Abita Select Imperator Black IPA - Abita Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Abita Select Imperator Black IPAAbita Select Imperator Black IPA

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131 Ratings
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Ratings: 131
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 9.65%
Wants: 0
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co. visit their website
Louisiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: EgadBananas on 03-18-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 23
Reviews by BeerForMuscle:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Rich dark chocolate, cocoa powder, light pine, tree bark, and earthiness are the flavors. Complex for the style and very drinkable. Very good beer and one that I will look to get if I want this style.

Photo of russpowell
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent chestnut/mahogany with 2 fingers of fluffy tan head. Insane lacing & pretty good head retention

S: Pineyness & a little bit of roasty grain & grapefruit as this warms

T: Pineyness, roasty grain, dryness & a little grapefruit peel up front. Some Baker's chocolate notes as this warms, more pine & dryness, grapefruit & a little bit of woody hops. Finishes piney, dry & citrussy & ever so slight astringency

MF: Medium bodied, lively carbonation, fairly creamy

Drinks pretty easy, a pretty good take on this style, like this about as much as the one Founders put out, so that's pretty good company. Abita's stock is rising for me, one of their better beers

Photo of theBIRD
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My friend brought me a growler of this and I loved it! Wish I could find more. Tastes and looks like a stout more than IPA

Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in a tapered 8 oz glass.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Drippy, semi-resilient lacing.

S- Unique aroma of sweet malt that blends with the earthy hops creating notes of brown sugar, vanilla and caramel plus a mustiness and some alcohol to boot. A lot going on here.

T- Nice aggressive grassy bitterness to start things off and it morphs into the sweet malt making for a chocolaty finish. It's very separated too with hops in the front, malt in the back with every sip which I actually quite enjoy.

M- Sharp from the hops and viscous from the malt. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- This beer has a wonderful duality to it. I would actually call it a brown IPA rather than a black IPA but that's just me. Either way, Abita is certainly stepping up their game with the new Select series. The Macchiato Espresso Stout was a bit disappointing but this and the French Connection are both stellar.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Abita Imperator Black IPA has a thick, beige head, a clear, dark brown appearance, some bubbles, and fairly heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of citrus fruit, which is coming from the hop resin (I'm interpreting this as pineapple). Taste is of pineapple-like hop resin, dark-roasted, yet, not burnt, malt, a bit of sweetness, and much lower bitterness than one would expect from a 90 IBU beer. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Abita Imperator finishes semi-dry and quite drinkable.


Photo of WholeLottaTricks
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another solid effort from Abita. Pretty good stuff.

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted from a bomber on December 22, 2014

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Coal black pour with a small tan head. Aroma was roasted malt with a hint of floral hops. Flavor has a strong combination of roasted/burnt malt, light chocolate, and then grassy and floral hop tastes. Finishes with a mild lingering grassy bitterness that gets stronger as the beer warms.

Photo of fscottkey
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: [4.00] Huge dense head. It is 4 fingers minimum. I could easily set the cap on the head and it would just sit there. As the head slowly recedes it leaves big chunky lacing all over the glass. The beer itself is a transparent brown. Like uncarbonated cola. The bottle lists the ABV at (8.0%). There is a best by date but it is smudged (it was on all 10 bottles on the shelf). I think it says 3/16/15... but I can't be sure.

S: [4.25] Nice open floral nose. Big and bold. Under the floral black IPA scents there are some hints of chocolate.

T: [3.00] The flavor does not follow the nose precisely. It has more of arust taste to it. It could be due to hop fade if my date estimate is correct.

M: [3.50] The beer seems pretty watery for a 8%. There is a bit of drying on the finish also.

O: [3.50] The pour and the nose were both pretty promising on this one. Unfortunately the taste is not quite there. I think this is an older bottle - but because their dates are all smeared I can't tell. So I rate it as is. There are many more Black IPAs that are better than this one.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 3/12/2015. Pours crystal clear dark brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, light pine, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, light coffee, floral, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, light pine, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, light coffee, floral, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy hop and roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, light pine, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, light coffee, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and robustness of juicy citrus/tropical hops and balanced dark/roasted malt flavors; with a great bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Black IPA style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical hops and dark/roasted malt flavors; and very smooth to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of relynnjr
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown with about three fingers of white foam that leaves a beautiful lace behind. Aroma is pine, resin, and cracker undertone. Taste is sweet upfront with a subtle pine bitterness that cuts through the sweet.

Photo of bareju
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

An ok black ipa. I felt the dark malts and the bitter hops were a bit too distinct, tasted each separately rather than melded into one. Hopes were a little overpowering as well, grassy and piney came on rather strong and the dark malts couldn't compete on the back end. More of very hoppy ipa with some dark malts than a black ipa.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 3/18/15.

Pours a clear super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, citrus zest, and slight onion and garlic hop aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, earth, and slight citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that has more of an emphasis on char and earth flavors over the citrus zest qualities I am getting.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of Kendo
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bomber into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. A fairly aggressive pour towards the finish yields a black body with a 3-finger beige/khaki-colored head of foam that recedes slowly to leave lots of foam on the sides of the glass.

S: Ooooh - this is the nose I like for my American Black Ales/Black IPAs - juicy, citrusy hops over roasty malt. With the juicy hops winning the olfactory battle. Also a touch of earthy spiciness (perhaps a hint of pine needles too).

