Calusa “Imperial Dissonance” Imperial Brown Ale

Name: Imperial Dissonance
Brewer: Calusa Brewing (United States)
Style: Experimental Beer (Base Style: American Brown Ale)
ABV: 10.7%
Review Year: 2020

Imperial Dissonance is the bigger and more potent version of the Dissonance Brown Ale by Calusa Brewing of Sarasota, Florida. This “Imperial Brown Ale” is a complex beer that features coffee and Saigon cinnamon.


This beer is being evaluated as an Experimental Beer (34C) with the American Brown Ale (19C) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website. The “Imperial” version of an American Brown Ale is not defined explicitly in the current guidelines. Further, this “Imperial Brown Ale” is expected to have more intense qualities, including a higher ABV relative to the standard American Brown Ale, and may showcase additional characteristics from the coffee and cinnamon.


Murky amber-brown; thin head. The nose unveils a complex spice-forward profile, mainly of anise and cinnamon with light coffee, dried fruit, and cacao. Medium-full-bodied, moderately carbonated; light tannin quality. Rich caramel and anise flavors up front; supportive cacao, coffee, and orange marmalade. Moderate toasty bitterness; light creamy, lychee, and wood spice impressions in the aftertaste. No hot alcohol notes despite clocking in at 10.7% ABV; no raw qualities.


Imperial Dissonance is a rich, caramel- and spice-forward ale that showcased a plethora of aromas of flavors. Both coffee and cinnamon were noted explicitly and definitely contributed to the overall complexity of this “Imperial Brown Ale.” The cream-like impression noted complemented the other flavors and gave this beer a “soothing” quality. In the end, the toasty bitterness held everything else together, preventing this complex beer from becoming a hot mess. Excellent.


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