A few days back I had enough of the workweek and needed the weekend to come early. With a brew fridge full of bombers that I had picked up while traveling during the week I had all the supplies to start the weekend break a day ahead and sent a Thirsty Thursday Alert to the boys. G-LO was game for some midweek cheer and joined me in a sampling of Epic Brewing Company’s Imperial Red Ale (this was release #7 of this beer)
This is one of Epic’s Exponential Series. What Epic calls a ” ….. special line of ales and lagers for the accomplished consumer or the ever-curious.” Well that description sounds like a perfect fit for the Booze Dancers so here we go:
In Epic’s words this brew is:
A boldly flavored double red ale. Combining caramel malt for sweetness mixed with nice alcohol and plenty of dry and late kettle hop aromas from three killer America strains create a beer that is tough to compare.
For our review I will dig a little deeper. This brew was recommended to me by a colleague in NYC so I had high hopes. G-LO has had some less than stellar experiences with Epic’s brews and had lower expectations. With two different mindsets from the start I am happy to report that we both liked this beer in the end.
Here are the details:
- Appearance: Muddy, thick, with a dark mahogany color. Unfiltered.
- Aroma: The aroma is very balanced with a full spectrum of light touches of hops, malty sweetness, dried fruit, and spices.
- Taste: Very viscous mouth-feel, with less hops on the palate than the nose. Toasty, slightly sweet and creamy with some spicy heat in finish.
- ABV: 7.9%
Like I wrote earlier I generally liked this beer and I think G-LO would agree. While this beer didn’t “wow” me like some of the hop bombs that I love so much it did live up to my high expectations. The beer reminded both G-LO and me of some the darker rye beers we tried in the past maybe with a little less “bite” than the rye beers typically have.
I would not recommend this as a session beer but I do suggest you try it with a rich meal of braised meat and root veggies or maybe with a some dried fruit and aged cheese. This one would get better with food and complement rich complex meals.
One note of caution, this beer tastes better than it looks. When I say it is thick and creamy it is really thick, unfiltered, and loaded with spent yeast floaters. The quote of the night from G-LO on this one was “Damn, look at all the shit in that!”. So if you can get past the rustic appearance you’ll find a good beer that is worth a try.
Note: This was release #7 of 10 listed on Epic’s website. If you have tried this one but another release let us know what you think and if it varied from my description.