Imperial IPA
Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Imperial IPAImperial IPA
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Style:
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #3,938
ABV:
8.7%
Score:
87
Ranked #20,637
Avg:
3.85 | pDev: 11.69%
Reviews:
332
Ratings:
595
From:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  30
Gots
  31
SCORE
87
Very Good
Imperial IPAImperial IPA
Notes: Formerly known as 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA
Reviews: 332 | Ratings: 595 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by jnjander:
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jnjander from Georgia

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Sep 16, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Nose: citrus, orange and grapefruit
Pours brilliant gold rocky 2” white head very fine to medium bubbles, lacy
Palate: Very citrusy hops throughout with background grapefruit rind over big biscuit body.
Creamy smooth, medium body to a shade above, medium to medium light carbonation.

Sep 15, 2014
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tempest from New York

3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Keith for sharing. This was surprisingly drinkable. And I dont often use this to describe hops, but they really did taste soapy. The appearance was fine, a clear light amber with a white head. While I didnt have any problem drinking this beer, I would have appreciated more bitterness, like a lot more. I could have mistaken this for some sort of imperial amber for the sweetness. The hops were very juicy, like pineapple and berry punch.

Feb 15, 2009
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one poured out pretty nice lookin with a golden color and a foamy white head on top. The smell of the beer had a good citrusy hop aroma to it. The taste of the beer though I thought was a little in the weak side. I was surprised by how the smell was so good but the taste just wasn't there for me. The mouthfeel was pretty crisp and light. Overall just really bummed about the taste. Other than that it was pretty good.

Oct 07, 2011
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magictrokini from California

3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours darker copper with a moderate and dense off-white head. Floral aroma with pine, oranges, mango, and caramel. Excellent taste. Lots of grapefruit, oranges, and resin. Slight caramel malt and a buttery finish that lingers. Sticky mouthfeel. Despite the relatively low rating, I loved this beer. Its just a very basic IIPA.

Dec 04, 2008
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LSx from California

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Apr 24, 2013
Photo of errantnight
errantnight from District of Columbia

4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A tasty, orange-y DIPA that is fairly well-balanced as hop bombs go.

Pours a shade of amber with relatively luxurious head (2+ fingers) into my Levitation tulip. Slightly hazed. Nice retention, lacing.

Aroma is a juicy fruit / orange explosion, hints of sweet caramel and just a bit of toasty bread.

Taste is an exceedingly balanced experience, despite the predominant hop flavor. Medium bodied sweetness with a drying finish that carries an orange/citrus forward hop flavor backed by a bready malt backbone that's not quite as toasty as, say, HopDevil, but is prominent all the same.

As it warms the hops slip to the side a bit, and it's still exceedingly drinkable. One of the two bottles I've had, however, had some rising solventy alcohol notes that were a bit much.

Still, an enjoyable and repeatable experience, if for a bit of a change of pace to some of the other west coast style DIPAs around. Be sad when it's gone.

May 19, 2008
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ALLISON01 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Jul 22, 2012
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brandoman63 from Illinois

3/5  rDev -22.1%

Nov 22, 2011
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jsanford from Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Jan 30, 2013
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JayQue from Virginia

3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mixed reaction...it was ok....not great. I usually like "great" when the alcohol level is this high. Pours a mostly clear orange color with a big white head. The head dissipates quickly to a ring around the glass. Leaves thick lacing in spots.

Aroma is very mild for a West Coast IPA, a little bitterness, thats it. The taste was not up to West Coast IPA standards. Started with fairly non-descript bitterness followed by a malty finish. As you keep drinking, the hops fade and maltiness is followed by a slightly sour macro lager type finish.

Mouthfeel seemed a bit thin at first, then more rich as the beer coated the tongue and tastebuds.

Drinkability is about average...not a bad beer but is it worth the recovery time expected for a beer close to 9 %? I'd stick with Hop Otten if I was drinking Anderson Valley beers.

Mar 09, 2009
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mlhenson from Alabama

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Jun 24, 2012
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amstelcat from Ohio

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Nov 21, 2011
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DevilsCups from New York

2.69/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Grabbed a bottle of this at Halftime in Poughkeepsie NY.

A - Amber. Amber like the mosquito at the top of John Hammonds cane in Jurassic Park. Crystal Clear with a nice sticking head and decent lacing.

S - Cantaloupe. Nothing else. Not a hint of hops. The scent is musty cantaloupe or melon.

T - Similar to the scent, very subtle cantaloupe taste. The least hop-forward DIPA I've ever had. The only thing the hops contribute to this brew is bitterness, otherwise it's not the classic 'West-Coast style' hoppy DIPA. Malty isn't the word for this. If you're looking for a malt-bomb in a DIPA, this one's for you.

M - A tad over-carbonated in my opinion. The bitterness doesn't compliment the absence of hop flavors, but it's not overwhelming. Again, the only thing you get from the hops is bitterness.

