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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Reviews: 332 | Ratings: 594
Photo of Zorro
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brand new so I pounced on it.

Clear deeply bronze colored beer bordering on red; held up to a strong light the color is copper. Small white head forms and falls.

Smell is sweet and very heady with the hop oils. Strong tropical fruit smell pineapple, mango, lime and a little eucalyptus funk. Quite spicy smelling with grapefruit and black pepper riding on the ethanol fumes. Strong hop scent here this is very close to hop perfume.

The taste starts out sweet and dry shocking the taste buds, a melon flavor emerges. Things quickly lighten up and the fruit and pine flavors appear. Pineapple, mango, melon, and strawberry-banana.

Mouthfeel is good.

Strong IIPA but not subtle like some. Strong takes no prisoners beer for hopheads.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear, yellow sunshine into my SA BA glass. A nice 2 fingers of white froth quickly rushed to the rim. A slight haze of (what I am guessing is) hop residue was noticeable. Other than that, very clear and bright...just how I like my IPAs and IIPAs.

Aromas of hop nasty with some shoe leather and a dash of sweetness.

I can best describe the taste as a hop sledgehammer. Starts out with a nice hop flavor, then the sharp, pungent hammer hits the mouth. Really over-the-top grapefruit explosion on the roof of my mouth. Sticky, syrupy mouthfeel. Balanced? No way. I then glance at the label: "Our IIPA is loaded with excessive amounts of malts and 20 separate additions of the finest Pacific Northwest hops."

Uh...20 separate additions? That about sums it up for me. But I love the torture.

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Photo of Tdizzle
2.84/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I initially gave this beer a pretty harsh review. I didn't like it at all, but I decided to give it a second try.

A- Poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, this beer is a clear dark amber color with a foamy off-white head that settles quickly and leaves very little lacing. This is much darker in color than any DIPA I've had.

S- Metallic with citrusy and piney hops and some herbal malt in the background. Not as strong an aroma as I expected from a DIPA. As the beer warms, the hoppy aroma disappears leaving a very green, medicinal, and metallic herbal aroma that I don't care for at all.

T- The bitterness is "dirty", sharp, and lacking hop flavor. I really don't care for the aroma or the taste that the malt backing imposes on this beer. The hops resurface in the back of the throat, but it's a hard metallic bitterness that becomes tiresome.

M- Slightly oily and slick with little carbonation.

D- I just didn't want to finish a whole bomber of this, so I can't really give this beer high marks for drinkability.

My least favorite Double IPA that I've tried. I gave this beer two chances seeing as I bought two bottles, but I just can't get into it. I don't care for the aroma or the taste of this beer.

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

22oz bottle

Pours copper with a forced 2-finger eggshell colored head that dissipates quickly while leaving behind sparse lacing.

The aroma is primarily of grapefruit and earthy hops. Not as powerful as I had hoped for from a fresh IIPA, but I can tell I'm about to quench my thirst for hops, and that's enough for me. The caramel malt is apparent, as well.

The taste is very nice. Big on the grapefruit bitterness with a nice background honey-like sweetness. This is a well balanced IPA. A bit grassy, but I like it. There are hints of various fruits in there too.

Overall, this is a nice, solid IIPA that I'd love to have around all the time. It's not a "wow" beer, but I think that's a good thing sometimes.

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Photo of ccrida
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into an imperial pint, the 20th anny is a clear copper with a large, pillowy ivory head that leaves avg lace.
Smell is sweet floral and tropical fruit hops, with an incredibly nice soft zing. I was underwhelmed until I realized how juicy it was and couldn't stop on the colder side, I served this fridge temp of course.
Taste is loads of fruity hops but fairly well-balanced. Citrus perhaps a little astringent at first, but ultimately the malt sugars balance those out on the finish, which is dry, earthy and a tad blood-like. I haven't been too impressed with the last few Anderson Valley's I've had, but this has really restored my faith in my West Coast OGs.
Mouthfeel is pushing average for a DIPA, some stickiness but dried out from the booze and hops enough to keep the digestability higher...
Drinkability is really pretty good, refreshing, with a nice balance even though it drinks a little bigger then it is.

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Photo of unclederby
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well balanced 2IPA with an earthy hop profile.

In the glass it's honey-colored and has just a wisp of foam for a head. Minimal lacing on my Full Sail tulip. Smell is kinda sweet and malt driven - a bit like jarred cherries - and of funky, grassy, and herbacious hops.

The flavors are nicely balanced: this is immensely drinkable. Again, i would say this is a malt-driven ale, with a sufficient amount of hops that you know it's an IPA. There is a strong citrus presence tinged with lemongrass and a bit of alcoholic warmth.

Medium bodied with a slick, oily mouthfeel and complementing carbonation.

Hops are keenly used here to lend to aromatics and to impart spice; this is no over-the-top palate wrecker. This is one bomber i have no problem putting down and if not for the ABV i could easily do two, but i'd just grow tired and wimp out - fall asleep - and waste half a bomber.

I'll drink it again soon,
maybe tomorrow.

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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.

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