Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale

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I know it's out of season, but the infamous and controversial Gypsy Blues Bar still has the Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale on tap, so of course I've been drinking it.  Those who have missed out on the sheer deliciousness of imperial and double red ales need to reexamine their priorities.  Unlike plain, boring old reds, these guys pack a whallop full of hops, malty sweetness, and alcohol.  Lagunitas' contribution is no exception: those guys know what they're doing.

Not many beers on tap get talked about here, so I should warn you that it's certainly not the same set of circumstances in which I typically taste.  I was in a noisy bar and my potent pint was in a frosty glass.  I didn't pour it myself, so I didn't have any control over how the head came out.  With that in mind, here's my happy review.

This beer pours a rich, bronzed red.  It's a dark red, maybe even a mahogany, but it's clear, bright, and well-filtered.  In fact, it gleams like a glass full of delicious rubies when it sits there in front of you, tantalizing and teasing with its off-white, healthy head.  The beer was very cold, so I couldn't get a lot of smell out of it, but there was definitely a sweetness and a healthy dose of hops.

Overloaded with delicious sweet, malty flavors, this beer has a thick, rolling mouth feel that belies its glittering red clarity.  And lest one fear that the sweetness overwhelms, be assured that a spicy, refreshing hoppiness balances the malt with a large friendliness that transforms this big beer into something seductively quaffable.  My mouth waters when I think of visiting the Gypsy, contributing to its positive effect on our community, and ordering a pint of the Imperial Red.  In fact, I tremor with terrible anticipation of the day that the keg runs dry and I'm forced to wait until Fall for more of this lovely stuff.  Really.  Don't go there and order this---leave it all for me!


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