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XS Imperial India Pale Ale | Rogue Ales

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769 Reviews
XS Imperial India Pale AleXS Imperial India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alias: "I2PA"

6 Ingredients:
Malts: Two-row Pipkin Pale.
Hops: Saaz, Cascade & Northwest Golding.
Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

74 IBU
75 AA
13º Lovibond

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-18-2001

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Reviews: 769 | Ratings: 1,249
Photo of mattmaples
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great IPA. Even though it does push the evelope I don't think it crosses the line. Powerfull Citrusy Hop character. Nice dense head, smooth body. Unfortunately the word is that it will not longer be bottled. Although I have not heard why it probably has to do with the price and or availability of the bottles. I am lucky enough to live not 10 miles from there Portland based pub and can get this beauty on tap (yes you should be jealous :-) ) Update: now in the 12oz bottle.

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Photo of Lukie
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What better way to enjoy the New Year then with a 2IPA from Rogue. Poured out a very amazing golden straw with a firm white head which lingered through the entire brew. I have never seen a beer that looked so great and so perfect before.

I was expecting a lot more astringency in the hops for this brew, but I was surprised to find there were a lot more citrus and grapefruit aromas coming through. Lot's of grassy touches and a hint of wood aswell. Amazing.

I don't think this is as big as the Hercules DIPA on taste, but that is a good thing. This is amazingly well balanced between nice smooth malt characters and big citrusy, hop bite. There is very little of astringency in the finish, compared to the vicious Old Crusty. Fabulous brew.

Mouthfeel is quite light, and very creamy, which seems to be the norm in DIPA (I could be wrong of course). This is outstanding and very easy to drink while not being ridiculously over in ABV. Only gripe is the hefty price tag, but I will certaintly pay that again!

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Photo of charliedango
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is hop heaven.
To this point in my journey of taste there are only two India Pale Ale's that I would purchase again. Rogue Imperial and Goose Island. Both go far beyond the norm in hop delivery, but Rogue truly out performs Goose Island overall.

It's like comparing an Elvis Presley impersonator to Elvis himself. It might be cheaper to rent the impersonator for the night, but you'll always yearn for the original.

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Photo of horshack7
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours an orange copper color with about two fingers of head and nice head retention.

Aromas: Incredible hop scents with massive amounts of spices hints of nutmeg with dried fruit notes absolutley great.

Taste: Hops hops and more hops dried fruits spices and I did metnion hops wow what a brew.

Mouthfeel. Nicely crisp with a smooth finish and very drinkable oh yeah fasten your seatbelt.

Notes: My fellow BA's two words hop bomb wow fasten your seatbelt when you try this one. This one is a hophead's dream. Cheers.

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Photo of StephenRich
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It comes in one of the most striking beer bottles available, and also one of my favorites. A tall, heavy, matte black clay bottle with a swing cap houses the Rogue XS Imperial India Pale Ale. Unfortunately Rogue is leaving this bottle for a smaller glass version, but I will always remember the big clunky clay bottles.

Regardless of what it is served in, this Imperial IPA is one of the best I have ever had. Its full richness of flavors and aromas are exactly what I look for in a strong IPA. India Pale Ales have been copied and modified by so many breweries over the years that the style really has become a mirage of peoples preferences of the style. Even the Imperial versions (a stronger and more robust IPA) are widening in scope and challenging the boundaries of the style. And I absolutely love this type of creativity!

As much as I do appreciate and enjoy creativity, I love to see the authentic examples shinning in brilliant perfection; that is exactly what the Rogue XS IPA does.

The 750 ml bottle really does prepare you for what this beer is. The bottle is heavy and solid, finished in matte black bearing deep dark printing except for the IMPERIAL PALE ALE in red, and the 9.5% abv in white. This is part of Rogue's XS series of beers which also includes a Porter, Red, Barley Wine, Stout, Russian Imperial Stout, and YSB. All in the Imperial style - more power, and more power. Think Tim Taylor gets his hands on beer...

