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Imperial IPA - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

588 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 588
Reviews: 332
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 29
Gots: 27 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 02-16-2008

Formerly known as 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 588 | Reviews: 332 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheBrewo:
Photo of TheBrewo
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

We pop the top and pour a brew of sunset orange. It holds a two finger head of massive white creamy bubbles. Patterned, soapy lacing is left down the glass as the head disappears at a medium pace. There is a big haze to it, with flecks of microsediment floating about. Carbonation appears slow and minimal. The aroma gives citric, nectary, and sweet floral hops. These mix with pale and borderline wheaty malts, mineral, fusel booze, coiny metallics, tomato acidity, and warmed caramel malt sweetness. With warmth comes orange flesh sweetness. Our first impression is that there is a nice pucker from the dirty, earthy hops, but a strong white sugar sweetness permeates and cuts a bit too deep. As we sip, the flavor opens with bite of baker’s yeast, lemon rind, grapefruit hops, and bitter grassiness. This is quickly cut by sugary sweet caramel malts and a sweeter, fusel booziness that gives more cloy than fire. The peak comes with more peppery alcohol, bready malts, flour, and yeastiness, bittering plastic phenols, and more bite of earthy and citric hops. The latter pulls us to a finish which washes with paler malts with less sweetness, more mineral, and light lactic sourness to full cut any remnants of malts from earlier. The aftertaste breathes of bittered soapy and citric hops, caramel malts, booze, black pepper, chalky flour, and coiny metallics. The body is light to medium, and the carbonation is lighter. There is a smoothness to it, with a cool, wet coating following an initial bittering pucker. There is decent slurp, smack, cream, and froth to the sip. The abv is fine, and the beer drinks appropriately.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the aroma. There was a nice balance to the bittering, citric and earthy hops and the caramel and pale malt mix. The flavoring followed decently, but didn’t seem to blend as well as the aromatics. The sweetness came as a basic taste of white sugar, without really any amalgamation or incorporated flavoring. The hops were similar in a sense of bitterness, but these certainly felt a bit more organic and real. This beer is drinkable and decent, but little more.

More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Nose: citrus, orange and grapefruit
Pours brilliant gold rocky 2” white head very fine to medium bubbles, lacy
Palate: Very citrusy hops throughout with background grapefruit rind over big biscuit body.
Creamy smooth, medium body to a shade above, medium to medium light carbonation.

Photo of oberon
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slight hazed peach color with a tight formed one finger white head that left some broken lace as it settled slowly,awesome aromas of citrus and underlying pine with some biscuit malt and alcohol showing through as well.T he flavors are bit heavy handed on the alcohol,it rears its head early and often,nice lemon and grapefruit hop flavors show through but its a battle with the alcohol.Its not a 'huge' beer but the alcohol is prevelent,in saying that its still a nice American DIPA from a great brewery.

Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This poured a rich, darkish orange but not muddy-looking. Most IPAs that come out dark orange look like pond water but this is a clean brownish-orange and very attractive. The head was a slightly yellowed white with some tight carbonation. It didn't have a lot of staying power but looked good.

Smell - This is big but balanced. The strong hops show a hint of pine but the peach is prominent. I can also get a bit of grass. The malt is not as big in the nose but based on the coloring I'm sure it's there at the taste.

Taste - Yes, this is truly a balanced DIPA. Everything is big but even-keeled. The malts really step up at the taste as I suspected and show a lot of mature sweetness. Otherwise this tastes pretty much like it smells.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-body and surprisingly dry. It's not a bone-crusher or anything like that, but there is a chug-stopping dryness that will make you stand up and take note. The carbonation is mild but expertly tight.

Drinkability - This is a very sophisticated beer. Its complexities will be lost on the mindless hophead. Take your time with this one though and you will be greatly rewarded. A fitting anniversary tribute and another great hoppy beer from Anderson Valley.

Photo of Zakk
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #37 (Feb 2010):

A humble dedication to the late William Brand, originally brewed for their 20th anniversary in 2007.

Towering head reaches past the rim of the glass and nearly topples over; orange-amber clarity is stunning. Hop aroma jumps from white peppercorn to aspirin, from mint to pine sap and from ruby grapefruit to wild herbs ... the nose brings forth some tropical fruit and caramel malt to boot. Semi-crisp full body, hop bitterness tries to set in the same time alcohol hits the palate to form a duo of spiciness. Alcohol is warming with some fruity esters of pineapple, cherry and mango. A bit of citric rind, lime leaf, aspirin and thick wild herb show off the hop flavor. Caramel and biscuity malt lay underneath. Bitter finish with that alcoholic warmth.

