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

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BA SCORE
86
very good
62 Reviews
Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series)Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
alaskanbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
62
Ratings:
260
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
18.91%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
46
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 260
Photo of blakelive784
2.8/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pt 6 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a tulip, reviewed live:

A - Pours a deep amber/blood red color with three fingers of soapy off-white head. Retention is very good give the high ABV, and the head leaves nice lacing as it recedes.

S - Spicy resinous hops notes counter the sweet malty notes. Balanced, though a bit musty.

T - Stale and musty hops dominate. Muted toasted malt. The hops are indistinct and uninviting. Imbalanced. Lacks body.

M - Strangely coarse and dry. Not ideal.

D - Not Alaskan's best offering. I'm not sure why they didn't base this one on the flagship amber. Won't be having it again.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

651ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 stem-snifter in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. 8.5% ABV confirmed. There's a crab on the label. Purchased earlier today.

Served refrigerator cold and side poured as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger light khaki colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and good retention (>5 minutes). Decent lacing. Colour is a pale dull sanguine. Translucent but nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Heavy floral hops, some chinook if I had to guess, and some underlying malty sweetness with vague hints of light caramel. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Floral and somewhat nectary hops, with a hint of oily character. Malty sweetness underlies, but no caramel is detectable. Slightly imbalanced but drinkable for the style. I want more from it, but it doesn't deliver. No yeast character is notable. It hides its alcohol pretty well. More simple than I'd like; lacks complexity but not necessarily subtlety - elements of the execution (like the floral hops) are well handled. There's a weird off-flavour I can't quite place; it's not metallic or glassy or soapy or astringent, but it's deeply flawed.

Mf: Dry, musty, a bit oily, and smooth. Troublesome, indeed. Good carbonation.

Dr: Drinkable but I wouldn't have another. A failed experiment, and something of a disappointment coming from a brewery I regard as highly as Alaskan. Its flaws severely impact its quality, holding it back. I'd much sooner reach for Alaskan Amber.

Low C

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Photo of popery
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours red with a beige head. More interestingly, it appears to have some chill haze, which is odd. I thought it was just a cloudy beer after my first pour, but no, the cloudiness has disappeared as the beer warms. It also foamed up a bunch when I poured, which I guess is another sign. It doesn't really bother me, but I am surprised to see it from a brewery of Alaskan's size and experience. The aroma is mostly hops, floral and citric, but there's a deep toasty malt sweetness in there as well. Candied grapefruit peel. It's a nice enough aroma, though the hop contributions are a bit drab for a new beer, at least compared to all of the more interesting work with hops of late. The taste is a bit more disappointing. There's a funny DME-ish sweetness to the beer. It's a sweet tang that doesn't sit quite right. Booze is evident. Lots of caramel and toasty, bready malt. More drab hops. They're not terribly bitter and there is flavor to them, but it's just a basic grapefruit/pine resin note that's muted and stale. I don't really mind the lack of hop complexity, and I quite like standard American CTZ flavors, but this is just boring. Mouthfeel is smooth and mostly pleasant, but the beer gets a bit sticky and boozy, particularly in the finish. I'm not quite sure what to do with this beer. I feel like I'm being overly harsh, but I'm struggling to find positives. These flavors have been done better in other beers. Neither the malt sweetness nor the hops are handled well. There are some really good big hoppy red ales out there, so I don't really understand bringing a new one to market without a good reason, and I'm not seeing any real reason to buy this beer over beers that have been around for years and are widely available.

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Photo of stevoj
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
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 ArrogantB
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, $8.99. I bought this because I really like hoppy red ales but I almost never find any good ones. . I feel like all of Alaskan's pilot series is disappointing except for the barleywine. This was no exception. Smells nice and hoppy. Clear, garnet colored, huge head, some lace. Flavor is strong alcohol, bitter hops, malty. The alcohol flavors really detract from this. I should have known better.

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Photo of Rizalini
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber bottle into my Stone goblet....

A - Pours a very clear ruby color, with almost no head at all. On first impression, I would think that this is going to be under carbonated.

S - Smells super malty with notes of some earthy hops.

T/M - The flavors are a little muted, but I'm getting caramel malts and some earthy undertones. Kind of disappointed with the lack of malt character this one is displaying. On the other hand, it does leave a nice residual hop flavor for the aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel, average carbonation.

O - In my opinion, this is a very average, run-of-the-mill red. It doesn't really strike me as something I would want to buy again.

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Photo of rawfish
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful dark bing cherry juice coloration with ample head, slightly tan with good lacing and decent retention. Crystal clear, great color.

Dark fruit skins, bread, a bit dank with some fruit juice sweetness, more pine than grapefruit hops with a slightly leafy and green.

Bready with some dried cherries, hawthorn berries and dusty/spicy ESB type of malt, pine hop flavor, very straight forward with heavy oily bitterness and alcohol on the finish.

Literally feels like my taste buds are sweating as the bitterness begins to pinch with an acidic malt stickiness. Smooth body, medium heavy going down. Alcohol evident, this needs some malt, the hops don't hide everything.

