Sunday, September 16, 2012

2012 Best of Beer Camp #65: Imperial Red Ale

I recently grabbed (my second) Sierra Nevada's "Best of Beer Camp" mixed 12 pack. In my opinion, this box is one of the best releases of the year to look forward to, despite this being only the second year. Four new beers, all solid to great, at a reasonable price? Damn Straight!

I find the label artwork very fun and playful. Front and center is a vessel that resembles a genie's lamp of some kind, even resembling the Sam Adams Utopias bottle with the shape and sliding window in the body. There are hops pouring out of the top of it and actually strewn all around. In the background of this imaginary land, flying hop-copters and a covered bus patrol the forest, probably looking for this downed bottle. Who knows? I wish the artist were named.

Sweet caramel aroma with pine and some hoppy spiciness. There is also a light tropical fruity scent. Very nice.

Sweet caramel flavors are also front and center, with a light roast behind it. Citrus and pine bitterness do have an answer, and I love the spicy, peppery nips that add to the balance. Chewy and resinous body. Medium carbonation is just fine. The finish is dry and shows some of the 8.1% alcohol.

Malt-forward, a little different for the style, while still being balanced. My favorites are still Lagunitas Imperial Red and Cigar City Tocobaga Red. Those totally kick ass, though I wouldn't kick Beer Camp 65 out of my bed either, if you know what I mean. Grab this mixed pack--you won't regret it.

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