T: Initial impression is more about the feel than the flavor (see below). As for the taste, I get some chocolate malt, roasted barley malt and the juicy citrusy hops (lemons and grapefruit come to mind). Finishes with a good hoppy bitterness, but there's some roasty bitterness there too. Heat from the 8% ABV is felt in the belly after a few sips, but I'm not really noting it on the palate.

M: The first impression when I sip this is the lack of carbonation. Secondly, it also feels a bit thin in heft. After a few sips you kind of get used to it, but the feel really detracts from the overall experience. Which is too bad, because it looks good, smells great and generally hits most of the Black IPA bases that I like, taste-wise.

O: Tough to give this one an "overall" score. With a bit more carbonation and some weight for foundation, this could be one of my favorite Black IPAs. As it is, I like it plenty - and seem to recall it was fairly priced - but I'm stuck wondering "what could've been."

Photo of Jwale73
3.32/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours the color of cola with a loose, soapy head. Nose expresses pine and dark malts. Tastes follows nose; however, it's a bit dull. Mouthfeel is light-medium with an even carbonation. Overall - meh. I don't love the style, but this was really bland.

Photo of HardTarget
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Deep brown, shows clear brown edges and glows ruby with back light. Sports a 2 finger sticky head of tan foam that leaves heavy lacing.

Smell: West coast citric hops, with some bready yeast and mild floral esters.

Taste: Fairly mild for the style, there is a little acidic burn in the finish from the alcohol and hop oils but overall very drinkable. Close your eyes and it's a well supported IPA, the burnt or at least heavy roasted barley of the "Black" just isn't there.

Mouthfeel: Bit of a chew, medium heavy body, a bit frothy, low carbonation, oily residue.

Overall: It ends up on the lower end of the scale for an IPA in hop level, and missed the mark for a Black IPA . Frankly I don't care, it's a great beer with no flaws (beyond petty arguments about a vague style) and lots of yummy hop flavor with just a bit of complexity.

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.53/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Smooth and full of roasted malt and bitter citrus hops

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with a best by date of 2/15/2015. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with 2 fingers of head

Smell: Piny hops and citrus zest

Taste: Similar to the aroma with earthy hop notes up front and a slight chocolate malt background

Mouthfeel: Medium with a light sticky, resin feel

Overall: A solid Black IPA that isn't too extreme. This would be a great intro black IPA as well as a great price point.

Photo of barczar
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%

Resin, dank cannabis, catty hops, fresh cut grass, and grapefruit contrast chocolate, lightly charred roasty malt, and toasted nuts in the aroma. Chocolate and grapefruit dominate. Flavor reveals a sweet chocolate malt backbone, finishing bitter, roasty, and charred. Notes of grapefruit pith surface in the finish, along with resin. Hops seem to be dominated handedly by the malt character. A little too charred for my liking. Wish there were more flavoring hops. Notes of pine and grass emerge late.

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Imperator pours a black color with a small white lacing head. There is a noticeable burnt and floral aroma. The taste has a big bold burnt floral flavor, with small hints of coffee. Great body, good feel, nice strong flavors. Overall its a very flavorful and strong black IPA.

Photo of Jadjunk
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"In ancient times, the Imperator was the supreme commandor who led his troops to victory, just as today's Mardi Gras lieutenants kick off the carnival parades. Abita Imperator is a robust, black IPA brewed with pale, caramel, chocolate and black malts. It commands your attention with an intense hop flavor and aroma provided by Apollo, Cascade, Centennial, Citra and Amarillo hops. With a mighty malt flavor and intense black color, Abita Imperator reigns supreme." Brewed in the style of an American Black Ale, available in limited release 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a tulip glass. Served above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam caramel cream head over a dark cherry cola brown body. Carbonation is mild and relaxed, retention is very good. Lacing is light and droopy. 3.75

(Smell) Aromas of bold citrus and grapefruit hops forward, moderate bitterness. Malt profile is a simple blend of pale, caramel and black patent malts with little roast and some modest toast character. Aromatic balance is slightly bitter over sweet due to a reserved sweetness and potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Toasted caramel grain, black patent malts, some light roast and chocolate. The hop profile is somewhat milder with soft citrus notes of orange, light pine and a mild bitterness. Fairly tasty and enjoyable overall, even though the hop flavor profile doesn't match that of the aroma, there's some additional malt character that I didn't pick up on in the aroma. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) The texture is lightly oily, softly roasty, fairly clean and moderately dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly earthy bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) As far as price paid versus quality goes, Imperator is easily one of the best bargains I've received from this brewery. Decent malt and hop profile but primarily the hop profile doesn't match the tremendous power that the aroma suggests it to have, with lots of citrus and grapefruit flavor lost against a simple but solid malt profile. Regardless, this was one of the more satisfying beers that I have had from Abita Brewing and I recommend it as a reputable example of the American Black Ale style. 3.75

Abita Brewing Co.'s
Imperator Black IPA

Photo of amorpork
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice pour and aroma. Hoppy nose with some dark coffee notes. It has a great full, complex mouth and balance on the malt. Very tasty. Have not seen this too many places but will get it again when I do.

Photo of brewskifan55
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at The Chimes, Covington, LA.

A: Black with a tan one-finger head with staying power. Frothy lacing.

S: Picking up a strong chocolate background with light hops.

T: Really comes on strong like its namesake. Chocolate rides in on a Mardi Gras horse followed by a minimal hop presence with little bitterness. Sweet, robust, well balanced. Drinks like a porter.

M: Medium with medium, dry carbonation.

O: Another great entry from the Abita Select Series. Would drink again. Hope they do it a little more widespread.

Abita Select Imperator Black IPA from Abita Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.