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Imperial IPA | Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
42 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
221
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
24.62%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
42
For Trade:
0
Imperial IPAImperial IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ArrogantB on 06-02-2013

User Reviews
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 221
Photo of beercam
4.82/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I live right next to this brewery and so in my review I am very biased. I'd suggesting buying a 4-pack, not the pricey big stovepipe.It is brewed with South American (Chilean, Argentinian?) hops and boy am I glad for that. I can already feel myself beginning to think and talk with a suave silky South American accent. The ladies love that, right?

This beer is beautiful. An explosion of hyphy, fluffy, honey-colored foam forms a head that lingers, and is contintually maintained by a relentless, very very fine, yet energetic carbonation which regenerates the head sip after sip for the entire drink's duration. Yeah, we're in business here folks. Otherwise, the liquid itself is mainly transparent, a little over-filtered, but radiantly shining with a proud, rich, orange-y bronze. Again, please listen; this beer is gorgeous. And I mean the glowing, snow-laden, peak of jagged, extreme, dramatic form kind of gorgeous. It's borderline sublime in its appearance, and deserves massive kudos as such. What else might you expect from Boulder?

Smells like an on-point, a-list, west coast IPA, but twisted with something very unusual. Familiarity mixed with a certain foreignness. But, be it single, double, triple, imperial, hops from New Zealand, black; the hops in this beer is competitive, relevant, and redolent, and blended extremely tastefully among the yeasty, malty, grainy aromas that waft forth, generously and harmoniously.

Taste is equally high quality and quantity here. This is an aggressive, grandiose, over-the-top, argumentative brew that commands audience to its characteristics. The flavor/taste is no exception. Grapefruity, coniferous, spicy, with a hint of astringency and thunderous avalanche of alcohol, unlike anything else. See feel for back-bone tones. The taste here rides on the unique, rather foreign hops it seem. But hey, I think transporting hops from country to country, if done by renewable fuels, could be a boon to the brewing business, based on this beer's taste.

This beer feels electric on the palate. The hops zip, zap, pop, and dance from the start, while the malted barley, after a quaint delay, steps in to offer a steady, masterful, artful, perfected flow of smoothness, body, and flavor delivery - tell-tale signs of grains treated and boiled with care, vision, and precision.

If I could italicize here, I'd do so with the word great, in order to describe this very special Imperial IPA. A top 10, maybe top 5, bold and unique contender for the best of the style.

Compare to: Not many, honestly, as the hops are unmatchable, but, Deviant Dale's, Maybe Dale's Pale, Dogfish 60/90, perhaps Alameda's Yellow Wolf, Ninkasi's total dom, Bear Republic's big IPA's, Green Flash's heavier stuff, Lagunitas' IPA, New Belgium's Rampant, Sculpin if you're a sissy, Avery's Double and Imp IPA's, probably anything hoppy from Victory, Stone's double/imperial stuff, Fremont's Imperial......

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Photo of Liveupthere
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Loved this beer, especially from the large can. Great feel in the mouth, not too chewy. Especially for an I-IPA. The taste notes included citrus, raisin, and pine. Closest thing to Heady Topper I've found from a can. Careful! The over sized can and the ABV will sneak up on you!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.69/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I CANnot get over just how many craft CANs are available in Colorado! If you are looking for a trade or if I owe you from a previous CANTrade (TM), let me know as I am going to have a plethora available shortly.

From the CAN: "Hand-Crafted Beer"; "Robust, Hoppy, Generous"; "Ingredients [-] Snowmelt[,] Malt[,]New Zealand Hops[,]Yeast[,]"; "Specs [-] Hand-Crafted[,]Aluminum CAN[,]Portable[,]Recyclable[,]Good"; "Why CANs? We package our beer in Aluminum CANs because it's good for you, the beer, and the environment."

