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Betrayal Imperial Red | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

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BA SCORE
86
very good
54 Reviews
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Betrayal Imperial RedBetrayal Imperial Red
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States
goodbeer.com

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by womencantsail on 06-27-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
54
Ratings:
138
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
20.52%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
9
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 138
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, earth, caramel, citrus zest, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with brown sugar and candied citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop 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 that has a nice malt and candied citrus zest combination going on all around.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

more of an imperial red ipa here than what we usually associate with imperial reds, this is hop driven, and well driven at that. darker copper amber color with some clarity and a massive khaki head with no retreat. nose is pretty understated from a grain standpoint, i get a whole lot of resinous west coast style hops in this, some balance, but hops hold the trump card. the taste is a slow jog up the spectrum from malty to hoppy. semisweet amber malt flavors blend into the danker hops with ease, and the finish showcases both rather effectively. bitterness after the swallow comes out of nowhere, no hop flavor left over just that bitter, its drying for such a full bodied and frothy brew. speakeasy has filled a mid price point quality niche perfectly, these beers are right on for what they cost, and different enough to stand out. betrayal matches the rest of the lineup and gives us a generously hopped malty red that is big enough for cold weather.

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Photo of metter98
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear dark reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high dark beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a short dense head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of alcohol and caramel malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of caramel malts and pine resin hops along with hints of alcohol. It has a moderate amount of bitterness that particularly lingers through the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and relatively crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Hints of warming from the alcohol are perceptible.
O: This is a rather bold imperial amber ale, but the smell and taste of alcohol is somewhat of a turnoff.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey yesterday. Served in a mini-snifter.

Pours a dark copper color with a thin light tan head and some spotty lacing. Thin collar throughout. The nose brings forward some heavy pine and a bit of toasted malt. The flavor brings a heavy dose of pine and some slight citrus along with some amber malt sweetness. The two don't complement each other as well as I would have liked. Sweetness isn't nearly as prevalent in the feel, which is heavily bitter and slightly chewy. Solid beer.

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Photo of mactrail
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Clear, ruby amber color in the New Belgium snifter. Big foamy head with a pleasant mouth-filling sudsiness. Big aroma of that fruity mango hop.

A sweet maltiness greets the lips, followed by a boar-load of hops. Qite bitter initially and long into the aftertaste. Quite acidic along with the fruit. A little dank but mostly pineapple, pear skins, and mango. Big dark roasted malt flavors dominate the rest of the story. An interesting variation on the Imperial Red that should please the hop lover. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Beach Front Liquor in San Clemente.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at Rattle N Hum in New York, NY

A: Pours a clear dark garnet red to amber in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some amber + orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall dark beige head that slowly reduces to medium patch of thick film, some very thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with light amounts of alcohol.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted and caramel malts with a light amount of sweetness. That is followed by some lighter pine hops and hints of alcohol. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which lingers for a short while.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with some alcohol warming in the finish.

O: This one is a little too boozy for me, the alcohol is just much too present int he is beer. The presence of the alcohol makes this one tough to drink and not as enjoyable as I might have hoped.

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

A: The pour is a nice amber color with a tan head.

S: Quite a nice caramel malt backbone to the beer with a hint of bread and piney hops. Not much citrus, but a good balance of malt and hops.

T: The balance continues in the flavor. Again, a good sweet base with some hops and bready malt to prevent the beer from being overly sweet. A bit of piney and bitter hops on the finish.

M: The body is medium with a middle of the road level of carbonation.

D: A pretty nice beer. Not my favorite red ale, but good flavors and balance that I don't find any major faults or problems with.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is amber to orange in color with an off white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the snifter. The aroma brings a large helping of pine and hops. The flavor follows suit, though not quite as good as the aroma. Lots of pine in the flavor with a more assertive malt presence than the scent would indicate. Medium bodied with minimal alcohol presence. An enjoyable beer, I would have this again.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I was at my local speak, The Fridge, and Erin was working the stick this particular evening. She passed it across to me in a tulip glass and I went back to my table to contemplate where it had all gone so horribly wrong. I knew that I had been playing with fire of late, indulging in dalliances with Scarlett and Tallulah, the molls of Big Daddy and Double Daddy, respectively. Word on the street was that there had been some sort of Betrayal and like a calendar, my days were numbered. This was the era of Prohibition and I was reading "Chicago Noir" for inspiration.

A finger of deep-tan/light-brown head sat atop this gem, slowly fading into the same obscurity that seemed to be my future. Color was a a deep-copper, reddish, but not quite ruby-red (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality and I was suddenly wishing myself in Omaha or Lincoln, anywhere but San Francisco or Chicago. Nose was redolent with pine hops underlain with a pleasant malty sweetness. My first sip filled my mouth with a bubbliness that rendered it almost creamy, but not quite. This was followed by a burst of pine hops and then a wash of malt in a one-two sequence that left me reeling. Suddenly, one of the co-owners, Futty, braced me just as the bulls burst through the door! I reached for my chatterbox, aka my trusty, ever-present Thompson, but I was too slow and they were too quick and kicked it out of my reach before I could clear it from my bag. I was prepared, however, and snatched the cyanide cap out of my faux signet ring, popped it in my yap and washed it down with some more Betrayal. I'll be damned if I'll let them take me alive! This was just the way to go - drinking a beer. Finish was minty-cool, initially, followed by a caramel sweetness that stuck with me into my grave. The only remaining question, other than how will they get the sticky lacing out of the glass, is "Who inna f**king hell Betrayed me?!?" At least, I went out happy.

