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Decadent Imperial IPA - Ska Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Decadent Imperial IPADecadent Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

352 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 352
Hads: 776
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 21.67%
Wants: 31
Gots: 97 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 352 | Hads: 776
Photo of ghostwalker
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Body is red-orange. Thin white head, little lacing.

Nose is sharp, bitter hops and too much sweet malt. This is likely to be a sweetness bomb.

Flavor is sweet and hoppy, but not as bitter as I expected. Sweet and thin on the finish.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth.

A weird DIPA all around. Overall drinkability is pretty good, but it's just not what I am usually looking for from a 10% DIPA.

Glad I tried it, I love the wax on the neck.

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Photo of emerge077
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
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...

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Photo of Juner03
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

an IPA for those of us that don't want an uber bitter IPA! caramelized color, sweet but pungent with an overall hops effect that easily disguises the ABV. I agree with another review here about white grape notes and even sweet grapefruit notes.
The bummer here for me was the package, the end of the bottle is too much. A beer like this deserves a little less like colt 45, a little more like a 12 oz lambic bottle to capture it's freshness

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lightly chilled 22 oz. bomber poured into a stemmed tulip. Bottling date is half rubbed off, but it looks like 12.21.11 or so.

Look- Clear orange/deep amber with two and a half fingers of dense off-white head. Good retention. Thick film of speckled lace remains as the glass empties.

Smell- Caramel, white grapefruit, white grape juice, and a hint of alcohol. Swirling brings out a flowery/perfume-like aroma. Subtle.

Taste- Solid German-seeming malt backbone; crisp citric hop character at the start, fading to a hint of grassy bitterness at the end. Reminds me of caramel apples for the most part. On the sweet side. Ryelike toasted grain flavor towards the finish. Aftertaste is a bit grassy and herbal. Alcohol is well masked. Flavors get bolder as the beer hits room temp, but nothing new develops. As the beer goes down, a vague marmite-like flavor builds, but it's never too noticeable, probably some vestige of the yeast strain they used.

Mouthfeel- Sharp carb comes out on the sip. Body is light to medium, a bit chewy. Finish is clean, slightly dry. Moderate warming. Drinks like heavily steeped herbal tea.

Overall- Malt-forward, decently well balanced, if on the sweet side. Falls short in the hop aroma and flavor department, fair amount of bitterness without much of anything interesting to back it up. This specimen isn't as fresh as it could be, however. Pleasant enough, hides the ABV, but it's not going on my short list.

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Photo of Durtdiggler
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter from bomber bottle.

Amber/Orange hue with huge head. Ton of lacing.

Smell is very citrus oriented, sweet, less of the floral big time hop presence. Bready/Malty.

Taste is very subtle for an imperial style though tastes very good. It's a high ABV but not much complexity you'd probably expect from a DIPA, more of a malt versus a hop profile. A bit off balance, can use more bittering. Clean finishing.

Mouth feel is good. Muted carbonation, very soft feeling, medium body. Very easy to drink.

The beer tastes great, it's just not very complex and leaves the hop heads wondering. I would choose this DIPA for someone who is off put by massive bittering flavor and hop aroma. A bit surprised given the Modus Hoperandi and how awesome that is. Good but better choices in this style.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pure white head over a golden body, showime some filtrate, good lacing.

Nose: Golden raisins, sweet malts, cereal grains and citrus hops.

Taste: Bitter resin (but not over powering), vanilla, sweetness and malt with citrus hops and a slightly boozey finish.

Mouthfeel: Very drinkable, it definitely feels sessionable, it flows on the palate.

Overall: This is a good double ipa, especially given the price. I would certainly buy it again.

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Photo of shanblur
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased recently in St. Louis. Best by date obscured but can make out 12 as year. Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip. A - Brilliant clear orange color with an off white head. Extensive lacing that lingers with plenty of bubbles on the side. S - Subdued spicy and citrus style hops. T - A nice bitter hops bite up front but not overpowering. Does not taste boozy. Some spice to the flavor. M - A smooth medium bodied mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. A nice easy drinking IPA.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of Nerudamann
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

Look – hazy light brown or light amber color, with about half a finger’s worth of foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell – clove-like smell which is pre-empted by a strong, pungent smell akin to muskiness. It almost takes your breath away, literally.

Taste – again, a clove taste is prominent, as is a musky, biscuity quality. It seems to have a lot of body, which is made bitter more toward the finish. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – pretty well balanced, not leaning more toward the watery or creamy ends.

