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: 2,886
Photo of TheSixthRing
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a semi-hazy goldish orange with an off-white, two finger head. Excellent retention. Fair lacing around the glass, spotty in places, with good stick.

Smell - Predominantly a juicy, tropical hop aroma. Slight peppery spice. Grapefruit. Pineapple. Hints of peach.

Taste - Woah, where'd all that peach come from!? Predominant peach flavor upfront and through to the finish. Peppery spice and mango notes hit mid-taste. Mild orange pith in the aftertaste. Malt backbone is present, but is felt more so than tasted; touches on lightly toasted biscuit.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body. Soft, near creamy on the tongue, but with a crisp, dry finish.

Overall - A very unique, and very welcome take on the DIPA style. Lots of stonefruit sweetness, but the spice bite and there's just enough bitterness on the back end to keep this thing from becoming cloying. Well done, New Belgium.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours clear golden with a nice medium head. Head dissipates fairly slowly, seems to be leaving a lot of lacy residue on the sides. Lots of active carbonation. Pretty beer. Smell is a bit mild for the "imperial" descriptor, but nice. Flowery/grassy, straw and a little yeast.

Taste is also a little mild for the "imperial" descriptor. Flowery, honey, a little citrus.

Mouthfeel is light and fluffy, very nice. Overall, this is a pretty good beer. When it's cheap, I won't hesitate to buy it again.

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - clear orangish gold with a small, soft, pure white head that has decent retention

S - big grapefruit aroma, some faint sweetness, faint breadiness

T - grapefruit, orange, orange rind, piney bitterness, very faint sweetness, faint alcohol warmth in the finish

M - some warmth, medium bodied, dry, clean, well carbonated

This is a nicely hopped DIPA, but it lacks any significant character. The hops are deep, pleasant, and offer a wide range of flavors. The malt is faint and hardly noticeable at times. The malt definitely doesn't offer the kind of backbone needed to support the intense hop character. Though this is hop forward and pretty unbalanced, it is easily drinkable with a well hidden ABV. For any hop fan this is worth a try.

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Photo of bensbeers
3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Let me start of by saying that I really enjoy most of NB's beers; however, I am not a fan of their IPA, and now, their DIPA. Rampant, in my opinion, is a sort of quasi-imperial IPA. It has the ABV and the upfront hoppy nose/taste of a DIPA, but the appearance and complexities set this apart from others. I don't mean to be harsh, but here goes...

The ale pours out a clear, gold with a 1.5 finger head; slightest shade of orange, as well; head is soapy, but hung around for most of the session. Smell is mostly hoppy, but not citrusy/piney hops we are accustomed to; I sensed notes of pungent earth, grass, weeds, and chives. The taste coats your mouth in a layer of hops with a slightly sweet finish; a swirl around the mouth, though, releases some odd flavors - more like a compost pile than bouquet of flowers; more like rotting fruit than bright, refreshing citrus flavors; funky. The mouthfeel is one redeeming quality of Rampant; light to medium bodied, with a long finish; moderate carbonation.

The more I drank, the more I wanted to stop, but I wanted to give it a fair chance. Overall, a miss by NB. If this is strictly a spring-release, I hope next year's batch will be better. A tad bit fruitier and less funky. Give it a shot, though. I could be wrong...

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Best by 7/7/13.

Pours a clear light orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a thick cap on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, slight fruit, herbal hops, and some onion and garlic aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and vegetal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with some hop aromas and flavors that are fairly heavy on vegetal onion and garlic qualities.

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Photo of BradMacMullin
4.34/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap at Life of Riley in PDX. I am hit or miss usually with New Belgium, but this was a good beer. Nice amber color, with 1 finger head. Found the smell to be a grassy pine scent...the taste was the same. Not overly hoppy, but a decent balance with the rest. Good carbonated beer, that seemed very fresh. Enjoyed thisa lot

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Photo of BeerWizard
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with a finely-bubbled white head. The color is actually really nice. Love the gold printing on the six pack too, really just fine-looking. The nose is spicy, zesty, and herbal; super pine and citrus, with a little tropical fruit nudge of mango and tangerine, certainly some alcohol there. Flavor has a nice citrus bite from the hops and some bitterness on the back end. This is more hop-forward than balanced, and I usually like more balance, but I'm liking the pine-citrus dominance here. Mouthfeel is well structured and tight, and the alcohol (which is not pussyfooting around at 8.5%) is fairly negligible, perhaps taking a back seat to the hops. Carbonation is on the lighter side of medium, and what else can I say? I like it. Try it, it's good.

