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Decadent Imperial IPA - Ska Brewing Co.

Decadent Imperial IPADecadent Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

620 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 620
Reviews: 333
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.84%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: RockyTopHeel on 12-30-2004)
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Ratings: 620 | Reviews: 333 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of VanillaHeat


5/5  rDev +37.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2013 18:45:28 | More by VanillaHeat
Photo of hoppytobehere


3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Ska Brewery in Durango, CO. 16 oz pour.

A: Amber color, very little head or retention.

S: Caramel malt, sugar, little bit of hop citrus. Strong alcohol presence.

T: Really average for the style. I like more hop-forward double IPAs, and this is definitely not one. Lots of malt sweetness and little hop character.

M: Good carbonation. Drinks pretty well for a 10%.

O: With so many awesome IPAs out there, this one falls short.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2013 15:52:13 | More by hoppytobehere
Photo of Zach225


2.44/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Overall a disappointment. Got it because it was $5 a pint so I took advantage of the price. Not worth writing a full review. The color was a nice amber/orange typical of the style. The noise was lacking. Seriously. Not much there at all, especially for what should be such a hop-forward beer. The taste was mainly that of some bittering hops, but still nothing too impressive. Not much for the flavor hops either. A little citrus, floral, and a sprinkle of spice. Malt characteristics were sweet but lacked depth. The balance of a good DIPA just wasn't there, although the ABV was fairly well hidden. I didn't find it very enjoyable, and this is one of my favorite styles. Would not recommend and would not buy again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2013 23:32:40 | More by Zach225
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is going for 6 bucks a pint (yes, a pint!) at illegal petes on evans right now. it pours thick honey colored with a half inch of white head the texture of uncured cement. it smells like an oily hop bomb, not quite a 120minute, but similar hop profile, just juicy and rich. the flavor is bitter as hell, with only a touch of malt sweetness to it. the alcohol is also surprisingly not intense in this, and its in fact a pretty quaffable imperial ipa. theres a certain metallic thing in the taste though, minerally and brassy. it gives the beer a weird finish, but i like it just the same. mouthfeel is real big. its carbonated well, but the body is impassably huge. as it warms the alcohol comes out making it even more bold. this is a daring beer, not for everyone, but its a hell of a deal right now. a pint glass of this is a lot. i went from hungover to feeling groovy with one glass...

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2012 23:30:21 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of emerge077


3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft serving in a smallish 10 oz. goblet.

The pour is a murky reddish amber with offwhite tan foam that lasts for awhile. It fades to a ring with spotty lace as the glass is sipped slowly.

Sweet caramel toffee and resiny hop greenery, more malt heavy and sweet though. Flavor is similar, heavy and sticky caramel with a moderate hop bitterness and plenty of heft to it. Alcohol starts to creep out a bit, and it gets to be fatiguing on the palate halfway through. Mellow carbonation, slightly viscous and sticky on the lips.

Not really a fan of this super-heavy barleywine-esque DIPA. Something to warm up on the coldest of winter nights, but not with the 80º March weather we're having...

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2012 20:28:23 | More by emerge077
Photo of LittleDon


4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

13 oz. pour in a snifter on 1/14/12 at Trimity Brewing in Colorado Springs. Red amber and clear. Short live head with some lace. Lots of tropical fruit in the aroma with a healthy dose of caramel. Pineapple, caramel, with a medium bitter finish. Perfect amount of carbonation leads to a soft mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2012 21:06:00 | More by LittleDon
Photo of PhxHorn


4.33/5  rDev +19%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2011 05:37:57 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of Rifugium


3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids, Longmont, CO

Poured a reddish-copper, bubbly, with a small white head that receded to a thin layer of ubiquitous bubbles. Scents of citrus and pine, caramel, lightly toasted malts, and a dash of spice. Leafy. Sweet malty base overlaid with a generous amount of pine and citrus hops, orange zest and apple peel; starts sweet, ends dry and bitter. Medium-bodied and quite drinkable, though can be a little strong, alcohol-wise, so watch yourself.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2011 14:54:35 | More by Rifugium
Photo of kwc017


4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rj's Replays in Tucson, AZ. Cool new little sports bar with an honest to goodness craft beer menu.

I had some mental notes that I wanted to put into words. A pitcher of this didn't exactly help me remember said words.

I do know that it was one of the top ten IPA's I've had. Wonderful citrus aroma, piney, smells like hops should. Super hoppy, citrusy and just delicious. Not much malt, which is great by me. Definitely a hop bomb and a hop heads brew.