Good looker but overall it's kinda average. Mild complexity like a good red should have but the hops are simple and fall off in the finish, really hurts the feel of this beer especially as the booze and bitter come through. Really a a raw beer, punishing in a way.

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Photo of GuzzLah
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A - pours a clear dark amber with a beige head and some lace. No bubbles.

S - grapefruit, roasty malt and mild diesel fuel

T - grapefruit and mild roasty malt with a hint of chocolate malt in the finish. Smooth.

M - medium-full body and low-medium carbonation. Low-medium bitterness with a short sustain.

O - decent, but not one of the better Imperial Reds. I'm not a fan of diesel in the aroma. The flavor is good, but not outstanding for an Imperial Red. The 8.5% is well hidden.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
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 TheRealBigC
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As a fairly big fan of big reds, this one doesn't quite stand up to the greats. Much like the pale ale from their pilot series, it's a bold effort but it isn't quite excellent. I like the hefty hop character, but it seems slightly out of balance with the malt. Not in a way that makes it unenjoyable, but in a way that won't make me seek it out in the future. Some may like it a lot, and if I came across it at a bar again I may very well order it again.

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Photo of mactrail
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Beautiful glowing dark coppery brown color in the Duvel tulip. Nice head to start. Surprisingly light bodied but plenty tingly on the tongue. Smells like alcohol and cheap brandy with some fruit cocktail.

Sharp and hoppy. This tastes stronger that the ABV. Maybe it's the light malt and the hot hops that give this the tangy boozy taste. There is a fruity taste, like peach schnapps, some burnt sugar, and rum. Very rummy and quite sweet, though cut by the glowering hoppy bitterness.

I guess you could call this an after-dinner drink. Just needs a cigar. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at The Bottle Shop in Santa Barbara.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.59/5  rDev -7%
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 The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.59/5  rDev -7%
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 UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
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 BenGap
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
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 Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

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 LiquidAmber
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium russet amber with a half finger off-white head that dissipates quickly to patch foam and a ring around the glass. Light aroma of bready malt and light piney hops with a hint of alcohol. Flavor is piney and citrus hops with light malt up front, fading very quickly to a lingering light piney hop bitterness. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. The hops are pleasant and appropriate for a red ale, but they are not quite supported by the malt body. Finishes too abruptly, although the residual bittering and lightly aromatic hops keep it interesting to drink. In the end, a bit unbalanced.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber best by 5/15

Murky dark amber look. Fine sediment; good lacing, retention ok. smell is very 'red ale'. dry leaves, vegetation, fermented apples, and carrot juice. Feel/taste is silky smooth, coats the tongue with oak, english hops, leafy, li'l roast.

Solid beer, but not for $10 a bomber.

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Photo of phishsihq
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This Pilot Series brew pours a deep, burnt red color and is capped with a frothy, beige head that provides plenty of lace. Grapefruit hop aromas welcome the nose, and they are followed by hints of caramel, spice, tea, and pine. On the palate, this Imperial Red brings flavors of rich, caramel malts and tropical fruits. Underneath the rich flavors, notes of earthiness, spice, and a pine-resin hop bitterness finish out the complex taste. Medium in both body and carbonation, Alaskan continues to amaze!

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Photo of dtivp
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep ruby brown with a One and a half finger foamy white head that fades slowly into a nice cap with moderate lacing.

Aroma of grainy malt, citrus, floral hops and a wiff of caramel.

Taste followed the nose with a strong malt beginning, followed by hops and grapefruit, orange peel with a slight caramel sweetness balancing some of the bitterness. You were left with a slight dry bitter after taste.

Moth Feel was medium body and carbonation, slightly dry and the alcohol was very well masked.

Overall this was a nice balanced ale to sip and enjoy.

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Photo of KajII
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass]

The pour was a clear mahogany brown with an average (1-2 finger) light tan creamy head that possessed great retention and had awesome sheets of lacing.

The aroma was of a toasted grain malt, floral hops and an earthy yeast with notes of caramel, citrus (grapefruit and orange peel) and a nice fruity ester (pineapple and mango).

The taste was very malty and a tad bitter-sweet with notes of tropical fruit and caramel throughout, becoming moderately bitter and quite hoppy with a good strong citrus presence towards the end. The flavor lasted an average time after the swallow, with a bitter citrus peel bite left lying on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was a few steps below medium in body and dry in texture with a solid medium carbonation.

Overall this was a nice sweet hoppy brew that I believe is a good beer to just kick back and sip slowly...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews

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Photo of Zorro
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
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 vette2006c5r
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
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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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Amber body with a nice off white head. Settles to a nice collar and surface foam.

Smell - Grapefruit and pine hops. Nice caramel malt backbone. Smells good.

Taste - Has almost a hoppy American barleywine taste. The malt flavor is very similar. Aggressively hopped. Lots of deep caramel but not sweet. Medium bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Aggressive malt and hop character. I like it.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.86/5  rDev 0%
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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Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 260 ratings.
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