What a great Crack & Glug! The room suddenly seemed scented with hops. An aggro Glug later and I was facing a dense finger of tawny head with good retention. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was redolent with caramel, minty hops and an alcohol heat/burn. My nose hairs suddenly disappeared! Mouthfeel was that of a big, solid dollop of goopy, gloppy beer on my tongue. Taste was intensely hoppy, very very minty, initially, followed by a wash of caramel. Finish was a like a minty caramel and if it weren't such a spendy beer, I'd have bought a bunch more.

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Photo of blindtiger24
4.65/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

19.2oz imperial can poured into a pint glass.

A: Light orange / copper color with soapy, sticky head and tiny, active carbonation bubbles. Head is resilient and carbonation slows down over time, but is still visible and pokes up through the off-white head.

S: Lots of citrus with noticeable pineapple and mango aromas. The piney, dank, earthy hop aromas are there but in the background.

T: Fruit forward flavors, again pineapple and mango most noticeable. Biscuit and esters set up a contrast of incredible peppery blast and huge dank, earthy, salty hop bitterness.

M: A full-bodied beer that provides fruit sweetness and spice from the hops and relief from the malt. A bit drying from the bitterness, but the carbonation helps lighten up the mouthfeel.

O: Love the imperial pint and it proves that huge, complex, and impressive beers can be canned. The imperial IPA style can be hard to judge between competitors, but I think Upslope has created a true rival to Deviant Dale's. An excellent beer. I would love to try it on tap.

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Photo of mcflypie
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden, almost syrupy in color. A little lacing.

S: Sweet, passion fruit odor. Hoppy smells galore no doubt.

T: Tropical fruit notes and hoppy/malty tastes. Like Fruity Pebbles, but hopped out.

M: Lively and citrusy IPA. Delicious.

O: A refreshing Tropical Imperial IPA. A classic here in Boulder, CO. Long Live Upslope!

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Photo of SavvyStudent
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: golden color with solid lacing and minimal carbonation visible. Small head on pour.
S: very strong American hop characteristics. Grapefruit and citrus brightness that is really awesome and potent.
T: grapefruit, hoppiness and citrus strong on the front.
M: bright with light mouthfeel and little carbonation.
O: they did a great job keeping this DIPA fresh and bright with all the flavored you look for in an IPA. The traditionally mouthfeel of many CO beers is left out in this beer. I was hesitant to buy just another CO beer but this brewery surprised me and worth a buy if you find it.

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Photo of emyers
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

19.2 oz can poured into Dogfish Head IPA glass. Don't see a canned on date anywhere.

Appearance: Pours clear amber with a fluffy 1 inch off-white head. Good head retention.

Smell: Very pungent hop aroma - citrus and grapefruit dominate along with some floral qualities and pine. Just a hint of caramel malt sweetness in there, but hops definitely take over. Very nice.

Taste: Similar to smell - big grapefruit hop presence, tangerine, floral. Some tropical fruit that I wasn't picking up in the aroma. There's a hint of sweetness from the caramel malt to balance it out but flavor-wise this is all hops. Just a tad bit of alcohol heat on the finish along with bittering hops. Overall, very very clean flavor profile that really shows off the hops.

Mouthfeel: Excellent. Clean, crisp, medium to high carbonation level keeps the hops popping.

Overall: Outstanding showing from Upslope. Hangs with some of the top DIPAs in the business.

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Photo of obrike
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one was pointed out to me by my beer guy at Round Rock Specs. Delivered fresh off the truck...can was still cold as I took it off the room-temp shelf.

Nothing extravagant about the look. Kind of a honey yellow with a light, wispy head...no lacing to speak of.

Man, a great hop wallop to the nose. Very pronounced tropical fruit and some dank weed as well. Very nice hit to the nostrils.

Big tropical hoppy flavor...but complimented nicely by sweet syrupy malt. Delicious. This one coats the mouth wonderfully. A tiny bit of booze is felt, but come on, this is a 10 percenter.

Very happy to try a new uber fresh DIPA. Pick this up asap and enjoy the hop blast to the palette.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice two finger head that left pretty good lacing topped an orange-tan beer that was clear and had a few rising bubbles.

