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Imperial IPA - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

192 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 192
Reviews: 116
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: 192 | Reviews: 116 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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!

NJpadreFan, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of KaiMiller
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml, unfiltered

Nice amber pour, hazy with hop resins, disappearing fluffy head.
Big hop aroma, resiny, grapefruit, spruce.
Flavour is big american hops up front, grapefruit, earthy. Lingering earthy bitterness. Light malt profile, some nice yeast fruitiness. Smooth body, goes down well. Time to change my opinion of Garrison.

KaiMiller, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of elricorico
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium orange-brown in colour and hazy. Has an almost yellowed tan head that starts at 3 fingers and fades to a cap.

Piney hop aroma. Rather straightforward, but nice.

Taste is hoppy for sure, but not as powerful as expected. Pine again, but with citrus added. Hops sit on top of a slightly watery, biscuit-like malt base. Not bad, but not great.

The body is light, with a touch of slickness to it. It is lightly carbonated. Not bad here either.

The theme is that this beer isn't bad, but really isn't blowing my mind.

elricorico, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of babyhobbes
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
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!!!

babyhobbes, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of esch
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Quite nice orange color. Very hazy, but advertised as unfiltered so that's to be expected. Poured with a very dense white head. Retention is high.

S: All about the hops. Citrusy, grassy, minty, it's all here. Even though it's only 6.9% there's a nice twinge of alcohol. The barest notes of sweetness poke through at the end.

T: This is a face-full of delicious hoppiness. Incredible hop flavor. Tending towards earthiness and grassy the citrus notes from the aroma are missing. Aggressively bitter, not that it's a bad thing. Listed at 70 IBUs but tastes much higher than that, this beer lights up the edges of my mouth like few have before. There's certainly big maltiness here but it's completely dominated by the hops.

M: Body is big on this one. Medium carbonation. Nice alcohol heat. The bitterness lingers for quite a while after you swallow.

D: In a word, fantastic. I wish they'd dial down the bitterness a tad but otherwise this is a complete success.

esch, Jun 15, 2008
Photo of nighthawk
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a cloudy orange. Couple fingers worth of off-white (nearly yellow) head. Grapefruit smacks me in the nose, with some herbal and grassy notes, and just a faint caramel poking through here and there. Tastes strongly of bitter citrus, grapefruit, grassy, earthy, and delicious. Caramel sweetness took me by surprise with its nice balance. Hints of alcohol near the finish, but it's basically bitter through and through. Robust body, low carbonation, and surprisingly smooth. Very high drinkability, gives big beer flavour in a relatively low-alcohol package.

nighthawk, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber body with a scant, off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of grass and grapefruit pith with a backing of sweetish hinted caramel.

Taste: Sweet caramel maltiness tailed by a grassy, citrusy burst of hop flavor. Moderate bitterness, some acidity. A bit of astringency in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent enough for a beer that resides in the no-man's-land between IPA's and DIPA's.

ChainGangGuy, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of charlesw
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

[Currently listed as an IPA. I'm reviewing as an I2PA which is a lot closer in style, eh?]

Light, hazy orange/amber. You can see the beer is dense in how it pours in the glass and the bubbles swirl and slowly rise up. On the low end, perhaps, for head but with nice tight dark cream bubbles that stick around several minutes. Lastly lace.

Smells earthy with a bit of a floral touch.

Tastes... Ah! Tastes OK, I guess. I mean, you just send me yours and I'll save you the trouble of drinking it. 'Kay? No, seriously, this is the stuff. How do they pack this much malty sweetness into a beer that's only 6.9%ABV? It's insane! This is like drinking smutty b'wine or double bastard... But at 6.9%! Man, this is what I want to brew! OK, if I brew it I'll take the bitterness down a touch, but that does not mean, in the slightest, that I'm not enjoying drinking it like this! Full mouth bitterness changes to a mouth watering bitterness with just a touch of citrus then fades altogether. Wicked good beer. Oh, I know who the lucky dog is who's going to receive the other bottle I bought! Ha!

Anyway, yeah, again, big on the body (not as big as DB or smbw) for the "low" alcohol. A rousing success, this one! Heck... Given my need to cut calories back... I'd make this a daily drinker!

charlesw, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of irishkyle21
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours with a large fluffy white head that holds its own and leaves lots of lacing as it fights to stay two fingers thick. Has a murky copper/orange color. Well she starts off great in the looks department, now lets see what she offers for personality.

Smells of spicy grapefruit hops, lots of sweet pale malt and just a little bit of mustiness (in a good way).

Tastes of grapefruits, citrus (and other hop goodness), caramel malt and a clean bitter finish. I could drink this 24/7. I can only hope that one day I could try this on tap at the brewery. Thanks goes to MMansfield for this tasty treat.

irishkyle21, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of markaberrant
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

650ml bomber served in a 750ml brandy snifter. Entered under growler, as I previously reviewed a bottle of this in it's thankfully short-lived "filtered" version.

A - hazy ruby-orange colour, with a dense creamy tan head that eventually recedes to a few splotches. Talk about unfiltered, there are even a few hop pieces floating about! Some good lacing down the side of the glass.

