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

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

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60 Reviews

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Reviews: 60
Hads: 92
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.24%
Wants: 4
Gots: 5 | 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: 60 | Hads: 92
Photo of kawilliams81
2.64/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a 16 oz snifter.

A- light copper/orange color. Little head with some lacing.

S- spicy/herbal with some sweet malts.

T- spice and earthy/piney hops come through upfront with sweeter malts, and grassy/weedy bitterness.

M- rather thin for a Imperial IPA.

O- pretty weak attempt at the style. Would put this in the lower half of DIPA's that I have had (and the list is large). Would not try again or recommend. (422 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
3.31/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Excited to try a new DIPA that rolled into to town and well I just don't see it having much success here in SoCal.

A: Pours a hazy burnt caramel color - almost orange in hue. Nice 2 finger khaki tan head with some minimal lacing.

S: Real spicy nose. Herbal. Earthy and floral pine. Aroma is pretty muted here.

T: Nice big hoppy bite but rather sweet. I think the hops do eventually win the fight. Hops are very earthy pine, spices, and floral herbs. Caramelly sweet malt is in full effect though. ABV's make an appearance and it does crisp up a little on the finish.

M: Overall creamy texture with a medium heavy body and some decent bitterness. This is definitely a big brew.

D: Drinkability was pretty low with the big rich chewy filling malts and while the hops are abundent I would have liked a bit more fruit flavor and aroma with a much lighter body.

Glad to have tried but at $8 a bomber there are much better offerings available to me that I would rather spend my dough on. In the end just too sweet and not my fav in hop profile. (1,046 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.96/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Almost clear copper. Lots of near white head, TONS of lingering lace.

S - Tangerine and malt. Very light overall.

T - Nice malt bitter mix. Thinner than I would have hoped and not as hoppy.

M - Simple for a double IPA. Just saying.

D - Masks the ABV well and very easy to drink. (286 characters)

Photo of dwilson01
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass, a pale orange-ish golden coloration to the body, and a thin sandy off white head to top it.

The scents are unmistakably hoppy, a pinnapple citrus type fruit aroma combined with a nice pale malt backbone to round it out.

The flavor is pretty solid, it starts out smooth and sweet almost like an orange cream dessert and then breaks into the more bitter hopiness of the brew which has a good citrus-pine taste. The back end is rounded out by a sweeter malt aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is great, very solid and smooth at the same time, a nice balance to the pungent hops. (629 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a slightly hazy, deep amber with a finger of sticky, pale yellow head.

Smell. Grapefruits, pineapple, caramel, some toasty grain.

Taste. Toasty grains and caramel, grassy hops, pine and tangy grapefruit are present. Alcohol there, but not out of control.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium-low carbonation. A little syrupy.

Overall. Not too shabby an IIPA. Lots of tropical fruit and hops. (412 characters)

Photo of sholland119
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear apricot with tinges of gold a frothy tan head and great lacing.

S-Not much going on here. A bit of soapy hops, some light malt.

T-Better than the nose. Nice citrus hops with some good earthiness, nice malt backbone.

M-Medium bodied, moderate dryness, good carbonation

O-Yeah, pretty decent overall. Not all that memorable, but not bad.

HV (359 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber today from Total Wine for $7.99. Best before 08/13/11.

Beer poured with a bubbly white head that is floating on top.

Nose is inviting, bready malts and floral hops.

Taste is dominated by bready malts with a decent balance from grapefruit and pine hops. Not catching a lot of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but not overly smooth.

