Imperial IPA - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

217 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 217
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 6
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Zorro on 07-03-2010

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 217 | Reviews: 102
Reviews by AmitC:
Photo of AmitC
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a large snifter glass.

Aroma : Excellent empowering earthy and floral hop aroma. Just a little hint of malt. Some citrus.

Appearance: Poured with almost two finger thick white head with good persistence and lacing. Amber to golden orange in color. Opaque. Cloudy.

Taste : Flavor is more malt than should be there in a DIPA. Hop presence is huge but they are mostly aroma hops and not very bitterness heavy. After taste is good too. However perceived bitterness is sorely missed. Good dry finish, with slight bitterness.

Mouth feel :Medium to slightly full with excellent hidden alcohol. No carbonation, hop or alcohol derived astringency whatsoever.

Style Rate: 4.0
Personal Rate: 4.0

Good brew. Slightly under-performing for a DIPA in almost every aspect. Hop bias in the rating.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.22/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours a hazy copper orange with a medium pillowy head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet caramel malts and melon with some biscuity toffee and fruity, slightly metallic hops.

The flavor is sweet biscuity malts with some fruits that leads to a big flavorless bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation and is a little watery.

Overall, I didn't really care for the flavor. It had good bitterness, but not much hop flavor. Plus it had a lot of biscuit notes which I don't really care for especially in an IIPA.

Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle that came in a $9.99 four pack. I see no freshness info.

Pours typical almond amber, moderate haze. Frothy lite mocha head, stays @ 1/4 inch and leaves better then respectable fine lace.

Pine resin nose with some underlying malt.

Hopped up DIPA, resin, pine, gritty hop notes. Big and bold. East coast style...dont let the name fool you, this stuff is brewed in NY state.

Pleasant in the mouth with ample carbonation.

Solid effort, not spectacular, but a quality brew in all respects.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours amber with a slight chill haze under a sudsy 2” moderately persistent off-white foam collar that grips the side of the glass.
S: Big citrus, resin and grass hop aromas, bread and light malt sweetness.
T: Bread and light malt caramel sweetness provide a backbone for citrusy hops with some grapefruit and a delicate astringency from high hopping rates that linger well into the aftertaste. Some melon notes.
F: Medium body, medium carbonation, slight astringency in the end from the hops.
O: A big hop forward beer.

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper with golden edgings and a light, three-finger thick, off white head that leaves behind full layers of lacing.

Aromas of citrus (tangerine and lemon zest), toffee and hop resins.

Taste is well balanced between the citrus hops up front, toffee sweetness and light toasted malts in the middle and a grassy bitterness at the end. An alcohol astringency is throughout, but not overwhelming.

Thin to medium mouthfeel, slightly sticky and high carbonation.

Was expecting more hops in this one, but it is still a well balanced, moderate Imperial IPA.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.85/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Amber color, average all around. Aroma was lacking, no freshness date, a little sweet.

Taste, lacked the big hop bite I was looking for. Significant amounts of caramel, pale malts. Taste of honey. Plenty of carbonation, sweetness, but lacking in the hop mouthfeel department. Alcohol too noticeable.

I'm usually a big supporter of Mendocino's stuff, they've been around forever making good beers, but this one is a little below average for style, and definitely below their own standards. I'd venture a guess that it was a little more aged than it should have been. Hold it against the brewery for not telling me when it was made or when to drink by.

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.48/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appears a deep orange pale copper hue with an off white head, speckled scattered lacing across my chalice. Aroma has deep citrus with some biscuit malts, a touch of pine and honey malts as well. Flavor is a bit weird it's like an herbal pine experiment with hints of citrus, blast of alcohol in the back end this is a bit rough. Unrefined hard to drink version of a great style, mouthfeel falls flat seems like it's brewed in Saratoga with the rest of the lineup. This is the type of craft beer that turns off new comers, Drinkability just isn't good not a beer I will return to anytime soon.

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in standard pint glass

A - clear or hazy amber, with off-white head. Head has good retention. Trace of sediment in bottom of bottle (added to my beer, of course).

Mouthfeel: creamy and full, but with some dryness towards the finish. smooth; medium body and carbonation

S - Resinous and citrusy hops, but a bit subtle compared to the bold taste. {A more recent Nov. 2011 sample had a bolder, more citrusy aroma}. A bit earthy with hints of herbs and baked bread.

T - citrusy hops with traces of orange. Rather complex hop mix but perhaps not quite as hoppy as expected for an Amer. imperial or double IPA. Significant levels of sweet and caramel malt to balance the bitter hops. Only moderately bitter and hoppy after-taste. 8% ABV is largely hidden.

O - A very well-crafted DIPA. Boldly flavored, yet an excellent sipper that is refreshing and not challenging or overly aggressive. .

Photo of tdm168
4.47/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with a hint of orange. There's a thin lacing of white head that's soft and has good retention. The nose is bready and sweet with some underlying baked apple notes. The flavor opens up with a malt forward, bready, sweet, birthday cake character and then blends into a citrusy, grapefruit, pineapple hop character that is slightly bitter in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and smooth with decent carbonation.