Overall – very interesting brew to think about while tasting. Not a bad taste in and of itself either!

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Photo of WoodBrew
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The Decadent Imperial IPA from SKA is a very BIG beer...almost rude. The beer pours a dark copper, fairly murky, thin white head that is lacing. The scent includes malt and lots of bitter hops. The taste is an explosion of hops and bitterness with powerful Alcohol. The mouthfeel is fullbodied with good carbonation. Overall it is just to bitter and rude for me. 8oz glass is all I would want in a sitting.

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Photo of Koufax21
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doing this one as my 50th review. Purchased at the Copper Penny in Farmington, NM. This is an old favorite of mine. Pours a deep dark orange with about 3/4" of nice white head that laces the glass nicely. Somewhat hazy in appearance. There's a huge malt aroma as well as citrus, tangerine like aromas as well. This is such a tasty beer. I imagine the hops and malt in a rock'em - sock'em robot ring. These guys are battling it out. Ultimately I think hop wins. I never would've guessed that with the 10% on the bottle. Super smooth for this medium bodied ale. Finishes rather dry, but the hops just linger forever while your lips become sweet and sticky from the massive malt backbone. Another great beer from a solid brewery.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Orange amber glass holds a thick collar that leaves impressive tide marks of lace.

Smell: Light earthy pine floral hop nose on a sweet crystal malt base, seems a bit malt forward.

Taste: I was quite wrong, the hops come full force with a light tea quality with lots of orange citric west coast goodness. A mix of hop flavors, bit earthy, pine, citric, tasty. Sweetness pokes its head in at the end of the sip to mask any alcohol that may be going on.

Mouthfeel: Oily, as to be expected, body is medium light with a modest carbonation level. A bit numbing over time.

Overall: What it says on the tin; Imperial IPA. Monster beer that masks all sins with fresh juicy hop goodness.
I've not been giving Ska enough love, need to visit these more often.

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Photo of DelMontiac
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bottle, this beer is a nice burnt orange color making a single finger of eggshell head that hangs around for about half the glass and produces scant lace.

This thing smells a little weak for an IIPA, but you still get a malty backbone with citrus and piney notes that make your mouth water.

Taste is more sweet malt than I expected, but that doesn't hurt the overall flavor. There is the oily hop presence that balances the line of pine and bitter orange peel. Some honey roaming around in there too. These flavors tend to tug at one another rather than meld.

Feel is a bit sticky producing a moderate+ body. Would prefer some more CO2 in this one.

Overall enjoyable. The guys from SKA never let me down.

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Photo of abrand
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Waxed bomber poured into pint glass. No date on bottle and I have no idea how fresh this is.

Pours a deep amber almost copper color with a quick fading white head that leaves some good lacing on the glass. Smells of alcohol, subtle hops, citrus fruits, and raisins. Taste is mediocre. Somewhat watered down. Taste has some hops and citrus. Straight forward and really nothing special. Mouthfeel is thin. Overall, this is just ok. Nothing really stands out at all.

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Photo of tjkinate
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Visited my mom this weekend and she had a bunch of brews in the fridge for me, this being one of them.

A: 1+ plus fingered head with some retention topped this amber colored brew. It dissipated into a thin film leaving some lacing after each sip.

S: Floral hops are backed by loads of malts. Sweet candy secent follow and are quite pungent.

T: Loads of malts followed by floral hops leaving a strong bitter aftertaste. Flavor in general is quite potent, too much so when drinking a bomber solo.

M: Medium to heavy bodied, odd for the style, but combined with solid carbonation kept this mouthfeel so pleasant.

O: My first beer from Ska brewing is a good one, may have to check out others from this brewery.

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Photo of isitsavage
2.7/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this bottle up on while vacation in Duck, NC. Don't see anything from Ska in DC. Couldn't find a bottling date anywhere and I had this sitting for about a month so take that into account with this review.

Poured into a pint glass, a bright orange/copper. Minimal white head, fading fast. Spotty lacing.

Not much in the nose, traditional IPA aromas, nothing extra or interesting going on here.

Kind of sweet, resiny, and sticky mouthfeel, little carbonation.

Nothing very interesting in the taste with the first few sips, nothing really standing out for me big time. Not crazy hoppy, which is weird for a DIPA (maybe attribute this to the amount of time it sat). Some pine and citrus, more sweetness than anything else I think. Upon further sipping the citrus reveals itself specifically as orange, coupled with all that sugary sweetness, it's almost like an orange Jolly Rancher. Gets a touch more bitter as it warms.

