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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

195 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 17
Gots: 8 | 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: 195 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of eat
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

eat, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of kwjd
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on Feb 17, 2010, so this is just over a month old.

Pours a dark cloudy orange colour. Huge fluffy off-white head that dissipates down, but leaves a nice cap on the beer. Lacing all down the side. Smell is a beautiful bouquet of hops, some pine and citrus. Taste is very hop forward, with some sweet caramel in there. A sticky type texture, but quite refreshing. Nice level of bitternes.

I don't know if this should be an IPA or an Imperial IPA, it may be half way in between. Whatever it is, it is delicious hop goodness.

kwjd, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of mrmanning
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle- Pours a deep orange with hues of amber. Head is one finger froth of off white foam. Nose is pine needles, orange peel, juniper, candied apricots. The flavour profile is a blast of piney hops upfront, followed by orange peel sweetness, grapefruit, dried apricots again. Chewy, heavy, oily finish. I liked this one! Another winner from these guys.

mrmanning, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of Lukecook
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle

A- Cloudy orange color, 1 finger of head that diminshes to a fluffy blanket of foam leaving lots of lacing in its wake.

S- carmel malt, pine and citrus

T- Grapefruit, pine, light background of carmel, nice hop finish, hard to put down!

M- Medium body and mildly acidic.

D- I love this beer. It is definetly one of the best offerings here in New Brunswick.

Lukecook, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of FishGetter
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

FishGetter, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of papat444
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to stagger for this one. Enjoyed with my supper last night, pulled pork quesadillas from President's Choice.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle, bottled on May 29, 2009.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, orange hued body that turns a deep brown as the rest of the bottle is poured. Murky and hazy as an unfiltered beer should be. Big 3 finger head sits atop.

Smell: Citrus, pine and a healthy dose of hops that aren't forceful but nice. A little sweetness in there also.

Taste: A good hop bite though not as strong as it might have been. Ripe grapefruit with an earthen feel to it. A little mellow in taste with a certain spice-like feel in the finish. Though not as aggressive as it should be, i found the taste quite enjoyable regardless.

Mouthfeel: A nice lasting bitterenss that is felt everywhere in the palate and lasts long after the sip. Good carbonation with a solid body. Good balance between astringency and smoothness.

Drinkability: Good taste and an ABV that is not easily felt. I'd have this one again for sure.

Overall: 5 1/2 months and this beer is still good and holds up quite well. This beer must be quite good when fresh. A keeper for sure.

papat444, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of cratez
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Garrison & Bar Towel for hooking this up through their private order! What a beast of a beer...

Pours a glowing and cloudy amber orange with golden hues and a half-inch of white head. Big gobs of spotty, sporadic lacing permeate the entire glass. Smell is strong perfume aromas, with nectarine, floral hops, tangerine, and citrus on the nose. Taste is much the same: sticky, chewy and resinous hop flavours produce a piney bitterness, backed by citrus fruit (mostly oranges) and a very subtle caramel/biscuit malt base. Sweet toffee and bread flavours make a brief appearance, but the hops steal the show. IBU are way up there as the pleasantly bitter aftertaste lingers for quite a while. Mouthfeel is nothing short of luxurious: smooth, tangy, and full-bodied, with a smack of bright, fruity hop acidity in the finish. Tingly, bitter, and satisfying. Overall, not only one of the best beers in Canada, but also a shining example of the style. A sumptuous and aromatic beer with truly bold and enticing flavours.

cratez, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of wordemupg
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into pint glass oct13 2009

A lots of suspended particles inside a reddish orange glass with a giant head on it. the foam goes nowhere and coats my glass well down the side. this is looking like a good thing

S citrus with the mild pine smell, lots of hops and some toffee

T all of the smell but more, I get some malt that works well with the large amount of hops. the citrus is a little more focused at grapefruit and a little booze is there but mild. nice seeing a real IPA from Halifax this is a winner

M foams up a fair bit but it seams too add a nice touch and give it a creamy feel.

