Alaskan Imperial IPA (Pilot Series) - Alaskan Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alaskan Imperial IPA (Pilot Series)Alaskan Imperial IPA (Pilot Series)

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64 Reviews

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Reviews: 64
Hads: 108
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 15.47%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alaskan Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 03-13-2011

With three additions of Summit hops in the kettle and dry-hopped with Mosaic, Topaz and Simcoe, this fairly dry brew is extremely aromatic. You may detect notes of Asian pear, passion fruit and pine, with a maltytoasted nut and toffee aroma. The “juicy” hops taste combines with strong herbal notes, and complex tropical fruit to balance against the delicate malt build in this beer.

80 IBUs
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 64 | Hads: 108
Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 11/29/2015. Pours slightly hazy orange/amber color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, pear, lemon zest, orange peel, pepper, pine, honey, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate bready malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, pear, lemon zest, orange peel, pepper, pine, honey, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate amount of piney/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pineapple, lemon/orange peel, pepper, pine, honey, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately sticky/resinous, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a very nice DIPA style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate bready malt sweetness; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best by 11/28/15.

Pours a murky dark golden-orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus fruit, citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and earthy hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and slight tropical fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a solid mix of citrus and tropical hop qualities.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.19/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger off white head which settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A juicy, earthy, and floral hop forward aroma with a scent of citrus, grass, and caramel. Citrus hop hints of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, passion fruit, and melon. Earthy hints of grass and pine as well as some floral hints. Malt hints of caramel, toffee, grains, and yeast. A pretty good smell.

Taste: Like it smells, a juicy and earthy hop driven taste with good notes of citrus, grass, and caramel. Upfront citrus hop notes of grapefruit, mango, orange peel, melon, passion fruit, and lemon. Earthy and floral hop notes of grass and pine resin. Backing malt notes of caramel, toffee, cracker, grains, and yeast. A very nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, chewy, and fairly drying.

Overall: A pretty solid take on an Imperial IPA. Good juicy hop flavor with a solid sweet malt backing.

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Photo of Celtics17
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not very hoppy, but very malty and bready. I do get the herbal notes, and a small amount of floral notes. The aroma is average, and overall this doesn't wow me.

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Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Pours amber with foamy, long lasting, white head. Aroma is of sherry, citrusy hops, biscuit malt, orange marmalade and hint of alcohol. Body is full and tangy. Taste is similar to aroma. Finish is long and dry. Well made Imperial IPA.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid dark gold to light tan with ample white head, 1.24" in size. Aroma was seemingly Cascade hops coming out of it, they went old hop school here, it seems to be only the C hops of old, nothing proprietary hopwise going on. Well maybe Simcoe, but that's just because its so bitter.

Yes, bitter. And it has the malt body to not make it poor in taste, it simply doesn't impart the hop mouthfeel/flavor. I know, its something I write over and over, but I think it really gets to the point when you say an ipa (especially double) is really bitter but not imparting hops. Like they dry hopped with pennies as much as hops. Thankfully, this isn't thick resiny sticky, which also many of these bitter bombs seem to indulge in moreso. Astringent instead of imparting any notions of fruity like hop flavors and aromas. Of course Alaskan doesn't seem to bottle date in any discernable sense for the average consumer, so who knows if freshness was an issue.

The single IPA Alaskan makes is so much more aromatic and enjoyable.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Alaskan Imperial IPA was disappointing. It wasn't especially hoppy and it tasted oxidised.

A: Orange colour and not much head 3.5

S: Sweet malty nose with some citrus hops. 3.5

T: Piney citrus hops and a good malty base. Oxidised aftertaste. 3.5

M: Undercarbonated. 3

O: 3

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Photo of Gavage
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear dark orange color with a one finger head. Thick surface coating lingers through the drink.

Smell: grapefruit and pineapple dominate with some softer earthy hop bitterness.

Taste: nice malt presence with loads of grapefruit, some pineapple, lemon zest, a bit of pine and some earthy notes. Bitterness is hearty. Alcohol slightly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium- heavy bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and lightly dry at the finish.

Overall: a decent DIPA that is citrus centric. Easy to quaff.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma if full of citrus fruit, with a ton of orange and pineapple notes. I also get a little bit of biscuit malt. The flavor is also very fruity. I get a ton of pineapple, orange and apricot notes, with just a hint of malt. The bitterness is fairly high due to the lack of malt in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
2.91/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from 3/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a clear orange amber. Half a finger head with light lacing. Aroma of light hops and malt. Nice citric hop and malt start, but a very astringent middle with an unpleasant almost metallic aftertaste. Medium bodied. I don't know why this was so subpar for me, maybe a bad bottle? An uncommon miss from Alaskan.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/07/12 notes. Thanks to MrChopin on RB for sharing this one. 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a murky medium orange color with two inches of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, oranges, fruity malts, and light pine hops. Lots of oranges and fruity, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of oranges, lemons, citrus hops, fruity malts, and light pine hops. Not as strong as the nose, but still nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Not a lot of bitterness, pretty easy to drink for the ABV.

o - Overall a nice DIPA from Alaskan. Some nice orange and citrus hops to it, would certainly have it again.

