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Decadent Imperial IPA | Ska Brewing Co.

355 Reviews
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Decadent Imperial IPADecadent Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RockyTopHeel on 12-30-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 355 | Ratings: 796
Photo of Ricelikesbeer
3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L: rating high because the artwork is great! poured straight from the can into my mouth.

S: bitter grapefruit, with some slight pine and resin.

T: Lots of grapefruit and orange up front. Very bitter and a bit astringent. Could use much more balance and the harshness detracts. Some boozy alcohol which may throw off some of the bitterness as well.

f: fairly creamy, not much carbonation. average.

O: Overall not a very memorable DIPA. its just too harsh/bitter without many redeeming factors. Not horrible by any means, but I wouldn't seek this out again.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear, amber color with a three finger high, white head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

The glass - That’s right! I got som glass from @orrefors Sweden to try with my beers.
So here it is - Orrefors IPA glass with SKA Decadent Imperial IPA in it.

After Spigelau released the IPA glass I think the "glass-makers" in the world suddenly woke up - There is so much more than just a "beer"

I would with my experience of 30 year in wine- and whisky-tasting that there is so much more flavors in a craftbeer to find than in a great whine or single malt... I KNOW all you whine and whisky-lovers out there - Now it’s war! ;)

The glass has the "Tulip" shape of a beer-tasting glass so the aromas of the beer will increase to your nose.
I think it’s easy to hold the glass, at least with my hands. It’s easy to swirl the beer and get the most out of the nose.
Saying that I must say that I love the craftmanship of Orrefors!
if you love craft beer you probably love craftmanship in any area (at least I do!)

Oh! I think I’m going far, far away from the beer review now!

Where was I....

Nose: Orange marmalade, citrus, caramel malt, grapefruit, pine, honey and syrup - A LOT of sweetness!
Taste: Orange marmalade again, orange zest, caramel, sweet caramel malt.
Mouth: Sweet, round, soft body. Bitter ending. Light to medium carbonation.

I like this beer but it’s too sweet for me (and I like sweet beers!)

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: crystal clear body that’s a light golden/ burnt orange color with no noticeable bubbles. The head is thick and frothy and there’s medium lacing around the glass.
Smell: grapefruit, lemon zest and mixed spices, mild apple and pine.
Taste: The hops are fresh, up front but not over powering. The grapefruit hits you first followed by the lemon zest and a little pepper too.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth and creamy.
Overall: Not bad overall, this IPA is well worth the try.

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Photo of tsmith1nu
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I can't figure out when this beer was bottled but considering its brewed in CO and I am in NC and purchased it from a place that doesn't have the highest product turn over I am guessing that this beer isn't exactly fresh. With that being said i still think it a delicious beer. Would love to have this from the source. Has a great balance between the hops and a nice boozy flavor. Solid beer.

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Photo of Hopine
4.48/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is delicious. Deadly and delicious! It's actually sessionable at 10.00%, that means watch to out. I loved this beer nut had to stop at one to save my dignity.
Dark orange in color and a sweet floral, citrus nose give this beer huge appeal. Add to that the light mouthfeel, lack of boozy aroma or taste and you have a delicious sessionable double. Get it if you can.

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Photo of timontheroad
3.81/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Ska Brewery. Nice gold/Amber color, pretty minimal head,but nice lacing. The aroma was pretty malty, but had some hints of pine and citrus. The flavor was also pretty sweet and malty, with some light grapefruit and tropical fruit flavors. This beer was really full bodied, with just a hint of bitterness to tingle the tongue, and a touch of burn from the ABV. Overall, wish this beer was a little more balanced, expected more hops from an Imperial IPA.

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Photo of Sobered
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Decent enough, but nothing special. I'm a hophead, and this simply isn't enough for a high mark for me. The ABV and packaging are a nice touch, admittedly. Overall, it is a well balanced beer, but I prefer less balance and more hops.

