Starfish Imperial Red Ale | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

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Starfish Imperial Red AleStarfish Imperial Red Ale
48 Ratings
Starfish Imperial Red AleStarfish Imperial Red Ale

Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Washington, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by biboergosum on 07-08-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 |  Reviews: 24
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 8/2014.

Pours a murky crimson-orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a 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 grapefruit juice aromas. Taste is much the same with earth, citrus zest, and grapefruit juice flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice mix of earth and citrus forward hop qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz glass, on-tap at the bucolic Olympia brewpub.

This beer appears a clear, dark burnt reddish amber hue, with a thin cap of bubbly, mildly foamy, and mostly soapy beige head, which leaves a thorough wall of Swiss cheese lace around the glass as things sink away. Not too shabby lookin'!

It smells of bready, and somewhat toasty caramel malt, juicy grapefruit/orange citrus, a certain dank pine acridity, and further leafy, earthy, and kind of perfumed hops. The taste is more bitter and musty pine resin, pithy red Texas grapefruit, navel orange, and a bit of aged lemon citrus, caramel/toffee malt - one riddled with a dark breadiness - additional muddled orchard fruit, and a sort of meaty, leafy, and still alcohol-informed hoppiness.

The carbonation is moderate, just a lilting frothiness throughout, the body a heady medium weight, and perhaps a tad sticky, but fairly smooth overall. It finishes well off-dry, the hops and malt continuing to wrestle, sumo-style - guess which one steps off the mat first?

Proving indeed to be a Fish product, the hops win out, but it's hardly a grand slam. At any rate, a pleasantly hopped to the nuts amber ale, and even nicer to try it at the source, before wandering around downtown, and the state capitol grounds.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled in August 2012. Pours fairly hazy reddish copper color with a nice 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of orange, grapefruit, caramel, toast, biscuit, pine, citrus rind, floral, light toffee, and piney spiciness. Nice aromas with good malt/hop balance and complexity. Taste of orange, grapefruit, caramel, toast, pine, biscuit, light toffee, floral, citrus zest, and piney spiciness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, caramel, toast, pine, biscuit, floral, citrus rind, and piney spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt/hop flavors; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with almost no warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good imperial red ale. Nicely balanced hop/malt flavor complexity; and nicely smooth to sip on. This was a nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial nonic a deep amber/bronze with a frothy 1/2 finger off white head that left one big shade of lace as it never completely settles.Orange and pin hop notes stick out in the nose along with some brown sugar and caramel biscuit,a little bit of leather in the backgrown d as well.Flavors are a mix of the orangey hops and deep brown sugar and alcohol,the alcohol plays a pretty big role on the palate.It's close to being great with its nice hop profile but it is a tad raw.I liked it better than most I think.

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Photo of mactrail
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thin and bitter Red Ale. Color is a nice red amber with a brief head. Quite woody in the mouth. Hops are the earthy and sawdust flavor. Some flowery fragrance and a flirtation with the honeysuckle. A hint of cedar in the taste, but makes me think of a dirty floor. Bitter aftertaste, but not IPA bitter. Light body and a watery mouthfeel. On the acidic side. Malt seems to be vanishingly thin.

Mostly the flavors are funky malt and bitter, dirty hops. There seems to be this family resemblance among the Fish Brewing beers in my experience. 22 oz bottle from the Jug Shop in San Francisco.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

"Imperial red ales" always snag me when I see them, because I think I've yet to have one I didn't enjoy. This beer was served in a Weyerbacher tulip glass, a brilliant ruby red color, clear and moderately carbonated, with a small but sturdy cap of off-white head. Aroma of sweet malts, caramel, fresh hops, citrus, light fruit and herbs. A hearty blast of flavor right off the bat, with a good balance of sweet malts and citrusy hops, noticeable booziness, crisp and clean, herbal and grassy notes more apparently once the palate has had time to adjust. Medium body, very enjoyable, and very sessionable even for a higher-alcohol drink.

