TGIF! It’s been a pretty good week, and I thought I’d celebrate it with a big beer on our deck. I’ve had this one in the fridge a while now, but I think I picked it up as part of a mixed 6-pack at the liquor store. The bottle is dated 11/29/13, but I figured it would be OK since it’s a big beer. The bottle says:
The Beer With The Bite
Aptly named after the notorious German vampire from the 1920s, our imperial red ale is highly hopped and rich with flavor, yet remarkably balanced from start to finish.
In keeping with the Bavarian Purity law of 1516, this beer is traditionally brewed from all natural ingredients: barley, hops, yeast and water. No chemicals or preservatives are used.
Location: Poured into a snifter style pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL
Numbers: 8% ABV, ~280 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark brick red in color and fairly clear. It seems to have a good amount of carbonation in it, but the head fell rather quickly to just a khaki colored, creamy ring around the glass. The aroma is a huge caramel maltiness.
Taste & Feel: The body is full and the mouthfeel is fairly smooth. The flavor up front is mostly malty sweet, with a little bit of earthiness. Both the maltiness and earthy bitterness grow a lot in the middle. In the finish, the earthy bitterness edges out the big caramel maltiness, but it’s the maltiness that sticks out in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: With the big caramel maltiness in this beer, I’d go with something that could stand up to it, like a burger or steak. With the earthiness, I’d choose a burger topped with mushrooms and onions that would complement the flavors.
Overall Impression: It was a pretty classic imperial red ale with plenty of caramel maltiness, balanced by an earthy hop flavor and bitterness. It would be a nice beer for the fall, with some warmer caramel and earthy flavors. Overall, it was a pretty good, very solid imperial red ale.