Rampant Imperial IPA | New Belgium Brewing

very good
483 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 483 | Ratings: 2,887
Photo of falloutsnow
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: Best by July 7, 2013
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

New Belgium's Rampant is a seriously unique DIPA with its blend of peach, lemon, grapefruit, and guava flavors, likely all courtesy of the hops. The brewers keep the malts focused to only two-row, which will emphasize the sweetness and fruitiness of the hops all the more. This is definitely a DIPA that moves in its own direction in terms of aromas and flavors, which in a world of fairly imitative DIPAs, I find to be quite enjoyable.

Pours a generous 1.75cm tall head of slightly off-white foam, the bubbles small and densely packed, creating a smooth, milky-creamy appearance. Retention is above average, lasting over two minutes in its decline to a thin cap atop the body of the beer. Lacing is fairly good, a wide array of sizes and shapes of residual foam stick to the sides of the glass. Body is a rich copper orange color, with light bringing out brighter orange hues. Carbonation is visible through the transparent beer,

Aroma is dense, fairly dank, unique hop aromas give off a complex mix of ripe citrus, peach, apples, and pears in a heavy fruit salad, perhaps a grapefruit and lemon being most noticeable. Underlying pale malt sweetness becomes slightly detectable with multiple inhalations (the nose adjusts to the hops).

Sweet, quite fruity, and simultaneously bitter, Rampant has a fairly unique hop choice and ester combination,
Front of palate is sweet, of dank fruit salad (grapefruit, orange, lemon, guava) with a unique, assertive, somewhat "off" fruity hop flavor (like a sweet, citrusy peach) that I haven't experienced before, yet I find to be quite enjoyable. Mid-palate is fruity and sweet, of light peach with a heavy, rich fruit-salad like mix of grapefruit, orange, guava, apples, and pears. Bitterness is also quite noticeable, cutting the fruity sweetness, and allowing for a hint of malt character and cumin to be discovered. Back of palate is solidly bitter while still retaining some of the fruitiness and malt sweetness that's been detectable earlier. Closes with a rush of grapefruit-like bitterness that leads into a lingering aftertaste of bitter grapefruit, tropical fruit salad, fairly heavy and dank.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a beer that gently foams on the palate, and comes across as quite smooth. Ethanol is well-hidden, only a light bit of heat on the back of the throat. The intense hoppiness and alcohol combine to create a pleasurable bitter tingle in the tongue, which I find to be quite enjoyable. Closes dry, with little residual stickiness on the palate.

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Photo of iSip
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

New Belgium Rampant Imperial IPA: I am not a big New Belgium fan, but I do like their Ranger IPA. The Rampant has a body the color of black tea, very different for an IPA. The nice head does thin after a bit. Great aroma from this brew, very fruity. The flavor has a nice malt base, lots of hops throughout and a perfect finishing touch of bitter. Very consistent throughout.

I did not give New Belgium much of a chance in this crowded category, but in the end they did a good job. The big news is that this is not a $10 bomber or a $12 four pack, but a $10 six pack! The Rampant is not an Avery Maharaja, nor is it an ODells Myrcenary, but for the price, it is one of the best Imperial IPA's going.

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Photo of UncleBart91
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-browner than your typical IPA, almost caramel appearance, great foam body but almost too dark for an Imperial IPA

Aroma- crisp under-body with a great hoppy after smell. Has a very true craft brew aroma

Taste- very bitter at the beginning with almost a fruity watermelon under-tone. After taste is crisp and surprisingly spicy! Definite New Belgium product


Overall: I think this is another great imperial. I have yet to come across one I don't like. Kind of low ABV for an imperial, 8.5, but defiantly a beer for even non-hop heads. My old man tried one and coming from a non-traditional "beer drinker" he very much enjoyed it. New Belgium has surprised me again with their version of the Imp. IPA!

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Photo of rangerred
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had on tap.

Pours a clear light gold with a great head and head retention. Plenty of lacing as the drink progresses.

The aroma is very weak and disappointing. There is a minty and overripe fruit character that I don't really care for and it is just very one dimensional and shallow.

The flavor is a bit better but not much. More mintyness along with some overripe tropical fruit. Biscuit and that signature New Belgium taste that I assume is from the yeast. Moderate bitterness with a sticky finish.

