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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.

689 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 689
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.52%
Wants: 27
Gots: 49 | 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: 689 | Reviews: 339 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dakeller80


1.8/5  rDev -50.7%

Sadly, this it the first Ska I've had that was nearly undrinkable.

Appearance--reddish amber, almost no haze. Almost no head, some lacing on glass

Smell--apples, cherries, almost no floral hops. . maybe slightly piney. Shockingly phenolic. Alcohol evident. Does NOT smell like an imperial IPA.

Taste--Initial impression was that it was a well balanced although "fruity" phenolic beer. Not horrible, but odd for an imperial IPA. However, the more I tasted, the my surprise over the strange characters turned into disgust. When my girlfriend got a whiff of it and remarked that it smelled like a Red Bull and jaegermeister, that was it. . .I couldn't take it anymore and poured it down the drain. Floral hops are present in the taste but masked by the sweetness.

Mouthfeel--Actually about right for style.

Drinkability--I didn't finish it and won't be buying anymore.

11-07-2007 23:34:15 | More by dakeller80
Photo of jasonjlewis


3.95/5  rDev +8.2%

Tasted in blind tasting
This beer pours an amber color with an awesome head and good retention.

The smell has some apple phenole with some cramel malts and some hoppiness.

The taste is very sweet with some sweet caramel malts. Apple phenol comes out on the nose with each sip. Nice hop bitterness to balance, but this beer is a little sweet for a DIPA.

The mouthfeel was full and crisp with a slight creaminess.

This makes for a decent session. Not bad at all.

11-04-2007 06:32:12 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours a very slightly hazy orange with a relatively thin head and spotty lacing. Smells of sweet malt and orangey hops. The taste is drier than the nose would suggest. Slightly grainy, fairly balanced with slightly sweet creamy malt and grassy/citrusy hops. Mouthfeel is a little grainy as well. At least the alcohol is subdued, which is saying something given the high abv. Really just fairly ordinary. It's pleasant enough, but not worth the alcohol intake an there are lots better in the category.

11-03-2007 19:21:41 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of arizcards


3.6/5  rDev -1.4%

Picked up a bomber back in early June from Sprouts for $5.39.

Beer poured an orange color with no head. Appears to be decently carbonated though. Nose is pleasantly malty with hints of floral hops. Taste is pretty much a malt bomb with a piney hop backing. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat lively on the palate. Drinkability is OK, this is a decent beer and is enjoyable on its merits but one i will not seek out in the future given all the choices in this style.

11-03-2007 01:16:52 | More by arizcards
Photo of rallison


3.3/5  rDev -9.6%

Pours a dark amber/red color with a 1 finger head that leaves some decent lacing. Smells of citrusy hops with some caramel sweetness.

So how's it taste? Somewhat hoppy, somewhat sweet. Piny hops with some citrus are here - but kind of rough. Touch of caramel sweetness in the background. Simple, and kind of boring. The flavors never come together here.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side somehow. Not all that impressive.

Drinkability is only okay.

Overall, not recommended. This one just doesn't quite work, I'm sorry to say.

10-26-2007 06:32:28 | More by rallison
Photo of

2.9/5  rDev -20.5%

22oz. bottle. Red, waxed cap.

Hazy, orange gold liquid. Medium +, rocky, ivory colored head. Some lacing and legs.

Delicious nose. Grapefruit, caramel, fruits and biscuity.

Taste went south. Alcohol was first thing I noticed, not very well hidden. Much more bitter than sweet, but compensated for with a very large malt backbone. Bitterness lingers in aftertaste, herbal in character and not entirely pleasant. Sweetness reminds me of artificial sweetner, again, not a desirable attribute. It improved some as it warmed, but never rose above average for me.

Medium + in body. Low to medium carbonation, could bump up some and improve if possible with ABV. Dry.

A fairly well balanced DIPA, but tastes just do not work for me. The character of the bitterness and the sweet, as described above, as well as how sweet it was overall just about ensure no return to this one for me.

09-06-2007 20:09:03 | More by
Photo of tonistruth


3.45/5  rDev -5.5%

A- toasted golden straw color, 1 finger white head with good retent, thin film lacing

S- hop oils, malty, citrus, grassy, pine

T- citrus, grassy, earthy, malt backbone, hop oils, mellow, simple

M- medium, some heat and spice, rather smooth and tame

D- mellow and simple 2IPA, maybe too on the simple side, walks dangerously close to boring, strong showing, but thats just not enough to survive in a 2IPA world

09-05-2007 18:33:57 | More by tonistruth
Photo of biking4beer


3.33/5  rDev -8.8%

Poured into my Yeti goblet/snifter.

