Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series) | Alaskan Brewing Co.

very good
63 Reviews
Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series)Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series)

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by harrymel on 12-06-2012

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 63 | Ratings: 261
Photo of Skrumpy
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Deep red color, foamy, tan head with streak lacing. Aroma is bread malt and spice, honey and oats. A hint of alcohol vapor. The flavor is similar, nutty and earthy notes as well. Very heavy mouthfeel with a big hops bite which is herbal in nature. I wouldn't say this was a smooth beer, but the flavor is not bad.

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Photo of greshdoghophead
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Older bottle bomber from summer 2015. Poured very dark into snifter but is red when held to light. Not much foam or lacing. Great unique maltiness, not roasty or amber malt but certainly fitting of an imperial red. Nothing overly notable but yet nothing off putting, solid and chewy with a tiny musty dankness, worthy of praise in a social setting.

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Photo of stevoj
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Albertsons. Deep, dark copper pour with tightly beaded head. Light caramel aroma, taste is caramel, malt and some hop bitterness. Mild bitter finish. No sign of the 8.5 % ABV

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 4/2/16.

Pours a clear dark copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thick rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, earth, citrus zest, and spicy hop aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, earth, citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and pine needle flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with solid flavors, but the smells on this one work better to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

it's more bitter than i like but it does have a good aftertaste which represents the name/flavor better. it's not as good as i hoped but it's still good.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle marked 07 A 071315 at 42 degrees into SA “Perfect Pint”
From a trade with @TheAdjunctHippie
Aroma of malt and spicy hops; malt lasts, hops fade
Head large (Six cm, aggressive pour), tan, frothy, diminishing to irregular three to 15 mm ring and frothy partial layer
Lacing good – broken frothy lace of tiny to small bubbles
Body dark amber, clear, effervescent
Flavor begins with malt followed virtually instantaneously by hop bitterness and ends with a chalky aftertaste. No alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

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

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Photo of buschbeer
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 FL. OZ bottle
Served in a tulip glass

This beer pours copper colored with burnt orange highlights. It is topped with two inches of tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

The aroma is toast and grain.

It starts out with an almost fruity flavor. Then I get some toast and biscuit. The finish is mild hops.

Medium mouthfeel

This is a big malty beer. I was expecting a hoppy red ale, but they learned me. It is good for what it is.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Rich, Sweet, Malty, Bitter

A bright, rich ruby-colored beer and an off-white foamy head with legs. Oranges, herbs, and spice in the nose. Nearly full-bodied, a bit chewy, with lots of carbonation and a crisp and creamy mouthfeel that goes sweet and juicy with oranges, ripe apple, burnt caramel and toasty malts. Leafy hops on the back end leave the finish dry and a bit bitter. Imperial IPA fans looking for something that's more malt forward ... this beer is for you.

STYLE: American Red Ale | ABV: 8.5% | AVAILABILITY: Rotating

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #99 (APR 2015)

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Photo of flagmantho
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: rich, dark amber hue with maybe a dash of haze. Head pours a finger of frothy ivory foam; looks good to me!

Smell: lightly sweet caramel and toffee, although there's definitely some strength underneath.

Taste: sweet, caramelly, bready and with a moderate bitterness toward the end. None of that biscuitiness that I dislike so much in the style. I'm not normally a fan of ambers but this is really quite good.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a big carbonation and a very nice creaminess. I like it.

Overall: I'll admit I was not going into this beer with high hopes, but I really rather like it. Sweet and strong, but not biscuity or cloying. I dig it.

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Photo of BenGap
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Decent red but just feel that the smell falls flat. Taste is red ale with some lingering bitterness. Look is nice red ale hue. Overall solid offering but wish there was more smell to open the beer and give some complexity.

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Photo of Raime
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ahhhh bout time we finally got this reviewing systems back!.

Born onf 7/13/15 so you know it's gonna be good ;).

Look -Pours deep ruby with a three finger off-white head that sticks around and leaves a ton of lacing.

Smell - Alright so...It's malty and there is a touch of the hops but this smell is fairly weak.

Taste - Perfectly balanced malts with fresh squeezed grapefruit juices and a touch toasty.

