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Imperial IPA | Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill

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very good
45 Reviews
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Brewed by:
Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ArrogantB on 06-02-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 241
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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Photo of colingaiser
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a very tall boy into a pint glass...

L: A really inviting deep amber that verges on orange in the right light, with a thick, creamy head that doesn't want to disappear.

S: The New Zealand hops produce an incredibly tropical olfactory overload! I get papaya and mango especially, with a little tart apricot and a dash of honey. Really nice.

T: Wow, the taste definitely does not match the aroma. The malt tends to dominate, tasting like sweet brown sugar and honey, and there's a comforting warm booziness that sets in after a few seconds. The hops mostly provide generic bitterness but there are some notes of papaya that linger into the finish. It's definitely complex and interesting, but it could be better balanced.

M: Surprisingly crisp and medium-bodied, not nearly as heavy or cloyingly syrupy as some imperials. Renders it dangerously drinkable!

O: I'm not in love with this beer -- it's a little unbalanced and not as hop-forward as I'd like -- but it is definitely tasty. It hits almost all the right notes for an imperial. Would buy again if it were cheaper!

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a deep amber orange color with a thick and billowy white head. The head has an incredible level of retention with it staying for some time. The head very slowly recedes, leaving tons of foamy lace on the sides of the glass and some bubble islands that sit atop the brew for the life of the drink.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite robust of some sweeter tropical fruit aromas with tangerine and mango with other fruity smells of melon and some tangerine. Along with these aromas comes the hoppy smells, with these being a mix of grapefruit as well as some grass. A hint of earthy hop and a little bit of caramel sweetness are there as well, creating a sweeter fruity and moderately hopped aroma overall.

Taste – The taste is a little bit deceiving from what I was expecting from the nose. It began with some of the sweeter fruit flavors that were detected in the nose with flavors of tangerine and mango, these however are rather light in comparison to the smell. The foremost of the tastes at the start is some caramel sweetness as well as a decent showing of a doughy taste. There is also some lighter grapefruit hop tastes upfront, which grow stronger and stronger as the flavor moves onto the end. Along with the grapefruit increasing, some pine and an earthy hop taste also come to the tongue as well. The fruity flavors that were present upfront are largely lost at the end with some of the caramel fading as well. With a little bit of a grassy and slightly boozy taste coming to the tongue at the finish, the doughy flavor takes on a bit of a drier cracker taste, and with the rest of the flavors, it ends up leaving a somewhat drier and moderately hopped warming taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner side for the 10 % abv. of the brew with it containing a carbonation level that is rather average to a little bit lighter. The lower body thickness and moderateness of the carbonation are actually quite nice as they match the drier tastes rather well and help minimize the alcohol taste, making this a fairly easy to drink brew even at 10 %.

Overall – While not the most balanced imperial out there, it is a rather decent big IPA overall. It is a fairly robust brew that is well worth a try, all while maintaining a decent level of drinkability.

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

Clear copper colored ale with a medium sized yellowish-white colored head.

Aromatic beer this is one you can smell from across the room. Scents of sweet malt and heavy hops, from about 6 feet away. Strong tropical fruit and woody scents. Pineapple, mango and passion fruit with caramel candy.

Starts out savory with strong fruit flavors. Mild alcohol sting lots of mango taste. Pineapple and passion fruit with a little strong tea at the end. Bitterness is mild for the strength of the ale. Faint garlic taste if you look for it.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty and deceptively mild tasting for how strong it is.

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #80 (Sep 2013):

Our palates know right away that this is an Imperial IPA, but does it drink like one? No. Way too easy to put back, even with the aggressive hopping. Choice of can size and making this year-round were correct decisions for Upslope here.

STYLE: American Imperial IPA
ABV: 10.0%

LOOK: Clear copper tone, lovely suds

SMELL: Fresh-squeezed oranges, pineapple, mint, pine, mild tobacco, alcohol, faint caramel, green peppercorn

TASTE: Smooth, slightly creamy, chewy medium body, intense bitterness, bready, semi-dank hop resin, dried fruit, piney, fresh-cut grass; drying, bitter finish

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Photo of argock
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 19.2 oz tallboy can into a clear pinot noir glass. Best by May 02 2015 on bottom of the can.

A: Hazy gold with 2-3 finger, frothy, sticky, rocky off-white head with good retention and thick lacing bands.

S: Pine and minty, tropical fruit like pineapple and guava with lime citrus and solid light pale malt aroma. Alcohol is fairly hefty but not obnoxious. No yeast esters.

T: Great flavor with dense tropical fruit (mango, guava, pineapple), pine, minty, and limeade hops character with heavy pale malt backing. No yeast character and smooth warming alcohol. Bitterness is medium-high. Excellent flavor profile and really unique.

M: Fairly heavy, I wonder if this would be a little better with a somewhat lighter body and ABV in the 8.5% range, but there is nothing wrong with the feel. Body is medium-full with medium carbonation.

