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Rampant Imperial IPA - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Rampant Imperial IPARampant Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,935 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,935
Reviews: 336
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 34
Gots: 187 | FT: 1
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:
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 added by: Huffaroma on 02-24-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,935 | Reviews: 336 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rohkey
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Rohkey, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of clayrock81
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%

Poured a cloudy gold that was seethru at times with very little head which could've been the bartender, not the beer. Some light, airy hops that aren't too strong, mostly citric notes and not what I think of DIPA aromas, along with minimal breadiness and sweet malts. For a DIPA, at least the beer I had, this was a slightly watered down version as the hops are more neutral than aggressive and there isn't much to say of the malts, although the hops do seem to give off something like sweet or tropical fruit notes. Easy to drink and has a vanilla but not disgusting finish; I'd take this over a macro beer anyday.

clayrock81, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of tlyerly
4.44/5  rDev +18.1%

I thought this double IPA did a great job of displaying bitterness, as well as a refreshing citrus taste. The 8.5% ABV was well-hidden surprisingly. It is similar to Ranger, but sets itself apart by using a different combination of hops, including Calypso hops. This double IPA is definitely worth trying.

tlyerly, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev +6.4%

cdwil, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of mnphish
4/5  rDev +6.4%

mnphish, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +9%

22 ounce bottle into signature globe glass, best before 7/7/2013. Pours crystal clear golden amber color with a nice 2-3 finger dense and fluffy white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, orange peel, peach, pine, lemon zest, pineapple, light honey, pine resin, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of hop notes with a fairly moderate malt backbone; very unique aromas as well. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, peach, pine, lemon zest, orange rind, pineapple, floral, light honey, pine resin, and floral earthiness. Nice amount of citrus pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus zest, peach, pine, lemon, pineapple, floral, light honey, and pine resin on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of hop flavors; with a light-moderate malt backbone; with some light cloying pine bitterness on the finish, but not really that bad. Medium carbonation and body; with a very sticky, crisp, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. Very nice and unique hop complexity with moderate malt balance; and very smooth and crisp to drink. The Mosaic and Calypso hops were definitely different, but it worked out very well. No complaints at all, really enjoyed this one.

superspak, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of kew
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

kew, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of baker2gs
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

baker2gs, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of Buttermilk
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Buttermilk, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, honey amber colored with a huge white head that lingers leaving good lacing, crystal clear

S: aggressive hop aromas, floral, citrus, pine

T: a hop bomb up front, grapefruit peel, definite heavy alcohol aldehyde ketone flavors in the middle, finish is not really that dry

M: on the oily side, alcohol makes itself known, good carbonation

O: good, be prepared for alcohol complexity similar to a barley wine

M_C_Hampton, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of lesslikemath
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

lesslikemath, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of Gilmango
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Gilmango, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of mkbeirne
2.01/5  rDev -46.5%

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.

mkbeirne, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of JVan
4.25/5  rDev +13%

JVan, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of Monalenard
4.06/5  rDev +8%

i totally love this beer. i almost hate new belgium. seriously, has one brewery ever had so many beers taste so closely alike? fat tire, ranger, dig and snow day all have that weird extra toasted flavor that i used to love till i realized it showed up in everything they brew. now it just makes me nauseous..well, most of the time, because they finally brewed a balanced beer, one hopped well enough to handle that surplus of toasted malt or whatever that taste is, like they spilled too much in and said "screw it, bottle it and sell it. Rampant is rather sweet and a little of this flavor can go a long way. the appearance is a vibrant golden, slight copper hue that is almost perfectly clear with a decent head and really good lacing, which i wouldn't expect with how clear the beer is. the aroma is intense its... (reloading)... oops, i accidentally opened a fat tire that someone left over...i'll just give that to the dog, ok, rampant, yes, the aroma is a loud balance of citrusy and piney off the charts. Taste is, like i said, sweet. Maybe a bit grassy but not too dry. All in all this is something very different in the realm of IPAs over all. awesome beer. bit of a break from the norm. hell, it may even cause me to become more optimistic about trying future new belgium releases.

Monalenard, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%

The more New Belgium beer I taste, the more I love this brewery. Glad to see them doing one of my favorite styles.

Brewed about a month before the date of this tasting (Bottled on 02/20/2013, Best by 07/21/2013).

A: Bright, shimmering orange-gold body with a fluffy white head; bubbles rise up from the bottom of the glass continuously. Cappuccino foam for retention, sticky soap suds for lacing.

S: Intense but delicate hop aromas give this a complex, uplifting character of sharp lemon-lime, pineapple, juicy peach, and grassy floral scents. Notes of citrus rind and black pepper in the background with what little malt that can be found: a soft buttered bread tone. An interesting take on a hop-forward nose, probably thanks to Mosaic hops.

