The Imperial IPA - Flathead Lake Brewing Company

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The Imperial IPA
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very good

35 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 35
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 8.4%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flathead Lake Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: biboergosum on 08-06-2010

73 IBU

Formerly known as Roy's Imperial IPA and IPA² .
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 11
Reviews by Jellopants356:
Photo of Jellopants356
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's a nice amber color with a little cloud. Thin white head with medium lacing. Smells of citrus and a pleasant amount of hops and some pine. Also, the alcohol smell is very little even with the relatively high 8.6% ABV. Strong body of hops with a nice bite and more pleasant citrus notes. Great mouthfeel. Smooth yet fizzy enough to excite the palate. Overall, quite good. This is the first I've had (or seen) from Flathead but it's definitely on of the best IPA's I've had in awhile.

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Rhino in Missoula, where the tap made the name out to look like "IPA ~2", as in "IPA Squared".

This beer appears a slightly hazy medium golden amber hue, with one finger of light foamy off-white head, which renders a thin solid wall of lace around the glass as it fades away. It smells of creamy caramel malt, and orange/grapefruit citrus hops. The taste is the aforementioned citrus hops up front, a latent dose of toffee malt, and a somewhat medicinal alcohol warming. The carbonation is moderate, the body full, creamy, and smooth, and it finishes with a warm, floral fruitiness.

A decently (but not exactly exponentially) hopped-up IPA - however, the booze needs to be better integrated, to aid in the overall enjoyment factor.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Medium amber with some orange around the edges. A small film of off-white head formed with good lacing.

S - Fresh geapefruit, pine and a slight caramel malt sweetness.

T - Big bitterness up front with grapefruit, pine and some orange peel notes. A slight honey/caramel malt sweetness is present in the background but the hops definitely dominate.

M - Medium body. Slightly creamy. Lots of hop oils. Light carbonaiton.

Photo of Flathead_Monster
4.66/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Simply put, the best IPA made in Montana. This one is a blast of hops up front, but mellows out a bit as you drink it. Just the right amount of malt/hop balance. The hops linger a while and are dominant in the flavor. The malt isn't overwhelming, but present for a good balanced beer. One of Montana's best brews.

Photo of EricCioe
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a full, clear red gold with a frothy head and some lace. On the nose there is a nice mixture of mango and grapefruit rind, not overwhelming by any means. In the mouth there is bitterness up front, but refined, with the fruits coming out along with an alcohol note, surprising given the relatively low abv. There is some malt below decks, maybe toffee? The body is medium thick with a finish long on the alcohol, again surprising to me.

Overall, this is a nice effort from a pretty unknown brewery, a bit boozy but not bad.

Photo of archyquaffer
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A moderate pour from a bomber into a shaker pint produces a one inch chunky, sticky, off-white head. The beer is a pale amber with a touch of haze and low carbonation.

The aroma if fairly delicate but wafts grapefruit, blood orange, pineapple, and a touch of juniper. A piney, floral bitterness is more apparent in the flavor itself but the beer isn't batshit crazy bitter. Citrus pith notes linger on the tongue. The mouth feel is palpably creamy, and is helped along by the lingering head. I don't really taste alcohol beyond perhaps a spicy bite.

This is perhaps a toned down (hopwise) Imperial IPA, but still showcases hops more than English style examples. I'm beginning to note this as a characteristic of inland northwest pale ales and IPAs, and this is a good example. Borderline excellent and well worth a try. I believe I paid 4-something for the bomber at Hennessey Market, Butte, Montana.

Photo of JEdmund
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Translucent orange glow; nearly no head formation or retention

Surprisingly sweet aroma, but certainly a big American hop kick. If I’m not mistaken, based on the label, this beer is all Cascade hops. So familiar territory but still enjoyable!

Flavor is definitely in “imperial” territory as both malt and hops are big. The malt sweetness is just a tad too much for me for the style, but it’s a minor quibble really. Those Cascade hops are definitely vibrant and noticeable still. Leaves a good lingering bitterness in the finish. Getting a lot of apricot fruit flavor throughout. Malts are thankfully not too sugary or caramely.

Body and carbonation are spot on. Not too heavy and just the right amount of carbonation to keep this one light and going down.

A fairly textbook example of an American double IPA, which is a compliment. It doesn’t necessarily wow me like others have, but I have no real complaints either. It’s enjoyable and certainly worth trying.

Photo of Sark
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

ABV 8.6%

Appearance- gorgeous light orange with a good two finger, frothy head, continually swirling bubbles

Smell- immediate notes of floral and citrus hop aromas that are tell-tale cascade, malt is hard to come by

Taste- malt found, very nice balance in favor of the bitterness, this isn't a stupidly hopped Imperial IPA as many other breweries are fond of doing and it still works well, alcohol finish is almost completely indiscernible if you aren't looking for it

Mouthfeel- medium body, smooth and palatable, not watery at all

Overall- I would almost call this sessionable if it didn't give such a kick in the head after a 22 bomber. Is it an "Imperial"? Perhaps not by everyone's definition, but who cares, it's good stuff!

Photo of BillRoth
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the chance to have both The Imperial IPA standard on tap and on nitro tap as well. I thought the nitro not only made for a very nice creamy mouth feel (as expected), but the smoothness better brought out the citrus, mango like fruit and hints of caramel. The hops were big, but didn't overwhelm the malt. It became a considerably more complex beer, and quite session able despite the characteristic higher ABV.

Photo of mentor
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bottle left over after GABF judging and given to me as a reward for my volunteer efforts. Pours a finger of dirty tan head over a clear copper liquid with marachino cherry tint. Smells pine, mint, pith, oranges, pineapple, and lightly of green onion and baby aspirin. Strong alcohol sting is mostly clean.

Tastes pine, grapefruit pith, lemon, mint, and green onion from hop flavor. Fairly clean hop bitterness mixes with strong alcohol sting. Wet malt sweet help the hop character from coming across as too strong. Resiny hop bitter cleans the finish and lingers deep into the aftertaste. Moderate carbonation and md-thick, that lightens in the finish due to cleansing alcohol. Glad I got to try this beer.

Photo of Florida9
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I believe I have the correct beer here. My bottle doesn't reference the "squared" next to the IPA and the ABV on my bottle is 8.6%, but considering the limited offerings from Flathead, I'm going to assume this is the correct beer.

A: Hazy light yellowish-orange in color. Forms a sizable off-white head that leaves a good bit of lacing on the way down.

S: Fairly aromatic: citrus, orange, and grapefruit with a bit of sweet smelling floral notes.

T: Starts off with a moderate sugary sweetness. Pale malts. Orange, grapefruit, some mild tropical fruit, and a little juicy fruit gum.

M: Medium bodied, with a slight slickness. Moderate bitterness. Medium carbonation.

O: A better than expected IIPA. The restrained alcohol level makes this one quite drinkable for the style while the lower malts and higher hop levels result in one of the more West Coast leaning beers I've experienced out of Montana.

The Imperial IPA from Flathead Lake Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.