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The Incredible Hop Imperial India Red Ale | The Fort Collins Brewery

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The Incredible Hop Imperial India Red AleThe Incredible Hop Imperial India Red Ale
25 Ratings
The Incredible Hop Imperial India Red AleThe Incredible Hop Imperial India Red Ale

Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jmkratt on 04-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by PicoPapa:
Photo of PicoPapa
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours a dark brownish red color with about an inch and a half of thick head. Some lacing. Aromas of floral and piney hops with a caramel malts. A bit earthy. Taste is some light floral and piney hops with a lot of caramel malts. A bit spicy near the end with more earthy, malt flavor as well as some bitterness. This beer is called the Incredible Hop but there is probably more malt flavor than hops. Heavily carbonated. Overall, its a decent Red Ale but nothing special.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic a deep ruby hued amber with a well defined tight white one finger head that left multiple broken rings of lace behind as it settled into a frothy mass.Caramel,a little burnt toast,and earthy hop in the nose,the hops to me seem much more earthy that resinous.Toasty with light caramel sweetness on the palate with an earthy dryer finish.Its not overly complex and again its more of a earthy hop flavor profile but its actually not a bad beer.The name may mislead a few people like it did me.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.06/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Pours a dark copper red with a medium fluffy light tan head that retains fairly well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet tangy fruity caramel malts with some resinous fruity hops.

The flavor is sweet caramel and crystal malts with some fruity resiny hops in the finish that leave a big bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a nice, big, well balanced, hoppy red.

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Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A new option at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.

22 ounce bomber, w/o freshness info of any sort. Pours a warm shade of ruby tingued darker amber. The head stays at the 1/4 inch level. Darker khaki, frothy and leaving broken rings of thicker sheeting/lacing.

Snif of caramel malts and some sawdust heavy mellow smoke.

Malts, caramel and more caramel are whats going on here. Moderate hopping late, but this is a malt show. Smooth, easy drinking, sweetness in moderation, an enjoyable if uninspiring brew.

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Photo of wo87810
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of WoodBrew
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The Fort Collins Incredible Hop Imperial Indai Red Ale is BIG! The beer pours a hazy dark rich amber....thin slightly off white head formed at the top and it appears to be lacing. The smell includes hops...smells like semco to me along with some sweet malt. The taste is powerful. The high ABV makes it critical that there is enough hop and malt to balance. I am not sure this beer pulls it off completely. The fresh hop starts the beer, then the sweet malt, then finally a slight spice at the end. The ABV is present throughout the drink. Mouthfeel is tough. The high ABV made me downgrade this beer. Overall, its a decent beer....but one is enough.

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Photo of jsh420
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours clear dark reddish brown with 1+ head that had decent retention and left lacing down the glass

smell - maybe my nose is off but i cant smell anything?

taste - very hoppy and malty - earthy pine hops with nutty caramel brown sugar malt

mouthfeel - full body good carbonation - the sticky sugar makes my teeth hurt

overall - a very solid impy amber - while i am not a huge amber fan and drinking this on a hot summer night is not ideal i did enjoy this beer

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Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear dark red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that gradually died down and left some lacing on the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of sweet malts, grapefruit and pineapple in the nose. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the initial taste has some sweetness, which transitions to flavors of caramel and pineapples. There are hints of pine resin hops towards the finish, which has a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth and slightly creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Considering its strength, the beer is rather easy to drink because the alcohol is well masked from the taste. The overall taste is well balanced.

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Photo of freduardo
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky light brown color with amber hues along the edges with a nice fluffy inch of khaki head that recedes leaving some decent sticky/spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with initially with some light citrus, pine and earthy sticky hops but they are soon overwhelmed by the sweet caramel and toffee maltiness. As you further examine you get some burnt toasted breadiness and some light caramelized brown sugar as well.