Remember kids, beer and noir do NOT mix!

#akashicbooks

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

To date this is probably the nicest screen printed bottle I have seen. I wish that they did the design in 12 ounce bottles.

Oddly, this bottle is a gusher. Nice flavor profile. A bit boozy. Still carries a good earthy tone with leafy fruit as well. Easy to drink, in spite of the burn to it. I like it.

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Photo of stakem
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to MexicanSkittel for the chance to try this. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a dark burnt copper to amber color. It initially looks quite hazed but when held to the light displays quite a bit of clarity and more of a reddish look. The finger's worth of creamy head is caught between a yellowish stain and dark tan. It provides patches of lacework on the glass and decent retention.

The smell of this brew is quite filled with toasty malt sweetness. It has almost a burnt aspect about it, somewhat like toffee and caramel and a bit of a mustiness about it. The alcohol is present with a bit of a solvent kick. The hops display themselves with a fruity and floral aspect that includes quite a bit of vegetable aspect as well.

The taste of this brew is modestly bitter with a toasted malt inclusion that is somewhat burnt in flavor. Hops present themselves with a veggie flavor just like the aroma indicated. There is a light fruited and floral somewhat reminiscent of raisins included with a warmth of alcohol that is fusel in character that really warms the back of the throat. The aftertaste is a combination of cooked veggies and a bit of burnt caramel sweetness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is a bold brew with an expected bitterness and maltiness to contend with the alcohol level. However, it seems a bit disjointed and doesn't meld together all that well. I am not a big fan of hoppy beers that have a solid vegetative feel in either the aroma or flavor and unfortunately this one displayed it in both. Worth a try if you have the chance but not something I would seek out or drink on a regular basis. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to give this one a try.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at TJ Finley's in Bayshore, NY. Tasting notes from July 2011.

A – Creamy, fine bubbled, off-white head with nice retention and ok lace. Medium grade maple syrup body.

S – Bright orange and grassy hops on top of caramel and nutty breads.

T – Tart, dry, tannin-like fruit pits and an earthy, hay-like hop open the profile. The malty center stays dry and carries into a dark fruit, flint, and char-roast finish.

M – Medium body is smooth and dry.

O – A bit sharp, but not bad.

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Photo of Billolick
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pour from the growler station at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.

A- Dark and near glowing orangy amber. Clear under a dark khaki dense and lasting 1/3 inch head. Leaves fine lace up top, frothy light sheeting and better then average fine patterns of lacing.

S- nose seems somehow muted, could be a stuffy nose...I just get some light malts.

T- Flavorful and quite worthy/sturdy brew, nice layers of malt, caramel, some light rye, spicy alcohol infused dark honey. Malted up and moderately complex brew.

D- Yes, I'd want to drink this over and over again...so good "drinkability"

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a dark russet amber with a nice two finger light brown head with good retention and massive lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, piney hops, chocolate and an interesting estery component I can't identify. Flavor is dominated by pine and citrus hops, developing into caramel malt and finally to grassy, piney hop bitterness. Hints of chocolate and toasted malt. Very nice creamy, medium body. A different red ale with an interesting flavor progression; very hop forward, but supported by the caramel and toasty malt. Nicely done. My first introduction to Speakeasy and now certainly not my last.

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Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pi Bar, in San Francisco.

Speakeasy Betrayal pours a deep, deep crimson that only directly into the light reveals its shocking secret - that it's actually transparent! (but you need a bright afternoon sun, artificial indoor lighting isn't strong enough to penetrate the sooty red beer). It has a well proportioned head that leaves ornate lacing that looks rather dapper in the tulip glass.

The flavours in the aroma smell faint, but are still perceptibly characterful; you'd think they made the beer with the peels of the most bitter oranges they could find, squeezed in a drop of grapefruit juice and let the malts they'd use sit near the stove before hand (they have a lightly smoky, toasted quality to them). Hard to know if it will be more bitter or sweet.

And the great thing about this style is that it needn't chose one over the other, it can be (indeed, should be) both! Here they co-exist in virtual harmony, as if the brewer somehow made a bitter tasting caramel, or a grapefruit that is as sweet as they normally are sour. No alcohol shows, so far as I could tell. But it could be concealed in the soft rose petal flavour.

The mouthfeel turns out to have lots of ashy, lightly smoky malts; they taste toasted just to the point that any more so and we'd call them roasted. Still, there is a lot of caramel sweetness and, lest you forget, a great deal of hoppy bitterness on the finish. The impression I get is of it being very dry and "nutty", like toasted almonds or hazelnuts.

Betrayal doesn't have the thundering properties to suggest that it's been brewed with the hop head's iron palate in mind, and while that might cost it the highest marks on this site, it should afford it a lot more success with the general populace. And with the amount of character it has, my guess is it will guide that populace to better tastes and higher standards.