Aroma and flavor are quite nice, especially aroma, tons of sticky oily hops penetrate your nose like a fiery hop candle. The flavors are bold, but a bit more subdued than the aroma, with a somewhat hoppy skewed, yet balanced big beer. The hops have both soft fruity and sharp, resinous citric qualities. There's a bit of dank that accompanies the flavorful malt backbone of the beer, along with notable spiciness.

Body is medium and sticky with resinous hops and a bitter finish. Carbonation is on the money for what I would personally want, given the rest of the beer's qualities.

The flavors and aromas are complex, and Upslope has once again impressed me with their beer. Keep up the good work, and I'll keep buying your beer.

And I do like that it comes in cans. Mind you I either use commercial bottles for homebrew, or recycle. But for the general public, and the overall good of the planet, cans are very easy to recycle, are very good at keeping beer fresh, and are easier to store or transport than bottles. So for this reason, I am very hoppy that Upslope decided to invest in canning technology and infrastructure for their brewery.

Great Job! ;-)

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Photo of ISmith87
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

19.2 oz canned 1/23/2014 - almost 3 months old

A - 3.75 - nice copper color that's crystal clear with a white head that sticks a little bit. Not much lacing though. Nice alcohol legs.
S - 4.25 - Super nice sweet tropical fruits from the hops, caramel/bready malt in the background. Grapefruit, papaya, passionfruit, mango, orange.
T - 4.25 - Very sweet version of an IIPA. Lots of papaya, mango, passionfruit, orange, lime, tangerine, grapefruit and pine but less than other ipas. Some people say this one is really dank, I'm not getting that so much as LOTS of tropical fruit flavors.
M - 4.25 - Nice, light mouthfeel. Could easily drink a few of these if they weren't 5.99-7.49/can (@#$%!@#%$). Alc dangerously well covered. Aftertaste is pine, grapefruit rind, pretty bitter but not devastatingly bitter.
O - 4.25 - This is a good imperial IPA. Compares well with the new recipe for Oscar Blues Gubna in my book. A smooth, citrus/passionfruit heavy IIPA.

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Photo of Rogerlb
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice clear copper, with a frothy head. Aroma is fresh citrus and hops. Very nice promise.

Taste is juicy and hoppy. Biscuit comes in and seems to step on the bitterness (doesn't feel like the claimed 90 IBU) so it's well under control. Pineapple, pine, and then the booze. 10% teasing you in the b.g., just enough to make you notice. Sticky yet malty, slow and nice finish is resiny, boozy, and a little murky. DIPAs sometimes go off the rails. This one is wobbling...

Like booze-soaked pinecone dipped in a pine cheesecake. Yeah it's different but compelling. Like a west coast IPA with something more, things almost out of whack, but nothing makes it go total south. User @Extol says "My girlfriend would hate this." Yeah I get that. But after finishing it off I think it's rather nice.

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Photo of akolb
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Tall boy can, BB 3/10/16, poured into a tulip glass after being allowed to warm up for some time.
Pours a somewhat hazy dark orange. Nice head.
Mango, pineapple, and citrus dominate the aroma. Very enticing.
Sweet fruitiness at front, with a moderate bitter finish and noticeable but not overpowering alcohol burn.
A tropical, well-balanced DIPA. The bitterness is there but it stays in the background, allowing the fruitiness to come through. Some may be turned off by the alcohol burn, but I felt that it make the beer nice and satisfying. Would definitely buy again.

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Photo of argock
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 19.2 oz tallboy can into a clear pinot noir glass. Best by May 02 2015 on bottom of the can.

A: Hazy gold with 2-3 finger, frothy, sticky, rocky off-white head with good retention and thick lacing bands.

S: Pine and minty, tropical fruit like pineapple and guava with lime citrus and solid light pale malt aroma. Alcohol is fairly hefty but not obnoxious. No yeast esters.

T: Great flavor with dense tropical fruit (mango, guava, pineapple), pine, minty, and limeade hops character with heavy pale malt backing. No yeast character and smooth warming alcohol. Bitterness is medium-high. Excellent flavor profile and really unique.

