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Decadent Imperial IPA - Ska Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Decadent Imperial IPADecadent Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

350 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 350
Hads: 770
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 21.67%
Wants: 31
Gots: 95 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RockyTopHeel on 12-30-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 350 | Hads: 770
Photo of Jakerad1979
5/5  rDev +38.9%

By far the best beer on the market today. It is smooth, hoppy and full of flavor without being bitter like some imperial IPAs can be. After this beer you will compare all other beers to it, and they will come up short.

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Photo of VanillaHeat
5/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really enjoy this one. Nice hops. I found it recently on tap for $5 for a snifter. I don't know what it smells like, but I liked the smell. Good dark color. I have never tried it in the bottle, but both times I have had the draft I found it quite enjoyable.

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Photo of phisherman11946
4.88/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Exceptional beer! The beer itself was bought in North Carolina after the Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate release in 2011. I was super surprised by this beers balance. The hops and malts are melded perfectly to hide the 10% ABV level that this give. A must have for DIPA fans.

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Photo of Tolann
4.82/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - red in color and a white head that didn't hang around long. A little bit cloudy. Loved the bottle art and the red wax dipped top.

S - WOW! floral hops. Big on citrus and could be smelled as soon as you start pouring. Really liked it and it got looking forward to the beer more.

T - Really hoppy, citrus, sweet. Not a huge bitterness biting the back of my tongue. Love citrus hops

M - Little aftertaste. Medium body feel and smooth. Not offensive in carbonation.

D - A favorite for the time being, tho I know I'll keep trying different beers and keep finding favorites. I'll remember to keep my eyes open for more of this and happily clear a space in the fridge for more.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.77/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired via trade from Weisguy, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep orange/brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of fruity citrus, floral hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste is excellently balanced with a strong hops presence, fruity citrus and caramel sweetness and a malt character that isn't as hearty as most beers in the style but it has just the right substance to keep this beer on-par with other highly-rated 2IPA's and still make it light enough to drink continuously. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style. This is a beer that I could drink for a whole evening... or at least until the 10.00% ABV catches up with me. Honestly, I'm baffled by the low scores that this beer has received. Typically I don't reference prior reviews but I know this might not be as good as Dreadnaught (which I gave a perfect 5), but the fact that this is a "delicate DIPA" makes it a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Viggo
4.7/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange/brown, medium sized thick off white head, tons of lace. Smell is amazing, buttery with pine, floral, strawberries, pineapple, rich malt, some chocolate, nuts, and a little alcohol. Taste is wicked buttery caramel and toffee, resinous pine and floral hops, nuts and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium to thick, low carbonation, I think one of the best IIPA's out there, superbly balanced and full of flavour, can't wait to get again. The hops are a little subdued and this might be more akin to an american barleywine, but its damned spectacular.

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Photo of walshclimb
4.67/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear reddish honey with thin off-white head and bubles moving slowly up the glass. Light lace. Very hoppy smell with both flowers and pine up front and a hint of perfumey fruit and a good malt base that is discernable over the big but not overwhelming hops. The initial flavor was more malty than I expected with good floral hops. The aftertaste is floral to bitter and stays around a long while with steady bitterness and decreasing floral note. Very smooth and nicely balanced. Definitely one of the better IIPAs in terms of balanced flavor. Medium to full bodied with slightly syruppy texture and active carbonation that gives a little bite on the tip of the tongue. The finish is nice and not too alcoholic, especially considering this is a 10% beer. Overall, I really enjoyed the balance that the flavor provided with excellent floral aroma and flavor that is not crushingly bitter like some others of this style. I would definitely recommend it.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.65/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Ska has been one of my absolute favorite breweries since late last Spring when a bartender at Sheffield's in Wrigleyville first introduced me to the ESB and then to Modus Hoperandi. I have since traveled to the brewery in Durango twice and tasted the Decadent there. It stood out while I was there, but I have let this particular bottle sit for about three months now and that seems to have been an excellent decision. It is better thanI remember it.

APPEARANCE: Poured from a 22oz. waxed bottle into a tulip glass. Deep, opaque and gorgeous copper color with a fluffy white, quarter inch head.

SMELL: As soon as the cap was popped I could smell the strong scent of floral hops. It was begging a hop-head like me to take the first sip. Maybe the strongest smelling beer I have ever had. Not terribly complex, just straight forward, sweet and floral hops.

