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Road Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale Ale - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Road Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale AleRoad Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale Ale

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167 Reviews
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Reviews: 167
Hads: 1,252
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 49
Gots: 281 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wrigleyf on 04-22-2014

Our Imperial Rye IPA is brewed in the name of our Road Warriors—the sales team who tirelessly hit the streets, traveling from town to town and pub to pub sharing the Green Flash experience. Road Warrior™ charges full flavor forward. Columbus and Mosaic hops, rich crystal and spicy rye malts pave the way for Mosaic and Amarillo dry-hopping to boldly shine through in the finish. Raise a glass to those who never settle!
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Reviews: 167 | Hads: 1,252
Photo of biegaman
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What makes Road Warrior such an impressive beer is that it pairs contrasting features with absolute consonance - bitter, pungent hops sign loudly, harmoniously in chorus with sweet, spicy grain. That same kind of contradistinction is also what makes it so interesting visually: a deep, dark-ish amber colour that relinquishes full clarity and a bright glow; a loose head that produces tight lace.

It may sound like rye is the star ingredient in this recipe but the aroma says with no uncertainty it's the hops. I could smell bitter, sticky pine resins and dank, weedy herbals instantly upon prying off the cap. As I type this the glass sits at least 12 inches from my nose and I still have no problem appreciating that bouquet. I bet there's some lovely malt flavour in there too but good luck detecting it!

Fortunately the palate makes room for those elaborate and delicious nutty-sweet notes. One hasn't a hard time at all detecting the distinctive and spicy taste of rye nor the dark caramel and almost syrupy treacle flavours of the crystal malts. For whatever reason the combination of such earthy, dank, pine-y hops also helps create the impression of caraway and maybe even dried dill seeds.

Road Warrior is like an action movie with a clever plot development. How's this for excitement: 9% alcohol, 80 IBU, pungent dry-hopping and a spiciness that hits from two fronts (rye grain and herbal hops). And here's the twist: flavours are absolutely serene and the finish soft as a seat cushion. It has it all! I rarely buy six packs but this one I might even splurge for a case of twelve.

Green Flash is not the first brewery to make an ultra hoppy amber (with or without rye) but they're certainly among the best to so far - the only thing I know that compares is in fact one of the originators, the still iconic Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic. My thoughts on Road Warrior can be summed up by the beer's slogan: "Hop on and enjoy the rye of your life". And damn, I want to "rye" again! (2,001 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a malty caramel colored with a slightly tan tinged cap of foam. There's a lightly bready note to the aroma with some orange marmalade. A great peppery rye spicy kick comes across as its sipped, with a pleasing bitterness. Yum! (238 characters)

Photo of twage04
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big darker ipa that hides the booze well but you will feel it. The rye works well with the fruity hops and the high carbonation. Beer isn't terribly sweet but rather is well balanced. (183 characters)

Photo of TheMarkE
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark red copper with a huge head of foam, good lacing, and plenty of carbonation.

Smell: Citrus, pine, and spice.

Taste: Spice, rye, pine, citrus, and hints of caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a big bitter finish. It is 80 IBUs, and it shows.

The Verdict: Good beer. Big bold flavor if you like big bold beers, with a lot of spice. There’s a lot going on in this beer, and it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (so to speak). A bit too spicy for my tastes, but there’s no doubt this is a very good quality brew. (539 characters)

Photo of Ksmoove27
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark amber, 1 finger head (very light colored), ok lacing

Smell - nice citrus, hoppy aroma

Taste - crisp, with a little harsh bitterness in the hop, but strong hoppy flavor

Feel - Medium body. A good chew.

Overall - Would call this a half step behind AleSmith IPA. Very similar attributes...a llittle darker but not as sophisticated in hop scheme. (365 characters)

Photo of SitkaSteve
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a dark amber color with light brown hues around the sides of the glass. A light foamy to bubbly white head started and dissipated within about forty seconds. Some light clingy lacing ran
around the glass.
The smell had a big sweet to spicy rye about it. I really liked how the rye showed a sweetness and a spiciness. That tells me its pretty authentic. Light pine and citrus grace the background and allow a bitterness that ends up running nicely into a caramel sweet backup.
The taste takes the previously mentioned flavors and contains them mostly to a nice all around sweetness. Bitterness does end up coming in to balance with some citrus rind and pine.
The mouthfeel is about a medium bodied with a sweet crisp sessionability about it. Alcohol tries to hide itself. Carbonation runs mild.
Overall, wish Green Flash would put dates on their beers. Eh, but for the most part, that rye really does hold up with the hops. Somehow, I think I had an older bottle. Would definitely revisit. (1,037 characters)

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Deep dark amber with thick tan head that fades slowly and leaves nice lacing. Aroma is fruity and bready. Really like the flavor of this beer. Caramel malt combined with light fruit flavor and then piney and grapefruit hops. The end is spicy from the rye, just the right amount. Dry finish. I am a little partial to rye beers. This one is very well done. (368 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy dark amber in color and appears brownish when viewed from afar. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center and some lacing on the remainder of the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of mangos and citrus are present in the nose along with some notes of pine.
T: The taste generally follows the smell, except that the piney flavors are a bit stronger and there are spicy flavors of rye, which linger into the finish. The hops contribute a moderate amount of bitterness. The mango flavors become stronger as the beer warms up. Little if any alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and quite crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This Imperial IPA has a lot of complex aromas and flavors imparted by the hops and rye. The contrasting sweetness of mangos and spiciness of rye is rather interesting.

