1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Imperial IPA - Garrison Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

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

185 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 185
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 17
Gots: 5 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 185 | Reviews: 116 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of funkengruven
funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

British Columbia (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Alberta (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

British Columbia (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Alberta (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New Brunswick (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Manitoba (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Manitoba (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Alberta (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Alberta (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this back from a trip to Halifax.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml served in a chilled glass..

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

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

New Brunswick (Canada)

4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Stella chalice.

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Washington

4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to korguy123 for this one

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 05:27:28 | More by shamus
Photo of TerryW
TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty fierce brew best suited to hop lovers. Looks great. Hazy orange amber that pours a large firm head that eventually settles to a heavy film and gives up a ton of lace long the way. Looks quite appetizing.

Very hoppy nose with a sweet malty backbone. Very fruity, lots of grapefruit citrus and pine. Also quite appetizing. Quite sweet from the malt when it first hits your mouth but is immediately dominated by powerful grapefruit peel. You gotta be lovin' your hops to like this, otherwise you'll be wondering what hit you. Long lingering bitter finish.

Well made, good drinking. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 00:27:16 | More by TerryW
Photo of StarshipPoopers
StarshipPoopers

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle poured into a snifter.

A - What a nice appearance. A very hazy orange with about 2 fingers of foamy white head. The lacing is excellent and leaves a lot of legs. The retention is alright, dies down pretty quick but there are still patches of head here and there.

S - What an unexpectedly good smelling DIPA. The hops come through with a strong grapefruit smell and other citrus. Also a grassy pine smell in the hops as well. Some slight hints of malts as well.

T - Quite hoppy and well balanced. I am impressed, I would place this from California or some other place along the West coast, certainly not from Nova Scotia. The tastes are much the same as the smell. The grapefruit hops are very nice and this beer is quite balanced. Pines and earthy notes come through and the beer is balanced the way that I like it. The malts taste mainly of caramel and adds a nice backbone to the overall taste. Balance is typical of a good DIPA, strong hops with good malts to back them up.

M/D - Nice smooth mouthfeel that i have come to expect from good DIPAs. The bitterness adds a nice bite, and the aftertaste is quite subtle and not overpowering.

Very good, I hope the LCBO keeps this around.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2010 05:11:57 | More by StarshipPoopers
Photo of drinkininthewood
drinkininthewood

Ontario (Canada)

4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle from the LCBO.

Served into a Samuel Smiths glass.

A- Foggy amber color with off white inch of foam. Looked almosy syrupy while pouring.

S- Fruity and floral with strong citrusy hop aromas and even some strong malty aromas. Quite possibly one of the best smelling beers I have had.

T- Great malt up front brings a wave of caramel sweetness completely transforming into some delicious, citrusy hop oils. Drying bitter finish lingers. Very flavorfull and assertive. I love it!

M- smooth and full bodied.

D- Very tasty but also quite strong. 1 or 2 bottles.

Overall the best Canadian brewed IPA. What is stopping other canadian brewers from pulling out all the stops and dropping hop heavy brews such as Garrison IIPA. The standard has been set in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 02:53:54 | More by drinkininthewood
Photo of mrnobody
mrnobody

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into an oversized tulip. Pours a hazy amber with 3 fingers of creamy head. Head eventually settles down to a ring of foam but leaves some nice lacing. The aroma is tropical fruit and pine, very inviting. Taste consists of a very upfront piney bitterness followed by some sweet fruit on the finish but with a persistently bitter final note. This is definitely more of a single IPA than a DIPA in terms of the body, however the carbonation seems about right. Other than the lingering bitterness, this is very drinkable. This seems a little out of balance. There is some nice tropical fruit here but it is dominated by the bitterness unfortunately. Otherwise, a pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2010 02:50:24 | More by mrnobody
Photo of heebes
heebes

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle

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

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2010 14:31:24 | More by heebes
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper with a big billowy head. Careful pouring this one - the head will build for a good long time! Nose is bright, floral and citrusy with a touch of sawdust and fruit. A little on the boozy side and leans towards bitterness rather than hop flavour. Could have more balancing sweetness. Good body and drinkability. Tasty enough but doesn't really pop.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2010 01:24:25 | More by allergictomacros
Imperial IPA from Garrison Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.