D I like the bite this beer has going on, very easy too drink and overall one of the best big IPA's I've ever had from Canada

thanks wittaker for this one its great, knock one of the Canadian top25

wordemupg, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of Kooz
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another beer my wife brought back from her trip--I love my wife!

Color--remember the Crayola crayon Burnt Umber? The beer is that color--unfiltered and gorgeous. An aggressive pour gave mit a bit too much head that took forever to dissapate. Awesome.

Smelled very hoppy. I am not an IPA fan (regardless of what the "I" stands for) because of the hops, and I could smell the hops from a mile away. Still, it was so pretty I didn't care.

Taste was, well, hoppy. But I didn't mind so much. It had bite, but also hints of other tastes I couldn't quite place. Other reviews say it's citrus--I didn't get that.

Tough to say about the mouthfeel. It was mellow, easy. The foam was light and airy, almost like a real ale/cask ale.

Even though it's my least favorite style of beer, I could see drinking this again and again.

Kooz, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of berley31
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with an average-to-large sized, white head, that exhibited some very good lacing, clinging in small clumps and spiderweb patterns on the glass. Body is quite cloudy and a dark orange/amber color.

S: Very nice aroma of average hops, with a lot of scents in there, such as pine, citrus, and various herbs.

T: Great flavor with some citrus and pine notes, and a very bitter and dry finish. Lots of hop profile with this one, but it's not overpowering at all... there's a great balance with the whole flavor from start to finish.

M: Medium-bodied and creamy, with average carbonation.

D: A perfect example of an IPA with a good amount of kick, that doesn't, however, try to completely rip your taste buds apart. Definitely worth plenty of future purchases, and easily the best Garrison beer I've had to date.

berley31, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of EsoxLucius
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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. =(

EsoxLucius, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of bobsy
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this beer several times, in bottles during a stay in Halifax, as part of a private order in Toronto, and on draft at the brewery itself. While it doesn't quite hang with the big boys, its a fine Canadian hopbomb.

The body is a cloudy orange colour (its unfiltered), and the pour generates a sticky off-white head that laces prodigously. Retention is also very good.

Earthy, hoppy aroma with a mixture of pine and sweet citric notes. Lots of citrus and pine in the flavour, which certainly veers to the hoppy end of the spectrum, and makes for a slightly unbalanced beer, and a hopheads wet dream. Tangerine and grapefruit mixed in with resin. Caramel and light biscuit provide the malt backbone, but this spine has osteoporosis. Good mouthfeel for the style...almost chewy and oily. Considering the bitterness, the drinkability is really high, and I could definitely drink a few in the evening. The ABV is a strange one, pitching this beer between an IPA and IIPA.

Deserving of its spot in Canada's top 25, I'm sure this would hold up well south of the border.

bobsy, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of vgoreham
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I say bottle, but I've had this in every form it is served - it is one of my regulars. Although it has changed somewhat from it's inception, it's still a fantastic brew.

Pours a beautiful, hazy, orangey-copper, with great lacing and sufficient head.

Smells of citrus and hops.

Tastes bitter, almost like grapefruit juice, amazing hop taste assults the tongue. Just enough sweet caramel malt-flavour to let you know it hasn't been forgotten. Reminiscent of many DIPA/IIPAs.

A finish that is once dry, hoppy, crisp, sour, bitter, and refreshing - leaving the mouth feeling clean, happy, and craving more.

For it's strength, and it's hop level (high) this is a very drinkable beer. Definitely can be sessionable (but be careful when you stand up!)

Overall, this is on the border of an IPA/DIPA and rights the wrongs done by Keith's IPA here in Halifax!

vgoreham, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of Derek
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber-copper with a light tan head, good retention, great lace.

S: Huge citrus aroma with grapefruit, tangerine, nectarine and hints of toffee.

T: Plenty of hops, with some nice malt to back it up. Great balance. Flavours of tangerine, nectarine, grapefruit, toffee & nut with hints of caramel & fruity esters. Alcohol is subtle.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has some hop acidity and a crisp finish.

D: I love it, but it's more of an IPA and a half, so it's certainly not as sessionable as some.