The taste begin with loads of sweet brown sugar, caramel and toffee malty sweetness. In the finish you get a little backing of earthy and pine hops adding a slight bitterness but the sweet malts definitely dominate here. As it warms the earthy bitter hops assert themselves more and the beer becomes more balanced and drinkable to my palate, which is nice because the malt sweetness was initially a bit too sweet.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation, which is appropriate for the style. Finish is sticky from the abundant caramel maltiness, yet slightly dry, from the ample hopping. Flavors linger on the palate for a decent amount of time after you sip.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. The Incredible Hop series is far from a hop lovers dream but you can definitely appreciate what they were doing here with ample bitterness to support a caramel/toffee malt dominant amber beer that is on the sweeter side. Some may find it too sweet, but as a fan of Imperial Red, Scotch ales, Old Ales and Barleywines, sweeter beers are not new to me. Better than the Wheat Wine version of the Incredible Hop Series. Worth a go if you like the "Imperial Red" style but you will be disappointed if you are looking for something like Green Flash's Hop Head Red, as this is far from a West Coast hop bomb as some of the style can be.

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Photo of UDbeernut
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a snifter

a: deep amber/red, 1/2" off white head with good retention

s: caramel, toffee, slight yeast, faint pine

t: more sweet than I was expecting, well balanced with a pine hops. A subtle beer that contains imperial and india in its name.

m: light to medium bodied, slight soapyness and chalk

o: not a bad beer

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Photo of emmasdad
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We tried this one with friends Saturday afternoon up at the brewery in Fort Collins. Poured a clear dark red color with a smallish light tan head. Aromas of caramel, sweet malt and less hops than I would have liked. On the palate this one was medium bodied, with earthy hops, caramel and sweet malt.

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Photo of Durge
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep copper, almost mohogany colored brew with a decent tan cover and good lacing. The aroma is not subtle, with pungent pine but most impressively Lipton tea! Very nice and definitely a bit different. The flavor brings big piney hops and more grassy tea in a near full bodied brew (medium-heavy) with a tangy, fine carbonation that feels very smooth and luscious. I pick up on some lemony edges and sweet malt. An awesome imperial red and not quite like any other. Kudos to Fort Collins!

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Photo of ajwillys
4.06/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into four juice glasses...

Appearance - Brownish
Smell - Smells like an awesome IPA, but its not!! (it's an IIRA). Smells malty, but also quite hoppy. I'm a sitting contradiction.
Taste - Expecting IPA, not getting it.
Mouthfeel - Rather heavy mouthfeel, but not unexpected for a DIRA.
Overall - I don't like it, I don't dislike it. Not seventeen bucks good.

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Photo of nyctrance2
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of vfgccp
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Semi-hazy cherry ice tea. Fantastic lace and nice retention on an off-white head.

S - Great caramel malt nose with nutmeg, walnuts, and a touch of warm ninnamon.

T - Sweet bready caramel flows through the opening then ebb away as golden raisins and grapefuit-like hops balance and dry out the profile. Subtle smoke roast finish.

M - Super smooth with a medium/full frame.

O - Great malt forward profile. Nice hop character, but as "incredible" as advertised.

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Photo of peacebone116
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Delirium snifter from a bomber.

A: Deep brown, nearly black with red highlight. A little bit of coffee foam head that quickly disappears to form soapy, muddy bubbles at the edge of the glass.

N: Sweet, almost chocolate milk mixed with a fruity, almost sour apple aromatic.

T/M: Pretty much follows the nose: The chocolate flavors are heavy and leave a nice lingering bitterness. The floral fruit qualities are very evident. More than anything, the body stands out as being really thick and syrupy.

Overall, this beer is decent but not incredibly complex. I do like the mix of chocolate and hops, but the overly heavy body severally detracts from the enjoyment of this one--it feels as though the malt and the hops are fight for control--and my tongue comes out the loser. ...okay...that was a little dramatic. But I think it illustrates how I scored it. The brewer calls this one an imperial BIPA & BA has it listed as an Am Strong Ale, which is probably a little more accurate of a style description considering how sweet it is.