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Photo of Lare453
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of pat61
4.17/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours hazy reddish amber under a 2” frothy off-white foam cap that clings to the glass leaving thin sheets of lace.
S: Floral citrus with traces of north woods.
T: Rich malt with spice from the malt and light cardamom to cola
F: Creamy medium full body to chewy, medium low carbonation
O: A rich imperial red for those needing a jolt of hops.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip 21/11/11

A hazy brownish amber with a finger of tan head that falls quickly but leaves lots of polka dot lace

S loads of caramel with a little citric hops and booze

T not far from the smell but a little toned down, a little spicy and herbal hops but faded

M fairly thick and sticky with just enough carbonation to give it a creamy feel, just a little heat and fairly sweet

O not a bad beer but I was expecting more of a hop bomb, reminds me of a Barley Wine a little bit with the malt coming out

I'd like to know the age of this one because only 2011 is notched no month, decent beer but over 10$ a 650ml I doubt I'll drink it again

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Photo of beertunes
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in bubble pint glass. Poured a clean, clear reddish amber with 3/4 inch of of off-white head that had low retention and good lacing.

The aroma was good, hops being a bit more of a presence than than the earthy grains. The flavors were bolder and more well defined than the scent had lead me to expect. The malt was stronger and the hops crisper than in the nose.

The body was thinner than I would have expected for an "Imperial" version. Drinkability was decent, I'd have it again, but I probably wouldn't have 2 in a row. Overall, a solid beer that was enjoyable enough, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it. But it's worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, brought back to Sydney and opened with @tobeerornottobe and @LaitueGonflable.

Lovely hue, a truly good bright ruby red, with a collapsing, but pleasantly silky head of yellow white. Body is lovely and fine, leaving tight carbonation when swirled. Some patchy lace. It's a really lovely looking American Red Ale, absolutely what you want from the style.

Nose is also good, with a lovely fresh hop aroma giving some sharp citric fruit characters, but leavened with hints of rosewater and potpourri. Under this is the hint of roast, a touch of malt, suggesting that this is deeper and not as one-sided as an IPA with similar hop characters. Really nice.

Taste is a little bit of a let-down, but still solid for the style. Clean malt draws the palate forward, with just a hint of greenness from the hops around the edges of the palate. Slight tingle of bitterness on the back, but it doesn't do enough to really clear out the maltiness. It's still very pleasant, but it doesn't quite hit the mild graininess or the robust hoppiness quite right.

Feel is smooth but light. Quite pleasant.

It's a pretty decent American Red Ale, but this is a style I particularly love, and I love it more when breweries do it in a way which fits with my rather narrow expectations for the style. Yeah, that probably makes me a bad person.

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Photo of shelby415
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of twelveinches
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of laituegonflable
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an American red-ale colour, but nice and vibrant. Head is off-white, large bubbles but irregular. Lace is sticky and bubbly and there's a thin layer of head remaining. Looks nice.

Smells quite nutty and malty. Plenty of toffeed peanut, salted caramel and a nice floral hop note behind. Not dominant, just nice tangy and subtle hints of lavender, grapefruit and orange peel. A nice, appealing balanced malt-grenade (not quite malt-bomb).

Taste is a goody. Quite tangy on the assault with plenty of light lemony hops, hint of mint and sage with a touch of a buttery note as well. Gets sweeter and slightly boozey midway where big malt notes lie. Nutty edge, with lots of English toffee and burnt sugar, with just a dollop of a sharp hop resin late making it veer off into slight astringency. Apart from that one duff note it's an incredible smooth, well-constructed palate.

Quite thin on the feel, almost watery and feels pretty empty. Disappointing for the size and for the palate.

Nice tasty beer though. Maybe needs a few kinks ironed out of it but it's an enjoyable drinking experience.