Definitely among the best in Canada.

Derek, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of ZorPrime
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as part of a trade with Ralphus.

Tasted on July 26, 2009.

First, wow an excellent beer!... ok details will follow.

A: The appearance is hazy with a copper looking color beer. Very good looks. However, mine had no head... bad pour, possible.

S: Strong aroma of hops, citrus and I get faint notes of grapes.

T: Wow... I'm overwhelmed with intense hops flavor. Bitter. Warming touch in the aftertaste... awesome taste. Nearly perfect.

M: Strong bodied beer and the taste is very persistent which is awesome in a beer.

D: Very drinkable considering the strong hop taste of this beer.

ZorPrime, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of Buebie
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big ups to NASH for coming up with this recipe.

Bottling date of May 29th 2009.

Poured from a brown 500ml bottle and poured semi-rigerously into a pub glass. The pour creates a nice frothy 2'' off white head. This thing head is reminiscent of the big beers from Southern Tier with the hugenormous froth that refuses to settle.
It now leaves some serious stickage along the glass that I might have to take a brillow pad to scrub off. A good quarter inch of foam is left behind in retention.
The color is a mildly hazey orangish copper, glowing bright.

Aroma is pungeant with hops. Alot of citrus acidity to it, similar to orange peels, peppery hops, a good amount of bittering grapefruit, Sweet bready caramel doused yeast aroma.
Malts shine through and balance the aromas nicely.

Thicker slick mouthfeel, some carbonation tickle to the tongue, great feel to this. It seems as though a flaked barley might have been added.
Taste upfront is sweet and malty with a mixture of caramel and honey and maybe a candied lemon flavor. Becoming increasingly bitter into the middle and at the swallow, all that was once sweet and balanced is annihilated with a hops implosion. Working its bitter deceiving self into the very cor of my tongue. Hosps just destroy me here and I love it! Earthy spiciness, grapefruit bitter, lick the lemon and pucker, hops.

The finsih is clean and crisp with hops biteing and lingering long and hard.
This is a delicious brew that crept up on me without warning. The aroma is so deceiving as to what this beer is really hiding. The 7% is well hidden, this could very well be 4% and you wouldnt be able to tell the difference.
I had many of these in Nova Scotia and was lucky enough to smuggle one home in my checked luggage.

Thanks NASH for brewing another great beer.

Buebie, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle courtesy of BBrianBoogie - thanks for the hook-up!

Pours a cloudy burnt orange with a finger of silky off white head that maintains a cover throughout and leaves spots of lacing down the glass. Love the unfiltered look, enticing.

Nose is resiny, spicy, hint of lemon and oranges hops. A hint of caramel sweetness hiding behind there.

Taste is refreshingly bitter. English style hops gather in force and pummel the tongue with a bitter burst. Notes of pine resin, Pinesol, lemons - mixed with a solid background of pale malts and a caramel sweetness. Hops dominate the entry and finish but the malts hold their ground in between. Silky mouthfeel.

Definitely one of Canada's most hopped brews though it doesn't have the bright citrus and floral notes that are characteristic of the more hopped, West-Coast American brews. That said, it's quite refreshing and satisfying. Would be glad to drink a couple of these.

ritzkiss, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This cinnamon bark colour is striking; the beer's look is beyond merely appealing, it is alluringly attractive - if not to say downright tantalizing. Its provocative blush is made further handsome by a distinctive clamato-red tinge that is derived from the light. Clarity is issued but cannot be observed due to the deep, toasty tone. Its head, with its velvety texture and fluffy consistency, is the consummate embodiment of the word 'creamy'.

If you're going to tack the word 'imperial' onto your pale ale (or virtually any other style for that matter) a gluttonous use of hops is of cardinal importance. It smells like Garrison understood that rule well. And, although hops should be preeminent, malt selection matters too. Again, this is something the brewmaster seemed to be well aware of. This aroma has both the stinky, pungent, resiny hops as well as toasty, sweet caramel maltiness.

