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Outburst Imperial IPA - Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

Not Rated.
Outburst Imperial IPAOutburst Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

214 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 214
Hads: 649
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 20.48%
Wants: 9
Gots: 67 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
Washington, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA | 8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: djbreezy on 04-30-2010

Outburst in a refreshingly bitter Imperial IPA. With 80 IBUs, and 8.5% ABV, our dry-hopped Imperial IPA delivers a bold taste with a massive hop flavor.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 214 | Hads: 649
Photo of biegaman
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pyramid Outburst Imperial IPA has the kind of sun-scorched complexion you'd expect something from the desserts of Egypt to have but is actually far more amber than the remains at Giza or elsewhere; this kind of deep, caramelized colour surely comes from a toasty malt bill. Its head is fine but persistent, seemingly as enduring as the Sphinx itself.

Outburst Imperial IPA is dry-hopped with Zythos and Falconer's Flight hops, the latter of which I'm not very familiar with but have seen popping up with increasing regularity. And I can understand why - hailed as a blend of "the Pacific Northwest's most intriguing aroma hop varieties" there's equal parts grass, serum, grapefruit pith and tangerine peel.

It wouldn't be a West Coast IPA without some resins and, by golly, even the first sip is full of gum-smacking pine tar and sticky tree sap. There's also the requisite grapefruit-like citrus flavour and acidity, as well as the toasty caramel malt to prop them both up.

Outburst might be bitter for the first minute but there's enough caramelization and nutty maltiness that one can quickly become accustomed. It may sport the 'Imperial' moniker - and has the specs to earn it (dry-hopped, 8.5% and 80 IBUs) - but this is, relatively speaking, a very approachable beer given its measurements. For better or worse, this has the quaffability of a standard IPA.

Pyramid may be a fairly big brewery but they're still a small - if swift - current against the mainstream. Outburst Imperial IPA is no Dreadnaught or Pliny the Elder, but it's far, far even less of a Miller High Life or Coors. That this beer is hitting wide audiences is a big boost to craft brewers not just in the Pacific Northwest but everywhere. A sure thing to wean people onto hops.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.01/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which looks to have pretty good retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a medium amber which appears as pale to medium amber in the light. Considerable lacing is left behind.

Nose- Pretty strange for an Imperial IPA. I'm having a really hard time getting any hop notes. I get malt notes- some caramel, a touch of honey, even a little bit of bubblegum. Maybe some hints of citrus, a little bit of grapefruit, equally diminutive pine and resin. Maybe some peach. Swirling seems to indicate a little bit of apricot or pear.

Taste- Starts off with some light citrus notes but this beer's fruitiness is fairly mild. Moves into a middle of caramel and honey which is quickly overtaken by big notes of pine and resin, matchstick and earwax. Maybe a little bit of dankness on the finish. Big spices notes on the finish- coriander and lots of cracked, black pepper. The big problem with the noticeable hop notes of the finish is that they don't really seem to mesh well together. Right now, I'm drinking what seems to me to be an incongruous mess. A hophead might appreciate this a little more but this beer really doesn't do much for me. It's a good thing there is a malt backbone or this beer would be a complete failure in regard to balance. Slightly below average to average beer. Would be okay if the integration weren't such a mess.

Mouthfeel- A little less than medium bodied with an appropriate amount of carbonation that has some carbonic zing to it. Doesn't help the beer's harsher qualties.

Drinkability- Messy to the point of being abrasive. It's pretty cheap but I don't think it could ever be cheap enough. There are too many decent, bargain double IPAs to mess with this beer.

Overall- Slightly below average to average. Better than BMC but not by much. I would pass this by unless you enjoy brash, hoppy IIPAs that are nothing but that. I will not be buying this again.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A- Pours a very deep gold to almost red in color. Fairly hazy in the body with a pretty big head. The head sticks around forever and laces very well.

S- Strong malt and booziness right up from before the hops kick in a little bit. This smells mostly like a barleywine that has been fairly well hopped.

