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Imperial IPA - Garrison Brewing Company

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Imperial IPAImperial IPA

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201 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 201
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 18
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MMansfield on 08-11-2007

Launched and enthusiastically received at the first annual Halifax Seaport Beer Fest in August 2007, this ale has quickly become known as the hoppiest beer in Atlantic Canada! Unfiltered Imperial I.P.A. is a robust, full-bodied and complex brew in the Double IPA style. An intensely fruity aroma combines nicely with a malty caramel backbone, clear hop bitterness and lingering citrusy finish. This beer is for the true hophead!

81 IBU

This beer was previously known as Garrison Imperial Pale Ale.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 201 | Reviews: 119
Reviews by FishGetter:
Photo of FishGetter
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up on a recent trip to Canada. Cloudy unfiltered copper orange color. Thin frothy head from an aggressive pour clings nicely to glass.
Fresh, crisp hop aroma. Very floral citrusy aroma. Some hints of malts blend in too.
Refreshing hints of hops right up front. Citrus flavors blend with a piney finish. Not overpowering or mouthpuckering. Sweet notes from malts even things out with a slight hoppy resin left in mouth.
Good solid mouthfeel, a bit on the heavy side but still refreshing.
Well rounded offering here. Definetly holds its own compare to well sought after IPA's. Very enjoyable, will seek out again on the next trip.

More User Reviews:
Photo of cam477
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in snifter.

LOOK (4/5) Pours a strong orange color - more than many other IIPAs I've had. The brew was fairly cloudy (I believe it is unfiltered). This opaquity sets of the color really well. The head was great! It was bone white and very creamy. It lasted for a long time, reduced to a substantial cap and left good lacing.

SMELL (4.5/5) The nose is dominated by hops. The malts are more of a bread/grain - not a huge amount of sweetness is given off, though, and the overall impression is dry. The use of different hops produces some real complexity here - this falls into the resiny/piney spectrum with does of citrus, grapefruit, and grassy dry-hops in there. A bit of hard water, I think, gives a bit of an extra zing.

TASTE (4/5) The flavor is pretty much featuring the same players as the nose. The balance is a bit more hoppy, though. The balance between the hop flavor and the bitterness of the hops is spot on - both were intense, though.

FEEL (4/5) The body is medium-full and the carbonation is medium (a bit more than, for instance, Tree Brewing's IIPA). This makes for a fluffy feel. Really nice

DRINK (4/5) Good for sipping, but way too intense to be a session beer. I really like that the hop flavor was in good balance with the bitterness!

Photo of gingerbread
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of babyhobbes
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like an IPA. Kind of an orangey tan with a crisp white head that left a ring throughout. Lots of lacing, too. I smell hops, but they aren't particularly anything specific to me, just hops. Good though. Also, kind of sweet odor. Everything seems sort of sweet lately. It's definitely not a bitter smell. Taste is hops with a nice caramel balance. There's a sort of hop bitterness on the back of the tongue that lingers some between sips. Delicious. There is a little more carbonation than I would like. It's quite bubbly despite my having done a bunch of crap around the house before remembering I had poured it. This detracts a bit from the beer. It is very good, though. I would certainly have it again. Sadly, I can't as this is a Powerball win.

Thank you CharlesW!!!

Photo of EsoxLucius
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a cloudy orange, very nice and interesting looking.

S: citrus and hops came out on top with some sweetness. bit of the bite of the ABV came out too.

T: hoppy and bitter, not in a bad way, i very much enjoyed drinking this beer, full of positive flavors.

M: decent body with minimal trace of its potency.

D: very good, i drank these all the time on my honeymoon to Nova Scotia and smuggled some back in a suitcase ;)

they're all gone now. =(

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my father for sharing this beer. This was the new packaging, labeled as Imperial IPA and showing 7 percent ABV. I am told it is the same beer as Imperial Pale Ale.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a tan head. The aroma is strong on the pine and grass notes. The flavor is caramel and toffee malt with some pine and grass hops to keep things from being overly sweet. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A nice beer that may be more of an IPA than a Double IPA, but enjoyable no matter what style you place it in.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice to finally see some Garrison brews out east...

Poured into a nonic. A lovely light orange russet brew, sporting a substantial creamy head with loads of lacing sheets. Remarkable retention, a sturdy layer lasting throughout the pint.

Nose is all hoppy goodness - a fine blend of pine, citrus and leaf, with some caramel malts and bread in the back.

Tasty stuff, not the hopslam I had expected, but nevertheless a flavorful hoppy brew. I find with some IPA/DIPAs that my tastebuds acclimatize quite a bit, so with this one I found the hop character less pronounced as I went through it. Caramel malt flavor provides a backdrop, but the leafy, citrussy hops are allowed to be the stars of the show. Finished slightly nutty, with a long bitter finish. Alcohol is barely present, if at all.

