Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

Green Flash Imperial India Pale Ale | Green Flash Brewing Co.

994 Reviews
For Trade:

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:
he mountains of Summit and Nugget hops in this high gravity Imperial will thrill even the most experienced beer explorer. Savory evergreen and pineapple aromas mingle with flavors of bitter, resinous pine and grapefruit pith. A colossal rush of hoppy adventure!

Added by Terp96 on 12-02-2006

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 994 | Ratings: 2,608
Photo of midaszero
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Cloudy orange with little lacing

S - Lots of hops. Also hard to place smell with as my friends all best described as green ... think forest.

T - More bitter hops. It is the dominating flavor and I couldn't really pick anything else out.

M - Light to medium body with light carbonation

D - To hoppy for me to enjoy on a regular basis

 341 characters

Photo of mithrascruor
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color. Lovely big slightly off-white head with good lacing and nice retention.

Smell: The aroma isn't too strong. Fairly biscuity, with light citrus hops.

Taste: There's a fair amount of sweetness starting out, and it just gets stronger as you get towards the finish. Sure, there's some hops and biscuit flavors going on too, but they seem overwhelmed by the sweet, alcoholic malts. The aftertaste is generally bitter, but with some underlying sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and fairly viscous. Very smooth with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Tough with all that sweetness. Very strong in the ABV department, and after a bit you can really taste it in the aftertaste.

I continue to struggle to find a Green Flash beer that I truly enjoy. They all seem to clash with me a bit or otherwise miss the mark. Now that they're moving in just down the street from me, I'm hoping I'll be able to find one that suits my fancy.

 1,011 characters

Photo of hardy008
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear light amber with a 3 finger bright white head with good retention and lacing. Has the aroma of grapefruit, tangerines, citrus zest, and biscuit malt. The aroma is not real strong.

Has grapefruit, tangerines, citrus zest, caramel malt, and biscuit malt in the flavor profile. Is sweeter than I expected, but also has a good deal of bitterness. Much like the aroma, the taste is also not real strong.

Medium bodied with average carbonation, and not much aftertaste. A decent DIPA, but there are plenty which are better. Worth trying though, and may need to try again sometime.

 582 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.37/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Super fresh, drank within two weeks of being bottled. Light gold, very nice head. Fairly nice hop nose but not super great. Awfully drinkable. It goes down super easy. Nice body. Nice hop flavor. A good Double IPA, but far from great, especially for being so fresh.

 265 characters

Photo of kernalklink
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice copper orange with nice fizzy head. Aromas are interesting and strong. Huge floral hop aroma, some biscuity malts. Now, i know that hops are botanical cousins to cannabis, but goddamn. Aromas are strong in that department. The volatile hop oils transfer to the taste, where the flavors are too overwhelming. Nice bitterness, but its all too much in the end. Malts are not really present, not that your numb tongue would be able to discern them. Slight alcohol burn. Smooth and dry finish. Perfect DIPA for some hop-heads, and other "-heads", but not for me.

 570 characters

Photo of AbyssJunkie13
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sorry, just going through my review book and posting these, but here it goes.

Split a 22 with my bro-in-law.

A: Great golden, honey color. Pretty clear for a beer like this. Thick head with decent staying power. Moderate lacing.

S: Good smells of general citrus, grapefruit, passionfruit maybe?

T: The flavors are great, but not very intense. What I can taste are sweet grapefruit, and a slight hoppy bitterness. The only problem with this brew is that while the alcohol isn't completely overpowering, it has a big enough presence to overpower the faint flavors.

M: Nothing crazy noteworthy here. Just solid.

D: Not bad. But at 9%, it should probably not make me want to have another different beer right after I drank this one because I want more flavor.

 761 characters

Photo of CWiggins
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I walked into Sam's Quik Stop a couple of weeks ago, and, to my utter delight, they were conducting a beer tasting! Green Flash has arrived in North Carolina, and the local distribution representative was sampling five offerings. I did sample each, and left that day with one bomber. (Not the DIPA.) On a later visit I obtained a bomber of the DIPA for that perfect summer evening when a nice hopbomb seemed appropriate. Tonight was the night.