Overall I wasn't very impressed by this beer. I wish I had time to try this a little sooner after I bought it, I think this may have tainted the taste a bit. So again, please keep that in mind for this review. Would like to try a bottle that I knew was fresh.

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Photo of DoktorZee
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared from a bottle with the beer tasting club. Poured into a schooner. Didn't check for best before date.

A - solid copper color, slightly cloudy with really no head, and very slight lacing

S - solid hops nose with both grassy and citrus elements

T - very solid but not excessive hops attack with lots of grassy and citrus bitterness right at the initial attack; smoothed out by some slightly sweet malt, but doesn't fall into the trap of some of the Imperial IPAs of having too much malt; seems like just enough

M - relatively heavy with some oiliness that coats the entire mouth

D - surprisingly drinkable; big and brawny with lots of alcohol, but nothing overpowers the balance

One of the better Imperial IPAs i've had in the last couple months. Lots of power, but not excessive. Definitely would recommend again.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.16/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. No idea why this bottle was waxed, maybe just so it would look cool?

Appearance: With a firm pour, Decadent Imperial IPA pours a full copper color with a foamy white head. Some carbonation rises from the bottom of the glass through the haze to a fluffy off-white cap. Lots of lace webs the glass.

Smell: The hop presence is pretty lacking here. Caramel malt is most dominant, with some grapefruit and pine providing a disappointing soft hop presence. A decent amount of alcohol is not hidden at all.

Taste: The flavor leans heavily on the malt side, almost neglecting the hop flavor. But even so, the overall flavor is just too late to match the alcohol. Where did all the flavor go? It starts out softly sweet, with some odd fruitiness and alcohol mixed in with a toffee, grainy malt flavor. The limp grapefruit, orange zest, and pine flavors come in but don't leave a big impression. When the sip is finished I am very cognizant of having consumed a beer with a big alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: This is a full bodied DIPA, mostly due to a large malt presence, however. The high point of the beer is the luxuriously smooth and creamy carbonation. Fairly sticky sweet on the tongue and lips.

Overall: This is not really a worthwhile DIPA, at least if you are looking for a huge hop hit like I am. Skip this and go with any number of better hop bombs.

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Photo of chocosushi
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

4oz pour->Sam Smith half-pint Nonic

A ~ Pours Red. Pretty good lacing, not much head.

S ~ Hardened sap, orange juice, & a hefty dose of malt.

T ~ Piney & fruity hops. Medicine & ripened papaya notes as well all on a backbone of Barley. Hops don't sing as much as a hope with barley choking them out.

M ~ Hops linger for long while, but become resinous. Malt leaves a good dose of cloy. ABV marginally detectable.

D ~ Was not very impressed with the overall of this beer. ABV is hidden enough to the point of carrying the flavors with its heat.
Drink well, was not horrible, but I probably will not revisit. Thanks to brentk56 for making another want happen.

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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 snaotheus
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a pint glass

Pours a pretty clear amber with very little head, little in the way of active carbonation. Smell is powerfully hoppy (arm's-length hoppy), fairly floral, some grapefruit.

Taste is dominated by hops, but has a honey-like sweet maltiness in the background. Long lasting bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thin but sticky, feels kind of flat. Overall, not too shabby.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of specksnreds
2/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

$7 flat drain pour. No bubbles, flat, zero carbonation. Burnt orange color is nice, but w/o bubbles, it looks unappealing. I did at least taste it, but I was unable to recognize anything resembling an IIPA. It's hard to measure a beer when it's lacking a fundamental component of its make-up, but this is what I got for my money from SKA. And I call 'em like I see 'em.

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Photo of endincolorado
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, orange-amber with a cream white head that has good retention, tons of lace.

An interesting blend of hop aromas pack quite a punch with strong notes of citrus, grass, and some interesting floral notes. A little malty sweetness can be noticed in the background.

Bitter hoppy flavors remind me a little of drinking a tart communion wine for the first time, and a nice balance of sweet malty flavor comes out more and more as the beer warms. The aftertaste is pretty bitter.

Medium-heavy body- satisfyingly creamy. Nice carbonation and a dry, astringernt finish.

Overall, this is a pretty nice, powerfully-hopped offering from Ska Brewing Co. and it's reasonably priced.

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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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Decadent Imperial IPA from Ska Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.