The Imperial IPA was the first of this series that I had ever had, and it definitely got me hooked on Rogue's beers. Right away the pour excited me when I opened this ten pound bottle and began to pour it. It glugs slowly into the glass with huge effervescence and clouds of haze. Eventually the beer stood tall in my pint glass with about half an inch of white head which quickly faded to a mere film on beer. The XS IPA is brewed only with one malt type and three hops, so the lack of protein does not allow for very good head retention.

I was not to concerned though, because the beer looks amazing! Its hugely hazy, completely opaque, and more deep golden orange than yellow. It is vastly rich and filled with color; it is very obviously unfiltered, which is most appropriate for the style.

The nose is rich Sazz and Cascade hops, and is undeniably west coast. Its fades in with spice, pepper, pine, earth, and gentle pale malts. It really brings out rich hops in a beautiful way. Rather than being extremely complex it allows the flavors in the coastal hops to shine through unobstructed. The spice and pine adds a sweet touch to the scent, and balances what seems like will be a creamy rich malt backbone.

Get into this beer with a full gulp and really let it caress your palate. It is almost 10%, but its not going to attack you; although it may bite slightly. Smooth and smooth pale malts bring sweet caramel and toasty toffee right to the forefront of your tongue. Its creamy and elegant on your mouth, but quickly a crack of hops jump in a show ripe bitterness and fresh aromas of pine and grass.

Pepper and coriander bring spice and zest to the picture with more coming from grapefruit peel and tropical fruits. The hops are extremely fresh and perfectly characteristic of California. You can feel the dry hopping, and taste the maturity of the brewmaster. There are a lot of rich and striking flavors in the beer, but whats supreme about it is how perfectly they play amongst each other and the balance that it creates.

The XS IPA is creamy and rich, spicy and bold, smooth and extremely quenching. It would refresh the clammiest of palates, and pair exceptionally well with spicy and fatty foods. I will be looking to compare it with the new versions in glass bottles, but will definitely be snatching up as many of the remaining claw bottles as I can find!

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Photo of frank4sail
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big fresh floral hop grapefruit nose. Slightly hazy cherry colored look with a nice fluffy sticky white head that has a slight tinge of pink. A beautiful sticky lace leads your way through the upfront malt sweetness which is quickly and abruptly attacked on the tongue with huge orange rind and grapfruit skin bitterness. This hop dagger stays on the tongue through the finish. The brew makes you want to drink ot by balenced brute (bitter fruit) force. This is a wonderful full, rounded, bitter, elixer of love. YUM!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap 5/15/08 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a reddish amber color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of strong floral hops and citrus fruits, along with some caramelized malts.

T: The taste is very well-balanced between pleasantly intense flavors of hops bitterness, fruity citrus sweetness and a hearty malt character. There's no trace of the 9.20% ABV. The after-taste is hoppy and sweet.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very clean.

D: Very tasty and flavorful, goes down way too easily, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, this is excellent beer to drink for as long as you are able. Once I tried this beer, I didn't want to drink anything else for the rest of the night.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 750 ml (26 oz.) opaque black bottle, no dating that I could find, poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy gold/light amber color, lots of carbonation rising in the center. The head formed a thick, creamy 2-3 fingers thick and faded into a one finger layer that retained nicely.

Aroma: In a word, wonderful. Floral and piney hops with fruit and some alcohol in the background. Wow, that smells good.

Taste: The floral hops dominate throughout, but what goes on in the background makes this one interesting. I get a nice, malty flavor at first, that turns fruity in the middle, then spicy. The fruit flavors combine with the hops and a slight alcohol warming to make a well balanced finish that's not quite bitter, but still leaves me wanting more.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, almost syrupy, but yet so smooth. the carbonation balance is excellent.

