Thursday, December 22

Beer Review: 10 Barrel Brewing Precursor Imperial Red Ale


"Precursor is a harbinger of things to come. This Imperial Red is a multi-dimensional creation of malt, hops and barrel aging playing off each other. The finished complexity is enhanced by eight months of aging in bourbon barrels. Notes of grapefruit, bitter orange, dark caramel, and toasted bread purvey through this beer. Close your eyes, open your mouth, and let yourself wander.

10% ABV 85 IBU 750 ml bottle"


This is the Fall 2011 release, and is bottle #280 of 2600 bottles.

Appearance: (4.5)
- Huge light tan head.. many fingers over a very dark red/brown brew that is mostly clear. Slowly settled down to lace stuck all about the glass, and a thin 1/8" layer just resting. Very nice looking brew.

Smell: (3.5)
- Nice zesty citrus zing, light lemon, grapefruit.. all along a lightly toasty caramel malt, and subtle vanilla notes. Bit earthy and grassy as well. Some alcohol and liquor notes certainly present.

Taste: (4.0)
- Certainly a hoppy number. Lot's of zesty citrus and grassy hops here.. somewhat roasted caramel touch, and bready husky grain. Grain bill actually seems somewhat light, and is in great harmony with the barrel wood, and bourbon notes. Certainly a nice bourbon vanilla kick. Overall not bad, and is rather bitter. Little medicinal and sharp with alcohol.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Lighter bodied than I had expected, though still a medium bodied brew. Certainly drying from the bittering hops.. slightly chewy, and puckering. Kind of zaps the tongue with a zesty, spicy, herbal flare.

Overall: (3.5)
- The beer is certainly good, but a bit messy as of yet. I am guessing this beer would really come together over time, and perhaps even develop some better body. The hops may calm down a bit, and the vanilla oak notes would really come forward while calming down the medicinal alcohol character. But a very good beer, and the price of roughly $13 for a 750ml bottle is quite nice.

3.78/5 rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)


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