According to Wikipedia, a Carrack was a three- or four-masted Portuguese sailing ship. Christopher Columbus even used one. More importantly, it is a beer made by the good folks at Mission Brewery. I’ll be honest- I got it mostly because of the pirate ship on the label…though I do like the product over there at Mission. Also, this is one of my favorite kinds beer: imperial red ale.
This is a HUGE beer (over-emphasis indented). At 10.2% abv, I expected a good time with this one. It poured a deep rich reddish-brown with a creamy cap of light off-white foam on top. That cap of head didn’t let much of the aromas out of the glass, until I broke it by sneaking a taste before smelling it. Despite the process being out of order, I always appreciate good head (*snicker…sorry).
The first thing on the smell was a sourness I did not expect from an imperial red. But that quickly gave way to a warm maltiness, with hints of brown sugar. On the taste, it hit the front of my palate with the sourness of the aroma that reminded me of a Belgian-style beer. But, like the aroma, that mellowed quickly to the warm maltiness I was looking for. There was also the mild sweetness from the brown sugar notes I detected on the smell. It finished mellow with a huge alcohol burn afterward.
I did enjoy this beer, but I think any abv over 10% is a little much.
Overall, I would rate this beer: