Imperial IPA
Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill

Imperial IPAImperial IPA
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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #3,102
Ranked #9,570
3.96 | pDev: 10.35%
Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
Colorado, United States
Very Good
Imperial IPAImperial IPA
Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 268 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Buck89
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a tailpipe can into a snifter. Nice classic look: crystal-clear amber color with a medium-sized white head. Pine on the nose, along with candied oranges, some resin, and some caramel malt. Piney and bitter on the palate. Some floral notes and candied citrus appear late. Assertive malt - mainly bready but with a bit of caramel. Booze well-hidden for a 10% beer. Very nice.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

From notes taken 05/02/17:

Semi-opaque, metallic apricot orange. Extra fluffy, “whipped”, creamy, rich light-yellow head of good retention with abundant speckled lacing. Very grainy smell for the style, but not bad. Some resin, grass, and light tropical notes beyond that. Long enough whiff and it’s nail polish remover. Very perfumey but a decent balance with grain, stone fruit, and other hop character ranging from leathery to dank to spicy. Alcohol is relatively innocuous in flavor, hidden behind all that perfume, but a veritable kick in the teeth (rather, the tongue, cheeks, gums, and throat) on the mouthfeel, very hot. Hint of metallic hops in finish. Peppery retro-olfaction and extra soapy aftertaste. Full-bodied, thick, gulpable, creamy at first, the soft carbonation turns to quite a sharp tingle, before mellowing to cream again. Overall, was expecting this to be better. But I think that is a mistake I make, assuming higher alcohol means better flavor, but it just depends on the balance.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This was one of those rare instances where the imperial ipa was better than the single ipa from the same brewery. Definitely in the minority for my reviews. Anyways, pours an amber color, good 1/3" white head on the top. This brewery is below average for hop aromatics, but above average for the malty sweetness. You don't find that a lot in ipas, but for good reason, most of us would rather smell hoppiness.

Taste, they really drape a lot of caramel and heavier malt feels into this one. Blast from the past late 90s kind of feel of an ipa, substantial bitterness in the 80-90ibu range I would say, a lot of copper and caramel behind those hops. The sting of alcohol is there. The hops weren't as flavorful and didn't seem very tropical at all. This seemed quite a bit like an American barleywine.

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Photo of larryi86
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Wasatch for this
19.2 oz can, dated 7/31/17, poured into a snifter

A- A slightly hazy amber with a two finger white head.

S- Piney, some citrus, slightly floral, some sweet malts.

T- Citrus, some grapefruit rind, slightly floral, just enough malt sweetness, big piney finish.

S- Smooth, medium body.

O- A solid classic example of an IIPA. Malts are there but they aren’t too sweet or dominating of a flavor. Getting a nice citrus flavor that is lingering on the tongue.

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Photo of csmrx7
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a big beer.

Poor's a light amber with ample off white head.

Nose is earthy, piney with some citrus rind and caramel malt.

Taste is sweet at first, followed by strong pine and earth biyerness and alcohol bite.

Full bodied with a dry hot finish.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from Wasatch so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 19.2oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, earthy hops and citrus.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a strong but not over-powering earthy hops bitterness comes in. The malt character is hearty brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid 2IPA to drink for a long time.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

19.2oz stovepipe can served in a nonic pint. Several ounces left in the can. It was given to me by @mr-jj. Can is stamped BB Aug 23 17.

Pours moderately hazy light golden with a big fluffy head that fades slowly and leaves thick lacing. Carbonation is surprisingly sparse. Smell is nicely hoppy, but not particularly notable.

Taste is boozy and bitter -- almost barleywine (gee -- 10% abv, what a surprise!). The bitterness is killer, though -- it has an almost hop-syrupy quality, but the bitterness is so dominant it cuts right through it. Flavors are primarily piney bitterness and maybe a little bit of honey sweetness. Kind of reminds me of Rogue IIPA.

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky, syrupy. Generally not something I like, but seems to be working for this beer. Overall, good beer.

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Photo of thebeers
3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazed orange-bronze color with a half finger of tan tinted head that leaves decent lacing.