O - Glad I grabbed one if only for the fact that it affirmed what I wasn't looking for in a DIPA. It's not a bad brew, but when they highlight the "excessive amounts of malts" on the label, please notE that they aren't kidding.

If you're a malty ale fan with a touch of bitterness, this one's for you. I guess I was just assuming something coming from Mendocino, CA would be hop-forward but I was wrong. Again, not bad, but not typical for a West Coast DIPA.

Jul 06, 2011
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BRLockwood from Florida

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Jan 02, 2012
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MacQ32 from South Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a muddied copper gold-ish color with a solid finger of near white head, decent retention, very nice lacing.

S - Plentiful caramel and biscuity malts up front, defnitely some citrusy hops and a little boozyness. A little malt heavy, aromas arent very potent.

T - Citrus notes up front, strong caramel/toffee like presence. A nice sweet (not super dry) citrusy bite comes in nicely. A wee boozy at the finish, not enough to hinder the drinkability.

M - Medium bodied+, a little malt heavy for an IIPA. Still quite refreshing, low/appropriate carbonation.

O - Very solid offering, much like the IPA it is a little malt forward so I dont know why I was surprised with this one. A nice malty IIPA

Jun 02, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1 from Idaho

3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 picked up by my great beer-buddy inflatablechair when he was last in Portland.. I've been saving it for about a month now... tonight is the night. Poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass while listening to Sasha's Involver mix.

Tight meringue like foamy 2 finger+ head atop an only slightly hop-hazed honey orange brew... surprising spotty sticky lacing.

Aroma is will rounded citric hops.. but without being too overdone... I could be getting a little caramel.. but my nose could be playing tricks on me.

Flavor mirrors the aroma.. but with a background fruity hoppiness.. Amarillos? Big bitterness is balanced nicely with a light toasty malty body.. could use a little bit more pronounced hop flavor with maybe dialing down the bitterness a notch.. Bitterness cuts down on the drinkabilty for me.. but I am not going to cut it for that.. maybe tonight my palate wasn't ready. Mouthfeel is pretty much perfect for an IPA.. good viscosity and just enough carbonation.

All and all... I would buy this for sure if it was in Boise... I would probably buy it alot.. but alas, my bottle came from Portland.. Thanks Sam!!

Jun 03, 2008
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rlee1390 from Indiana

3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Translucent orange, one finger head.

S-Some dirt, grass and pine.

T-Missing some malt presence, but lots of bitterness and some earthy notes make up for it.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation, smooth.

O- For a DIPA this is disappointing. It is lacking the citrus and floral notes, and the balance isn't there. But at the end of the day I always love a good hop bomb so there is salvation there.

Edit-Put the wrong value for Mouthfeel initially.

Aug 12, 2011
Photo of Deuane
Deuane from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Bright orange tinted copper with a thin off-white head that reduces to a thin veil and leaves minimal lace.

S-Sweet caramel malt with a light touch of orange and bit of floralness.

T-Pine and floral hop notes in balance with a solid caramel malt base. Relatively simple and straight forward but nonetheless tasty. Bit of a spicy bite in the drying finish.

M-Medium-bodied, sharp spicy bite and good lingering bitterness.

D-A decent DIPA but the age has hurt this one as the hops have faded somewhat. Easy drinking and still fairly balanced but not very exciting.

Nov 19, 2009
Photo of visionaries
visionaries from California

4/5  rDev +3.9%

May 23, 2013
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange/amber color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a good blend of fruity citrus, floral hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste is fruity and sweet up front with a strong citrus flavor and some caramel in the background. Then a strong hops bitterness comes in along with an alcohol bite. The malt character is on the thin side for the style despite the sweetness. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, it's a good beer but there are definitely several other 2IPA's that I would choose first.

Mar 22, 2009
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UCLABrewN84 from California

4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light orange with a 2 puffy inch whitish-orange head that settles to a thin cap. Foamy swaths of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grapefruit and some pineapple, citrus zest, and malt aromas. Taste is of grapefruit/citrus fruits, citrus zest, and a malty brown sugar finish. The bitterness on this one is fairly mild but sticks around on the palate after each sip. This beer is crisp and slightly sticky in the mouth. Overall, this is a very good DIPA with a nice balance between the hops and a nice brown sugar malty flavor. Almost like a very hoppy barleywine in my opinion.

Sep 18, 2011
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david18 from New York

3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had numerous drafts of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's upper west side. This is a great example of how west coast ipas are different, and in my opinion better, than east coast.

Appearance is a hazy orange. A lot of carbonation and a fluffy head that stuck around for a while and left some lacing behind.

Aroma was of strong hops, mostly citrus, with a malt backbone to back it up. Overall a very strong aroma.

Flavor was a little on the hoppy side but generally very well balanced and not too strong tasting at all.

Overall I liked this beer a lot and was sorry to see it go when the tap was eventually replace by another double ipa.

Nov 30, 2011
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Molson2000 from Canada

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Jan 20, 2012
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Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Nov 21, 2011
Imperial IPA from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 595 ratings