Overall this is a pretty decent beer. It drinks more like a double APA than IPA. This has not been in the fridge long and is drinking at 50-55 degrees which i believe is bringing out the flavor profile. (562 characters)

Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a - dark and thick for an ipa. dark orange and rust color. pretty decent head half finger think nice and frothy and fluffy. large bubbles from the med - high carbonation.

s - tropical fruit and citrus. earthy and malty. slightly hoppy and bitter. sharp on the nose, yet still mellow.

t - tastes crisp and clean. tobacco and leather notes. not much translating from the smell. just a lot of hops. no real finish just the bitterness. i was expecting more.

m - again not much there. the majority of this beers essence is in the smell (and look while we're at it). relatively crisp and refreshing, ill give it that.

o - kinda disappointed but i guess hit or miss is name of the game here. (690 characters)

Photo of brotherloco
3.11/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz Bottle. Looks like a best by date of 08/13/11

Pours a deep copper color, slightly hazy with some cascading carbonation. Finger of foam settles to a razor thin light beige head.

Smells on the citrusy side of DIPAs. Grapefruit and lemon zest. Bubblegum. Faint caramel malt. Fairly light though, doesn't smell like a hop bomb.

Hmm, taste is kind of the same. Nothing Imperial in the flavor until the finish where the bitterness kicks up and some alcohol comes through. Seems like an average citrusy standard IPA for the most part.

Body never gets above medium, some crispness from the carbonation.

I suppose if this was billed as an IPA the score would be a little higher, but this one doesn't really fly as an Imperial. (727 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
3.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter

Pours a pretty ruby color, puffs up a big pail head, has a lot of very slow carbonation going on. Head fades fairly slowly. Not cloudy (fair amount of beer left in the bottle). Smell is bright and flowery, citrusy, sweet smelling.

Taste is a bit on the sweet side, definite hops presence, but a lot of honeysuckle flavor almost overpowers it. Meets the double/imperial IPA malt profile, but kind of shy on hops. Again citrusy and floral, a strange bitter aftertaste with almost a cough syrupy note to it (noticeable and not great, but not overpowering). For the style, I'm marking it down a little bit, but just as a beer, it's not bad at all. If I was looking for a super hoppy imperial IPA, this is not where I would turn, but it's a pretty good beer and I'm enjoying it.

Mouthfeel is thick and sticky. (847 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich and surprisingly sweet strong hoppy ale.

Pretty golden amber color in the chalice. Sprightly on the tongue, though head is not long lasting. Very sweet, and rather acidic. Pineapple and sugar cane, but also tart apples and green papaya. The hops seem to accentuate the rich flavors but add a welcome bitterness. Aftertaste is more like a Belgian strong golden ale, kind of gritty and funky but more bitter.

Not the typical DIPA, and that's what I'm always hoping for. Difficult to pin this down to a style, but I find it delicious. More of a barley wine sipping beer. If your taste runs to the austere, piney, and heavy-hitter hop, give it a miss. (655 characters)

Photo of mcallister
3.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep golden copper colored but with little movement. Nice head fluffy and resilient leaves sticky lace abound and doesn't want to fade to oblivion.

Sweet tarts, tropical fruit, light citrus and pine. Peach, pineapple, orange peel, and lemon zest. Caramel malts with some earthy tones and bready aromas.

Odd DIPA. Very easy going, not overly aggressive. Nice malt to hop balance. Caramel malts with bready undertones lead to citrus and tropical hop flavors with a hint of grass on the finish. Some orange marmalade in the middle, guava, lemon, and grass. A bit sweet on the finish as well. Carbonation lacking slightly hurts the body and mouthfeel. (649 characters)

Photo of MADhombrewer
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It looks like this 22oz bottle has a "best by" date of 08 13 11. Poured into a Laurelwood slender wine glass.

Appearance- Dark and hazy cooper color. Off white head with very good lacing. Not the best looking DIPA I have seen. 3.5/5

Smell- Lots of grassy hop aroma with, also, a lot of caramel malt to go with it. I am not to sure about this only because I tend to like my DIPAs on the drier side. 3.5/5

Taste- Lots of earthy flavors. Grass, (I hate to say this) dirt, and maybe some wood. There is some hop flavors but I think the malts over power them. There is very little citrus to it. At the end of each sip there is some sweetness to it. Too bad. 3/5

Mouthfeel- This is borderline grainy. Too thick as well. 3/5

Overall- I am a little disappointed in this. I really like Alaskan Brewery and was really looking forward to this beer. I thought it would be a lot clearer in color, more hop aroma, and a drier flavor. This will not turn me off from Alaskan by any means, I just don't think I will get this again. 3/5 (1,025 characters)

Photo of waltersrj
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Two Bells Tavern Seattle next to the famous "Tavern Burger."