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Photo of runfoodrun
1.21/5  rDev -68%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Wow, I'm not one to drain pour a beer, especially not an IPA or DIPA. This beer smells of wet straw and dirt. This beer tastes like it smells. Awful.

Perhaps I should have poured it into a glass, but one smell after opening the bottle revealed this horrible smell. I proceed to take a couple of sips to see if the taste matched the smell. It did. I tried, I really did. Then it went down the drain.

Not sure what they were going for with this DIPA. Perhaps I missed something or my palette isn't experienced enough for this. But I've been a hard core hop head for years now and I don't remember drain pouring even the worst IPA or DIPA. This I couldn't take.


Based on other reviews I wonder if I had a bad bottle or an old bottle. But the best by date is in July and it just hit here. Not sure what to think. But my review stands.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear orange color with a two-finger, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of fuitiness, a touch of peach with piney hops.

T - It tasted of peach and tropical fruits with a piney hop bitterness. A nice toasted malt backbone with a slight sweetness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a pretty tasty Imperial IPA. And affordable, too.

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Photo of DenverLogan
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bottle into St Bernardus chalice.
Golden color with small head.
Nice aroma of sweet malts, buttery hops, light ganja.
Significant carbonation and mouthfeel.
Big flavors with emphasis on grassy hops, straw, cream of tartar, alcohol.
After 5 minutes or more the strong aromas remain, and the flavors remain but a touch less alcohol, more earthy hops, slight tropical melon rind. Overall tasty and bold, significant bitterness but also creamy malts. Flavorful but not my favorite Colorado double IPA, mostly because of the cream of tartar/chalk bitterness. Still, tasty and I'll look forward to having it on tap.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. best before July 07 13.

A: a slight haze. really interesting hue, kind of clear, but also a little pink. also a pale orange. a different looking brew. head is white, retention and lacing present.

S: floral, a lot of grapefruit too. a smooth melon aroma works with a mild biscuit grist.

T: a faint peach starts the palate off. a little bit of rose water adds to the flavor then things turn bitter. very bitter. finish is a lingering dry/green flavor with, you guessed it, bitterness.

M: average carb on a medium-ish/full body.

D: really impressed with the nose, found the body a little bit bitter dominant where it would be stellar if they backed off a bit with the bitterness.

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Photo of BaltimoreBeerLover
2.27/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This is the first beer I've had that has finally driven me to write a review. Unfortunately, for the wrong reasons.

Poured into a red wine glass.

Appearance: A nice, golden-amber color with a foamy white head about an inch thick.

Smell: Stale hay or corn is the predominant aroma I get, which threw me aback slightly, but I thought the taste would prove otherwise. Not too complex, slight hoppiness.

Taste: A surprisingly unpleasant experience. I was not prepared for the odd aftertaste. Alcohol presence really isn't there for an 8.5% beer but the stale straw taste is very prevalent. Not nearly as hoppy as I would expect from an imperial IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation, dry.

Overall: A very unpleasant experience from the start but did improve slightly as the beer warmed with time. Would not recommend to anyone and will only drink in the future because it has ethanol in it and I hate to see money go to waste. 2/5.

Disclaimer: I checked the expiration date just to make sure that wasn't a factor and it is not. I did however purchase the beer cold, store it at room temperature, then refrigerated again before drinking. Although, I have done this multiple times in the past with no adverse effects. I am by no means a beer snob, and I have no problem drinking budweiser, bud light, etc. and was very surprised by how bad this actually tasted. In fact, this is only the second beer after anchor christmas ale that I have said to myself, "Wow, this is a terrible beer."

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Photo of JohnnyMc
2.14/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

New beer from New Belgium!

Pours out a very clear, bright yellow with 2 fingers of an off-white head.

The aroma is peaches, piney hop notes, some subtle floral notes and a weird perfume smell too. There is a little bit of bready notes.

The taste is overwhelmed by the weird perfume type of flavor, some peach, pine and very light floral hop notes and a touch of bready malt. Very one dimensional and not very good. The perfume taste overwhelms the entire beer.

