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: 2,889
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Terp96
2.78/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poor example of a DIPA. I keep giving this brewery a chance and they continue to fail. I guess Fat Tire gives them a license to market subpar offerings everywhere else.

Smell is okay with pungent, dank smelling hops.

Taste is off. Not hoppy, just too sweet and fruity. No bitterness.

Mouthfeel is fine but the experience is ruined at this point.

Another miss from New Belgium. If you like IPAs, avoid this brewery.

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Photo of Zorro
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Clear golden colored ale with a tall white colored head. Double checked the bottle quite light in color for the beer style. Thought maybe I had poured a lager.

Smell is strongly hopped with pine being the strongest scent here. Additional scents of watermelon, grapefruit, wood and strong tea.

Starts out with a woody strong tea flavor like a lot of high bitterness beers do. All I get is pine, strong tea and wood, perhaps a little over the top.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall not that great.

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Photo of obrike
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 6 er at Round Rock Specs for just under 8 bucks...quite a bargain for an 8.5% DIPA.

Poured a bright straw yellow with a nice sticky white head. Excellent lacing on this one.

Getting some light notes of melon and peach...a bit of earthiness too...wet grass, hay? Interesting.

This one's pretty bitter, but there are some sweet notes of peach and possibly mango. It's got a very earthy feel...almost fresh cut grass too it. The hops are uber fruity on this one and the malt is a bit bland to me. An interesting take though. Pretty smooth for a DIPA though.

A bit of a unique mango and peach bite with this one. Not exactly my favorite flavor combo, but an interesting take nonetheless. At this pricepoint, I'm sure I'll revisit, but it's certainly not a mindblowing DIPA.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a translucent golden with a 2 finger white head. Retains a 1 finger head for quite some time. Clumps and trails of lacing remain.

S- honey, pineapple, orange, slight spice, pine.

T- very off, weird taste. Almost a bad orange flavor, citrus rind, spicy hops, some citrus and pine.

M- medium body and carbonation. Thin at first than more of a slick, creamy feel.

O- aroma was fairly promising, but taste is just off. First reaction is thin and a bad citrus flavor with a spicy, pine bitterness.

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Photo of IPA1978
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A. Rather light for a dipa, golden, crystal clear.

S. Sweet, fruity, citrus rinds.

T. This does not taste like 8.5 abv, light malty sweet without that wierd NB biscuit taste. The hops are funky fruity, peach (like the label says), tangerine, floral. The hops are not overly bitter but still a very hoppy beer... very unique.

M. Medium at best. Fine carbonation. Much lighter in body than expected.

O. Very unique, dangerously quaffable and refreshing. Well worth a try.

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Photo of t2thebro
4.26/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle
Poured into pint glass.

A- pours a light clear gold with copper and greenish hues. with a 1 1/2 finger head. Leaving a ni
ce sticky lacing.

S- in your face, all dank earthy hops. Smells like dirt, earthy plants, cooked peas
Not much citrus. Funky.

T- woody, dank hops. Not much in the citrus hops or sweet grains. Tastes like raw dried hop pellets smell like. Almost an offensive hop tone but finishes nice due to a good mixture Of pale and caramel malts and alchohol.

M- average to good, medium carb. Slightly slimy.

O- impressive double. Where most go fruity, they go raw. Earth is the key message in this brew, being dank and packed full of flavor. Many would find this offensive, hop heads would find it heavenly. A grade A beer, but a sipper. Enjoy!

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Photo of bubseymour
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very pale and clear body, almost dare I say "adjunct" looking, but with a nice 2 finger head that has excellent retention.

Very pleasant fruity hop profile, but has a bready balance going on here as well. Nice change of pace from the usual hop bomb scented imperials.

Perhaps I have a slightly older bottled one but it has subdued flavoring albeit well crafted and a fine Imperial IPA. Hops are present with a slight bitter finish, but I'm not picking up any major pleasantries in the flavor profile...maybe some floral tastes but very subdued.

Mouthfeel is actually a tad watery for an imperial IPA.

Overall this is worth a sampling for IPA fans who want something big in ABV and hop profile. I've had much better and probably won't be interested in purchasing again for home consumption. If on tap, I'd order it again if other options were limited.

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Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear gold with thin white head and minor lacing.

Smell: Sweet peaches, lemon, biscuit, and dry spiciness.