Pour: deep orange/amber, somewhat syrupy looking with a very minimal bubbly white head that quickly dissipates into itself and leaves a small oily ring around the edge of the glass. The lacing is like cobwebs around the glass which must be from it's oily pour.

Nose: Slight pineapple, lemon grass, minimal pine and slight citrus orange zest.

Taste: Not what I expected. It starts out like those pineapple candies that have jelly inside a hard shell. Transitions into lemon grass, slight wheat tinge, lemon zest and slight grapefruit rhind. Everything seems dull compared to most IIPA's but that pineapple candy taste is strange and won't leave my mouth. The aftertaste is half candy half soap.

Mouthfeel: Not bad, on the oily side of IIPA's and minimal carbonation although I see bubbles rising up.

Overall: Not the best IIPA, pretty boring really and one dimensional. That weird candy/soap taste won't leave but I needed to try this one. Decent but not worth buying in a bottle IMO. (1,060 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.08/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper-bronze with an off-white head, good retention & lace.

S: A pleasant aroma, though not at all over-powering. Grapefruit rind, pine, tangerine, toffee,

T: Grapefruit rind, nectarine, pine, lemon-grass, slightly metallic, sponge toffee, candied pineapple, pleasant bitterness, hints of alcohol warmth.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has a light hop acidity and a crisp finish.

D: Very well-crafted. So balanced it seems more like an IPA and a half than a DIPA, yet it does have the strength. I could easily session this, then seriously regret it. (561 characters)

Photo of vitALEity
2.78/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - light amber

S - kind of metallic, a bit too much alcohol, mild pine

T - too sweet for a double IPA, metallic after taste and a bit too much alcohol comes through

M - sharp/carbonation

O - an ok imperial but doesn't compare to west coast CA doubles that I'm used to (272 characters)

Photo of NWer
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a beautiful dark golden color into my chalice. Nice head retains well and settles into a typical DIPA foam layer - thin and clingy around the edges.
From there, it's down hill but not drastically. It would make a good IPA but barely makes it as a DIPA.
In a word, it's rather boring. I expect more from a good DIPA.

edit: as the beer warms a little and the flavors unfold, I am growing to like this beer more. I moved my original scores up a notch to reflect this. It definitely improves as it warms. (510 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz poured into a Tulip

A- Bright, clear orange with a huge fizzy off-white head. Good lacing.

S- Grassy and Pine

T- Citrus, but also a bad metallic taste.

D- Huge carbonation and good mouthfeel.

O- I really wanted to like this one. Did I get a bad bottle. I tasted off, but not terrible. The metallica aftertaste made my teeth hurt. sad (345 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

424th review on BA
Bottle to tulip
22 oz.

App- A very dark orange with a one and half finger head. Small clings line the top of the glass

Smell- Fresh grapefruit with some lingering malts. A bit of fresh picked and cut green apple.

Taste- Way too much of an apple juice taste behind it. Slightly acidic with deeper malts. Was a bit different than expected but not in a good way. Was too in the middle of fruity and piney.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonation with a residual green apple taste.

Drink- It's a very new DIPA. Not really piney or resiny or fruity. Just in the middle. I probably won't come back to this one. (632 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.46/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Slightly hazy tangerine liquid with two fingers of active beige sponge. Good retention, and sticky/messy lacing.

Light pine, faint citrus, and woodsy bitterness in the nose. Restrained C-hops throughout.

Moderately bitter, earthy/spicy/herbal palate entry, which grows sweeter from malt, then drys out in the finish without any astringency. Faint citrus and pale malt (?) in the aftertaste. Has a mild NW IPA profile overall. Some esters from alcohol come forward as the beer warms up.