S - juicy sweet grapefruit hop, no bitter rind or pine notes, but lots of other "tropical" notes such as papaya and mango.

T - Absolutely satisfying. Sweet malt and hops upfront, bitter grapefruit hop mid-way, finishing with a wicked combo of hop bitterness and biscuity malt.

M - Smooth is the name of the game here, with a lip smackingly dry finish to cleanse the palette. Barley a hint of alcohol is noticable, carbonation is low.

D - Drinkability is sky high, this delivers the goods in spades!

West Coast-style IPA from an East Coast Canadian brewery? WTF!!! What a frickin' monster of a beer, just when I thought I was burning out on IPAs, along comes a bountiful package full of this glorious beer. Leaves absolutely no doubt that this beer was fully deserving of it's 2007 CBA Beer of the Year award. Congrats to Greg!!!

markaberrant, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MMansfield for hooking me up!

Pours a cloudy amber, forms a thick off white head, settles down to a thick ring and layer, nice lacing on the glass. Smell is caramel, biscuity malt, pine and floral hops, grapefruit, nicely balanced. Taste is similar, solid malts, caramel and bread, grapefruit and pine hops, some nice floral and citrus, very balanced finish, perfect bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, alcohol is well integrated. I didn't know Canadian brewers knew how to hop until I had this and the HP Humulus, and this Garrison closest thing to an American IPA commercially available here. Thanks Matt!

Viggo, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Sammy, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4/5  rDev -2%
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.


SkinnyElvis, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of grub
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pubstyle hooked me up with this one. thanks troy!

22oz bottle. unfiltered.

pours slightly hazy reddish copper colour with a thick, dense cream coloured head. drops slowly and leaves tons of lace behind.

aroma is good. biscuity malt. light alcohol. grapefruit and orange.

taste is good. medium-high bitterness level. bit of alcohol. bread and biscuit malts. grapefruit. bit of orange. touch of caramel sweetness. the malt fills out a little more as it warms, which is nice.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced, maybe leaning a touch too far towards bitterness when it was cold, but it balances nicely once warmed a little. looking forward to trying more from these guys.

grub, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of Mandrake
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Mandrake, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of demcorhip
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to NASH, for not only brewing this tasty treat but trading me some.

A beautiful looking brew. Unfiltered and opaque pale coppery brown brew. Big, tight, four finger pale tan head on a mildly aggressive pour. Seems finely and mildly carbonated as I cant see any carbonation streams due to the murky body of this ale. Head decently retained, and left a good thick web of lacings.

Biscuit and crusty multigrain bread, caramel and a hint of diacetyl in there too. Floral and citrusy hops, mostly orange scented, and woody and piney aromas also present. Earthy qualities also present, as is a slight yeasty? mustiness that doesnt detract from the overall aroma of this brew.

Solid biscuity malt backbone, flavours much like in the aroma of whole grain crusty bread and some caramel. Hops fairly assertive, but not typical of the american IPA style, but its fair to say this is one amped up pale ale that lies somewhere between IPAs, pale ales, and perhaps even strong ales. Mostly floral and earthy, woody hop bite from the Magnum hops. Then Cascade make an appearance, with flavours of orange and pine.

A big bodied brew, somewhere between medium and full bodied. Rich and solid malt backbone bends but doesnt break under a solid hop assault. Very mildly carbonated, works nicely with the big, smooth, and slightly creamy feel. Hops almost approach resinous and stripping feel at the finish, which is slightly astringent.

The mild astringent finish makes it easy to keep coming back for another drink of this refreshing big bodied brew. Alcohol noticeable, but not too assertive, so in no way does it detract from the drinkability. While in no way typical, easy drinking session fare, this would be a great beer to tip back all night long.

My only complaint was the slight mustiness, but this was something that my palate quickly accustomed itself to, and in no way detracted from my enjoyment of this tasty brew. Lucky Haligonians. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for Canadian brewing.

demcorhip, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of trevorwideman
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks so much to mmansfield for sending me this! Unfiltered version.

Vigorous pour produces 1 inch of pillowy off-white head and lots of lovely lacing. This is the murkiest IPA I've ever seen, brownish-gold-copper-whatever, almost opaque with sediment. Pretty intense looking. Aroma is very floral and sweet with hints of citrus and mango. Background malty notes create a light caramel and vanilla base. Lovely and uncluttered and balanced.

Taste is very impressive. Herbal licorice notes, a bit of pine, grapefruit, and juicy mango with a little vanilla. Bready malt in the background, a bit cakelike. Really nice balance. My only quibble is a bit of a papery note that comes through in the finish, I assume this is a fresh bottle, so where is it coming from? Mouthfeel is lively with a zippy carbonation and medium body. A little less dry than I expected in the finish, but it does have a big malt presence. This is a beer I could drink all night long, but the 6.9% might hamper that a little. With the big body and the massive hop bill this could easily have been dropped into the DIPA Category.

All in all drink for Haligonians to be proud of, and the best beer I've had yet from Nova Scotia. All hail the new Garrison!

trevorwideman, Nov 02, 2007
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Imperial IPA from Garrison Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.