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Decadent Imperial IPA - Ska Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Decadent Imperial IPADecadent Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

722 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 722
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.52%
Wants: 28
Gots: 63 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 722 | Reviews: 343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hckyfn9999
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with one and a half finger of thick, cream-colored head that leaves some sticky lace as it disappears. Aroma is of fruity, floral hops, caramel, and a faint spice in the background.

Taste features bitter, citrusy hops up front. That quickly gives way to caramel-like sweetness from the malt. Its almost too sweet for my preferences for this style. There is a bit of booze as well. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-full bodied. This is an ok beer. It could be cleaned up a bit. Less sweetness and booze perhaps and it could be a winner.

Photo of John_M
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a slightly hazy, light copper color with good head retention and decent lacing. On the nose, this beer is pretty, malty and boozy, with a slight roastiness and some light, underlying citrus. The way this beer smells, no one is going to mistake this for a West Coast IPA. Flavors replicate the nose in this over the top, sweet IPA. Having tried the regular IPA from these guys, I guess I shouldn't have been all that surprised by this beer's sweetness. However, the sweetness and noticeable alcohol are a bit wearing on the palate, and there just isn't enough hoppy bitterness to balance the malty sweetness, or hide the slight alcoholic heat in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, and the finish is fairly long. Drinkability is OK for the abv., though as already noted, the combination of sweet malt and noticeable alcohol detract from this beer's drinkability just a bit.

While this is a nice enough, fairly easy to appreciate DIPA, it's not something I'd necessarily go looking for if I was in the mood for a DIPA. Just too much sweetness and noticeable alcohol for my taste.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, 10% abv. Pours a slightly hazy copper color. Off white rocky head. Very nice head retention and lace. Pretty good looking here.

Hop aroma bursts from the glass. Citrusy, pineapple, and pine notes leap out. Other fruity notes, as well as a pretty solid malt backbone. Some caramel malt. Just a bit of alcohol in the nose.

Very sweet up front, maybe too sweet. Loads of fruit at the top end as well. Bitterness takes a while to come out and balance things. An odd tea like flavor in the middle. Some alcohol warmth. Dry bitter finish.

Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation. This had some real promise. I loved the look and smell, but the taste was kind of a jumbled, overly sweet mess. Disappointing.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to twiggamortis420 for this one.

3.5 A: Clear dark amber color. One and a half fingers of hybrid creamy/frothy off-white head with below average retention and moderate lacing.

4.0 S: Based on the nose, I'd be tempted to call this a barleywine. Slight booziness, loads of sweet caramel, but only a touch of herbal and citrus hops.

3.5 T: Again, I'm going with American BW rather than DIPA. Malts dominate the flavor with lots of crystal malts, peach and plum fruitiness, and a light toastiness. Hop flavor is weak, but there's a touch of herbal in there again. Bitterness isn't strong enough to balance the malt bomb.

4.0 M: Heavy body with a silky creaminess to it. Carbonation is a bit high, but not absurdly so.

3.5 D: There's no way this is a DIPA, but it isn't a bad American BW. If I had another one, I'd throw it in the cellar for a good three years or so.

Photo of briman
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy amber color, with a moderate cream colored head that retains well leaving light lacing along the edges of the glass.

Moderate aromas of orange and tangerine citrus, with some very light malt in the background.

Flavor is somewhat malty, clean, with only moderate hop flavors coming through. Finishes fairly dry, with a moderate hop bitterness lingering into the finish.

Medium body, with high-moderate carbonation. A little chewy, with a hint of thickness. For a Imperial IPA, this is very restrained. Doesn't have the outrageous hop presence in either aroma or flavor you would expect. At these levels, honestly, this is really just a decent, but very basic IPA.

Photo of EnVinoVeritas
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to my beautiful bride, I was excited to open the red wax bomber and pour into a cognac glass. Yes, a cognac glass, because we have them from our wedding and I don't have a nice tulip. Anyway, the beer poured with a reddish amber color with slight haze. Half finger of light beige head which dissipated rather quickly leaving a very thin foam on top.

