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Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Strike Imperial Red

This Imperial Red is actually an Irish Red brewed by the Strike Brewing Company of San Jose. Strike is a

The aroma has some varied roasted and toasted malts reminiscent of an English ale. The flavor starts to follow the nose but then takes a turn into a metallic flavor that masks the malts. The metallic flavor does subside after a few sips which brings out the malts. The English malts with the light toffee and biscuit flavors finally come through. The mouthfeel is smooth with a medium body.

I found this at BevMo it has an ABV of 6.5%.

Overall, this beer is ok. I say that not necessarily because of flavor. Don't get me wrong, this brew is close to what an Irish Red should taste like.

What bothers me the most is this should not be called an Imperial Red. When I bought this, I didn't see the side story on the bottle that states its an Irish Red. If the beer is an Irish Red and not an Imperial Red, then don't call it an Imperial Red. When I think of Imperial Red I think of Lagunita's, Oskar Blues, Grand Teton, Epic, and other brews that have american malts and west coast hoppiness. I understand that beer styles and categories are loose and fluctuate, but there is a certain flavor profile one expects from something called an Imperial Red versus something called an Irish Red. I love a good Irish or English ale as much as a west coast amber. But if I want to buy either one, the beer should be labeled properly. Its a little bit my fault for not reading the side story, but the front label has 3 conspicuous words "Strike", "Imperial" and "Red".

That being said, this is a decent take on an Irish Red, although I believe the metallic flavor (which can be desirable) should be toned down a bit along with the carbonation. Not many California breweries are making an Irish Red, so its good to see the style being played with. I recommend you Try It.

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