Orange citrus with a hint of pine in the nose. Fairly muted.

Bracingly strong bitter taste from start to finish with a kiss of malt sweetness and some definite alcohol. I haven't had a West Coast palate wrecker like this in a while. The hops wallop you up front and just keep on going in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied, a bit on the oily side.

If you're in the mood for a bitter hop bomb, you could do worse than this one.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Revisit: 3 May 18
19.2 oz. Can
BB: JUL 11 18

Poured into a Trillium glass a pretty nice clean/clear dark golden orangey color, with some pretty nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus white head, which also leaves some pretty nice thick/creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, pretty nice citrus complex (orange, tangerine, grapefruit), nice pineyness. The taste is pretty nice, hoppy, malty, with a pretty nice citrus complex (orange, tangerine, grapefruit), pretty nice pineyness, with some nice sweetness. Full Body, ABV hidden pretty well, a pretty nice sipper, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, a really nice brew.

Revisit: 2 Feb 18
19.2 oz. Can
BB: Jan 31 2018

Poured into a Tree House glass a pretty nice clean/clear dark golden orangey color, with some pretty nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus white head, which also leaves some pretty nice thick/creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, pretty nice citrus complex (orange, tangerine, grapefruit), nice pineyness. The taste is pretty nice, hoppy, malty, with a pretty nice citrus complex (orange, tangerine, grapefruit), pretty nice pineyness, with some nice sweetness. Full Body, ABV hidden pretty well, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, a really nice brew.

19.2 oz. Can
Best By: Jul 31, 2017

Pours a pretty nice hazy dark golden orangey color, with some pretty nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy two-finger plus white head, which also leaves some pretty nice thick/creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, with some maltyness, citrusy, with some pines. The taste is pretty nice, hoppy, malty, with some citrus, nice little pineyness, some sweetness. Full Body, ABV hidden pretty well, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, a really nice brew.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a snifter from a 1 pint 3.2 oz can on March 27, 2017. Look is light copper gold with a thin head and spotty lacing. Smell is citrus and tropical fruit, pine with light caramel malt. Taste is bitter citrus, pine, resin and bread malt. Feel is medium in body with a smooth dry finish.

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Photo of strohme2
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

19.2 ounce can. Best by March 28, 2017. Part of a NBS BIF
Pours a dirty, deep orange with a nice 1+ finger head. Well carbonated and lacing on my tulip. Grapefruit, pine and oranges on the nose. The taste starts out sweet, then on to grapefruit pith, dankness, pine and honey. Well balanced. Can't believe how drinkable this is for a 10% DIPA. Dangerous!

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - A dirty orange body, hazy and mostly opaque, off-white head, and thready lacing.

S - Lots of strong hop notes, lemon and grapefruit, pine and resin.

T - Follows the nose, with a front of red grapefruit and pith, a middle with a powerful, sweet malt core, hinting bubble gum, then a moderately bitter bite for a close.

M - The feel is moderately dry, prickly, but ultimately, given the bitterness, the strong malt, and the alcohol, a very, very clean close.

O - This is a superb high hop beer, with lots of fruit, bitterness and extensive malts to balance it off. The result is highly drinkable, and at 10% that can be trouble. Still, one I'd grab again the next time I get to Colorado.

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip

Appearance: very pretty; a dark golden with just a slight copper hue. Nice clarity. Head is a solid 1-finger light-tan. Head retention is good but not excellent. Quite pretty.

Aroma: uber hoppy as expected for the style. The aroma is a bit on the fruity side – juicy fruit-gum esque. Inviting.

Flavor: wweet malt well balanced by the hops. The hops are certainly present, but not at such levels to drown out the malt presence. Well balanced. The alcohol is very well hidden. It is impressive how well the 10% abv is concealed. No heat or warmth.

Mouthfeel: a bit on the heavy side. A 22oz can is a meal by itself.

Overall: very good. This beer reminds me a lot of Odell Myrcenary without the fruit. I do prefer Myrcenary to this one, but this beer is excellent nonetheless.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.46/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pale amber with fluffy off white head; long cap retention; very heavy lace; slightly cloudy. Pine, citrus, caramel and tropical fruit nose. Juicy orange, mango, pineapple, caramel candy and pine; a little alcohol on the exhale; zesty bitter lemon finish. Lite resinous tongue coating; medium mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Long lasting bitter citrus linger, alcohol bite, and malt holding it all together.

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Photo of Rogerlb
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice clear copper, with a frothy head. Aroma is fresh citrus and hops. Very nice promise.

Taste is juicy and yet hoppy. Biscuit comes in and seems to step on the bitterness (doesn't feel like the claimed 90 IBU) so it's well under control. Pineapple, pine, and then the booze. 10% teasing you in the b.g., just enough to make you notice. Sticky yet malty, slow and nice finish is resiny, boozy, and a little murky. DIPAs sometimes go off the rails. This one is wobbling... lots of different things going on.

Taste is like a booze-soaked pinecone dipped in grapefruit cake. How the hell did I come up with that? Yeah it's different. Like a west coast IPA with something more, it's almost out of whack, but it never goes south. User @Extol says "My girlfriend would hate this." Yeah maybe that's right. But after finishing it off I think it's rather nice.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Canned, best before date of 03/11/16 (oops)

Appearance - Pours hazy and golden orange in color with an off-white, finger width head. Fair retention results in a thin, broken layer of surface suds.

Smell - Orange and deep caramel stand out in the aroma. Lesser grapefruit. Faint pine.

Taste - Follows the nose. Citrusy hop character backed by a strong, deep caramel backbone. Faint pine. Finishes bittersweet, with mild pith lingering in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth, slick texture with a slightly dry finish. Drinks amazing for a 10% brew.

Overall - Such a winning combination of citrus and caramel flavors. Despite being a little over a month past the best by date, the hops seem to have held up well. Obviously a fresher sample would've been preferred, and I hope to come across one some day for a re-review, but in my experience a beer this close to the 'best by' date isn't gonna change much except maybe an uptick to the strength in hops.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.51/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Departing from the usual progression, this is actually lighter in color than its non-imperial brother. Golden amber, with a moderately large off-white head, this exhibits supremely sticky, coral-like lacing throughout.

Big aromas of sticky peach and mango on the nose, with some toffee and cream as well.

Ripe peach and caramel, with some pine on the tongue.

Dry, yet a little more fluid and rounded, and surprisingly less bitter than the regular IPA.

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Photo of puck1225
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From draft into a snifter, golden orange in color. Thin head left, nice lacing. A fruity, citrusy smell. The taste is boozy sweet with pine and honey. Seemed nice and fresh.

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Photo of Extol
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - copper in color, nice retention. Smell - hops for sure forefront, slight alcohol as well. Taste - follows the nose, hops, a tiny malt flavor, and some alcohol. Overall - this is pretty decent. I just went to CO and grabbed a bunch of stuff I never heard of. Pretty sure girlfriend would hate this. lol

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Photo of beercam
4.82/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I live right next to this brewery and so in my review I am very biased. I'd suggesting buying a 4-pack, not the pricey big stovepipe.It is brewed with South American (Chilean, Argentinian?) hops and boy am I glad for that. I can already feel myself beginning to think and talk with a suave silky South American accent. The ladies love that, right?

This beer is beautiful. An explosion of hyphy, fluffy, honey-colored foam forms a head that lingers, and is contintually maintained by a relentless, very very fine, yet energetic carbonation which regenerates the head sip after sip for the entire drink's duration. Yeah, we're in business here folks. Otherwise, the liquid itself is mainly transparent, a little over-filtered, but radiantly shining with a proud, rich, orange-y bronze. Again, please listen; this beer is gorgeous. And I mean the glowing, snow-laden, peak of jagged, extreme, dramatic form kind of gorgeous. It's borderline sublime in its appearance, and deserves massive kudos as such. What else might you expect from Boulder?

Smells like an on-point, a-list, west coast IPA, but twisted with something very unusual. Familiarity mixed with a certain foreignness. But, be it single, double, triple, imperial, hops from New Zealand, black; the hops in this beer is competitive, relevant, and redolent, and blended extremely tastefully among the yeasty, malty, grainy aromas that waft forth, generously and harmoniously.