O: Great tasting imperial IPA. I did not have high expectations after trying their very disappointing regular IPA but this was really a good, if slightly heavy bodied IIPA. Very unique and complex flavor profile with excellent range and intensity. Give it a try for sure but be ready for a bit of a boozy, hefty beast.

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

Very aromatic, the aroma hit as soon as the can was opened. Floral, citrus, bready and rye. Heavy pine, sweet malts, bready, pine, floral. Full body and medium carbonation. Lacing down the glass, resin on the lips and strong pine resin aftertaste. Not unique but a solid imperial that I would certainly try again.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.95/5  rDev -25.5%

Pours a clear 24K gold, small but persistent head of foam.

The smell was of sugary sweet malt with a lightish aroma of hops.

The taste is strong with malty sweetness, lightly hopped despite the hefty IBUs, fairly strong alcohol presence.

Medium bodied, light to medium carbonation, that's not what I'm not liking.

Too strong, too malt liquor like, too reminiscent of Dogfish Head 120, which I detested.

I'm glad I won't have to buy another $6.99 can.

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Photo of emyers
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

19.2 oz can poured into Dogfish Head IPA glass. Don't see a canned on date anywhere.

Appearance: Pours clear amber with a fluffy 1 inch off-white head. Good head retention.

Smell: Very pungent hop aroma - citrus and grapefruit dominate along with some floral qualities and pine. Just a hint of caramel malt sweetness in there, but hops definitely take over. Very nice.

Taste: Similar to smell - big grapefruit hop presence, tangerine, floral. Some tropical fruit that I wasn't picking up in the aroma. There's a hint of sweetness from the caramel malt to balance it out but flavor-wise this is all hops. Just a tad bit of alcohol heat on the finish along with bittering hops. Overall, very very clean flavor profile that really shows off the hops.

Mouthfeel: Excellent. Clean, crisp, medium to high carbonation level keeps the hops popping.

Overall: Outstanding showing from Upslope. Hangs with some of the top DIPAs in the business.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

19.2 oz canned 1/23/2014 - almost 3 months old

A - 3.75 - nice copper color that's crystal clear with a white head that sticks a little bit. Not much lacing though. Nice alcohol legs.
S - 4.25 - Super nice sweet tropical fruits from the hops, caramel/bready malt in the background. Grapefruit, papaya, passionfruit, mango, orange.
T - 4.25 - Very sweet version of an IIPA. Lots of papaya, mango, passionfruit, orange, lime, tangerine, grapefruit and pine but less than other ipas. Some people say this one is really dank, I'm not getting that so much as LOTS of tropical fruit flavors.
M - 4.25 - Nice, light mouthfeel. Could easily drink a few of these if they weren't 5.99-7.49/can (@#$%!@#%$). Alc dangerously well covered. Aftertaste is pine, grapefruit rind, pretty bitter but not devastatingly bitter.
O - 4.25 - This is a good imperial IPA. Compares well with the new recipe for Oscar Blues Gubna in my book. A smooth, citrus/passionfruit heavy IIPA.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

19.2oz tallboy can, no clear canning date. Extra'd by Daniel, thanks man. Poured into an unlabeled snifter today, 3/23/2014.

App- Clear light copper body, very appealing, with a one finger white head with sticky lacing. Fine retention. Looks the part of an IIPA.

Smell- Smooth caramel and toffee malts, which are backed up somewhat by a spicy tropical hoppiness. No question though, this is on the sweeter side of DIPAs.

Flavour- Grapefruit, passion fruit hop flavours are here, buttressed by caramel and toffee flavours. Rather sweet for the style. Nice citrus bitterness on the backend.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, well carbonated. Finish is dry, citrusy and fairly bitter. Refreshing and a moderately drinkable beer.

Overall- Solid, it's a bit on the sweeter malt side for the style. The citrus and tropical fruit hop flavours are muted and clearly in the background. The can could be old, of course. Still, not a bad beer at all and it was worth the try. I'll finish this one happily.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice two finger head that left pretty good lacing topped an orange-tan beer that was clear and had a few rising bubbles.

Aroma and flavor are quite nice, especially aroma, tons of sticky oily hops penetrate your nose like a fiery hop candle. The flavors are bold, but a bit more subdued than the aroma, with a somewhat hoppy skewed, yet balanced big beer. The hops have both soft fruity and sharp, resinous citric qualities. There's a bit of dank that accompanies the flavorful malt backbone of the beer, along with notable spiciness.

Body is medium and sticky with resinous hops and a bitter finish. Carbonation is on the money for what I would personally want, given the rest of the beer's qualities.

The flavors and aromas are complex, and Upslope has once again impressed me with their beer. Keep up the good work, and I'll keep buying your beer.

And I do like that it comes in cans. Mind you I either use commercial bottles for homebrew, or recycle. But for the general public, and the overall good of the planet, cans are very easy to recycle, are very good at keeping beer fresh, and are easier to store or transport than bottles. So for this reason, I am very hoppy that Upslope decided to invest in canning technology and infrastructure for their brewery.

Great Job! ;-)

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Imperial IPA from Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
3.96 out of 5 based on 241 ratings.
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