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 | website

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:
258
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
18.91%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
45
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 258
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Had in bottle and on tap at Pig & Fiddle Minneapolis
Resiny hop nose over sweet malt, floral hop spiciness and spiciness from the malts, biscuit.
Very pretty beer. Pours a deep garnet amber to chestnut under 2" frothy light tan tinted head that slowly dissipates to a thick film - lacy.
Palate: Starts with sweet malt and biscuit and rye spiciness along with some cardamom to cola. the initial sweetness lies between vanilla and jam like. There is a strong tea like bitterness along with citrus and citrus rind. Big malt, alcohol and hops that all end up balancing each other.
Medium full to full body, medium low carbonation, warming, oily.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into Speakeasy Ales and Lagers pint glass

A: Pours a gorgeous deep ruby reddish brown with a little light brown head that fades to a thin ring and laces lightly.

S: Bright citrus, some kinda tropical fruit, pine, and sweet roasted malt.

T: Citrus and pine hops, some tropical fruit in there as well, well balanced with caramel malt sweetness, a little grapefruit and pine bitterness on the back end, and a little alcohol warmth going down though well hidden in the taste

M: Medium body, low to medium carbonation

O: Was very happy to come across this bottle and even happier to drink it. Very tasty! I wish it was slightly lower in abv so I could drink more of it.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 12/20/2014. Pours crystal clear ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, floral, grass, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops and dark malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, floral, grass, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of bright citrus/pine hops and moderate dark malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately crisp/sticky, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial red ale. All around good complexity and balance of bright citrus/pine hops and moderate dark malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

On-tap at 3 Cellars in Franklin, WI:

Pours deep red with a thick, lasting head that leaves lacing.

The smell is of toasted caramel and toffee with pineapple and other tropical fruits, citrus and pine.

The taste is of caramel/toffee/nougat with pineapple and (mango?) a general tropical fruitiness (and a touch of pine). Some alcohol warmth shows in the finish.

It is creamy smooth.

A delightful brew! Hops are certainly present but allow the rich maltiness to show through. Well-balanced for a hop-leaning red ale.

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

A- nice copper color with a decent off-white head and good lacing

S-caramel malt, citrus, pine, slight fruit

T-caramel malt, fruit, citrus, pine, light spice

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp, alcohol well-integrated

O-easy drinking for the ABV

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Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

• Poured from the bomber into a belgian style tulip (from the Libbey 6 pack of beer glasses from Target). Pours a straight up gold from the bottle, in the glass it's a very deep, dark reddish bronze with a three finger head that just won't quit. Sticky lacing, almost a root beer float-esque perseverance on this collar of foam, but more dense, of course. Lacing continues to impress as the head thickness approaches 1.5 fingers with a plateau in the center. This is a highly attractive beer.

• Raisins on the nose, liquid bread, potent enough for my bum sniffer.

• I've been hoping this would finally be the amber/red that I could get behind. It totally is. It tastes like all the reds I've had before but that nasty sweetness is just subtle enough to be enjoyed, and is, for once, well balanced out by the hops and alcohol.

• I've never thought of myself as being qualified to judge mouthfeel. I don't know what I'm looking for. All I know is this one is pleasant, so I'm rating it positively. Any cicerone's reading this that would like to give me some pointers on evaluating mouthfeel, please feel free to shoot me a message.

• Great beer. It makes my sardine burps far less unpleasant. I'm being serious! I don't think I'll be buying anymore of this due to the bomber/value issue, as well as availability concerns, but if this beer made a comeback in 6 packs I'd definitely pick it up. Worth a try!

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Photo of ISmith87
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oskar Blues G'knight anyone? Yea this shit tastes exactly like it...

A - brown/red color that's crystal clear if you look close, 3 fingers of off white head that sticks around forever and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.
S - Nice caramel malt with a citrusy malt immediately balancing it out. Cinnamon in the background, brown sugar. This guy smells nice.
T - Great tasting American Red Ale. Tastes like citrusy hops (papaya, mango, pineapple), with caramel, brown sugar and cinnamon balancing it out. Great beer. I want to put it head to head with G'knight.
M - Medium - heavy. Alc completely covered. Aftertaste is cinnamon sugar, caramel malts, light citrus hops.
O - This is a pretty great beer. For the price it's not so great tho, Oskar Blues G'Knight is right up there and is 15-20 cents less per ounce.

