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Imperial IPA - Mendocino Brewing Company

Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

186 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 186
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Zorro on 07-03-2010)
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Ratings: 186 | Reviews: 98 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Omnium


3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle > Mason Pint

A - Clear caramel copper color with half a finger of white soapy head some small spotty lacing.
S - Caramel malt, a little toffee, huge alcohol scent, grapefruit.
T - The munich malt in this is so noticable and unbalanced, its very bready and spicy, then you get a second wave of malt that is really sweet and oily. A little grapefruit, but meh.
M - Cloying and oily
O - Bad Imperial IPA, so off balanced with the malt to hops, and the Munich Malt has to go, looking at most of Mendocino's lineup looks like its their most preferred malt, which is fine, if you're more suited to a german style ipa...wait what...?

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 01:27:06 | More by Omnium
Photo of Justinbrick2011

New York

4.43/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

mendocino imperial ipa is a great beer or should i say ale its a full bodied ipa with great flavor. mendocino imperial ipa is brewed with a lot of premium varieties of hops such as Amarillo, Cascade which are some of my favorite hops.. it also has caramel and 2-row pale malts.. i really love this beer for its strong hop aroma and the taste is a strong bitter citrus flavor

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2013 21:30:24 | More by Justinbrick2011
Photo of IchLiebeBier


3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Cloudy; orangish-bronze; frothy, big head, long lasting, good lacing

Aroma: Earthy; malty with light brown sugar/honey notes

Taste: Juicy, creamy malt on start with a big hit of bittering hops; good warming alcohol with a lingering hop finish; semi sweet finish; creamy mouthful the whole way

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2013 09:51:14 | More by IchLiebeBier
Photo of GhostKidd956

3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a duvel glass

Appearance - Dark Orange color with a slight amber look

Smell - Citrus Hops, piney,

Taste - Citrus hops, piney taste, orange peels, hops is forward in this taste, very well balanced

Mouthfeel -very pleased with the CO2 added to this beer

Overall - I could have used a little more hops in this beer since in fact it is a imperial IPA with means "double hops" but it is a very good beer mendocino has very good beers such as the american strong ale which they should be very proud of my personal fav. But this Imperial was cut a little bit short. maybe push the IBU levels in the brewing? guessing its aroung the 60's should be aroung the 80's and 90's

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 07:43:57 | More by GhostKidd956
Photo of AmitC


3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 04:48:56 | More by AmitC
Photo of acevenom


2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a glass mug. Pours deep copper with a thick white head and lots of visible tiny bubbles in the beer. Some lacing is left on the side of the glass as the head retreats. The aroma is of some citrus and piney hops and a nice dose of caramel and bready malts. The flavor is a wallop of sweet grapefruit juice. There's some of that bready malt in the background with the piney hops, but this is one of the sweetest DIPAs I've sampled. The alcohol is also present in the flavor. The body is full with strong carbonation. There's a sticky aftertaste for this sipper. This is a below average beer. If you're looking for a DIPA, I would pass on this and go for something else.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 00:57:56 | More by acevenom
Photo of mactrail


2.98/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The typical orange amber color in the Duvel glass. Less foam than average but plenty of fizz in the mouth. Medium body. Some hoppy notes and alcohol in the smell.

Nothing subtle about this. A flavor that makes me think of really overripe canteloupe and a whiff of the compost pile. An odd candy taste, some kind of fruity flavor. Caramel and malt. Wintergreen and brake fluid in the nose. Plenty bitter but not overwhelming. Usual hop flavors don't seem to apply here. It is just really strange though not actually undrinkable. I keep thinking of camphor and something sweet for the cough.

Rather hot and tastes more alcoholic than expected from the abv. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Baron's Marketplace in San Diego.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2012 04:03:41 | More by mactrail
Photo of troysoy2


3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, no freshness date, poured into a tulip glass.

Deep copper color under two fingers of luscious, off white head. Great retention, and some nice lacing going on.

The smell is surprisingly heavy on caramel. This gives way to just a wisp of pine.

This is an Imperial IPA with a really nice malt character. Caramel and grainy bread are lightly accentuated by moderate pine bitterness. Citrus just barely shows up in the mix. The mouthfeel has a nice thickness, and is on the lower side of carbonation.

Not a bad brew. Not what I might have been expecting from most Imperial IPAs, but all in all, quite enjoyable. Not sure how fresh this bottle was. No big deal.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 03:31:20 | More by troysoy2
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, citrus fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer for what it is but it's a bit rough around the edges in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2012 01:46:05 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of NuclearDolphin


2.88/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark hazy orange/rust with a filmy white head

Smell - Citrus Hops, caramel, malts, yeasts and orange rinds. Fairly malty smell.

