Rexx by Clown Shoes brewing

11060457_10102795643160660_1873927782144925610_oRating: 5.65/6

Rexx by Clown Shoes brewing is a 12% ABV Imperial Amber/Red Ale aged in Heaven Hill and Four Roses Bourbon Barrels.

We like dinosaurs. We especially like Rexx, our prehistoric pal who wears clown shoes, drinks bourbon, and spends his doomed days in exile from the other Tyrannosauruses, choosing to romp with friendlier beasts. Rexx, we dedicate this Imperial Red Ale aged in Heaven Hill and Four Roses bourbon barrels to you buddy.


Clown Shoes releases another awesome Barrel aged beer. This time, Bourbon Barrel aged red. Granted, the last time a Barrel Aged Red was from Anderson Valley which was pretty good for the low ABV. Now we are dealing with a heavy hitter at 12% ABV. A style that is aged in any type of spirit is always welcome to the site. Especially Clown Shoes stuff which has been for the majority of the time, exceptionally great, just like the Blaecorn Unidragon series and its Beast Variants and more! Now let’s take a trip to the ancient past, to the time of the dinosaurs and study this, Amber Nectar. Cheers!

Rich bananas, caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon, whiskey, toasted coconut, marshmallows, dark fruit raisins, cherry notes, Rye bread, flowery rose hints, lavender, hibiscus, earthy, citrusy and grapefruit hints, toffee, pecan pie, almond joy chocolate, milk chocolate, rocky road ice cream notes, hazelnut, very mild tropical fruit like prickly pear, passion fruit, papaya and mango notes.

Rich Rye, whiskey, bourbon, floral notes of hibiscus, lavender, rose petals, toffee, rich caramel, plantains, rich bananas, marshmallows, toasted coconut, earthy, citrucy, piney hops, rich grapefuits, pecan pie, almond joy chocolate, milk chocolate, rocky road ice cream notes, caramel, vanilla, oak, tropical fruit like prickly pear, passion fruit, mango notes, dragon fruit, sweetened condensed milk, flan, dark fruit raisins, cherries, cinnamon spice, brown sugar and hazelnut nectar.

Rye, earthy notes, grapefruit hops, lots of whiskey, vanilla, toasted coconut, caramel, marshmallows and banana notes are left in the taste. Slight booziness in the taste, crimson full body, smooth, creamy, velvety, mouthfeel, sipping drinkability

An exceptionally bourbony, whiskey rye flavored Amber ale. The last time I tried a bourbon barrel amber ale was long ago. Come to think about it, this reminded me of the Bourbon Barrel aged Bock but this is a red so the flavorful hops do come out to play as well. It almost borderlines a certain Barleywine aged in Bourbon Barrels. The only thing to pick at is the boozeyness. I think with time this one will mature into something incredible. I still highly recommend it as is. Clown Shoes barrel aged beers have been extremely awesome!

Anime Corner:
Ranma Saotome from Ranma ½ was used in this paring to pair with the style of the beer (A Red Ale) but also to pair with the beers sweet flavors and rich complexity which are complemented by Ranma’s sweet and sexy appearance. She is pretty sweet in general but she is also a dangerous martial artists. You see, being the protagonist of the show, Ranma has shown immense strength and power which goes well with the ABV of the beer. Although Ranma can be hot headed at times, she means well which goes with the booziness of the beer. Give her sometime, she will age just right and be good to you. As for th T-Rex in the label, her colors complement it too but like I said before, this T-Rex can be hot headed just like Ranma. Give the T-Rex a beer, calms right down, just like Ranma!


Bone Warmer by Grand Teton Brewing

1488046_10101539042204050_609663904_n 1453311_10101539042528400_225505053_nRating: 4.5/5

Bone Warmer by Grand Teton Brewing is an 8.2% ABV Imperial Amber/Red Ale

Sleeve Description: 
2013 marks the 25th anniversary of Grand Teton Brewing. In celebration, we’re bringing back three of our favorite styles for this year’s Cellar Reserves. Bonewarmer Imperial Amber was first brewed in 2006 and sold out faster than any other beer we’ve made. Bone Warmer, brewed in the “strong ale” tradition, is a beer of great character, with exceptional malt flavor and warming alcohol content.