TASTE: The smell seems to just fade into the taste with the first sip. Strong floral flavor gives way to a very sweet floral flavor. The hops, however, balance the sweetness out quite nicely. The finish is fairly smoky and leaves a somewhat drier than expected aftertaste, which leaves the taste buds longing for the next sip.

FEEL: Silky and smooth, almost creamy, maybe too smooth for my taste. The intense hoppyness also provides a bit of a bite towards the end of each sip.

OVERALL: The word decadent perfectly describes this beer. Chocolate mouse cake is what keeps coming to mind as I sip, not in flavor, but in richness, sweetness and, of course, decadence. At a hopped up and malty 10% this beer is not for the faint of heart, but for beer lovers this is a treat.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.52/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into a Duvel snifter. No date.

Appearance - Slightly hazy amber body. Medium small llight tan head with good stick and medium retention.

Smell - Deliciously hoppy. Not overpowering, but smooth and pronounced.

Taste - Amazing. Perfectly balanced. Zero astringency. No off flavors. Light honey maltiness cuts through the medium-high strength hop body. Alcohol has a strong but not overpowering presence throughout. The best tasting IPA I've ever had, though it's my first imperial. Now I'm ready for Pliny the Elder. The spice is so perfectly complimentary with the underlying sweetness, and the bouquet opens as it warms.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and creamy.

Overall Drinkability - This beer is better than the sum of its parts. The smell and appearance don't have much to offer, but it's all uphill from there. Possibly the only beer I like from this brewery, and it far surpassed my expectations.

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Photo of longbongsilver
4.5/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Previously had their (canned) Modus Hoperandi and liked it. Saw this and figured "why not?". Pours a deep amber brown, slight fizz, w/ an inch of cream-colored head. The last slight layer of head sticks around.

First smell is melon-ish, surprisingly. A bit of lemon follows, then the familiar grassy-in-multiple-senses notes. Even a bit of caramel way in the back (mkay, another shock). Enough observation, down the hatch...

All the above comes in, plus what tastes to me like orange, behind straight-up hop-bomb spiciness. Goes down thicker than I expected for the style (I've had CREAM ales that didn't reach this consistency, ffs!). Weirdly, some of the head is still hanging around, which you don't normally see. Meanwhile...10%? Really? I taste half that, I could see this getting chugged if not for all the complexity to savor.

I thought MH was generally a simple yet refreshing IPA. Decadent takes that and boots it to Mars.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.46/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brewery FRESH!!! Bought 5/25/12 at SKA
Dated best by - 4/20/13 - Poured into a Southampton Snifter.

Nice, simple, one finger, white foamy head, looks very tasty. Great golden orange clarity. Lots of ambers and reds too. Spotty lacing remains on the walls of my snifter glass.

Very pleasant smooth fruity fullness. Lots of pineapple, orange and grapefruit. Scent is light airy and full. It's not over done like many West Coast IPAs, but it's a very enjoyable scent on a hot day.

Awesome, smooth, creamy, and minimally bitter. Lots of light sweetness mixes with very light (airy) bitterness. No heat and at 10%, that's impressive. Carbonation fits the brew, nice and mellow.

Hands down one of the best DIPAs I've ever had. Perfect for a warm summer evening. Very delightful and well rounded. Quite a surprise for a DIPA. Another killer brew from SKA; well done, keep em' coming. Can't wait for the new Stout Can Series...

I'm not sure Decadent would be as good in a year as it is fresh, but very nicely done! Spot on!

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.42/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a wax-sealed 22 oz. bomber with an "X" marked on the top. Label shows a cap-tipping skeleton with a bouquet of hop cones between his teeth and reads "Celebrating 10 years of self-indulgence."

On the eyes, the beer is a clear, burnt orange-amber with a thin, sticky beige head that leaves a good deal of lace on the glass.

The true decadence begins to show in the nose. Beautiful aroma of citrus-packed floral hops with a hint of the high alcohol content.

In the mouth, this beer is a touch understated, full of hop flavor but balanced by the alcohol and a substantial (for the style, anyway) malt presence. It comes across as almost creamy, leaving the mouth wet and slick.

This is dangerously drinkable for such a high ABV brew. I'm a big fan, and will keep my eyes open for this brewery's selections in the future.

