Red-oric – 2012 Imperial Red Ale Beer Camp #65 (Sierra Nevada Brewing Company)

Style: Imperial American Amber/Red Ale

8.0% ABV

 

See Review of Oatmeal Stout for my review of the Beer Camp labels.

 

The beer pours a deep dark candied red, bordering on brown with a nice clear body and a good flow of carbonation bubbles.  The head is big, rocky, and mountainous, with sticky fat globs of lacing moving up the sides of the glass in web-like patterns.  The beer smells very bready with a great smattering of piney hops with hints of citrus.  Caramel malts are also obviously present and enticing, just as any red ale should be.  The beer tastes fantastically balanced.  It opens with sweet caramel and malts before opening into big pine and grapefruit bitter notes which transitions into the aftertaste which mingles the hops bitter citrus-pine with the bready malts to make a mellow bitter linger and sweet touch.  Mouthfeel is clean and medium bodied, with light effervescence from the carbonation, which helps to cleanse the palate.  The mouth is left slightly dry on the tongue and roof, with just a trickle of saliva to leave the mouth calling out for more liquid nourishment.  Overall this beer is a lovely sipper.  I must admit that I love hoppy imperial reds, and this is very nice hoppy red.  Granted, the hops are a little mellower than other reds I have sampled, this ale still holds great grapefruit and other citrus notes, and definitely kisses the mouth with sweet caramel and bread malts in a perfect balancing act with the hoppy bitters.  Try this beer! It is most likely my favorite of Beer Camp this year.

4/5

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