I must admit, I had never heard of an Imperial Sparkling Ale prior to rolling on this 22 of Compass Imperial Sparkling Ale. The contradictions in the name, “imperial” and “sparkling” in the same breath, definitely piqued my interest and demanded a tasting.
This beer has a bright, amber appearance similar to a farmhouse ale or saison (tis the saison…no?…ok), and the aroma was expectedly fruity and floral. To build on the contradiction theme here, I realize that I have now mentioned notes of fruit in 100% of my reviews up to this point after clearly admitting, “I’m not usually one to pick up on the fruity notes of a beer.” I used up all of my apologies in the first post, so you’ll have to settle for those if you’re feeling slighted.
The taste of this beer reminds me of a slightly maltier, biscuity champagne. If you wanted to drink this before noon, you could probably mix it with some OJ and rock it mimosa style, simultaneously angering both wine and beer snobs! Hooray!
All things considered, it was a welcomed change to find Compass Imperial Sparkling Ale in my local supermarket alongside the thick, sludge-like stouts and porters customary for the winter season. The 9% ABV is well hidden by the fruity, floral flavor, so tread lightly when imbibing this beverage at company Christmas parties or anywhere else you may need to behave yourself.
- Appearance: Light amber
- Aroma: Citrusy, floral
- Flavor: Fruity and crisp
- Mouthfeel: Light, similar to champagne
- ABV: 9.0%
- Size/Price: 22 oz. / $7-$9
- Score: 83