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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 hopsputin
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a: dark copper and caramel, almost purple. hints of ruby red. frothy 2 finger off white head that is unevenly fading away

s: caramel, fig, pine resin, sweet malt. hint of pineapple, smells slightly yeasty. nice and clean

t: for me, a slight let down from the nose. bread and bitter. the bitter is piney and earthy - like tea leaf. the sweetness comes from the caramel malt which almost fades to a brown sugar flavor. there is like a sweet syrup flavor on the backend.

m: fuller side of medium, and very syrup-like. the bitterness fades quickly, and your mouth is left coated with the syrup-like flavor

o: the bitterness is a little too one dimensional for me, but the malt sweetness is nice. it gets a little better as it warms. reminds me of a mellow American barley wine. would be a nice sipper to end your night on, but i wish there was just a little more complexity here to the sweetness.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

At a recent bottle share, the beer poured a murky maroon color with a modest head. As one might expect, the beer had a sturdy malty aroma with some spicy notes laying in the background. On the initial taste, one might discover this to be better than the average imperial red. Notes of ginger, brown sugar, burnt malts, and a certain spiciness occupy the initial taste. From this point, the taste evolves into a tart dry malt aftertaste. I believe ale was a little too thin for the style, as it just would not linger long enough for me to enjoy. In the overall scope, I like this one a great deal

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Photo of BurnMeInMyBar
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Was saving this one to pair w/ crab legs as the label bears a crab. Picked up a pound of King legs yesterday but failed to put the bottle in fridge. As my wife put the legs on the grill I packed my bottle amongst my other coldies. Subsequently it was basically enjoyed at about 70 degrees.

Went very well w/ the crab legs, good aroma, mouth feel, etc. I would certainly like to try it chilled down a bit more but was very good at basically summer room temp in a shaded campsite in Southern Wisconsin.

Nice hearty color and body not typical of ordinary reds but totally expected from the great Alaskan Brewing Co.

Served decanted to pint glass, less aggressive pour as beer was warm, so lots of head though w/ good body.

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

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine at the end of May for $7.99. Best by 051513. I am always up for a big red ale even if it is a bit past expiration.

Beer poured a reddish brown with a nice beige head that is hanging around quite well.

Nose is full of caramel malts and citrus hops.

Taste is well balanced, big bready malts greet the palate followed by a generous citrus and tropical hop finish.

Mouthfeel is full, rich, and satisfying.

Overall this is an excellent representation of the style. Suspect the hops have faded a bit since bottling which has led to a wonderfully balanced flavorful brew. Definitely will look for this in the future!

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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 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 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 JackieTH
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Garnet red with a half inch of khaki foam that fades leaving nothing for coverage and just a trace of lacing. Smells quite strongly of caramel malt with earthy and spicy notes. Taste has a washing of bitter hop, earthy and spicy elements across the tongue with a heap of caramel malt. Zingy carbonation adds rather than distracts to the flavors present. Body is adequate for heft. Dry and lightly bitter finish keeps the palate fresh.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany amber red with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of off white head that slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: Rich aroma with a good balance of strong malt and hops. Hoppy upfront with earthy hints of grass and pine. Hints of citrus grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, and lemon. Big sweet malt balance with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, yeast, and a mild hint of roast. Some noticeable scents of alcohol. A very solid balanced aroma that is big and sharp.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a big rich and sharp taste of hops and malt that is balanced. Starts with some sharp hops upfront with notes of earthy grass, spicy pine, and herbal notes. Citrus grapefruit, orange, pineapple, apricot, and lemon. Strong toasty malt balance with notes of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, grain, yeast, and toast. Slight undertone of roast. A little alcohol taste is detectable. Very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Somewhat chewy. Fairly drying on the finish. Some alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: A very solid red ale. Aggressive but well balanced mix of hops and malt. Even with a few months on it the hops are still lively.

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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 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 atalayafr
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Golden brown, pretty color. Nice head that slowly subsides.
S-Hoppy with alcohol content obvious in the smell.
T-A nice balance of hops but a bit overwhelmed by the alcohol. Finishes hoppy.
M-Dry.
O-Good beer. Better than ABC's normal line of beers IMHO.
S-22oz bottle

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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 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 hardy008
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a large light tan head, with good retention and lacing. As soon as I opened the bottle I could smell grapefruit immediately. there is also caramel malt, and pine.

Tastes very much like it smells with grapefruit, caramel malt, and pine. Has a very nice combination of sweet malt and bitter hops, which balance each other nicely.

Medium bodied with average carbonation, and a bittersweet aftertaste. I like this beer quite a bit, and am glad to have found another really good American Amber / Red Ale.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a large mug

Pours pretty red color with a big creamy persistent head that fades slowly into lumps, lots of carbonation, moderate to low cloudiness. Smell is a nice spicy hops with a nice caramel malt.

Taste is rich in caramel malt, something thick about it reminds me of chocolate milk, soapy hops aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick, round, somewhat gritty. Overall, I think this is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours ruby amber with a huge fluffy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet nutty caramel malts and piney hops.

The flavor is sweet nutty caramel malts with a big bitter piney hop finish and a little fruit and resin. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly watery.

Overall, nice balance of the malts and hops. I like it.

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Alaskan Imperial Red Ale (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.
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