Feel - Medium, sweet jolly rancher juice like body with heavy carbonation.

Overall - A greeat red. Sessionable as well for the 8.5% ABV.

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Photo of Foyle
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle pint glass.

Appearance: pours 1" cream colored head that drops slowly with some lacing. Color is a rich red-mahogany with tons of streaming carbonation.

Aroma: complex and strong with citrus and floral being dominant along with bread dough.

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied with a somewhat astringent dry finish.

Flavor: complex combination of strong hops grapefruit, orange, and floral along with rich roasted malt, caramel and raisin.

Overall: very well made. A sipper, definitely not a 'lawnmower' beer.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found a bunch of these, and I mean a bunch...for $2.99 a four pack. Normally about a $10 adventure for admission.

Appearance : Pours a popcorn colored three fingered head, with a deep, rich copper-meets-murky-amber colored body. Held up to the light some blood orange hues come through. The body is about 70% opaque.

Aroma : Strong from afar. Upon closer examination, a strong piney hop presence with slight sour dank armpit. Some orange notes float around in there too. Not a fan of the aroma although it is strong in volume.

Flavor : Waves of flavor, some good - some not so good. The first punch is of piney hop, a sting to the tip of the tongue like a buzzing powerline. As this juice moves further back the toasted malt character starts to dry politely and more tropical notes leak through. It ends rather rough and sand-papery, with harsh notes of cactus plant and copper malts. It's very strong, imperial is definitely appropriate wordage - but it's closer to a very strong Red DIPA than anything.

Feel : Sharp and biting, ends dry and parched with a rough ending - yet slightly slick from the hop oils.

Overall : I'll be hanging on to these for a long time. A lonnnnnng time. Hell they'll probably be discontinued before I work through the other twenty I got. Whoops.

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Photo of ducktoadecoy
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm always looking for a nice smooth beer that's also strong and flavorful. This beer is close to perfect in that sense. At 8.5%, this beer is still smooth enough to drink all day long. The pour is nice dark color and the smell is nice caramel/citrus combo that gets better with time. I can't wait to have this again!

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Photo of jonboyd_md
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle, Poured into a tulip. Clear, dark, red in color. Tan, dense head. Good lacing. Smells of orange ring. Tastes of pine needles, orange rinds, and caramel. Has a nice mouth-coating quality. Overall an enjoyable beer. It was darker than I was expecting. Worth getting again

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Photo of RJLarse
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I bought a bottle of Alaskan Imperial Red at a bottle shop. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a red mahogany color, clear, with a creamy beige head.

Smell is a sweet caramel and juniper aroma.

Tastes a lot like the smell, caramel with a little bourbon heat along side.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and a little cloying.

Over all a good red ale. A little on the sweet side, but good.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Alaskan Brewing Company's Imperial Red Ale last week for $2.19 at The Lager Mill. A Red Ale sounds pretty good tonight and I'm interested to see how this one turns out, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from shorter brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it goes well with the name and it's eye catching. It poured a nice amber red color that took on more of red color when held to the light with a little over a finger and a half of creamy tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some patchy and sticky lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and they impart a nice mixture of fruity hops with some nice citrus aromas showing up with some green hops showing up in the background. Up next comes the malts which impart a sweet malt, caramel malt, brown bread and bread crust aromas with some doughy yeast showing up in the background. This beer has a good aroma, I like the fruity hop profile.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but more balanced and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and this time it imparts some fruity and nice citrus like hop flavors with no green hops showing up this time. Up next comes the malts which show up just a little more than they did in the aroma and they impart the same aspects with no single aspect seeming to stick out the most. On the finish there's a lower amount of medium bitterness with a nice buttery malt and citrus hop aftertaste. This is a good tasting Imperial Red Ale, I have no complaints.

