Beertography and Review: Sierra Nevada Imperial Red Ale (2012 Beer Camp #65)

Brewed by: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Chico, California USA
Style: Imperial Red Ale
ABV: 8.1 %

Commercial description: This imperial red ale takes the intense hop profile found in traditional double IPA and turns up the malt. It has big aromatic hop notes of grapefruit, peach, and melon–balanced by a smooth and surprisingly robust malt body.


Clear dark amber with slight ruby highlights, topped with a two-finger fluffy khaki head. Head is long lasting and generous sticky lace.

AROMA (8/10)

The aroma was very good and surprisingly well-balanced. The aroma is full of caramel from the crystal malt. There is a nice note of floral hops in the nose as well.

FLAVOR (16/20)

The flavors started out with a bit of malt sweetness, then the hops came on strong The hops were tart and citrusy with a tangy finish. Finish is a slight hop bitterness being washed away by sweet sugar and toasted caramel malts and them a final bitter hop bite to close things out. It is an odd finish, not unpleasant but odd.


The body is a bit heavy with good carbonation. A tad sugary and sweet in the back of the throat. That goes with the style but it is not my favorite feeling on the palate. Overall this one is mediocre. It’s fair enough, but my least favorite so far of the beer camps.


This is an easy to drink red ale. It’s solid and balanced, but unfortunately it’s not very flavorful. It’s malty with some light hoppiness. It’s good and worth trying,  but I don’t think I would purchase it again..

 FINAL SCORE  (38/50)


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