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Rampant Imperial IPA | New Belgium Brewing

very good
472 Reviews
no score
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Rampant Imperial IPARampant Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States | website

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 472 | Ratings: 2,797
Photo of zshaft
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

pours nice clear light copper. nice thick head dissipates quickly. nose is very faint but I seem to get earthy and floral notes. taste is pretty bland until the end palate where I get Some earthy spice and faint floral characteristics. mouthfeel is fine. overall this beer did not impress me. not much going on for me but nothing really bad either. I only got one bottle and that is plenty. won't revisit.

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Photo of ThomasOConnell
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Favorite IPA, not as bitter as most say. High ABV is hardly noticeable in taste. Color is nice amber with light, lasting head. Hard to locate in my area. Taste is surprisingly good and very subtle but pleasant citrus notes.

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Photo of Rock_Glenn
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice balanced head, that is neither overly smooth or harsh. Smells of fruit, closest to peach but not citrus-like , with the unmistakable aroma of centennial hops. The flavor is initially fruity, but finishes bitter, but a very good bitterness. Reminds me of the many Chinook and Centennial hopped IPA's with a touch of fruity sweetness that balances the beer nicely. The malt hangs in the background, but has a good flavor, and this one is dangerously delicious and drinkable for the high alcohol content.

After a second beer I think I overrated this for two reasons. The bitterness takes over before reaching even half way down the glass. The pleasant hops aroma doesn't last more than a few sips.

Secondly, it just tastes amateurish, as do all New Belgium beers. I honestly thought I had accidentally poured a homebrew with this second beer. That makes me feel better about my own capabilities, but I realize that new Belgium is far from world class.

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Photo of ksimons
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-a clear yellow orange color with a fingers worth of white head

S-pale malts, citrus, fruits, and earthy hops

T-taste is similar to the smell with a pale malt backbone, citrus, sweet fruits, and a light to moderate bitter finish

M-medium body, moderate carbonation

Overall not getting too much bitterness from this so fairly easy to drink, lacks most of the smell and taste qualities that make a really good DIPA

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Photo of threeviews
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle (Best By July 10, 2016) into a New Belgium globe:

A - None of that New England muddy stuff here. Rampant pours a beautiful crystal clear orange/gold with a full finger of a creamy, white head.

S - Unlike any DIPA I have had before or since which makes this such an awesome beer. Juicy stone fruits (huge, ripe peach and apricot) at the forefront followed by herbal/floral tea (lavender/chamomile), ripe berries, juicy orange, lemon/lime zest and a faint pine/resin. High points for its unique aroma with the 8.5% ABV going totally undetectable

T - Like the nose, juicy stone fruit assaulting the palate with a dry, resiny finish. The herbal character presents itself on the back of the palate after the initial wave of bitterness. Again, alcohol is nowhere to be found.

M - Solid medium body with a perfect carbonation. At first, it finishes relatively dry, but those floral/tea-like flavors that come forward on the back end give your palate good reason to salivate. That said, Rampant defies palate fatigue making this one of the few DIPAs that I can imbibe multiple pints in a single sitting.

O - This is not only a great DIPA, its unique aroma/flavor profile along with its amazing value ($10-$11, 6Pack) makes this one great offering. Yes, it may not titivate the palates of some like it does mine, but in the sea of DIPA's on the market, this is one beautifully executed (appearance, aroma/flavor, accessibility & value) example that stands in a category all unto its own.

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Photo of Gmann
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear light Amber color with a short wispy white head, some spotty lacing on the glass.

The aroma is citrusy and soapy. Mainly grapefruit in the nose with some additional sweetness. It's pleasant.

The taste is of grapefruit and some flowery notes. Is that the stone fruit per the description? It's pleasantly sweet and floral. The malt is light and dry.

Moderate in the feel with fizzy carbonation. It has a refreshing sweetness to it. The abv is well hidden but why so strong?

