Rampant Imperial IPA - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Rampant Imperial IPARampant Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

404 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 404
Hads: 2,444
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.38%
Wants: 57
Gots: 479 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Huffaroma on 02-24-2013

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 404 | Hads: 2,444
Photo of runfoodrun
1.21/5  rDev -67.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Wow, I'm not one to drain pour a beer, especially not an IPA or DIPA. This beer smells of wet straw and dirt. This beer tastes like it smells. Awful.

Perhaps I should have poured it into a glass, but one smell after opening the bottle revealed this horrible smell. I proceed to take a couple of sips to see if the taste matched the smell. It did. I tried, I really did. Then it went down the drain.

Not sure what they were going for with this DIPA. Perhaps I missed something or my palette isn't experienced enough for this. But I've been a hard core hop head for years now and I don't remember drain pouring even the worst IPA or DIPA. This I couldn't take.

EDIT

Based on other reviews I wonder if I had a bad bottle or an old bottle. But the best by date is in July and it just hit here. Not sure what to think. But my review stands. (841 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
1.22/5  rDev -67.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12 oz bottle. Pours clear straw gold with a big fluffy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is a lot of plasticky onion with some dank peppery hops and a little sweet malt.

The flavor is a little sweet bready malt followed by a ton of vegetal plasticky green onion that has decent bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit watery.

Overall, I don't care for this at all. It's a bunch of watery onioney / garlicky hops (summit?). Like a very poor man's Gubna. From reading other reviews, I wondered if I got a bad one, since all I get is onion and no fruity piney hops. But the 6 pack tasted the same - I dumped one of them. It tasted similar on draft too, just more subdued and watery. (721 characters)

Photo of OutKast
1.25/5  rDev -66.8%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured a bit light for an IIPA, good head and looked to be like the mouth feel I wanted.
Smelled like rotten grass...maybe a bad bottle i "thunk", but no the entire sixer!
Tasted like it smelled...hay, or rodent bedding..wet wood shavings with bread yeast...very little hop flavor...like they swept up the store room and hopped with the results, or used a hop schedule meant for a totally different type of beer altogether Terrible beer! I dumped 3/4 of every one i opened...could have gotten a rouge sixer, but don't plan giving it a second chance! I have NO idea how this can be over 80 on here....SERIOUSLY NASTY BEER! Just my opinion... (640 characters)

Photo of beergirl35
1.34/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

There is something definitely wrong with this beer. It has a very odd odor and an even worse taste. I would love to describe it for you, but I can't put a name to it. It is a sick, floral disgusting smell and even worse taste. I generally don't throw out beer, but am strongly considering it on the rest of this six pack. Not a fan of New Belgium in general, but this is the worst. (381 characters)

Photo of wiegs4life
1.41/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Had one from the folly pack I got not too long ago. Poured from a bottle into a Chimay glass.

A - Heavy copper color with about a 1 inch of froth.

S - Smells like an burn hops a bit. Not much to balance the smell of the abumdant alcohol.

T - A standard imperial IPA. Very unbalanced for all the hops in it.

M - Very harsh. Horrible aftertaste.

Overall, I didn't like the beer. I wouldn't get this beer even if it was given to me for free. Poor display from New Belgium. (474 characters)

Photo of hardy008
1.59/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours dark gold with a bright 2 finger white head with good retention and lacing. The aroma has grassy hops, melon, onions, biscuit malt, citrus zest, and alcohol. Very unpleasant. I hope it tastes better than it smells.

It does not taste better than it smells. It tastes a bit worse than it smells. There are onions, citrus zest, grassy hops, biscuit malt, alcohol, and some melon. I'm sure New Belgium wanted to try to make something different, but they failed miserably.

Medium bodied with averge carbonation. Finishes very dry and harshly bitter. I don't understand how they can fail to hide 8.50 % abv alcohol, when other breweries hide the alcohol on beers with a higher abv. I don't think I got a bad bottle, I just think this beer sucks. (748 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
1.85/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a medium clear gold with a firm white head, some real nice lace.

S: Weeds, vegetation, ethanol.

T: Lots of weedy, dandelion green type flavour. Astringent, not tasty at all, not a fun beer to try to drink.

M: Medium-bodied, fairly crisp, medium carbonation.

O: This beer is horrendous, I hope this is a bad bottle, since this is by far the worst New Belgium beer I've had. Love these guys, but this is a mess. (439 characters)

Photo of dionito
2.03/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Served from a 12oz bottle bought about three weeks ago and kept in a dark chest freezer converted to kegerator. Temperature around 40ºF (+-3ºF). Served to a tulip glass.