This is a solid beer. It has good flavor and body. It's balanced, smooth, drinkable, flavorful. This is a nice West Coast IPA.

Photo of sdmvd6
2.39/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Deep bronze with a finger of head. Moderate lacing.

S - Almost non-existent hops is the first thing I noticed. I really hope this is just a case of an old bottle, as it was not dated. Strong sweet malty aroma with a bit of citrus hops after a lot of searching.

T - Cloyingly sweet malt throughout. Again, almost non-existent hops. I don't really understand the deal with this since it is supposed to be an Imperial IPA. Definitely not representative of the style at all.

M - Feel isn't bad, medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Highly disappointed by this one. I had never seen Mendocino in OK, and seeing as it was an Imperial IPA from the West Coast I expected a whole lot more. I was struggling to find any hint of hops, and I really think/hope it was an old bottle. If not, this "IPA" is a joke.

Photo of Beertracker
3.21/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mendocino's Imperial IPA pours up with a nice effervescence that creates a low-moderate cream colored head that sits rather loosely atop the bright sunglow-deep golden body. The aroma is rather muted, as there's some staleness (oxidation) which greatly diminishes the more pleasant aspects (citrus, minty, piney) of the late addition hops. Grainy notes, toasted crackers & some light alcohol round out the nose. The flavor starts off with a some enjoyable graininess with some developing sweetness that gets completely underscored by a coarse bitterness that carries through to a rather harsh, bittersweet finish with a mineral/vitamin character that's unpleasant. This medium-full bodied strong ale has all the components of the style, but misses the quality mark. It's definitely worthy enough to have a pint, plus the point-of-sale price is nice!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours a lightly clouded red-orange color with a finger of frothy, dirty-white colored head that holds and laces well.

S: Strong caramel maltiness, slightly subdued citrus, breadiness, and resiny hoppiness. It turns more to the citrusy hops as it warms.

T: Grapefruit, lemon zest, sweet caramel, intense resiny bitterness, rye, and some sweet berries at the end.

M: It has a medium-thick body with adequate carbonation and a silky-smooth finish.

D: It isn't the hop bomb that I envisioned with it being from the west coast but it was quite enjoyable.

Photo of jacobseyb
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle a deep orangish copper color with a white head of about two fingers that lingers well and laces the glass some. Initial aroma is malty sweetness and disguises the hoppiness of the beer very well. Taste follows with very bitter flavors, some pine, and a nicely balanced malt sweetness follow. Feel is moderately heavy bodied with a generous carbonation bite on the finish. Overall a good example of the Imperial IPA, it fits within the style, yet also shows the range of maltiness that is sometimes evident.

Photo of Docer
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snagged up a 12oz. bottle to try. No idea when it was brewed and bottled as there are no dates or codes.

- Pours a nice rich slightly cloudy dark copper with a big 3 fingers of fluffy light light cream colored head. Slowly settles and leaves lace all about my small flute glass.

- Zesty lemon, citrus, and lime hops dominate the nose. Nice subtle caramel malt sits back while allowing the hops more room to shine. Certainly a nice floral flare there as well.

- Smooth caramel malts with a zesty bitterness, and more so a floral and zingy, and slightly spicy hop. Touch of earthiness, and lemon. Little bit soapy.

- Great medium bodied beer with perfect carbonation and a slightly drying after feel. Slightly creamy, very smooth.

- Overall this is a very good and solid IPA. I can see this being a regular for me if it were readily available to me. Certainly a must have if you are near it in bottle or on tap.

Photo of bgjohnston
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I saw this next to the 4-pack of the imperial barleywine. Naturally, I had to try both.

Pours a clear dark amber with a light tan head that fades away pretty quickly. Smell hints at a hoppy beer, but I prefer more citrus than I am getting. Taste is better, with a nice bite to it and a dry finish. Feel is not expecially full, but satisfying. At 8%, it is quite drinkable, but their barleywine is significantly better at hiding an even stronger brew.

Overall, good beer at a nice price, but if you have access to River Horse Hopalotamus, that one is better for the same money.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. 8.0% ABV, no date.

A - Slightly hazy golden amber in color, the pour is tall but very quiet and almost viscous. A one-finger off-white head rose up, then sank back down leaving little lace left over.

S - Pale malt extract is potent and syrupy in the aroma. It has a slight caramel sweetness to it with a miniscule hint of alcohol. The hops come in with a not-so-fresh aroma that's not very inviting. Notes of old fruit and plastic-like resin aren't exciting either.

T - Definitely plastic-resin in flavor, the fruitiness of the hops doesn't come through until after the swallow. Grainy malty sweetness in the back adds an alcohol flavor as well.

M - Medium-bodied and somewhat thick going down, it could use a little more carbonation but it's got a dry, bitter finish like it needs. The bitterness is almost a bit too much as it's 'teeth-hurting'. One of the more bitter beers in recent memory. Alcohol is evident through retro-nasal breathing.

