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Imperial IPA - Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Imperial IPAImperial IPA

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

557 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 557
Reviews: 330
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.78%

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:
Formerly known as 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA

(Beer added by: largadeer on 02-16-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 557 | Reviews: 330 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kchannel9


4.97/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love love love this beer. One of the finest possible, in my opinion. Perfect bridge of carbonation, smooth, sweet, bitter, malty. I feel blessed to taste this alchemical masterpiece, and would gladly choose this beer over almost any other IPA, well besides Maximus.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 08:20:29 | More by kchannel9
Photo of 1759Girl


4.8/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance> Dark golden, clear, light carbonation, not much lacing

Smell> Caramel. Oh my goodness!

Taste> Complex. Sweet, strong, hoppy bitterness, resiny smooth finish.

Mouthfeel> perfect

Drinkability> 5. We've bought several bottles since this tasting.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 18:10:02 | More by 1759Girl
Photo of jgap


4.75/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love IPAs and my palate has been conditioned accordingly. This is my favorite IPA and probably my favorite beer. It pours a nice amber with a huge frothy off-white head. Smell is grapefuit with some caramel sugars. Make that a lot of caramel. Taste is smooth and extremely well blended, lots of caramel malts fading to an easy hop bitterness. Hops are very, very well balanced with crisp malts. The bitterness actually complements the malt profile but neither commands the other. In this way it is, in my mind, a perfect balance between an english ipa and a hop-bomb American ipa. Edeptionally well developed taste yet very drinkable. I hope I can find another bottle!

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 06:37:44 | More by jgap
Photo of jsh420


4.75/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours deep amber orange with a 2 finger head the leaves lacing all doen the glass

smells of pine citrus hops candy carmel malts and a little booze - very nice but not blow you away

taste however did blow me away - with all the uberhoppy beers in the market today its nice to taste one that is and does not forget to put in the malts as well - this beer is balanced to perfection

mouthfeel is perfect too - tickles the tongue at first and goes down so smooth and creamy

drinkability again perfect - i feel as though i did my good deed for the day by sharing this bomber

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 03:04:21 | More by jsh420
Photo of OWSLEY069


4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean orange-ish color with yellow hints and an off white head. In the aroma, orange citrus and mango hops. In the taste, orange/ mango like citrus like hops and a small sweet to dry presence. A hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry orange citrus hop in the aftertaste. Hides the ABV and big west coast hops, I dig it!

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2010 15:37:21 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/3" cream coloured head that dissipated quickly. Amber colored beer that was slightly cloudy.

S: Pineapple and apple.

T: Hops, pineapple, apple and malt. Relatively strong hops at the start and a very clean and crisp finish with malt at the end.

M: Thick feeling, nice medium level of carbonation.

O: Very well balanced Imperial IPA. One of my favorite beers of all time.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 01:14:24 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of cameraman


4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep amber color, with touches of gold along the glass. A cream colored head sits atop, about a finger thick, lacing slowly. A surprisingly malty fragrance at first scent, then a strong citrus and pine fragrances take over and are dominant till the end. The malt makes chameo appearance at the front, and leaves very quickly. The hops soon take over to become the star attraction. That is where it comes in three stages grassy and green at the start, Then blending to a strong citrus, grapefruit flavor. Then it ends with an intense earthy and pine flavor. The palate is left dry, with the lingering flavor of hops, along with a tanin roughness left on the palate. Man, this is definately a hop bomb, with a shortage of hops out there as well. A spicy dish of jambalya goes very well with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 18:07:17 | More by cameraman
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a coppery gold with reddish highlights. Looks like a sunset. The head is half a finger thick but holds up for more than a few minutes. Little splashes of lace dot the glass.

Really like the aroma. It hints at a double IPA that's going to be as malty as it is hoppy. Good balance in the nose of caramel-ish malts, grassy hops that nearly go into herbal tea territory (ie. very strong herbal tea), and a smidgen of alcohol warmth in the background.