After an aggressive pour, this beer produced an minimal head, and what was there faded quickly. Color is a hazy deep orange to ruby.

The aroma is offering promise. Mostly orange with a little floral and piney background.

Taste is unusual. It's not as big as the nose said it would be. There is a strange sourness. Almost a Belginay sourness. Camamely sweet with but balanced decently with a some bitterness. Slightly metallic. Is this one a little oxidized?

Mouthfeel is really thin on this one. Was slightly disappointed. I like my DIPAs pretty oily. this one had all the other characteristics that would lead you to believe it would be oily, but it failed to deliver.

I didn't want a bottle by myself. I might buy it again. It's worth a try.

08-25-2007 20:23:04 | More by biking4beer
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.93/5  rDev +7.7%

Bomber bottle, festooned with a red wax sealant. No freshness information to be seen. This one pours typical almond amber, slightly cloudy, under a light tan head, that leaves behind a light tan semi frothy head and plenty of sheeting and striated lacing. Nose is of leafy and resinous hops. Hoppy brew, 10% nowhere to be found…….easy drinking and pleasing on the palate. Mellow carbonation levels. Doesn’t have the hop crunch that I enjoy/hope for in a DIPA, but still quite enjoyable and satisfyingly complex. Drying finish, to a pleasant and nicely crafted creation. Well worth a try. God bless all the U.S. brewers who create more and more fine brews of this style.

08-23-2007 23:27:20 | More by Billolick
Photo of walshclimb


4.7/5  rDev +28.8%

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.

08-14-2007 21:47:10 | More by walshclimb
Photo of masterkush


3.08/5  rDev -15.6%

Poured from a wax sealed bomber. Has a deep amber color with little head and no lacing. The first thing I smell is malt. The second thing I smell is malt and a hint of alcohol.

And well the taste, you might have figured that one out already. Oh yes. Malt. The hops are there, I can tell more from the mouthfeel however then the taste. The hops come through finally in the aftertaste once the malt subsides. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy but has that slighly puckering, lip smacking sensation you get form high IBUs.

I was a bit surprised given the style, it was not what I expected. I'm not sure if this might be better classified as another style, but Imperial IPA is what the brewers were going for and so it should be reviewed as one. I'm not sure they hit the mark, but otherwise this beer stands up on its own and is one to be reckoned with. If you are looking for a hop heavy IPA, I would look elsewhere, but for something different with a heavy malt nose and flavor (not unpleasant in the least), this beer is definitely worth a try.

07-25-2007 05:44:05 | More by masterkush
Photo of Imstillthegman


3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

First, I will admit that I can be a sucker for wax sealed bottles. I purchased this and Ska's Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter. I have had neither one before, so I probably would have bought them anyway. Then again, I didn't buy any of their non-waxed beers. Moving on...

The beer poured out a clear amber color with a thin off-white head. There's some light lacing, but nothing fancy.

The smell is of sweet caramel malts and some piney hops. Doesn't smell extremely fresh, though. This may be a problem...

The taste is so-so. I get some of the pine resin from the hops and a lot of the sweetness from the malt. This may be an old bottle...it's a bit watery. It does have a nice bitterness to it, which I enjoy. But that water keeps coming out...eh.

Mouthfeel is...you guessed it...on the thin side of medium and a little watery. Bitter, somewhat astringent at times, aftertaste. That could be the abv coming through and it does become more prominent as it warms. Not horrible, but not great either. I would give it another shot just to compare a bottle to this one.

07-25-2007 00:55:08 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of btcook007


3.38/5  rDev -7.4%

I recently tasted this alongside 4 other IPA's. It came in 5th, but was still very good overall. My tastes run more towards very hoppy, pine and citrus flavors, and I rated them as follows:

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA (1); Stone Ruination IPA (2); Port Brewing Wipeout IPA (3) (actually almost tied with the Stone); and Sam Smith's India Ale (4). I'll start off by saying that all of them were very good, and I'd order each one of them again.

This was the most similar to the only English IPA that I included, the Sam Smith's. It was hoppier than the SS, but had more sweet maltiness than the others I tasted, other than the SS.

It was the darkest of the 5, with a copper-red color, and it had the smallest head which diminished quickly. It had a burnt-malty, hoppy scent and was pronouncedly less hoppy tasting than the other 3 American brews, with a sweeter, caramelized flavor.

Mouthfeel was also kind of flat compared to the others. Overall it was balanced. Unfortunately, when I'm looking for an IPA, I'm looking for UN-balanced, with a ton of hops and less malt.

