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Imperial IPA - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

198 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 198
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 18
Gots: 10 | 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: 198 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pootz
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1/2 liter bomber: First of my Garrison private order cache:

Pours a hazed deep amber orange with a monster meringue cap. Great retention and lacing.

Gorgeous pungent aromas of juicy citrus- pine hopping and toffee malts.

Medium bodied, Big rush of resinous hops in front is countered by ample caramel malt body, large flavor. Finish is wet hoppy and with a long astringent hop bittering burn.

One of the best big IPAs I have sampled in Canada but the astringent finish blows the balance and harmony...a small foible and a personal preference but this alone keeps me from giving this higher marks,

Photo of Long813
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled On: Jan 10 2010

A: Dark cloudy copper bodied boasting just over two fingers of off white head. A good amount of head retains throughout the entire drink and leaves exceptional lacing.

S: Can't pick much out besides a large from of hops and malts that seem to smooth it out.

T: Loads of hops up front with a malty base. Malts really smooth and sweeten up the bitter pine taste. Taste good, but I can't pick out any specifics.

M: Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Has a smooth creamy texture that ends with a bitter pine taste. No sense of alcohol here.

D: Great Canadian DIPA and DIPA in general. I'll be drinking a lot more of this and can't believe I waited this long to review it.

Photo of kjyost
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks BBrianBoogie! Bottled on Nov 20/09. Poured into a Tulip.

An amazing looking beer. This is not the biggest IPA by ABV but man does it look good. A rich red body that is a little cloudy. Pours a perfect head that slowly drops itself as it leaves thick and perfect lacing. Woowzers! This beer has me right off the hop.

The aroma continues in the same vein. Floral and hoppy, Amarillo or a C hop? A bit of earthy hop underneath it too. The malt is understated, but I think that is only because I am getting the hops kicking me in the nose... Everything an IIPA should be. I was worried that the nose would be off as the bottle was older. Thanks heavens not!

The taste of the beer is nice, but it is not nearly as overwhelming as my two previous senses too it to be. The primary hop flavour is earthy and a bit dank. Not my favorite. It is well balanced though as the bitterness is there, but not overwhelming nor lingering forever upon the palate. The malt body is sweet and at times tastes bready / like crackers. This hits you until the bitterness rolls in and balances it out. Personally I would have preferred a more floral hop in the body. Still good.

Mouthfeel is a unbalanced. Plays well in the mouth in terms of bitterness, but the carbonation at times seemed a bit too biting. Not normally, but in a few mouthfuls.

A good and drinkable IIPA, that had me from the pour. Well done Garrison!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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. =(

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Imperial IPA from Garrison Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.