Taste - Citrus Hops, yeasts, and malts. There is also a very boozy flavor to it, which is sort of unpleasant and distracts you from the other flavors. Despite this, it still comes off as a bit weak.

Mouthfeel - Very heavy bodied and the carbonation is very strong, way too much so for this style of beer.

Overall - The flavor and mouthfeel need some serious work if in order to be a good IPA. Speaking of which, this feels much more like an IPA than a Imperial IPA just because it lacks the hoppy punch of other Imperial IPAs

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2012 03:28:04 | More by NuclearDolphin
Photo of BigPlay1824

New York

2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed in a tulip

A: pours a very hazy deep amber color which is nicely bright and has a creamy one finger head with large bubbles that is off white, kind of dark white is that makes sense, head dissipates rapidly and leaves no lacing
S: an interesting scent, a grassy hop note, quite earthy, kind of reminds me of the smell of the yard after a strong but quick mid summer day storm
T: welp, its kicks off right up front with the alcohol note, then it moves into an earth kind of tree bark or even tobacco note which is not at all bad, finishes pretty smoothly, although im note entirely sure i think i sense some slight oxidization, just an observation not gonna put it into my numerical score since im not certain
M: drinks slightly thick with a bit of carbonation and has a bit of a drying feeling on the palate which i think is more from the alcohol bite than it is from the hops
O: a decent beer, not all that tasty, alcohol kind of dominates, oh well

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 23:41:36 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of rundocrun


3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Body is hazy and copper colored with a hint of amber. Yields a finger of fine off-white head. Good retention. Good lacing on the glass.

S - Tropical fruits, citrus and caramel candies. Just a hint of spicy pine and herbal undertones.

T - Sweet and citrusy up front. Flavors of lemongrass, caramely malts and some darker toasted grain initially. More citrus--almost tangy now--and some hop bitterness toward the middle. Finish is not extremely bitter, but rather juicy, fruity and malty sweet.

M - Medium body. Dazzling carbonation--probably my favorite thing about drinking this beer. The carbonation and the level of citrusy hops used in this beer work quite well together. I could do for more bitterness though, as the finish was quite sweet and sticky.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2012 21:55:43 | More by rundocrun
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a hazy dark amber pour with 2 fingers of off white head which turned into a 1/8" for the rest of the glass. great lacing.

smells of pine, peaches, grapefruit, honey

malt heavy taste with a weird sour/bitter after taste. can't tell if my palate has been tampered with from previous iipas from tonight but it just feels off for some reason.. tastes a bit like burnt plastic. very bitter hops fill in for the backbone of the beer. dirt, burnt toffee, fermented grapefruit.

medium body, slightly creamy, well carbonated.

overall, this is a pretty weird iipa. everything is on par with the "book definition" of iipa, except for the taste.. it's just off.. i can't get down with that. not sure if this is an old bottle or if it's just the way this one is, but it tastes like old grapefruit or something.. just odd.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 04:32:37 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Imperial IPA
Mendocino Brewing Company
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.00 %

LOOK: Bright copper orange, soapy well retaining head. Plenty of lace clinging to the glass.

SMELL: Earthy hops, caramel, pine, strong tea.

TASTE: Resinous and bitter, high alpha hops running the show. Grapefruit zest, pine, herb, and earthy at that. Sweet malt character, honey, caramel and a light tang. A little alcohol flavor, finishes with a lingering bitterness.

FEEL: Medium bodied, well carbonated. Semi dry, with a hop bite in the finish.

OVERALL: Solid for the price, alcohol and decent flavor. There is a strong hop character, and a very nice feel to this beer. A serviceable and readily available "imperial" IPA that gets the job done.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 21:03:12 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Kromes


4/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2012 21:58:04 | More by Kromes
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +24.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 13:30:21 | More by tdm168
Photo of C20Percent


3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

*Review taken from notes*

A: Slightly hazy golden-bronze color with a head that holds steady through life of beer.

S: Stingy citrus. Or, maybe boozy. Some floral notes in the background.

T: Subtle citrus flavors. But, not hitting as strong as I'd wish. Bitter, but lacking elsewhere. Almost flat. Leaving me wanting more.

M: Medium body. No noticeable finish.

