From The Brewery
Name Origin: Like vampires (most especially, the notorious German vampire from the 1920s film era), this beer has a bit of a reputation as “the Beer with the Bite.”
Style Origin: American red ale has its origin in the earliest days of the American craft beer revolution. Faced with a dearth of traditional English ingredients, brewers had to use American ingredients. Imperial or double red ales grew out of this medium-bodied style and emerged with intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma.
Flavor: Highly hopped and rich with flavor, yet remarkably balanced
Harrington 2-Row Base Malt: Allows color and flavor from other specialty malts to come through; makes for very clean beer
Crystal 77: Contributes to reddish color and adds slight aroma and flavor; contributes great deal to body of beer
Special Roast: Contributes subtle hints of toasty and biscuit flavors
Simcoe: Unique, non-traditional bittering hop; provides high levels of bitterness with smoothness
Cascade: Popular in American pale ales; provides citrusy/grapefruit aroma and flavor; complements heavy malts
Style: Imperial Red Ale
Family Status: The reclusive uncle (very reclusive)
Appearance: This beer poured a nice striking ruby blood red with a half inch thick white head with fine carbonation that left beautiful lacing all the way down; this is a beer with legs.
Smell: Candied apples up front, moving to a sweet toasty malt. There is a bit of earthy hops and yeast/alcohol esters.
Taste: A full flavored toasty malt beer. Reminds me of a bold/imperial Oktoberfest, with a bit more roast. A nice hop appears at the end of the sip, and leaves a dry toasted malt sweetness. As it warms, more yeast comes through, moving to nice fruit esters with a little brown sugar.
Mouthfeel: The creamy head gives this medium to full bodied brew a nice flow; active carbonation is a nice touch.
Drinkability: Medium to low. A potent brew that sneaks up on you.
Notes: A great Halloween beer – it seems to be a red, imperial oktoberfest. Very enjoyable. Look forward to one again next year. I have never found a less than stellar beer from Great Lakes; keep them coming!