Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Co.
City – State- Country: Petaluma, CA US of A
Style: Imperial Red Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 7.8%
Release/Date: Code: 04431409 = February 13th, 2012
Reviewed By: Dave
INFORMATION: I try to review IPA and hoppy brews within 3 months of the bottle date just to give the brewery a fair shake. In this case I’m cutting it a little close. This Imperial Red Ale is a limited release from Lagunitas Brewing Co. Available seasonally in 12oz. bottles starting in January. This brew is a variation of the original Lagunitas RED from 1993.
APPEARANCE: Pours a deep red, a slightly dark ruby color. One finger of lighter reddish-blonde head that leaves behind some impressive lacing.
AROMA: A deceptive blast of hops up front. Judging by the style and color I was expecting more malt aroma. I get some dark fruit smells…I want to say a hint of berries. There is a slight malt background, but very faint.
TASTE: Very nice hoppy punch is my first impression. Very intense for only 54.2 IBU. Fruits and flowers to complement the aroma. There is a spicy bitterness as a side note, and a heady malt backbone present. The alcohol flavor is almost non-existent. Although not overly complex this brew has enough hops to satisfy my internal hop head. I am a little let down overall since this is a seasonal & an imperial. I guess I just expected more. Don’t get me wrong it is a good beer, just nothing to write home about.
MOUTHFEEL: Moderate feel and pretty full body for an ale. Solid amount of carbonation accompanied by a hoppy bite.
DAVE’S BOTTOM LINE: I’ll be honest, I had high hopes for this brew and feel a little disappointed. I guess it just doesn’t stand out from the other Lagunitas hoppy brews (or other IRA’s) all that much. Like I said, I like this beer and would not turn one down, but for a seasonal/imperial release it is nothing special. Over all a great hoppy flavor balanced with some spice and malts. I would drink this with a medium-rare steak and a baked potato topped with broccoli and sharp cheddar cheese.
Score: 3.5 out of 5