O: Average Imperial IPA that lacks flavor. Would not purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 23:26:42 | More by C20Percent
Photo of drabmuh


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Three Floyds glass because I'm striking out on glassware today. Beer is dark amber and completely hazy, thin white head, small bubbles, lots of lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, earthy and a little piny.

Beer is heavy and malt forward, not horrible but also not a great IPA. Hides the alcohol well, but the malt cuts through leaving only this mild earthiness / piny quality behind on almost no bitterness. Not a repeat for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 03:28:12 | More by drabmuh
Photo of wafers

New York

3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber to brick red color with a light frothy head
S: Some citrus in the aroma along with a somewhat roasted character
T: Bold, strong bitterness, some piney hops, definite malt background, with some alcohol towards the end
M: A pretty thick IPA, resiny, taste tends to linger in the mouth
O: The imperial IPA is a decent brew, very good for someone looking for one with a lot of bitterness...There is a strong malt character to the beer and the definite taste of alcohol makes this beer more of a sipper

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 02:30:50 | More by wafers
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 14:26:37 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of ebrauser


3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Depp amber hue with a subdued cream colored head. lacing is left like a cobweb around the glass. The nose is up front hops with grass and lots of strong pine and resiny notes. Solid hop bite right at the start of the drink rides a small wave of malt through the finish. Largely oily and resiny hop residue with very little citrus cause a little of a one-sided battle. A little one-note, but still a decent IIPA

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 21:22:37 | More by ebrauser
Photo of TMoney2591


3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

Another offering in my mini Mendocino tasting this afternoon. It pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, lots o' ruby red grapefruit, a touch of pine resin, and a hint of mint (he-he, that rhymes...). The taste brings in more of the same, with the grapefruit and the caramel really combining and intertwining nicely. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a pretty dry finish. Overall, a pretty solid DIPA, one that doesn't try to o'erwhelm tastebuds with hops, but rather pumps plenty of hoppy flavor in with pleasantly sweet caramel sidekicks. Always nice to find an easy-going DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 04:56:17 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of ckollias


4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a brownish-orange with mild amber highlights. Huge, 3-finger, frothy, white head that lasts forever leaving a great trail all the way around the glass before ending in a persistent lace.

S: Strong hoppy aroma with a general sweetness.

T: Hops dominate this brew form beginning to end. Slightly sweet and there is no a nice alcoholic bite towards the ends.

M: Very strong and boozy. Medium body and heavy carbonation

O: Superb imperial ipa – nicely hopped and very drinkable. Would pick this up again.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 01:08:21 | More by ckollias
Photo of chodinheaven


3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber in hue with fine bubbles of carbonation rising fast from the bottom. Big off-white head that doesn't go away at all, leaving really nice lacing down the glass. Aroma is not very in your face, but what is there is citrusy at first and bready in the back. There's a hint of weird musty quality as well.

Hop resin, pine and citrus are all there fairly prevelantly. Not overly bitter at first, but a bready backbone creates a full-bodied feel that makes up for it. Bitter in the linger mostly. The mouthfeel is close to being creamy, but finishes bone-dry and citrusy. The tastes that are there are pretty bold and well done, a decent balance between the pine, citrus, and resinous hops with the bready character of the malts. The balance loses effect with the mouthfeel, as it is slightly watery and maybe too smooth up front from a soft carbonation. More of a carbonated zest may have done some good with this one. But overall, not bad and a relatively easy imperial IPA to drink, even at an 8% that is not easily detectable. I wouldn't turn it down if offered.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 04:46:54 | More by chodinheaven
Photo of ahq514


3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into NB globe.

Pours a murky golden color with a solid finger head that eventually diminishes a dusting of film over the top of the beer. Appears to have low carbonation. Spots of lacing occur.

Smells mostly of sweet caramel malt with a musty floral hoppiness. There is also a faint citrus hoppiness hidden amongst the other aromas. Not especially vibrant which I expect with a lot of IIPAs.

Taste is an improvement from the aroma. Starts off with a nice bitter, piney hop burst complemented by a sweet maltiness. This transitions into a big citrus burst of hops, some nice grapefruit and other tropical fruits. There is also a nice lingering bitterness.

Nice medium body with low level of carbonation. Has a dry bitter finish. Pretty drinkable for an IIPA.

I was not expecting very much from this beer, so it ended up being a decent beer. The nice grapefruit burst that I got in the taste really made the beer, otherwise it would be extremely boring. Wouldn't seek this beer out, but since I got it for free, I won't complain.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 04:39:22 | More by ahq514
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Imperial IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.