My wife and I were preparing a spicy tuna and quinoa dish with sauteed broccoli on the side. (Actually, I ended up cooking the entire meal, as my wife had some work to catch up on.) A DIPA seemed like a nice choice, so I threw it in the fridge while dinner was cooking. Frankly, with the meal it was a little too dry and light-bodied, but the glass I had afterwards was most enjoyable.

It poured a dark gold into my Green Flash pint glass; the head was lean if not at all present, and it mainly stuck to the perimeter to the perimeter of the brew. This beer does have a nice appearance in the glass: the shiny, non-bubbly liquid is a pleasure to observe because it looks so clean and crisp, yet colorful and complex. Aromas of spicy hops and citrus rise to meet the nose. The flavor is mainly of hops and medium-bodied malts, while the aftertaste is a nice balance of the two. Overall, it's a pleasing taste, with bright grapefruit-like citrus, light grainy malts, and piney hops combining in a well-balanced taste experience.

This one will really sneak up on you. Halfway through my second glass, I began to feel the effects of the 9.0 ABV. After emptying that glass. I could barely get through this review without constantly hitting the Delete key over and over! Be careful!

 1,723 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Pours a clear amber body with 1.5 fingers of off-white head. It retains as well as I would expect for the ABV, leaving some lace behind in its wake. The result is a thick collar on the beer, with some broken film wafting around.

S: Interesting take on an imperial IPA. It has a very dank grapefruit aroma, some pine, and a touch of booze. It also has a noticeable spicy onion nose. Reminds me of GUBNA, but not nearly as horrid; you wouldn't think the spice would work on paper, but here it somehow does.

T: Yep, definitely a slight onion quality here. There's a heavy malt presence here that gives the impression of candied grapefruit. Tons of resin. At times there is a light tea-like bitterness.

M: Somewhat boozy, but mostly it's enamel-peeling and harsh. Don't get me wrong: that's a GOOD thing sometimes, and once in a while I like an imperial IPA like that. This happens to be such a day. The bitterness is initially very sticky, but as the beer warms (or as I adjust?) it becomes less pronounced.

D: It's not world-class, IMO. But I'd get it once in a while for its enamel-ripping satisfaction, especially if it were $5 a bomber.

 1,179 characters

Photo of phisig137
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber/ golden color, with a one finger head from a vigorous pour. Decent retention with no lacing, just a small ring of foam in the glass.

Aroma is outrageous. Pine-sol. Seriously piney hops, along with some grassiness, combined with a decent level of alcohol present in the nose, makes this smell like floor cleaner. This is definitely a love it or hate it smell. I think it's pretty good, and leaves me curious as to the flavor.

Unfortunately, I'm let down here. Tons of hop flavor, but not well integrated at all. Very little malt presence does not help this at all. The different hop flavors clash quite badly, leaving you with an unpleasant bitterness that is harsh and metallic. Mouthfeel is fairly full and creamy. Drinkability is pretty good for the alcohol.

I've got to say that I've very disappointed in this. The Green Flash West Coast IPA I really enjoy sometimes, this one just doesn't do it at all. Very unbalanced, harsh hoppiness, with no malt to back it up. Their standard IPA is much better. For that matter, their barleywine is a far better DIPA than this is... I won't be buying it again...

 1,134 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear copper with about three fingers of mammoth head. Slow to die, it leaves some clumps of lacing on the way down.

S - MMM! Hops. Grapefruit pith and spruce with other strong citrus notes. Some white pepper and a little biscuity character too.

T - A bit of a peppery alcohol with a strong pine bitterness. A slight biscuity finish joins the waning pine on the finish. That alcohol is too promnient a feature here for my tastes.

M - Thin, a little harsh and only slighty refreshing.

D - Pretty good, the mouthfeel could afford to be better and the abv makes its presence know much more than it should. But it really isn't bad all around. I probably won't have it again (especially with that delicious barleywine for the same price), but if offered, I wouldn't pass it up..

 789 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at 515 in Santa Cruz. Pours gold with a nice white head that leaves thin filmy lacing. Aroma is garlicky hops, herbs, and pale malts. Flavor is heavy on herbal hops but that garlic is throwing me off. There's also some sweeter citrus influence but it's mild. Not a lot of malt presence but that may be a result of tasting this after an imperial red. Seems dry and bitter enough, but the hop profile could easily be improved.

 431 characters

Photo of JoeMayo
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a decent head. It leaves spotty lacing down the side of the glass.

