Imperial IPA | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

very good
332 Reviews
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 332 | Ratings: 594
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strong aroma is quite hoppy with a firm grapefruit note and a yeasty hint. It pours a clear orange-amber with a thick, fluffy and rather persistent ivory head that leaves patchy lacing. Flavor is seriously hoppy, not quite like drinking a liquid pine tree, but very satisfyingly hoppy, subtly bitter, with notes of grapefruit and Mandarin orange and a hint of yeast. Smooth, full-bodied flavor has a good amount of fizz and leaves behind a persistent hoppy tingle. Hop to your favorite beer store for this one if you like IPAs!

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Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a growler to a tulip glass. Had an orange-ish color and a cloudy texture. There was a two inch, foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A hoppy aroma, as you might expect, but also had some sweet fruits, and pine as well.

T: Tasted of hops (not a massive amount, but definitely made its presence felt), malt, light fruit (grapefruit, mango), and some pine as well. Generally a well rounded, sweet, robust flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An interesting, slightly different West Coast DIPA. Drinkable.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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

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Photo of Kromes
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: A clear dark gold color with a thick off white head that sits on top of the beer and laces the glass.

S: Sweet malt aroma with herbal, pine, and citrus hop aromas. Also a fruity grape.

T: A nice clean, toasted malt flavor up front with a pine and citrus hop bite. The finish is a bit bitter with lingering hop and alcohol taste and warmth.

M: Medium/heavy body with lower carbonation. The finish is bitter and a little dry.

O: A solid West Coast Double IPA.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color of the beer was a shade lighter than standard issue IPA amber, and there was four finer thick head, but not much visible carbonation in the form of streamers. The smell was very subdued for the style. I could detect some citric hops and nothing else. The bland aroma had me worried about the the taste, but it was much better. There was a lot of citric and tropical flavor in the taste followed by a pleasing sweetness. Quite balanced considering the Imperial moniker and West Coast pedigree. Sticky on the tongue with a medium body, and a peppery aftertaste. So so.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy orange-amber color. The orange-tinted head is fairly tall at first, with a thick, frothy texture. Retention is above average. Some weblike lacing sticks as the head recedes.

S: A fairly malty nose, with some definite caramel notes. Citric American hops are prominent, with orange and grapefruit prominent. Lightly tropical and resinous notes are also present, along with a faintly perfumey hint.

T: Malty up front, with firm caramel sweetness and a bit of toffee. Hop bitterness is moderate, but not bracing as many others are of this style. Citric flavors are prominent, along with lighter fruity and resiny/piney flavors. Alcohol is noticeable, but it doesn't detract from enjoyment.

M: Full bodied, with some residual sweetness almost akin to a barleywine. Carbonation is soft and supple. A gradually building dryness comes into focus towards the finish, helped along by a bit of alcohol.

D: This is a bit atypical for a West Coast Imperial IPA. Big bodied, malty, and somewhat sweet up front. Rest assured, there's a hefty dose of American C-hops to follow, which brings things back into familiar territory.

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Photo of TechTriumph
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to MrMegaton09 for this one. I've got one waiting for you in return.

From notes on 05/14/12:
No freshness date; Poured in a pint glass.

A - One inch off-white creamy head with decent retention; Hazy at first, but pretty clear later with an orange hued amber color; Fairly good veils of lacing left behind

S - Quite pleasant aroma here with notes of floral and piney hops, vanilla, and underlying, but fairly prominent biscuity and caramel malts

T - Loads of hops here, but the malts have a pretty big balancing presence as well while still letting the hops shine; Hop flavors include the herbal, piney, light pungent onion, and light citrus varieties; Taste turns quite peppery in the finish; Nice shot of bitterness throughout the taste; Biscuity and light caramel flavors form the malt backbone

M - A bit above moderate carbonation; Nice, smooth, creamy mouthfeel behind the carbonation; Just a notch above medium bodied; Pretty dry finish with just a very subtle warmth that seems to strengthen a bit as the beer warms

O - Under the cap: "Yo Quiero Cerveza Crema!" This is a very tasty and satisfying DIPA that brings pretty good balance, while still showing a strong presence of delicious herbal, piney and oniony hops. The levels of bitterness and smooth mouthfeel characteristics seem just right too. Overall, I was pretty pleased with this brew and am curious to try other Anderson Valley offerings in the future.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Gary's in Wayne last week since it was on sale. I don't normally view clearance beers as something that I have to try, but this rated nicely on here and I can't resist a good IPA if it's not a "hop bomb". That was certainly the case here and this was a good choice as my first bomber from Anderson Valley.

