Imperial IPA | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Imperial IPAImperial IPA
BA SCORE
67.6%
Liked This Beer
3.82 w/ 595 ratings
Imperial IPAImperial IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States
avbc.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA

Added by largadeer on 02-16-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#12,425
Reviews:
332
Ratings:
595
Liked:
402
Avg:
3.82/5
pDev:
11.78%
Alströms:
4
 
 
Wants:
30
Gots:
31
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 595 |  Reviews: 332
Photo of Sammy
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle of a unique IPA, at Beer Bistro. More malty than hoppy though hops there an abundance. Orange colour, strange soapy aroma. Drinkable, lacey, not like any DIPA, more of a complex malt treat. Apparently 20 different malts used, and just a lot of West Coast hop.
Their regular DIPA Better than their 20th anniversary ale, this is a mellow DIPA, lots of malt profile and grapefruit taste clearly in aroma as well.Good drinkability though not in the top DIPA class.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.84/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark golden orange amber with a white/yellowish head.

Nose of cooked carmel fruited whiskey. Lots of "whiskey character" in the nose. Also assertive alcohol in the nose (the "sweet smell" of assertive alcohol that can be confused with a fruity character). Nose is deceiving since what many may find pleasant is actually an assertive sweet smell of pure alcohol.

Medium/full mouthfeel with nice carbonation but the flavor profile simply is not pleasant and over rides everything.

Big malty fruit carmel very front to a nice malt/hop middle but then immediately to a heavy droopy bitter middle/end palate that goes to an off bitter pine finish.

This one is simply does not have good flavor integration in my opinion. The individual flavor profiles are good; just not put together well. The beer seems to have too many personalities, none of which stands out well. Unpleasant long heavy bitter pine finish.

Some may like this as it appears as a big flavorful beer. I believe it's deceiving and really not very attractive; or, it's just not my style.

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Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Knapp85
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear copper in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that died down but never completely faded away.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of citrus from the hops and has a light amount of bitterness. There are some hints of malty sweetness in the initial taste and hints of alcohol in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer definitely tastes strong, but isn’t that difficult to drink for the style because there is a good balance in the flavors between malts and hops.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I consider this brewery to be a master of the IPA's. This beer takes on a flavor profile that reminds me a lot of their Hop Ottin' IPA, but there's a lot more to it. The beer begins with a golden-rust color, and pours quite viscous with an unrelenting head formation and retention. Some haziness indicates the typical dry-hopping. Aromas are very plump and juicy with C-hops and perhaps a Willamette thrown in for a spicy, floral, piney note. Caramel malts give a lot of sweetness to the nose along with a strong alcoholic scent. Flavors of the malts come through with a less than fully attenuated sweetness that later weighs heavy. The hops are very sharp and citrusy, but delivering all the flavor that the nose promised. Flavors also take on a mineraly, salty, metalic note that is amplified by alcohols and hop bite-- a little astringent late. Textures are heavy, malty, and full but with some fusals going on. Do you lay it down and let the alcohols cool and risk loosing the hops? Tough call. The beer finishes with a long dry lingering with resiny hops and soft caramel flavors. A worthy Anniversary Ale but those alcohols and sweetness kinda get in the way.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber at BeerBistro.

This beer pours a hazy orangish-brown hue, with two fingers of foamy, creamy white head, which leaves a wall of lace around the glass as it slowly settles. It smells of bready caramel malt, and grapefruit hops. The taste is caramel/toffee malt, pine and blended citrus hops, and a bit of oily booze. The carbonation is on the low side, the body full, unctuous, and smooth, and it finishes consistent, the hops and toffee sweetness battling it out for Tokyo's fate to the end.

A nicely balanced IIPA, but still pretty big all around, with a touch of warming alcohol.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

New arrival around town, decent price, let's try it.

Into a pub pint this pours a nice glowing orange, an unfiltered honey gold, with bright clarity. It's sticky crown laces intricately on the glass. It retains an island of skim that rekindles easily after each pour.

Sweet candied orange aroma, caramel malt, resiny herbals are in the minority. The orange dominates, but it's not all that pungent.

Very smooth feel, not too sweet or heavy. Minor stickiness on the lips. Not all that bitter for a double IPA, lush with somewhat sweet fruitiness, and bigger caramel toffee notes from the malts. Some residual herbal hop bitterness in the aftertaste, that builds on itself after each sip. Orange peel, pine, toffee, and caramel form the core of this DIPA. Easy going, not "melt your face off" like some more abrasive examples of the style. Lower carbonation, and very well hidden ABV. Sipping this is nice.

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Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The crystal clear amber liquid is covered by an impressive head; the retention is good, as well, and it leaves some clumps of foam behind

Smell: Fairly balanced, with the sugary malts combining with the hops to produce a tropical fruit character

Taste: Very sweet, up front, with lots of sugary malt providing caramel flavors; initially, the tropical fruit elements of minty pineapple and citrus converge but by mid-palate, the beer gets very bitter, with the high alpha acids doing their thing; with the big malt character, however, the sweetness returns to provide a rather sticky finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; sticky and somewhat hot

Overall: I guess you could say that this is a balanced DIPA but as I prefer more hops and less sticky malts, it does not rank among my favorites of the style

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear light copper color ale with a large pure white foamy head with good retention and some great lacing. Aroma of bitter hops with some notes of citrusy hops and some floral undertones. Taste is also very well balance between bitter and citrus hops with some good floral notes and a very solid dry caramel malt backbone. Average body for the style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Nothing extraordinary but solid take on the style.