S- Very hoppy with a little bit of malt noted. The scent imparted from the hops is primarily pine with notes of lemon and organge.

T- Surprisingly bitter. Almost agressively so. No citrus comes through in the flavor. Only pine and alcohol come through.

M- Slightly astringent, but overall pleasant carbonation and decent body.

D- I couldn't finish it. There was nothing I really liked about the flavor. The pine was not very pleasant and the alcohol was too noticeable. Usually piney IPAs are a good thing (ie Pliny the Elder) however there was not enough to balance it.

 684 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice even honey golden hue with a big bubbly head. A small put thick head remains after the inital pour. Lacing is left in sheets with this one. One side of the glass was so covered you could barely see thru it.

S: Nice citrus aromas. Tons of bitter lemon and zesty grapefruit. i like it.

T: Tons of grapefruit right up front. Malt appears in the middle to lessen the bitter blow of the hops. Then a strange taste appears. I don't know how to place it. It tastes kind of like the white part of the grapefruit mixed with stale grass. Not good at all. It finishes crips and dry.

M: Nice and full bodied, filling like you would expect from a big DIPA.

D: So So. That strange taste in the middle kind of blow it for me.

Overall: It's a nice looking brew that starts off so nice. I just can't get over the odd taste in the middle. It starts great and finishes wonderful, but when its all said and done it's just okay.

 922 characters

Photo of jonziefle
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured a slightly cloudy orange/brown amber. Less than one finger white head, which doesn’t stick around very long. Diminishes to a nice mottle bubble coating. Visible bubbles on glass when poured, which some good visible carbonation. Some lacing, but nothing spectactular.

Smell: A strong nose of fresh hops, big but not overpowering. The hops are sweet, fruity, and candy like. Citrus and pine are also present.

Taste: First impression is that it is a little too strong, making it slightly harsh. The alcohol (9%) and bitter hops hit first; definitely a pucker moment. The hops taste a bit darker and not as appealing as the smell, but still alright. Sweet, like an IPA should be, but not overly so. There’s a slight off taste after the hops with some malt to balance the beer, but only slightly. Raisin taste that lingers for awhile.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied beer, with a big alcohol bite. The beer itself is smooth, but the alcohol works its way back and tickles the throat fast and early.

Drinkability: A beer that had incredible promise, but just ended up being way too much. It looks and smells wonderful, but the taste leaves much to be desired. The alcohol isn’t hidden at all, making it tough to do anything but sip. I'll have to try this again sometime, but right now its not for me.

 1,328 characters

Photo of scooter231
3.31/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very clear, light rusty color. Grapefruit juice, really. Head is off white and super extremely uber bubbly. Did I get that point across? Millions of bubbles. The lacing is nice and sticky. Preeeetty beer.

Smells sweet and tangy. The hops are crisp, fresh, and grassy. There's some lemon in there, and some... apricot? The sweetness isn't cloying or overdone, it's actually quite pleasant. If you take in a big whiff you even get some vanilla. All that said, it's kind of faint- you reeeeally gotta sniff it out.

Huh. Flavor threw me off. It's... bitter. A little TOO bitter. Lots of roasted, toasted, burnt bread flavors. There's some sweetness in the beginning but it's immediately overpowered by woodsy hop flavors then bitterness that lingers. Now, I like my hops- I LOVE my hops. But this is a little too rushed. It's not harmonious. There's potential, the ingredients are there- but they just don't flow like they should. It's not unpleasant, just not as good as it could be.

Mouthfeel is pretty strong. Very sudsy and chewy, and slick. Doesn't dry you out, doesn't leave you with anything unpleasant. Good bite.

Overall this beer is just... I had hoped for so much more! It's unbalanced. The bitterness is both too much, and not enough. It needs more, or it needs less. But for 7 bucks in Manhattan, for a 9.4% beer... I'll take it.

 1,350 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap and served in a pint glass, pours a rich golden color with perhaps a hint of orange. A decent head dissipates over a few minutes and yields little lacing on a pre-chilled glass. I think the condensation on the glass prevented what would likely have been more stickiness on the lace.

Smell is initially a huge fresh hemp bomb. As the head dissipates and the volatility of things settle down. the hop presence throws out slightly floral but mostly tangerine citrus notes. Malt presence is there but rather simple in its supporting role.

