Rampant Imperial IPA | New Belgium Brewing

very good
484 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: 484 | Ratings: 2,896
Photo of YardmanFTB
3.09/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was not a big fan of this beer at all. Calls itself and IPA and has 85 IBUs but the hop finish is not very pleasant. You can tell it's a New Belgium beer (tastes like an off-shoot of Fat Tire). It's 8.5% ABV is not hidden/blended well at all. It finishes really rough on the alcohol somehow even at only 8.5%. I just did not enjoy this beer very much.

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Photo of PrivateEquity
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Darker golden color. Light foam, Lacing is intense.

S - Spicy, grassy, weed, herbal nose.

T - Definitely a different taste. Not bad just different and a nice change. Bitter earthy taste. Plenty of resin.

M - Light body. Perfect carbonation matches the bitterness well after the back end.

O - Overall a nice change of pace. Definitely worth a try to change things up.

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Photo of scot_chale
4.65/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

poured into a snifter glass. drank on 3/25/13 with an expiration date of july 14th 2013

A- 2 fingers of pitch white bubbly head and a light golden orange body. very faint lines of carbonation floating around.

S- skunky european pilsner hops all the wait. smells like a stella, but more pungent. very pleasant.

T- very similar profile from the aroma. very skunky and herbal. not as punchy and mean as a double IPA usually can be. It's an herbal take on a DIPA. Very cool.

M- silky smooth with a light bit of carbonation. medium bodied. fairly dry. very nice.

O- I love this beer! It's an approachable double IPA. to me, it's a european pilsner all jacked up and i'm really impressed. not what you would expect in a DIPA, and I like that. New Belgium scores with this one by me.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sheffield's. Served in a tulip.

A - White foam settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and splotchy lacing. Transparent golden body. Quite attractive.

S - Stone fruits, citrus, some tropical flavors. Not as much dankness as I was expecting from Mosaic hops, but definitely some of the fruitiness. Sweet sugary malt backbone balances things out.

T - The taste is similarly balanced. More Centennial than Mosaic in flavor, with lots of citrus flesh and a touch of tropical notes. Mildly bitter finish, and no discernible alcohol.

M - Chewy, medium body, with a lightly dry finish. Some residual hop oils, and mild warming after 12oz or so.

D - A solid, well-made Double IPA. It's a bit maltier than I tend to prefer, but there are no major problems with it and I do like the hop bouquet. Surprised by the numerous reviews that mention onion, as I didn't notice that flavor at all. Might pick up a 4/6-pack of this actually if it's priced right.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured out a deep golden color, this was a dense liquid already. Nice substantial almost 1" head that didn't display much in terms of retention or lace, but given the amount of hop oils in here, its all forgiven.

Nice aromatic hop smell, tropical fruit came to mind, pineapple.

Taste, wow more pineapple hop flavor, low bitterness, hides alcohol well. Kind of reminiscient of Myrcenary from O'Dell's. Caramel notes were relatively low. No toffee. Good light malt body, good alcohol absorbtion, good hop flavors. What's not to love?

Reasonably (very) priced, easily drinkable, plenty of hops. We'll see how the other five bottles fare, but a fresh one really hit the spot. I really liked its relatively low bitterness to high tropical hop mouthfeel. Would recommend.

One of the first beers poured Wednesday night, pre party bottle share for March Madness 2013. Long before David Hurley at the El Dorado turned into a disingenuous, short sighted, cheaper looking version of Joe Buck trying to keep us from doing our already green lighted bottle share. Don't ever trust the El Dorado, they are disingenous. But drink this beer.

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Photo of jsulko
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into tulip glass

Pours a clearish gold color almost straw color with a decent slightly off white head.

Smell is slightly citrus. Not very powerful smell for a DIPA.

Taste is melon like with a slightly oily piney finish. NOt a very pleasant or enjoyable taste or aftertaste. Not enough good things going on for a DIPA.

Wasn't really expecting a hop bomb but was expecting something better than this. A letdown and not a repurchase.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
2.31/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Lightly chilled 12 oz. bottle poured into a stemless tulip pint. Best-by date 7.7.13.

