I have a hard time passing up Imperial Red Ales (or Red IPAs, or Hoppy Amber Ales, whatever you want to call them). I’ve said it before on here, this is probably my favorite style of beer and I am always on the lookout for a new or exciting offering in this style. So when this beer caught my eye (and with a typical Clown Shoes label how could it not?) I knew I had to go for it.
Beer Name: Evil Crawfish
Brewer: Clown Shoes
Style: Imperial Red Ale
Description: Described as a cleaned up version of one of their previous beers, dry hopped with Citra, El Dorado, and Mosaic. I lost track of the exact bottle date, but I do remember it being consistent with the announced November 2015 release date.
Pour Info: Poured from a refrigerated 22 oz. bottle into the snifter glass.
Appearance: Dark caramel/amber brownish body with a quick to dissipate foamy off white head.
Smell: Lightly sweet and bitter hops.
Taste: Very similar to the smell. Bitterness comes mostly upfront and is pretty much an equal mix of pine and citrus. A bit of malt sweetness picks up on the finish but over the beer is decidedly more hoppy than malty.
Mouth Feel: Medium bodied like you’d expect out of an IPA with just a touch more carbonation.
Hype Factor: No hype, but I do tend to look for a very particular flavor profile when picking up this style. Just my own preferences on this one I guess.
Overall: I found this beer to be good, but not necessarily great. As an IPA, it has a flavor profile I think a lot of hopheads would enjoy and it’s $6.99 price point certainly makes it a good deal. However, I am picky with this style and would have preferred a more assertive caramel malt presence, even if it meant dialing back the hops just a little bit. Different strokes for different folks. Pick one up if you’re intrigued.