Rampant Imperial IPA | New Belgium Brewing

very good
483 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Rampant Imperial IPARampant Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A burly and bitter Imperial IPA, Rampant pours a pure copper and carries the sheen of a rightly hopped beer. The Mosaic and Calypso hops bring stonefruit to the front seat, and the addition of Centennials nod towards citrus for a well-rounded aroma. The taste expands these hops with heavy peach tones and a profoundly bitter bite. There is some malt sweetness to stand this beer up, and Rampant's finish is bone-dry.

Added by Huffaroma on 02-24-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 483 | Ratings: 2,889
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle pours a hazed orange color with a sticky, dense white head. Nicre retention and excellent lace.

Nose is somewhat balanced with a distinctive New Belgium malt/yeast combo - kind of nutty and a little earthy. Hops are jucy citrus and pine needles. Alcohol gives it a bit of a tropical hint as well.

Taste definitly brings the hops, lots of flavoring and bittering both. Im sticking with citrus and pine flavors and the malt takes on a biscuity flavor. Its actually fairly 'balanced' for a DIPA and the malts are not overly toasty, which I do not like in a hoppy beer. Mouthfeel is nice and the beer has a pretty smooth flow to it. While this is not going to blow anyone out of the water, I personally appreciate a moderately priced six pack of a DIPA and dont think there is enough of them out there. This is one that I will most likely purchase again, dating on the bottles is a huge plus for hoppy beers.

 919 characters

Photo of Dave_in_GR
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is a color and opaqueness similar to apple juice, with a small, uneven foamy head.

Smell is not quite as aggressive as I expected from this style, but dominated by pine and floral scents.

Taste is more assertive, piney and floral and citrus. Not much in the way of malt or alcohol flavors. A big and hoppy beer, as you would expect for the style. The bitterness is not overwhelming though. Nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with enough carbonation to keep the taste from clinging to the mouth.

Overall a really well done DIPA.

 587 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

thanks mike! enjoyed from a new belgium snifter/globe.

a - brew poured transparent yellow orange with a thin oily yet foamy ipa head that left streaky lacing.

s - very balanced malts crossed with subtle citric hopping. clean, even a bit soapy.

t - wow, very interesting...fairly sweet and fruity. not fruity like hoppy, but fruity like pineapple and apple and some green grape. interesting for an IPA.

m - soft and easy drinking. fairly sweet.

o - overall, easy drinking. ABV is evident in the sweetness, but that's it. very fruity in an interesting way.

 559 characters

Photo of bnes09
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light copper color and mostly transparent. Big head on the pour recedes to a thin film but forms plenty of lacing on the glass with each sip.

Sweet and malty aroma with a non-specific spicy tone.

Flavor of sweet honey and buttered biscuits. Fresh herbal hops in good balance. Oily with hints of garlic.

Medium body. Smooth to drink then dry in the finish. Well carbonated. Very drinkable.

Descent DIPA just doesn't blow me away.

 432 characters

Photo of kkleu357
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%

From notes on 11/24/13

Pours a light copper yellow body with a white head. Has a fresh hop smell. Very hoppy aroma. Very bitter flavor. It really hits your palate. Also has a rich caramel taste. Decent beer.

 208 characters

Photo of dcscientist
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This was decent, but lacked the sweetness and kick normally associated with Imperial beers. I got a lot more of the piney hop taste than the balance created by the sugars from the higher alcohol content. It's pretty much just another variation on their IPA theme.

 265 characters

Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy, dark golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of grapefruit, oranges, malts. Taste is smooth, oranges, some malts, alcohol is well hidden, some malts, light bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a good beer, but not the hop bomb I associate with this style.

 326 characters

Photo of alexrichman
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A) Looks pretty nice, a clear IiPA on the lighter side of the color scale for the style. 1 finger head that has some good retention.

S) Sweet malt and bitter and tropical/fruity hops swirling in the background with just a hint of peppercorn spiceniess.

T) Quite sweet, the tropical/fruit hops stand out a lot more on the tongue. A little bit of bitterness on the finish to clean things up. Strangely reminds me of peach nectar flavor, certainly an interesting flavor comes through in the hop profile. A bit of alcohol on the finish but the 8.5% ABV is not too pronounced.

M) A little chewy with a good amount of carbonation. Quite refreshing for a beer with such high alcohol content.

O) A pretty good beer that falls just a bit short of greatness by being too one-dimensional and also a bit too sweet for my tastes. Be careful with this ale, it is dangerously sessionable for a IIPA!

