XS Imperial India Pale Ale | Rogue Ales

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XS Imperial India Pale AleXS Imperial India Pale Ale
1,254 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,254 |  Reviews: 770
Photo of Crosling
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I Have been wanting to sample this for awhile now and finally found it in Boulder. One of my favorite silk screen bottles that any brewery offers. That blue is just cool as hell!

Pours with a hazy orange glow and a moderate sized white head that faded slowly but laced up pretty well. Sediment on the bottle of the glass looks subtle and appetizing.

Smells nice with lots of sharp citrus notes, some juicy ripe plums and quite the alarming scent of alcohol. This smells really nice even after an hour of just sitting in the glass.

Very complex and flavorful. This really is an excellent IPA. It has such a vast array of diverse flavors and they blend so well together. Pretty malty but the hops seem to balance with each phase of the sip. Has a lot of grapefruit with pine and other sweet ripe fruits. Very bitter as well especially on the finish. Immensely flavorful. There is something near the finish in this beer that just satisfies me. I can't really describe it but it tastes really good.

As for this being above 10%, you would never know! I was stunned when I found out as the alcohol is hidden very well.

Rogue has yet to disappoint.

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Photo of twilight
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 12 oz. bottle in an imperial pint glass. The beer poured an amber orange-ish color into the glass with a rapidly dissipating head. It sure looked pretty, but a bit naked without a head. The aroma had hints of hops, but was also pleasantly and slightly sour.

Unfortunately, it was not the beer I had expected it to be. It is sweet and malty, with a complex but sadly subtle hop flavor. Again, the taste was ever so slightly sour, but not in the 'beer gone bad' way. More along the lines of the sensory experience sourness. A slightly hoppy aftertaste, but not particularly strong.

It took me a while to finish this beer, as it is quite heavy, but still dangerously drinkable. Thankfully, the heaviness keeps one from overindulging.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly cloudy dark tea color, with a bit of foamy head which leaves stringy patches on top, with very little lace. Smell is a sweet flowery hop aroma, with a light honey hint. The flavor is sweet, with a more subtle hop presence than some more harsh IPAs. It is not really less pronounced, just in a different way. Citrus and floral tastes are evident, with a very subtle, natural, almost cane sugar taste. Some malts are burried in there. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, with a definate sweet very unpronounced syrupy feel. Wouldnt think this was a 10.3% ABV beer.

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Photo of avylover
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out a beautiful golden orange color with a smallish white head. Aroma is intense, with a major blast of fruity hops coming through at first. Apricots and grapefruit aromas along with alcohol making itself known in the background. Slight bready maltiness detected as well. Taste starts off with some bicuity malt, then opens up with major citrousy hops and ALCOHOL, which is not masked too well here. There is a vodka type taste going on here with the alcohol, which detracts from an otherwise great tasting brew. Mouthfeel fairly clean, with no really stickyness as I had expected.
Drinkablity is good, but would be better if the alcohol could be masked better. Nice job from rogue on giving this a totally different hop taste than all there other ales, which seem to have a distinctly unique hop profile.

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Photo of Weissenheimer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I pour out this twelve-ounce bottle and spend a while marveling at its appearance. It has a medium-sized frothy head but the real attraction is the liquid, which is a mix of sunshine and deep red southwestern clay. I look close and see that its moderate haziness comes from the innumerable tiny particles suspended in it. Largish bubbles coat the bottom of the glass and float upward.

The smell is lovely; it's crisp, hoppy, floral, and abundantly fresh. There's also some citrus - mostly sweet grapefruit, I think. It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure that the scent reminds me most of Sweetwater IPA.

I'm in the mood to try something hoppy and this beer does not disappoint. Almost as soon as the potent hops hit my tongue, a muscular and somewhat nutty malt chewiness balances them out. I'm hooked already, but it keeps getting better. I perceive four phases in the taste. First comes that heavy, chewy load of malt. Then the citrus rolls in; I taste grapefruit and perhaps a bit of lime. A sharp, metallic bitterness follows. As it settles into the back of my mouth it goes from metallic to sweet/sour; this long, zippy hop finish produces a slight urge to pucker.

The most notable thing about the mouthfeel is the smooth transition between stages. There's a tiny frisson of citrus in the midst of the malt, and this leads into the second stage. In the midst of this comes a hint of metallic astringency which leads into the third stage, and so on. Within each taste falls a seed of the next.

Oh boy, will I be getting more of this.

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Photo of Gavage
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got my hands on this one, and it was worth the wait. It poured a nice orange color with a few bits of sediment. The thin head receded rather quickly. The aroma was full of hops, hops, and more hops along with some citrus tones. The flavor was a full attack of hoppiness, but was well balanced by the malt levels. Some orange flavors seemed to also be there.

The bitterness lasted long into the finish, and the mouthfeel was smooth and medium bodied. The alcohol level were not as noticeable as I thought they would be, which makes this drinkable. Great Imperial IPA.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Despite the big ABV, this is a most drinkable pale ale. The huge malt base and citrus hops make this a great drink. Wow! What a flavor.

Hazy butterscotch in appearance, the body is most think and rich. The head is ivory colored, small, but retentive and laces well. The flavor is full of great caramel malts and citrusy hops; really very nicely blended. Grapefruit and malts - ummm yummy.

The aroma is mostly of the great hops with some malty notes in the background. Great levels of hops.

The feel is full, creamy, and smooth. The drinkability is great despite the high ABV.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is a rich full hops experience, that is heavy in citrus and holds a firm malt backing.
Very attractive beer. Manly and heavy looking. Cloudy amber of orange/red/brown. Firm steady head and lacing.
Full heavy flavor of hops and quality firm malt. Robust, interesting, heavy, biting bitterness that's not bothersome. Malt has a caramel and slight roast quality, but it also contains a wonderful chocolate taste that makes the drink . Full hops complexity.
Full and heavy feel, even for an IPA. Softeness and creaminess too.
This beer pushes the limits of hops, which I can appreciate, but others may not. Even I at times had to whince at the intensity. Wonderful nonetheless.

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Photo of longpondbeerman
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Love the Rogue bottle, but I'm sure the Imperial soldier on it did not fight all that effectively after having a few of these babies. Pours a slightly musty dark golden-orange color with a thin off-white head. The aroma of hops--of course--is immediately evident, offset by a citrusy boquet, some slight grains, and a distinct alcohol backdrop . The initial taste is sharply hopped bitterness, accelerated by the alcohol into a grapefruit-like aftertaste. The bitterness lingers heavily but not distressingly, and the mouthfeel is excellent: thick, full-bodied, with sparkling carbonation. Watch out--the alcohol is hidden deceptively, and you can't drink too many of these soldiers!

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Photo of OatmattStout
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Really nice smell of toasted malt and sweet bread. Some hop in the nose as well. First impression was rally nice chewy malt character. Then the warm rush of a very noticable alchohol. Rich toffe and buttery flavors dominate. The hops finish the flavors with a nice bite. The combination of the 10% ABV and the hops give it an almost after dinnier liquor finish.

Very nice the only thing I would say that would detract from this really fine ale was the noticable and up front alchohol taste. There are many beers with this high ABV where the presence of alchohol is undetectable. But all in all very good.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have had this bottle in my cellar for well over a year? I always loved the Rogue monogrammed lables. Pours a reddish-tan color with a small head that doesn't last. The smell is sweet, malty hops. Tons of sediment in this one.

Taste is exactly what I expected. A huge malty backbone with tons of hops in the middle and end. I am amazed at how smooth is beer is. I would of had no idea this beer is over 10% ABV. Tons of floral notes as well as citrusy orange?

Simply delicious! I must get more and age it just like this one.

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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 Edwin
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: A hazy orange/gold. Nice head at first, but it dissappears quickly. A fine looking brew.

Smell: Hops abound with some citrus-like notes. The hops are huge in this one.

Taste: Oh so yummy! A geat hoppy flavor with some little hints of fruit throughout. The hops are in total control. Hop-heads will love it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and easy. Washes down eloquently and without a fight.

Drinkability: Beware. I was unaware of the 10.3% ABV and erroneously drank 6 PINTS of this. The rest of the evening was a total blur. Have one or two and move on or your head will hurt.

Overall: An excellent brew! Hop lovers must try this one. Another great Rogue beer!

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Photo of Naerhu
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Urine orange yellow with cream slightly off-white, oily legs and lacing. super hoppy aromatics, complex with pine and lemon cream pie. bitterness overwhelmingly good, with grass and oak.
sleek but a bit harsh. An amazingly well built beer, with back bone and focus that is rare even amoung the best craft beers.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Beautiful, cloudy orange in color with a lingering, monster head that I had to control at the pour. The lacing was intermittant but cool-looking.

Smell – There’s a big, giant complex hop bouquet to this one. Every hop aroma imaginable is in this nose. This one is serious.

Taste – This is a hop lover’s dream. The flavorful combination of various hop tastes comes out super-sized. I don’t know what else to say about this one. From start to finish, it is awesome.

The malt backbone is just enough to get noticed and smooth things out. The finish is again all hops with a slight orange sweetness.

Mouthfeel – Very dry and on the bigger side of medium-bodied. The alcohol sting is very slight but there if you look for it. The malt backbone makes this one creamy and smooth.

Drinkability – This went down easier than Paris Hilton at a fashion show. If you’re a hophead, this is a must try.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the 7th Annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival at the Carlsbad Pizza Port. Poured a cloudy apricot hue with a tenaciously sticky off-white head. The smell was like being hit in the nose with a hops plant. Lots of grapefruit and an even bigger note of pine. Sniffed repeatedly in the hopes of finding some balancing malt notes and got hints of earthy grain and caramel. The taste had a mild caramel sweetness to start before a bull rush of grapefruit rind, pine sap, and an increasingly strong bitterness laid siege to my tongue. The resinous pine flavor clung to my palate long after the other flavors had vanished. The feel was full and a bit raw.
I2PA is a bruiser of an IPA. Big-time hops profile, big-time %ABV. I wish it was more balanced but it is what I’ve come to expect from Rogue Ales. This is the beer I’ll have in mind when I think of an off-the-chart mega-hopped über-IPA.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber copper body cream colored head measures two fingers, beautiful evenly dispersed lacing. Aroma: Butterscotch like malt backbone runs through a slew of hop aromatics mainly floral but earthy and pine cone like tones surround my senses I love me some hops, what an excellent bouqet going on alchol is here but not overwhelming in the nose. Taste: Excellent pine cone like honey tinged hoppiness, so tasty and full flavored great mindblowing double IPA here, much better on draft than the cask conditioning which I felt was overhopped and unbalanced. This brews magic is keeping the brew balanced with the massive amount of alchol, malt, and hops used this is a masterpiece of a brew. Mouthfeel: Full to medium in body excellent truely a fan. Drinkability: Would have had another but it was rush hour in the Burgh not a good time to be throwing back a ten percent big IPA.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pretty, though not amazing. A slightly hazy yellow/amber. White head that has an average duration. Thick lacing on the glass.

Smell: Wow! Like strolling through a hop garden on a sunny spring morning. Very strong, bright spice and floral hop notes with a bit of sweet malt and alcohol. A wonderful scent, practically perfume.

Taste: As Homer Simpson might say, "This is the hoppiest hop that ever hopped." Whoa--like munching on raw hops while sipping bourbon. Starts with a cannon blast of hop spice followed by a mixed malt sweetness and alcohol warmth. Finishes with a booze-mellowed hop bitterness. With so much hop oil, very high abv and fine carbonation, sort of like hop-o-naise. You're not going to forget this one.

Drinkability; Served in half-pints only, and that's probably all you'll want--an insanely rich brew. Definitely not for the faint-hearted; a sip brought this reaction from my friend: "GAK! Jesus, it tastes like, like... cat piss, man!" Indeed. You'd better like hops and lots of 'em, jack. If so, though, this is one amazing brew.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review updated 3/2004 after another sample at Anam Cara.

Sampled on tap at Redbones.

This beer poured a hazy, reddish, chestnut color with white foam that settled but coated the glass. The smell was a fairly strong, fruity, chewy, grassy, resinous hop aroma with a bit of sweet malt in the background. The taste was dominated by the hops: citrusy, and grassy. But the sweet malt was well balanced. The finish and aftertaste were where the hop bitterness came out. The alcohol content was well masked. The mouthfeel was smooth and very hoppy. The body was medium-full with medium carbonation. The hop flavor really lingered. This was a very good IPA.

