31. Red Emperor Amber Ale

Posted: October 27, 2009 in Australian ales
Tags: , , , , ,

Red Emperor Amber Ale - BOTTLERed Emperor Amber Ale
Australian flag - small


Company info:
Fish Rock Brewery


Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.5%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$TBC

Label info: ‘Inspired by classic top fermented ales. Amarillo hops provide passionfruit aromas whilst warm fermentation creates complex fruity charactersitics. This is finished with a fine citrus note of cascade hops keeping the palate lifted throughout the lingering bitterness’ AND ‘This beer is created preservative free using the finest hops and malted barley’.

What the label really means: The label description has definitely intrigued me.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label has a shiny, metallic feel to it, and to good effect. It’s red and silver, and shows a small image of a mistress of the deep, a coquettish mermaid. The neck label, displaying the Fish Rock logo enhances the nautical feel of this beer and I really like it. My only problem with the label is the amount of text they have squished above the ‘Red Emperor’ text – it just looks a bit busy.


I give it a label rating of 7 out of 10.

AROMA: There’s a delicious cinnamon, wheaty smell wafting up from the glass. I am very keen to taste this.

Red Emperor Amber Ale - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – The amber ale pours out rather golden, with a tinge of red. It tastes spiced, sort of cinnamon, and it is really quite enjoyable, nay delicious. It reminds me of a beer that I can’t quite recall…I think it may be Samuel Adams but I’m not sure – I will have to review that one soon to be sure.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – This beer is definitely not as interesting from the bottle. It loses a lot of the interesting ‘spiced’ flavour I tasted in the glass, and it also tastes a little flatter.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6.5 out of 10.

A word from the wife: “Robustly fruity, and a bit too heavy for me”

She gave it a taste rating of 5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Give me something meaty, and something with a big, rich gravy sauce. Perhaps an osso bucco, or an Irish stew.

Best season to appreciate: Ordinarily with amber ales, I can only really appreciate them in the Winter months, however the Red Emperor with its genuine smoothness would really work all year round. I think this is helped by the light colouring of the beer.

All-nighter beer? I think so! Bring it on!

NEXT WEEK: Estrella Damm

  1. MrT says:

    Sounds great! Will have to give it a try if I see it about. Your Sam Adams deja vu moment may be due to the cascade hops used. It’s an American hop variety which I think is used in a few Sam Adams beers. Usually I find it adds too much of a fruity flavour. I was amused by their label tautology ‘top fermented ales’ – what will they think of next? Bottom fermented lagers?


    • BargeDave says:

      Good comments MrT, although in my experience a good dose of Cascade hops produce more hop flavour than I experienced with this beer. My suspicion is that they’ve used a small amount of this hop variety just to include it on the label. As a home-brewer with limited access to decent hops, I use Cascade hops in every brew I put together because I’m a big fan of the fruity bitterness which this variety produces.


      • MrT says:

        Thanks Davo, for your own observations on the use of cascade hops. My cascade hops comments were also based on my use of them in the home brewing arena. I put together a brew from straight malt extracts and using only cascade hops at all three stages – I remember it imparting a very ‘appley’ flavour which I wasn’t a fan of. Give me a good hallertau any day!


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Hi Mr T! Big fan of your work.
      Is this your first visit to the site?


  2. BargeDave says:

    I’ve only had it out of the bottle – will have to try one out of a glass. I found it quite drinkable and pleasantly bitter but without much hop flavour beyond the bitterness. I prefer the Wicked Elf or Crackenback ales reviewed previously but this is still quite good.


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