Taste: Strong peach and lemon taste upfront with some biscuit like malts underneath. Finish is fairly bitter, somewhat spicy and with a little bit of a berry taste as well.

Feel: Moderately carbonated with a medium body (not as full as many DIPAs). Finish is very tingly and somewhat dry. Very smooth overall.

Overall: A unique DIPA with an interesting combination of the bitter and sweet. The biggest detriment for me is the distinctive New Belgium sweet biscuit taste. Ultimately though, this is a great value at less than $10 / six pack.

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

Really surprised by how lightly colored this is. It really looks closer to a pilsner than an IPA. But no matter, there’s still fine carbonation and good head formation.

Smell seems about right given the size of this beer. Big blast of hops, and not the kind I’ve grown accustomed to like in Ranger, but more like New Zealand hops with interesting peach and mango notes.

Flavor is solid though seeming a little light for style. However, given the 8.5% ABV, I think New Belgium has actually crafted a really drinkable yet potent ale. Those unique hops in the aroma are at play in the flavor as well. And they’re really the star. Given how lightly colored this beer is, the malt is really neutral. Yet there is still some sweetness to be had, and some of it might even be the unique fruity hop flavor.

On the one hand, I appreciate that this beer goes down so easily for an imperial IPA. On the other, why even make it 8.5% if it’s going to be this smooth? Either way, I’d be happy to have a few more of these, and if the price is correct at $7.49/sixer, that’s a bargain.

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Photo of FriarTuckInLuck
2.98/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Picked up a six pack as soon as I realized this hit the shelves. Initial pour looked way lighter than I was expecting(why do I even bother to read the stupid ass BevMo info as its consistently asinine), Other than the stark paleness what really stood out was the tightly packed foam head coming off an ample carbonation. Reminds me of a crazy pale Hop Stoopid.

Aroma was the bell of the ball where Ranger is concerned. Sweet malt dominates, slight fruit. Almost vanilla sweetness from the malt. Reminds me of Frosted Flakes. Made me salivate. Got my hopes up a bit.

Taste is a bit unusual. Very light, unoffensive, serviceable malt frames this offering. Almost like the palate is dropped into a void of pale malt. This allows the tip/sides of the tongue to go searching for the hops(there were supposed to be some damned hops amirite). The hops appear in short order; honestly they just appear out of the pale malt void to dance on the tongue. Its too bad the dancers aren't more to my liking. Slightly floralish, wannabe fruitishness, ultimately a big herbal yeast monster. The finish lacks bitterness associated with most DIPA's I enjoy. The problem for me is that the hops are not infused throughout this beer. It takes a layered/ expansive approach which I'm sure was intended, but just comes off as a little too cute considering the dearth of fruit/pine/traditional IPA characteristics. Any fruit present is an absolute afterthought, and arguably more to do with the malt sweetness than hops. Not to tip my hand too far on this one, but would it have killed them to dry hop this one? I guess for $7.99 a six(regular priced, not sale) they couldn't go too crazy. Seems a perfect fit for supermarket shelves. Very Rangerish.

Mouthfeel was not a major weakness. Judging by the paleness alone I expected regular IPA as opposed to imperial and for the most part thats what it is. It definitely doesn't offend, but you can tell the malt bill was light(pun intended)

Overall I would recommend this to fans of New Belgium and only to fans of New Belgium. They serve their role as a counterpoint to the Uber and maintain a unique vision. Very similar to past offerings from this brewery. I was hoping to see them try something different, but why change what obviou$ly work$ $o well.

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Photo of mosquitoking
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I really don't take this serious enough to actually consider the appearance, smell, or mouthfeel, so if these are important to you this review probably won't be of meaningful interest. However, if you are a fan of the taste of IPAs and want something that tastes great then read on. I am new at this so please bear with me. I am a big fan of O'Dells IPA, great stuff...am I right or am I right. And I am a huge fan of Pliny the Elder, which I recently had for the first time (because I haven't experienced Pliny the Younger or Heady Topper) it is my personal opinion that Pliny the Elder is the standard to which all IPAs should be judged. Keeping that in mind I was very pleasantly surprised with Rampant. I am from Fort Collins and in this town you are either a NB fan or and O'Dells fan (no disrespect for the newer smaller breweries/ brewpubs). I have always been an O'Dells fan. However, with NB release of Rampant I have gained a new appreciation for NB. This is not like Ranger at all. The subtle citrus and fruit flavor mixed with the malts make this an amazing IIPA. It is very affordable, well at least in FC, and the ABV is 8.5%. The hops are not to overbearing and I feel that anybody that appreciates a good beer will enjoy this. I would recommend this to almost anyone who enjoys craft beer. This is not a beer for Joe the Plumber, but then again Joe the Plumber is probably not reading this and is content with his case of Budweiser. I digress, go out and give this a try...it is a great beer.

