Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Imperial Red Ales — Port Brewing vs. Yakima Craft Brewing

Port Brewing Shark Attack
Double Red Ale

ABV 9%

Hazy orangish brown.
Burnt brown sugar, strong medicinal notes.
Thick, intense blast of floral honey and burnt molasses.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Sweet and intense metallic bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):

Yakima Craft Brewing
Imperial Red

ABV 6.6%

Clear brownish ruby red.
Aroma: Sweet roasted malts.
Flavor: Sweet, malty, molasses and honey.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Malty
Finish: Same as flavor with a touch of bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Mediocre

Winner by unanimous decision
: Yakima Craft Brewing.
In perhaps the upset of the year, the young, upstart Yakima Craft Brewing stunned the established veteran, Port Brewing.

Regular readers might note that we have tried a lot of red ales thus far. We do admit to being intrigued by red ales, since stylistically they can run the gamut from hop bombs to malt monsters. In our experience, west coast red ales tend to fall on the hoppier side, but that was not the case with these two. As a matter of fact, we felt that both of these beers definitely fell more on the sweet and malty side of beer styles and we weren't really impressed by either of them.

The Yakima Imperial Red had a much nicer red hue which was the first blow to the murky brown looking Shark Attack. Neither beer had a great aroma, but the Shark Attack was just plain nasty — somewhere between burnt sugar and burnt tires. So, with the aroma, the Yakima Imperial won not because it was great, but because it was inoffensive. This same scenario was played out in the flavor and the finish as well, with the Shark Attack being way out of balance and the Yakima being somewhat pedestrian, but certainly a lot better than Port Brewing's offering.

Honestly, we can't recommend either beer. We'll give the Yakima Craft Brewing company a pass since they are newer to the scene and perhaps finding their legs. As for the Port, they should know better. Their 9% monster gains the distinction of being our first non-tainted beer to be rated "Bad." Intense bitterness coupled with intense maltiness turned out to be intensely off-putting.


  1. Holy Crap. I can't disagree more. I love me some Shark Attack. Makes me want to just curl up in the corner and melt into the night. YUM.


  2. ICHB-

    You must have some manly taste buds, because the Shark Attack absolutely obliterated ours. But hey, the less we drink of it, the more that's available for you. Melt away!