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Photo of stevenreinard
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, it seems like this imperial fulfills the needs of anyone who enjoys IPA brews. It has a great hoppy nose and a small note of fruit is mixed in with it, but upon the first sip, it seems more mild and bland than expected. The flavor is good, but not grand. When the word decadent comes to mind, this falls short. It is a good, smooth, drinkable beer and deserving of the marks I have given it. Is it a great beer? Not so much.

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Photo of ivan_delosrios
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked this one up because although i don't typically buy ipas, i was in the mood for a fruity beer. This one did not disappoint. The pour is quite nice. Medium head and a beautiful hazy orange. In a tulip sniffer it is quite a sight. In the aroma it gave off a malty and caramel sweetness with a variety of fruit. Reminiscent of grapefruit, papaya, and (even though it's not a fruit) aromatic pine. Flavor is pretty close to the aroma. Nice sweetness with a creamy body and fruit notes. The finish reminded me of grapefruit juice with a very nice subtle bitterness that stuck around for a little. One bottle will do you though.

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Photo of prock180
4.09/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very hazy but beautiful gold orange color when held up to light. Smells a little malty for IIPA but hops are present. Taste follows at first but then hops show up more at the end of sip. Sweet caramel and honey flows into citrusy, grapefruit hop flavors with the hops lingering for a long while. I was a little sceptical from the aroma but the flavors made up for that. A bit surprised how much I enjoyed this as I tend to enjoy more hop foward ipas. The body is full and smooth. Overall really good beer and a bit surprised how much I enjoyed this one. Oh yea beware, this beer is 10%! Cheers.

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Photo of Booker07
3.06/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Pours hazy amber with a cm head forming at the end.
Smell: Can definitively smell hops here. smells sweet almost
taste: wow! lots of malt. was expecting a bit more hoppiness for an imperial. really sweet.
feel: this Ripa was hard to finish. felt like watered down maple syrup.
overall: i had this IPA about 3 years ago when i was getting into beer tasting and then it was awesome. Maybe great for a lad trying to get his feet wet.

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Photo of dannydetox
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

big, sweeter imperial from ska. bottle looked striking with the skeletal rude boy on the label and the wax sealed bottlecap. cloudy orange pour with a finger's worth of head initially. nose is all malt - sweet cereal grains up front, with a few notes of expressed orange peel and clover honey wafting through. mouthfeel is full - no surprises for a 10% brew - with medium-low carbonation that tingles enough to remind you this is beer. decadent finishes with considerable bitterness and lingering citrus hop qualities. i would have preferred to experience more of the latter up front rather than the hefty malt attack. i do appreciate the lack of alcohol 'heat' in this double-digit imperial; goes down surprisingly smooth given the abv.

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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 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 Amalee
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Lack of hops, Smooth Drinkable NOT VERY DISTINCT FLAVOR

found this disappointing if looking for a double Ipa could see getting totally trashed on it as its 10% and virutally tasteless

but when I burppped it did actually taste like an iPA

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3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

My first IPA with a "waxed" dipped tip. (my main reason for buying it) lol
Kind of a flat tasting beer. Not "hoppy" enough to have want to return and buy another. They also have one with a yellow waxed tip, I believe its a Blonde. That one was ok too.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.61/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best by 6/6/15.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy orange-tan 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 malt, fermented citrus fruit, citrus zest, and grapefruit juice aromas. Taste is much the same with candied citrus zest and grapefruit juice flavors on the finish. There is a medium 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 an odd fermented fruit aroma, but I am not getting anything like that in the taste.

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Photo of travolta
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A frothed up, aspirin colored head with a tiny bit of lacing. Clear orange and gold color.

Nose: Pine, vanilla, some citrus, and heat.

Taste: Nice mouthfeel, with a tiny syrupy balance. carbonation is very nice. Finishes with alcoholic heat. Orange and pine.

Notes: If this is a gift, have a blast...if it's at the store, have a pass. In this price range, with this kind of packaging, I can have an amazing beer. This was ok.