 890 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear 24k gold color with a nice white cap, some bubbles, moderate lacing on this. Head retention was good

S: Pine resin with a little bit of citrus and graham cracker

T: Initial sips provides a nice pine needle presence with a little dose of citrus backed up by some honey and a light graham cracker, bready backbone. The finish is dry, not overly bitter and moderately pleasing

M: Body is on the lighter side, light- medium bodied

O: Not a bad IIPA. Clean, refreshin, easy to drink

 499 characters

Photo of Act25
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this on arriving home from being away 10 days.
Spring storm. Big lightening and wind.

Disappointed in how dank and soapy this beer is.

A: Pours a clear dark amber body with light, fine visible carbonation resulting in a 2 finger tall dense foamy head that slowly reduces and leaves significant amounts of lacing.

S: Strong aromas of citrus rind, tropical mango, and dank pine hops over backdrop of caramel, sticky sweet pale malts.

T: Upfront it's got a soapy, off- taste. Against a backdrop of brown sugar sweetness, the beer offers strong flavors of pine and grapefruit rind hops, along with a soapy, pissy dankness. A lot of almost ammonia bitterness finishes.

M: It's heavier than medium with suitable mid-carbonation. Chewy and bitter, but too soapy in the finale for me.

O:Murky and soapy. Would not get it again.

 837 characters

Photo of qchic
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice copper color with a thinning white head. Nose is fruit punchy with citrus and grassy hops and caramel to back it up. The flavor is more subdued than the aroma with some alcohol astringency. Still a nice hop/malt balance with good body. Not the best Imp. IPA out there, but worth a try like most new belgium 6ers for the price.

 331 characters

Photo of n2185
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear yellow-gold with two fingers of white head that recedes into a frothy ring with decent lacing.

S: Melon hop aromas dominate here--cantaloupe, mango, apricots, etc. There are some citrus and pine notes underneath.

T: Sweet melon flavors are present here as well, similar to those in the aroma. An earthy pine bitterness comes up afterward, leaving a moderately bitter and lingering finish.

M: Medium body with carbonation that is a bit sudsy feeling, this beer could use a little bit more of a bite from the carbonation.

O: A solid DIPA overall. Nothing spectacular, but reasonably priced and drinkable.

 623 characters

Photo of Radome
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet.

A - Beer is a clear burnished gold to orange. Head is white and made up of tiny, creamy bubbles. It starts out about 1 cm thick and then goes to a very thin sheet with lots of lacing.

S - Aroma is dominated by hops, which are earthy and resiny. There are grapefruit and pine notes, indicating typical Northwest US hops. The hops don't give the impression of outstanding freshness. There is a faint vegetal character to them. There is also some malt bready behind the hops and a faint fruitiness that is probably from yeast.

T - There is a bracing hops bitterness, but the malt flavor overpowers the hops flavors. The malt is bready and sweet, overly sweet for me. The hops flavors are earthy and resiny, like the aromas.

M - Thick body, creamy carbonation. Slight burn from the hops bitterness and some alcohol presence.

O - Overall, not the best Imperial IPA I've had. The hops flavors seem aged and muddled. The malt is tasty, but there is a large amount of residual sugar and full mouthfeel that distract and lower the drinkability. I wouldn't want more than one of these in a sitting.

 1,137 characters

Photo of Catracho5
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

Pours burnt orange with white bright head, slight carbonation and lacing, beer is clear, no head retention. Aroma is of pine, herbal and earthy aromas, hint of peach, but like Ranger, aromas are subtle. Getting more malts than hops, sweet, hint of pine, herbs, peaches, finishes slightly hoppy with a dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a dry finish. A lot better IIPAs out there than this, might be a good IIPA for a starter but if you desire more hops and malts, then this one is not for you.

 539 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

OK DIPA. Nothing outstanding, but a pleasant drink. Pours a clear copper color with a medium size white head. Fairly good retention, lot of lacing.

Smell is a bit mild for a DIPA, mostly grassy hops

Tastes pretty good. Piney hops and grassy hops, some malt balance, but still an overriding mild bitterness. Refreshing with no hint of the abv level.

Mouthfeel is good. The oily, piney hops and soft (Blind Pig type pillowy softness) are welcome. Good hops bitterness, overall crisp and rich enough.

I have had two reasonably priced DIPAs in the last two days. Good but no Maharajas or Double Jack s here.

