Vancouver Island Brewery -Thirty Years Imperial Red Ale: Recently celebration 30 years in the business, this Vancouver Island Brewery is known for making pretty good beer so I was excited to pick up their 30th anniversary release which was an Imperial Red Ale brewed at a strength of 8.5% and was poured from a 22oz bottle at home on Star Wars Day (since this beer had a lot of Force to it).
Aroma and Appearance: It pours a dark mahogany colour with a good inch or more of foam with little visible carbonation beyond the top and has a spruce-like hop aroma with some citrus and malt.
Flavour: Lots of toffee, raisin, molasses and a bit of a subdued classic red ale malt like flavour from the specialty malts. It finishes nicely with a mild bitterness and a lingering pine like aftertaste. As it warms, the flavour deteriorates a bit, so don’t sip this one too slow.
Overall Impression: I think they delivered quite nicely on this one and I hope it leads to more smaller batch releases in 22oz bottles (so please buy it!!!). It hits you pretty hard on the booze level, however the alcohol remains fairly hidden until you stand up and try take a few steps in a straight line. Very good flavour combo, I enjoyed this one a lot.
Rating: I give it a 8/10 as in excellent due it having some good complexity to it, being balanced yet interesting and packing a decent punch.
Food Pairing: I like to pair red ales with authentic Irish cheese, sadly I had none to do so.
Do you think this is worthy of being their 30 year release? What did you think about it?