Today marks another first for our beer review column, a double red ale. To be sure we have given our rebuttal to why this red ale or that amber is worth your hard-earned dollar, but given the infrequency of finding one, we picked up a bottle of Bridgeport Brewing’s Kingpin.
Historically this beer style designation, much like the India Pale Ale, the Porter, and the Stout, and even the Brown Ale; is one of more. For a Double Red Ale, it usually means more hops to further scream “look at me”
Imperial or Double Red Ales have intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. Alcohol content is also very high and of notable character. They range from deep amber to dark copper in color and may exhibit a small amount of chill haze at cold temperatures The style may use any variety of hops. Though the hop character is intense it’s balanced with complex alcohol flavors, moderate to high fruity esters and medium to high caramel malt character. Imperial or Double Red Ales have a full body. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
"... a full-flavored, red-colored ale that uses a rarely-grown Willamette Valley Hop varietal
known as Liberty Hops from fourth generation hop farmer John Annen of Annen Bros. Farm in Silverton, Oregon. Jeff and his team of brewers also used rye and caramel malt leading to a unique flavor profile; triple-hopped for bitter aroma and a unique dry-hopped character."
Kingpin Double Red Ale starts out innocently enough with its ruby red clarity. Immediately it get’s comfortable and relaxes with an exceptionally strong, khaki-colored, white cap. And much like those annoying companions, it recedes slowly, leaving behind a ragged trail of lace behind.
Giving the glass a healthy swirl and generating some air into the glass we place it under our nose only to be inspired by aromas of sweet caramel, bitter pine and fresh cut grass.
Unlike some Double Red Ales, this one demonstrates what brewery produced this beer as the sensation of pine and green grass greets you before minor citrus and an overall sweet caramel maltiness show you the way to the door. Overall the beer has a medium weight to it and there is some, albeit minor, bitterness in the end.
Consider It. Red Ale and Double Red Ales are generally a hard sell to those who are really looking for an India Pale Ale. Top things off this beer, despite the amount of hops, feels like there should be so much more (hop aroma) in the nose. This beer should still be on the shelves if you want to seek out. If you happen across this beer on the we would definitely advise something like a BLT or chef salad.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
About the photos’ author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.