Knucklehead Imperial Red Ale is a 22 ounce bomber style from Rhinegeist’s Rarity series. Coming in with a less modest 7.70% ABV, which is higher than most other Rhingeist offerings but in line somewhat with their one offs, Knucklehead is a pretty decent Irish style red ale, and something I wouldn’t mind chugging at the Renaissance Festival in October. The beer pours a nice, fiery red color with a brownish foam head that dissipates quickly. Like most ales, this beer finishes with a malty sweetness. However and unlike most ales, it also has a really nice hop balance to it.
The Imperial side of this beer brings in the medium body mouth feel, but unlike most Imperials (and because of Ohio liquor laws) the smell doesn’t hold that overpowering booziness that others do and is a few points lower in ABV than those anyway. There is a lot of mango/pineapple here, and a caramel nut flavor. I think though with an ABV closer to 10% this offering would better earn its “Imperial” moniker, but until the folks in Columbus loosen up a little, this will have to do.