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Imperial IPA - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

191 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 191
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 17
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Garrison Brewing Company visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: MMansfield on 08-11-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 191 | Reviews: 116 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hopsolutely
hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%

A lot more flavour than expected from a 7% ABV, although the alcohol burn is also suggestive of something boozier. The lingering bitter finish is almost overpowering, but as I enjoy that dimension of IIPA's, I would still recommend trying this particular one.

Beautiful almost iridescent amber with the unfiltered sediment unnoticeable until the bottom of the bottle. One of the clearest unfiltered beers I have enjoyed. Aroma is very malt-forward, with caramelized and fruit notes. The flavour is pleasantly sweet and malty, followed by a truly bitter finish. Not certain where this sits in IBU, but it is pronounced.

However, I would still consider this a well-balanced and enjoyable representative of the American Double style. Look forward to any future Garrison offerings in Ontario!

08-21-2011 17:17:09 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3/5  rDev -26.5%

Got this one in a trade with cjbmcdon. Thanks for sending this one out east for me man!

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.
Drunk right after the Black IPA

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium thin looking, off-white head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a good film cap and ring. A clear burnt orange in color with no carbonation evident. A thick ring remains until the end leaving some dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Milder nose of pale malts, toffee, some melon notes and some nice floral aromas. Nice enough, but simply too mute to be noticeable.

TASTE: Pale malts, toffee, and a good amount of floral hops through the middle. A blast of bitter hop and pine flavors crash through after the swallow, which wasn’t really expected. Big and lingering aftertaste with piles of hop bitterness and a touch of pine that tries to give it some flavor. Started out nice, but became bitter just for the sake of being bitter.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry on the palate.

OVERALL: An interesting brew, much like their Black IPA. The flavors start out nice and enjoyable, but after the swallow, it becomes overly bitter without any real flavor to match. It’s almost bitter for the sake of being bitter. While these two brews weren’t highlights for me, they have definitely gotten me interested in what else this brewery can do. Thanks again for sending this brew my way cjbmcdon!

08-15-2011 12:35:03 | More by Jeffo
Photo of evlu1441
evlu1441

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%

This is a nice looking beer. A finger of fluffy tan head sits on top of a pale, hazy amber brew.

The aroma is mainly fresh hops, with a hint of black pepper. There is a nice caramel malty background too.

The flavour is . The hop aroma is more restrained compared to some west coast IIPAs, though it is still quite intense. The hoppyness if balanced by a nice and slightly sweet malty backbone.

Overall, not the most exciting IIPA I've had, but a very solid example of the style.

08-04-2011 22:30:15 | More by evlu1441
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%

bottle from mmurphy525

Hazy deep amber colour, 2 fingers of white head, sticky and dense, lots of lace left behind. Smell is very hoppy, soft citrus, grapefruit, pine is present as well but more so in the background wrapped up with a soft malty backbone. Taste is bursting with hops, pine is at the forefront while citrus takes the background role, malty, very well balanced, grapefruit and tangerine present as well. Full body, good weight, fairly oily, medium carbonation. Very solid brew, have had this a few times before but never as fresh as this bottle, more of a big IPA than a IIPA but its still really good.

08-03-2011 22:37:56 | More by peensteen
Photo of Hornet2003
Hornet2003

British Columbia (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +9.1%

Appearance: Dark copper, amber colour. Cloudy at the bottom of the bottle due to hop flakes. Decent (1/4 inch on pour) head.

Smell: Very fruity and malty. I'm thinking this is more of an Imperial English IPA. Dates, prunes and raisins (almost Old Ale-ish), but with a huge, citrusy hop aroma.

Taste: Much like the aroma, this beer has a lot of dark fruitiness, as well as an intense piney hoppiness. Really amazingly strong flavours on all fronts.

Mouthfeel: Malt gives a great biscuity sweetness while the hops provide a huge punch of bitterness. Good carbonation!

