Archive for Imperial Brown Ale

8-4-1 Expedition Ale (Limited Release)

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , on May 5, 2010 by bumpcitybrews

It all started when the Redhook facebook page was having a “Name the Pig Keg” contest and the winner was to get a free t-shirt from Redhook.  I thought about a name for a minute or two and submitted my suggestion, “Hamhook”.  Suprisingly enough, there was an overwhelming positive response to the name , so they chose my suggestion for the new pig keg.  The Redhook rep contacted me for my info and while a t-shirt is a great prize, I was clever enough to finagle my way into setting up a one-on-one meeting with the Brewing Operations Manager, Kim Brusco at the Redhook Brewery in Woodinville.  I met with Kim early this spring and he was nice enough to give me a behind the scenes tour of the Redhook Brewery.  It is a huge brewery, yet the brewers still have the flexibility to be creative and brew small batches while at the same time brewing their larger batches.  Regardless of the size of the batch, each beer always turns out with the same consistency, creativity, and liquid goodness (as Redhook might say).  After the tour, we sat down and had a few beers and talked beer.  I had the 8-4-1 Expedition Ale and Big Ballard Imperial IPA (which is heaven in a bottle in its own right).

 THE BEER:

 A little bit about the Redhook approach for creating this Ale…

Hand crafted by 8 brewers working in 4 teams, this Imperial Brown Ale was developed from their individual recipes carefully blended into one distinctive ale.  Rich and flavorful, brewed with cherry wood smoked malts and brown sugar.

Bump City Brews thoughts…

Pour:  A dense tan head that rests on top of a copper-orange body with remarkable clarity.

Aroma:  My senses must have been off this day because I could only note a light malty sweetness along with a slight floral aroma.  I did detect the presence of alcohol aromatics in it as well.  As the beer came up to room temperature, some of the malt sweetness intensified, but it still wasn’t as forward as I would have expected being an Imperial Brown Ale. 

Taste:  Full bodied, sweet maltiness with brown sugar combined with a touch of roasted malt and finished smooth with a kiss of honey and a lasting bitterness that stayed with my palate with some time after.  Out of the four specialty malts listed on the Grain Bill, I was able to distinguish the Caramel (sweet), Munich (Bready), and Chocolate, but not any of the smoked malts (which isn’t a bad thing). 

Overall:  The amount of Belgium sugars and malt used in this beer could have made this beer cloying, but the hop bitterness and the extra edge from the roasted malts made it a complex and balanced ale.

Would I buy more of it:  Yes, I have another bottle sitting with my private stash.  This one is sure to age well and more character will develop as it ages.  I might detect more malt aroma from aging as well.  This is a great beer brewed by a group of great brewers.

Vintage:  2009

BEER FACTS:

Name:  8-4-1 Expedition Ale (Limited Release)

Style:  American Style Imperial Brown Ale

Brewery:  Redhook Ale Brewery

City:  Woodinville, WA

Country:  USA

Container:  22 oz Bottle

Malts:  Pale, Wheat, Munich, Caramel, Chocolate, and Smoked Malt   

Hops:  Alchemy, Cascade, Willamette, Crystal, and Sterling

ABV:  9.5%

IBUs:  55

Date:  4.29.10

Advertisements