Beer Review: Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red

Oskar Blues began brewing G’Knight two years ago (at that time called “Gordon”) as a limited edition to honor Gordon Knight, the award-winning brewer at High Country, Twisted Pine, and Wolf Tongue. Knight, also a firefighter and helicopter pilot, died in 2002 while fighting forest fires.

G’Knight is a so-called “imperial red” — somewhere between a red ale and a double IPA. With a clear amber red color and creamy white foam, G’Knight looks much like a typical red ale. And with a strong aroma of hops and alcohol, it could be mistaken for a double IPA. Even with 60 IBUs, the malty sweetness and fruity hop flavors easily shine through the bitterness. Orange, pineapple, and mango flavors are prominent, giving the impression of fruit-flavored soda. With 8.7% alcohol by volume, though, G’Knight is anything but a soft drink, even if the alcohol is subtle and hard to detect. There are none of the harsh off-flavors sometimes associated with high alcohol beers. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, also strange for such a sweet beer.

Despite its strong flavor and high alcohol content, G’Knight is surprisingly balanced and easy to drink. The extreme hopppiness might not be for everyone, but fans of hoppy and malty beers should give it a try. Oskar Blues G’Knight earns an A- grade for pushing the boundaries of two traditional beer styles, much like Oskar Blues’ other brews.

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