Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Chairman Imperial Red Ale

Released back in Novermber. Thanks to Matt of Half Acre for giving me this bottle back when I was visiting the brewery. Tasted Saturday afternoon following brewing my first gluten free beer! Served from a snifter.
9.5% ABV

Appearance: Darkened red in color with an amber character. The carbonation looks very fine and frothy, emerging with a slight foam to present a head. Lacing is wet, but cascades in an entire quality against the glass. Slightly hazy, but that could just be because of a color inhibitory factor.
Aroma: Nutty and crisp. Some floral notes appear, alongside a rich caramel backbone. I draw peaches and apricots from this beer, followed by some overripe plum and even cherries. It's all balanced against a pungent fruit tannin floral scent at the very finish.
Taste: Rich flavor. This is the pinnacle of what I imagined a red ale to be like. Very sweet and complex. Backed up with a mild biscuit and caramelized sugar malt bill. Caramel. Reminiscent of a rye quality that I find in most Rye based ales. It must be that spicing. The hops are very well incorporated, both drying and fruitfully floral. I get the dark fruit. Plums. The afterbreath is warming and slightly dry with a note of fruit skins.
Mouthfeel: Medium to larger body with a velvety texture from the fine carbonation. Smooth, but still crisp. There remains some stickiness on the lips.
Overall Impression: This is an amazingly complex and palatable beer. The fruit based finish of this beer balances out the malt forefront with an alcohol to help carry out the dryness and the hops. Rich, creamy, balanced and very drinkable. The alcohol is so well incorporated that there isn't a note that stands apart.

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