Taste is expected given the nose. Initially the marijuana nose dulls the senses and overwhelms the taste. Then the citrus comes through and the finish offers a lightly complex malt sweetness. Hemp influences diminish through the pint short of aggressive agitation of the brew, letting other flavors take the forefront. Malts are light in body and somewhat effective at keeping the alcohol taste down, yet without distracting from the hops.

This is a big, sipping brew that offers a good mouthfeel and decent drinkability within the confines of the ABV. Brewers site notes the use of 'Summit and Nugget Hops' in the recipe.

Edit: Smell reduced from 4.5 to 3.5. Major hop adjustment that I'm not feelin' the love for. Why change a good thing??

Edit #2 01/12 Taste and feel are thinner. Less body on the feel. This is now a mediocre DIPA. Offers a decent but unexciting nose with a light pine resin hop aroma. Taste and mouthfeel are washed out a bit. Hop change? Or financial decision? I would guess the latter. Taste and feel dropped by a half point, and I thing I might be being generous.

Bottom line: This beer has little if any resemblance to it's former self. And that really pisses me off. If you can't make the same beer with the same ingredients, then at least call it something else.

 1,839 characters

Photo of natelocc787
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Not impressed with this beer. All IBU's are alive and kicking, leaves a big bitterness at the back of the tongue after each sip. A heavy dose of malt as well, making the feel thick and syrupy, but ample carbonation makes the mouthfeel good, very understated on the tongue. I've never had an Imperial IPA that tasted so damn heavy on the malt, yet so damn bitter with the hops, I almost wish one would dominate the other so they weren't fighting the character of the beer. The bitterness is penetrating, everlasting in it's power, and the malt almost seems like the wrong malt used (pale) where is the caramel?

 609 characters

Photo of tylerprince
3.29/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this from a fresh bomber. A tad disappointed.

A: A beautiful hazy copper-orange with two-finger off-white head and ample lacing. Nice bubble show. Unfortunately, this is the best part of the beer...

S: Panoply of hops. Mint, citrus, and pine, with the citrus being a tad subdued. Unfortunately evokes memories of the trub left at the bottom of a carboy after siphoning off a homebrew.

T: Sour citrus up front gives way to pine, ending with an unpleasant bitterness. No hints of hops, and no attempts made to hide the 9.4% ABV.

M: Thick without being syrupy. Resinous. What I look for in an IIPA.

O: A very disappointing beer from Green Flash. I'm a huge fan of their imperial stout, but this IIPA is a hoppy mess that misses the point entirely.

 756 characters

Photo of StoneTSR
3.29/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer on tap at the Falling Rock Tap Room in Denver.

APPEARANCE: Hazy and light gold with almost a glow to it. It had a solid, pure white head that quickly loses about half of it's mass before slowing down to almost a complete stop. The remaining eighth of an inch of head hung in there for a long time, which led to some pretty good lacing.

SMELL: There is a surprising lack of nose to the Green Flash Imperial, especially given the strong head retention and the very strong flavors that you are about to taste. What was detectable though was a piney and floral aroma.

TASTE: The first word out of my mouth when I tasted this was "Weed." It instantly reminded me of Hop Stoopid with it's resiny pine flavor only the Green Flash had a much bigger malt profile and a very short burst of bitterness at the close of the sip. A little bit of citrus and pine fill out the flavor profile.

On a slightly separate note, the bartender was in complete agreement with me on the weed taste. His exact quote was "Yep, if it's hoppy enough, it smells like my backpack."

MOUTHFEEL: Rich and heavy sitting, but along with some solid sparkle and a weird, simultaneous syrupy feel. The sparkling syrup is not something you taste too often.

OVERALL: My notes say "Good, not great, but good." I will drink this beer again, but it will not be my go too. I would say if this one wasn't tougher for me to track down I'd almost always take a Hop Stoopid over it, but it is a good change of pace and ultimately I did enjoy it.