Mouthfeel was slightly watery, but creamy and with solid carbonation. A pleasure to drink.

This was the brew from Garrison I was waiting for, and it did not disappoint. One of the better Canadian strong IPAs I've come across. Rich and flavorful, a great evening sipper. Not hopped enough to become burdensome, but the high ABV reduces the appropriateness of sessioning. Great stuff.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my Secret Santa 2007 Biegaman for this brew. Cheers!

Pours with a slight head, cloudy, and an amber color. It has a nice lacing as you drink it. Smell is mostly piney hops. Tastes rather bitter with a slick mouthfeel to it. The pine comes out more as you drink it. A drinkable IPA for sure; not a real Imperial IPA as it is labelled. A solid brew from a brewery which is new to me.


Photo of Swedes21
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml served in a chilled glass..

Appearance - beer pours a gorgeous cloudy auburn colour with a 3 finger head. Head is a light foamy head that is off white/brown based. Can not see much carbonation.

Smell - strong citrus based smell with a good hops based. There is also the expected pine smell, but not dominant.

Taste - I can really taste the citrus on the backend that adds to the bitterness. There is a caramel base to the front that adds some sweetness. A really nice and clean IPA.

Mouthfeel - I wouldn't say there is much carbonation added, however a little goes a long way. The mouthfeel i found brings fwd the caramel taste a little and lessens the aftertaste.

Drinkability - I actually liked this beer, found it to be full and complete. Would be a great session beer and offers a lot to the taste buds.

Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of djcreepshow
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of robnews
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Stella chalice.

Fantastic orange haze color. Nice thick head, looks like trouble.

The smell of hops and fruit galore...incredible.

Taste: Wow, the hops coming on later shocked me big time...Very bitter, but fruity and refreshing all at the same time.
Don't taste any alcohol, cause my mouth is busy processing what just passed through it...Very hoppy.

The aftertaste is strong, hoppy, unforgettable and very drinkable. Magnificent brew from Halifax.

Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, nice olive drab label, to go with the brewery's military theme.

This beer pours a hazy, dark, but somehow bright copper hue, with three fingers of thick foamy, pillowy, off-white head, which settles evenly, leaving some random swaths of lace around the glass. It smells of abundant sweet and floral citrus - grapefruit and orange, with some further tropical fruitiness - kiwi, mostly, and zippy pine, all underlaid by a spicy bready caramel malt. The taste is big on the bitter, astringent pine needle hops up front, definitely more of a one trick pony than in the aroma. The malt is also far less sweet that I was led to believe - caramel, sure, but it also seems much more biscuity, and cracker-like, with a mild nondescript spiciness. A good job is achieved in alcohol subterfuge - damned if I can find any. The carbonation is average, the body smooth, and somewhat creamy. It finishes with a hops resurgence, the muted citrus and free-flowing pine back for more.

I can see why this has won Canadian brewing awards - it is big, brash, and unapologetic - the British influence, so endemic in its cross-country brethren, is squashed into a small corner. I like this very much - now why does the size of our broad nation seem so evident to me now?

And in just another small case of apophenia - Sloan just came up on the stereo randometer: "She told me to 'loosen up' on the way to the L.C." Perfect.

Photo of mintjellie
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber orange colour, unfiltered and hazy, with a massive topping of off-white head. Head is tight, retentive, and sticky, leaving a ropey lace on the glass. Mango, citrus, pine needle, and cookie dough aromatics. Solid tropical and citrus fruit flavours up front with a mild sweetness developing midpalate. The finish is leafy and firmly bitter, and lingers long. There is some big bold flavour to be had here. Even with that mild sweetness, the hops still get all up in your face. If that unbalanced quality bothers you, this probably isn't your IPA. This is my IPA.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Feels creamy and smooth, with an oily slick sensation left on the roof of the mouth between swallows. With loads of raw leafy hop bitterness and a blast of citrus, Garrisons Imperial IPA makes for a satisfying hop fix.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to korguy123 for this one

A: Pours a hazy orange color with a white one finger head. Very nice lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Nice piney hops on this one. The citrus notes aren't as strong, but I get a little grapefruit. You also get t malt on the back with a little bit of caramel.

T: Lots of hop flavor, rips at my tongue. Piney and citrus gives way to caramel malt and a light toasted flavor.

M/D: Medium to full bodied with nice carbonation. Bitter/dry finish. Overall a nice DIPA, lower on the abv scale makes it really easy drinking.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Garrison- Imperial Pale Ale

Purchased at the brewery, after sampling($1).

A- Nice deep hazy copper brown with a thick lacing head.
S- Good sweet caramelized malt, slightly grainy and big fresh hops.
T- Big sweet buttery caramel malt melds into a big grapefruit rind hop body. Big bold flavors really jump out. quite tasty.
M- Thick, sweet and malty with a huge bitter hop finish. Buttery and creamy to hoppy and bitter!

