Monday, August 26, 2013
2013 Imperial Red Ale: Beer Camp #95
I grabbed this year's Sierra Nevada Beer Camp mixed 12-pack a few days ago as I believe it's one of the best year after year, especially value-wise. BTW, voting is happening right now on who to send for the next Beer Camp (I voted for Leonard (Allen) Huerta, if that matters to you). This year, there are only three beers in the box, down from four the past two years.
I thought that I remembered them having an Imperial Red last year as well, and sure enough, it was Beer Camp #65. Considering this is one of my favorite styles, I am not complaining. If they had repeated a pumpkin beer, well then I'd have probably made a scene! The label has the same fun design as in past years. The back label tells a story, making sure you know this beer is not for the "lupulin leery".
Dark red color, big head that took a while to disappear, leaving a full lacing on the top of the glass. Spicy and hoppy aroma, pine with citrus and a sweet caramel too. Rich caramel flavors coat the palate and offer plenty of sweetness. Quite creamy, nice texture. Some resinous pine comes next and offers plenty of bitter balance to that.
Fresh citrus rind hoppiness and spicy sharpness keep poking at and waking up the palate. Definitely a well-balanced beer between malt and hops. The 8.5% alcohol is disguised, yet brings out the spicy and citrus complexities. You are left with a lingering sweet stickiness in your mouth. And that is OK by me. Very enjoyable beer!