Cheers! Ska really hit a homerun with this one.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2011 03:24:19 | More by kwc017
Photo of csiewert


4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy orange color with a finger of foamy off white head that leaves a ton of lacing and retains fairly well. The aroma is strong with fruity citrusy hops and caramel. The taste starts caramel sweet and then releases citrus hops, with a slight alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is good... Maybe a slight overcarbed if I reach for something wrong. Overall a great IIPA.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2011 22:37:00 | More by csiewert
Photo of chicagoabbot


3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Clark Street Ale House, along with a few too many other beers last night! Bright golden body with a decent head for 10% ABV and decent lacing as well. Strong hop aroma, but not as strong as some big IPAs from the West Coast. Lots of hops to temper the big malt on the tongue. Goes down way too easy for how much booze is in it. Pretty good.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2011 18:35:29 | More by chicagoabbot
Photo of emmasdad


4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap last night at the Rackhouse (4 10 oz glasses). Pours a fairly crisp dark orange color with a little white foam on top. Lots of hops on the nose, very floral and piney. Medium bodied, with flaors of caramel malt, alcohol and floral/citrusy hop flavors. Better than the bottled version.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2011 21:26:42 | More by emmasdad
Photo of champ103


2.38/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours a nearly opaque reddish/brown color. A two finger white head forms that sticks around for a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Big resiny and piny hops up front. A very strong bitterness with a candy like sweetness.
T: Tastes like thick, syrupy, pine resin. A very strong bitterness. There is some sweetness, but does little to balance out the huge syrupy and piny hops. There is some noticeable alcohol.
M/D: Incredibly thick and syrupy. Oily and soapy as well. Plenty of alcohol. Mix that with the huge syrupy, pine, and bitterness makes for a very hard beer to drink.

This is just a huge syrupy and piny mess. There is hardly anything else. I really did not enjoy this. Not something I would recommend.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2010 02:18:46 | More by champ103
Photo of Reaper16


2.88/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

served on-tap at Flying Saucer, Kansas City, MO, into a tulip

Pours a darker-than-expected color for the style. It has a color just lighter than maple syrup. It looks nearly as thick, too, sitting in the glass. A light, airy head that looks sorta' like a nitro-tap head appears very white by comparison to the body. Lacing is adequate. Points are given for uniqueness.

This is a strong-smelling beer, but not in the ways that I want in an IIPA. The hops come across as a particularly strong air-freshener. Chemically notes, dried flowers, icky fruit. It isn't bad as much as it is a poor attempt at being Hop Stoopid (if I am correct in surmising the use of hop extract). There is a considerable deal of malt sweetness in the nose.

Yup, that sweetness follows through on the palate. This beer is sweetness-dominant. Sugary malt flavors are informed by the bland, sickly hop profile. This is not terrible in terms of pure flavor but this is not the hop-forward beer that I expected.

With that much sweetness you expect a thicker mothfeel. Ska Decadent executes that thick mouthfeel. I don't care for this kind of body size in the style but it is a legitimate side of the style. It sort of drinkable, I suppose. I find the average IIPA to be as sweet and alcohol-laden as this one, so it deserves the 'average' score.

This is a pretty unimpressive IIPA. Which is a shame, because Ska's single IPA, Modus Hoperandi, is pretty damn great. Avoid this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2010 22:28:31 | More by Reaper16
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great orange pour, big head retention, amazing aroma, citrus and the hops big time.

Taste, far less hoppy than hoped for, way bigger malt gang behind it backing it up. Tasted very bitter, and still hoppy, but it was just big on everything, another example of when balanced isn't necessarily better. Don't be fooled though, this is still a decent beer even if it defies conventional classification. Had it on tap and bottle at different times, both are enjoyable and have always seemed fresh. The mouthfeel is sticky, but relatively speaking it hides the alcohol. A little pricier with all the other comparable choices out there.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2010 21:15:35 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of homebrew311


2.78/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: appears a hazy orangeish brown, no head when served, some sticky lacing

T: nose has some piney and earthy hops plus a very rich malty quality which seems to overshadow the hops. Perhaps this keg has been flowing long enough for the hops to lose their freshness, but as I had it.. it smelled more like a Barleywine or Old Ale.

T: like the nose, this has a very rich malty profile which doesn't seem to marry well with the pine and citrus from the hops. Something about this beer just isn't working for me.