Look- Deep gold with three fingers of dense white head. Good retention, thick swaths of lace remain.

Smell- Pineapple, bitter lemon rind, sharp, resinous, skunky. Clean oyster cracker malt backdrop. Swirling brings out a stronger medicinal lemon-pine aroma that is moderately abrasive, makes me think I could use this beer to clean floors. Not flat-out terrible, but not something I'm a fan of, either.

Taste- After the first sip, I waited a while before taking another. Unfortunately the second was the same. Bitter tea, tobacco, and booze. Light sweetness in the middle. Fades to mineral water and cough syrup. Not enough flavor for something this sharp, needs either a softer edge or something else going on besides the bitterness. Kind of like sucking on hop pellets. Old ones.

Mouthfeel- Light-medium body, nearly flat. Light warming after the swallow. Insubstantial feel, watery.

Overall- Not quite sure what they were shooting for with this one, but I ended up giving away the last 2/3 of the six pack. Waited a few days to crack the second bottle (this one) after being underwhelmed by the first. Just because it's bitter and boozy doesn't mean it's a worthwhile DIPA.

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Photo of BuzzLitebier
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured this from a 12 oz bottle. I was surprised that it looked a bit cloudy and light yellow (straw) color. The nose was nice with big hops. The mouthfeel was a little thin, but the carbonation was nice- even though it wasn't obvious upon the poor. The taste was complex. The first sip had cocoa on the front end finished with citrus and pine, but subsequent tastes had a very floral almost rosy taste. Would I have it again? Yep. It wouldn't be the first DIPA I would reach for, but I liked it.

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Photo of Halcyondays
1.85/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a medium clear gold with a firm white head, some real nice lace.

S: Weeds, vegetation, ethanol.

T: Lots of weedy, dandelion green type flavour. Astringent, not tasty at all, not a fun beer to try to drink.

M: Medium-bodied, fairly crisp, medium carbonation.

O: This beer is horrendous, I hope this is a bad bottle, since this is by far the worst New Belgium beer I've had. Love these guys, but this is a mess.

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Photo of AmitC
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bomber into a snifter.

Nice pale golden color. Over a finger thick off-white colored head with decent retention. Some bubbles. Very clear appearance. Excellent lacing on the sides.

Aroma is extremely good with flowery notes. Other major notes include orange peel, grass and some pine. A nicely spiced up and citrus aroma typical of calypso and centennial hops. Reminds me of TIPA from Schlafly. Some grapefruit as well. No alcohol. A good dry hopped aroma overall.

Flavor is equally good. A solid amount of bitterness and aromatics notes enters upfront. Will destroy the palate. Grape fruit, some orange peel, herbs, spices and some grass like flavor. Citrus content is good but very different from fat head's or Zombie Dust's. Bitterness should be high - about 90. Middle has some malt character but still dominated by hops. Finish is clearly very dry and bitter.

Mouth feel is medium to slightly light. A lot of oily and piney feel. Moderate warmth. Doesn't feel like an excessive alcohol drink. Kicks well. Moderate to slightly good carbonation.

A very likable IIPA indeed. Nothing wrong with it.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with a drink by date of 7/14/13, it's good to go.

Pours out translucent gold with a super-thick, 2 inch head. The lacing on this dipa is amazing. A large mound of head lasts for a good 30 minutes. Impressive.

Citrus, pale malts, caramel and floral hops combine with a hint of yeast to make up the smell.

Resiny, citric (blood orange/grapefruit) start this brew off very well, almost has a rye spice to it, though I doubt any is used. Sweet country white bread smooths it out a bit. I also notice a hint of pine in the finish. A bit heavy on the carbonation until the end. Nice moderate thickness. Resiny hops stick to the mouth for quite a while on this one.

Very interesting new dipa from New Belgium. I like it quite a bit. It stands out from the pack, is generously hopped and not too high on ABV. I'm sure I'll have it again. Great addition to the New Belgium lineup!