Bitter to say the least, all of the checks for an Imperial IPA have been marked off here. AVBC has done the style much justice.

Photo of danthehopslamman
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of DWolf
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of Beaver13
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy copper gold with a medium frothy white head that retains fairly well and laces the glass.

The aroma is bready malts, tropical fruits and resiny, piney, grassy, slightly metallic hops.

The flavor is sweet caramel/crystal malts and tropical fruits with a decent sized piney, resiney hop bitterness that has a little residual sugar in the finish. The alcohol is warming. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, it's a solid DIPA. It's a bit on the sweet side, but I enjoyed drinking it.

Photo of Beerswag
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of megamass
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of merlin48
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber pours a dirty, murky, orange/brown body with a two finger ecru hued head. Good retention and some sticky patch lacing.

Aroma opens with grassy hops. Citrusy grapefruit and pineapple quickly jump in. Toasted caramel underneath.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a thick and creamy carbonation. Some hop resin bite also present.

Taste has an edgy hop bitterness. Grassy and citrus rind at the beginning, with some meaty caramel malt becoming assertive midway through. Pink grapefruit and orange notes add some citrusy sweetness until near the finish when a grassy and grainy presence take over. Finishes dry and bitter.

I like the drinkability of this one, overall, but it has moments of earthy and grainy astringency.

Photo of tigg924
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, orange/brown in color

Smell: big dose of pine hops, some citrus hops and malt

Taste: big citrus hops that make them selves known midway through and sting to the end, small pine hops, some caramel

Mouthfeel: medium/light bodied, medium carbonation, slightly sweet start with a super bitter finish

Drinkability: When chilled this beer is slightly unbalanced. As it warms it becomes super bitter. If you like your ipas oozing bitterness, this is the beer for you. As for me one is enough.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Hamsteroceros
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a tulip glass.

A- Beautiful copper-orange color w/ rather light lacing and a head that lasted a good while.

S- A subdued caramel-citrus nose with a bit of pine and maybe mango (?) Not a particularly huge nose on this beer, especially for an imperial IPA.

T- A strong burst of citrus with very malty presence. Reminiscent of raisins and grapefruit. Very piney with a strong hop finish. Hides ABV very well.

M- Syrupy and resinous, yet not at all unclean on the finish.

D- Each sip is different from the next, which is something that I personally value over a "perfectly balanced" beer. This beer is very much a big brother to the Hop Ottin'- a beer I rather enjoy. Given the price point, this is an excellent beer. Could be a bit hoppier, though...

Photo of IDYVM
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of jisak74
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of magictrokini
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours darker copper with a moderate and dense off-white head. Floral aroma with pine, oranges, mango, and caramel. Excellent taste. Lots of grapefruit, oranges, and resin. Slight caramel malt and a buttery finish that lingers. Sticky mouthfeel. Despite the relatively low rating, I loved this beer. Its just a very basic IIPA.

Photo of fionn13
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of mattffrost
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into glass.

Appearance Beer is a very clear tea color. Head is a dirty off white color. Good sticking to the glass.

Smell Spicy piney smell. A slight hint of citrus

Taste Piny floral taste. The bitterness starts out and finishes the same which is kind of unusual. A slight sweet carmel flavor is also present.

Mouthfeel. Very low carbonation. Bitterness in the mouth.

drinkabily 1pt 6 ounce is plenty for me.

Photo of ehammond1
2.69/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle (2010)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

Hazy, golden-orange in color. A beautiful beer!
Inch-high head that sticks around, creamy off-white in color. Leaves lots of thick and sticky lace around and down the glass.

Sweet and candied aroma. Missing the tropical and citrus notes I enjoy in my favorite DIPAs. Can smell the alcohol.

"Bitterness" and "heat" are the first two things that come to mind. The hop bitterness is there, but I'm missing much of the pungent, pine and fruit notes I love in a DIPA. The alcohol is present and the beer seems extraordinarily hot.

The mouthfeel is appropriate for the style, but the alcohol becomes more and more present as the beer warms making it less and less enjoyable to drink.

Not a particularly drinkable beer. I would not order another one. The heat from the alcohol is too much for the (lackluster) taste to overcome.

There are too many good CA DIPAs to drink this one again as this does nothing in particular very well. It's a beautiful beer to look at, but stops scoring points there. I was so excited to see this beer on the shelves because I think Anderson Valley's Hop Ottin' IPA is a perfect IPA.
I'll be sticking with my Hop Ottin'.

Photo of bluelynbrewing
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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Imperial IPA from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 588 ratings.