Overall: Quite possibly a perfect Double IPA. The hops are strong, the alcohol is high, but the malty background balances everything out really nicely. I'm probably going to regret drinking this in the morning, but I'll worry about that when it happens. This one isn't for the faint of heart, but I still highly recommend it. This is a beer everyone should try at least once.

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Photo of Lunch
4.95/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a ceramic 750ml bottle, purchased at Wells in Baltimore, MD, into my Rogue XS goblet (11/23/09) at an appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a slight hazy glowing golden orange capped off with a creamy 1.5 finger head that remains for the duration of the beer. Very nice lacing is left behind after each sip.

S: Incredibly fresh citrus hop aroma containing an outstanding nectar-like quality of marmalade, orange, pine, flowers, tropical fruit, orange zest, and tangerine. A wonderful layer of a semi-sweet malt helps to balance this exceptional bouquet.

T: Fortunately the wonderful qualities of the aroma find their way onto the palate. Even though this bottle contains no freshness date or code whatsoever, I believe that this has to be one of the freshest DIPAs that I have ever had. The nectary orange marmalade hit the palate first with a nice degree of pine bitterness along with a blanket of a semi-sweet malt which adds great balance while still showcasing the hops. A truly wonderful complex taste.

M: Medium-bodied with appropriate carbonation and a slick mouthfeel. Overall very nice indeed, but it may be ever so slightly thinner than desired.

D: Exception drinkabitly, I don't believe that I have ever consumed a DIPA this quickly as I just could not get enough.

Overall this beer was nearly earth shattering to my taste buds as it may be my new favorite DIPA. My highest recommendation.

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Photo of Murph
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy golden orange color with some yeasties floating around, a nice head but it fades far too fast. Huge piney and citrusy hop aromas, tons of Cascades here. There is also a slight malty backbone there that balances the aroma out. Absolutely heavenly taste to this brew. Huge piney hoppyness is all over the place with some strong citrusy tastes as well. Here and there a slight toasty/biscuity malt presence peaks its head up before getting pushed back down by the intense hops. There is a flash of alcohol at the end but it is well hidden in the spiciness that the Saaz hops provide to this brew. Great smoothness and an awesome creamy quality to it that make this beer an absolute joy to drink. A hopheads delight and a must have for an that are fans of Rogue brews.

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Photo of Pete_Vatistas
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My absolute favorite imperial IPA. This is NOT a beer to have with your meal, as it should be savored all by itself. I was fortunate to have it served on tap at The Strange Brew in Manchester NH, but alas, it is only distributed in bottles now. If you like full bodied, medium malt, heavily hopped and complex big bears, this should be on your bucket list. Cheers!

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Photo of merlin48
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally found a 12 oz bottle of this in Lexington, Ky, a couple weeks ago. This seems to be difficult to locate, and after sampling a bottle it's easy to see why.

Pours a sludgy orange body, with a two finger beige head that hangs around for a few minutes before draping the pint glass with impressive sheets of lace. Looks very impressive in the glass.

Aroma is complex, with a strong dose of caramel malt seducing the nose, at first whiff. Malt aroma is quickly brushed aside by a bigtime assault of citrus hops. Grapefruit and tangerine notes waste no time in taking over the aroma sensations. Wild rose florals make an appearance, as well. Fabulous aromas remind me of Key West, in early spring.

Mouthfeel impresses with creamy, coating hop resins that refuse to exert harshness. Carbonation is just right, and about medium on the scale.

Taste is exceptional. This would be one of the five ales that I would choose to take to a deserted island. The caramel malt here, is able to perservere through a dramatic assault of topnotch hops. Citrus, pine, and floral hops maintain an assertive presence all the way through, but there is a delicate caramel malt undertone that enables this to maintain an extraordinary balance.

Rogue has rolled out a supernatural experience with this 12PA. Can't wait to try one of these on tap or cask conditioned.

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Photo of kpowledge
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from hinge-top 750 mL bottle a pint glass

A: Bronze to copper in color, a half-finger of white head. Medium visible carbonation.