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Photo of wpreynolds
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of GarrettB
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The theory behind blend of intense hops flavors and the deep sticky sugars of a caramelly red beer is sound. If you don't like hops, the added sweet notes in Imperial IPAs corrects the overwhelming astringency of a truly hoppy beer. Why not swap out those lighter sugars for something deeper, richer, and gloppier, like the cinnamon sweet and apple pie flavors of a good caramel beer? I applaud Fort Collins Brewery for brewing on a great idea, but the end product is not the refined recipe I thought it would be. The mouthfeel is incredibly fluffy and soft - a wool cheeringly good feel that gives the beer some heft and substance. Yet the red flavors are clouded by the sheer volume of the carbonation. Only a single dimension of hops and bitterness stumbles through the haze of bubbles, giving this all the flavor of the single-minded IPA's I avoid. The scent gives a much better impression of what this beer could be - an intoxicating blend of caramel, all--spice and a pinch of cinnamon, limned in a beautiful balanced hops note. A deep red beer, practically glowing with the caramel flavors promised by the nose, the Incredible Hop Red is almost the perfect beer for those, like me, who would rather dodge the salvos of hoppy beers being fired into markets this time of year. Whether or not it was the brewer's intention, the flavor simply doesn't match what I thought I found in a beautiful aroma.

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brownish-red with one finger off-tan head. Nice lace throughout.

Nose is rich and deep with apricot and caramel, loads of clove and white pepper spice, and a touch of hoppy grapefruit.

Palate takes an IPA and adds a good deal of malty chewiness. It has some nice weight, good spicy-floral bitterness, and a long, toasty grapefruity finish.

Perhaps a more 'sessionable' strong ale. It doesn't kick you in the ass like The Arrogant Bastard, but it also doesn't have the concentration of flavors either. I dig it enough though to really anticipate the next in the series which I believe is going to be an Imperial India Wheat Ale.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours with a nice beige head, which fades and leaves some nice lacing. Color is deep ruby and nearly clear. Smells of cherries and fruit juice.

Taste brings out the hops noticeably. More caramel, nice roast malt flavor.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick and a little sticky. Nice toasty hoppy red.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep amber clear body with a two finger head offering good retention and lacing.

S: Overall mild with musty and sweaty hops along with pine and citrus notes.

T: lightly toasted sweet caramel malt. The hop flavor is light but is mostly made up of pine and earthy.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: not sure if the hoppiness is incredible as advertised.

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Photo of craftbrew502
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New addition from The Fort Collins Brewery's The Incredible Hop series I picked up at Lukas Liquor. Imperial India Red Ale. They just got the shipment so I know it's about as fresh as it every will be.


"This Imperial India Red Ale matches intense hop aroma with potent caramel notes. Driven by rich munich malts, complimented with smooth crystal malts and topped off with spicy hopes - we aim to arouse your senses"

A - Poured from undated brown 22oz bomber to a pint glass. The beer pours a translucent deep dark copper/amber color with a nice 2 finger slightly off-white/cream colored head. Good retention and solid lacing throughout.

S - The aromatic hops don't dominate the nose but provide a nice blend of pineapple, apple, orange citrus, and tropical fruit character along with a solid sweet malt character. No alcohol detected. A nice fruit aroma.

T - Upon sipping the beer quickly envelopes your palette. Starts just where the nose left off: pineapple, apple, orange citrus, and tropical fruit character from the hops together with a medium bitterness. The sweetness from the munich and caramel malts compliments the hop character and is fairly well balanced. Finishes mildly bitter with a linger caramel flavor on the tongue with a hint of fruit. Crisp and clean.

M - Medium to Full bodied with good carbonation. Hides the alcohol very well.

O - A good beer for sure. I liked the blend of the fruity hop character and malty sweetness. Not overpowering. Didn't pick up on a lot of spicy hop character as the label indicated but that's ok. I would recommend.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 04-23-2011 18:26:18

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Photo of nickfl
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours with one finger of white foam on top of a hazy, amber brown body. The head styles quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - sweaty, pine and grapefruit hops with some dark caramel.

T - dark pine hops up front with some mustardy notes. A barleywine like mix of dense malt and strong bitterness in the middle. Some more pine and dark caramel as the beer finishes.

M - a fairly thick body, moderate carbonation, and a bit of a sweet finish.

D - the individual flavor notes don't really do much for me, but this is one of those beers that comes together in a way that makes it more than the sum of its parts. A nice combination of hops and dark caramel.

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The Incredible Hop Imperial India Red Ale from The Fort Collins Brewery
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 25 ratings
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