T: This beer hits you with a unique palate, bringing chewy malts together with fruit tastes that you just don’t usually find in a beer like this. Sweet, dark sugars meld with soft bread tones, like honey on a biscuit, making it one of the sweeter DIPAs I’ve had. And then the hops: very fleshy tastes of melon, peach, guava, and blood orange. There’s a bit of woody pine to it, too, but it’s mainly tropical melon fruitiness – it’s only marginally bitter, in fact. So basically, take that honey biscuit that represented the malt and slap some sweet tropical jam on it and you’ve got your New Belgium DIPA. Finishes prickly and dry, leaving pine character on the taste buds longer than anything else in the palate.

M: The fullness of the mouthfeel accentuates the thick malts, further augmented by the lack of carbonation; really, it’s nothing but mild foaminess in the texture.

O: Strange brew, indeed. Just before cracking this beer open, I brewed a pale ale hopped with Nelson Sauvin, and this had the taste and aroma of the raw wort – raw hops in the nose, especially. It kind of hit a nerve there, but other than that, it was an interesting (albeit sweet) DIPA.

BarryMFBurton, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of hilgart1
4/5  rDev +6.4%

hilgart1, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of FanofHefe
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%

12 oz. bottle dated 28 Jul 13 poured into a Duvel tulip. Clear amber body with a light yellow tint. Thick three-finger head that has excellent retention and leave nice lacing.

The aroma is understated but OK for a DIPA. A bit of piney and grassy hop notes with a little malt in the background.

The flavor is a touch better than the aroma. The hop notes remain in the pine/grass family with tiny bit of grapefruit. The bready malt flavor is not dominant at all, but provides a nice compliment to the hops.

Medium texture in the mouthfeel and no notice of the alcohol. Solid overall for a DIPA, but I probably prefer Ranger a bit more.

FanofHefe, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of XnFM
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

XnFM, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%

finally, something new and impressive coming from new Belgium! too many lackluster and overpriced releases has me a little down on these guys, but this one is a gem. pours a really pale hazy yellow color, lighter than almost any big ipa ive seen, with a thick foamy bubbly white head with okay retention. the nose is very floral, perfect for the blooming spring time, hoppy but not terribly bitter, and really light on the malt bill. the flavor is also very light in terms of grains, and the hops are intense and interesting, not just a bitter bomb. lots of floral pollen grassy hop character, this somehow reminds me of easter. the yeast is also a contributor, with complimentary light sugar cookie complexion. really clean finish with a burst of freshness. I liked everything about this beer, even the not so subtle alcohol content, it just works in the context of this light and flavorful brew. also, its priced like a beer not a bottle of rare French wine, which is something new Belgium really needs to get back to if they are going to frequent my fridge with any kind of regularity. bravo for this.

StonedTrippin, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of Unchi
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Unchi, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%

An interesting take on a dIPA, if only for the hops.

Looks good, perhaps a bit light in color for a dIPA, but really...who cares. Nice golden pours, sticky lacing, semi-soapy head.

Aroma is "meaty"-like. But not flesh meat, but fruit meat. Passion fruit and mango. Some cookie dough underneath. Hint of pine.

Flavor resembles the nose, and quite accurately. Passoin fruit, mango, some pine, pineapple and a bit catty.

I knock the feel a bit as it seems creamy. While a good bite exists, it seems to be coated with some film or something. Not sure; maybe I'm imagining things. Still, the absence of resin that some dIPAs have is a good thing for this beer

Overall a nice dIPA that hides the abv well and is quite drinkable.

Mebuzzard, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of TheSixthRing
4.01/5  rDev +6.6%

Appearance - Pours a semi-hazy goldish orange with an off-white, two finger head. Excellent retention. Fair lacing around the glass, spotty in places, with good stick.

Smell - Predominantly a juicy, tropical hop aroma. Slight peppery spice. Grapefruit. Pineapple. Hints of peach.

Taste - Woah, where'd all that peach come from!? Predominant peach flavor upfront and through to the finish. Peppery spice and mango notes hit mid-taste. Mild orange pith in the aftertaste. Malt backbone is present, but is felt more so than tasted; touches on lightly toasted biscuit.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body. Soft, near creamy on the tongue, but with a crisp, dry finish.

Overall - A very unique, and very welcome take on the DIPA style. Lots of stonefruit sweetness, but the spice bite and there's just enough bitterness on the back end to keep this thing from becoming cloying. Well done, New Belgium.

TheSixthRing, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of ShaneFudge
4.25/5  rDev +13%

ShaneFudge, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of Hopstout
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Hopstout, Mar 17, 2013
Rampant Imperial IPA from New Belgium Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 1,935 ratings.