07-09-2007 03:45:11 | More by btcook007
Photo of theWrkncacnter

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured from a 22oz bottle with a fancy wax covering. Head was minimal which faded to almost nothing with only a tiny trace of lacing. Color is very nice new-penny copper that's slightly cloudy. Smells of very fresh/ripe slightly floral hops. Taste starts out with some sweet flavors and a little roasted malt that finishes with some good hop bitterness than lingers around for a while. Mouthfeel is a little watery at first but then very dry on the finish. Drinkability is high, hardly any alcohol taste at all.

In the world of DIPAs I think you really have to stand out, since so many people are doing them. This is a decent beer, and definitely good, but compared to other DIPAs such as Rogue's I2PA or 90 Minute or Breckenridge 471, this just seems sub par. I could have also used a little more carbonation al well, which I think might have helped a bit. Glad I tried this, but not sure if I'd buy again.

07-02-2007 17:36:53 | More by theWrkncacnter
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +4.9%

The beer pours a hazy amber with a thin head. The aroma is a little weak, but presents some pine hops. The taste is a decent blend of pine and citrus hops with sweet caramel malts. The beer is heavy and sticky, but mostly tolerable. This is a decent IPA that is at least available year round in my area, better than GD Hercules but not as good as Double Simcoe, the only other two year round DIPAs available in my area.

06-22-2007 17:01:22 | More by atsprings
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.3/5  rDev -9.6%

Shared with my good friend, AndoBrew!

Appearance: Pours a reddish-copped body with a thinnish, white head.

Smell: Hinting at its impending sweetness, the aroma smells strongly of caramel and orange-flavored candy, with some hints of pine, cinnamon, and fruit in the background.

Taste: Relying heavily on malts, the beer primarily features a heft of sweet, sweet caramel. The piney, citrusy hop flavor tries with all its might, but eventually ends with a rather weak finish. AndoBrew professes it to be "well-balanced" but its a bit too sweet for me. However, we both agree that it lacks complexity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Low carbonation. Neither silky nor syrupy, its unquestionably marshmallowy. "Like those duckies you get, well, I don't get them personally, but those duckies you get during Easter. Poofs?" Peeps.

Drinkability: Decadent is never luxurious, majestic, or an awe-inspiring display of the brewing arts, but its still decent. I'll give it that. "Second to many!" bellows AndoBrew.

05-24-2007 00:22:02 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Wasatch


3.88/5  rDev +6.3%

Thanks goes out to NucularGeorge for this brew.

22oz. Red Wax Bomber

Pours a deep dark orange color, some carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is slightly sweet, malty, hoppy, darkfruit (plums), and some caramel. The taste is malty/hoppy, slightly sweet, nice touch of caramel. Nice little touch of bitterness on the dry finish. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice DIPA, slightly different, but still tasty.

05-19-2007 23:03:21 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Bitterbill


3.53/5  rDev -3.3%

This one pours from 22oz waxed cap bottle a clear amber gold with a large head of foam that shrank slowly leaving a ring around the glass with good lacing.

The smell is dominated by sweet caramel malt but has a bit of grapefruit in the background.

The taste on first is big on the caramel malt that I mentioned in the smell. I'm also getting a bit of dark fruit...mostly plum.
Further sips in and some grain begins to show up along with some hop bitterness, actually more of a pungency, that makes up most of the finish. There *seems* to be an almost empty spot between the caramel malt and the hop finish, other than some graininess, and *that* comes across to me as a bit watery. The alcohol is hidden pretty well so the only thing I consider negative is that darn empty spot and it *does* affect the overall taste experience for me...

Bottom line: I'm glad I tried this DIPA but it's not one that I'd seek out again. Unless the flavours became more consistent.

04-15-2007 19:53:21 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of SacoDeToro


4/5  rDev +9.6%

Poured a nice amber color with a small foamy white head.

The aroma was of very citrusy and herbal hops. Some alcohol and light caramel was in the nose. Faint vinous notes were also present.

The flavor of the beer was assertively bitter with good amounts of grapefruit and earthy spice. The maltiness was pretty caramelly for a DIPA. As the beer warmed, more of the spicy earthiness came out in the hops. This beer had slight vinous flavors, reminiscent of a barleywine, but not nearly as much as, say, Stone 10th. It gave the beer the flavor of a DIPA from a few years ago, different from many of the lighter-bodied west coast versions that are brewed today.

The carbonation was just right and the mouthfeel was light/medium.

