Insanely Bad Elf Imperial Red Ale
Insanely Bad Elf
Imperial Red Ale/
Ridgeway Brewing, United Kingdom
IBU's: ? (I would guess 20)
Okay, so this beer review is a few weeks late since it's now January and this is a Christmas beer. But Hell, who cares. Beer is beer, drink it whenever you want. Plus, it's still cold as shit, so I can drink a winter themed brew if I want.
This is the Insanely Bad Elf beer from Ridgeway Brewing out of the UK. I've heard they make several variations on their Bad Elf theme, but this is the big daddy of the bunch. They call this an Imperial Red Ale, but considering it's high-proof and winter theme, it's also a bit like a Winter Warmer, but its taste and massively awesome 11.2% ABV makes it more like a Barley Wine. So which is it? Imperial Red? Winter Warmer? Or Barley Wine? Personally, I would say it fits all three categories, but those are just labels regardless. What really matters here is the brewwwww.
Insanely Bad Elf comes with a drunk ass elf in a straight jacket on the label. So far so good. Not that I usually drink to get drunk, but a little holiday cheer (if you know what I mean) when Santa stole all the money from your bank account to buy your family and kids presents never hurt anybody. It pours an extremely clear, light copper color, with a head that is damn near impossible to get even when pouring in a completely wrong way that would make a normal beer foam up all over your counter top. There are aromas of light malts, sweet fruits (berries), toffee, maple, and quite a bit of alcohol. You take a swig and get hit with in-your-face sweet malts, malts, and more malt, a taste of almost golden raisins and figs, with a boozy, lingering malty finish. There are no discernible hops here, just a malty, boozy glass of holiday cheer that Santa needs every once in awhile when he's stuck staying up late putting together children's toys only to be awakened a few hours later by, "Santa came!!! Look at all the presents!!!"
This beer isn't great tasting (it's good, not great) or balanced, or anything normally associated with a decent beer. But, considering it's a holiday brew, I'll let all that slide since it's still a beast of a beer..
Drink This: if you need a malty glass of boozy, sweet, high-proof sunshine on a cold, winter day.
Don't Drink This: if it's hot outside. Even though you can do whatever you want and drink this in 100+ degree weather, I think it's the polar opposite of what I would prefer to have. If on the other hand, you're in need of holiday cheer or something to help get you through Thanksgiving dinner with your in-laws and extended family, here you go... drink up.