 607 characters

Photo of Beer-Revelry
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a light gold with a finger if ivory white head. Nothing special here on the appearance.
S - Warm sweet peaches and mango, hops and light touches of caramel in the aroma. Very nice.
T - Much more balanced and bitter than the aroma would lead you to believe. Lightly sweet hops upfront, unfortunately the peach is lost in the taste. Heavy bittering hops in the back. Definitely more of a bitter imperial IPA than a sweet one.
O - A very solid and surprisingly, extremely sessional IPA for it being imperial. Would try again at a bar or on draft.
V - Good value, available in six packs of bottles.

 608 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Manzanita pint glass
From: Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $5.49
Purchased: March 28, 2013
Consumed: April 12, 2013
Misc.: Best by July 2, 2013

Poured a golden orange color with 2-3 fingers of long-lasting pillowy white head. Bubbly liquid. Plenty of circular, foamy and layered lacing on the sides all the way down. Good retention all the way down, long and lasting.

Smelled a potent whiff of bitter hops right way. Not sure about exact hops, but generic hops were a mix between skunky resin, citrus (grapefruit) and floral. All smells come to an abrupt finish.

Tasted that 8.50 percent alcohol right away. No hiding that for sure. Taste wasn’t really like the smell, except for that massive bitter hops. Seemed to onion or radish, which is something I don’t think I’ve ever written in a beer review. Also garlic? Still some resin hops in there, but I guess there is a thing called vegetable hops. If not, there is now. Still some grapefruit citrus hops in there, albeit light.

Light-to-medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish.

This was an OK beer, but I was expecting something a bit better. It started that way, but the onion, radish and garlic trifecta may have swayed my opinion a bit.

 1,298 characters

3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz into pint glass

A: A light white head forms and disapates above a very clear body. With consistent visual carbonatio. Some lacing. Body is pale straw to light copper, about 8 SRMish

S: Nose is at medium power level for an IIPA. None the less juicy aromas of melon and payapa, hits of grapefruit type citrus.

TM: Smooth on the front, but as the carbonation fills the body holds a thicker approach. Fruity peach and pine notes dominate the palate. The mouthfeel is left glossy and sticky. Refreshing on the front and leaves a dry firm bitterness that beckons more...

O: Overal this is a solid IIPA. On the low end of the gravity spectrum, but big hoppy nose and body and restrained but firm bitterness.

 710 characters

Photo of Chaz33187
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

End of the tap, so the review is a little tainted.

a- yellowy orange

s- a tiny bit of hops and a tiny bit of citrus- if it was cold and fresh this could be huge

t- the citrus and fruitiness is very upfront and exciting but ultimately it tastes very sugary and concentrated. Not malty but not balanced either. Upside is that it's 8.5 and it hides it fairly well.

m- boozey bubbly, no surprises

0- I really think I would like this beer if it was ice cold and properly carbonated.

 482 characters

Photo of rawfish
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear gold, a thick whipped head, two fingers high. The retention is decent but leaving all kinds of nice lacing on the glass.

Pale grain, cereal, yeast and alcohol. Malts are very light alongside light floral hops, dandelion greens, grass hay and a light lemon scent. Not unpleasant but very odd for a DIPA.

Cracker thin malt, husky and full of cereal grains and slightly spicy. Light yeasty residue. The hops are grassy and brightly vegetative, slight tropical tones and lemon citrus. The bitterness creeps in soapy and clean near the finish.

Creamy over the palate, light body and moderate carbonation. Soapy lager like dryness and manageable alcohol.

I see alot of love and hate for this beer. As a DIPA it's not spectacular but it reminds me of a really hoppy double pilsner which is refreshing. The hop profile is herbaceous and slightly tropical with good balance. I think the pale malt base is really rough though and accentuates the herbaceous hop flavors and bitterness leading to what some might think of as astringency or just might not like.

Overall it's a value type DIPA, servicable and while it's no Alpine Super IPA collab or even LoF fresh hop ipa I'm glad to see that NB finally has a regular DIPA in their lineup.

 1,247 characters

Photo of MrBoh
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Not a big fan of the brewery, but it was recommended by a (fanboy) friend, so I will try not to be bias here.

Poured from a bomber into my Dogfish Head IPA glass...

Head poured a good inch...this glass works over time. Frothy, bone white head. Beer is yellow with an amberish, almost orange hue.