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Photo of nickapalooza86
4.74/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On my 4th of the 6 pack I got a week ago.

Pours just like the label, a great gold color, finger of white head, clear, decent lacing.

Smell is melon all over the place, honeydew, watermelon, cantelope and a bit of a floral note.

Tastes is very unique, honeydew, cantalope, watermelon, bittering grapefruit and a underlying sweetness I assume from the malt.

Mouthfeel is medium full, finishes a little wetter then most DIPas.

Well folks this is one of those love it or hate it beers. It is so unique, if all you want from your DIPAs is the same old Citrus and Pine notes then maybe this one is not for you. I am glad they went a different direction on this one, really some fruit flavors that I have not yet tasted from hops yet. The point is there are enough citrus, pine DIPAs out there already.

At the price it is worth a shot wether or not you think you will like it, I for one loved it, and will continue to!

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Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium Globe glass. Best by date of July 28, 2013.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of white head which slowly fade into a thin creamy patch. Leaves a lot of lacing clinging to the glass.

Smell: A big aroma of ripe floral and citrus hops with a solid malt backing. Sharp mix of hops upfront with scents of floral, grassy, and piney hops. Big hints of citrus grapefruit, orange peel, mango, pineapple, tangerine, lemon, peach, and papaya. Bready malt backing with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toast, and yeast. Also a little hint of pepper like spicing. Very hop forward and juicy aroma. Very good.

Taste: Like it smells, a big taste of ripe citrus and floral hops backed by some caramel malt. Big burst of ripe and bitter hops upfront with floral and grassy notes along with some spicy pine resin. Big citrus taste with notes of grapefruit, orange pulp, mango, tangerine, lemon, pineapple, papaya, and peach. Bready toasted malts with notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toast, and yeast. A little candy sugar and pepper spice. A very hoppy and good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, oily, and very drying. Alcohol heat is pretty tame.

Overall: A really good new Imperial IPA from New Belgium. Great mix of hop flavors.

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Photo of AndyP612
4.95/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into Darkness tulip.

A- Crystal clear golden Amber with a short head.

S- Flowery Hops. Very inviting. Looks very clean. I couldn't wait to take the first sip@

T- Light and Crisp. Not what I have come to expect for an Imperial IPA. Crisp floral hops with a touch of citrus. Semi sweet beginning to a complex dry finish. Overall a very nice bitter.

M- Light and crisp as previously mentioned. Light to Medium body that finishes dry.

O- If this is New Belgium's answer to hopslam I think they outdid the veteran in terms of IIPAs. This is the first that can compete with Surly Abrasive, emphasis on compete. I know the purpose of review is not to compare or take favourites between two ales but I would love to do a side by side tasting. This is truly a treat to drink. Cheers.

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Photo of theironmonkey
4.34/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Strange, but tasty hop flavor. Normal amount of bubbles and hoppy bitterness for an imperial IPA. Mostly everything I want from an imperial IPA, but the different hops used make for a different taste. Can't taste much alcohol, though it's at 8.5%. Hints of tarragon in the hop profile. Overall a nice beer I probably won't need to get more of after this 6, but I'm very happy to have picked up.

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Photo of onedogtwodog
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I like it... It is really drinkable... Hoppy, but not club over the head hoppy... I have to admit I do lean towards the IPA's so I my be biased. Tonight, I picked up six because they were next to the Rangers... Got them home popped one open and they were good... Go get six and try them...

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Photo of clayrock81
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured a cloudy gold that was seethru at times with very little head which could've been the bartender, not the beer. Some light, airy hops that aren't too strong, mostly citric notes and not what I think of DIPA aromas, along with minimal breadiness and sweet malts. For a DIPA, at least the beer I had, this was a slightly watered down version as the hops are more neutral than aggressive and there isn't much to say of the malts, although the hops do seem to give off something like sweet or tropical fruit notes. Easy to drink and has a vanilla but not disgusting finish; I'd take this over a macro beer anyday.