Overall, I am not impressed at all with this effort. I don't care for the hop character and it is too sweet. Ranger is a much better beer.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large wine glass from a 12 oz. New Belgium branded bottle. Pours clear and deep golden/light amber in color with an inch of off white foam. Offers good retention and followed by sticky clumps of lacing.

Potent hop aroma picked up upon opening the bottle, with pine and fruit, touch of ruddy hop cloaked caramel and a slight hit of the 8.5% that lies below the surface. Odd blend of hops in this one, even offering a bit of strawberry milk powder at times, and not really in a bad way.

Taste is creamy with a healthy dose of hop spice and a moderate malt character. Touch of citrus and a chalky bitterness on the finish. Not overly complex but inviting and with a good feel. Overall quite interesting as the beer doesn't come across as being overly sweet yet the ABV is difficult to discern. Nice balance for its heft as the hops cloak the malt which cloaks the ABV is an unusual way.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Golden yellow with a creamy 2 inch thick head and tons of lacing.

Smell - Piney hops, orange, grapefruit, herbal notes, yeasts, malty backbone. Not overly strong aroma.

Taste - Starts with a mix of malty and piney grapefruity hops. Bitter, yet a palate wrecker, malts really stand out. Has a herbal flavor, orange and tangerine really comes out at the finish. Yeasts add some sweetness. Alcohol is present in each drink.

Mouthfeel - Hops and malts really coat the tongue. The bitterness hits the palate along with yeasts and alcohol. The aftertaste is bitter and piney.

Overall - Pretty good, the herbal flavor mixed with all the malts gives it a unique flavor. Kind of not the most smooth and balanced beer, you get all this beer has to offer in stages yet its still very enjoyable for a change up. Great price a bomber, worth a drink for sure.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The most impressive aspect of this beer is the look. Pours golden with fluffy white head and loads of lace! Smell is adequate, but below typical DIPA standards. Good taste and easy to drink at 8.5%. Mouthfeel is solid, I can tell I'm drinking a DIPA! Overall this is worth a pick up considering it's very affordable! For me, this is more an IPA for the Fall and Winter; maybe very early Spring.

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Photo of IrishHockey
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer. It's a nice floral, hoppy beer. If you like Ranger, you will love this.

I want to review this a bit different. On this I have to figure in the price. I got this brew @ 7.99 for a 6pack. For that price, I will by lots of this. If this were 10 or more I'd pass. It's a nice, hoppy, floral beer. It's not earth shattering, but very solid. With the price point on this, you should probably pick a 6er up. If you don't like new Belgium, then you will nit pick this and not like it. If you have no reservations about the brewery, get it.
Cheers and enjoy!

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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.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Clear orange, nicely carbonated, one finger head

S-Sharp hop presence, grass, pine, but something is off, a wood/herbal note.

T-Balance is ok. Very pine heavy, some grass. Has that herbal off flavor but not as much. Decent bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, thinner than I was expecting, good deal of hop resins.

O-There is something off with this beer. I wish I knew what exactly it was.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looks like a best by for mid-July.
Fresh hop aroma, but not very intense. Light and enjoyable.
Big full head with a cream appearance. Plenty of lacing that is very sticky. Golden amber with lots of bubbles rising. Attractive.
Certainly presents like a DIPA, but is never too intense and not excessive in hop presentation. This is closer to how I like a DIPA. No "off" flavors due to excessive hops. The hops are less fruity in taste than in the aroma. More grassy and earthy. Nice streak of some unique malt (at least for style - not sure what it is, but I kinda' like it, or maybe it's a unique hop flavor as the grain bill is simple). Certainly some unique flavors and interesting tastes.
Moderately heavy feel with lower level carbonation. Near chewy and only slightly creamy.
Not a great, steal your face beer, but that's not necessarily what this brewery does. Instead a nice drinking approachable beer that leaves me interested in having another. I like New Belgium.

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Photo of dionito
2.03/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Served from a 12oz bottle bought about three weeks ago and kept in a dark chest freezer converted to kegerator. Temperature around 40ºF (+-3ºF). Served to a tulip glass.