Taste is equally high quality and quantity here. This is an aggressive, grandiose, over-the-top, argumentative brew that commands audience to its characteristics. The flavor/taste is no exception. Grapefruity, coniferous, spicy, with a hint of astringency and thunderous avalanche of alcohol, unlike anything else. See feel for back-bone tones. The taste here rides on the unique, rather foreign hops it seem. But hey, I think transporting hops from country to country, if done by renewable fuels, could be a boon to the brewing business, based on this beer's taste.

This beer feels electric on the palate. The hops zip, zap, pop, and dance from the start, while the malted barley, after a quaint delay, steps in to offer a steady, masterful, artful, perfected flow of smoothness, body, and flavor delivery - tell-tale signs of grains treated and boiled with care, vision, and precision.

If I could italicize here, I'd do so with the word great, in order to describe this very special Imperial IPA. A top 10, maybe top 5, bold and unique contender for the best of the style.

Compare to: Not many, honestly, as the hops are unmatchable, but, Deviant Dale's, Maybe Dale's Pale, Dogfish 60/90, perhaps Alameda's Yellow Wolf, Ninkasi's total dom, Bear Republic's big IPA's, Green Flash's heavier stuff, Lagunitas' IPA, New Belgium's Rampant, Sculpin if you're a sissy, Avery's Double and Imp IPA's, probably anything hoppy from Victory, Stone's double/imperial stuff, Fremont's Imperial......

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Photo of akolb
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Tall boy can, BB 3/10/16, poured into a tulip glass after being allowed to warm up for some time.
Pours a somewhat hazy dark orange. Nice head.
Mango, pineapple, and citrus dominate the aroma. Very enticing.
Sweet fruitiness at front, with a moderate bitter finish and noticeable but not overpowering alcohol burn.
A tropical, well-balanced DIPA. The bitterness is there but it stays in the background, allowing the fruitiness to come through. Some may be turned off by the alcohol burn, but I felt that it make the beer nice and satisfying. Would definitely buy again.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tall boy can served cold into an imperial pint glass.

Hazy copper-orange color with thick white head. Good retention and spotty lacing.

Aroma is hoppy but not overly fresh.

Flavor is predominantly sweet up front leading towards a big bitter hop hit in the middle. It finishes with a mouth-coating barleywine style mouthfeel.

Overall not a great imperial IPA but not a bad strong ale or barleywine.

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Photo of SamN
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Huge, incredibly thick head. Very dark honey color. Thick-looking, very little carbonation. Fantastic complex lacing is imminent. Smell is intoxicating; tangerine rines, overripe pineapple. Very fruity. A bit of spiciness in the sheer hoppiness. Sweet and surprisingly malty, too. Peppery, hint of basil. Taste is all imp ipa; hops, hops and more hops. Tons of oily bitterness, vaguely fruity. But overall a bit of a one trick pony. The tastes don't really evolve much on the palette. It tastes good, it's what you'd want from an double ipa, but I kind of want a more well rounded experience, more variety of tastes than straight up NZ hops. Overall, its a surprisingly balanced double ipa. Bitter without being a buzzsaw.

Medium body, surprisingly, but i think it works. Minimal carbonation, adds of touch of texture to the lingering bitter finish. Another great Upslope Beer, just expected a little more of a taste experience. A bit one sided, akin to my feelings on OB's Gubna.

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber gold with a large head for 10%. Smells of sweetness and some light tropical fruits, pine. The taste is sweet, with some mango and citrus, followed by prolonged bitterness. Reminds me of a not as well balanced great lakes chillwave. Pretty good, the style has much better to offer though.

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Photo of kbrown8769
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A tasty offering from Upslope.

Didn't fully enjoy this one until the second pour after it had warmed up considerably. The warmth really released the sweetness of the flavors, which masks a boozy 10% ABV.

Pricey at over $6/can but worth a look if you like IIPA

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Imperial IPA from Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 268 ratings