D - Very bitter does not a good DIPA make. The hops seem very old and lack a strong freshness. The malts are grainy and not thought-out. It's a mess of a double IPA. Fresh hops with definition and direction would greatly help this. I like bitter bit I'll struggle to finish this one.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz from Brewforia... Poured into my Old Guardian goblet... Pretty attractive off white 1" head ... fantastic retention and lacing atop a clear orange brew.

Nose shows pithy citrus zest and some biscuit type maltiness... not very multidimensional.

Flavor has a nice bitter bite to it with an almost immediate toasty malt presence that isn't sweet.. just toasty.. Hops are citrusy... with a bit of floral qualities and sorta resinous pine on the finish.... I guess it is good, but I would have liked a bit more hop flavor mid palate.

Body is a pretty solid medium for the style and the carbonation is small bubble and on the lite side.

Okay... I will probably buy it again if the price is right.

4.5/3.5/3.5/4/3.5

Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy light amber colr. Nice carbonation was evident right away as it bubbled up towards the surface. A good two inches of head then came up and capped the topped, only dropping slightly and depositing significarnt side glass lace,

The aroma was a hop heads dreams. Harsh, bitter, floral hops. Lots of grapefruit and strong pine notes, rich and fresh with tons of resin at the front of it. The flavor was more of the same. Damaging to the taste buds this was huge, Lots of rich pine flavors, pineapple, grapefruit, soem lght orange

Photo of generalnotsew
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour produced a nice 1 finger off white head. Body is a very rich dark amber coloring. Color is classic to the style. Smell is very earth, piney, resiney, woody hops. Also a touch of grapefruit. Borderline barleywine on smell. Initial taste is quite bitter with dirty earthy hops. A touch of caramel sweetness on the backend. Only downside is the bitterness is a tad medicinal. But one thing I have learned from that is that you will begin to like it after the second one. I learned this from Hopsickle. It is closely breaking into barleywine territory. Mouthfeel is very slick and oily with carbonation that is not overbearing. I had been apprehensive to try their stuff because I thought they were low brow. But they actually can brew up a solid IPA.

Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is hazy copper in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down and left lacing covering the surface and the edges of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel malts and grapefruit hops in the nose. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is evenly balanced between flavors of caramel and grapefruit. Only a slight amount of bitterness is present and notes of alcohol are perceptible in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, chewy and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a slow sipper because the flavor is very malty (it isn’t balanced off that much with bitterness from the hops) and the taste of alcohol is present.

Photo of cbarrett4
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To summarize this beer: Good if it were a standard IPA, but an Imperial IPA??? Tastes like a standard IPA that they decided to re-brand and charge twice as much.

A - Looks like IPA, nice head, good color

S - Rather ordinary. Hops are prominent, not much else.

T - Lots of hops on the palate but not overly impressive.

M - Good texture but the tannins are rather light for an Imperial IPA.

D - Drinks okay. I am being hard on this beer because it's listed as an Imperial IPA.

Photo of Kromes
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A hazy copper color with a thick off white head that laces the glass.

S: A big toasted malt aroma with some earthy and citrus hop.

T: A really nice toasted malt flavor provides a great base for the hops. The hops are there but the bite has been mellowed out. Hops are earthy and citrus pith in flavor. There is bitterness in the finish, but the sweetness in the malt provides a very good balance. There is a floral hop flavor left afterwards.

M: Medium body and a little bit oiy. Lower carbonation provides a smooth feel and good drinkablility.

O: I was worried about this beer from the aroma. In my experience, some of the more malt heavy DIPAs turn out really bad with super hop competing with a big malt flavor. This beer has that great balance. The beer had a nice coat of dust on it so maybe this one has had a chance to blend and mellow out....who knows? Very good in my opinion.

Photo of otersen73
4.09/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep murky copper color in a pint glass. Descent head retention with good belgian lace.

Exceptional aromas...huge caramel malt backed by fruity esters.

Big malt profile up front, well balanced with hop bitterness, although, some off flavors poke through. Not sure about the choice of hops for this brew.

Chewy mouth feel.

I'd have another one, if someone got it for me.;)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice hazy amber with a hefty inch of head that turns to a light lace ring.

S - Ugh. Pine hops. Still it does seem to have a nice malt and yeast background. Giving it a chance

T - Not really impressed but glad to try only one and not an entire case. Starts off moderately hoppy with heavy pine and slight citrus yet no bitterness. The bitterness is covered by a yeast like malt that almost has a sort of sweet side. finishes rather good with little to no ABV bite. Drinkable.

M - Medium. I did find it more smooth bodied than 90 min IPA.

D - Overall I wouldn't consider a case since it runs about 46 but overall a decent rep of the style. Can't get over the yeast like malt smell as I take a sip. Kind of off putting but it does drink well. Damn west coast hops... Confused...

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear amber colored ale that lies in the shades often called "IPA Orange." Small tan colored head.

Smells strong and hoppy with pine being the strongest scent. Wood and citrus are strongly present. Strong hops but just not many subtleties here.

Starts out Strong citrus with a woody aftertaste. Stout bitterness but there is enough malt to tame it down. Malt is present a little brown sugar to it. Good strong IPA taste but nothing unusual or notable about it.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is good. Not an outstanding IIPA but a decent one.

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Imperial IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.