The body is light and there is a crisp and clean mouthfeel. You can't taste the ABV and there is only a slight warming as it goes down.

A very poor example of an Imperial IPA; not very bitter, not very hoppy and a weird perfume smell and taste.

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Photo of glyng
4.41/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I really like this one. To me a true Imperial. Great balance of alcohol and taste. Excellent mouth feel. First sip hit me with big butterscotch and soon after perfect hop bitterness and flavor to balance. Color is butterscotch too. The alcohol fits perfect and afraid I will drink to much and often. Great that it comes in a six pack and affordable given the style. Hope it is on the shelf a long time. You can tell they worked hard to get this one right but then again New Belgium does that with all their beer. Thank you New Belgium.

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

Poured from the bottle a bright and clear gold color with two fingers of sticky white head. Generous lacing all around the glass.

Citrusy aroma of grapefruit, lemon and tropical fruit along with a small whiff of biscuit behind it.

The citrusy taste matched the citrusy aroma but with an added candy sugar sweetness to it. The malty biscuit comes through more in the taste as well. Finished with bite of hoppy bitterness.

Medium bodied and slightly dry with a crisp carbonation.

This one packed a lot of flavorful bang for the buck – under $4 for a bomber. I'll definitely have this one again.

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Photo of vkv822
4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz : tulip
Best by : 7-14-13

Clear, with lots of visibly rising carbonation, bright brassy golden-orange with a thick, foamy off white head and tons of lacing.

A unique hop character, lemony, sweet, fruity peach. Light pine undertones/finish. Lightly sweet, pale malt backing.

Medium body, with mild foamy carbonation. Faint alcohol warmth.

I really enjoyed the use of the Mosaic and Calypso hops as they presented a hop character I had yet to experience before. Really easy drinking DIPA.

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Photo of sbxx
2.08/5  rDev -45%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.75

Appearance - Pours a light golden yellow. 1/2 finger of bubbly head leaves behind minimal spotty lacing.

Smell - Earthy, bready hops with some background citrus

Taste - Blah. Bitter straw notes upfront, then on the backend, the hops and some citrus comes through. Not-so-great bitter aftertaste. Tastes thin and cheap. This is an Imperial IPA? Really?

Mouthfeel - Light, low carbonation, finishes slightly dry

Overall - I might drink a few more sips, but this one is looking like a drain pour.

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Photo of estlinska
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap to a tulip on 3/11/13.

Pours pale golden yellow with a hint of orange like the rind of an almost ripe tangerine. Fluffy head that dissipates quickly and didn't leave a whole lot of lacing overall. Nose was full of citrus and pure hops. Smelled almost purely of lemon or grapefruit oil. The taste was pretty cloying and the mouthfeel was very, very oily. It tasted full of fruit like biting into a ripe pineapple. It was just puckeringly sweet with a bitter finish. I didn't get to pay much attention to the malt in this one, but I think I was just trying to figure this one out. I didn't necessarily dislike the beer, but it was a little...off. I would give it another shot though.

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Photo of yamar68
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm always down to try out new beers from New Belgium - best by 7/13/13:

Burnt gold body with a healthy pillow of dimply foam. Tons of lace, minimal beading.

The nose shows a balanced blend of coniferous hop notes and smooth tropical fruit. Rather tame but definitely appealing. So far so good.

Hmm... there's something different going on here that I'm struggling to pinpoint. Some earthy, herbal hop flavors that overshadow all the things that I expected after the nose. Some butterscotch type malts. Something floral... the alcohol even manages to show itself on the finish. Not what I was anticipating; I should have kept Ranger in mind before opening this one. It takes a similar direction.

It's unique, that's for sure. I can see myself being thirsty for this specifically - not what I'm typically looking for in a IIPA though.

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Photo of Hopscat
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Interesting nose, I guess I'm getting some peach as the label says. It's different than Ranger because the piney resin isn't there. The look is pale for a DIPA but the head is fluffy and lingers a bit with nice lacing.
Taste is surprising with a fruity sweetness I can't place but also nicely balanced with bready malt and a nice hops bitterness on the finish.
A nice IPA overall and dangerously drinkable for the abv. This one works for me and I liked the hops blend . For about $2.00 for a single, value is there. Don't know how you get $7.99 for 6 as some reviewers found; maybe out of date ?