T- Just like the scent, this starts off malty and semisweet before turning boozy, then hoppy. Booziness is rather strong for the ABV and evident in the taste. Hoppiness is only light to moderate in bitterness when it kicks in. Finishes with a lingering malty sweetness and alcohol bite.

M- Smooth, thick, and low in carbonation with the aforementioned alcohol presence.

Overall, this is is not fresh, but I can't imagine that it was a whole lot better when fresh. Tons of malt and little evidence that there was ever much more than moderate hopping.

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Photo of Brisket
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack at the Fred Meyer on Overland and 5-mile. Poured into a tulip.

A- Pours crystal clear amber bronze with a dense 3-finger head that fell rapidly leaving heavy lacing.

S- It smells amazing. Pine resin hops dominate.

T- The taste is more of the pine bitterness with mild citrus. The middle has a bready malt flavor with more bitterness that lingers.

M- Light to medium body for the style; heavy carbonation probably contributes to this perception. It doesn't have the typical syrupy deal of many DIPAs.

O- Solid beer. Particularly at this price point and ubiquity in town. I will likely buy again.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed 12 oz. on tap at Beer Revolution in Calgary, my customary DIPA end to an evening. Arrived in a tulip glass, a beautiful reddish orange with an inch of beige head. Aroma was effervescent, fruity, and spicy, with grapefruit rind, pepper, starfruit, citrus iced tea, and toasted crust notes apparent. I spent a little time just sniffing this one, which probably looked a tad strange. I'm used to it. Palate was interesting and this one stands apart from other DIPAs I've tried in a number of regards. The malts and overall backbone were less sweet than in many other takes on this style, less toffee and more gummy candy and light toasted notes: Pleasantly bitter, even. The major initial flavor was unripe slightly tart fruit that left a nice tannic puckering effect on the mouth, with pears, watermelon, and green banana discernible. Things then moved in more herbal territory, medicinal tincture and mint followed by more fruity yet earthy notes that recall blackberries and blueberry tea. Moderate body and rather aggressive carbonation contribute to the overall light, fruity, and sour effect, slightly prickly on the mouth but not unpleasant. Finishes dryish and herbal, with some pine making an appearance, but also playfully tweaks you a bit with some Lifesavers candy during the goodbye. Dry hopped with two blends (Falconer's Flight and Zythos) which together account for numerous different varieties, probably explaining the wealth of green, unripe flavors. Tasty enough and a nice chance of pace from the citrus and tropical fruit bombs that I love but nevertheless also love to return to after a dalliance elsewhere.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.21/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a beautiful golden amber color. The head is a one finger eggshell shade. The texture is moderately bubbly yet soft, and the retention is okay. Decent stripes of lacing are left behind. Honestly, this one looks incredible in a glass.

S: The hops start off rather piny, but quickly transform into a semi-aggressive rush of pineapple, peach, and apricot. There are some vague tropical hints, too. It also has a fairly prevalent malt backbone, though it thankfully lacks some of the more oppressive toffee notes some DIPAs can have. While it doesn't quite challenge the elite aromas of the top-shelf DIPAs, it certainly provides a respectable nose.

T: Honestly, I'm not quite sure what to make of the flavor profile. It opens up with a good rush of piny bitterness, while the middle and end is a combination of slight pineapple, sugary malts, some earth, orange marmalade, and a touch of mint. There's a decent amount of depth to be found, and also a little booziness as well. It certainly isn't hot, but it's still a bit more prevalent than I like. Otherwise, this is an okay DIPA.

M: Even among DIPAs, this is very prickly, astringent, and sharply carbonated. It's dry, but not soft. The feel improves once the carbonation slows down, but also becomes a little more full bodied and hard to drink. Having said that, drinkability is pretty solid.