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Photo of JamesMN
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh off the truck.

Appearance: Crystal clear golden/bronze hue with a one finger frothy off-white head. Some effervescence slowly making its way to the top up the center of the glass.

Aroma: Similar to their Ranger IPA, there is a soapy hop character. Some sugary malt sweetness and a hint of pineapple juice. Just a touch of tea leaves as well.

Taste: Very cool hop character to this one and different from Ranger. Starts with medium bitterness and some crystal malt flavor but nothing impressive in the first half. Ends very well though with straight up honey-dew melon hop flavor in the second half and finish. The hop flavor evolves slightly and gives a herbal quality at times. There is a nice sugary barley character which keeps the hops in check. At 8.5% ABV and 85 IBUs I was expecting a bigger beer but the alcohol is completely hidden and the chosen hops give much more flavor than bitterness. Although as time goes on you do get a subtle heat from the alcohol and a sort of prickly feeling on the palate (and this coming from a huge hophead like myself). All around it is quite succulent but the sweetness can become cloying.

Mouthfeel: Just above medium in body but feels lighter due to the bright flavors. Exceptionally smooth carbonation and softness on the palate. Above average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: If this is a seasonal then I'll be on board for each years release. If not, then I'll probably pick up a sixer with each fresh shipment. Luckily New Belgium puts an expiration date on all their bottles as freshness is probably key for enjoyment of this West Coast IPA. Melon hop flavor is one of the most delicious in my opinion and I find myself both happy and surprised the Rampant Imperial IPA nails it. Would I drink it again? Yes.

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

Bright orange-yellow, good head, lots of sticky lacing. Aroma is grass, alcohol,melon, hops. Flavor is honeydew melons, melon rind, very fruity hops. Very easy to drink with only a slight hint of the alcohol on the finish. Good stuff and I'm glad I have five more of these.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.11/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at the brewery. Appears a light golden color with thin white head and heavy lacing. The nose features dank hops with notes of pine, weed, lemon, and grass. The taste is has a heavy grapefruit hop bitterness with lemon in the background. Hops pretty much dominate this, very faint caramel in the background. Mouthfeel is light with high carbonation. Overall, this is a great value for a dipa, definitely worth a try!

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Photo of bigbeard
3.37/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This medium-bodied beer comes across as a little thin for the style and has a bit of hot alcohol warmth coupled with a very biting hop bitterness that is accentuated by high carbonation. Hop flavor comes across as a bit soapy but the head retention is great and the lace in my glass in beautiful. At $10.99 a six-pack, this beer will get you drunk and is a good deal for an imperial IPA. It doesn’t touch Hopslam, but really, what beer can?

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Photo of McJibJab
4.41/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Billowy head, probably in part due to leg being recently moved to put on tap.
Gives way to robust lace and creamy bubbles which hold up nicely over time.

Color is slightly flat golden copper.

Nose of new growth pine, pineapple, with a breath of tart cherry.

Flavor is exceptionally well-balanced with higher notes of lychee and perfumey aspects of mandarin orange, and rounded out by heartier mangosteen or perhaps another tangy and custardy exotic fruit I have yet to taste. Body is robust, but loaded with lighter fruity and hearty floral flavors rather than anything more dark/malty we might expect from an imperial. Refreshing and distinctive- have two and reflect on everything that's going on.

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Photo of Etan
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Maine Beer Company tumbler.

A: Pours a clear, dull gold with a slight amber hue. Puffy white head.

S: Tropical and stone fruits abound in the nose. Peach, mango, light grassiness, pineapple, cantaloupe, sugary pale malt, dank resin. God, I love Mosaic hops.