Historically, brewers often drew three different runs from the same barley mash. The first, used for strong ale or “best beer,” had the most flavor, color and fermentable sugars, and produced beer with the most alcohol. The second was used for a less strong “table beer,” and the third, a lighter and cheaper “small beer.”

Our Bone Warmer is brewed the same way, using only the first runnings from an extraordinarily thick, strong mash of Idaho 2-Row Metcalfe and Harrington barley malt, along with dark German Munich and caramel malts. We subtly spiced it with Idaho Chinook hops, fermented it at cool temperatures and cold-conditioned it for smoothness and drinkability.

The resulting ale is the color of roasting chestnuts. It is voluptuously malty and only slightly sweet- with a hint of toffee and a warming dry finish. It’s an ideal accompaniment to rich meaty stews, wild game, roasted fowl or root vegetables, and aged cheddars.

This beer peeked my interest a couple of times at the store but I never got around to grabbing it until I saw it a second time. I love winter warmers and holiday beers so I figured, what the hell, why not. I haven’t tried Grand Teton stuff in a long time so I figure I was over due to come back and try some of this brewery’s great beers. I have yet to have a bad experience from any of the beers I have tried form them so far. Hell, they are the ones to made Black Cauldron Stout, one of my favorites. 

Lots of toffee, caramel, nuts, plums, raisins, subtle earthy hops, fruit cake, apple notes, apricot nints, cantaloupe, biscuit bread, maple syrup, toasted rye bread notes, brown sugar, honey and mild berry notes 

Caramel, toffee, fruit cake, dark fruits like raisins and plums, hazelnut, apples, walnuts, earthy notes, toasted rye bread with blackberry preserve notes, biscuit bread, ginger bread, pecan pie notes, nutmeg, oak notes, maple, marshmallows and spices

Finishing off with rich caramel notes, fruit cake, ginger bread, dark fruit and spices, this beer is quite in the holiday spirit. 

A very good amber that generally is peeking into the Winter warmer direction. The fact that there is a lot of holiday spices is definitely what makes I closer to the winter warmer category. While it may not be the end all be all of winter warmers or amber ales for that matter, it is definitely a very delicious brew and one that should be obtained for the holidays if you are still able to find it.

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran and Krystal from Nintendo are used in this pairing along with Coco from Crash Bandicoot. While it is not obvious as to why I chose them, I will explain. For the label aspect, the color of the dog and the blue rug and chimney compliment Krystal, Samus and Coco’s suit. While Samus is not a dog, she has some colors that fit the blond color of the dog as so does Coco. The winter warmer or bone warmer aspect might be an innuendo really. With a warm and sunset evening, if Samus and Krystal had a kid, could it look like Coco? Well, in a weird way, that is essentially what I was going for. You can also say that when love is in the air or when the winter comes, one wants to keep warm and stay close.

Imperial Loakal Red by the Bruery

1069842_10101279480832120_86644223_n 999369_10101279483451870_1707428513_nRating: 5.5/5

Imperial Loakal Red by the Bruery is a 12%ABV Imperial Amber/Red Ale hybrid made with 75% Red Ale and 25% Red Ale aged in oak Barrels

We took our hoppy American red ale, delightfully citrusy and full of flavor from new American Oak – and made it bigger, bolder and more exceptional. Imperial Loakal Red is best enjoyed fresh. Please store in a cool, dry place. The ideal serving temperature is 50 deg Fahrenheit (7 deg Celsius). Best served in a tulip or wine glass.

When I first had the chance to try their Loakal Red, I was very impressed. The beer was along the lines of Troeggs Nugget Nectar and My Bloody Valentine. I was recommended to actually try the Imperial version of it. After opening the bottle the aromas were very rich. Hype aside, I would consider this to an even higher amber status than Nugget nectar and the Valentine which are harder to get.

Aromas are of very rich caramel, toffee, oak, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, citrus, grapefruit, grassy and herbal hops, honey, vanilla, coffee notes, french toast, brown sugar, cherries, mango, maple syrup, scotch, apricots, dragon fruit, coconut and pecan pie.

The flavors are close to a Barleywine, its crazy. You get lots of rich caramel flavors, vanilla, toffee, oak, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan pie, french toast covered in maple syrup, brown sugar, citrus, grapefruit, grassy, herbal and floral hops, honey, cherries, mango, peaches, pineapple, scotch whiskey notes, slight coconut and tangerines.