A solid DIPA with an interesting malt profile. This should probably be consumed as young as possible. This has potential to become more of a light barleywine with age. That said, I feel that all DIPAs should be consumed fresh and bright.

03-29-2007 20:58:12 | More by SacoDeToro
Photo of ultralarry2006


3.98/5  rDev +9%

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves about a one finger head with a little bit of retention and a little bit of spotty lacing. Body is an orange amber.

Smell - floral, citrus, pine. Some caramel and a hint of toasty malt.

Taste - same as the smell. Piney resin in front, and through the middle, with some caramel and toasty malt coming on in the finish. Very well hidden alcohol.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied with much hop oil slickness. A little semi-dry, as well as slightly astringent, from the alcohol.

Drinkability - this a good, hearty, and solid double IPA, and high abv of course holds down sessionability.

03-15-2007 18:09:27 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of ruinationation


3.08/5  rDev -15.6%

Pours a dark amber almost brown color. Has a thick two finger white foamy head that fades fast.

Malts jump out at me before the hops do then some citrus. If I really sniff I can pick up a faint hop aroma.

More malt then hops in the taste to me. Alcohol is present at the end. I made some false assumtions because of the wax seal. Needs more hops influences all around.

You might like it but I didn't. Have one for aging, and age it will.

02-13-2007 04:31:44 | More by ruinationation
Photo of wagenvolks


3.53/5  rDev -3.3%

Quite the unique beer -- as evidenced by the red wax poured around the cap. Made me feel special, I don't know about you...

Color is a translucent ruby red/copper with a pinch of carbonation bubbling up the glass. Decent amounts of light tan head that dissipates in 2-3 minutes and leaves decent lacing. The aroma is big and piney, with a burst of hops and peach. Some unexpected aromas from a dbl. ipa, such as veggie (broccoli? parsnip?) and a tinge of caramel in the malts.

Taste is very hoppy (with a mash whiskey note), yet something manufactured lingers here...it's slightly metallic and seemingly overpowered by the strong alcohol level. It's not bad, just not fantastic. The mouthfeel is tart and relatively flat across the palate, leaving a listless dry bite on the end. As for drinkability, it's cheap for an imperial ipa (only $4.89 for a biggun'), but for a reason...it's not overly complex or amazingly tasty. Bottom line: try it, but let your friend buy it.

Quick note: Aroma changes drastically after the first taste, sniff before you sip.

02-07-2007 03:25:22 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of drumline

North Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -9.6%

Appearance - Pours a bronze color, slightly hazy, with a quickly disappearing head.

Smell - Light citrusy hops....light malts as well. I expect more from a DIPA

Taste/Mouthfeel - Where's the hoppiness that I expect with a DIPA? Tastes more like a normal IPA, except slightly more sweet and more alcohol. Mouthfeel isn't too bad though. Smooth, with light carb.

Drinkability - The alcohol cuts this one down a bit. I'd never have more than one a night.

Overall....pretty subpar. If you're looking for a DIPA, you won't find it here. Just a more alcoholic IPA.

02-05-2007 02:20:04 | More by drumline
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.18/5  rDev -12.9%

Got this one via trade!!! another kudos to BA.

A- I scored this one a bit higher for appearance on three levels. First, any brewery willing to wax seal their bottles gets a thumbs up in my book. Second, the label just looks great - a practical riot of color. Third, the beer looks great. Nice reddish orange color. A bit more red and I'd be thinking red or imperial red ales.

S - light malts, light citrus hops. pleasant but very underwhelming for an IMP IPA or DIPA.

T - Light citrus hops, light biscuit / caramel malts combine for a pleasant IPA experience.

M - medium bodied, nice carbonation.

D - Refreshing, clean finish - very enjoyable IPA.

Tough to rate. It's label indicates it's a 10th anniversary beer. Not sure how long it's been in the bottle. Tasty but no DIPA or IMP IPA in my book. glad to have tried it though

01-31-2007 13:03:50 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of BeerBelcher


4.08/5  rDev +11.8%

This is a mild-mannered and very drinkable DIPA which is light, citrusy, and very drinkable.

It pours a dull (not sparkling) hazy orange with good head formation; uniform bubbles that weren't too large, tightly packed, with great staying power.

Aroma was lightly citrusy and appealing.

Taste is crisp and clean, with a light citrus taste and a good amount of straight dry hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is lightly sticky for a DIPA, which I thought very unusual and good.

I thought this beer quite drinkable for DIPA.

01-27-2007 02:19:10 | More by BeerBelcher
Decadent Imperial IPA from Ska Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 689 ratings.