O: Not bad, especially in the world of budget DIPAs. It seems oddly English-style, given its earthy, fruity, ever-so-slightly boozy flavor. This one is in the pile of "would drink again; wouldn't buy again" beers.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of white head that slowly recede into a thinner creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: A juicy and earthy hop forward aroma with hints of citrus, pine, and caramel malt. Upfront hints of citrus hops with some grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, pineapple, and apricot. Earthy hints of grass and some pine resin. Solid bready malt backing with hints of sweet caramel, biscuit, grains, toffee, and yeast. A solid juicy aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints at, a juicy, earthy, and moderately sweet hop forward taste with good notes of citrus, pine, and caramel malt. Upfront taste of citrus hops with notes of grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, mango, lemon, and apricot. Earthy and floral notes with some grass and pine. Good malt presence with bready notes of caramel, biscuit, yeast, toffee, and grains. A pretty solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, slightly sticky, and nicely smooth on the finish.

Overall: A solid take on a Double IPA. Nice citrus notes with a good sweet malt balance.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pyramid Brewing 'Outburst Dry Hopped Imp IPA' @ 8.5% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $5.50

A-pour is a pale gold from the bottle to clear amber in the glass with a small off white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint

S-pine upfront & citrus in the background

T-piney followed by grapefruit (not that smooth) the bitterness is a bit harsh on the finish

MF-ok carbonation , full bodied , dry bitterness lingers on the palate

Ov-ok beer , the ABV is kinda well hidden , worth a go if your into trying beers

prost LampertLand

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Photo of ronniebruner
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Getting a bit bored with the super hoppy IPA trend lately, but this IPA is top notch! Pyramid never disappoints,do they? So to the stats... the beer pours a beautiful light copper color with the perfect amount of head and lace, perfect amount of carbonation as well. The aroma is hoppy and grassy, but in a sweet way where it is not overpowering. The taste is amazing as for a high ABV IPA, it is not overpoweringly grassy. The best part is how smooth this beer is and how it does not leave a lingering aftertaste like most other IPAs these days seem to do.

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Photo of MarriedAtGI
4.48/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Crystal clear orange color with a finger of white head. Good lacing on the sides of the glass and nice lingering bubbles on the surface

S: Pine forest and lemon

T: Piney and sweet. Dries from the tongue while sweetness remains on roof and sides of mouth.

M: a bit thick and sticky, nice carbonation

O: a terrific piney, resiny IIPA. I will seek this out again.

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Photo of fitius5150
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I live within walking distance of the Pyramid/Portland Brewing/MacTarnahan's/whatever it is this week brewery in NW Portland. They produce a lot of mediocre to slightly above average beers, especially when compared to the excellent beers to be found all over this city. The Outburst is a step above the rest. It is an all around very good beer that is very drinkable despite the high ABV. To make it even better, they will fill 2 half-gallon growlers with it from the tap for $11 on Fridays. You can't beat that with a stick.

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Photo of joeworrall
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm tasting it head-to-head with three other IPA's: Boulder Beer MOJO, Anderson Valley Heelch O'Hops and Oskar Blues Deviant Dales. Of the four, this is probably my third favorite, but at $7 per six pack, it's also the cheapest.

It's fairly well balanced, with dominant pine hops, but doesn't have a really strong hops presence that I look for in IIPA's. At this price point, my go-to IIPA is still New Belgium Rampant IPA.

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Photo of hopdabble
4.11/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A -Color of dried apricot. head is thick, three inches deep...persistent, with lacing

S - mild sweetness,then peppery,then pine

T - brief complex bitterness, smooths to sweet, pepper end

M - carbonation, then coated with dreamy IPA flavor...

high alcohol content is completely hidden.

Surprised at this, given previous middling reviews - right up there with my favorite Imperial IPAs...

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Photo of JohnnyJam
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is my second attempt to review this beer. I bought a couple of six-packs recently and every bottle was out of code. I thought the poor head and lack of lacing was on the out-of-code product. The fresh bottle has the same poor head and lacing, though.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with the date code clearly printed on the label ( 12/08/13) into a snifter and get 1/4 fingers of head.

A: Pours a copper, almost orange color. Very interesting. Hazy. Little to no head, though. No lacing to speak of.

S: Biscuit, pine and citrus.

T: A hoppy bitterness that isn't a hop bomb. Taste of an orange peel when you bite into it to peel it. Maybe a little tropical fruit there, also.

M: I can't say that it is medium bodied...just a little less than that. Medium carbonated. Goes down good, though. Maybe too good considering the alcohol content.

