A: Reddish, dark amber and this rich color is well coordinated by a medium latte-like foamy head.
S: Tree fruit and citrus fruit mingle well. A bit of a fall grain field, dry and then toasty.
T: Fruit sweetness quickly swirls into caramel sweetness, then leans out as a wave of hops oils roll in. First impression suggests big and chewy, but big hop profile does it's offsetting job. But don't be mistaken, this feels like a big brew, and it is. Lingering taste isn't as bitter as it is herbal and piney. A touch of heat underneath, but not overly so. Only picked up the cherry notes after reading others op's.
O: First, congrat's to Bell's for a very capable and worthy beer, to commemorate their 11,000 brew batch. The Imperial Red style allows massively complex malt build, that results in deeply complex group of flavorful grains. But the real show stealer is super wide volume of hops, with a crazy spread of regional/varietal/flavor types. Being a big fan of both Oracle and Hopslam, I am not surprised at how great I believe this beer to be. It certainly goes to eleven.
Pours clear with minimal tan head. In spite of the lack of foam, the bit that is there, doesn't mind hanging out for a while. Sporadic traces are left behind. Surprisingly effervescent.
Aroma is muddied as pine and citrus hops compete for the olfactories: neither is bright. Crystal malt sweetness is the balancing act of malt that ensues. Toast, light roast, and a booze round out the aroma.
Taste is sweet malts that are throttled back by a touch bitterness but huge alcohol in the finish. Here citrus, pine, and tropical fruit hop flavors are more distinguishable here.
Body is thick, almost syrup, almost cloying but it stops short. Carbonation is medium at best, hitting late. Drives towards drying the palate: juicy up front.
Bell's decided to make an incognito Batch 11000. Much better than 10000. I really like the taste as the hops shine. The alcohol might be a bit much but it does go to 11. Enjoy!
"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza." - Dave Barry