Serving type: bottle (971 characters)

Photo of Antg8989
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bold taste. Definitely works as an imperial rye IPA. Pours a rich dark amber with a frothy copper head. Aroma is a hoppy rye with hints of dark fruit. A warming but smooth and light feel on the palate. Sweet and bitter at the same time, like an imperial IPA should be. A solid brew. (282 characters)

Photo of rjp217
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beautiful looking beer. The nose is ok but kind of muted. The problem I have with this one is the spicy rye is overpowering. It takes away the hop profile for me. Kind of a one sided brew unfortunately. (202 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper color - and I mean DARK. This is the darkest non-black IPA I've witnessed. The head is a finger high, and pale yellow in shade. Retention is quite good, allowing the creamy texture to leave a strong aesthetic impression for a while. Some lacing also sticks to the glass. (4)

Smell: One word comes to mind here - spicy. Spicy rye malt and spicy hops are the order of the day. The Mosaic hops work well here (they usually blend well with darker malts, I'm starting to find), adding a subtle tropical tone without getting overly onion-y. Pungent Amarillo also peeks through. I find the malts a little overdone, but the hops do enough to balance it out without seeming messy. (3.5)

Taste: This is definitely a malty DIPA. It starts off with gentle tropical fruit, before transitioning into piny and spicy flavors. After a while, a touch of fruit esters appear. The problem is, the malty flavors don't seem to blend well with the hoppiness. That rye spice is absolutely pummeling. I will say this, though: the Mosaic hops are utilized well. This one ain't quite for me, sorry. (2.75)

Mouthfeel: The feel is both full and sweet - not surprising considering how malt-dominated this is. The crystal malt creates a finishing astringency; while this keeps it somewhat dry (in conjunction with the hops), after a while it becomes rather syrupy. It also has a long-lasting aftertaste and carbonation on the low side. (2.75)

Overall: Well, it looks great and smells good. Too bad both the feel and the taste are lacking. To me, it doesn't seem very cohesive or refined - individually, the notes are good, they just don't balance at all. On the plus side, it isn't nearly the disaster Silva Stout was! I will keep mentioning that in all my future GF reviews for the time being - seriously, that beer was total shit. Like I said, this is definitely NOT shit, it just isn't all that good to my palate. (3)

3.06/5: Too malty for me, guys (1,984 characters)

Photo of BNLTandem
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Surprisingly deep Amber. From the bottle poured with an off white head with lots of staying power.
Smell: fresh , clean, not at all overpowering with hops, but instead the grains are the start here. Really nice.
Taste: rye, bitter (but not silly), hop pallet more floral or toward the lime end of citrus. Not acidy or astringent.
Feel: really nice. Rolled oats??? Hangs on the glass hangs on your tongue. Dang close to perfect.
Overall: I find this beer to be exceptional.. I was surprised to see it on the menu in Michigan, and thrilled to taste it. Just ordered a second. (593 characters)

Photo of MisterGone
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz into tulip (twice just to be sure... probably not needed, but...). Deep amber with a beige head (as opposed to khaki or taupe or latte or...).

The aroma was really, really nice on this one. As advertised. You get some piney and citrussy hop bitter with that distinct rye malt, which I didn't expect to get until the taste - but man it was indeed present. The flavor was as the nose promised, with some extra resinous bite in those hops and the rye really shone through. Got a little stickier as it warmed (which I thoroghly enjoyed). As Rye DIPAs go, this one nailed it for me. Good stuff. Will likely have the other two tomorrow. (636 characters)

Photo of 1ale_man
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into oversized flute. Dark brown color. Smelled hoppy and rye with caramel and spice/pepper. Tasted great. All of the smell came through on the taste. Nice and thick feel for me. Like a port wine. Really loved it. (227 characters)

Photo of T-34-85
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap in pint glass.

Excellent beer with good aromatic nose, and an even better taste with the added punch of the rye.

very pleasant look with a deep mahogany color and a light tan head. (193 characters)

Photo of Bunman3
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. This beer is not messing around. It is not overly amazing to look at, but as soon as it gets near your nose, you know something is special. The sweetness of the nose is completely offset by the bitter, resin-laden flavour and finish. What makes this so different is the variety of sensations you experience from pour to swallow. For me, very few brews are enough to satisfy me after one bottle. Road Warrior is one of those beers - I fear that if I drank more than one bomber, I would be going to war for fuel and doing my worst Mel Gibson impression... (558 characters)

Photo of Brondeau
3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Wowza. Delicious first sip. And then that bitter after taste... Yikes. Not for me. Or maybe I've been drinking too many smooth stouts lately. But man, the lingering bitterness meant I ALMOST didn't finish the 22 ounce bottle. (225 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Half Pint Pub in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a dark orange-ish brown, with a quarter inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

This one smells like grapefruit, rye, orange, and a bit of baked black bread.