O: I like this beer. The alcohol is well hidden and it is not sweet or over-malty.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint. The small print on the label identifies the beer as a "dry-hopped India pale ale". No freshness date, but I bought it at a discount as if they were trying to get rid of it ($2.44 for a bomber). India Pale Ale shouldn't lose its freshness for a long time. I think this may have been sitting around the store for 3-4 months, if not longer.

The reason I mention this is because the lapse of time tends to mellow out the hops. And, since IPA was highly hopped primarily as a preservative measure (along with the elevated alcohol) so that it could survive the long sea voyage to India, my own personal theory is that, by the time the beer got to India, the hops had mellowed and aged to the point where an average Englishman could pronounce it good pale ale. I think the people of that day and age (and certainly many English and Americans in our own), would have thought the fresh stuff too bitter. Were it possible to actually taste the IPA of a hundred years ago, properly aged, I surmise that it would be considered under hopped, at least to American tastes, and perhaps to the British and Indians as well.

An average pour produces about an inch of creamy white, billowy head. This sticks to the sides quite well, and hangs around for the duration, after dissipating to about 1/8 inch within about 2 minutes. The beer is moderately carbonated and is orange-copper in color, with just a touch of haze.

The aroma-flavor is extremely hoppy and in your face bold, as you might expect. The nose becomes accustomed to it rather quickly however, so that it soon strikes one about the same as an American pale ale. The beer is quite bitter on the tongue, with aroma-flavors suggesting the usual grapefruit and pine, with a hard edge of grapefruit rind and pine sawdust. Despite the hops, you can actually taste some bready malt with also a distinct malt-o-meal aftertaste. It also has a nice creamy mouthfeel. Definitely some substance here.

This is well-balanced for the style, and obviously a good value at $2.44 for a bomb-load. As alluded to in my sermon above, the hops probably mellowed out a little with aging. I wonder what this would taste like in another 5-6 months? Like a good pale ale?

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Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy orange yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving only a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose—oranges seem to stand out in particular—along with slight hints of caramel malts, the latter of which becomes a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has a moderate amount of bitterness that lingers through the finish along with notes of orange citrus and hints of sour grapefruit. With all of the bitterness, you'll definitely notice that this beer was dry hopped.
M: It feels medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer might not have the interesting hop aromas and flavors compared to other Imperial IPAs, but it definitely is bitter. If you could get by the bitterness, the beer isn't that difficult to drink because any traces of alcohol are very well hidden.

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Photo of migwell
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Reading reviews on this site has convinced me that I'm a handicapped person. Reason: my sense of smell is actually very limited. I have never before really felt that this was a problem in my life, but of course, it has to do with more than just scent, since the subtleties of flavor are also dependent on a refined sniffer to differentiate the finer distinctions of taste. Thus my reviews, more dependent on drinkability than flavor.

This particular offering seems to me to be pretty much the usual DIPA, since my perceptions are somewhat limited, but what I don't like about it is the obvious alcohol content, undisguised by maltiness, hops or flavor. So many other DIPA's do a much better job at this... sometimes to my detriment (I'm thinking of you, Lagunitas Maximus!)

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Photo of Omnium
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Chimay Chalice

A - Pours a hazy orange/amber color, one finger soapy head, nice lacing.
S - Nice Pine and earthy hop aromas up front, then comes some really ripe fruit. Melon, papaya, orange. Some weird burnt caramel smell too, but its strangely not too bad.
T - Big orange and citrus, as well as a toasted caramel with some mild alcohol warmth.
M - Big feeling IPA, very chewy and mildly bitter.
O - A good Double IPA, lots of flavor, depends on what your profiles are, but its something just a tad different. Its geared more at an east coast style wit the malt. Good job by pyramid though.

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Photo of BierStein711
4.34/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A SURPRISE FROM THE WIFE! I have now enjoyed half of the six pack, and now I feel confident to compose a review.

Appearance is red to amber brown, with pale gold at the bottom. A two finger tan, the color of deer hid quickly disappears to bubbles. Carbonation is pleasant, and not overpowering, furthermore this is just a smooth beer.