Nice head and aroma to this beer as the head was quite copious and the lacing nearly matched it. Lots of citrus and mango in the nose and mouthfeel with some pine underneath it. This wasn't too thick or think and it was quite sudsy when swished around. Unexpectedly, the "burn" that I associate with so many of these beers wasn't here and the aftertaste leaned toward a nice balance of malt and tropical flavors.

The alcohol wasn't overpowering but I could certainly feel it once I worked my way through the bottle. This reminded me a bit of the Laguintas Hop Stoopid and this didn't have the earthy and metallic notes that I would have expected from an Imperial IPA. It's not the best beer out there but for anyone looking for a stronger version of the popular style, this would be a great place to start.

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Photo of WMEugene
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy amberish orange color with a nice head (pretty good retention) and really good lacing.

S - Rather malty for an imperial IPA. I definitely pick up hop notes (particularly citrusy), but I pick up sweet malts and a little bit of boozyness.

T - Citrus notes stand out, but once again this is a malty IIPA - I picked up vanilla and caramel flavors. It's sweet and not bitter at all.

M - Medium bodied, ok carbonation levels. A bit of hoppy dryness in the finish.

O - Good, but nothing outstanding or noteworthy. It is a bit maltier than most IIPAs; tasted like I'd imagine a wee heavy/IPA hybrid would. If you like maltier IPAs, check this one out...otherwise, there's nothing much to recommend this other than it's slight above average.

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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.

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

A: Pretty yellow beer with a good head.

S: The scents of grapefruit, sweet light.

T: The taste of sweet light beer and then a bitter aftertaste, this beer really makes it special.

M: Good carbonation and a good feeling foam.

O: Delicious aftertaste.

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Photo of shand
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint.

This beer pours out a hazy golden color with a nice two finger head that retains very well. The aroma is great, with citrus hops, especially grapefruit, taking the forefront. The taste isn't as intense as the nose, the citrus hops are really the star here, there's a huge orange flavor here that I really don't find in too many other IPAs. This is tempered though by a large malt presence that feels just a bit too heavy. The mouthfeel is full and smoothly carbonated, and the drinkability is good. Overall, it's a good double IPA. I'd recommend it if you like orange flavor, which this has in spades.

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Photo of Brushkanna
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - dark gold and a bit cloudy
S - malty nutty nose with hints of pine
T - smooth malt with vanilla and caramel flavors and the alcohol has a cognac feel
M - thick and and chewy for an IPA
O - it is a malty IPA, not bitter one, smooth and tasty, the malt back end has a little Belgian influence

It is a different IPA than I have had I really enjoy it and I will have to taste it again

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Photo of argock
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at in a Shaker pint at Mellow Mushroom (Charlottesville, VA). Reviewed from notes.

A: Amber-orange with a short cap of off-white small-bubbled head with a few slivers of lace.

S: Floral and orange citrus hops aromas with medium-resiny character meet light caramel and robust pale maltiness.

T: The flavor is also plenty resiny with an ample dose of herbal spiciness to compliment the floral and orange-grapefruit citrus components. The hop profile works fine, but no hop character really helps to make this DIPA stand out. THe pale malt and light crystal character is subdued to this beer's credit.

M: The resiny character lends a tacky, sticky feel which is what I look for in this style. The body is medium-full and the carbonation is low-medium overall but about right for the style.

O: A pretty good DIPA but it still gets lost in the stream of very good examples.

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Photo of C20Percent
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

*Review taken from notes*

A: Pale dark-gold appearance. Not the haze that I expect from most IPAs.

S: Sweet citrus / grapefruit. But, not as potent as I would have thought.

T: Sweet, sharp flavor, but not as tasty as I would have liked. Another there-and-gone flavor beer. It is easy drinking, though.

M: Medium body.

O: I expected more out of this brew. The standard AVBC IPA is the better value. Not as tasty as I hoped. I'd give it somewhere between a 3.5 and 4. The beer did get better as it was allowed to sit.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into tulip. no bottled on date located.

A: yellow/pale orange body with a creamy off-white head. decent retention, minimal lacing.

S: limes and boatload of caramel malt. a little bit of roast. pecan pie. the nose is definitely more on the malty side in my opinion.

T: caramel and a mild toffee in the middle. a lingering moss/green hop into the finish. dry bitterness as well.

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

D: the lack of hop aromas/flavors leads me to believe that this isnt the freshest offering of this particular brew. or at least i hope thats the case. meh, not too impressed here, but i gotta figure this isnt super fresh. if that is the case, dont bother with it unless it is super fresh.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Considering this brewery's IPA is among my favorites of the style I was very excited to try their take on a DIPA. I was a little dissapointed.