Flavor delivers everything the aroma hinted at. I'm as impressed with the gooey toffee/caramel taffy malt element as the herbal, grassy hop factor. Resiny, and thankfully lacking the unbalanced feel that makes some double IPAs taste like you just swished with salt water. Bitterness nicely offsets and complements the candy-like sweetness of the malt, yet somehow this big-malt double IPA doesn't blur the lines between its intended style and a barleywine or American strong ale as some do. Style, shmyle, I rarely care--all I know is this delivers big, big flavor. Alcohol? Can hardly feel it, but you know it's there in the most peripheral way. A well-behaved DIPA--one with no lack of character.

What's more, the texture is like fresh cream; lightly sticky, gooey and decadent, yet not overbearing in a lugubrious thickness. Carbonation takes a back seat, there only to keep things feeling alive, and that's as it should be considering the style.

This is a fantastic beer. I like when a double IPA is tongue-rippingly eccentric, but I also like when others are of the more balanced variety. This one is in the latter category, and it wins big points for its immense balance between bold candy-like hops and leafy hop bitterness. A treasure, and apparently an underrated one--according to my tongue anyway...

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2009 22:24:36 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of wchesak

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured in dogfish head shaped pint glass

A- light orangey brown body with slightly off cream color head, about half an inch, leaves a bit of lacing

S- citrusy hops, very fresh smelling like you had a nugget sitting in there

T- bitterness fills the mouth and its noticeable through out the swallow with a slight caramel malt hidden in there, can not pick out the alcohol except for after the swallow, feel a slight burn in the chest

M- crisp and smooth

D- im a sucker for imperial ipa, so i would saw only the alcohol would stop be from drinking more than a few

west coast imperial ipa that definitely ranks among the top from the region

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 01:55:32 | More by wchesak


4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I typically like Anderson Valley beers, and this one was the best I've ever had from them.

From the pour into the glass I knew this would be a good beer. Nice creamy head which never went away as it sat and as I drank. Left a beautiful lace on the glass.

Excellent taste-- smooth at first, followed by the bitter hops finish that is just about perfect.

Not as over the top strong as a typical Imperial IPA, so very easy to drink.

I don't agree with the reviewer who made the comparison to a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale...this is much stronger and more flavorful, and it a great Imperial IPA in my book.


Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 05:59:03 | More by IPALOVER
Photo of ADZA


4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a clear light orange/amber hue with nice carbonation that leaves behind a creamy,smoggy one finger head and nice sticky lacing here and there,the smell of this beer is a mix of aromas of citrus,lemon zest and of course piney hops,it has an above medium bodied mouthfeel which coats the mouth and tounge with a nice sticky feeling and the taste is very tasty indeed with flavours of pineapple,lychee,citrus and piney hops all coming through and i know they used excessive amounts of malts in this brew but they really only can be seen in the background which to me is a good thing as i reckon they have perfectly balanced out this brew to make the end bitterness not really that bitter at all and suprisingly enough i find that their mainstay AIPA was way more bitter but in saying that i really enjoy this brew and rate it higher than their everyday AIPA as its 8.7%ABV is very well hidden and will def buy again just wish it was abit cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2010 07:06:43 | More by ADZA
Photo of ryantho00


4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a deep rusty orange with an initial frothy head that laces the glass through. I smell pine, hops, malty caramel, vanilla and slight tropical fruits in the nose. This beer has many different flavors in the medium bodied brew. Some notes I get are, citrus, pineapple, hops, dry tobacco, slight alcohol that warms and dies quickly. I really like this take on the imperial IPA, I am very impressed with the really creamy vanilla maltiness that balances out the wonderful brew. This is one of my new favorite imperial IPA's and am very happy I tried it.

Pick this up if you find it. Great aftertaste.


Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 22:59:07 | More by ryantho00
Photo of cjgator3


4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Pours a dark hazy amber color with a large off-white head with excellent lacing. The aroma is sweet malt with a good dose of pine and citrus hops, really nice hop profile in the nose. The taste is surprisingly smooth and balanced with a good malt backbone to support the heavy dose of hops hops. Overall, this is an excellent DIPA that is extremely smooth and drinkable despite the high ABV, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 04:08:16 | More by cjgator3
Photo of DogFood11


4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Orange body with some brass towards the core. Little carbonation visible but it comes through when gobbled.