M- Smooth, a little clean, crisp, a little creamy, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer has a good mouthfeel that works well with it.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good Imperial Red Ale, I find that most Imperial Red Ales seem to be very hoppy and most of the time I feel like the hops cover up a lot of those nice Red Ale flavors, but in this beer every aspect was kept in check and it made for a nice and balanced Imperial Red Ale and I enjoyed it. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, a little clean, crisp, a little creamy, not too filling and the taste does a good job at holding my attention, I could drink a couple of these with no problem. What I like the most about this beer was the balance, it was right where I wanted it to be. What I like the least about this beer was nothing, there isn't anything I disliked or would change, it's good just the way it is. I would recommend trying this beer especially if you like Imperial Red Ales and I would for sure buy this beer again when I'm in the mood for the style. All in all I was happy with this beer and I was a little impressed with how they didn't take the super hoppy route when it came to this beer and in the end I think that paid off. This is one of the better Alaskan Brewing beers I've had and it's also one of the better example of the style that I've had. Good job guys, this was one tasty beer, keep it up.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

In a pint glass, kinda cold, but not as cold as the Bering!

It's a rich, clear crimson red color with with a condensed cap of tan froth on top. Striking.

Definitely some caramel in the aroma, with muted citric fruitiness going on. Smells a little like toasted nuts as well!

Tastes like lemon and lime, grassy hops, astringent citrus rind, pine needle resin, roasted nuts, and bread, in more or less that order.

The feel is pretty robust.

A red ale that puts particular emphasis on bitter astringency. I would therefore recommend it to those who have a taste for IPAs. Like myself. Teehee.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber / red with two fingers of off white head. Nice spotty lace and good head retention. Malt forward in the nose and on the palate. Strikes a nice balance with the hops. In the end the malts are overpowered by the hops and the finish is dry and bitter. Overall - really solid brew and I'd try this again.

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Photo of MrBoh
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle date: 11/30/14.

Pours a bright, cloudy, reddish caramel into my sniffer. A little light caramel head which fades quickly.

Aroma is boozy and sweet. Earthy, floral and citrus notes. A little burnt toast, but mainly just booze and malty sweetness.

I had not had an imperial red in a while, so I kind of forgot what to expect for taste. Strong notes of bread, bitter orange peels. Finish is full of toast and floral notes. Very sweet, but it helps masks the alcohol, balanced overall. A little metallic, but other than that, very good on the taste front.

Definitely more body than an IPA. Viscous and chewy. Definitely works well since I think it would otherwise be too boozy. It is lacking in carbonation, which really brings it down.

Good reminder of the style. A fresh tasting, boozy beer that's good for a cold winter evening, or any time in Alaska I'm sure.

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Photo of Zorro
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear dark red colored ale with a tall tan colored head.

Smells sweet and strongly hoppy. Herbal with a woody scent. Citrus scent but not any specific one.

Starts out sweet and herbal with the taste of cedar plank to it. Caramel and citrus too but mostly this tastes like Cedar wood. Overall it is mild and easy on the senses.

Mouthfeel is full.

Overall a tasty ale it's only flaw is it could be a little more complex. Still this is tasty.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle. Pours a dark reddish almost brown color with off-white head. Pine, citrus, and floral notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a bit of nutty malt.

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Photo of FLima
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful clear amber reddish color with beige two finger thick head with great retention and leaving laces.
Nice hoppy aroma with notes of grapefruit citrusy, toasted malts, grains, mango and spices.
Bitter flavor with intense notes of spices, grapefruit, toasted malts, American yeast, resin, lemon, tea bags, tropical fruits juice, bold pine, cinnamon, tobacco and caramels. Dry aftertaste with a very long lasting bitter note. Definitely you can feel the power of its 70 IBUs.
Medium towards full body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 8.5% abv is behind the curtains.
Intense and bitter Imperial Red Ale, with a great hop complexity: citrusy, piney and getting mango tropical once it warms up. Malty base and bold spices complete the tripod.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

Pours two fingers of head on a clear dark red body.
The aroma is loaded with dark fruit, dry grains and spice.
The taste is mildly sweet at first, then quickly moderately bitter, tending towards a dry bitter finish.
The texture is crisp.
Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Imperial Red pours a hazy dark reddish color with a big bubbly lacing head. There is a hoppy aroma with just hints of sweetness. The taste has a big harsh malty flavor, with some noticeable hop flavors. A tad flat and watery. Overall its very nice drinkable flavorful Red Ale.

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Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 261 ratings.
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