Citrus hops - I noted pine with some flower and grapefruit notes as well. More malt nose than hops. The beer was a tad bit cloying for my taste, but a light hop finish seemed to ease the tension a bit just when my tongue was about to scream 'too sweet!'. If you like your ADIPA malty rather than hoppy, this may be one to consider...

Heavy mouthfeel with a sweetness that lingered on the palate a bit longer than expected. As a deadhead, I appreciate the bottle art, but unfortunately, this brew won't be beckoning me back anytime soon.

Photo of TexIndy
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650ml red wax bomber into a tulip. Best by date of 12/28/10. Was a hazy orange color with good carb streams from the etching. It had a good size beige head that slowly settled into a good collar and thin foam. Great sheeting that slowly slides back leaving plenty sticking.

The aroma was c-hops with some floral as well. Slight pine. Caramel malt base, sweet. Good aroma but not as strong as I expected especially the hops. Needed more hops to balance the sweet. The taste was very sweet with even less of the hops coming thru. Not too bitter. Mouthfeel was medium with lots of carb. Good after-taste.

Overall, a good but not great ADIPA. It just didn't have much hop bite and was overly sweet. Available here in TX. Just too sweet for me without enough hop bitter to offset it so moving on. [N;O]

Photo of zoso493
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Dogfish Head signature glass. Best-by date is 11/16/2010, so I'm assuming this is a fairly fresh bottle.

Appearance: Decadent IPA pours a radiant orange-amber that is very hazy and impossible to see through. The beer is crowned by a bubbly two-finger head that leaves only the slightest traces of lacing on the glass. Not a bad color for an imperial IPA, but I'd expect more of a head.

Smell: At first sniff, there's no trace of the decadent amount of hops advertised. Rather, the first thing that I get is a good and sweet smell of ester and alcohol that is pleasant but quite out of place in an IPA. Aside from that there are some very sweet malts that take center stage. If you leave your nose in there long enough, you can strain and pick up some piney hops, but their presence is measured to say the least.

Taste: I can't say that Decadent IPA is a bad beer, but it's not a particularly good DIPA. When I buy a DIPA, especially a fresh one, I'm expecting to get blasted by hops, malts be damned. But this is an unexpected and unwanted departure from the style. The malts jump out at first, giving a sweeter taste and consisting of some orange peel and even butterscotch. The hops are absolutely absent from the taste, which is almost catastrophic for me.

Mouthfeel: In terms of thickness, the mouthfeel of Decadent is more than adequate, as it is definitely on the thicker side. However, there is a real cloying aftertaste, which I suspect is a result of the utter lack of balance (hops) in this beer and the slight lack of carbonation.

Drinkability: Just for starters, the alcohol is extraordinarily poorly masked in this beer. I can always appreciate a beer that is in double-digits in terms of ABV, but there seems to be absolutely no attempt to hide the alcohol in this beer. As a result, it's taking me quite a good while to finish this bomber.

Overall, Decadent IPA is quite simply a poor attempt at a DIPA. I recently had a fresh Modus Hoperandi for the first time and was extremely impressed, but this has rather left me wanting. I guess this skeleton on the label has eaten all the hops at Ska Brewing because there are none to be found in this beer. It's worth a try, but I definitely won't be reaching for this beer again when I want a good, hoppy DIPA.

Photo of BigBigPickle
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Medium-dark cloudy amber. Minimal head with decent staying power. Great lacing.

S: Hoppy - deep resin with a citrus undercurrent. Very clean nose for 10%.

T: Malty - almost cloying but stopped short by aggravated hop punch. Too sweet and fruity on one side and too hoppy on teh other. No balance - no blend. They went for abv and forgot about the blend of flavors.

M: Good mouth feel - nice bitterness. decent Carbonation.

D: I was just getting over a cold, so my tastebuds can't be entirely trusted, but it almost tasted soapy at times. Weird.

Photo of happilysurly
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a faded cloudy orange brown. Not great looking tobe honest. Minimal head dissipates quickly. Smells boozy and sugary. Cotton candy malt.

Unusually sweet and malty with little hoppiness. The sweetness borderson tart, but not quite there. I can taste the booziness as well, but not over powering. It's thick in the mouth and viscous.