Its a very easy drinking DIPA. Leaning towards the fruity side of the hop profile. If you like IPA's with less resin on the palate and more of a soft brew than this is for you. I liked it because it was clean and without flaws.

Notes: I'd seek this brew out. Well worth the price.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 05:18:48 | More by DogFood11
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger off-white head that slowly fades leaving a good lace. Murky amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is malts and grapefruit. Flavor has the caramel malts up front that mute the solid grapefruit hops. One of the better imp IPAs I've had. $5.99 for a 22oz bottle from Haggens Supermarket Tigard, OR.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 23:02:58 | More by jdhilt
Photo of bstave


4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into Dogfish Head tulip pint glass.

A- Poured a semi-transparent dark copper orange forming a nice 2 finger white head. It stuck around for a while finally dissipating into a thin layer leaving some nice sticky lacing. Very nice looking beer.

S- Getting mostly sweet malts from the nose, but after letting it warm up a bit, now I am getting some piny hops that have brightened it up nicely.

T- Taste is way more hoppy than the nose. Big, mostly pine and some citrus. Nicely balanced with the big caramel malt backbone. A little alcohol warming sneaks up afterwards. Very well done here.

M- Mouthfeel is very smooth with nice creamy texture. Carbonation is spot-on for a big imperial. Very smooth with nice alcohol warming at the end.

O- I really like this IIPA. I remember having it at the brewery in Booneville and really enjoying it. I think I have a very fresh bottle, because the hops are profiled nicely especially in the taste, which is the biggest factor for me. Well done and I am looking forward to picking up a four pack next time.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 04:25:03 | More by bstave
Photo of trackstar1043


4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found this Gem at Bevmo Fremont, there was a only a few left.

A - Pours a hazy golden / orange, with a massive rocky off white head. Increadable amounts of the stickest lacing I have seen in a IIPA.

S - Huge aroma, massive hops and citrus, very earthy, as fresh and envirograting as a evergreen forest. Man this is a Hoppy Beer, Fan-Freaking-Tastic!

T - All the hops and citrus is there but they have done a great job balancing the beer into this smooth, crisp and almost wild ale with all the flavors busting out.

M - For all the intense hoppy flavors and bitter bite, this is one extremely smooth and easy to drink beer, I was expecting some what of a challenge given the rep of IIPAs, but wonderfully it was smooth, clean finish with a bitter bite that lasted a while.

D - Surprisingly very easy to drink and was left wanting another, great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2008 17:04:21 | More by trackstar1043
Photo of Curtis


4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy dark gold, thick foamy head that lasted quite a while. Much cloudier than expected, almost Berliner Weisse or Hefe. Mounthfeel was exceptional. No harsh Hop after bitter. Aroma was fairly mild -could use a bit more. Fruity overtones, not too citrus, slightly floral. Smooth, very smooth The balance is exceptional, nice pale maltyness, blended with tasty hops.. Alcohol kick is fairly good at 8.7... it sneaks up quickly, yet quietly. I've had good experiences with this brewery (Boont Amber is a favorite) and they have impressed again.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 04:45:07 | More by Curtis
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Copper copper brew, a very slight haze, almost more of an evident viscosity. Large head that leave thick clouds of lacing.

S - Pine resin, some grapefruit pith, peppery, biscuits. The aroma is strong and delicious.

T - Hops! First, there is a crisp shock of grapefruit. Then there are pine hops upfront, then it shifts to a peppery flavor, then a bitterness that grows and grows until it fades suddenly, almost vanishes, leaving only a faint malt on the palette. Very good.

M - Thick, smooth, very refreshing. Only initially, the abv started to make the throat parched - which make me want to drink more.

