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

185 Reviews
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Road Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale AleRoad Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by Wrigleyf on 04-22-2014

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Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 1,330
Photo of Antg8989
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of rjp217
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.06/5  rDev -24.8%
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

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Photo of BNLTandem
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of MisterGone
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of 1ale_man
4.46/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of T-34-85
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of Bunman3
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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...

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Photo of Brondeau
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.07/5  rDev 0%
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.


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Photo of Jackolope
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of MortarPestle
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of CHickman
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of cambabeer
3.89/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this would be better. Very sweet and malty toward the middle, and a little sticky in the mouthfeel. Good beer, but nothing noteworthy, pretty cookie cutter DIPA.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- spiegelau ipa glass.

A: Strong effervesce within a glazed candy apple red colored body. Strong sense of clarity, almond colored, marshmellow fluff textured head is two inches and holds steadily. Meaty lace deposits sticks well to the glass walls.

S: Lightly dry peppery rye and barley with dry citrus grind. Light to medium sense of awareness.

T: Big, bold peppery start of the rye, dry citrus grind, dry pine and fennel spicing. Licorice and lingering peppery citrus fade. Silty black tea touch on the tongue with background nuances of dried banana-bubblegum yeastiness. Earthy scorched tree bark, some alcohol and rosy, pungent columbus hop flowers.

M: Spritzy carbonation factor, creamy medium body with a good malt support that turns chewy.

O: Overall big bold peppery rye presence that doesn't hold back, big toasted citrus and dry toasted malt support with a malty backbone and dry finish. An very good example of a rye based ipa.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, rich, deep amber producing 2 fingers of somewhat lived, beige, finely bubbled head that leaves spidery strings of lacing. Aroma is spicy rye & dark malt, pumpernickel bread, grapefruit, tropical fruit & floral hops with some caramel, brown sugar. Taste is bready rye forward, rye spice, caramel, brown sugar, with a low grapefruit/tropical fruit hop intensity for the style. Sweet but with a lively bitter finish & alcohol spice that lingers in the aftertaste which becomes increasingly drier. The only truly bitter portion of the sip. As with some rye beers a metallic note emerges in the background & becomes most prominent in the aftertaste but is not detracting . Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, lightly prickly, creamy but also a little syrupy & slick, moderately chewy. This puts me in mind of what an Imperial Amber Ale, with rye added, might taste like.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice hearty ale. Thick mix of hops, rye, and malt. The malt seems a bit more noticable than I would hope for, but it's a good drinker. I'd be fine with another of this one.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

650 ml bomber poured into a tulip. A cloudy reddish toffee color with two fingers of voluptuous frothy yet creamy beige head. Keeps its shape nicely.

Huge citrus rind aroma, orange and grapefruit, with some floral black tea, caramels, and dusty peppery spice. Good old rye. Pungent resins and a whiff of tropical melon. Rather powerful and boozy on the palate, at least initially, with tons of green spicy hop notes, brittle flinty rye, and tannic strong tea. Less sweet than expected. Juicy grapefruit and Seville orange. Musky blueberry and sour kiwi blink though the dark spicy base. Robust pine needle oils from start to finish. I am undecided as to whether the hops or the malts are winning this particular battle ... I'm leaning towards the former but just by a hair. A certain nuttiness emerges late. A few raisin notes. The hops are getting floral. The booze mellows out into a classy rum-like sweetness.

Rather hefty body and silky smooth, with low end carbonation. Finish is on the dry side, copious citrus rinds and peppercorns, but with some lingering brown sugar sweetness. Yep, still a huge Green Flash fan. This is a great rye PA that reveals its complexities over time. There is just enough spicy rye and caramel malt sweetness to provide balance while still letting the hop power shine forth.

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Photo of woemad
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $3.29. According to the label, this is best by December 12, 2014 (oops), although it’s so faint I almost couldn’t find this information.

Poured a hazy, dark mahogany color, with a big, creamy khaki-colored head. Said head subsided after a couple of minutes in a frenzy of bubbles, and left lots of lace on the sides of a Bristol Mass Transit Ale pint glass (Thanks again for the glassware, Connie!).

Lots of piney and citrusy hops and spicy rye malt notes. I could detect a little caramelish sweetness as well. It’s not often I can detect the non-rye malt when drinking a beer brewed with rye malt, but this time I can – just.

The malts are as big as the hops, but the hops ain’t too shy, despite being about 3 ½ weeks past the best-by point. Maybe the hops would be a little bit more dominant if this was fresher, but everything seems very well balanced. Things end with a pleasingly dry zap to the palate.

Medium bodied, with a somewhat oily mouthfeel.

I’ve had some IIPAs, rye or otherwise, that are barely drinkable malt bombs, where drinkability has been sacrificed to the twin gods of IBUs and ABV. This is full flavored, but very drinkable, despite being a little past it’s prime. Once again, Green Flash rocks.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, an ode to the brewery's sales force, and not, as I initially imagined, to Mel Gibson's 1980s magnum opus.

This beer does me the displeasure of foaming and spouting right out of the bottle upon cap poppage (so, in a bit of perfect musical interlude, let's have Korn have the last word on this matter - 'And fuuuuuuck you too...'), and after more than a bit of table top cleanup, appears a hazy, dark red brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and broadly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some decent sudsy cubbyhole lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of zesty West Coast hops - edgy orange, white grapefruit, and lemon pith bitterness - pinecone and pine needle green esters, earthy yeast, acrid alcohol, semi-sweet bready caramel malt, a grainy rye spiciness, and further floral, well-perfumed hops. The taste is gritty, grainy pale, caramel, and rye malt, all showing off their individuality with due aplomb, a still heady SW Cali hop contingent - orange, lemon, kiwi, and red grapefruit bitters representin' - among some agreeably swirling metallic alcohol, and a further green forest floor flora acerbic character - y'know, pine, but some of its harder to describe friends, as well.

The bubbles are actually pretty sedate, their frothy inclinations hardly worthy of worrying about, the body a dense medium-full weight for the style, and not particularly smooth, both the rye spice and the overall hoppiness really making a dent here. It finishes off-dry, the now well-blended malt taking hold in an apparently defensive measure against the regrouping bitter hop cabal.

Yup, just as I might have suspected, a rye-inflected IIPA from this brewery is nothing more than a malt bill adjusted version of their venerable West Coast IPA, or its bigger brother - whatevs. I'm generally down with this, even as my inner dialogue continues to pester me with the lingering question of why the fuck, why the fuck - given my particular disposition to the guest grain - do I subject myself to this. Oh, yah, right. Hops - the bastards.

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Photo of HopticalDeployment
4.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Biscuity toffee essence, laced with a sticky imperial hop forward flavor profile.

When I consume an IIPA or DIPA (or should I say, "am consumed by..."), I expect and search for a biscotti like biscuit profile, enriched by an undeniable, smooth yet inappropriately hop aggressive start and finish.

Bravo green flash... bravo.

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Road Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.