Smog City Brewing Company
California Love Imperial Red Ale (Brewed With Orange Peel, Grapes & Oak)
American Amber/Red Ale
Finger worth of heavily dimpled dark tan foam, big quantity of larger bubbles, average retention, the lacing able to form both broad and long streaks. The liquid is a clear reddish brown, touch too dark to appreciate the transparency, few visible bubbles. You get a great deal of cocoa, malt to the nose, caramelized brown sugar, charred oak and then it veers into a dank herbaceousness, the orange peel appears with some clarity yet there's not many distinct fruit scents, seems reliant on making a big impression via oak and malts. Full-bodied, gluey in texture yet also dry enough to shorten the finish appreciably. Weak carbonation, contributes to slow pacing. Sugary sweet due to an array of molasses, oak and chocolate flavors, in the end though the sour pucker wins out. The hops not as overtly green as in the nose yet a major hue on the palette. Vanillin accents at the end, the citrus remains muted. There's a lot going on but it seems crammed together with the intent of making a big impression. Lost my interest by the end of the bottle.
3 out of 5