A pretty strong malty, sweet smell. Orange, tangerine kinda smell. Not potent, not strong at all for the ABV, but I've been sick sooo that's probably part of the problem there. A danker musky kind of smell starts to develop quickly. This is enticing my buds to say the least.

That musky character is the first thing I get in the taste, too. This may not be fresh enough. Drink by is over three months away though (how long do they think this thing stays fresh)! I do get a little citrus character, and a little resin kinda taste. Not strong, but, again, could be the sickness.

Although it doesn't look it, it has a very pleasant mouthfeel. A little bit of body, maybe a little more than I was looking for. But, this is still easy drinking here.

I would drink this again, although, even at $4 a bomber, I may not buy it again. I like my IPA's to taste as fresh as possible, and this just doesn't taste fresh. I took it a little easy on where it would be lower, trying to factor in my lack of scent and taste right now. Although a fairly big beer like this should still be stronger.

 1,383 characters

Photo of Ego
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

slightly darker than straw, bright white head settles quickly but does not dissapear, nice sticky lacing, nothing rampant about this but not much to complain about, pretty middle of the road to slightly above

mild citrus, mild pine, tropical fruit mildness tows the line, tinges of honey around the edges, this leaves me underwhelmed

taste etc...
interesting bitter kick, the hops attack up front on your tongue, you get a real bath of tones underneath along with some candied citrus, this is thick, the carbonation is spot on - it just has enough pop and sizzle to carry the water here, after your mouth settles in to the bitterness level (or how the bitterness delivered here feels different than other DIPAs) the flavors are pretty mild, there is some nice hop notes but none of the alpha kick I prefer

not bad, I wouldn't mind it at a bar but it would not be my first choice in DIPAs. it has more of the tropical fruit hop signature which is not my particular preference. The ABV is well hidden and this drinks very well

 1,054 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Pours semi cloudy orange worn a fluffy white head that goes down quickly. Smells of syrupy piney and floral hops. Tastes of syrupy earthy hops, decent grain backbone. Beer is a bit overcarbonated but still very drinkable, light bodied. Overall, a slightly above average beer.

 299 characters

Photo of McStagger
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber time. 28JUL13. A best by date, I presume.

A: Pours a translucent light orange with a bit of haze. One and a half finger of khaki head. Pretty decent retention. Head is thick and somewhat pillow-y. Moderate carbonation with tiny little bubbles racing to the surface.

S: Bit of that yeasty nuttiness that I seem to find in most New Belgium beers. I'm not sure if there's even a common denominator between all these beers or if it's just a mental connection at this point. Malt and yeast dominant, by a long shot. Very bready, with bits of the caramel coming through. Hops are limited to a bit of pine and nondescript citrus.

T: A mass jumble of flavors. Almost sugary sweet malt intro is completely nuked by a thin, astringent line of soapy bitterness that runs through to the finish. Pine needle infused citrus oil, and not in a good way. Some mango comes out, along with bits of pine needle, but these flavors are fleeting and don't contribute much overall. The soapy astringency has a difficult time masking the sugary, alcohol enhanced sweetness. The resinous bitterness wins out in the end, with a dry, pine infused finish. Still got that goddamn biscuit nuttiness I always associate with New Belgium on the end.

M: Medium bodied DIPA. The alcohol heat weighs this down considerably in the mid palate.

O: This beer was definitely a grower and not a shower. Messy in the beginning, this beer warmed and opened up into a fairly decent IPA. However, the alcohol sweetness and overall lack of hop flavor really held this one back. Could be the bomber, but mine seemed relatively fresh.

 1,600 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head Ale glass.

A bronze golden amber orange body, nearly crystal clear, with a two finger head with soapy retention. Slowly settles with capped puck, and ring like lacing. Some very small rising carbonation but not much of it. Otherwise pretty good.

Hop front on the nose is pretty non existent. Some sweet mild caramel, a little bit of hinting tangerine orange, but no sens that this is an IPA at all. Very closed nose for the most part.

Palate is kind of odd. Strawberry and pine like sweetness, with a mix of mild pine like hops. Mouthfeel is fairly solid, with a good coating resin effect and a moderate to sense of crisp carbonation. Palate quenches with a strange aftertaste of stale bread and pine. It's got a weird carbonation sense on the swallow also.

Overall it's just not what I want in a DIPA, but it's a good beer but not in the upper echelons of the greats by any close measure.

 936 characters

Rampant Imperial IPA from New Belgium Brewing
3.78 out of 5 based on 2,889 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.