Though I cannot buy it in my state, I think I'd buy another one of these if the opportunity came about. It's very malty and thick as for an imperial IPA it's right where I like em.

Photo of AdamGarcia
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this from JJFoodie via trade. Thanks!

Bomber served in Kasteel goblet. No freshness date. I'm loving the labels on this and the Modus Hoperandi from Ska.

A: Deep reddish copper hue. Off white head shrinks to a thin layer after a short time.

S: Muted aroma overall. Carmel sweetness and some butterscotch. Faint citrus. Surprising lack of hop scent. Slight funk after final pour from the bomber.

T: Mirrors aroma. Slight hop bitterness up front followed by malt sweetness. Butterscotch fights with hop presence in the finish. No heat.

M: Nice. Creamy overall with a slight prickly quality. As it warms mouthfeel acutally borders on outstanding. Velvety and soft.

D: Good considering ABV. Last 1/3 of the bomber has me a bit flighty, but the beer itself is drinkable. The alcohol content would prevent drinking more.

No freshness date on bottle. I think this bottle has faded considerably. I'd try it again if available, but I certainly won't seek it out.

Photo of homebrew311
2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
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.

Photo of KeefD
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange color, with a small head and light lacing. Hmm, decidedly unhoppy aroma, more sweet then anything, with a peppery and herbal background. Wow, taste is abnormaly sweet for a DIPA, almost sugary sweet, but hardly balanced by the hops. This tastes more like a barley wine than anything else. Hops are present, but you have to dig deep for the flavor, yet no bitterness to be found. This would be a good thing, but the syrupy sweet maltiness to this beer does the hops no justice. Medium-full body, low carb. Hmm, not the best DIPA I've ever had.

Photo of jnn4v
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this as part of my SNF week 17 winnings. Thanks! 22 oz bottle poured into my snifter.

A- Body is a beautiful, nearly transparent rich red-amber hue. Pours with a minuscule <1/2 finger white head that disappears quickly but leaves behind a thin collar. Surprisingly enough small traces of lacing stick all the way down the glass.

S- The most prominent aroma initially is that of herbal, earthy, and grassy hops. Beneath this is a touch of grapefruit. A mild splash of pine and phenols add to it at the end.

T-Upfront here is a very mild presence of both herbal, citrus, and spicy hop flavors. A slight caramel malt backbone comes through for the finish as the herbal flavors intensify and there is a slight kick of spicy hops for the finish as well. What lingers is a moderate resiny bitterness as well as a slight spicy hop flavor and substantial alcohol warmth.

M-Lots of heavy prickly carbonation with a body sufficiently filled with smooth hop oils. The phenols are not detectable in the feel and there is a balance of smooth oiliness and prickliness-but for me-the smoother the better.

D- This certainly has the appropriate character for a DIPA. The flavor highlights are more spicy and herbal as opposed to pine and citrus. The 10% is noticeable and the hop bitterness can get somewhat cloying. Certainly not the best out there but a decent, different example of the style.

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of RomulanAle
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

All I can remember about the beer is that I really enjoyed it. As it's Alcohol content is fantastic and it tastes very good for having a fairly high content. From what I can remember, it's been a week now, it is decadent, as it's name states, sorry for pretty a useless post. I must say I enjoy most of Ska Brewing beer, there a good brewery.

Photo of manahansf
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a semi-hazy deep copper color with a creamy, one finger, white head. An aroma of sweet citrus hops flows out of the glass. The flavor however is big, sweet, grainy, and vinous. Very low hop presence and low balance. The body is mildly thick and has
moderate carbonation levels. The level of higher alcohol flavors is distracting and continues through the finish where the alcohol content becomes warming and fades slow as the dry finish lingers on the palate. Ends with a small acetaldehyde flavor.

Photo of alleykatking
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bomber....part of my SS 09' BIF package. Thanks again to Blake for this one!

A- Pours a deep brownish copper color. One finger light tan head comes and goes almost as quick as it came. No real lacing...everything falls back into the glass.

S- This is a sweet smelling DIPA. Light honey notes mix well with a sweet bready malt backbone. Light piney resiny hops in the back of the nose. Citrus hops (pineapple, grapefruit, ect.) shine in the front to middle.

