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Rampant Imperial IPA | New Belgium Brewing

very good
466 Reviews
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Rampant Imperial IPARampant Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A burly and bitter Imperial IPA, Rampant pours a pure copper and carries the sheen of a rightly hopped beer. The Mosaic and Calypso hops bring stonefruit to the front seat, and the addition of Centennials nod towards citrus for a well-rounded aroma. The taste expands these hops with heavy peach tones and a profoundly bitter bite. There is some malt sweetness to stand this beer up, and Rampant's finish is bone-dry.

Added by Huffaroma on 02-24-2013

User Reviews
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Reviews: 466 | Ratings: 2,741
Photo of fscottkey
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: [4.25] Distinct red tones to the beer. It has a nice amber color but with reddish undertones. The head is a full 2 fingers of dense white bubbles. The bottle lists the ABV (8.5%) and there is a readable born on code (04/10/16).

S: [2.50] Fruity hop character with pineapple. Then I get pine and some onion. Also weird melted plastic aroma (this really takes over as I continue to drink it).

T: [3.25] The taste has pine and pineapple. Not a whole lot more going on.

M: [3.25] This has a little low mouthfeel for a 8.5% beer. The alcohol is totally hidden but the beer is not as chewy as I would expect. Nothing really lingering on the palate.

O: [3.00] This beer seemed to be missing the mark all over the place. It looked great but then it fell off. The nose had a synthetic/plastic odor that was not good. The taste is really generic and uninspired. The body is less than expected too. I would pass this over for many different beers.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pale amber, slightly hazy body with big frothy white head, long lasting, excellent lacing

Smell: grassy;tropical fruits; piney hop notes

Taste: sweet malts with resiny hop flavors; finishes sweet, but the hop astringency finds it way out at the end; okay, but not great

Mouthfeel: creamy, almost chewy

Remarks: not that impressive, but drinkable

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Photo of goodbeer4cheap
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At it's price point not bad for a DIPA but tends to wear the alcohol like a much heavier beer. More on the dessert beer level. I get a weird mixture of hops and a small malty backround. I agree largely with the description and the dry mouth end is nothing to joke about. In a head to head with another craft giant at it's price point and give Sam Adams Rebel Rouser above it while I put the one I most commonly at the price point Southern Tier XIPA in a virtual only slightly above it but will classify it as an European linked Double.

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Photo of mirp1
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Hey, they tried. Seems brewed for mass appeal, not for those who covet Heady Topper, Molotov Lite, Tesseract, Palate Shifter, Ruination, Dirt Wolf, Full Stack, etc. This one is a cross between Yuengling (sp?), and a corn malt liquor in flavor, with some low dose, odd hop configuration added to the mix. New Belgium came into the Utica, NY market just yesterday, and they have stacks of their stuff for sale everywhere, including laundry rooms. Kidding. Point is, nothing special, and it is all over the place; not a good sign. Judge for yourself, but I have no interest in investing my beer moment into this again. Not at all hideous, just weird and pedestrian. As for Flat Tire, Guh!

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Photo of daliandragon
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a solid white head with reasonable stamina and a bright golden body. Respectable lacing later. Nose is mango and pear and general bitter hoppiness.

Taste is tight with carbonation and laced by alcohol but the bitter pine notes kick in to carry this to a decent finish. The texture is close but the abv shows early on in the sip.

This is certainly a serviceable DIPA but probably not among the elite of that style. Worth a go, at least.

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Photo of MusaJames
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Right away as I pour this beer I don't get much of a head. The golden color is dark and impressive. The smell must be intense as I don't have a great sense of smell but holy cow I can smell it clearly. This is a beer full of amazing flavor. I'm getting a fruity flavor but I cannot put my finger on it. The bottle suggests peach but I disagree. This is a Man's beer.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle, it pours a golden amber with a small head, dissipating quickly. Nose is grassy and fruity. Mouth is enticed by the hop bite and slightly malty flavor. Yum.

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Photo of jmd1978
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Golden color with inch of white head. Nose orange, lemon, piney with hints of grassy. Taste is faint but pine, grapefruit, orange, lemon and a little hoppy. Clean finish that doesn't linger. Rather average IPA. For the imperial type I expected much more punch to it. Average beer but ok to drink

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

clear golden in color, big white head. good head retention and lacing. Big bold pine and grassy hop aroma. taste is quite bitter, sharp hop bite. lingering sensation on the tongue. thin to medium bodied, medium carbonation

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Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy, dark golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of grapefruit, oranges, malts. Taste is smooth, oranges, some malts, alcohol is well hidden, some malts, light bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a good beer, but not the hop bomb I associate with this style.