A kinda like this hop profile. While sweet it isn't overly so and the citrus still comes out.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: [4.25] Distinct red tones to the beer. It has a nice amber color but with reddish undertones. The head is a full 2 fingers of dense white bubbles. The bottle lists the ABV (8.5%) and there is a readable born on code (04/10/16).

S: [2.50] Fruity hop character with pineapple. Then I get pine and some onion. Also weird melted plastic aroma (this really takes over as I continue to drink it).

T: [3.25] The taste has pine and pineapple. Not a whole lot more going on.

M: [3.25] This has a little low mouthfeel for a 8.5% beer. The alcohol is totally hidden but the beer is not as chewy as I would expect. Nothing really lingering on the palate.

O: [3.00] This beer seemed to be missing the mark all over the place. It looked great but then it fell off. The nose had a synthetic/plastic odor that was not good. The taste is really generic and uninspired. The body is less than expected too. I would pass this over for many different beers.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pale amber, slightly hazy body with big frothy white head, long lasting, excellent lacing

Smell: grassy;tropical fruits; piney hop notes

Taste: sweet malts with resiny hop flavors; finishes sweet, but the hop astringency finds it way out at the end; okay, but not great

Mouthfeel: creamy, almost chewy

Remarks: not that impressive, but drinkable

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Photo of goodbeer4cheap
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At it's price point not bad for a DIPA but tends to wear the alcohol like a much heavier beer. More on the dessert beer level. I get a weird mixture of hops and a small malty backround. I agree largely with the description and the dry mouth end is nothing to joke about. In a head to head with another craft giant at it's price point and give Sam Adams Rebel Rouser above it while I put the one I most commonly at the price point Southern Tier XIPA in a virtual only slightly above it but will classify it as an European linked Double.

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Photo of mirp1
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Hey, they tried. Seems brewed for mass appeal, not for those who covet Heady Topper, Molotov Lite, Tesseract, Palate Shifter, Ruination, Dirt Wolf, Full Stack, etc. This one is a cross between Yuengling (sp?), and a corn malt liquor in flavor, with some low dose, odd hop configuration added to the mix. New Belgium came into the Utica, NY market just yesterday, and they have stacks of their stuff for sale everywhere, including laundry rooms. Kidding. Point is, nothing special, and it is all over the place; not a good sign. Judge for yourself, but I have no interest in investing my beer moment into this again. Not at all hideous, just weird and pedestrian. As for Flat Tire, Guh!

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Photo of daliandragon
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a solid white head with reasonable stamina and a bright golden body. Respectable lacing later. Nose is mango and pear and general bitter hoppiness.

Taste is tight with carbonation and laced by alcohol but the bitter pine notes kick in to carry this to a decent finish. The texture is close but the abv shows early on in the sip.

This is certainly a serviceable DIPA but probably not among the elite of that style. Worth a go, at least.

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Photo of MusaJames
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Right away as I pour this beer I don't get much of a head. The golden color is dark and impressive. The smell must be intense as I don't have a great sense of smell but holy cow I can smell it clearly. This is a beer full of amazing flavor. I'm getting a fruity flavor but I cannot put my finger on it. The bottle suggests peach but I disagree. This is a Man's beer.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle, it pours a golden amber with a small head, dissipating quickly. Nose is grassy and fruity. Mouth is enticed by the hop bite and slightly malty flavor. Yum.

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Photo of jmd1978
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Golden color with inch of white head. Nose orange, lemon, piney with hints of grassy. Taste is faint but pine, grapefruit, orange, lemon and a little hoppy. Clean finish that doesn't linger. Rather average IPA. For the imperial type I expected much more punch to it. Average beer but ok to drink

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

clear golden in color, big white head. good head retention and lacing. Big bold pine and grassy hop aroma. taste is quite bitter, sharp hop bite. lingering sensation on the tongue. thin to medium bodied, medium carbonation

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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.

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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.

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Photo of scotchbeer
4.82/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So far this is the closest beer to Russian River's Pliny the Elder I have ever found. The taste is almost perfect: subtle hint of fruit and pine elegantly balanced with the hop; not too bitter, not too heavy, but still has body and complexity.