This is pretty good, but it's got that trademark Green Flash hop flavor that I don't always love- super brash, piney, and bitter grapefruit pith. It's a bit perfumey, with a little bit of caramel sweetness, and more dark bitterness from the rye, spicy and peppery.

This is medium bodied, and fairly crisp, with a moderate level of carbonation, and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. No alcohol feel at all, which is pretty nice.

Like most Green Flash, this isn't my favorite IPA I've ever had, but it's somewhat well-crafted and I easily finished the pint. (770 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Brilliant deep amber with a copper tint under a 1” clingy foam cap midway between cream and tan.
S: Spicy rye over hops, grass, pine, faint mint.
T: Very creamy on the attack with rich malt and then the hops come on board with an assertive herbal citrus rind bitterness. Malt flavors moderate, yeast flavors medium low, hop flavors moderate, hop bitterness moderately high.
F: Rich, chewy, some astringency from the hops on the finish, big bitterness. Has the rye body and a slight slickness.
O: Although assertive, well balanced bertween the rye, alcohol and hop flavors. (581 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


Draft at Bittercreek... Pours clear deep amber/red... Off white head sticks around for a while leaving good lacing. Nose is customary big citrus and lesser floral hoppiness.. rye is more than present... Flavor is bitter up front and moves into pithy orange hops... rye comes across as dry earthy toasty.. very SoCal hop profile never drowns out the rye.. Surprisingly well done.

4.25/4/4/4/4.25 (399 characters)

Photo of Jackolope
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Damn! I am very impressed. I like rye beer bread and whiskey so I guess I shouldn't be so surprised, but I usually don't go for Green Flash Beers because I wasn't very impressed with their West Coast IPA and I think their labels are lame. However I decided to try this beer after a recommendation from a Shop Keep at The City Beer store and needless to say I am very satisfied.
This beer starts off with an exceptional hop aroma that you can smell straight from the bottle when you open it and then pours a rusty red color with a nice off white head. The taste is very balanced. It isn't too spicy from the rye and also isn't overly acidic or bitter from the hops. The floral aroma comes through in the flavor and it's dangerously drinkable. So much so that I almost can't believe the advertised 9% ABV. Great Beer. (815 characters)

Photo of MortarPestle
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly hazy deep chestnut with a nice head and lacing. A nice malt backbone falvor with well balanced hop bitterness. A good example of the style. (156 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with a slight haze. Boozy aroma with brown sugar and a bit of floral hop. Toffee, a touch of grain and alcohol. Aroma is much like a barleywine.

Taste is a nice blend of orange citrus hop flavor, rye sweet and spicy character and caramel malts. Alcohol flavor is stronger than it should be for a 9% beer, no questioning the strength.

Full bodied, full flavored the bottle says, that is correct. Hop citrus, booze and whiskey malt lingers on.

Overall, a pretty average double IPA with rye. Too hot to be considered too class, but could probably smooth out over time and really be a Barleywine. (624 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark copper/amber color with a thick foamy to creamy looking 2 finger tan head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving great foamy rings as it went down with the foam being quite thick.

Smells spicy up front with the rye, floral hops and piney hops leading the way, and then allowing the malt backbone to bring caramel, cracker, toffee and toasted grains to the party as the citrus hops and grapefruit then settle down the spices with some sweetness. Pretty well balanced and the sweet fruity flavors mesh well with the spices.

Like the nose the flavor is spicy up front with the rye, floral hops and piney hops jumping out along with some juniper, spruce and pine needles. Then the sweetness kicks in with tropical fruit, caramel, brown sugar, citrus hops, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, pepper, lemon, coriander, toasted grains, wheat bread, graham cracker, light booze like rum and what seems like a cross between buttered rye toast and french toast. This is really complex but the spices keep coming in waves and letting the rye, pepper and floral hops act as the stars of this show. The sweetness does a very good job of containing the 9% ABV and limits the bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thin and on the watery side, but the body is medium with a thicker feel that lets the sweetness slide down and then almost dry your mouth with the chalky spice residue. Not too bitter, not too spicy, the sweetness fades and leaves an aftertaste like yeast or rye bread. Overall this was very good, a nice change of pace and certainly a beer I'd have again. (1,574 characters)

Photo of outdoor7or24
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased from green's in Columbia SC. Poured into snifter.
A: pours a rustic copper color, lite off white golden tone color foam head, stingy Lacing, carbonation
S: best part of brew, deep notes of caramel malt leading to sweetness, rye, orange, honey, mango
M: medium creamy body, carbonation slight sticky resin on the tongue
T: orange peel, intense rye, grain, alcohol burn, pepper, slight metallic in the finish
O: great brew from green flash, the rye is really strong in this one. (500 characters)

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Road Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.