And both are displayed well in the taste too, the hops definitely garnering more attention. Their drying, bitter, pithy citric grapefruit flavour combines with just a dash of spice and a musty, earthy kind of leafiness that lends the beer a sassy, brass and certainly delicious taste. 2-row pale, caramel, and sparing uses of Munich and Dextrin malts contribute a few ounces of biscuit and caramel to the flavour as well as prop up the mouthfeel.

The brewer seems to have gotten his money's worth out of these Amarillo and Magnum hops. The beer takes on a number of characteristics, including: citric, leafy, resinous, spicy and flowery. Die-hard hopheads might wish for a slightly larger dosage (silly hopheads, always want more! more!! more!!!) but there's no arguing about the quality of this beer's hoppiness; it has the malts beat out by at least a yard-stick.

Garrison's Imperial Pale Ale may not only be the hoppiest beer in Atlantic Canada, it may also be one of the best. Leaving the beer unfiltered has blessed it with a gorgeous appearance, using a voracious amount of fruity, charismatic hops has rendered the beer with a fragrant aroma, distinctive taste and awfully charming persona. Other Canadian brewers take note: This is what a nicely hopped beer should look, smell and drink like.

biegaman, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought this bottle at the Brewery in Halifax two days ago and enjoyed it today at home in West Hill. It's been in the bottle about three weeks is my guess.

Generous three finger head off the pour, dense foamy with great retention and lace. Cloudy orange colour with a lot of haze, I may have hurried the pour? Very citrusy nose with fruit zest and pine aromas. Tastes like one heckuva good DIPA! Having said that, some of the more highly-hopped American DIPA's are a bit off the map for this reviewer, this strikes a great balance with medium-high bitterness considering the style. Grapefruit taste predominates with ample malt backbone and mouthfeel, nicley done. I'm not getting a lot of the caramel other reviewers describe. Lingering zesty finish with cleansing and refreshing mouthfeel, a touch of sourness adds another dimension. Alcohol very well handled.

As far as I'm concerned, everything comes together quite well for this beer, it's the best I've had from my Halfiax tall ships vacation. If I had access, this would never not be in my fridge. Thanks and way to go Garrison!

ThatWineGuy, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy dirty brown color ale with a quite large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter and citrus hops is dominating with s very noticeable malt backbone. Taste is also dominated by some citrus and bitter hops with a nice West coast feels and a very nice malt backbone with light dry characteristics. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very well done and something I would like to try more often.

Phyl21ca, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of Mit
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade from fellow Canadian BA BBrianBoogie.

Holy cow just let me say...if I could get this on a regular basis along with some other Canadian notables I would travel across the border waaaay less often for my hop fix.

Appearance: A nice cloudy coppery red colour. Beautifully hazy with a nice creamy head that lasted for about a min or two.

Smell: A fantastic grapefruity hop aroma emanates from the glass giving away the hoppiness to come.

Taste: Just fantastic. A very nice bitter hop flavour permiates the initial tasting leaveing a nice spicy aftertaste. Some nutty notes were noticed with some maltiness coming through. Hops were very prevalent here.

Mouthfeel: It felt a little heavier than the 7.0% abv. Didn't detract from beer at all.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, but the 7% would probably get in the way of having too many of these.

I would hope that with the growing popularity of craft beer that Garrison can start making in roads into Ontario. I would buy this beer on a very regular basis for sure. I mean they still think Alexander Keiths is an IPA in Ontario...LOL.

Mit, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Disclaimer - got this beer as part of a trade with Loftarasa. I was supposed to pick it up from my parents in December, but the box got lost amongst some empty ones on the front porch and I didn't end up getting my beer until this week (6 months later). However, since I don't know when I'll get another Garrison IPA I figured I'd review it - but with the hopes that I'll get a crack at a fresh one in the future. Bottled December 2008. Served in an Ikea pint glass at my cousin-in-law's BBQ party.

A - Gorgeous reverse waterfall cascade of foam that eventually settles to three fingers of soapy blonde foam. Solid retention and copious patchy lacing. It's definitely an unfiltered brew, with a slightly hazed dark amber color and the occasional tiny bubble that flits into view.