S: Caramel Malt, Hops, Pine, Honey, and light citrus, peach, apricot.

T: Caramel, Fruit including apricot, up front, building earthy and piney hop flavors in the middle. Well balanced for a Imperial IPA.

M: Medium body, balanced carbonation. The ABU is noticeable but overwhelming.

O: Good beer

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of ZAP
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Harvest orange in color with a bubbly head....complext hop aroma....grapefruit...floral at some points and also sweet...in the mouth it is more balanced than I anticipated. The hops are definitely this beer's calling card, but it is not obscenely unbalanced. A real solid malt load makes this drinkable...The grapefruit/citrus hops dominate the flavor profile and it finishes on a dry, tangy note. Very good..bordering on special...

Re-rate 12/24/02....I bumbed the numbers up a little..I forgot I had rated this...incredible nose of citrus and fresh floral hops..GREAT hoppy IPA that has the malt load to balance the terrific hopping..one of the best IPA's available..

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Photo of Shaw
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Man, I love this beer and Rogue for brewing it. It's a very hazy brownish-color, with lots of unfermented solids still floating around beneath a yellowish head.

This has massive hop aroma, even for a Rogue. An equally massive grain bill keeps the hops from totally frying you. This Imperial India Pale Ale is as complex as Belgian brews. I'm tasting malt, herbs, butter, alcohol, etc. This beer warms your throat en route to lighting a fire in your belly. I'm having one on a very cold (for Florida -- 30 degrees!) December night. Perfect for wintertime.

Upon visiting Rogue's Web site, I see that brewmaster John Maier uses only one type of malt for this. Impressive. I also see that I2PA is aged 9 month before distribution. I wonder how this ale tastes right after fermentation?

There are few beers I could see drinking exclusively for the rest of my life. This is one of them. Do yourself a favor and have some ASAP.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was looking forward to trying this beer for a long time, and when I finally found it I was very excited. Poured a nice orange-brown, with a small, quickly dissipating head (probably due to the high ABV). Smells of one thing. Hops. Floral, Citrusy, pungent, hops. I was drooling. Taste was all I expected it to be. Hops, with hops on top, and on the side. Every sip was a wonderful event in itself. Mouthfeel was very vinous. A lthick body, with a good amount of carbonation. I could''ve drank more of these, but sadly, I only bought 1 bottle. Not a beer for beginners, you must pray to the hop-gods long and hard before attempting this masterpiece of the brewing arts.

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Photo of budgood1
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

this is a hop monster. spine tingling in nature. i'm surprised that the federal government hasn't outlawed the use of this amount of hops in a beer, citing it as "mind altering". on to the review...

pours out an extremely cloudy deep bronze color. the dark flakes of yeast and other sediment being quite numerable. the aroma consists of sinus tingling hops...the most obvious the "fruit rind" cascades, but with an underlying spiciness adding much depth. tastes overwhelmingly of the hop load at first, giving way to a surprising creamy, toffee and caramel malt flavor, finishing with a large, spicy hop bitterness that surpises me in it's gentleness considering the magnitude of hops in this ale. the amount, and variety of hops used are quite evident and were somewhat expected. the overall body and drinkability pleasantly surprised me. and the unknown ABV is sneaking up on me.

a tremendous brew in all respects. an IPA worthy of it's high regard. i only have one, and i want another.

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Photo of doho95fu
4.88/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer rules. I had not heard much about this beer and hadn't seen any reviews when I picked up a couple of bottles. This is just a great IPA. The color is a deep orange with a good thick head. The smell is a little malty but the taste is all fruity hops. The ABV must be high because it warms you right up. Great mouthfeel, very drinkable - just a great beer.

This is one of those beers I will always look for.

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange with a big, sudsy head.

Tons of hops in the nose. Piney, citrus, bitter, all combine to create a real hop blast.