M: Fairly heavy, I wonder if this would be a little better with a somewhat lighter body and ABV in the 8.5% range, but there is nothing wrong with the feel. Body is medium-full with medium carbonation.

O: Great tasting imperial IPA. I did not have high expectations after trying their very disappointing regular IPA but this was really a good, if slightly heavy bodied IIPA. Very unique and complex flavor profile with excellent range and intensity. Give it a try for sure but be ready for a bit of a boozy, hefty beast.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An Imperial pint tall-boy can, procured on a Whole Foods run, on the first day of Denver Beer Week, last week, and a tad dear for the single, at that. I do like the typically spare ingredients list, only here the first item is 'snowmelt'. Gnarly.

This beer pours a clear medium golden amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, frothy, and ultimately bubbly pale beige head, which leaves a broad swath of metal t-shirt imagery lace around the glass as things take a header southwards.

It smells of sassy, somewhat musty citrus - sweet fleshy orange, underripe grapefruit, pineapple and kiwi - hearty biscuity, bready caramel malt, crystalline toffee, and further perfumed floral and pine resin hop esters. No real sign of the ABV as of yet. The taste is a mite bit more subdued - semi-sweet citrus cream, which does well to blend and obfuscate the individual fruits, caramel and toffee malt, some wet breadiness, a mild zingy, mint-suggestive spiciness, and back-nine leafy, woody, and pine needle hops.

The bubbles are rather understated, i.e. damned near flat, the body an adequate medium weight, and smooth, in that horror movie sense, where the tension tells you that something jarring is just out of range. It finishes off-dry, surprisingly clean, and teasingly hoppy.

A sort of strange bird for the style, but in a very good way. Everything on everybody's checklist is indeed there, but everything just feels, well, laid-back. Especially the full, nicely round 10 points of alcohol - where on God's green Earth did the brewer hide that? Wow - I found myself at times contemplating the quality of this unassuming APA (!!!). Anyways, a superbly rendered DIPA, nothing too extreme on either side of the proverbial aisle, and stupidly, inanely, and pleasantly easy to drink.

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber gold with a large head for 10%. Smells of sweetness and some light tropical fruits, pine. The taste is sweet, with some mango and citrus, followed by prolonged bitterness. Reminds me of a not as well balanced great lakes chillwave. Pretty good, the style has much better to offer though.

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Photo of beergoot
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lively carbonation rising through an amber body and producing a thick, creamy white head. A bonanza of hop aromas: melon, citrus, pine; very sweet smelling. Light malt character packed with juicy sweetness and an excellent hop bitterness; bright and bracing flavors. Smooth, medium body, dry finish.

Hops rule this one with immense aromas and light yet bracing bitterness. Malts and hops character combine it interesting, complex ways and do a fine job of masking the high ABV. Well-made and easily drinkable (especially if intense IPAs are your thing).

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Photo of mactrail
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Handsome amber color with a long-lasting head in the tall Maredsous goblet. Gardenia flowers and pineapple in the aroma. Spritzy and sharp on the tongue.

Rich and unctuous mouthfeel. Expansive flavors of mango and oranges with a touch of carrot juice. Moderately bitter but nowhere near as bitter as the typical West Coast overdose. Delicious malt taste with some acidity but not as hot as you might expect with all the alcohol. Totally drinkable with a fruity and just right bitterness.

Another New Zealand hop bomb, but a sensational plus-sized strong beer for serious sipping. One of the best DIPAs I've had, and this can is at least six months old. From the lanky 19.2 fluid oz can bought in Denver.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

19.2 oz can. Pours copper amber with a medium fluffy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is piney, resiny stinky hops (almost summit like, but not over the top) and some caramel malt.

The flavor is sweet bready malts and tropical fruits with a big piney, resiny hop finish. Pick up very slight summit hop off notes, but not much. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a solid DIPA. I'd buy it more in 4 packs vs big cans though.

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Photo of jpwilliamson
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bitter pleasure to drink. I love the can presentation and style...very Boulder. I'm psyched Upslope came out of the closet on this beer...this is what we want, what we need in a hoppy, HA, but drinkable pull. I've enjoyed 4 or 5 of these lovelies over the last few weeks and each were a pleasure. Just be sure you've not followed on by too many others as the 10% ABV will catch up with you quick...