Overall: Let this one warm up a bit to at least cellar temp. (10 degrees C ~50 degrees F). So smooth and creamy while poking your tongue with bitterness. This beer is even more impressive given the (relatively) low ABV for an Imperial IPA. 7% with such great flavours/mouthfeel makes this a sipper that won't get you wrecked. Big props to Garrison!

07-31-2011 23:17:19 | More by Hornet2003
Photo of Rijtjeshuis
Rijtjeshuis

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%

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!

07-16-2011 22:50:58 | More by Rijtjeshuis
Photo of funkengruven
funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%

This bottle has been living in my cellar for the past year and I figured it was time to open it and see what it was like.

Served at cellar temperature (approximately 8 degrees C.)

Poured into a standard pint glass, looks good, reddish amber with a slightly tan head that holds itself quite well. Smell is very hoppy, some underlying malts in there but it's almost all hops. First sip threw me off, it was ridiculously bitter and honestly not all that enjoyable. However as I went through it I began to enjoy it a little more. Some maltyness shows itself in the aftertaste but the hops are really aggressive.

This somewhat reminded me a bit of DFH 90 Minute but with a much smoother finish.

Definitely a must have if you like heavily hopped ales.

05-22-2011 22:02:50 | More by funkengruven
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +12.7%

Appearance. Pours a hazy, deep amber with a finger of sticky yellow head that leaves some lacing.

Smell. Caramel, lemon, pink grapefruit, papaya, grass and pine. Smells really good.

Taste. Sweet caramel grains and building, citrus grassy bitter hops. A little marzipan in the lasting, bitter floral, citrus, pine finish.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with smooth medium carbonation.

Overall. A really great dipa. Alcohol well hidden, but lower than I would have expected for such a rich beer. Enjoyed this one.

04-18-2011 01:44:14 | More by Rutager
Photo of joemcgrath27
joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%

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%

04-09-2011 04:51:06 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%

A - Pours a hazy golden orange, finger of head with solid retention and fantastic lacing.

S - Sweet caramel and lemon citrus hops off the top, with a touch of earthiness, followed by some pine and cedar notes.

T - The caramel hits you off the top, but is quickly overtaken by some very bitter citrus hops. Probably one of the bitterest IIPA's I've had to date for sure, though the malt does attempt to balance it out.

M - No complaints here. Even though it came across bitter, it did not finish overly dry, and was smooth going down.

O - Overall a very tasty, though bitter, IIPA. A hop heads delight and definitely something unique in the realm of DIPA's. Highly recommended and a quality Canadian take on the style.

04-08-2011 03:14:29 | More by andrenaline
Photo of LazyL
LazyL

British Columbia (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%

Thanks to Spree92 on the other coast for another beer trade. Pours a typical IPA dark orange but very hazy due to being unfiltered and perhaps the UPS travel. The head is large and has a fluffy soft camel tone. The nose is good, but not great. I really love an IPA that blows your nose off. It has nice soft buttery citrus notes, a touch of honey and an appealing freshness. The taste is not overwhelming. I get a bit of grapefruit, some mellon and a pine sap sort of bitterness. Is it a bit salty on the finish? I like the bitterness but could use a bit more flavour up front. The hops dont jump out at you. The mouthfeel is sort of oily and the bitter finish lingers on the tongue. The retention is really good and the now thin cap has left its trail right to the bottom of the glass.

03-22-2011 02:06:14 | More by LazyL
Photo of Dawkfan
Dawkfan

Alberta (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -19.1%

A- The pour into my tulip glass is a hazy amber orange. Some sediment is visible, which doesn't bother me. Hefty off white head, excellent retention and some patchy lacing.

S- The smell has a lot of sugary sweetness to it. A good dose of tropical fruits and floral hops, the malt coming through as it warms.