It doesn't quite make up for the shoulder injury that will keep me from skiing the rest of this trip, but it's not a bad start.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.42/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Lightish maple syrup amber brown. Decent head for the ABV, off white beige with fair retention.

Smell: Pine, lemon, a lovely forest of hops. Sweet, toasty malts with a fruity and doughy edge. Notes of caramel and burnt sugar. Very nice, with a subtle hint of alcohol, like a complex herbal liqueur. Rosy floral notes emerge as it warms.

Taste: Hops hold off until mid-sip, then rush in to soak up the carmel malt sweetness. Desert-dry finish with long-lasting resinous grapefruity hop flavor. Mild liquor-like alcohol. Fruity, perfumey sweetness. Dang.

Mouthfeel: A tad thin but nice and clean, surprisingly easy on the palate considering the high IBU and ABV figures. Not mouth-stripping or even puckering, and not syrupy.

Drinkability: This is a killer beer, badass but definitely not hard to drink. Sucking down the bomber was no problem.

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Photo of gleemonger
4.41/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mostly clear amber color with a nice, creamy, dimply, off white head that lingers for a long time. Just spotty lacing.

Slightly subdued hoppy aroma dominated by citrus, with a bit of a sweet malty background. Not super in your face, but pleansant enough.

Like the aroma, I'm getting mostly a citrusy, grapefuit, flowery hop flavor with a nice, sweet malt. It's a bit on the sweet side, but it actually works since it's pretty unique and tasty when it comes to that part. Not very bitter, which is a plus for me.

Pretty thick, creamy and smooth - a little heavier than usual for the style, but it works for me.

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The smell led me to believe it was going to be an average citrus/bitter bomb of an IPA, but this is something a little different I think, between the very well balanced hops and malts, and the creaminess. A winner for me. I'm confused about the low score on this one, honestly.

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Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.38/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This guy loves DIPA's and a new one is in town. Poured into my Duvel glass (sat out of the fridge for a bit) and it sets off a nice floral, hoppy aroma. Just a bit of citrus but a little bitterness too. First sip, this is outstanding. Reminds me of 471 but not quite as smooth. There is a hop bitterness through out but stronger with the finish. It seems there is a sweetness that is somewhere in the middle between the grass and bitterness. This one is what a DIPA should be. It almost competes with the 471 in the way it finishes and it was too drinkable for 10%. VERY glad to have this show up in Central Texas.

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Photo of pat61
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%

Decadent has a fruity, floral hoppy nose.
Pours gold with a slight haze under a fluffy off-white 2” foam cap.
A big fruity malty attack combines yeast and hop driven fruit flavors such as papaya and melon with light caramel malt and light grains to finish with a clean, bitter aftertaste with a hint of light vegetal hop flavors. The beer contains a lot of hops but they are expressed more in the flavor than in the bitterness. Well balanced.
The beer has a big body with slightly below carbonation.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Very clear, copper colored body with a decent-sized, shiny head with huge bubbles formed from carbonation and hop resins. Lacing is pretty good with a few solid lines that last awhile.

S- The smell is a nice mix of sweet tropical fruits and melons on top of a bitter, stinging "alco-hop" punch. Some honey, toffee and caramel.

T- Sweet and tangy with a lingering, bitter aftertaste that makes me want to take another sip. Hops are king in this brew and contribute piney, floral, spicy, citric and tropical flavors along with a pinch of inebriation.

M- Carries the beer through the mouth without doing much to enhance the experience. Carbonation is standard and body is a bit heavy without going heavy enough.

D- I got through the bottle without complaining and I'm a lightweight. Maybe the recipe has been enhanced with hop infusions or maybe I have a soft spot for Ska, but this beer is better than most reckon. Looking at the recent reviews, I see the Texas rating are higher than ratings from the other States; Is this a better batch, or do we respect fine DIPA's here in Texas more because they are almost as rare as a fine Belgian?

