Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 11, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Brilliant, clear auburn with a fluffy, off-white head. The aroma is bothy hoppy and malty at the same time. Loads of pine and grapefruit meet chewy grains and caramel malt to proffer a lovely balance. Toasted malts and perfumed floral elements are joined at the intersection by a light nutty character and a mild alcohol presence. The body is smooth and creamy with a very mild carbonation on the tongue. The flavor starts sweet and roasted with a relatively nice malt depth. The sweet malt gives way to intense and pointed hop oils, providing loads of bitterness and a light citrus element. This is probably not the best example of the style, but it’s tasty, drinkable and eminently enjoyable. While it is pretty high in alcohol, I feel like this could hit regular, "session" rotation if it was more regularly available. Malt + Hops = Good. Hooray Beer!
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 10, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
From 12oz Bottle. Pours a lovely rich, strawberry tinged amber with a tall, meaty head of creamy ivory, resting patiently on top awaiting my first sip. Pleasant hoppy aroma with a touch of spice, and only citrusy enough to keep it interesting. The hops seem to be well balanced with the caramel malty notes that make up the rest of the incense. Medium bodied, crisply carbonated mouthfeel. Chewy malty body - considering the relatively light weight, bringing out some chocolate caramel nougat and even a touch of molasses. This is quickly followed up by a blast of piney hops, creating a slightly over-assertive finish to an otherwise intriguing beer. Finish is a bit thin, and brings out some flavors of sweet white grapefruit pulp in the final smack.
BillKismet (3343) - Seattle, Washington, USA - OCT 8, 2006
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Solid amber w. fixed head. Nice hop aroma, delicate, but unwavering. Green and rough hop flavor with moderate bitterness. One of the top reds out there.
Ughsmash (7158) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 7, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber. Poured a lovely shade of clear burnt copper with a short cap of slightly-tinted beige head. Deeply-toasted rum-soaked caramel, toffee, green, cactus-like hops, citrus, and some pine.. enjoyed the nose. Flavor was very bright with medium-high pine bitterness and overly-assertive alcohol... rich caramel and toffee at the core... sticky pine tar, caramel, and rum at the finish. Felt good on the palate, but not great... solid brew overall.
vyvvy (4025) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - OCT 4, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours clear bronze with a rich beige head. The aroma has dry caramel malt with pine and green hops. Medium / full body with a good amount of soft carboantion. Flavor starts with some caramel malt along with earthy woody hops and a hint of sweetness. The flavors are all very full and bold. The finish has some malt mustiness along with some spicy and woody hops. It is not the most complex beer, but everything in it is assertive and tasty. Nicely done strong ale.
chilehead (186) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - OCT 4, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Hop and sweetness levels almost rank this a barleywine. Nice sweet malty nose with dank california-style hop overtones. Medium to full mouthfeel, barleywine-like flavors of caramel, vanilla, walnuts. Nummy.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - OCT 2, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bright copper with a slim tanned top of firm foam. Nice thinnly placed sheeting lace sticks across the glass with the stick of velcro.
Mellowing nose of roasted orangified hops and bready malt. Kinda toasted with a burnt sugary wrapping of orange jelly filled doughnut. Rounded citric hops are the main aura overall.
Nice warming taste fills in nicely over the palate with citrusy orangey stuff, semi dulled, more popping in the trailing ends. Kinda of a grainy, crystal and slight caramel malt fills the background with a fluffy/gritty sweetness with a lasting, unsticky pineyness and a perfect addition of grapefruit pith bitterness in the finish. Balanced well in body and form from front to back with a coarsing length of malts played with a nicely piney bittered grapefruit hoppiness that gradually gets better and bigger with a slight pine oily texture tossed with a small leafyness.
Feel is pretty firm, semi-beefy, and warm within a smooth medium body, a solid texture, and a slippery crispness surrounded by a well balanced grapefruity citric hoppy bitterness. Finishes well with a lengthy boldness of semi toasted sweet malt offset by a lengthy, hoppy, slender pined, smooth grapefruity finish.
A nice Red with a bolder rendition of flavor and length then the normal Red’s one would find. So the Imperial label is suiting to a certain degree. I liked the play in textures between the malts and the hops. A fun beer to drink and good to boot.
OldMrCrow (1876) - Seattle, Washington, USA - OCT 2, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 5, 2006 Bomber.
Pours hazy caramel red with a modest head and nice lacing. Classic Lagunitas aroma (though perhaps a bit nicer than average): big citrus aroma of blood oranges, plenty of brown sugar, some tropical fruit.
The thing is practically a barleywine in its flavor, which is impressive at 7.6; we get huge brown sugar coupled with powerful fruity malts that get matched with a serious c-hop blast on the finish; a hint of cheese; the malts stay strong enough all the way through to temper the even the long end with a sort of honey sweetness atop the bitter resins. The mouthfeel is full and rich, amply carbonated and almost oily but not overly so.
This is pretty darn good, certainly good enough to stand out about most of the Lagunitas brews.
beervana (781) - Libertyville, Illinois, USA - SEP 27, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
(07.03.06) One pint, 6 oz brown bottle from Bierkraft, Brooklyn, NYC. 7.6% ABV. 40.63 IBU.1.072 OG. Poured clear red amber with small white head. Good carbonation. Intense hop aroma. Medium-to-full bodied ale that starts with moderate malt sweetness and pine resin hop flavor. Long finish with hoppy flavor fade. Light bitterness at end. More hop flavor than bitterness. I really enjoyed this excellent giant hoppy beer.
CapFlu (4550) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - SEP 20, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
(660ml bottle) Sampled at the post-GCBF party hosted by Oakes, "Big Beer Sampling". Huge IPA nose. Bitter hops flavour melds with a brown sugar malt. Strong tart finish. Good but not "wow!"