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Photo of tlyerly
4.46/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I thought this double IPA did a great job of displaying bitterness, as well as a refreshing citrus taste. The 8.5% ABV was well-hidden surprisingly. It is similar to Ranger, but sets itself apart by using a different combination of hops, including Calypso hops. This double IPA is definitely worth trying.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into signature globe glass, best before 7/7/2013. Pours crystal clear golden amber color with a nice 2-3 finger dense and fluffy white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, orange peel, peach, pine, lemon zest, pineapple, light honey, pine resin, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of hop notes with a fairly moderate malt backbone; very unique aromas as well. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, peach, pine, lemon zest, orange rind, pineapple, floral, light honey, pine resin, and floral earthiness. Nice amount of citrus pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus zest, peach, pine, lemon, pineapple, floral, light honey, and pine resin on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of hop flavors; with a light-moderate malt backbone; with some light cloying pine bitterness on the finish, but not really that bad. Medium carbonation and body; with a very sticky, crisp, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. Very nice and unique hop complexity with moderate malt balance; and very smooth and crisp to drink. The Mosaic and Calypso hops were definitely different, but it worked out very well. No complaints at all, really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, honey amber colored with a huge white head that lingers leaving good lacing, crystal clear

S: aggressive hop aromas, floral, citrus, pine

T: a hop bomb up front, grapefruit peel, definite heavy alcohol aldehyde ketone flavors in the middle, finish is not really that dry

M: on the oily side, alcohol makes itself known, good carbonation

O: good, be prepared for alcohol complexity similar to a barley wine

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Photo of mkbeirne
2.05/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was served from the bottle into a tulip glass.

The beer poured a very light gold with minimal head. I want to emphasize the light color of this beer. Double IPAs surely are supposed to be fairly pale in color, but this beer looked more like a light lager than any double IPA I've ever had. My first impression was that someone had played a trick on me by pouring a Bud Light into a Rampant bottle and capping it. While the IPA and DIPA styles have expanded to allow beers of widely differing appearances, I cannot, with a straight face, say that this looked anything like a DIPA when I poured it.

I was hopeful the aroma would be the redeeming factor, but no. This had none of the typical citrus, pine and floral notes that I typically expect in a DIPA. Nor was there any malt backbone on the aroma. Sure, there was a hop aroma present, but it was in no way true to the style. My friend's description of the aroma hits it spot on: it smelled like the inside of a gym bag. I'm not talking about the dank hop character present in some IPAs - this just smelled like they dumped random hops at the end of boil, with no concern as to the different aroma contributions of each.

The taste was equally disappointing. There certainly was the bitterness one would expect from a DIPA, but in no way could it be described as true to style. There was no real citrus flavor or complexity - just bitterness for the sake of bitterness. And let me be clear: I am not someone who automatically knocks a DIPA for being unbalanced. On the contrary, I thoroughly enjoy unbalanced hop bombs so long as the hop character provides the expected citrus character of an IPA. This, however, completely missed. It tasted like New Belgium took their standard IPA recipe, watered it down to make a double batch, but quadrupled the hop bill.

The mouthfeel was very thin, which again makes it seem like a watered-down, over-hopped IPA.

I typically refrain from writing severely negative reviews, but this beer was so disappointing that I felt it was necessary. I like a lot of New Belgium products, and I was excited to see they were releasing an Imperial IPA. Unfortunately, they completely missed on this one. Every aspect of the beer makes it seem like a watered-down, over-hopped IPA.

Give it a shot if you feel so compelled, but don't expect anything close to a "typical" imperial/double IPAs. New Belgium really butchered the style with this beer, in my opinion.

