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John C. Tull's picture

Blood Orange Imperial Ale

March, 2017
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Blood Orange Imperial Ale is being evaluated as a Fruit Beer (2015 BJCP Category 29A). Alcohol and malt sweetness, possibly combining with yeast esters, produce a cherry and mild bubblegum aroma in this blood orange infused imperial-strength fruit beer. There is also a faint hint of lacquer or nail polish from the fusels in the alcohol, but that is very subtle and not distracting. The color is pale copper, and the beer is very clear with an off-white head. The flavor is also quite fruity, though the orange flavor is very complimentary and quite subtle in this strength of a beer. In fact, the orange is more along the lines of what you can find from the use of hops or that you might find in a mead made from orange blossom honey. The flavor has some malt graininess, a hint of caramel, and a good deal of residual sweetness. Additionally, there is a pithy, almost woody quality. This beer has a medium-full body with some heat from alcohol that lingers. You can immediately tell that this is a strong beer, as noted in the aromas, flavor, and alcoholic heat. The ferment is very clean, and it all combines quite nicely in a way that does not at all scream "orange beer". Given its strength and its sweetness, this beer would make an excellent dessert beer to compliment chocolate, cake, chocolate cake, or anything sweet. Like most well-brewed strong beers, it would also be an excellent closer beer for a fun evening.