Southern Prohibition Mississippi Fire Ant Imperial Red Ale

SPB has a good history with this blog. They produce pretty good beer (it's hard to really compete with the pure love that I heap upon Lagunitas) and I like to see new beers from them on the shelf. I'm not sure if the Fire Ant is supposed to mean that this is going to be a spicy take on the red ale or not, but I'm up for whatever experiment they want to try out.

The beer is a very deep red with brown added to make it not as red as many other reds might be. The white head boils away to an uneven layer on top of the beer with some big bubbles surrounded by legions of smaller bubbles. The aroma is bready yeast, some light grains, and little else. That's not really surprising - my experience with reds is that they tend to be very mild.

First sip is significantly more flavorful than I expected. It's heavy on the malt, but I think there may be some hops in there. The malt is all bready and stuff with kind of a bitter kick at the second half of the sip. BUT, a sip can really only tell you so much, and I need more information with a swig.

Tip-in is more carbonation that I had expected, but it's really only a moderate burn with the bready malt. The middle is more grainy with a bit of caramel stickiness as the carbonation becomes a sizzle at the top of the mouth and back of the throat. The finish is more bread with some citrus and pine hops that give it a bitterness that fades in the trail-off.

Bottom Line: Big on flavor and enjoyable.

3.75/5

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