T- Wasn't expecting this one to be this bitter given the strong sweetness in the aroma. Hop bitterness throughout, mainly piney. The sweetness comes in near the finish, but is washed away with more hop bite in the aftertaste.

M- Resinous mouthfeel, medium-full body, creamy & rich. Best part of this beer.

D- I like hop bombs , but this one was just a little to much for me. Seemed unbalanced even for a DIPA.

03-15-2011 23:11:08 | More by Dawkfan
Photo of spree92
spree92

New Brunswick (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

500ml Bottle poured into a stein. A cloudy, red copper color that had a huge, bubbly head. Great retention and and an almost perfect lacing pattern. Just smellin' a lot of hops and some citrus. The taste is a bit lower because I feel as though it just tastes like a boozy IPA. The bitterness isn't very strong. Like most, the flavor hangs around for a while and seeps into the taste buds. Could I drink this all the time, sure. I may very well.

03-11-2011 22:28:05 | More by spree92
Photo of BasementBer
BasementBer

Manitoba (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%

As a practicing hophead and living in a place where range of beer selection is hard to come by, particularly of those brewed and worth brewing in Canada, I look forward to giving this unfamiliar brewery/ale a go.

A: Twofingers of foamy head with medium-tight creamy bubbles. Nice amber hue. Great lacing consistency, as should be expected from the level of bitter resins in the style. Light sediment in the bottle as expected from an unfiltered Ale.

S: Mmm, Hops. Nothin like the smell of fresh hops. A full robust citrusy aroma.

T: A surprising hop choice for the bittering. Didn't expect it, more like a saaz or hallertauer bittering hope rather than what would be used in an American IPA. Perhaps, Garrison see's itself in the European tradition.

M: Good carbonation and bitter mouth-feel as expected from an imperial style. Great lingering contribution provided by the range of bitterness.

D: Not overly powerful as some Imperial IPAs, and yet still more of a savoring IPA that is meant to be gradually enjoyed.

03-06-2011 02:03:46 | More by BasementBer
Photo of marty21
marty21

Manitoba (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

A: Pours a hazy deep orange with at least 2 fingers worth of creamy head. Settles to a chunky cap and leaves thick walls of lace all over the snifter.

S: Lot's of piney and citrus hops with a bit of caramel malt.

T: Caramel malt that with more hops and a very nice bitter finish.

M: Medium carbonation with a medium body. One if the easiest drinking Imperial IPAs I've ever had.

D: The MLCC just brought in two Garrison beers and if this is any indication I hope they start sending more. I enjoyed this beer from start to finish and before I could even realize it was gone. I'll be buying this one while I wait for Half Pints Humulous Ludicrous.

03-05-2011 00:50:43 | More by marty21
Photo of Digimaika2
Digimaika2

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%

This isn't as fresh as I would like (miraculously survived on my shelf unnoticed for about 3-4 months now), but here it goes.

A: Hazy orange to go with a thick marshmallow head. Very good retention and ample lacing.

S: Bready malt dominates with grapefruit and lemon in the background. Also picking up a medicinal/banana like aroma (malts?).

T: Sweet malt flavour upfront with a grapefruit aftertaste that lingers. Not as much hoppiness as I was expecting, but might have to chalk that one up to ageing. Bitterness is evident.

M: Full mouthfeel with a pleasant thickness to it. Very nice. Slight Carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Although I will make sure to drink my next one when it is fresher. The bready and mellow grapefruit taste makes this beer quite appealing.

02-17-2011 01:40:42 | More by Digimaika2
Photo of IronDjinn
IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -9.3%

From a 500 ml brown bottle. Pours out a hazy marmalade hue, tall massive billowing spongy white head with excellent retention. Small yet thick patches of lacing.

Rich bready malt on the nose with a background of mild citrus hops, with predominant orange notes.

