Deadliest Brew
A Review of Alaskan Imperial Red Ale by Alaskan Brewing Co.
Posted on 5/21/2015 by Chops
                   
Delicious
It's funny how beers can conjure amusing imagery. Breweries these days can no longer rely on the stale presentations of Big Beer yesteryear. Unless you're an English brewery with hundreds of years of brand recognition, the stylized oval with a name stamp is simply not enough. As the American craft beer movement soldiers on, breweries have given us some very memorable brands and labels.

I recently came across one such label with the Alaskan Imperial Red Ale. Sure, it's just a king crab, but as a big fan of Deadliest Catch, and as someone who frequents Alaska, and as someone who spent many years living in the Pacific Northwest, the image struck a chord. I pictured Sig Hansen on the bow of the Northwestern outside of Ballard with a cigarette in one hand, an Alaskan Imperial Red Ale in the other, and Bon Jovi blaring in the background. The fact that I adore imperial reds ales was beside the point. I had to try the beer just because it made me laugh. Fortunately, I knew I was getting a quality product with the Alaskan Brewing Company adorning the label.

In the glass, this beer had a lovely caramel-amber color with a deep red infusion. It came with a frothy beige head that had really nice retention. On the nose, I found that classic sweet candied malty aroma of a good imperial red ale. Rounding out the aroma were notes of earthy citrus, toasted bread crust, and a nip of booze. Yup, a solid introduction to what I could only assume was an equally solid brew.

All of the aromatic notes translated well into flavor notes. I found sweet caramel, earthy citrus, toasted bread, and a healthy dose of spicy alcohol. From there, I found additional notes of pine resin, roasted nuts, and a hint of toffee. The hops profile was quite aggressive and gave the beer a sharpness on the palate. The beer had a medium body, started off as smooth, then transitioned into a chewiness. The finish was full, sticky, and exited with a resinous bitter finish.

Overall, I found the Alaskan Imperial Red Ale to be a delicious brew with a robust personality. It's the perfect belly warmer for a bitter Alaskan winter. I can easily recommend this brew to any beer fan with an imperial palate. I only caution novices due to the higher alcohol content (8.5% ABV) and aggressive hops profile. By all means give it a whirl because the brew offers an array of delicious flavors, just be sure to give it the respect it deserves. Otherwise, that wily king crab will clamp down on unworthy taste buds and make them beg for a pansy lager.

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Alaskan Imperial Red Ale by Alaskan Brewing Co.
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