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a beautifully labeled bottle with red wax (ala maker's mark) poured into a pint glass. a clear amber pour with a finger of fluffy head which stays for most of the pour. insane amounts of sticky lacing fill the glass as i drink this delicious nectar. smells of caramel, tree sap, pine, fresh cut grass. a very sweet, bready, metallic taste up front with one of the most bitter after tastes i have ever gotten from any bottle of beer.. it literally tastes like burning tires. notes of caramel, spicy yeast, plum, honey. this one is on the border of medium to full body with a very boozey chest warming sensation, sticky lacing coats your facial hair as the creamyness of the beer coats the roof of your mouth. you are pretty much trapped in this beer... i capped mine with a resealable cap i got from anchor's christmas mammoth size beer bottle and i feel like it's not going to last. my mouth is already prepared. i went through all this work, and now i feel the need to finish.

this is an excellent iipa. not a complete palate wrecker until AFTER you take your first sip. that bitter aftertaste lingers until you drink enough that your mouth gets coated in its creamy body. a great beer to go back to, for sure. i'll be looking out for more of this later this year!

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours deep thick amber, with a nice head, very good lacing.

S - Obviosuly sensing the hops, but not as much as a dIPA usually is. I am picking up a decent amount of citrus also.

T - Dominating hops, very pine like hops. I was told by a peer he is getting alot of fruit, but my pallet isn't getting it. BUT, tons of hops and I'm loving it.

M - An EXTREMLY smooth imperial IPA, very slippery beer.

D - I can see myself getting this again, it's really a shame it's a one-off release because it's so good.

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Photo of PhxHorn
4.32/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was poured into a goblet. Not much foam, but carbonation was just fine. Smelled of hops just like a DIPA should smell, and tasted the same. Grapefruit with a sweet tart punch and sticky mouthfeel and nice bitter finish. This one is substantially better on tap than bottled. Very solid DIPA.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.32/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

PA- Dark translucent amber in color. A fingers worth of white head

S- Mass hops up front. Bold pine and light citrus notes smell fresh with each scent. No booze can be detected with scent

T- Bold resinous pine throughout. A good balance of hop and malt for the most part. Strong bitter finish that's dry

M- Solid mouthfeel that coats the palate and quenches my hop fiending

D- Finishes smooth and isn't too heavy. I could drink a few of these of I found it on tap. Totally worth the price @ $6.49 a bomber

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Photo of GJ40
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at The Flying Saucer in Addison, TX.

A - Copper with a reddish hue, good clarity and a small white head.

S - Very fruity and citrusy.

T - Semi sweet with a surprising balance. The hops provide a nice citrusy flavor while the malts give it a bready, biscuity quality. The malt adds as much as the hops yet both seem to cooperate nicely.

M - Silky and sturdy with a nice low carbonation.

D - Much more balanced than my regulars but very tasty.

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Photo of thefullmontiii
4.28/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not typically an IPA fan but this one is fantastic. Citrusy aroma, the scent of the hops dances off the pour. Mild head that recedes shortly after pour. Once the foam fades though, you can definitely smell the alcohol. Almost to the extent of getting a quick whiff of a shot poured nearby. Somewhat fruity taste, slight warmth in the malt, followed by the mild hoppy finish. A little bitter on the aftertaste but not nearly overwhelming. The higher ABV is notable but not overpowering. Overall great balance of warmth, sweetness, and bitterness.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.27/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale orangeish color with a huge fluffy white head that goes rather quickly. Nice lacing. Strong, citrusy and piney aroma. The tongue stripping hop presence sneaks up on you. Very solid malt profile at first. A solvent like hop presence comes in behind the malt. At first I thought it was alcohol burn but it is the hops for sure. Sticky and resiny mouthfeel. Very enjoyable and I find myself plowing through the bottle. Found this in NC and know nothing about the brewery. 6 bucks a bottle is well worth it.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to absolutesites for this offering...and on the 4th week of New Beer Sunday '05.
Pours a colorful bronze w/ a cloudy feel...cream colored head sits on top and remains there for the duration. Almost looks like an American Barleywine IMO.
The scent is very apparent, but not overpowering...mostly citrus hops w/ some caramelized malt and vanilla...just the slightest hint of alcohol, but inviting.
Taste is fantastic...a hop bomb, but the malt keeps in check. It is just slightly chilled which makes the alcohol a bit more up front, but the bitterness is what I am really enjoying. The sweet, buttery texture is one of the best for its style and it is surprisingly refreshing...could enjoy quite a few of these in an evening. I am really glad I had the chance to try this brew...very good!

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Decadent Imperial IPA from Ska Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 350 ratings.