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Photo of Zorro
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Have the bottled version. The bottle says 8.2% Alc/Vol.

Reddish brown colored ale with some chill haze evident. Small tan colored head.

Smell is sweet and full of roasted malt. Fairly strong German chocolate cake aroma. Chocolate coconut and caramel are quite strong. Strong hop scent mostly it is mint and menthol.

Starts out sweet and bitter with some chocolate and coffee flavor. Bittersweet is the one word that describes the taste. Slight savory flavor here but not to the point of soy sauce. Besides the chocolate and coffee there isn't much other flavor here.

Mouthfeel is good and fairly thick.

Overall this is pretty tasty but not super-outstanding.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light red and brown come together to form a 3/5" off white head. Toasty nuts and red malts in the aroma.

Taste imparted a good amount of hops instead of the malt, finally. Plenty of toffee malt with it, but they pumped up the malt bill compared to most reds. Minor amount of grapefruit with it. Hid alcohol well.

Definitely an upper 2nd class red ale. Almost broke through to that 1st class tier, but this was a little big on the malt bill for me, but I see where it was very good for the mouthfeel and keeping the alcohol and bitterness from being too much.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light brown and light red appearance, good head, another quality looker from Speakeasy. Mild aroma of toastiness and hops, a little nuttiness to it.

Great taste, smooth, still kept a hop mouthfeel, but stayed away from just making a super bitter nugget hopped red or something along those lines. Rich, toffee, even vanilla. A little bit of citrus as well.

Very good mouthfeel, alcohol not noticeable at all. All those nuances. Great balance, hoppy, yet not bitter, smooth, not high alcohol, a little bit of everything.

Where did BA get 5.9% for this? Says 8.2% on the bottle. Maybe because it tastes like 5.9%?

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle $6.99, I'm a sucker for Imperial Reds. Orange-amber color, soapy head and lace. Aroma is mostly malt with a twinge of hops in the back. Flavor wasslty but there was a note of citrus and pine just not enough. Overall a decent beer but I was hoping for something really hoppy like Lagunitas lucky 13.

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Photo of argock
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.99.

A: Opaque rusty burgundy with thick, frothy, rocky beige 2-finger head with very good retention and a thick craggy line of lace with scattered spots.

S: Strong earthy aromas of pine resin and wood are greeted by slightly sweet maltiness with caramel, vanilla, cocoa, and toffee. Alcohol give a little nostril heat.

T: The flavor is a great mix of spicy, piney, and woody-herbal hops component with a strong somewhat sweet malt contribution with chocolate, roasted malt, and sweet raisiny caramel notes. The alcohol is masked very effectively. The aftertaste is herbal and earthy but with a definite pine-wood character.

M: A little sticky and a little too much carbonation but all in all the body is nice and its easy to drink.

O: I was really impressed by this beer - most imperial red ales are overly sweet alcohol bombs. This brew really solves that problem well and moves into the realm of supremely smooth beers with an exceptionally well-balanced mix of big hops and big malt. It is an imperialized Prohibition Ale with the same raisin and caramel notes that I really like in an amber ale. I wish this was priced a little more in the range of Arrogant Bastard at $4.50/bomber. It is one of Speakeasy's best beers and one that I will try again a couple time before it fades away for the year. This beer is one of the biggest surprises of the year for me.

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Photo of birchstick
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a brownish chestnut color with a nice tan head

S - smells of biscuit and toasted malt with a bit of grassy hops

T - this starts off with caramel malts and fades to a nice toasted and biscuit malt flavor. This beer is all malts and in a good way. Really flavorful and delicious.

M - super smooth and a nice body

D - one of the best amber ales I have had to date. Big thanks to KevSal for the hook up on this one. If I lived in San Fran I would drink this frequently. Recommended!

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber color with a thin cream colored head.

S: Caramel, oak and some citrus hops.

T: Tons and tons of oak here along with caramel and a hint of dark chocolate. Overall, pretty messy tasting and way too oaky for me. I would not have this one again.

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Photo of arizcards
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from BevMo in early November for $5.99. Bottled in 2013.

Beer poured reddish brown with a beautiful tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is toasted malts and citrus hops.

Taste is toasted caramel malts, citrus, pine. Pretty well balanced but the pine resin lingers in the end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is nicely made double red. Its got the big malt base going and the big hop bite that one would expect from this style. I have not had a brew from Speakeasy in a long time. They left Arizona for awhile but came back this past fall. Nice to see them back and i look forward to the next one!

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Photo of david18
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a twelve ounce draft of this at the Ginger Man in Manhattan's mid town. I was told that it was an imperial but, in any case, I liked it a lot. The color was a deep amber or red with a light colored head and interesting aroma. Speakeasy makes great ipas but I haven't been crazy about their other brands. This one, however, was quite good.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours dark ruby amber with a big creamy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet caramel and toffee nutty malts with some leafy hops.

The flavor is sweet caramel, toffee and chocolate malts, some nuttiness and some grassy hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit thin and watery.

Overall, a nicely balanced red.

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Betrayal Imperial Red from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
3.85 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
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