T: The taste brings us back a little bit to Ranger territory, with the familiar toasted malt and earthy tobacco-like bitterness, in addition to light notes of melon and pithy grapefruit juiciness. Finishes dry and bitter, with a hint of alcohol.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: I really like the combination of hops in this beer. It's not much like many other IPAs on the market, although it is a step closer to a fruity, dry west-coast IPA for New Belgium.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of droomyster
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden body with a frumpy white head with good retention. Interesting aromas: lots of floral and pine nut notes, blended with birch and a hint of pineapple. An odd assortment, but very pleasant. These flavors come through on the palate, along with a bit of chalkiness. It finishes with a bit of honey and lingering lemon pith. Very pleasant. I'd happily have another.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.
8.5% ABV, 07JUL13 printed on label.

A - Tan hues encase a goldenrod colored beer that's clear enough to show off the trickle of carbonation streaming from the glass' etching to the tall, frothy off white head. Great retention! As the bubbles loosen, chunky webbing is left caked to the globe.

S - Rampant's unique hop aroma blends quite a few varieties of hops for a decidedly American burst of combined citrus and earthiness. Tropical pineapple and mango fruit meld with pine sap and honey sweetness but a hint of that overly Simcoe-hopped cat pee smell starts to peek out in front of the big malty base. While hop-forward, one thing that sets Rampant apart is it's sturdy groundwork of malt; dry, flaky biscuit and undertones of sticky caramel.

T - Sticky sweet pilsner malt flanks the dry biscuit notes which lie behind the burst of citrus hops while earthy suggestions of pine and dirt slowly creep into the scene. Tropical pineapple and mango fruit are showcased though, really powering forwards in the flavor.

M - Crisp and sharp, Rampant balances the big malty body well with a barrage of carbonation and bold dry hop bitterness. Additionally, alcohol aids in drying the finish of this medium-full bodied beer out while remaining otherwise invisible.

O - I feel like saying New Belgium is a little late to the double IPA party with Rampant is somewhat uncool due to their pioneering nature but, by this point, producing a really captivating and wowing double IPA within a saturated market is hard. I enjoy the bigger malt base which keeps this beer from being too hoppy - at first - but I find it inches towards the cloying side of the spectrum after a few gulps. An attempt is made to blend the tropical fruit "style" double with some of the earthier pine notes and it works out just fine, but in the end that's how I view this beer; "just fine". It's a nice, very well brewed, and accessible double IPA from a quality brewery, but I feel the hardcore hop-heads might be dissatisfied with this one.

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Photo of zachary80
2.43/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Sixer 10.99

Pours with a small head, dissipates fairly fast, leaves good lacing. Color is somewhat off-putting: slightly hazy, very light, not a fan of the hue.

Aroma is weak with a single vegetal note.

Flavor is predominantly that same vegetal hop - medium to high bitterness is fine for the style, malt backbone is completely absent.

Watery. The amount of alcohol bit is unwarranted at only 8.5% abv.

Overall an extremely simple DIPA that is lacking across the board. Was really hoping for something more out of this one. I'm hoping the rest of the six pack shows that this was a bad bottle, but I'm really not looking forward to opening another.

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

New Belgium Rampant Imperial IPA is a tasty DIPA. I just ate a bunch of cheese so I'm not sure how well-calibrated my palate is.

A: Yellow colour and a big 3 cm head that lasts. 4.5

S: Strong hoppy tropical aroma. Nice. 4

T: Malty with some fruitiness. The alcohol is quite noticeable. Not very bitter. 4

M: Foamy. 4

O: 4

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up at the COOP last night... Poured into my HotD goblet.. Fairly clear golden brew... good looking 2 finger head.... great lacing and retention.

Nose is big and fruity... light pale maltiness.. very hop dominant.

NB "House Malt" is unmistakable in my mind... toasty/biscuity... thankfully this is a heavily hopped beer... hops are very fruity... melon and peach...

Body is good for the style.. not too heavy, prickly carbonation.

Pretty good... I just don't care for the NB maltiness... It is always a distraction for me.


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Photo of harrymel
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 14JUL13

Golden, one to two fingers of light creamy foam, excellent clarity. Smells of grapefruit, peach, resin, pine, honey and a little bit of mint. Tastes sweet, hoppy, peaches still there, resin, some alcohol, a bit of grapefruit pith. The malt is sweet and manages the assertive hop character. medium bodied with tight and pleasant carb and an off-dry finish. Strong work New Belgium, I think this is a little too fresh (*gasp*) and that with a couple more weeks the booze will calm and the hops will meld just a touch more creating an outstanding beer - and at just over a dime an oz will be hard to beat!

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