This is a big and bold brew that pours almost black but more of a deep red/bronze when held to the light. On the nose, it’s slighly hoppy but with a distinct molasses sweetness that you get from a barley wine. The sweetness comes through on first taste with hints of raisin and caramel. You can detect the west coast hops in the background but they play more of a supporting role. The sweetness carries on and subsides somewhat in the finish where it gives way to a slight spruce-like hop. This is a rich and thick brew weighing in at 8.5% abv…a very unique imperial red that is fun to drink. Kudos to VIB for their originality and congrats for 30 years of great brews!