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Photo of johnrobe
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one fine beer. It certainly hides its 10.3% alcohol well. In the realm of big, Imperial IPAs I have to give the nod to Stone Ruination but this is a close 2nd. It pours a slightly hazy, dark orange amber...the darkest IPA I've seen. A sticky off-white head clings to the glass. There's some nice simple-sweet maltiness to the aroma...think Frosted Flakes or Fruit Loops sweet, along with the heavily citric PNW hops you expect in an American IPA. Chewy, creamy mouthfeel. Honey-like/caramel malts show up nicely along with the omnipresent citric hops...with a bit of an herbal quality as well, hop bitterness takes hold in the finish. The flavor has a slight barleywine-ish character about it. Maybe it's the alcohol, maybe it's the slightly darker malts, maybe it's the heavy-handed use of bittering hops over flavor hops....at any rate, this brew seems to vacillate between Barleywine and IPA on the palate. Not a bad thing at all!

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Photo of oberon
3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well had to give this a try all though I am not a hop head have heard some nice things about this brew.Pours a deep burnt orange color with a light head that leaves some nice patchy spots.Very grassy aroma with a little caramel tone.Taste is a little over the top for my taste hop wise very resiny and herbal tasting with some residual sweetness,lightly alcoholic.Now this is a very well made beer here but Iam not a huge fan of this style.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Rogue I2PA slows time. The upfront spiciness (Saaz) gives way to a citric, occassionally exotic fruitiness (Cascade) that yields to an assertive, paternal bittering. And after that slow jam, the beer double-times it up and down the tongue -- sweet, spicy, floral, earthy, medicinal, and bitter. The Marris Otters lends an amber, honeyed body almost too thick to sip that does a downright holy job of managing these hops.

This is the original I2PA and still the most authentic. At 74 IBU and 20 Plato (about 1.080 OG), Rogue sits in the mash tun between American barleywine and strong IPAs. I still don't think I know the difference; I don't really care. I2PA is ready to drink, but hell bent on aging. Store this next to your Storm King, Old Crustacean, and Batch 6000 -- if the revolution comes, you won't care.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of NickLovesBeer
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imperial IPA pours a burnt orange with a medium white head that quickly reduces and coats the side of the glass. It smells of floral hops with a slight citrus tinge. The taste is very refreshing and smooth. The hops take main stage but are not as overpowering as one might think from the abv. The residual taste left over from the hops gives you a warm sensation. One of my favorite IPA's to date.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color with a thin tan head. A hoppy floral aroma jumps out of the glass, carrying notes of grapefruit, citrus, and a candied hop aroma. A fairly thick bodied example. There are hops infused all over the place in this one. As expected, it ends with a fair amount of bitterness. It is like drinking hop nectar, the hops coat my tongue as the beer slides down my throat. The flavor has definite notes of citrus, it is quite fruity, and fairly malty sweet as well. This beer tastes a bit cleaner on tap than in the bottle.

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Photo of Shiredave
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I pour, an off white head billows to the top of the glass - the writhing, foaming mass rises above the rim and slumps, the pocked inner circle collapsing, leaving behind a thick ring above a blanket of chunky lace. Persistant bubbles struggle to escape the viscosity of the sparkling, golden amber fluid.
Aromas of squirting grapefruit and green pine needles crushed between boot and rock, mixed with hints of rising dough wafting in the periphery.
Flavors of concentrated citrus infused alpha acids attack the tongue and roof of mouth and are quickly beaten back by mouth filling carmelized sugary scrumtiousness enveloping toasted pine nuts and juicy pomogranit seeds, only to re-gain control as you swallow. If you swallow. You may not want to for a while.
This full bodied hop exstravaganza allows you to chew the hop flavor and savor the bitter as malt squwishes out to dance around your mouth, or, lifting the heavy, fresh baked, biscuity sweetness on your tongue to press the hoppity coniform bite into the roof sensors for the reverse taste experience. Alcohol hitches a ride in a very understated , supporting role in the final scene.
10% be damned! I dont drink this beer slowly for any such socially acceptable reason. I drink it slow because its so friggin tasty and satisfying, I want to savor the majesty of it. If you finish the evening with one of these, and then decide you want another, there is only one other place to go that will challenge the scorching afterburners of an I2PA. Gimme a Crusty please.

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XS Imperial India Pale Ale from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 1,254 ratings
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