Profiled for The Professor by Ken Carman
88@BA, 91@BA, 8.5 abv.
“Red” Thunder? More like deep brown at best, even black. Head fades very fast. Pillow with a very few small rock bubbles. Clarity good with some garnet highlights, mostly hidden by the deep brown.
Their web site says Baltic Porter. Sort of. Does seem close, but Imperial Brown aged in wine barrel seems closer.
Deep caramel malt nose with hops background. Nose promises malt complexity. A lot of chocolate nose: probably chocolate malt.
Mouthfeel: medium body with just a slight sense of roasted barley. Munich malt too. Caramel malt provides depth. Nice full body. Excellent malt profile.
Taste: malt, heavy on the malt side, balance right for an Imperial Red.. Hops provide strong, very, very, background bitter. According to them back label this is a bounce off of a Porter, which explains the body and the color. There’s a wine sweetness that helps provide plenty of pleasure to the quaff. Malt complexity is there, but in the background. Wine sweetness is first, then malt, hops behind that: just a soft bitter. Just a hint of wood barrel.
I cannot rate this as Red, or Porter. More a Specialty with some of both with an Imperial sense on Red side and malt Imperial Brown then add a strong, woody, wine barrel sense to top it off.
I can’t bash it for style, it’s SO good. Excellent at a 4.