S - Pine and dank earthy hops - is this a Simcoe beer? Reminds me a little of the Weyerbacher double I had last week, but obviously smells older with plenty of caramel maltiness. I'm not getting any of the citrus promised on the label - perhaps it was there in January, but I guess I'll never know. Somewhat muted, even when it warmed up.

T - Pine, maybe a hint of orange, loads of caramel and bready malt. There is still some residual hop bitterness that builds and builds over the 650ml serving size. Nothing wrong with it - but it's just not popping like a fresh IPA would, and lacks depth (again, likely due to the age).

M - Mild to moderate carbonation, medium body, soft and creamy. Dry finish with some residual hop oils and resins. Pretty standard.

D - Bitterness mounts very quickly for this one. ABV is still in the session range, and finishing the bomber was no problem, but the palate fatigue made it hard to taste much of anything the rest of the evening.

I suspect having this fresh would bump it up to an A- (smell and/or taste would probably gain a half point). Hopefully I'll get a chance to amend this review.

MasterSki, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of BigBry
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650 ml bottle of the Unfiltered Pale Ale.
Pours a deep orange color with golden brown highlights. Hazy, due to the fact it is uniltered, but that adds a bit of shimmer to the liquid. 2 inches of off-white head, decent retention and good looking lace.
A good dose of citrus, pine, and floral hops in the nose. Heavy malt tsate first, then a whole bunch of piney hops, citrus, grapefruit rind, lots of bitter goodness. The hops are stronger than the malt, but it is not overly out of balance. Thick and creamy body coats your mouth, then a crisp and dry, bitter finish.
Strong flavors and nice alcohol warmth at the end, not one to chug, but a sipper.
Overall, an excellent IPA, and as mentioned previously, pushing a Double / Imperial IPA.

Note to Self: Ranked #22 of the Top Beers - Canada when I tried it.

BigBry, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of ludachris
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Made sure I picked this one up on my last trip to Nova Scotia since I discovered true IPA's not that long ago.
Pours a very nice hazy deep orange with golden brown highlights. Finger and a half of off-white head with decent retention and decent lacing.
A burst of citrus, pine, floral hops and buttery malt in the nose. Very inviting.
Smooth buttery malt accompanied by a punch of pronounced citrus, grapefruit rind and pine that almost makes your mouth pucker and lingers to the bitter end. The hops are much more pronounced then the malt, but it still makes for quite a tasty beverage.
Incredibly creamy body that's capped off by a crisp, dry, bitter finish. Being so tasty and creamy, the drinkability is great but at the same time, I would find it hard to have more then two of these bad boys in fear of my tongue losing all of its senses to the bitterness.

Overall, an excellent IPA. Creamy, smooth, tasty and definately not lacking in the hop department. I am still a BA rook, but reading the label; "unfiltered Imperial Pale Ale" and with "Imperial" in its name, on top of the incredible IBU count, and 7% ABV ,I think this brew leans more towards an imperial IPA rather then an American IPA. Regardless, this was an exceptional brew that I would definately recommend for anyone travelling or living down East.

ludachris, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of Ralphus
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I received this beer as part of a BIF and wow - what a great thing to get in the mail! I believe the product has changed slightly as it's now unfiltered and the ABV has increased to 7%.

This beer looks wonderful. I don't give out 5's often but this one gets it. A beautiful mahogany red, cloudy and rich topped with two and a half fingers of rich foam. The beer leaves textbook rings down the glass as you drink it (rather quickly).

The smell is sweet fruit mostly with undercurrents of pine. Quite nice. The taste is full of sweet malts initially, the same fruitiness as the smell and wallop of piney hops. The hop finish is very long on this one. I agree with another reader below who thinks this should be classified as an DIPA.

Mouthfeel is solid creamy and leads to exceptional drinkability for a beer of this strength and bitterness. Well done Garrison!

Ralphus, Jun 09, 2009
Imperial IPA from Garrison Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.