Full bodied, and reasonably smooth. Hops explosion. Tons of piney, citrus flavors up front as well as some toffee sweetness. Intense bitterness comes up in the back and leaves a dry, bitter aftertaste. Alcohol begins warming shortly after starting. Leaves a spicy bitterness in the mouth as well.

A beautiful double IPA. A dream come true for dedicated hop heads. The balance of malt and hops is incredible, one of the finest double IPA's I've ever had. Second only to Dreadnaught. Delicious.

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Photo of Beer_Loving_Brandon
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Excellent beer.

***This review will not follow the uber-technical, over-complicated review format that you are used to seeing.

Tastes incredible. If you like IPAs you will love this beer. No bite at all. Very smooth. That is out of the ordinary for a stronger IPA. If I had to compare it to something, I could not do so. I cannot think of another IPA, Imperial or otherwise, that is this smooth.

It hides the higher ABV well. Does not come across as having 9.5% ABV at all. I will certainly be looking for this beer again.

It is priced a little steep, but it is a "more for more" transaction - meaning it is worth the extra money.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- About a 1 1/2" white head on a cloudy rusty orange body.
S- Huge amount of grapefruit and other citrus hops. Alcohol and a sweet caramel body help balance it out. The hops just have a wonderful aroma. This may be one of the best beers I have smelt.
T- Of course hops are the main attraction here. A blend of pine, grass, and citrus male for a wonderful hop combination. Alcohol is pretty well hidden by all the hops and the caramel body is just enough so it's not over sweet and takes away from the hops. Light warming of alcohol in the back of throat and the dry pine bitterness lingers on the tongue with some citrus fruits as well.
M- This is the only flaw to the beer IMO. Just a little to thin on the body. If they made it just a tad bigger I think this beer would be amazing. The body just isn't there for these huge flavors. It has low smooth carbonation which fits the beer perfectly.
D- I think this is a wonderful beer and if I'm ever craving a DIPA I wouldn't mind spending $13 for this at all (of course it would be a all time drinker if it was cheaper but you can't complain).

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Photo of JooJooEyeballs
4.86/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wish this beer wasn't so expensive (perhaps cheaper bottling process would reduce the price) because I would drink it more often. Order it if you ever find it on draft.

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Photo of inebrius
4.86/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A staggering nose of hops on the vine segues into a mondo flavor that is huge and perfectly balanced. I must admit, I was expecting a hop monster with I2PA. And the hops are there, undoubtedly, but damn what a silky malt back to rival them! Grapefruit and sugar, Spruce trees and Maple syrup. A rainbow of flavors. This is a formidable brew that compels contemplation, and should be available when the mood requires. The only drawback: a fluid yeast that clouds the works. Rogue maintains its sheer craftmanship with this brew.

¡Que qualidad!

Cheers to Billy Stout for the sample!

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Photo of Onceeven
4.84/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'd heard a lot of great things about this beer, and was really hoping this would live up to the hype. This is an exceptional IPA! Imperial or not, it's easily one of the top 3 IPA's I've had. Do yourself a favor and try this one.
Poured a hazy but bright copper color, with a fluffy offwhite head.
This has to be one of the best smelling IPAs out there, the succulent juicy hop aroma just begs you to take a sip, but I probably spent a full minute just smelling this beer. Fantastic.
For such a high ABV, this beer is exceptionally drinkable. It simply tastes like a phenomenal IPA, with huge hop flavors and the refreshing crispness that is my favorite characteristic of these beers.
An absolute joy to drink from start to finish.

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Photo of sprinkle
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big,Big,Big this beer is all around nice.Hazy golden in color,stong floral hops on the nose and a nice representation of what an Imperial IPA should taste like.Tasted this years bottle and a two year old keg,that keg could lay there for another ten and the hops would still bite ya,Hop Heads delight!

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XS Imperial India Pale Ale from Rogue Ales
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,249 ratings.
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