Looks good, orange/copper with a nice foamy head. No problem there. The problem starts with the aroma. It's very strong, starts nice, piney, but goes into something weird that I am not sure what it is exactly, but it's pungent and unpleasant. Taste is similar to how the smell finishes, really strong, but not hoppy strong. The hops are there but they're overwhelmed by something off, totally unpleasant. I wonder if this bottle was not good, got skunk or something. I couldn't finish it and more than half of it went down the drain. I will give it another try and re-review. If this is what it is, not impressed at all. Actually, quite opposite. (819 characters)

Photo of mkbeirne
2.05/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was served from the bottle into a tulip glass.

The beer poured a very light gold with minimal head. I want to emphasize the light color of this beer. Double IPAs surely are supposed to be fairly pale in color, but this beer looked more like a light lager than any double IPA I've ever had. My first impression was that someone had played a trick on me by pouring a Bud Light into a Rampant bottle and capping it. While the IPA and DIPA styles have expanded to allow beers of widely differing appearances, I cannot, with a straight face, say that this looked anything like a DIPA when I poured it.

I was hopeful the aroma would be the redeeming factor, but no. This had none of the typical citrus, pine and floral notes that I typically expect in a DIPA. Nor was there any malt backbone on the aroma. Sure, there was a hop aroma present, but it was in no way true to the style. My friend's description of the aroma hits it spot on: it smelled like the inside of a gym bag. I'm not talking about the dank hop character present in some IPAs - this just smelled like they dumped random hops at the end of boil, with no concern as to the different aroma contributions of each.

The taste was equally disappointing. There certainly was the bitterness one would expect from a DIPA, but in no way could it be described as true to style. There was no real citrus flavor or complexity - just bitterness for the sake of bitterness. And let me be clear: I am not someone who automatically knocks a DIPA for being unbalanced. On the contrary, I thoroughly enjoy unbalanced hop bombs so long as the hop character provides the expected citrus character of an IPA. This, however, completely missed. It tasted like New Belgium took their standard IPA recipe, watered it down to make a double batch, but quadrupled the hop bill.

The mouthfeel was very thin, which again makes it seem like a watered-down, over-hopped IPA.

I typically refrain from writing severely negative reviews, but this beer was so disappointing that I felt it was necessary. I like a lot of New Belgium products, and I was excited to see they were releasing an Imperial IPA. Unfortunately, they completely missed on this one. Every aspect of the beer makes it seem like a watered-down, over-hopped IPA.

Give it a shot if you feel so compelled, but don't expect anything close to a "typical" imperial/double IPAs. New Belgium really butchered the style with this beer, in my opinion. (2,447 characters)

Photo of sbxx
2.08/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

Appearance - Pours a light golden yellow. 1/2 finger of bubbly head leaves behind minimal spotty lacing.

Smell - Earthy, bready hops with some background citrus

Taste - Blah. Bitter straw notes upfront, then on the backend, the hops and some citrus comes through. Not-so-great bitter aftertaste. Tastes thin and cheap. This is an Imperial IPA? Really?

Mouthfeel - Light, low carbonation, finishes slightly dry

Overall - I might drink a few more sips, but this one is looking like a drain pour. (498 characters)

Photo of JohnnyMc
2.14/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

New beer from New Belgium!

Pours out a very clear, bright yellow with 2 fingers of an off-white head.

The aroma is peaches, piney hop notes, some subtle floral notes and a weird perfume smell too. There is a little bit of bready notes.

The taste is overwhelmed by the weird perfume type of flavor, some peach, pine and very light floral hop notes and a touch of bready malt. Very one dimensional and not very good. The perfume taste overwhelms the entire beer.

The body is light and there is a crisp and clean mouthfeel. You can't taste the ABV and there is only a slight warming as it goes down.

A very poor example of an Imperial IPA; not very bitter, not very hoppy and a weird perfume smell and taste. (711 characters)

Photo of SamN
2.21/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beers looks are pretty underwhelming for an Imperial IPA. Limp color, looks thin, could be mistaken for your run-of-the-mill amber lager. Head is sandy, dirty white, grainy looking. Smell...uhm, nothing. I literally get no smell, even with vigorous swirling and a full faceplant into the glass. Maybe some faint alpha oils.

This could be because I was in the snow and cold all day, but I dunno. An imperial IPA should be a shotgun blast to the face of sticky hop cones. This barely has any aroma at all.

As for taste, It's a hop-forward beer, for sure. It's just not what I think of when I think of an DIPA. The hops flavor is sort of two-dimensional, no juicy citrus fruits or tropical fruits anywhere. The heavy malt base might offer countering sweetness, but it too sort of gets lost in the muddle. Some mild toasted grains in there, but limited.

Man, this was disappointing. NB is real hit-or-miss these days. (921 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
2.22/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.75

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Clear dark amber. Moderate near-white head. Lines of stick left down the glass.