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Photo of Idrankitall
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this in a tulip glass. Fridge temp then let it warm.

Appearance: nice amber/ golden color. Not hazy, with nice white head. Looked rather appealing.

Smell: not much character in the aroma, slight hints of pine and malt. A little lack luster.

Taste: not as hoppy as I would have thought, more sweet malt flavors. Overall tasty but not as hoppy as I was hoping for, and a little too sweet.

Mouthfeel: smooth but a little cloying on the back end. More sweet than I want out of an imperial IPA.

Overall: a good beer but just that...good. Not overwhelming or great, just good. If you like your IPA's sweeter and less hoppy, then good.

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Photo of GTJayG
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Too often of late I find imperial IPAs that lack balance, either there's too much alcohol or the hops aren't in balance and end up being the only thing you taste. This offering balances things nicely and it's certainly a robust beer that paired well with pizza. I'm left to lament that a single bottle is all I was able to bring home from Colorado.

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Photo of Jefriedrichs
3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was hesitant on the wax covered bottle. Am I really drinking an Imperial IPA? A-hazy orange with little retention, expected on the high alcohol volume S-sweet and malty, citrus with caramel after notes, alcohol is present T-malty entry with tangy citrus in between and bready finish M-light to medium sits heavy medium on tongue making alcohol presence known O-too malty for my liking of an imperial but since the sweetness and slight bitterness attempts to balance it out I would say fairly drinkable especially for such a high ABV

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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 Joey-bags1990
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Copper with an orange tint. cloudy unfiltered making it very difficult to see through. Poured with a very thin foam head that receded into a thin film atop the beer. Small amounts of retention when the beer is swirled around in the glass. Steady flow of bubbles ascending from the bottom of the glass.
S-Strong use of fruity hops that come through with an almost floral aroma as well. You can also smell how bitter this beer is before you ever taste it. Few hints of nutty malts but the fruity/grapefruit scents outweigh anything else by a large margin.
T-Very hoppy tasting as expected. Citrusy/ grapefruit tasting hops. Strikes a good combination of a fruit loops taste with the bitterness of a grapefruit. As expected from smelling the beer, great hoppy taste that are complemented well by warming malts.
F-Light to medium feel in the mouth. Smooth finish that leaves a very heavy bitter aftertaste.
O-Very good DIPA rich with good scents and flavors. I really liked the types of hops used in this beer which gave it a good combination of fruity and bitter tastes. Fairly typical when it comes to what is expected from a DIPA, but nothing that really sets it apart besides the makers mark style wax dipped bottle it came in. Still a very good ale.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.26/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out a hazy peach with an inch of head. The lace doesn't stick too much, but for 10%, I expect this.

Carmel and soggy bread start the nose off. A bit of earth and orange rind follow. Hint of booze near the end.

Light caramel, earth and slight orange peel start the taste off. A bit of bready malts take the middle, with a bit of pine at the finish. Goes down with a moderate thickness, very nice mouthfeel.

In all honesty, where are the hops? This is a dipa right? It wasn't bad, but call it what it is, barely a double pale ale. Sorry to say I haven't been impressed by Ska's hoppy brews yet.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.37/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Glenn for sending this one down! Reviewed from notes. Poured from waxed bomber into an Upland pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy deep gold with hints of orange. Forms a nearly two-finger white head on top of average visible carbonation.

S: Oranges, tangerines, and pith hops, bready malt with a bit of caramel aroma, and a nice yeastiness underneath.

T: Boozy and malty up front, with citrus & orange peel hops afterwards. Some caramel and roasted honeycomb sweetness. It seems a bit oxidized despite the wax.

M: Light body for an IIPA. Alcohol presence obvious, and carbonation sensation on the low side.

O: This really wasn't particularly good. It tasted like it was on the old side, though unfortunately there is no freshness information that I could find on the bottle. Disappointing, although not terrible.

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Decadent Imperial IPA from Ska Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 355 ratings.