Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Red on Red Collaboration Ale

Red on Red Collaboration Ale is a project between Barrie, Ontario's Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery and Surrey, British Columbia's Central City Brewers + Distillers. The label on the 750mL bottle nicely marries the Monkeys' and Central City's emblems (a winged monkey and a woman on a bicycle). At a liver-rattling 9.5% alcohol and 80 IBUs, Red on Red is billed as an "Imperial Double-Red". There's a lot on the label about this being an "East Meets West" venture. As someone who comes from one of Canada's Atlantic provinces, I have to object to Ontario being referred to as Eastern Canada. The Maritimes and Newfoundland exist, you guys. And Quebec is huge!

It's a very attractive not-quite-clear ale that falls somewhere between ruby and amber. It pours with a thick and loose layer of tan head. There is a sweet and malty nose that has some copper notes and a vivid hops tail.

This ale is definitely a slow sipper that tastes every bit as forte as its 9.5%. It moves from sweet, warm, and slightly metallic to fiercely bitter hops 'n' booze.

This stuff is easily the most substantial, full-bodied red ale that I've ever sampled. If you're into strong and bitter, but tired of Imperial I.P.A.s, Red to Red provides a really excellent alternative. I haven't got a single bad thing to say about this brute, except that it appears to have been a one time deal. Really excellent work from two strong Canadian breweries.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.

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