Beer of the Weekend #650: Oak-Aged Imperial Red Ale

I can’t think of a useful and pleasing way to weave tonight’s lead (lede), so I’ll do this:

(1) I sadly neglect my becker (Becker?) glasses.
(2) I’m using a becker glass to drink tonight’s beer.
(3) Tonight’s beer is Oak-Aged Imperial Red, brewed by the Madhouse Brewing Company of Des Moines, Iowa.

Madhouse beers were previously brewed in Newton, but, according to the DMR, production was moved to Des Moines earlier this year. Madhouse even opened a tasting room in DSM, too. (Madhouse’s website, though, seems to suck no matter where the brewery is located. It never was very useful, and right now it is a single page without any info about the brewery’s beers.)

Serving type: 22-ounce bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a ruddy, darkish amber into a becker glass. A little more than two fingers of dense, bubbly, light-tan head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving webs of lacing along the glass.

Smell: It is boozy with a lot of candy caramel and cherry licorice. The oak from the barrel-aging process, coupled with a light char, comes through as well. There are also aromas of earthy hops, toasted malt, burnt sugar, and strawberry taffy.

Taste: The first sip is boozy and complex. The flavor is syrupy, though the mouthfeel is not. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but the flavor itself is reminiscent of syrup. There are flavors of oak barrel char, candy caramel, cherry licorice, toasted malt, maybe a little molasses, and vanilla. The whiskey-like alcohol is noticeable and complementary, not overpowering; it provides a pleasant sting and warming sensation. The oak and char become more prominent as the beer warms.

Drinkability: This is very pleasing stuff and I am very happy that I still have a half-bottle left.

Fun facts about O-AIR:

-Style: It is classified on BA as “American Amber / Red Ale.”

-Price: $5.99/bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City.

-Alcohol content: 8.5 percent ABV.

-When I looked at the bottle at the store, my eyes were drawn to “650 ml.” (I’ll get to that in a second.) I thought, “That’s a weird size.” It’s larger than a half-liter bottle, but smaller than a 750 ml wine-style bottle. (Damn! I should have been a math major.) However, 650 ml is 21.979115-ounces. It’s basically a bomber. (If it truly is 650 ml, it is not a 22-ounce bomber.)

-On that note, can’t we switch to the metric system already? At least for the volume and weight of food and beverages? We can keep using miles and Fahrenheit — I like those — but can’t we switch to liters and grams and their milli- and centi- relatives? It would make thing so much easier. Case in point: the main volume listed on this bottle is “1 PINT, 6 FL OZ.” Why list two measurements, including one many are unfamiliar with, when you can use just one? It’s too confusing, which is why I’ve started looking at the milliliters. Anyway, this probably all boils down to the reason I was not a math major.

The Quiet Man’s grade: A-.

Popular Posts