Rich chewy bready malt up front in the flavour, also some caramel character, with a serious presence of bittering hops, while some sharp pine works its way out of it all towards the finish. Some white grapefruit pith atringency leeches out in the aftertaste

Full-bodied mouthfeel but on the lower end of that scale, low carbonation and silky smooth. If only all DIPA's had this calibre of mouthfeel.

This has its moments, the mouthfeel is great, however the hop profile within the flavour simply comes across too aggressively one-dimensional, there's far too much bittering character without much development of actual flavour making it almost akin to chewing on a pine bough without the sharp edges. Malt is great, just needs more diversity with hop treatment.

02-15-2011 07:40:58 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

02-12-2011 23:12:20 | More by biboergosum
Photo of EnemyWithin
EnemyWithin

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%

Bottle into wine glass on Jan 2, 2011.

Appearance = 4.5
Slightly hazy (unfiltered) burnt, caramel orange body with 1 inch thick, dense orange-white head . Mild head retention and good lacing.

Smell = 4
Very delightful sweet, citrus hops aroma (grapefruit, oranges, tangerines) dominates with substantial sweet, caramel aroma of malt as well. Quite strong and delicious smell overall. Does dissipate in intensity with time somewhat.

Taste = 4
Incredible bitterness from hops, that is more piney than citrus ( in contrast to aroma). Persists from start of taste until end. Near the end of a taste, notes of more citrus and malt, especially as beer warms. Hint of mineraliness at times, although I may be just mistaking it with hops.
Definite hops-bomb, particularly because this bottle is fresh right from brewery.
Should let warm to good temp to get fullness of flavour.

Mouthfeel = 3.5
Moderate carbonation and mild-mod viscosity. Overall, on the dry end and somewhat prickly on tongue, given the bitterness. Is enjoyable.

Drinkanbility = 4
As mentioned, hophead beer, but still extremely drinkable. Refreshing and hides 7% ETOH well. I would seek this out and have a few, especially if fresh.
I agree with others that this is one of the best beers Garrison has, having tried them all at some point.

01-09-2011 22:38:30 | More by EnemyWithin
Photo of socon67
socon67

New York

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

11-14-2010 18:13:25 | More by socon67
Photo of Swedes21
Swedes21

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -2%

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.

11-07-2010 18:41:35 | More by Swedes21
Photo of robnews
robnews

New Brunswick (Canada)

4.68/5  rDev +14.7%

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.

11-06-2010 01:34:43 | More by robnews
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.05/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

11-05-2010 01:11:57 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of korguy123
korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%

500ml into DFH signature glass.

A- Hazy orange/copper pour. Finger width white head, carbonation is barely visible deep within the glass. Lacing is great and sticky, just sheets the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet candied sugar, piny fresh hops. Mild citrus tones. Subtle maltiness and faint strawberries.

T- Floral hop bitterness ravaging my tongue. Long dry finish, with subtle citrus notes. Toasted malts and faint caramel.

M- Medium bodied, dry finish. Bitterness continues in your mouth long after your sip. Sticky sweet on the lips.

D- Very easy drinking DIPA. Glad I got to enjoy this one, it was a real treat.

11-02-2010 14:51:35 | More by korguy123
Photo of shamus
shamus

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%

I was truly ecpecting this to disappoint me, given how many Pale Ales and IPA's in the LCBO don't live up to their name. This however was a beautiful surprise. Yes it has a luscious head and body, yes it smells fragrant and promising but the real proof is in the taste. If there were a single draft this pleasing in this city I would be there at the tap daily. This is new at the LCBO in my territory but I really hope they continue it. P.S. it's a Canadian beer.

One year later: Now this is more like it. After drinking some tepid Ontario APA this IPA from Nova Scotia is the real deal. Beautiful pour with lots of long lasting head and lace. You can smell those hops. It's like coming home. I would gladly drink this again. Too be fair it's not perfect but what is. It's really great. More please. Too bad it seems to be seasonal

10-31-2010 05:27:28 | More by shamus
Imperial IPA from Garrison Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.