweetness, although the finish is bitter like an IPA. Feel is smooth and body is medium. Slightly syrupy but in a good way. Call the carbonation a standard 'medium'.

Overall: 4.5 (This beer is very good and I would definitely have it again) Boom. CBC nailed it with this one. Well balanced and full of flavor, this beer decidedly casts off the humdrum, banal personality of so many amber ales. The biggest knock I have on this is that CBC doesn't brew it more often. If you happen to see it somewhere, drink it while you can!

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Photo of MuscleConfusion
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of PDXHops
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle from Ryan011235, poured into an oversized snifter. Handsome see-thru molasses body with amber highlights, topped by a finger and then some of creamy head. Nice retention in spite of the wide glass, and the remnants are continually fed by visual streams of carbonation. Soapy lacing up top, spattery patches below.

Citric hops smells abound, but a more elusive fruitiness- tart apple, perhaps- combines with bready malts and brown sugar in a combo that calls to mind something tasty baking in the oven. Very much a hop-forward nose overall, though.

Maltiness is fairly robust, not at all heavy, thanks in no small part to the savage current of bitterness ripping through it. Pine isn't shy, but citrus hop flavors rule the day. Toast with real apple butter (not the supermarket crap). For what I assume is a fairly sturdy ABV, it's amazingly nimble, finishing clean and almost quenching in it's juiciness.

Overall impression: Yet another awesome hoppy brew from CBC. Textbook example of "dangerously drinkable".

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a pint glass at the brewpub on 4/1/10

Uncle Rusty certainly looks the part with deep hues amber & copper; a few crimson highlights shine through. It's rather cloudy with a good haziness to it. The resulted in one finger of tan head, which recedes to a thin skim after several minutes. Retention is minimal throughout. Lacing is good at the start but dries up well before the end of the glass.

In what appears to be the Hop Odyssey norm this smells very tropical; indeed, the aroma decidedly citrus: grapefruit & tangerine mostly with stray notes of pineapple & a few hints of orange peel. Also present is a floral quality that is a welcomed addition. While it's hoppy & seems juicy overall, warmth brings out more apparent malts: notes of caramel & a few notions of dark fruits - plum & a touch of raisin.

The flavor is that of bold hops without being harsh, spicy or overly bitter. The bitterness that is to be had is mostly manifest of the finish. The hop profile instead is slow to excite, though it's no less potent for it. Dense citrus notes are reinforced with a reasonable amount of piney stickiness. The citrus notes are less distinct owing, I reckon, to the manner in which the ingredients blend. For the most part the hop & malt bills appear well-integrated. While there are notable swaths of caramel, I was actually expecting a little more. Undertones of dark fruit & hints of toasted bread. Just the slightest notion of solvent has an almost numbing effect but isn't too bad.

Uncle Rusty is on the heavier side of medium bodied. A mentioned above, it is very resinous & sticky which causes the lingering bitterness on the finish to be exacerbated. No alcohol heat is apparent to taste but this beer is undoubtedly warming. Moderate carbonation is prickly upfront but mellows toward the middle.

On the whole, I think Uncle Rusty is pretty solid. Though different than what I expected, I'm not disappointed. I just think it needs a few tweaks to really stand out in the "imperial red crowd."


Second considerations after having a few pints at Bodega on 4/20/10

S - Sticky hop oils (of the tropical fare) are more apparent. Toasted caramel blends with the hops in a wispy fashion. A few notes of plum & brown sugar. Flowery hop notes seem to resemble nicer cannabis, which I've found to be quite befitting imperial reds.

T - Moderate bitterness, opting instead for juicy hop flavor. I'm impressed with how well the hops & malts have settled over the past few weeks. The bitterness is augmented by a distinct dryness.

Overall impression - I'm much more impressed with Uncle Rusty the second time around. This is a beer that has really come into its own.

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Photo of Spider889
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes 4/8/2011.

Very dark in color, almost purple at times. Not much head, served into a tulip glass. Left a very good honeycomb of lace despite the lack of head. What a nice surprise.

Smells quite sweet and hoppy. Lots of citrusy orange and mango. The hops remind me of both CIPA and Creeper.

The taste is bitter up front with a crisp fresh hop flavor. There's plenty of pine along with a sweet caramel malt backbone.

Slick on the way down, but overall bone dry. Medium body and carbonation.

Overall another solid offering by CBC.

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Uncle Rusty from Columbus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 57 ratings