Annex Ale Project Great Leap Forward Imperial Red IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.2% ABV

Annex Ale Project Great Leap Forward Imperial Red IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.2% ABV | 75 IBU (C$7.98 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, packaged on 5-Sep-2017, acquired 23-Sep-2017, reviewed 24-Sep-2017)

Appearance: hazy red-tinged deep amber with two fingers of fluffy beige head, excellent retention, heavy chunky lacing. (5/5) Aroma: toffee, boozy toasted malt, citrus, pine. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Medium slightly slick body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Ooookay then… I’d love to have been a fly on the wall during the meeting where it was decided that the greatest mass murder in history would make a cool beer name. (About 30-45 million dead. Look it up. Not to mention, the failure it represented probably directly led to the Cultural Revolution and another 30 million dead.) There’s been a little push-back against certain Russian Imperial Stout names for similar insensitivity, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see this go a little sideways too. Not to mention, “Imperial Red IPA” isn’t actually a formally recognized style (though I’ve had one or two with such an appellation in the past, e.g. Amager Bryghus’ Linda The Axe Grinder). So, after all that verbiage, I’ve still said nothing about the beer. Well… it’s actually pretty decent – probably the best I’ve had by them. Almost as good as Linda, in fact, though it gets there in a different way: it looks better, but doesn’t smell or taste quite as good. But it’s smooth, and though it’s slightly boozy on the nose, there’s little warning that it’s going to sneak up on you and whack you in the back of the head. That said, I’ll forgo further comparisons to mass murder… (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze

2 replies on “Annex Ale Project Great Leap Forward Imperial Red IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.2% ABV”

Hi Ryan,

Thank you for addressing the name of the beer. On reflection, the name “Great Leap Forward” is poor taste on our part. Our love for Billy Bragg blinded our sensibility to address such a horrific campaign. Thought I would mention that this is not something we take lightly. More empathy will be practiced while choosing names.


Well, it’s not like I was offended or anything – more just a bit startled, is all. I can certainly understand how difficult it is to come up with names these days, and there are certainly worse influences than Billy Bragg.

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