The alcohol is present but the beer hides it well. You don’t feel it until alittle bit later. Quite the flavorful rich beer. The after taste keeps lingering with sweet caramel and hop bitterness. It is very pleasant. Will definitely need to get this again. This has become my new favorite amber ale. It is not often I get to try ambers but this one fits the bill perfectly as to what awesome ambers should be.

Galactic Imperial Red by Hopworks Urban Brewery

999026_10101279478851090_1033965570_nRating: 3.8/5

Galactic Imperial Red by Hopworks Urban Brewery is a 9.5%ABV Imperial Amber/Red Ale coming in at 100+ IBU

Hopworks Galactic Imperial Red; One small sip for man, one giant bottle for mankind. Robust caramel malt flavors battle NW Centennial, Cascade, Magnum and Nugget hops for interstellar supremacy. Throw down your quarters before it’s game over.

Galaga fans will remember the similarities of this bottle’s beer label. This beer is an organic made beer using organic ingredients. 

Aromas of this beer are of piney and grassy hops, citrus, rich caramel, toffee and biscuits.

Flavors are of Caramel, citrus, slight grapefruit, grassy and piney hops, toffee, biscuit bread, maple, slight peppercorn, earthy and metallic hop notes, oranges and herbal bitterness

The alcohol is somewhat noticeable in this one. I think it gets better as you drink more of it but in the beginning it wasn’t overly impressive. I think the hop character over powers the rest of the beer but some may find this appealing. I like more tropical hop characters but these are more herbal to explain what I mean. The balance is somewhat impartial. You get more hop than malt but that is not too bad at at all. While overall this is still a very good beer, there are other ambers that do more wonders. Still worth the try for sure if you love ambers.

Alaskan Imperial Red by Alaskan Brewing

75563_10101057093577960_1342637641_n 482436_10101057094585940_992914372_nRating: 4.8/5

Alaskan Imperial Red is Alaskan Brewing Limited Edition Pilot Series Imperial Red Ale at 8.5% ABV.

A full-bodied deep mahogany ale with ruby red highlights. Citrus notes of chamomile, grapefruit and Meyer lemon brighten the aroma. A zesty array of hop flavors from mango and bitter orange to green mint and hibiscus meld with the nutty, roasted caramel and subtle dried fruit flavors of the complex malt profile to create a surprisingly fresh, yet warming example of the style.

Aromas are of sweet caramel, rich grassy, piney and grapefruit hops, biscuit bread, peach, mango, pineapple, cherry juice and almond. The taste is truly where this beer outshines the aroma. The flavors are of Toffee, caramel, grapefruit, mango, citrus, cherries, honey biscuit bread, grassy and piney hops, chocolate, biscuit, tropical flavors like pineapple, peaches and melon as well as some nutty pecan and almond notes near the end. The aftertaste continues on with like a barleywine or cherry rye bread with only some minor bitterness that does not linger for too long and stays constantly sweet . The great thing about this beer is that it plays very strong in terms of the sweet and bitter flavors but combining both to make a very nice balance. So much balance and great flavor that each side compliments each other rather than detract. You get strong sweet and your tropical hoppy bitterness as well. Amber ales are usually not my style but ambers like these sure as hell make me rethink the style as more to them than what others may see them as. Amber lovers will love this one.

Starfish by Fish Brewing

530599_10100997914822660_641357718_nRating: 4.25/5

Starfish by Fish Brewing is a 7.5% ABV Imperial Red/Amber Ale. This is part of their Reel Ales Series.

Born in Head Brewer Tony Powell’s home brewery, this West Coast Style Imperial Red Ale is a hearty celebration of the brewing art. Almost welcoming you, four hops impart floral, citrus and sprucy Northwest notes to open the festivities. Then, seven malts and flaked barley dance happily across your palate. In the finish Starfish waves a crisply fond farewell. Convivially forthright without cloying agendas, Starfish is like time well spent with your future best friend.

Aromas of this red ale are of grassy hops, grapefruit, caramel, toffee, biscuits, roasted nuts, honey and butterscotch. The flavors are of honey, barley wine almost, caramel, toffee, biscuit bread, slightly bitter grassy pine, earthy and grapefruit hops, citrus, orange, roasted peanuts, almonds and a bit of buttery biscuit. The after taste remains sweet and malty through and through. A pretty good amber ale.