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Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber with a freshness date.

LOOK: Hazed pale amber, excellent lacing.

SMELL: Candied orange peel, mint, figs, alcoholic esters, bready malt.

TASTE: Pulling hop flavor, leafy, medium body, smooth, mint, spearmint, cigar tobacco, orange cordial, warming alcohol, estery, dried tropical fruit, bitter finish.

Hits all the right bells and whistle to be a DIPA, good balance and a sipper. A bit cleaner and perhaps replacing or toning down the Amarillo hops with some other hop would have been better here.

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Photo of OleJohnnieAle
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden Amber color, great looking beer!

Scent: Hoppy scent with floral and citrus aromas

Taste: Definately can taste the fresh hops but a bit of a boozy taste is coming through.

MF: Great flavors, well balanced

Overall: Good beer, fresh hop floral flavor but a little too boozy flavor for me

Serving type: bottle 9.99 1pt6oz

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Photo of sprucetip
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes.

Very good looking brew. It's clear, active, orange/amber, with a couple of fingers of white foam in the goblet. Leaves patchy lacing.

I suspect centennial is what I'm smelling most, due to the cat piss tinged citrus smell. I feel more than I smell the booze. It takes a swirl to find much of the complexity that emerges more later and includes some toffee/caramel malty notes. This is not a great smelling beer, but not bad either.

There is mild bitterness from start to finish. If you are looking for scorching hops, you won't find them here. The hop flavor is mostly citrus but with a dash of pine and floral flavor. I think some of the fruity taste is coming from the yeast. The malty sweetness is more evident than the malt flavor. Again, this isn't bad tasting, but it isn't anything special either.

Well carbonated, medium/full body, some viscosity, very gentle warming and a smooth finish.

This beer looks good, feels good, is pretty smooth and balanced, and smells and tastes decent. But it's not really what I think of as a DIPA. It certainly wouldn't be my example of what to aim for when you make one. Where Alaskan is the closest regional brewery to me that bottles beer and has the ability to make really great beers, this one is kind of disappointing to me. I was excited to try it, but it was a let down. I like the DIPA's I make much better than this.

Alaskan has shown that they can knock it out of the park (e.g. Baltic Porter, Barelywine, Smoked Porter). But they swung and missed with their Pilot Series Imperial IPA.

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Photo of jeff1973
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Maudite tulip.

A - Hazy light burnt orange. Off-white head leaves decent lacing.

S - Peaches, mangos, a little grassy, sweet malts.

T - Again peaches and mangos up front, then a grassy sweet taste (reminds of sweet tea). Dries out a little, but very little bitterness in this one.

M - Medium low carbonation that gives a nice silky feel. Medium heavy body, what a big beer like this should feel like.

D - Medium high. Carbonation and almost no booziness makes this go down easy.

Not a Hop Bomb. A very subtle Imperial IPA heavy on the fruit aspects of the hops.

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Photo of ADZA
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy bright orange hue which leaves a two finger head that recedes to basically lacing everywhere,i find the smell is a beautiful mix of resiny piney hops and honey malts with a touch of boiled candy and grapefruit,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and semi sticky but not full resinous like most other DIPA's ive encountered and the taste is very similar to smell with the sticky piney hops being on the forefront and lingering at the end and really make themselves known but its breaked up nicely by the honey malts,grapefruit,paw-paw,passionfruit and a nice touch of caramel and its ABV stays well hidden and overall its a nice brew thats no world beater but solid and enjoyable and yes i would buy again.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deeply burnished amber colour with nice foamy beige head, half a finger thick. Lace spreads in impressive curtains. Mild haze, mild bead. Good.

Smells kind of subdued. Floral hops mostly, with a distinct citrus belt, touches of aniseed, cake batter and some white pepper. Fresh, could be really nice but I really struggle to get a lot of aroma from it.

Taste is surprisingly sweet. Mostly malty and quite light with caramel-tinged cake batter providing the meat of the palate, front to mid with just a slight tang late on that segment, before hops make their presence implied with very subtle floral bitterness late, touch of frangipani and some orange peel. Palate is very, very smooth, with no rough edges, but I wonder if it's at the expense of big flavour? Probably not, because there's still plenty there. It just feels muted, overall, in spite of its mellow drinkability.

Smooth, full, creamy mouthfeel. Velvety. No rough edges at all. Almost archetypically smooth, in fact.