Smells: Grapefruit, pine, and bread pudding. Of course not a sweet smell, but an opening one.

Tastes: Pine, alcohol, and lemon zest. At the finish you can really taste the booze.

Mouthfeel: Thick and warming, not as warming as Old Raspy of course, but not too many people are comfortable in long beards, hair shirts, and priestly vestments.

Overall, this is a good beer. A grand Double IPA that does it's job well. Refreshes, and relaxes!

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Photo of rajendra82
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lots of carbonation which formed a large head, almost four fingers thick, which filled up almost half the glass despite some careful pouring, and tested my patience greatly. The aroma was quite citric (grapefruit, tangerine) with some floral undertones. The taste continued on the citric theme, with a tart bitterness, and a slightly spicy finish. Very clean malt presence contributed a balancing sweetness, and some tropical fruit flavors. Quite a sticky presence in the mouth, with lots of mouth coating feeling. Aftertaste was spicy and bit boozy. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of edgeh2o
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I now know what dry feels like. This beer is the complete opposite of New Belgium Rampant. The mouthfeel dissipates so quickly resulting in a dry sensation. Therefore, you can definitely find yourself drinking this one fast. Overall, a pretty standard IPA. Nothing bad, nothing excellent, one of the only Pyramid beers I'd drink.

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Photo of soju6
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear dark copper color, with a moderate head and nice clingy lacing.

S: Aroma pine and some grapefruit with malt sweetness and a bit of fruit in the background.

T: The taste is a mix of grapefruit and bit of pine with some caramel sweetness and bit of fruit. Has a nice bitterness a bit tart and a clean finish.

F: Medium body, crisp and quite refreshing.

O: Nice beer for the style without being a hop bomb.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery.

A: Reddish copper color with a 1/2" off white head.

N: Dense pine and earth rounded off by pineapple.

T: Moderately bitter and moderately sweet. Pine and earth are here. Nothing mind-blowing, but definitely solid.

M: Decently resinous with a dry, scraping mouthfeel.

O: I thought this was going to be underwhelming, but it’s really solid stuff. Not complex but clean.

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Photo of plaid75
3.61/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a hazy medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured soft piney hops and an earthy caramel.

The taste was a bit tired with dull piney hops and an awkwardly assertive malt.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with some residual bitterness.

Overall a decent malt forward DIPA.

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Photo of Sorcerer
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a brandy snifter shape. No head.

Decanted on 062813 and label says drink by 091313.

Appearance: Amber color, brown, or a Halloween-ish orange. No head. No lacing, No legs. Well actually with each swill there's a 1-2mm tracing of foam, which is interesting because it looks like it is alive, but then dies quickly. Nice color but no foam.

Smell: On my third bottle now and the smell is still the same...By Odin I swear the first thing I smell is watermelon Jolly Rancher (which I despise), pizza dough yeast, grass, bamboo, wet mud, rain, passion fruit (which smells a bit like vomit), cherry, viongnier, shellac, dead pines, cactus sap.

Taste: First let me tell you that this beer really opens up once it warms up and gasses out, and changes into more different things. On cold pour the flavour (UK spelling for effect) was a thirst quenching British IPA profile with no hints of pine, easy to drink fast (if you are a DIPA drinker). At first malty yet not boozy, with a quick hop bitterness following each swallow. Now as I am on the tail end of the third 12oz serving I can taste the cherries turning into blackberries and even cabernet (well let's be realistic..Zinfandel) towards the end. The tropical candy fruit smell, Liesavers almost, Ludens cherry cough-drops maybe, is not what this tastes like at all. Tastes pretty damn good. As a DIPA drinker who seeks the pine and grapefruit this is lacking. However, this is something worth appreciating for the balance point it achieves.

Mouthfeel: Very good. Not overly carbonated and yet substantial, a tad syrupy, cloyingly addictive. Might need a chaser of water if hot and thirsty.

Overall: Not great but very very good. Will drink this again I am sure.

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Outburst Imperial IPA from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.