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

Poured into an impy nonic a clear light golden with a sticky one finger white head that held for quite awhile.Aromas are more herbal and grassy with a little floral note,not a big sharp citric/resiny bomb,a a lightly toasted biscuit malt bas eunderneath the hops,not much alcohol presence.Flavors are grassy and herbal with a hint of onion,again not a big in your face resiny attack,light caramel biscuit and just a hint of sweet alcohol.Not bad but it's more a toned down DIPA in my opinion,not bad.

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Photo of flayedandskinned
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best before date: July 14th, 2013
Poured into a standard tulip.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear blond with an amazingly thick and voluminous, 3 finger tall, pure white hide. Great head retention with absolute curtains of sticky lacing. Quite impressed.

Aroma: The hops really just LEAP out of the glass on this imperial IPA, huge notes of lemon, pineapple, peach, red berries, melon rind (man, the new Mosaic and Calypso hops are really interesting!) The usual suspects of grapefruit and pine are nicely layered underneath this hugely tropical bouquet. Some sweetness from the malts accentuate the hop forward nose nicely.

Taste: Tropical hop flavors slam your tongue right away; cantaloupe, pineapple, light mango, lemon, grapefruit and pine-y hop goodness. The light and slightly chewy malts definitely take a backseat role in the flavor department, really just acting as spring board for the hops to jump off of onto your palate. The malts do get a little too sweet as the warms though. Finishes dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing. moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: Wow! I was not expecting this high of quality of an IPA from New Belgium, especially when it is available year round at $7.99 a six pack. It is insanely refreshing and quaff-able. A bit too easy drinking for it's ABV. I definitely recommend drinking this cold and not allowing the malts to poke through too much, because they get a bit cloying and really just convolute the flavor profile.

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Photo of blakelive784
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a pint glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a nearly transparent golden orange color with lively carbonation and two fingers a finger of thin, just off white head. Retention is OK. There's a bit of lacing left. Pretty average.

S - Earthy and woody hops notes. I honestly don't find any fruity hops notes that I've seen in other reviews. Incredibly resinous. Light pale malts are buried somewhere under there. It's got a vague cannabis like note. Incredibly fresh. Interesting to say the least.

T - Heavy, heavy pine. Oddly woody. Resinous and perfumey. Not fruity at all. The underlying malt foundation is buried and not present. Caramel near the climax. Very simple. No yeast character comes through, nor does the relatively high ABV. It's not bitter and relatively well balanced, if a bit simple.

M - Oily, thick, and crisp.

D - I like the departure from the typical citric/fruity hops used in many IPA's, but it suffers from simplicity and I'd guess that this beer wouldn't be any good if it wasn't fresh. I'll have no trouble finishing it, but I don't know that I'd get it again.

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Photo of quaybr
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thick white bubbly head slowly retreats to a thin layer of foam, being fed by a stream of bubbles. Color is a golden-amber, a bit more bronze than the typical DIPA.

Aroma is incredibly citrusy: mostly grapefruit with some orange peel. A little bit of grass is present, too. The buckets of hops leave only the slightest hint of malt.

Taste follows aroma, as hops rule the palate. In fact, flavor is a bit unbalanced - hop to malt ratio seems too big. Bitter spuds begin as early as front-mid tongue, growing too strong by the time your washing it down and lingering loudly in the aftertaste.

Although the absence of malt is noticeable in the taste, it isn't quite as bad with the mouthfeel. Not as thick as typical, but not watery either.

This beer lacks balance, as their is no backbone to the malt bill to match the hop profile. I'd suggest passing this one up for another DIPA alternative.

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

Served in tulip. Poured a hazy yellow with just a thin cap of white head that had zero retention and light lacing.

The aroma was mostly fruity hops, perhaps a bit of melon? The were just very faint malt or grain scents. The flavor profile closely matched the scent. Juicy fruit hops, a slight bit of bitterness and not a lot else.

The body was decent, although thinner than I like in the style, and had a finish that was surprisingly dry given the fruity sweetness. Drinkability was pretty good, I could see having a couple of these. Overall, a pleasant enough beer, one I wouldn't go out of my way for, but one I'll have again while it's on tap. Worth a shot.

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Rampant Imperial IPA from New Belgium Brewing
3.78 out of 5 based on 2,886 ratings.
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