Yeah, really, such a nice beer that I wonder why the flavours are so muted. Something this charming could be brasher, more vulgar and more aggressive and we'd still take it home at the end of the night.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looking forward to this beer. It's a tad old, but that's what comes of hauling beer back to Australia from the US. Purchased from Star Grocery in Berkeley, CA.

Pours a burnished coppery orange colour, brilliantly clear, with a firm and solid head of just faintly off-white. Lacing is speckled, but the retention is good. It really looks like a very suitable and stylistically good IPA.

Nose is herbal and sharp with clear American hoppiness, with a touch of strained dust and plastic too it, perhaps an example of the age. Earthy, slightly musty pepper characters come through as well, but not any genuine spice or piquancy. Interesting.

Taste is very sweet, almost wort-like, without a great deal of bitterness to pull it back. Caramel and barley sugar entry with a lingering hint of cough drops and menthol. Hops do appear mid palate, but they only lend a herbal twang and a slight citric astringency that again gets overwhelmed by the malt.

Not quite there, to my mind. Alaskan does some great brews, but this is heavy and thick without a huge amount of purpose. Of course, the aroma hops have probably died a little with the age, but that doesn't explain the under-attenuated body. It's still a decent brew, but I've had better from Alaskan, and better IPAs.

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Photo of hardy008
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber with a 1 + finger of off white foam with good retention and spotty lacing. The aroma is light and sweet with oranges, pine, and caramel malt.

Tastes just like it smells with oranges, pine, and caramel malt. Sweet with a good deal of bitterness for balance. I can see where some would think there is too much malt and not enough hops, but this beer works nicely for me as it is.

More than medium bodied with nice carbonation. Feels very smooth and easy to drink. I like this beer quite a bit because it is not just your standard IIPA that most other breweries make. I would gladly buy this again.

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Photo of ebrauser
4.43/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a heady, medium-toned amber with a wet beige head composed of thick and sticky bubbles.

Aroma: Biscuity malt with a slight sting of hop bitterness. Raw hop oils become more fragrant and flowery.

Flavor: Bittersweet entry, reminiscent of the tartness of an apple. This leads to a bready and almost syrupy sweet middle. There s a yeasty spice left in the back of the through as the bitterness lingers through the finish.

MF: Thick and syrupy, with large flavors that allow you to take your time on this beer. Conducive to drinking slowly and thinking about the textures that develop.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up about a week or two ago at Monument Wines and Spirits.

Appearance- golden amber color, thick foamy head, nice lacing

Smell- citrus and piney hops

Taste- citrus and piney hops, well balanced

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought this was very good. I definitely will have it again.

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Photo of welldigger888
4.31/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a honey golden garnet hue with a nice pillowy white head that leaves a blanket of lacing.

Huge caramel malty nose here with ample biscuity and dark bread tones. Not a whole helluva lot of hops but some grapefruit citrus are noted.

Clean bittering hops are the show with some northwest citrus bringing the noise, that being said the malt bill holds it's own with a nice grainy biscuity breadiness.

Way creamy full bodied dry brew that is anything but cloying. Very refreshing for the abv, wow.

I would be willing to aquire this regular, Drink up!

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Photo of harrymel
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber ale with hazy appearence. Single finger caramel head falls to sheet of same quickly. Spot lace.

S: copper and crystal malts. Some pIne and citrus hops. Hint of copper.

T: sweet malts. Grapefruit. Bitter. Nice.

M: hi body and hi carb. Nice.

O: decent.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A big thanks to DarthKostrizer for this extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a rather darker hazy amber color into a tulip. Slight off-white head is achieved with a moderate pour that leaves spotty lacing.

Smell – Slight hops, mainly sweet caramel, bready malts, and floral aromas.

Taste – Taste is dominated by the sweet malts and bread flavors. Just a hint of hops and pine, with a little bit of grapefruit citrus. Overall, dominated by sweetness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation, a bit harsh.

Overall – Somewhat disappointed with this, and would like to see the brewery try this again but with MORE hops and LESS sweet malty caramel backbone.

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Photo of colforbin73
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i haven't researched it -- but is it the PILOT SERIES because it is just sort of an experiment for sale? i will try other offerings from this brewery, but i probably won't buy this again. generally, in california there are too many great IPAs and IIPAs to choose from to buy a "B" twice.

pours a good filtered rich amber color with a decent head. the smell is the first indication that this beer is not quite there -- nothing jumps out at me -- mostly caramel malts in the nose -- almost no hops.

the bitterness level here is good, but not quite IMPERIAL -- this is like 1/2 of an IIPA -- the malt base is good if a tad on the rich and caramel side -- it is a very complex malt base and i think it is really flavorful and there is a dance going on with the hops here, and there IS adequate bitterness -- but it all sums up to a different, good, but OFF-STYLE beer for me.

well made -- but not a great IIPA. somewhere between an IIPA and an IAPA, or even an IESB.

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Alaskan Imperial IPA (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.