Fish (440) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 22, 2006
I too waited in the rain for my six jugs o’ imperial gaelic ale. This has actually been the first beer I’ve rated in a good long while. The only new stuff I was drinking this summer and fall was a bunch of Eastern European/ Russian lagers which were available all of the sudden at this slavic market in town. Nothing really impressive with those. This beer that I’m drinking now, however, is another story. This beer is a treat. Yes, I stood out in the rain for mine too (woot!) And it was well worth it. What a treat. And brewed locally. I would say, this brew holds its own with any of the rogues. Pours a deep ruddy amber color. With a fluffy tan head which left ok lacing behind. Burnt prune alcohol aroma. Strong, sticky palate fades to a substantial hop kick. Nice. This beer treads a fine line between strong ale and barleywine. If lacking in any way, it’s malt character. I could have used some more there. Otherwise a fantastic beer, Points for being the best NC brew I’ve had in a while. Asheville must be so proud of you, Imperial Gaelic! DocLock (11189) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 19, 2007
Big thanks to Ross for this one. Pours turbid amber/deep copper with 1-finger khaki head and great lacing. Smells very hoppy in a wet sticky sense, with bready caramel malt, some fruit, and some spicy peppery hints. Tastes bready caramel malty, with big hops, and solid spicy peppery notes, plus some mango, tangerine, and perfumy hints. Very complex. This one tastes and smells very similar to the Impy Kashmir, but this one has more complexity and I just found it to be a tad better, although I consider both to be outstanding. surffisher (198) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JAN 1, 2008
This one’s been sitting for about a year and a half. Finally popped the cap to ring in 2008 (although I have sampled at a few tastings over the past year or so). Carbonation remained excellent even with the rubber stopper. Pours a cloudy reddish peach color with a thick stand of bone white head, which leaves spotty, sticky lace. Aroma is caramelly and sweet with candied sugar and a variety of fruits including peach, mango and some darker/pitted. Flavor is big and juicy, with bitter hops up front and in the finish with a dollop of sweet thick caramel and fruity notes in the middle, all surrounded by some fresh dry hops that have held up reasonably well with time. Very smooth with fine carbonation and full palate; just slightly warming with no alcohol noted. This was a delicious, complex treat - much more than just a big Gaelic Ale (which is a solid, but unexceptional red ale). Thanks to NachlamSie for the trade - would have hated to miss out on this limited edition beer from a fine brewery. tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - APR 22, 2007
Ok, I’ve had a bottle of this (which NachlamSie was so kind to pick up for me) sitting around for a while now. After some of the initial reactions to it, I decided to wait a while and let it meld. Gotta say, good call on my part. It pours a bold red-orange with tight, light beige head and good lacing. The aroma is rich, fruity malt, prune, caramel, maybe some blackberries; there are also scents of pine and orange from the hops, and an occasional stray waft of cocoa and honey. The flavor is resinous pine up front, and leaves sticky hoppiness everywhere. These hops blend very harmoniously with a malt backbone that reminds me of raisinbread and granola bars. The finish is perky bitterness and only slight alcohol warmth. All the flavors come together very gracefully, I must say. The mouthfeel is full, with enough carbonation to spread things out. I loved this. To those of you who drank this too young, you missed out. Cletus (6368) - Connecticut, USA - JAN 1, 2009
Swingtop bottle probably from either ross or durhambeer. Pours mahogany with a thin tan head. Smells spicy and citrussy with lots of brown sugar present. Tastes floral and citrussy with some peaty hints, figs, raisins. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side considering the warming alcohol presence. Finish yields some fruity qualities. Great beer that I hope they brew again.
Cam501 (58) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - OCT 2, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2007 While i can taste the alcohol in this brew, I don’t feel it is as obvious in the finish as others migjht think. thehead disssipates quickly leaving only the soapy finishing leftovers behind but that’s okay. Slightly sweet. Almost feels like a tascall mixed with a gaelic with an extra kick. Suttree (6541) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - OCT 8, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 9, 2006 I guess after reading previous reviews of this, I was expecting a really hot, alcoholic brew, and that probably played into lowering my expectations. But this was pretty tasty - very tasty, in fact. Cloudy brown, with a nice white head. Really nice aroma of walnuts, vanilla, toffee. First sip is earthy and nutty, with hints of vanilla and a touch of oak. Slight winey character, too, but definately in the background. There is some alcohol heat, too, but it never overwhelms, even as the glass rises to room temperature. Is it worth the hype the brewery put into this? Maybe not, but I do think this would be a great fall seasonal. CaptainCougar (7634) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAR 21, 2007
Bottle sampled on 10/23/06: Pours a slightly hazy copper with a nicely-lacing wispy white head. Big citrusy grapefruity hoppy aroma has a sweet toasty pale malty presence. Body starts with a nice rich caramel sweetness with lots of fresh citrusy bittering and flavor hops. Well-balanced toward a crisp, slightly-warming bittersweet finish. TURDFERGUSON (4068) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - APR 1, 2007
Bottle from Dan at the beerinator gathering. Thanks, Dan! Aroma was a mixture between an imperial ipa and a barleywine. Strong, citrus hops with a nice malty backbone. Very well balanced and quite tasty. Happy to try this rare brew and was quite surprised at how much I liked it. pnista (1007) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - SEP 10, 2007
Best beer of a mighty large sampling spread of IPA’s (mostly). Reddish caramel brown, slight hazy with a dense creamy light tan head. Big full malty nose. Caramel, toast, some chocolate, alcohol. Balanced. Substantial body, small alcohol warming, low carbonation. Big sweet caramel, alcohol balances it nicely. Some toast, tannic, surprisingly dry woody finish. Not bad at all!