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Photo of Monalenard
4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i totally love this beer. i almost hate new belgium. seriously, has one brewery ever had so many beers taste so closely alike? fat tire, ranger, dig and snow day all have that weird extra toasted flavor that i used to love till i realized it showed up in everything they brew. now it just makes me nauseous..well, most of the time, because they finally brewed a balanced beer, one hopped well enough to handle that surplus of toasted malt or whatever that taste is, like they spilled too much in and said "screw it, bottle it and sell it. Rampant is rather sweet and a little of this flavor can go a long way. the appearance is a vibrant golden, slight copper hue that is almost perfectly clear with a decent head and really good lacing, which i wouldn't expect with how clear the beer is. the aroma is intense its... (reloading)... oops, i accidentally opened a fat tire that someone left over...i'll just give that to the dog, ok, rampant, yes, the aroma is a loud balance of citrusy and piney off the charts. Taste is, like i said, sweet. Maybe a bit grassy but not too dry. All in all this is something very different in the realm of IPAs over all. awesome beer. bit of a break from the norm. hell, it may even cause me to become more optimistic about trying future new belgium releases.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The more New Belgium beer I taste, the more I love this brewery. Glad to see them doing one of my favorite styles.

Brewed about a month before the date of this tasting (Bottled on 02/20/2013, Best by 07/21/2013).

A: Bright, shimmering orange-gold body with a fluffy white head; bubbles rise up from the bottom of the glass continuously. Cappuccino foam for retention, sticky soap suds for lacing.

S: Intense but delicate hop aromas give this a complex, uplifting character of sharp lemon-lime, pineapple, juicy peach, and grassy floral scents. Notes of citrus rind and black pepper in the background with what little malt that can be found: a soft buttered bread tone. An interesting take on a hop-forward nose, probably thanks to Mosaic hops.

T: This beer hits you with a unique palate, bringing chewy malts together with fruit tastes that you just don’t usually find in a beer like this. Sweet, dark sugars meld with soft bread tones, like honey on a biscuit, making it one of the sweeter DIPAs I’ve had. And then the hops: very fleshy tastes of melon, peach, guava, and blood orange. There’s a bit of woody pine to it, too, but it’s mainly tropical melon fruitiness – it’s only marginally bitter, in fact. So basically, take that honey biscuit that represented the malt and slap some sweet tropical jam on it and you’ve got your New Belgium DIPA. Finishes prickly and dry, leaving pine character on the taste buds longer than anything else in the palate.

M: The fullness of the mouthfeel accentuates the thick malts, further augmented by the lack of carbonation; really, it’s nothing but mild foaminess in the texture.

O: Strange brew, indeed. Just before cracking this beer open, I brewed a pale ale hopped with Nelson Sauvin, and this had the taste and aroma of the raw wort – raw hops in the nose, especially. It kind of hit a nerve there, but other than that, it was an interesting (albeit sweet) DIPA.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle dated 28 Jul 13 poured into a Duvel tulip. Clear amber body with a light yellow tint. Thick three-finger head that has excellent retention and leave nice lacing.

The aroma is understated but OK for a DIPA. A bit of piney and grassy hop notes with a little malt in the background.

The flavor is a touch better than the aroma. The hop notes remain in the pine/grass family with tiny bit of grapefruit. The bready malt flavor is not dominant at all, but provides a nice compliment to the hops.

Medium texture in the mouthfeel and no notice of the alcohol. Solid overall for a DIPA, but I probably prefer Ranger a bit more.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

finally, something new and impressive coming from new Belgium! too many lackluster and overpriced releases has me a little down on these guys, but this one is a gem. pours a really pale hazy yellow color, lighter than almost any big ipa ive seen, with a thick foamy bubbly white head with okay retention. the nose is very floral, perfect for the blooming spring time, hoppy but not terribly bitter, and really light on the malt bill. the flavor is also very light in terms of grains, and the hops are intense and interesting, not just a bitter bomb. lots of floral pollen grassy hop character, this somehow reminds me of easter. the yeast is also a contributor, with complimentary light sugar cookie complexion. really clean finish with a burst of freshness. I liked everything about this beer, even the not so subtle alcohol content, it just works in the context of this light and flavorful brew. also, its priced like a beer not a bottle of rare French wine, which is something new Belgium really needs to get back to if they are going to frequent my fridge with any kind of regularity. bravo for this.

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Rampant Imperial IPA from New Belgium Brewing
3.78 out of 5 based on 2,896 ratings.
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