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Photo of Domvan
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of buckyp
3.3/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Murky ruby color with a small tan head that disappears quickly. Leaves some minor lacing. Oddly, I almost smell nothing. Slight malty but I had to work hard to get even that. Flavor is malty with a decent hop bite. Bitterness lingers a little while. Not exactly bad but not one I'll buy again.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.64/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a really large mug

Pours reddish brown, slightly cloudy from some sediment at the bottom that I let into my pour, almost no head, very little in the way of actual carbonation. Smell is caramelly-sweet, a little bit of a spicy hops smell.

Taste is pretty good, a nice mixture of caramel sweetness and hoppy goodness. Could use a bit more bitterness, but it's pretty solid.

Mouthfeel is unfortunately flat, although it has the right thickness. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that was let down by lack of carbonation.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - slightly hazy deep brown, thin finger of tan head dissipated slowly
S - caramel and toasty aromas, along with a pine wood and earthiness
T - toffee and piney hops up front, some nutty and toasty maltiness with a woody dank finish
M - lower carbonation and even a little flat, decent hop bitter
O - a decent amber with a solid hop kick, alcohol not noticeable, well worth a try

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Photo of thecheapies
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Starfish Imperial Red Ale in 22oz bomber format. I poured it into a pint glass.

There's some considerable hop haze clouding up this beer. Clay in color with an off-white head that rose up to an inch-and-a-half's height before finally settling with the remnants of dense surface foam. A single etch of lacing holds on one side of the glass.

A double-whammy of both juicy citrus and floral hops. A nose prominent with ruby red grapefruit and apricot spars with generous toast from the malt and the smell of bread crusts.

This Imperial Red is meatier and maltier than the nose spelled. Dominant grapefruit hop oils mesh with well-kilned malts in a gently toasty sweetness. The alcohol picks up in the middle and carries out through the finish with some latent tanginess and a bouquet of finishing flowery flavors. Supple flavors of nectarine and sandalwood are noted, as well.

The body is wet and wooly with a spiny feel to the carbonation. Coarse, bushy-tailed, and full of dextrins; it's built like something less strong. The booze on the swallow has no significant pulse making this one very drinkable Imperial Red.

I wasn't particularly looking for complexity, but this beer is a bit one-note. Riding high with the cliche of 'grapefruit-meets-brown-bread', Fish Brewing executes with an exemplary ale for its style.

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Photo of harrymel
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

bottled: June, 2011

A: pours a ruddy red ale with no real head production and a mirror surface. Hazy clarity. no lace.

S: Nice caramel and toffee tones with a bit of oxidation, nicely balanced with some earthy hops. Above average nose for an Impy Red. Malt dominent, reminds me of a hopped English BW

T: Bitter and sweet. Some notes of sweet barley and some healthy bittering hops give this a nice balance, but the taste is nothing special. Average.

M: Thin with low carb. I would like a little more body with a little more carb to balance it out. Slick finish.

O: Beyond the nose, this beer doesn't have much to offer me.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 650 ml brown bottle. Pours out a deep translucent amber hue, quick falling creamy off-white head.

Sweet malt and citrusy American hops on the nose, some spicy warm alcohol in the background.

Sweet, thick, sugary malt is immediately sliced through with spicy warmth and grapefruit pith from the hops, turning more into a grapefruit rind character towards the finish. Malt and hops are both somewhat intense, but balanced quite well.

Moutheel is full-bodied, slick and solky smooth texture, with low carbonation. Worth checking out and picking up again.

Enjoyable Red Ale, be it Imperial or not, with decent balance.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a small chalice: color is hazy amber, dense looking, light amber head that presents about 1/2 inch thick then dissipates to ring and some spotty bubbles with lacing on the glass sides.

Smell is light toast, light caramel malt, light astringency, and some moderate bitterness.

Taste is similar with moderate flavor of light caramel and toasted malts, maybe some biscuit, bitterness is neutral or blended with earthy and maybe some pine.

Mouthfeel is sharp, not overly carbonated, but the bitterness focuses on the tongue and lingers strongly.

Overall an average stronger amber ale with a bit of harsh lingering bitterness.

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Photo of Hopmodium
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

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Starfish Imperial Red Ale from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 48 ratings