RATINGS: 522   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.55/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 252   ABV: 8.4%
Inspiration can sometimes be found in the strangest of places. This eccentric brew started with a single flower from a hop named Hallertau. The delicate and spicy aroma present in the flower has been responsible for generations of great beers. Hallertau hops are to a brewer what an old tractor is to a farmer: reliable. Big Red expresses the nobility of Hallertau by placing it at the forefront of this Imperial Ale. Pour it into a snifter. A swirl allows the spicy aromas to come forward as a taste to the lips reveals the complex balance between sweet malts and the bitterness of hops. Big Red’s ability to please is as dependable as your grandpa’s old tractor. Please consume wisely. ABV lowered from 9.5%.

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SamGamgee's rating

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
SamGamgee (2585) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - DEC 24, 2011
22oz bottle. Honey and dried fruit in the aroma. This bottle is a little old. But a little spicy hops and sweet malt as well. The flavor has a nicely strong bitterness and spicy hops. A touch of caramel but the malt is not that present for a red actually. Despite the aged character, this is not doing too bad. More of a barleywine, but a decent one.

generallee08 (778) - New York, USA - JUL 23, 2014
It has a deep reddish/orange amber body with a slight haze. On top is a creamy egg shell white colored head, which is about two fingers tall and quickly settles to a thin covering. This small cap of foam hangs on well and makes lots of spotty and slick lace patterns on the glass. The aroma has loads of caramel maltiness and sweet bready notes with a solid backing of perfume like citrusy hops. There is a good solid load of bready and caramel like maltiness with a very slight hint of bitter chocolate. Right up there on the tongue with the malt base are the hops which bring solid bitterness and floral and spicy citrus flavor. The palate has smooth slightly slick but well carbonated feel and the finish has a slow hop bitter fade.

GreatDane1632 (1174) - North Dakota, USA - MAY 5, 2014
Rated from notes taken 22 Jun 2011, Southern Tier Beer Tasting -- Love love love the Hallertau that fills this beer.

hotstuff (5281) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - OCT 21, 2013
Rated n 5-12-2009 (Bottle) This beer has a small off-white head, a mostly transparent/slightly hazy golden body, one ring of lacing, and fast rising carbonation. The Aroma is malty, caramel, floral hops, and spicy. The Taste is sweet, bitter, lightly grassy, malty, caramel, spicy, and floral hops. This beer has a long dry finish. The Palate is tingly and has a warming sensation which is nice. This beer is medium bodied. In conclusion, this beer is quaffable, has a definite hoppy presence, worth trying, but is a tad too hoppy tasting for my liking.

fattybladdy (830) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - DEC 25, 2012
Medium amber pour with a frothy white head. Taste is malty with some spice, slight alcohol, and some bitterness. Bottle says 9%. Decent.

PhillyCraft (8200) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 29, 2012
Bottle in 09, pours a hazy red orange color with medium sized off white head and lacing streaks. Nice retention on the lace. Notes of boozey caramel, light hops, spicy herbs, toffee, and biscuit. Medium bodied for an American Strong ale. Finished pretty smoothm with minimal heat from the 8.4%. Not bad.

bhensonb (15975) - Woodland, California, USA - JUL 11, 2012
Back from retirement in time for me to get a bomber from Liz. Pours hazy dark amber with a slight creamy beige head. Aroma is herbal with sweet malt. Spicy - but not in the Belgian yeast sense. Full bodied. Foamy carb. Flavor is sweet malt with a lot of herbal hop. Not grassy. Or maybe it’s earthy. Definitely not grassy. Makes me think of a heavily hopped pilsner where the malt ran amuck. Finishes on the non-dry side, but the flavor combination is so tasty that I don’t mind. Great beer.

northropfrye (3732) - Steinbach, Manitoba, CANADA - JUN 27, 2012
Better than I thought it would be. Orange colour. Malty bready aroma. Taste is kind of hoppy. A combo between an IPA and a red ale. Quite good.

cubs (10742) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAY 20, 2012
Bottle @ home, courtesy of jcnielsen. Thanks Jetson! Hazy dark orange appearance with a fairly small, cream colored head. Rich caramel malty, somewhat boozy, toffee, very rich, spicy, herbal, a bit hoppy aroma. Rich, boozy, toffee flavor with a lot of spicy hops and some notes of flowers and soap. Probably a bit old but this is too strong. Like some other Southern Tier brews, this has not held up at all.

Spab (4234) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 16, 2012
650 ml bottle at Volo. Pours a lightly cloudy reddish amber with moderate-sized slightly off-white head. Aroma is very malty with big toffee, bread and sweet, somewhat dark fruit. Taste is also very malty with strong caramel/toffee and sweet raisin/cherry with a bit of biscuitiness. Modestly bitter finish; gentle carbonation and silky mouthfeel. Nice one.

craig220 (313) - Crofton, Maryland, USA - MAY 5, 2012
Smell is of malt and kind of citrusy. The color is nothing special just kind of hazy orange-yellow. The mouthfeel is probably what is most appealing about this beer, it is silky smooth. Malty taste at first but then has a slight bite to it afterword.

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