Overall- Take a good English ESB and blend it with a big West Coast IPA! This beer is so good! I wish I brought back more. A beer you must have if you visit Halifax. I will load up on this on my next visit!

Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Bigbrye, or should I say Mrs. Bigbrye. A bomber of bottled hops, with significant malting. The formula is More green hop taste well malted. It's drinkable, it's a good IPA. Dark yellow with some white head. Medium mouthfeel, a bit on creamy side. Neutral aftertaste. 2nd tatsing courtesy of NEAL was better and more hop in nose.

Photo of socon67
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this back from a trip to Halifax.

A - Dark orange and cloudy with a thick white head. Looks very enticing.

S - Very hoppy, and in a good way. Very crisp aroma and a little spicy as well.

T - This guy is a hop bomb, plain and simple. A true DIPA with a little sweetness. What makes this pretty darned good is the smooth finish from what is a potently hopped ale.

M - Finishes with a little raspy feel on the tongue. Medium bodied.

D - Very much so. I will enjoy this bottle. Can easily be a go-to beer for IPA lovers.

I've had most of the Garrison line and this is by far their best offering.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - hazy orange copper, two fingers of tan head retained very well with lots of sticky lacing
S - lemon and pine, sweet caramel, earthy and light spiciness
T - earthy hops of front along with caramel sweet malt, moves to lemon citrus hops and cedar, light spicy hop character to finish
M - medium body, malty richness is almost creamy, balanced well by the hop bitterness creeping in on the finish
O - pleasant hop flavours are well balanced by the sweet rich malt, and that's always a bonus with an imperial, the mix of earthy and lemon hop flavours works very well, very sessionable at 7%

Photo of heebes
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle

Pours a hazy deep orange amber, producing a thin head.
Smells of sweet citrus, pine and hints of floral.
Taste is bold on the sip. Sharp bitterness of the hops is very upfront, a mild sweetness follows then finishes very dry and the bitterness sticks around in the aftertaste. Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Overall the sticky afterkick of hop flavours holds this back slightly as a smooth drinking IIPA. It's got all the nose of a great beer but to me doesn't quite reach the greatness of top IIPAs.

Photo of randallpink
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of jsnoek
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Mandrake
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep and cloudy reddish-copper, a testament to the unfiltered bottling process, with a decent sized off-white head that leaves very good lacing. Smell is nicely hopped, at the same time herbal and fruity, with good citrus showing and a touch of caramel. Butter as well, and a woodsy note too. Taste is really quite interesting. Starts hoppy, the grapefruit and pine bite nice and strong. Malts the become apparent, caramel and breadiness filling the profile out and lending some complexity. Damp, earthy note in the finish is really different, and I love it. Well done. Mouthfeel is well carbonated, lively, and full-bodied, and drinkability is nice for such an aggressive, high-ABV beer. Good stuff, a top-drawer IPA.

Photo of eat
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally found this one at Volo; this is the last bottle I needed to acquire to finish off the current BA Canadian Top 25. It's listed here incorrectly: this is an Imperial Pale Ale (as stated on the label) and not an Imperial IPA. I had been confused due to the listing.

Wicked colour: a hazy/translucent ruby-copper. Foamy, thick finger of cream-white head and sticky lacing. This beer looks great.

The nose consists mainly of tropical fruit. Guava, papaya and pineapple with a solid backing of sweet malt. Similar in character to a real American West Coast IIPA but not as powerful. It could use more presence.

An unbelievable amount of flavour for 7% ABV. It has the flavour of a full IIPA even though by ABV it's closer to an IPA (which can regularly weigh-in at 6-6.5%...it's hard to think of 7% as a "double"). I could see how naming this an Imperial Pale Ale would make sense; it seems to be in between a IIPA and an IPA. Tons of grapefruit rind, caramel malt, earthy and grainy with a hint of pine. The tropical fruit from the nose doesn't really show up in the taste as I was expecting. I really liked that hop character and wish I could taste it here, maybe it's more obvious when super fresh. This is one of those hoppy beers which is purposefully unbalanced; significantly higher in hops than malt. Though it doesn't overdo it: there is enough malt to serve as a solid base. No noticeable alcohol.

Decent feel, though it could be a bit more syrupy for my taste. The lightly-foamy carbonation does trick you into thinking the body is a little bigger than it is. Not bad.

I'm surprised...I thought this beer was most likely a little overrated but it isn't at all. At 7%, this could even conceivably be sessionable (though it's a little bitter to be sessionable for myself). I don't think I've ever tried an Imperial Pale Ale...very nice!

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Imperial IPA from Garrison Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 201 ratings.