Such quality from such a larger brewery really surprises me. Kudos!

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't find anything particularly outstanding about this imperial IPA but it's solid for the style. On the drier side with some deep, sweet flavors, the flavors flirt with both light and deep. The bottle mentions peach characteristics and I find that to be an accurate assessment. I paid $9.99 and tax for a six pack and I would happily do so again.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
1.17/5  rDev -69%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

At first I thought this would be a great every day drink, but as I tried to enjoy it I realized that taste I kept trying to figure out was a meaty after taste. While I love meat I prefer not to drink it.

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Photo of A20sp
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from my "New Belgium Brewing" globe beer glass, poured from a 12 oz bottle. 42F at 8.5%ABV

L:- Dark Amber in color with a translucent build. Has a small white head which shrinks quickly. Decent carbonation bubbles arise from the glass bottom, which coat the walls with a slight lacing.
S:- Not that strong. Hops, citrus, and florals with a dash of pine.
T:- Not as hoppy as expected, but still pretty bitter. Piney with a good bit of citrus/fruit (more grapefruit like, or an un-fresh peach at best). Has a subtle maltness at the end, with a lingering grapefruit bitterness in my throat.
F:- Carbonated and very bitter. Has an astringent quality which seems to overwhelm the palate.

:- Didn’t meet my expectations, but not nasty. I know many who would claim to enjoy this beer, but I particularly don’t. Just not the “right” bitterness for me, nor did the peachiness described on the bottle really jump out at me (At least not in a “fresh and tasty“ way). I can appreciate the flavors and quality, but not my cup of tea. Would probably not drink again, unless gifted.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I bought New Belgium's twelve-in-a-box sampler and there were two Rampants.
I hesitated for a few months (I'm a hop-shy guy.)
But the "Best By" date was coming up fast, I grabbed one and went to my favorite BYOB Pan-Asian restaurant and ordered a pretty spicy dish for lunch.
But, I drank 2/3 of the bottle before the meal came and established an inescapably firm opinion.
The meal came and was so overwhelingly peppery that it saved my rating from becoming a complete pasting.
There are too many hops.
And confirming the falsity of the common short-cut, adding more malt does not create a balanced beer... unless the brewer is really, really lucky or really, really experienced at these two extremities or, most likely, both.

I like New Belgium. I do not fault them for going after their slice of the hop-head market. But if they want to continue being known as the largest brewer to figure out Belgian-styles for the American mass market, then they need to stick to their knitting.

If they stick to what they do best and do it even better, their service of helping the market understand the complex interplays of food and beer will be their lasting legacy. Because the Belgians do it best.... IMHO.

When I get old enough to trade, the sampler's other Rampant goes on the block first.

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Photo of Nosquatch
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm usually not a huge fan of New Belgium and IPAs aren't usually my go to, but I liked this one. It came in a mix case from Costco and I found it to be nicely balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of IronLover
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Golden yellow in color with a light amber hue. Poured with a thick, foamy, bright white foam with good retention. Medium hop aromas of over-ripe pineapple, peach, and tropical fruit with light floral and earthy notes. Medium light sweet malt beneath with faint booziness at the bavk end.. Medium bodied with, soft, creamy, medium light carbonation. Boozy warmth throughout the with bit of a harsh alcohol bite at the end. A mix of tropical hop flavors up front that transition to middle high hop bitterness through the middle. Low malt flavor. Finished with a malty sweet note followed lingering bitter and boozy notes. Pleasant complex aromas were the highlight with just enough malt presence to balance the hops. Flavor and feel were a bit on the boozy, hot side that set back the drinkability.

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Photo of Gauss
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is an exception beer. Just the right bitterness and a balance of hops that add a refreshing aftertaste. I like it nice and cold in a frosted tulip glass after a long day at work. For the price, and constant availability this may be the best beer around!

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Rampant Imperial IPA from New Belgium Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 472 ratings.
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