The aroma is not a good one. Lots of root and stalk vegetables: celery immediatley comes to mind. There's some onion presence as well. A bit of resin character, but, overall, not good.

Fairly bitter with similar vegetable flavors--again, lots of celery and even potato, something strange. Some pine and resin notes as well.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation.

I didn't care for this one at all. (535 characters)

Photo of BaltimoreBeerLover
2.27/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This is the first beer I've had that has finally driven me to write a review. Unfortunately, for the wrong reasons.

Poured into a red wine glass.

Appearance: A nice, golden-amber color with a foamy white head about an inch thick.

Smell: Stale hay or corn is the predominant aroma I get, which threw me aback slightly, but I thought the taste would prove otherwise. Not too complex, slight hoppiness.

Taste: A surprisingly unpleasant experience. I was not prepared for the odd aftertaste. Alcohol presence really isn't there for an 8.5% beer but the stale straw taste is very prevalent. Not nearly as hoppy as I would expect from an imperial IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation, dry.

Overall: A very unpleasant experience from the start but did improve slightly as the beer warmed with time. Would not recommend to anyone and will only drink in the future because it has ethanol in it and I hate to see money go to waste. 2/5.

Disclaimer: I checked the expiration date just to make sure that wasn't a factor and it is not. I did however purchase the beer cold, store it at room temperature, then refrigerated again before drinking. Although, I have done this multiple times in the past with no adverse effects. I am by no means a beer snob, and I have no problem drinking budweiser, bud light, etc. and was very surprised by how bad this actually tasted. In fact, this is only the second beer after anchor christmas ale that I have said to myself, "Wow, this is a terrible beer." (1,494 characters)

Photo of Lawl3ss
2.31/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Lightly chilled 12 oz. bottle poured into a stemless tulip pint. Best-by date 7.7.13.

Look- Deep gold with three fingers of dense white head. Good retention, thick swaths of lace remain.

Smell- Pineapple, bitter lemon rind, sharp, resinous, skunky. Clean oyster cracker malt backdrop. Swirling brings out a stronger medicinal lemon-pine aroma that is moderately abrasive, makes me think I could use this beer to clean floors. Not flat-out terrible, but not something I'm a fan of, either.

Taste- After the first sip, I waited a while before taking another. Unfortunately the second was the same. Bitter tea, tobacco, and booze. Light sweetness in the middle. Fades to mineral water and cough syrup. Not enough flavor for something this sharp, needs either a softer edge or something else going on besides the bitterness. Kind of like sucking on hop pellets. Old ones.

Mouthfeel- Light-medium body, nearly flat. Light warming after the swallow. Insubstantial feel, watery.

Overall- Not quite sure what they were shooting for with this one, but I ended up giving away the last 2/3 of the six pack. Waited a few days to crack the second bottle (this one) after being underwhelmed by the first. Just because it's bitter and boozy doesn't mean it's a worthwhile DIPA. (1,267 characters)

Photo of Mdog
2.36/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Clear gold, big head.

Smell & Taste: It's really hard to describe even after half the 6 pack. Kind of citrus, but also herbal/vegetal. Kind of earthy. Kind of spicy. Maybe like eating orange rind/peel mixed with peeled potato skin. Nothing like any double IPA I've ever had.

Overall: I had high hopes for a low priced DIPA from a respected brewer but this is just weird stuff. I'll get through the 6 pack but I'm disappointed. (440 characters)

Photo of zachary80
2.43/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Sixer 10.99

Pours with a small head, dissipates fairly fast, leaves good lacing. Color is somewhat off-putting: slightly hazy, very light, not a fan of the hue.

Aroma is weak with a single vegetal note.

Flavor is predominantly that same vegetal hop - medium to high bitterness is fine for the style, malt backbone is completely absent.

Watery. The amount of alcohol bit is unwarranted at only 8.5% abv.

Overall an extremely simple DIPA that is lacking across the board. Was really hoping for something more out of this one. I'm hoping the rest of the six pack shows that this was a bad bottle, but I'm really not looking forward to opening another. (655 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.6/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden-amber body with a frothy, receding, white head.

Smell: Odd, onion-scented overtones with resiny, citric tones beyond some additional fruitiness. Bolstered pale malt base, faintly sweetish in the nose.

Taste: Sugared pale malts, boosted somewhat, but, then dosed with a conspicuous vegetal quality and a few drips of camphor oil. Some resinous, some citrusy touches, but the preceding flavors override these tastes. Moderate bitterness. Drying, bitterish, camphor oil finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-carbonation. Feels a tad oily moving across the tongue.