T- This is a sweeter DIPA...more so than most I have tried. This is not a bad thing per say but I wasn't expecting it. The citrus hops come into play right off the get go. Follows through with a light piney hops taste. From the middle toward the end is a sweet bready malt taste the dominates. Ends with a light piney hop taste.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little on the light side. Syrupy feel throughout the mouth when sipping. Coats the palate in bready malts with light citrus hops. Aftertaste is light alcohol and bready notes.

D- This beer ended up being a lot heavier and sweeter than I expected. A good DIPA but also a one and done for me. Could not drink a whole bunch of this.

Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Light copper and mahogany, with a head that disappears to a couple clusters of big bubbles clinging to one side of the snifter. Brilliantly clear.

S: Weak hops and some resinlike pine. Not nearly as hoppy in the nose as I had expected.

T: Bitter and piney from the hops. Sweet. Buttery towards the finish, with grape or cherry ester flavors on the sides of the tongue.

M: Chalky and tart. Astringent.

D: Medium-low. A little too dry on the palate.

Photo of phillipzayas
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep copper colored, almost amber. Fairly clear. Not very good head retention.

S - Not a bad aroma. Spicey and sweet. I detect a slight maltiness which is quite nice.

T - Not bad. Definitely citrus flavored, but I got sweetness too that was from the malts. Basically the flavor was a mirror of the aroma. Not bad at all, but not the best I have had either. Improves as you let the beer warm slightly.

M - Very very nice mouthfeel. Despite a poor head retention, the carbonation still was nice. It lent a lot of balance to it. Not dry really at all. Nice FG on it that lends a nice heaviness.

D - Not too bad. Not as drinkable as many other I-IPAs I have had, but definitely good.

Fairly decent beer. I am skeptical of Ska products sometimes, but this wasn't too bad at all.

Photo of tr4nc3d
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pint 6fl oz bottle poured into my mug

Dark copper color with a one inch slightly tan head. Average head retention that subsides but leaves a little bit of foam on the edges of the beer and some medium size bubbles on top. Scattered lacing is left clinging to the sides of my glass.

Smell is very citrus like with apricots, grapefruit, and tangerines. Some slight pine resin is noticeable with a slight hint of malts.

Sweet citrus flavor upfront that is mostly of grapefruit. Leading after that is a pine like bitterness with very dominate bread and caramel like malts in the background. Another flavor shows that taste most likely like yeast?

Mouthfeel is full bodied with medium to high carbonation.

Pretty good IPA but the aftertaste has a funny like taste kind of that I just can not put my finger on what it is.

Photo of OttoBomb
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass (January 1, 2010).

Eyes: Pours a dark reddish-brown copper. Liquid is almost opaque, beneath a finger and a half head. Moderate retention with little to no lacing.

Nose: A very sweet almost honey aroma, citrus hops follow.

Tongue: Strong hop up front, mainly pine & grass. Alcohol is very present in the aftertase. Sweet malts are there, but unfortunately not enough to balance the hop bitterness.

Mouth: As expected from a DIPA, it's a bit syrupy but not too thick by any means. A strong bitter/metallic aftertase lingers after each mouthful.

Libation: It's a good strong DIPA, but the story here is that it's not as balanced as it should be. The 10% ABV and the hop character lead the way with this beer, and the malt character is left in their wake. All in all, it's an enjoyable DIPA, one I might try again sometime, but there are others out there that suit my tastes better.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 11/10/2009 (bottle):

Pours a dark brown color body with a small foamy off-white head. Has a hoppy aroma, grapefruity. Some dustiness. Nice taste. Aftertaste of citrus and hops. Somr dustiness, maltiness. A little funkiness exists in the aroma.

Photo of greenpumas
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a beautiful and inviting copperish tone with a very stately, ever-present head.

S: Smells of Wet American Hops and damp horse blanket. The smell of this beer does not foreshadow what it ultimately tastes like. I would describe this scent as less than stellar hop aroma.

T: Plenty of hops up front, grapefruit/bitter citrus is present, with a mellow, wet aftertaste.

MF/D: Definitely a very drinkable 10% brew.

Decadent Imperial IPA from Ska Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 722 ratings.