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Photo of Act25
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this on arriving home from being away 10 days.
Spring storm. Big lightening and wind.

Disappointed in how dank and soapy this beer is.

A: Pours a clear dark amber body with light, fine visible carbonation resulting in a 2 finger tall dense foamy head that slowly reduces and leaves significant amounts of lacing.

S: Strong aromas of citrus rind, tropical mango, and dank pine hops over backdrop of caramel, sticky sweet pale malts.

T: Upfront it's got a soapy, off- taste. Against a backdrop of brown sugar sweetness, the beer offers strong flavors of pine and grapefruit rind hops, along with a soapy, pissy dankness. A lot of almost ammonia bitterness finishes.

M: It's heavier than medium with suitable mid-carbonation. Chewy and bitter, but too soapy in the finale for me.

O:Murky and soapy. Would not get it again.

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Photo of scotchbeer
4.82/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So far this is the closest beer to Russian River's Pliny the Elder I have ever found. The taste is almost perfect: subtle hint of fruit and pine elegantly balanced with the hop; not too bitter, not too heavy, but still has body and complexity.

Such quality from such a larger brewery really surprises me. Kudos!

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't find anything particularly outstanding about this imperial IPA but it's solid for the style. On the drier side with some deep, sweet flavors, the flavors flirt with both light and deep. The bottle mentions peach characteristics and I find that to be an accurate assessment. I paid $9.99 and tax for a six pack and I would happily do so again.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
1.17/5  rDev -69%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

At first I thought this would be a great every day drink, but as I tried to enjoy it I realized that taste I kept trying to figure out was a meaty after taste. While I love meat I prefer not to drink it.

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Photo of A20sp
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from my "New Belgium Brewing" globe beer glass, poured from a 12 oz bottle. 42F at 8.5%ABV

L:- Dark Amber in color with a translucent build. Has a small white head which shrinks quickly. Decent carbonation bubbles arise from the glass bottom, which coat the walls with a slight lacing.
S:- Not that strong. Hops, citrus, and florals with a dash of pine.
T:- Not as hoppy as expected, but still pretty bitter. Piney with a good bit of citrus/fruit (more grapefruit like, or an un-fresh peach at best). Has a subtle maltness at the end, with a lingering grapefruit bitterness in my throat.
F:- Carbonated and very bitter. Has an astringent quality which seems to overwhelm the palate.

:- Didn’t meet my expectations, but not nasty. I know many who would claim to enjoy this beer, but I particularly don’t. Just not the “right” bitterness for me, nor did the peachiness described on the bottle really jump out at me (At least not in a “fresh and tasty“ way). I can appreciate the flavors and quality, but not my cup of tea. Would probably not drink again, unless gifted.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I bought New Belgium's twelve-in-a-box sampler and there were two Rampants.
I hesitated for a few months (I'm a hop-shy guy.)
But the "Best By" date was coming up fast, I grabbed one and went to my favorite BYOB Pan-Asian restaurant and ordered a pretty spicy dish for lunch.
But, I drank 2/3 of the bottle before the meal came and established an inescapably firm opinion.
The meal came and was so overwhelingly peppery that it saved my rating from becoming a complete pasting.
There are too many hops.
And confirming the falsity of the common short-cut, adding more malt does not create a balanced beer... unless the brewer is really, really lucky or really, really experienced at these two extremities or, most likely, both.

I like New Belgium. I do not fault them for going after their slice of the hop-head market. But if they want to continue being known as the largest brewer to figure out Belgian-styles for the American mass market, then they need to stick to their knitting.

If they stick to what they do best and do it even better, their service of helping the market understand the complex interplays of food and beer will be their lasting legacy. Because the Belgians do it best.... IMHO.

When I get old enough to trade, the sampler's other Rampant goes on the block first.

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Photo of Nosquatch
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm usually not a huge fan of New Belgium and IPAs aren't usually my go to, but I liked this one. It came in a mix case from Costco and I found it to be nicely balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of IronLover
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Golden yellow in color with a light amber hue. Poured with a thick, foamy, bright white foam with good retention. Medium hop aromas of over-ripe pineapple, peach, and tropical fruit with light floral and earthy notes. Medium light sweet malt beneath with faint booziness at the bavk end.. Medium bodied with, soft, creamy, medium light carbonation. Boozy warmth throughout the with bit of a harsh alcohol bite at the end. A mix of tropical hop flavors up front that transition to middle high hop bitterness through the middle. Low malt flavor. Finished with a malty sweet note followed lingering bitter and boozy notes. Pleasant complex aromas were the highlight with just enough malt presence to balance the hops. Flavor and feel were a bit on the boozy, hot side that set back the drinkability.