Pours bronze with a smallish off white head. Copious lace drapes the glass. The aroma is of apricot and light citrus. Some alcohol spice is also present in the nose. The taste is of caramel, cookie dough, grapefruit and tropical fruit. Pretty much equal parts malt and hops. A pervasive, fusel alcohol is also present throughout. Its not overbearing, but a distraction. The mouthfeel is full bodied and somewhat numbing from the high booze flavor. The finish is solidly bitter but tainted by alcohol heat.

An OK DIPA, but could have more hop intensity and the alcohol is too immodest.

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Photo of rarbring
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is clear golden amber, has an off-white head leaving good lacing and good curtains.

Smelling sweet toffee, and very fruity, passion, grape-fruit, peaches, mango.

Very sweet start, caramel, syrup, then some brown bread, but loads of fruity marmalade, a nice polished bitterness.

Medium carbonation, sweet and oily, a long lingering dryness.

A good hop composition with sweet overtures.

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Photo of MDDMD
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark amber color with a decent white head and good lacing

S-pine and citrus with some floral notes

T-yeasty bread and malt flavor with citrus and pine and a nice hop finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a nice DIPA with good balance of flavors

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Photo of Labeerfinder
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden orange with a small white head. Slightly off-white foamy head. Bready aroma with notes of cara-malt, butterscotch with a mildly citric, pear-fruity and piney hoppy touch.Medium bodied and smooth. Creamy mouthfeel with low to medium carbonation. Semi dry with medium bitterness.

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Photo of ryantho00
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a deep rusty orange with an initial frothy head that laces the glass through. I smell pine, hops, malty caramel, vanilla and slight tropical fruits in the nose. This beer has many different flavors in the medium bodied brew. Some notes I get are, citrus, pineapple, hops, dry tobacco, slight alcohol that warms and dies quickly. I really like this take on the imperial IPA, I am very impressed with the really creamy vanilla maltiness that balances out the wonderful brew. This is one of my new favorite imperial IPA's and am very happy I tried it.

Pick this up if you find it. Great aftertaste.


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Photo of JoeBloe
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a turbulent topaz color and when it clears it puts up an amazingly tight 1-1/2 finger head - leaves minimal lace but maintains a thick ring around the outside all the way down - aroma of hops greets the nose as if I had walked into a garden of different hop varieties, with a little sweetness as well - taste is hops resin, fruity and herbal, with a toffee like sweetness on the back - alcohol is very well hidden with a slight warming deep down - good prickly carbonation with a mildly sticky finish that gets cleaned-up on the next sip - another winner from this brewery - good stuff -

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Photo of bstave
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into Dogfish Head tulip pint glass.

A- Poured a semi-transparent dark copper orange forming a nice 2 finger white head. It stuck around for a while finally dissipating into a thin layer leaving some nice sticky lacing. Very nice looking beer.

S- Getting mostly sweet malts from the nose, but after letting it warm up a bit, now I am getting some piny hops that have brightened it up nicely.

T- Taste is way more hoppy than the nose. Big, mostly pine and some citrus. Nicely balanced with the big caramel malt backbone. A little alcohol warming sneaks up afterwards. Very well done here.

M- Mouthfeel is very smooth with nice creamy texture. Carbonation is spot-on for a big imperial. Very smooth with nice alcohol warming at the end.

O- I really like this IIPA. I remember having it at the brewery in Booneville and really enjoying it. I think I have a very fresh bottle, because the hops are profiled nicely especially in the taste, which is the biggest factor for me. Well done and I am looking forward to picking up a four pack next time.

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Photo of AnPiobaire
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a glass chalice.

A-Poured a nice rich clear orange with creamy lace colored head.

S-The nose was some what subtle and it took me nearly the whole glass to finally identify the notes. It has a rich juicy citrus scent with hints of fresh apples and pineapples, Like smelling a fresh tropical fruit cup.

T-The beer is maltier then anticipated but has a nice hoppiness that carries through to the end. Starts sweetish and ends nice dry and clean.

M-Crisp, clean and very nice.

O-Overall this is a very nice IPA that I would say borders "Imperial". However even though it states 8.7% ABV it didn't taste like that but I am sure feeling good after one. What more could you want in a beer. Enjoy!!

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Photo of kchannel9
4.97/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love love love this beer. One of the finest possible, in my opinion. Perfect bridge of carbonation, smooth, sweet, bitter, malty. I feel blessed to taste this alchemical masterpiece, and would gladly choose this beer over almost any other IPA, well besides Maximus.

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