MF: syrupy, thick, lower carb

D: As an imperial IPA, this was quite a disappointment. Perhaps if it was classified as an Old Ale, the flavor would fit the style. But no matter what style it is, it was not my favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2010 03:44:17 | More by homebrew311
Photo of jnn4v


4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: dark amber color. Little head. No sediment or haze.

S: strong herbal, citrus, floral and pine hops jump to my nose. Solid amber/red ale style malts in the background.

T: tastes directly in line with the scent, which is a good thing. As it warms, caramel and toffee notes are evident. Almost like a west-coast barleywine.

M: very good body and texture. Not syrupy or thin.

D: good but not great drinkability. Abv is prevalent throughout. Good flavors and balance help.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2010 01:34:08 | More by jnn4v
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Boulders on Broadway. Cloudy yellow with some white head. A good bitterness, certainly on the hop delivery side. Sweetness is secondary. The palate needed resting after this.Faint hop only in the aroma.Alcohol warming.Worth having once, not necessarily best example of style.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2010 00:34:29 | More by Sammy
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +19%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2009 13:34:20 | More by GJ40
Photo of Grabbin2nd


3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Notes: 10/6/09
Ska Brewing Co.
Decadent DIPA
10% Abv.
On-tap into oversize brandy glass

Appearance= Solid 1 finger white head. Deep dark red/orange not quite opaque body. Good lacing. Head retention is minimal.

Smell= Hops! Citrus. Not huge on the nose though...wait...wait...Better as it warms up!

Taste= Good hop flavor. Pine, grass, citrus. Flavors linger for a bit. Decent DIPA flavor.

Mouthfeel= Medium to thick mouthfeel. Typical of the DIPA style. Hop Oils. Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability=Pretty mild for a DIPA is you ask me. Flavor is good. Smell is better as it warms. Aight DIPA.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2009 03:47:12 | More by Grabbin2nd
Photo of jrallen34


3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from the tap into a pint glass.

It pours dark red almost vrown with a big white head, very good lacing, amber orange in color.

It smells like your normal IPA with citrus and caramel.

The taste is ok, but nothing special to distinguish from any other IPA. It tastes sweet to start but then is bitter and just sour.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2009 19:25:28 | More by jrallen34
Photo of woodychandler


2.55/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was presented to me with a thin, light tan head with low retention. The color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose had a slightly caramel-ish aspect to go along with the intense hoppiness. The mouthfeel was thin-to-medium with a very hot alcohol bite on the tongue. The finish ... I had to wait for my heartbeat to slow before the finish could register. Zounds, was this an intense beer! Very hot, perhaps too sugary. A larger glass might have Skaletonized me. Oof.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2008 21:57:11 | More by woodychandler
Photo of BretSikkink


3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper brown color, one finger of white head lasts a few minutes, but the lacing sticks around forever. Clear, but with nice ruby highlights.

Aromas of hard water, brewers yeast, and hops. Unimpressive but serviceable.

Fair amount of bitterness, offset nicely by a good amount of sweetness from a toffeeish malt. Hops are pretty hot, leave a strong bitter residual, and are very present. Finish is long, body is medium to full.

Enjoyable but not amazing. Hard to get past the hard water character.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2008 21:24:20 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Boone Saloon in Boone NC
Comes a cloudy amber color with a thin head. I didn't expect a massive head though given the 10%.
Smell is very un IPA like. Lot's of caramel, little citrus, piney, grassy hops.
Taste is kind of on the mild hoppiness side for a double IPA, but good none the less; and you can tell it's a big beer. Lot's of caramel in the flavor and the hops don't hit until the finish.
Has a thick mouthfeel and you can feel the oilyness in the hops.
Very drinkable given the high gravity, alcohol is not noticable until the pint is finished.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2006 03:06:00 | More by wcudwight
Photo of SaCkErZ9


4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Boone Saloon. Pours a clear bronze/amber color with a typical 1/2 finger sized head. Nice clarity with lots of carbonation going on.

Smell is a terrific citrus hops aroma. Having had this in the bottle and now trying on draft, definite difference. Hops is very strong but sweet and citrusy. Terrific aroma.

Taste is piney and grassy. Nice fruitiness as well. Great malt presence. I think this beer definitely taste better on draft than in the bottle.

Great drinkability. Probably only handle two or three due to alcohol, but I would try to surpass that on any given night.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2005 13:55:12 | More by SaCkErZ9
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Decadent Imperial IPA from Ska Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 620 ratings.