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Photo of largadeer
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Bottle conditioned in a 22 oz bomber. The beer itself is bright, clear amber with a frothy off-white head and an impressive stream of rising bubbles. The head retains incredibly well, leaving behind sheets of sticky lace as the glass empties.

Smell - Very hoppy and fresh. Aromas of fresh herbs, cut grass and lemons. Slightly medicinal. A hint of malt appears once the beer has warmed a bit.

Taste & mouthfeel - Pretty rough upon first impression. A semi-sweet malt foundation struggles to make itself known amidst the herbal, medicinal hop flavor. The bottle conditioning provides a soft and pleasant carbonation, but that's the only good thing I can say about the mouthfeel. Noticeable alcohol and sticky, astringent hops cling to the palate in the finish, making this a pretty tiring beer to finish.

Notes - A great looking beer with a fairly pleasant aroma, but it falls apart after that. Decent at best.

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Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +4.7%

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip. Pours crystal clear orange-amber color with a fairly dense 2 finger off white head with great retention that reduces to a thin lacing cap. Some lacing is left on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, mango, caramel, pine, and pineapple. Nice aromas. Taste of big bread, caramel, orange and grapefruit up front; with a nice sized pine and citrus bitterness that shows up on the finish and lingers for a while. Decent balance of flavors here. Nice sized alcohol warming on the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied. Nice an smooth drinkability for the alcohol level. Overall, this was a very nice DIPA, definitely enjoyable stuff.

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Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My bottle poured a somewhat hazy deep orange colored body beneath a full head of creamy off-white. Yeast is visible at the bottom of the glass so I wonder if I'd let it sit for longer, or maybe poured it more gently, it would be clear. To be honest, I don't really care. Cloudy beer is fine with me, and (bonus!) it's bottle conditioned. Anyway, the head retention is very good, and it leaves beautiful rings of creamy lace beneath thin curtains of Belgian lace at the outset of the glass. Beyond that, however, it lacks - which is a shame because a beer like this should really deliver more. Moving forward...

In the nose it's sweetish and floral, almost perfumey, and just lightly piney and citrusy. It's not as big as most "Imperial" IPA's, but it's good; and I appreciate that the malt comes through as well as the hops. No alcohol is noticeable, although there is a suggestion of it.

The flavor is more hoppy than the aroma suggests, and it's got the expected resinous character of a very hoppy beer, but beyond that it's pretty well tamed. Lots of pine comes out at first, and then some floral and mildly fruity notes. The biscuity and lightly caramelish malt underneath is clearly present, and it becomes part of the flavor experience rather than just acting as a spring-board for the hops. As you progress through the glass and it warms, the hops become more grassy and spicy, and it surprisingly exhibits very little of the citrus that most would expect of and American "Imperial" IPA. Unfortunately, some more of the alcohol shows as well.

As to drinkability, I look to the label for my answer - "for those wishing to savor high quality, flavorful and perfectly balanced beers" - I totally agree with that. Anderson Valley has always been about balanced beers, and this is no exception. It's not bombastic, but it IS balanced (considering it's an "Imperial" IPA). The hops are strong, and they do build on the palate, but they don't leave your palate blind after the first three or four sips. I enjoyed relaxing with a bottle of this, and finding it's greater breadth of character as it warmed. That would not have been possible tasting some of the other hop-bombs coming out of Cali. So, all in all, I found it pretty damned drinkable. I have one more bottle to enjoy, and I think I'll crack it open on the first really nice night of spring as the sun is going down and it's still warm with just a slight chill in the air coming in. And perhaps some Brie and toasty crackers might work as well.

 2,508 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in snifter at Thirsty Monk (NC). Pub's description brags of "20 separate additions of the finest Pacific Northwest hops".

A - small but lasting head over a hazy apricot liquid.

M - medium body cridp medium carbonation

T - Sharp hop bite at outset, with high IBU level immediately apparent. Unlike most IPA's, this one seems to become less bitter after the initial hop hit, which is not to say the bitterness fades away until long after swallowing. Nice mix of sweet malt and hops (both piney and citrusy), with some sweet notes and caramel peeking out from behind the dominant bitter hop flavor.

O - strongly flavored and bordering on challenging, but rather than leaving a strongly bitter grapefruit finish, this one ends with less bitterness than might be feared. Although clearly bitter, there's some sweet malt flavor.

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Photo of oberon
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slight hazed peach color with a tight formed one finger white head that left some broken lace as it settled slowly,awesome aromas of citrus and underlying pine with some biscuit malt and alcohol showing through as well.T he flavors are bit heavy handed on the alcohol,it rears its head early and often,nice lemon and grapefruit hop flavors show through but its a battle with the alcohol.Its not a 'huge' beer but the alcohol is prevelent,in saying that its still a nice American DIPA from a great brewery.

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Imperial IPA from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 67.6% out of 100 with 595 ratings
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