Overall: I left work early on Friday to head home and enjoy some music, fun, and beer. Two oughta three ain't bad, I guess. (797 characters)

Photo of utfiero
2.7/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Color- clear gold. Full head.

Aroma- sweet like fresh cut grass and hoppy.

Taste- A heavy imperial IPA. Starts strong with a balance of sweet and hoppiness but the finish is sub-par leaving a lingering a bitter phenolic aftertaste. The high alcohol content is not well masked. 85 IBUs. We tasted this head to head against Hoptimum, and Hoptimum is a finer imperial IPA by far.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted 8/10/2013. (505 characters)

Photo of olilitewu
2.74/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

I concede that I might have served this too cold, but still, New Belgium disappoints me every single time...

Smell was great, very much a pine like aroma plus some pleasant fruity smell
Taste was ok, hoppy yet smooth, and I agree with a previous poster that this beer was not overhopped. But still comes with a signature metallic under taste that comes with any kind of New Belgium beer.
However, it was able to hide its relatively high alc. content with its smooth taste.
Overall felt similar to Hop Czar, but if I could choose, I'd get Hop Tsar every time if I wanted hoppiness in my beer. I can't get over the fact that New Belgium always has a funny under taste in its beers (681 characters)

Photo of scottieie
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%

Not sure I knew what to expect from this beer but it didn't sit right with me. Perhaps I have gotten away from enjoying the big beers and opting instead for session beers. The hop was in my face and i was unfamiliar with the hops in play. I might not have been in the right mood for this beer or it isn't my style to judge. That being said the Ranger IPA is one of my favorites. (379 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Picked up a 6er of this a couple hours ago at my local Von's grocery. Expectations are low; I didn't like Ranger and New Belgium tends to crank out pretty poor seasonals (excepting their winter pack) and entire Lips of Faith series is pretty mundane (save La Folie). Best before September 29th, 2013. 8.5% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with straightforward label art and red branded pry-off cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a five finger head of beige colour. Slight cream. Decent thickness. Rather good retention (~8 minutes) for the highish ABV. No bubble show. No real lacing or "legs" per se.

Body colour is a clear pale yellow-copper. No yeast particles are visible. Average vibrance. Appears adequately carbonated.

Sm: Floral hops and oily hops. Light vague grapefruit. Maybe honey. Mango. Herbal hops. Caramalt. Pale malts. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. Simple and timid for the style, but passable. Above average to mild in strength. Underwhelming. Certainly hoppy, but there's no overt hop bitterness. I'm hoping this seeming promise of balance manifests in the flavour profile.

T: Hrm. Soapy - spent too long in primary. Thin weak dominant peach hop notes. Pale malts and caramalt lend an overdone sweetness that doesn't play well with the underwhelming hop build. The hop choices here don't seem apt or prudent; some generic floral character alongside lackluster peach and generic herbal character. Sloppily put together, lacking careful balance. Pretty underwhelming build. Lacks complexity and subtlety. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. A bit onion-y. Slightly bready. I'm not really liking it; it's rather mundane.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit thin. Weak. Overcarbonated. Decent presence on the palate. Doesn't complement the flavour profile all that well; it's certainly not custom-tailored to it.

Dr: A pretty pedestrian Imperial IPA from New Belgium. I won't be getting this again; pretty lackluster stuff. Glad I gave it a chance, but it just doesn't hit the spot. Even the price point isn't all that impressive when the quality of the beer is compared against the offerings of Lagunitas or Bear Republic. Clearly produced for the masses; I'm glad it's available in grocery stores. Wouldn't recommend it to friends. Another mediocre effort from New Belgium.

High C- (2,545 characters)

Photo of JeffBlue
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

(Bottle, revisited). Pale appearance. Estery smell, bananas. Drier finish than expected; 3/13/15.

Others:
Fat Tire (neutral)
Ranger IPA (favorable)
2 Below (favorable) (169 characters)

Photo of GuzzLah
2.76/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Odd aroma of rotting cantaloupe, dandelion and ambiguous herbs. Not pleasant.

The flavor was similar to the aroma plus a little citrus and pear.

Medium bitter peppery finish.

Another dud from NB. Glad I only bought one.

Drain poured the last two ounces because that's how I roll. (284 characters)

Photo of Terp96
2.78/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poor example of a DIPA. I keep giving this brewery a chance and they continue to fail. I guess Fat Tire gives them a license to market subpar offerings everywhere else.

Smell is okay with pungent, dank smelling hops.

Taste is off. Not hoppy, just too sweet and fruity. No bitterness.

Mouthfeel is fine but the experience is ruined at this point.

Another miss from New Belgium. If you like IPAs, avoid this brewery. (418 characters)

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Rampant Imperial IPA from New Belgium Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 404 ratings.