Imperial IPA | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
594 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
Ratings:
594
Reviews:
332
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
11.84%
 
 
Wants:
30
Gots:
31
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 594 |  Reviews: 332
Photo of Sammy
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
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 GRG1313
2.84/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

 1,054 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
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 spycow
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

 424 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
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 -4.5%
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.

 1,165 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 590 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
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 emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

 910 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

 464 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of largadeer
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

 925 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

 667 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a bright gold with a touch of orange. Nice white head and some lacing as it goes down. Nose brings forward a bit of sweet, bready malt as well as a good dose of citrus hops, mostly grapefruit with a bit of orange peel. Taste brings hops and a good dose of bitterness, but is just a bit off. Some malt in the background. A bit of booze in there as well, which affects both the taste and the mouthfeel. Seems overly such for a (relatively) low alcohol beer for the style. Drinks fairly well but not my favorite.

 537 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured with one finger of bone white head on a clear, golden body. The head settles slowly and leaves excellent lace.

S - a very fruity hop character with notes of pineapple and tangerine.

T - fruity hops and light toffee up front. Some pine in the middle with more bready malt. Finishes with pine, tangerine, grapefruit and moderate bitterness.

M - medium body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - good, but somehow lacking. The hop character is pleasantly fruity and certainly strong enough for the style, but it is oddly one dimensional. A bit of pine or even perhaps some caramel in the malt profile would help to add some variety and make for a more drinkable beer.

 688 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 835 characters

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Imperial IPA from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 594 ratings.
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