ABV is well hidden. Well carbonated, medium-bodied, and vaguely creamy.

Not bad, but not especially impressive example of the style. Works well with food (in this case, it paired well with broiled asparagus, broiled salmon, couscous with parsley) in any case. (820 characters)

Photo of azdback
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Spaten glass. A very transparent copper color. Medium carbonation bubbles. Head is two fingers of bright white that quickly diminished into a bit of lace.

Smell is sweet hops. I think it smells mostly like pineapple and orange or tangerine. No alcohol smell at all. Some yeast or bread smells come late.

The taste is not what I had expected from Alaskan for this style. Initially sweet malts, but not the hops I was anticipating. The yeast profile is bold and not so tongue loving (lin my opinion). Really kind of weak for a DIPA.

Minimal carbonation, a tad on the watery side, but not terrible. The hops, which are not very present in the taste, are definitely wreaking havoc on my tongue at this point. A slight nutty oiliness.

For the most part, I was a little disappointed in this one. Alaskan has put out some really solid beers. Their Baltic Porter and Barleywine, as well as the Smoked Porter, are all very good beers, but this one leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, I am still glad to have sampled it. (1,039 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (3.5)
- Pours a clear shiny copper penny. Spot on really. Nice couple fingers of white dense fizz.. leaves a nice thin blanket kicking around.

Smell: (3.5)
- I am really liking the smell. Very fresh floral and grassy notes. Touch of fruit, caramel malt.. it's not very revealing. Just fresh and mild in smell. I bet it's hiding a lot more.

Taste: (4.5)
- If you win points for balance as a beer, this one takes the cake. I am thoroughly impressed with this imperial ipa. I would have to say that this is one of my favorites to date. The balance is impeccable. Great light fruity touch to the hops, with a wonderful fresh grassy bitter hop flare. It's like that reintroduction to a crisp fresh lager that one would remember from a long time ago. Great biscuity caramel malt rides along simply and is not overpowering. Great beer.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Medium bodied, perfectly carbonated.. bit sticky but not too much. Lightly warming though not overly strong. Fresh taste leaves a fresh mouth feel. Lightly chewy.

Overall: (4.5)
- Like I said.. this is one killer imperial ipa. I hope this can be found over and over exactly the same as this bottle I have right here. It's perfectly balanced and has one of the best hop profiles for my taste. Get it! (1,266 characters)

Photo of BretSikkink
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky orange color with a dark brown edge. Chill hazed, microbubbles pump up the foamy and full ecru head. Retention is great, lacing fades a little with age. Nothing to complain about here.

Fairly aromatic, although more personality never hurt an Imperial IPA. I get citric notes of grapefruit and orange zest, alongside a less dominant note of grainy, caramel-sweet malt. There is some heat, but I'd like more power.

This is muted all around. The melon and grapefruit notes are nice but could use a less acidic edge and more of a prickly potency. Carbonation is a bit high and lasts into the semidry finish.

Not bad, but this could be tweaked to be improved. I won't be getting another bomber. (701 characters)

Photo of trappistlover
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(22oz bottle). Pours hazy copper color with 1 finger off-white head. Active carbonation. Aroma has pine, grapefruit, and papaya. Taste is sweet malt with hop bitterness. Medium bodied with an oily texture although the head adds a creamy element. The head still remains and the lacing is really more of a coating on the glass. I didn’t have much expectation considering their regular IPA (which is not an IPA), but I was pleasantly surprised. This is a pretty good beer. Nice job. (481 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a glowing goldenish orange color with good carbonation leaving a nice white cap and some bubbles

S: Some citrus, zesty, Earthy, herbal

T: Has hints of fresh fruits; tropical and some citrus, Earth, some bread and caramel

M: Nice bitterness, medium body, good feel and taste

D: Average to good (306 characters)

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Alaskan Imperial IPA (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.