D - Awesome. I couldn't put this juicy brew down. It is a DIPA that drink like a hefe. I love it. I might buy another bottle the next time I see one. An awesome brew. Happy 20th Anderson Valley.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2008 06:29:51 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of Floydster


4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle purchased at Whole Foods in La Jolla for about six dollars, split with a friend last night, poured into a clear pint glass

A-Golden orange color that was a little on the yellow side, 3/4 inch slightly foamy white head, stuck around for close to five minutes, nice retention, tons of lacing

S-Large amounts of pine hoppiness, peaches, oranges, grapefruit, and tangerine as well, some evident malt aromas showing that it had some balance just from the aroma, also a bit of floral accents, lemon juice, grass, and caramel

T-Started off with a huge piney flavor, did not fade into much malt, stayed dry pretty much the whole way through at the beginning, later on the malt came out more but so did the citrus hops, Cascade were still dominant in my opinion though, finish became less dry and a little sweet by the end, this beer had a nice balance and tasted good both chilled and once it warmed, enjoyable all throughout

M-Dry, bitter, and sometimes chewy mouthfeel, medium bodied, lots of carbonation which was good because it was not syrup-like, taste lingered for a few minutes after

D-Could have drank this bottle by myself rather easily, smooth for such a hoppy beer, all booze were hidden, did not taste like it was almost nine percent alcohol, good drinkability

I knew I would be a huge fan of this beer just by reading the label, I mean twenty different hop additions, you cannot wrong with that, hoppier than Hop 15 which was the most bitter double IPA I tasted before this one, too bad this is only a one time shot, would definitely drink again, recommended

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2008 16:58:29 | More by Floydster
Photo of Wasatch


4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice hazy golden orange color, very nice carbonation, very nice small, but thick creamy off-white head, that just does not disappear at all. The nose is malty, hoppy, with some citrus and slight pines. The taste is malty, with some nice hop notes, very nice citrus/pines. Medium body, nice chewiness, with a nice bitter/dry finish. Very drinkable, this is a very nice DIPA, more on the malty side though.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 00:42:44 | More by Wasatch
Photo of JoeBloe

New York

4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a turbulent topaz color and when it clears it puts up an amazingly tight 1-1/2 finger head - leaves minimal lace but maintains a thick ring around the outside all the way down - aroma of hops greets the nose as if I had walked into a garden of different hop varieties, with a little sweetness as well - taste is hops resin, fruity and herbal, with a toffee like sweetness on the back - alcohol is very well hidden with a slight warming deep down - good prickly carbonation with a mildly sticky finish that gets cleaned-up on the next sip - another winner from this brewery - good stuff -

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 16:51:26 | More by JoeBloe
Photo of ccrida


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

Bomber poured into an imperial pint, the 20th anny is a clear copper with a large, pillowy ivory head that leaves avg lace.
Smell is sweet floral and tropical fruit hops, with an incredibly nice soft zing. I was underwhelmed until I realized how juicy it was and couldn't stop drooling...best on the colder side, I served this fridge temp of course.
Taste is loads of fruity hops but fairly well-balanced. Citrus perhaps a little astringent at first, but ultimately the malt sugars balance those out on the finish, which is dry, earthy and a tad blood-like. I haven't been too impressed with the last few Anderson Valley's I've had, but this has really restored my faith in my West Coast OGs.
Mouthfeel is pushing average for a DIPA, some stickiness but dried out from the booze and hops enough to keep the digestability higher...
Drinkability is really pretty good, refreshing, with a nice balance even though it drinks a little bigger then it is.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 09:33:28 | More by ccrida
Photo of paytoplay


4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What 1st strikes you is the color. Like amber from ancient tree sap. Almost ruby. Aroma is ok, woody and dark hops. The flavor is where this beer really impressed me. Layers of stuff going on, intense, balanced and dense with weight and complexity to it that I haven't experienced in any other recent Imperial IPA's. My rating is higher than most but I think this beer needed some time to come around and put on weight, much like a wine. Will have to get more and try one in a year and see if it continues to get better.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 17:25:31 | More by paytoplay
Photo of Troyone


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

Light English tea color with a copper hue. Bone white head with some lacing and carb action.

Sweet esters of mild pine and different florals.

Strong English tea flavor with a multi hop tangerine/canalope taste.

Medium to strong bodied mouthfeel with lively smooth carbonation and a good balance of resins.

The balance is great if the strong English Tea flavor can be tolerated, good changeup for hopheads.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 23:10:42 | More by Troyone
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Imperial IPA from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 557 ratings.