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Canned, best before date of 03/11/16 (oops)

Appearance - Pours hazy and golden orange in color with an off-white, finger width head. Fair retention results in a thin, broken layer of surface suds.

Smell - Orange and deep caramel stand out in the aroma. Lesser grapefruit. Faint pine.

Taste - Follows the nose. Citrusy hop character backed by a strong, deep caramel backbone. Faint pine. Finishes bittersweet, with mild pith lingering in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth, slick texture with a slightly dry finish. Drinks amazing for a 10% brew.

Overall - Such a winning combination of citrus and caramel flavors. Despite being a little over a month past the best by date, the hops seem to have held up well. Obviously a fresher sample would've been preferred, and I hope to come across one some day for a re-review, but in my experience a beer this close to the 'best by' date isn't gonna change much except maybe an uptick to the strength in hops.

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Photo of SamN
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Huge, incredibly thick head. Very dark honey color. Thick-looking, very little carbonation. Fantastic complex lacing is imminent. Smell is intoxicating; tangerine rines, overripe pineapple. Very fruity. A bit of spiciness in the sheer hoppiness. Sweet and surprisingly malty, too. Peppery, hint of basil. Taste is all imp ipa; hops, hops and more hops. Tons of oily bitterness, vaguely fruity. But overall a bit of a one trick pony. The tastes don't really evolve much on the palette. It tastes good, it's what you'd want from an double ipa, but I kind of want a more well rounded experience, more variety of tastes than straight up NZ hops. Overall, its a surprisingly balanced double ipa. Bitter without being a buzzsaw.

Medium body, surprisingly, but i think it works. Minimal carbonation, adds of touch of texture to the lingering bitter finish. Another great Upslope Beer, just expected a little more of a taste experience. A bit one sided, akin to my feelings on OB's Gubna.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper colored ale with a medium sized yellowish-white colored head.

Aromatic beer this is one you can smell from across the room. Scents of sweet malt and heavy hops, from about 6 feet away. Strong tropical fruit and woody scents. Pineapple, mango and passion fruit with caramel candy.

Starts out savory with strong fruit flavors. Mild alcohol sting lots of mango taste. Pineapple and passion fruit with a little strong tea at the end. Bitterness is mild for the strength of the ale. Faint garlic taste if you look for it.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty and deceptively mild tasting for how strong it is.

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Photo of GregJ
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very aromatic, the aroma hit as soon as the can was opened. Floral, citrus, bready and rye. Heavy pine, sweet malts, bready, pine, floral. Full body and medium carbonation. Lacing down the glass, resin on the lips and strong pine resin aftertaste. Not unique but a solid imperial that I would certainly try again.

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Photo of colingaiser
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a very tall boy into a pint glass...

L: A really inviting deep amber that verges on orange in the right light, with a thick, creamy head that doesn't want to disappear.

S: The New Zealand hops produce an incredibly tropical olfactory overload! I get papaya and mango especially, with a little tart apricot and a dash of honey. Really nice.

T: Wow, the taste definitely does not match the aroma. The malt tends to dominate, tasting like sweet brown sugar and honey, and there's a comforting warm booziness that sets in after a few seconds. The hops mostly provide generic bitterness but there are some notes of papaya that linger into the finish. It's definitely complex and interesting, but it could be better balanced.

M: Surprisingly crisp and medium-bodied, not nearly as heavy or cloyingly syrupy as some imperials. Renders it dangerously drinkable!

O: I'm not in love with this beer -- it's a little unbalanced and not as hop-forward as I'd like -- but it is definitely tasty. It hits almost all the right notes for an imperial. Would buy again if it were cheaper!

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Photo of puck1225
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From draft into a snifter, golden orange in color. Thin head left, nice lacing. A fruity, citrusy smell. The taste is boozy sweet with pine and honey. Seemed nice and fresh.

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Imperial IPA from Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
88 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.