Looks good, orange/copper with a nice foamy head. No problem there. The problem starts with the aroma. It's very strong, starts nice, piney, but goes into something weird that I am not sure what it is exactly, but it's pungent and unpleasant. Taste is similar to how the smell finishes, really strong, but not hoppy strong. The hops are there but they're overwhelmed by something off, totally unpleasant. I wonder if this bottle was not good, got skunk or something. I couldn't finish it and more than half of it went down the drain. I will give it another try and re-review. If this is what it is, not impressed at all. Actually, quite opposite.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Generous gift from Dr. Humbard. Thank you sir.

Served in my New Belgium globe.

The beer is yellowish with a mild haze. An aggressive pour yields nearly two inches of pure white head. The aroma brings pine, alcohol, hops. Booze presence in both the scent and flavor. Too brash for my liking. Pine and alcohol with perhaps a bit of citrus. A slow sipper. The finish leaves booze, biscuits, crackers, and a hint of caramel malt on the palate. I finished the 12 oz., but this is not a repeat for me.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.37/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - Clear gold with a fluffy white head.

S - Grassy with some orange pith and bitter dandelion.

T - Bitter. Floral hops, bitter dandelion, citrus, citrus zest and pith, some bready malt.

M - Medium body and just a touch sticky.

D - Hop bitterness without a lot of hop flavor. Stange herbal, floral dandelion flavor.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

Look: Clear bright copper color. Sturdy cream colored head recedes to a thick film, nice lines of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Faint maltiness, then slightly floral aromas blending with a grassy, drier hop presence.

Taste: Starts out with a malty caramel note like the aroma, then a bitter, dry hop note. Very faint apricot fruit flavors found as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly dry.

Overall: Certainly not bad, above average. Will only have the one 6 pack though.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.22/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.75

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Clear dark amber. Moderate near-white head. Lines of stick left down the glass.

The aroma is not a good one. Lots of root and stalk vegetables: celery immediatley comes to mind. There's some onion presence as well. A bit of resin character, but, overall, not good.

Fairly bitter with similar vegetable flavors--again, lots of celery and even potato, something strange. Some pine and resin notes as well.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation.

I didn't care for this one at all.

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Photo of ZAP
3.29/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Malt forward DIPA that leans heavily toward a caramel/toffee/biscuity flavor that seems to come from the yeast strain used by New Belgium.

Hops are fine but not real dominant. More floral/piney and spicy than fruity.

Body is full and plenty big but this features a pretty dry and tight finish with a not so pleasant lingering bitterness that I don't particularly care for.

It's an OK DIPA but doesn't compare to many out there. Was hoping for a bigger brother to Ranger (which is decent enough) but this falls short. Decent enough but when compared to the rest in its field it is not close to the top.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.95/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark gold color with nice clarity. The head is a nice-looking three finger offwhite shade. It has a good frothiness to it, and also retains very well. Plenty of lacing is left on the glass.

S: I half-imagined this would be similar to a bigger version of Ranger, and the herbal hop tones mixed with biscuity yeast told me I was right. There's something not entirely right sitting with me aromatically that I can't put my finger on, so I'm docking points.

T: I don't like how the biscuity flavors interact with the hop profile; it almost creates a vague ammonia-esque flavor. Anyways, this unpleasant flavor fades away right before the middle of the brew, being supplanted with light piny qualities, a touch of citrus, and caramel malt. At first, I'm not enthused by the opening flavors, but they do fade away leaving a reasonable but unassuming DIPA.

M: Dry and crisp. The finish washes away some of the less pleasant notes well, which helps inspire additional drinkability. This is probably the best feature.

O: I was expecting an imperialized Ranger, and I got an imperialized Ranger...for better or worse. Like Ranger, I could see this one being significantly better on tap. The dry, easy drinking nature does an okay job of covering up its flaws, but there are still far superior options out there that you should pick up instead - and not even its price point can sway me otherwise.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a tulip glass)
14Jul13 on bottle
A- This beer pours an orange body with a thin light beige head that is supported by a gentle carbonation of microbubbles.

S- The pungent woody herbal hops are 1-Dimentional and a bit harsh with some green tomato qualities coming through as it opens.

T- The taste has more full pungent bitterness of hops dominating and finishing with some dandelion milk bitterness that lingers and stains the tongue.

