So … I may be a few steps behind when it comes to the seasonal beers released by Lagunitas this year. BUT – better late than never, right? Lagunitas released its 2008 Imperial Red Ale late this past summer. Its running streak ended in October. (And with most seasonal beers, its availability lasts longer than its deadline).
I love Lagunitas. I particularly like the Lagunitas Censored Rich Copper Ale. With an IBU of 84 and an ABV of 7.6%, the Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale excites me tremendously. I think we shall taste it … what do you think?
Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale (Limited Release):
Text on bottle: “This special Ale is, in reality, a reconstructed exhumation of the very first ale that we ever brewed way, way, back in 1993. Brewed with a big head, a muscular malty thorax, a silky texture & all strung together with a hoppy sweet nerve sack… yum.”
APPEARANCE: Dark brownish crimson RED. Super cloudy. THICK off-white head that dissipates very quickly.
AROMA: The first whiff is heavy with hops – lots of pine notes as well as grass, citrus & flowers. As the head disappears, so does the hops aroma – giving way to a rich, sweet and malty aroma with hints of toasted oak, brown sugar and butterscotch.
TASTE: Hello hops, nice to meet you. The flavor of hops is citrusy and floral in the beginning and very bitter and astringent in the finish – almost like pine sap. Being a major fan of hops, I ABSOLUTELY ADORE the taste of this beer. There are some nice hints of malt that just barely help to reduce the power of the hops. Great acidity!
MOUTHFEEL: Medium-bodied, excellent carbonation. Almost no alcohol burn.
DRINKABILITY: Besides being ridiculously hoppy, this beer is really well balanced!
OVERALL: I really really really like this ale! SUPER BIG PROPS go out to Lagunitas on this one! (BE AWARE: The Wench is a major hophead and is slightly biased towards ales with really high IBUs). I am very sad that Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale is only a limited release. I will definitely be picking up lots more of it while it is still available!