 1,515 characters

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: clear, dark gold color with thick foamy head that retains well & leaves plenty of lacing
s: hoppy as expected -- very piney aromas
t: hops start it off, followed by soft malts in the middle & finish with spicy hops that aren't too bitter, sweet malts linger on the palate
m: crisp carbonation to start, cream body in the middle & a small shot of carbonation to finish
d: certainly fits the style, just didn't have anything that really stood out, but worth a try

 464 characters

Photo of yamar68
3.26/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've heard really fantastic things about this brewery from a friend in San Diego. I ordered this bottle online and it came with no discernible bottling date and I would guess there's a reason for that...

A - Looks nice. Sort of a ruby/tangerine color with a healthy, slowly dissipating head - slightly off white.

S - There's everything you would expect from an Imperial IPA - heavy citrus / floral character, supported with some sweeter malts - but then there's this rather unpleasant layer of chives or garlic or something.

T - Just as expected. Hop bomb hits initially (with 101 IBUs) but then gets waved over by that onion type flavor.

M - Mouthfeel is just fine for the style, not the issue here.

O - I hope this bottle is over the hill and not demonstrative of the brew.

 781 characters

Photo of rdilauro
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I have love almost all of the Green Flash beers that I have tasted. This one poured crystal clear with almost no head. There was little aroma in the nose. I almost wasnt sure I was tasting an IPA. I was hoping for more hops

The initial taste left me somewhat disappointed. What I felt the most was a strong alcohol taste. I would not have objected to that if the hops balanced that off to make are better balanced beer.

 420 characters

Photo of Vendetta
3.24/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Original Rating Date:
September 6, 2008

Smells pleasantly fruity and citric to balance out the hop assault on my nostrils. Pours a bit paler than some 2IPAs, with a big, beautiful frothy head and one of the longest lasting, soapiest lacings I've ever seen for an India pale ale. This beer looks excellent. Flavor is a bit citric in order to combat the excessive hop bitterness, but still doesn't feel as balanced as the better 2IPAs I've had such as DFH90 or Lagunitas Maximus. Definitely worth trying but the best part about this beer is the look about it.

 558 characters

Photo of Phatz
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is not my favorite product out of Green Flash. Bitter yes. But there is a point where bitter becomes overpowering. Many breweries have one that goes over the top. Near me Victories is Hop Wallop. Green Flash, maybe be this one, their 'Imperial India Pale Ale' takes that rank. To me a Double IPA is not only supposed to load up on the hops but give it some balancing sweetness as well. This is a bitter beer. Hop heads rejoice, but it didn't quite do it for me.

Appearance: Pours a translucent but not transparent pale golden orange color with a quick fade off white head.

Smell: The hop bitterness did not smell fresh at all! It smelled stale and earthy and quite bitter pine solvent aroma.

Taste: It starts off very hard to drink. As it warms and I adjust to it, 2/3rds of the way through my bomber, I started to actually enjoy the beer. But it took me a long time to warm up to the abrasive chemical like bitter and alcohol. It was a smelly feet, body odor like aftertaste. Not all bad but it made me think of onion bagels and arm pits. After I got that out of my head I tried to focus on the pine attribute. Where is the malt backbone??? seems to be quite minuscule in proportion. The bitterness sin the aftertaste goes beyond pleasant for me. It became a bit bothersome. It was definitely better with some cedar cheese.

Mouthfeel: The beer flavor is over the top but the mouthfeel is pleasant. Medium body with decent carbonation and other than the big bitter pucker it is nice on the palate.

Drinkability: The bomber was a bit rough to start but after all my taste buds were burnt off I finished it off. Just give it some time. This beer is for the hopheads.

Hope this is helpful.

 1,719 characters

Photo of mendonjoebeer
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into pint glass. Quite cloudy with small head and reasonable carbonation.

Smell somewhat as expected- piney hops,citrus, but then some pepper & some musty odor?wet grass?

Taste of hops,pine,grapefruit,pepper. It has some other aftertaste that I cannot pinpoint. It is not an overpowering thing, but not a good thing either- maybe like romano cheese? I was afraid this might be too bitter for me, but that was not the case.

Feels very good going down- nice body & carbonation level

It is quite drinkable for such a strong flavorful beer. The alcohol is well hidden and can get you in trouble. I wish I knew how old this bottle was. I cannot see any date on the bottle. I think it may be a little old for this style. Sure wish there was a bottle date. I would try again if I knew the next bottle was fresh! I have to believe a fresh bottle will taste & smell better

 893 characters

Green Flash Imperial India Pale Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 994 ratings.