Red ales have been a tricky one for me in my history of beer drinking, but every so often I’m ready to take one on. This week I picked up a bottle of Speakeasy Betrayal. This Imperial Red comes at 8.2%–a deliciously strong brew sure to please or offend depending on your taste.

Betrayal pours a mahogany brown, which glows almost crimson in the sunlight. Accompanying this is the golden hued head that sits atop the beer nice and densely and holds the sweet scent of a variety of sweet malt and piney hops. The flavor itself is ranges in sweetness with caramel and biscuit malts, and subtle tropical fruit flavors between pineapple and orange. In turn, the mouth feel is a bit heavy, but this isn’t surprising for an imperial. Regardless it can easily be too much for those with a taste for crisp beers, since this one is almost syrupy with the hops remaining drowned out in the malt but contributing to an overall intense tangy character. Drink this alone, with red meat or with a snack of strong cheeses (i.e. blue, Roquefort) that take can take the edge off the beer.

This is a good beer from Speakeasy, but not one that I could easily continue drinking after the first several ounces. As it warms up, it gets thicker and halfway through the beer I was ready to grab a different kind. But if you’re craving a juicy red, you should definitely give this one a shot.

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