M- The medium mouthfeel is followed by a gentle fizz and no alcohol heat.

O- This beer is a big kick in the tongue with a full hop bitterness but no other hop flavor or aroma. It is not sessionable and is a bit hard to get through the 6-pack. I will admit I was very excited to try this based on all the ads for it and all the varieties of hops described but I just to taste them.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle from the Whole Foods Las Vegas NV for $3

Appearance - Clear amber/copper with a large size fizzy/frothy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around over 5 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, grapefruit, apricot, pineapple

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and hops. There is also some grapefruit and pineapple and something along the lines of mango/guava. It ends with a sweet pineapple/guava aftertaste with a medium amount of hop bitterness.

Overall – A decent amount of hop bitterness, but I'm not a big fan of the fruit flavours that are going on. They are good, just not my favourite type of fruit flavours found in a DIPA. A beer worth trying though, especially for the price.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, golden colored ale, slight haze, topped with a frothy, just off-white head, good retention & sticky lacing is left at the top of the glass. Aromas are fresh with lemon & grapefruity citrus, grass, biscuity malt. Lemon rind & pith dominate the palate with grapefruity bitterness present, grassy, not much for malt, but it's biscuity if anything, pungent and astringent on the finish. Definitely off balance with the bitterness here. Oily hop resins coat the palate, medium body, moderate carbonation. Not at all bad; it is decent with a nice, unique lemon kick, but needs more of a malt presence for balance. A bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of mattkoon
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

the nose on this rampant imperial ipa brings a huge amount of hops with it. and the taste is full and bold. its like the shot a cannon full of hops right at your head. i like this beer a good bit. its a mouthful. there is also a good bit of alcohol in this beer, but it doesnt impair the flavor at all. the hops do all the talking in this one.

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Photo of PieOhMy
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into snifter.

A. Hazy amber. One inch thick white head that hangs around. Lacing hangs around 'til bottom.

S. Heavy, and I can't stress this enough, floral aroma. Flowers. Dandelion. Cut grass. Slight whiff of melon.

T. Tart. Sharp citrus fruit. Initially orange, mango, even a hint of lime which flows into a hoppy bitterness. Slight boozy aftertaste that doesn't linger.

M. Very chewy considering the style. Foamy. Finishes clean.

O. This is not a slap you in the face bitter IPA. Way more floral than most. No hint of malt. Different, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Great beer! Definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of welldigger888
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a honey golden hue, snow white head that laces very well down glass.

Could easily be me but seems muted on the aroma deal. Lightly malty and a dash of hops.,

Creamy malty goodness with a firm bittering and nice hop flavor.

Smooth and creamy goodness leads me to say this is a firmly medium full body.

I dig it !!!!

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. The best by date printed on the label is “11AUG13.”

Appearance: Poured into a tulip. The color is light, clear copper. Two fingers of dense, eggshell-colored head dissipated slowly, leaving a rocky cap, webwork of foam along the glass, and eventually a skim and bubbly ring around the edge.

Smell: Nice balance between floral hops, citrus, and tropical fruit. Pine is prominent at first, but it is tempered by grapefruit, orange, apple, tangerine, and mango as the beer warms. It eventually offers an overall sticky-sweet aroma that is tinged with citrus, mango, and maybe peach. (The label mentions peach, so why not?) Though it may just be the pine, I think it has a touch of catty pungency.

Taste: Bold bitterness that slowly works on the taste buds and does not really reach its peak until the aftertaste. With each sip, I was expecting a full-frontal assault, but the bitterness slowly builds. The booze is not totally masked but it does keep a low profile. The flavors are pretty tame, which is a disappointment. I was expecting it to offer loads of the citrus and tropical fruit from the smell. However, the taste is mostly floral and piney with sharp lemon zest. Hints of grapefruit and mango peek through, though — but the beer needed to warm considerably. After that point, the bitterness is tempered by pale malts and a light, candy caramel flavor.

Drinkability: It smells great, but the flavor is all about the bitterness — which is solid. Personally, I would rather have a little more flavor.

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Rampant Imperial IPA from New Belgium Brewing
3.78 out of 5 based on 2,887 ratings.
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