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Photo of Gauss
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is an exception beer. Just the right bitterness and a balance of hops that add a refreshing aftertaste. I like it nice and cold in a frosted tulip glass after a long day at work. For the price, and constant availability this may be the best beer around!

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Photo of vikinggary28
4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into my trusty glass mug. Golden copper/orange colour with slightly off white head. Hoppy floral scent with slight malt and grapefruit creeping through in the taste. Goes down smooth although a hoppy aftertaste may linger for a bit. Enjoy!

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Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a perfectly clear golden copper with a sizeable, rocky white head. Bubbles can be seen dancing upward through the glass - some are rather large, others as small as a pinhead. Aromas and flavors are of stone-fruits (peaches especially), citrus (grapefruit and orange peels), pine, and a nice dry bitterness from the hops. This is a very good DIPA.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: February 15, 2016... GLASSWARE: Maudite snifter... OCCASION: Enjoying a day at home with snow falling and family surrounding... APPEARANCE: begins with a copper orange body that breeds effervescence... the head is snow-white and thick, two fingers in height and appreciable in its lacing... a single finger infiltrates the body slightly at uneven intervals, sagging into the suggestion of hefty-headedness... a monolithic white shade is pulled down as the glass drains--this is serious stuff, kids... AROMA: an alluring welcome of peach, grapefruit, apple, strawberry and pine greets the nostrils--ample forthcoming bitterness is suggested by the pine, though a breezy, aromatic fruitiness keeps the aroma from frightening the "unhop" heads that would attempt this... no heightened alcohol is suggested... PALATE: "Bone dry" is a rather appropriate appellation...a powerful bitterness passes through the teeth with a rattle, while the finish is clean and demanding of another sip--almost too easy drinking! TASTE: grapefruit and peach predominate the profile... secondary hints of strawberry, bubblegum and excellent, bitterness... very little to be found on the malty end--indeed imperial... OVERALL: beers don’t win or lose on the label, but I love the name--its suggestive aggression is delivered in a royal way, as every sip left me breathing flowers over fire, yet the impact on the mind is weighty... a confident, rewarding walk among the orchard that only needs twelve ounces to put its drinker in the right frame of mind...

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Photo of PASTOR_at_DAChurch_of_IPA
2.45/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Rampant is a staple, always in the fridge, even though it doesn't taste great. The logo is pretty fly with the crown of hops, but the beer is just average. It isn't nearly bitter enough, it isn't carbonated enough, there appears to be way too much caramel, and the taste is tolerable. Rampant is a staple because it is easily available, cheap, and gets the job done, quickly, but respectably. Two Rampants on an empty stomach and I'm toasty, but it looks classy enough, definitely a great stealth drunk brew.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 8.5% abv

Appearance- Pours a bright orange with large white head slow to dissipate. Crystal clear.

Smell- Toasted malt, grapefruit, floral aroma.

Taste- Sweet syrupt malt with an agressive citric grapefruit kick. There is another layer to the fruit tones as the grapefuit gives way to more of a tropical character of pineapple before the finish. Herbal hop finish with lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body with active carbonation.

Overall- A flavorfull and smooth double. Some complexity in the sweetness of the hop flavors as well. On the clear side for a 2x ipa as well. Solid B for a double ipa.

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Photo of MACrist
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

LOOKS: Clear, burnt orange-amber. Small amount of tiny bubbles rising. Left about an inch of off white foamy head that dissipated after a few minutes. Leaves a fair amount of lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Orange and grapefruit. Little bit of pine. Smells like their Ranger IPA.
TASTE: Sweetness, then a mild bitterness takes over. The predominant flavor is citrus/grapefruit rind. No breadiness to this one.
MOUTHFEEL: Medium-thin body but not watery. Sufficient carbonation. Slightly sticky at first, but finishes pretty dry.
OVERALL: Very similar to the Ranger IPA, overall. But a little more body to this, with less malt in the flavor. Above average beer, not real complex, though, but pretty solid.

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Rampant Imperial IPA from New Belgium Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 466 ratings.