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 notchucknorris
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Really nice golden color a frothy cream colored head.

S: Definitely a bit more malt forward than I'm used to, but I kind of like it. Some piney hops with a lot of caramel and a hint of berries.

T: Grapefruit with a pretty good amount of pine hops and a ton of caramel on the finish. Slightly syrupy mouthfeel that works really well with the caramel sweetness. Just enough bitterness on the end to let you know you're drinking an IPA. Pretty nicely done.

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

The beer pours a beautiful dark golden color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a malt forward scent that boasts of pale and biscuit malts along with a piney hop aroma. The hops are present in the nose, but are drowned out with all the malt character. The taste is good. It has a smooth, malty flavor that's huge with bread-like character and biscuity notes. The hops hit you up front with and carry on through to the finish. They are pronounced, yet the beer is incredibly balanced. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking DIPA that a different take on the style. I prefer a more robust hop aroma in my DIPA's, but AV creates a lovely beer regardless.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass. Color was honey orange. About 1 ½ inches of head. Frothy white bubbles of lacing on the top. Lots of film on the sides.

Smelled mainly citrus hops. Smelled orange, lemon and grapefruit.

Tasted pretty much the same as the smell. Citrus hops with orange leading, followed by lemon. Bitter, but smooth finish.

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Astringent finish.

Another OK beer that tasted very similar to the Hop Ottin’ IPA that I just had.

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Photo of legalpete19340
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a burnt orange with a thin bone white head that dissolves and is gone.

S: Juicy oranges, ripe grapefruit, slight spice, maybe a hint of pine, stale sourdough bread.

T: Very straightforward but very good: grapefruit all the way through with some spicy herbal notes and firework of alcohol.

M: Robust and weighty. Very nice.

O: The beer is very straightforward to me with tons of grapefruit and a bit of spice. Highly drinkable and worth a try.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish unfiltered honey color, with a small head which quickly dissipates to leave some lacing.

Smells of hops, not overpowering, but great tropical fruits like mango and papaya, some malts scent take over as the beer warms.

Taste is very citrusy, lemon, grapefruit, which stay throughout the taste, an undercurrent of the malt is there in the middle. The end of the taste brightens up with more citrus, maybe even bitter grapefruit pith.

Feels on the heavy side, some viscosity, but it has a nice bitter dry finish that makes me want to drink more and my mouth water.

Overall a very interesting beer, the taste is bigger than the smell, which is nice, love the citrus and tropical fruit aspects. Great flavor makes up for the minor lack of smell, just wish it had slightly thinner feel.


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Photo of MrMcGibblets
2.99/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: clear orange/light amber, diminishing white head.
S: lots of toffee, buttery, hops are oniony/garlicky (summit or simcoe has this trait? forget which), also some tropical fruit and citrus. some alcohol noted.
T: buttery toffeeish malts are medium to full sweet, zingy, spicy hop bitterness lingers. the onion and garlic comes through as well.
M: viscous, almost full body.
O: the onion/garlic and buttered toffee aspects made this almost a chore to drink. bigger body and alcohol presence than i would've guessed for this abv.

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

12 oz bottle poured into weizen glass. not enough clean glasses

A: heavy gold light amber and hazy, half inch head that disappears fairly quick

S: citrusy

T: such as an imperial, very malty and very hoppy and bitter

M: not crazy carbonation, thick but not too thick

O: At first I was excited. Pretty good, I would recommend. Not overly alcoholic tasting.

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

A - Hazy burnt orange/copper coloured body beneath a creamy white head and sheet lacing.

S - Very malt forward for a DIPA. Caramel, toffee, honey with some pine and spice.

T - Again, not much of a fruit character here to duke it out with the malts. Big caramel and other sweet malts. Some piney hops. Reasonably heavy bitter finish yet not sure about it being 100 IBUs.

M - Smooth medium to full body, moderate carbonation.

O - Its big, its bold, its bitter, its a sweet malty DIPA. I like it but would like to have had some more balance there.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a brilliantly clear amber with 2 fingers of foamy white head. Very good looking.

S - Fruity - pineapple, orange, and mango stand out the most. Faint caramel and pale malt.

T - Follows the nose - pineapple, orange, mango, strawberries. Floral perfume, caramel malt is in the shadows along with some honey and alcohol. Clean citrus oil sits on the back of the tongue. Finishes dry and clean.

M - Medium body, low side of medium carbonation. Alcohol is evident.

Was alot of aroma coming of this beer. This drinks good but doesn't really have a wow factor. Seems like the base of hop ottin.

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Photo of GrizzlyBrew
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice copper with Grapefruit highlights. Off-white head looks creamy although quickly faded to 1/16" - 1/8" film. Slight haze, ok.

S - The malt hits first. I'm getting a grainy, biscuit-y malt character. There's also a very light munich-like character. Citrus hops quickly round out the party but certainly do not overwhelm the nose.

T - Fair amount of malt sweetness, kept from being cloying by a mild hop bitterness.. There is a slight rubber taste (especially in the burp) I usually associate with some highly hopped east coast style IPA's.

M - There's a smoothness that is highlighted by moderate carbonation. Medium body, but with a building coating of sweetness on my tongue.

O - A decent IIPA, but the sweetness and rubber-iness is getting to me, even on this first glass. With this much sweetness, I'd like more bitter to balance it out.

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Photo of david18
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of kennylopez
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into globe glass.

Appearance: a clear golden color with white head and spots of lacing.

Smells: a malty sweet hop with a unique yeast taste.

Tastes: a well balanced Imperial IPA with a significant hop note. I enjoy the fruit flavors with the caramel hints with a bread like malt.

Mouthfeel: the carbonation is mild and the alcohol burn is noticable, but enjoyable.

Overall: this is a great double IPA and I turned my older brother in law on to one and he is not a craft brew drinker at all, and if fact he was questioning what he was drinking for the future so he could buy some. I enjoyed this ale and would recommend trying it if you see it.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted sept. 4th 2011 (from notes)


A - very nice amber/copper/burnt sienna, one finger off white head and minimal lacing

S - fruits, huge malts, very yeasty, very sweet, alcohol, nice sweet hops, pineapple and sugar

T - lots of malt, tons of hops, slight alcohol, funky yeast, pineapple, citrus, pine, tropical, flowers, earth, wood and soil

M - full bodied, low acidity, well balanced, medium complexity and nice finish

D - drinks like a charm. Huge hops, huge malts, fruits, earth, woods and just clean everything. If you like ipa and a malty one, get some

Final thoughts - nice beer for a decent price and the abv is right at the only need 2 beers mark

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Photo of ThaCreep
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fruity nose of IPA with mango and apricot, wrapped in a green floral hops and flavored, which makes the nose warmer, with even traces of toast with honey.

On the palate, the entry is quite strong, with surprising flavors of sweet caramel malt and biscuit, which is surprising for a beer of this style. Unfortunately, the finding of these flavors is that hops is a little too down and the finish does a nice bitterness, but nothing more after all.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tumbler at The Tribes.

The Accidental Highway to Hell Tour continues! This stop pours a clear amber-straw topped by a finger of cream-white foam. The nose comprises pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, caramel, powdered sugar, lime, strawberry, mango, kiwi, and light pine. The massive fruitiness came as a bit of a surprise to me, but it somehow worked out very well. The taste holds notes of pineapple, pine, light menthol, light-ish toffee, light biscuit, honey, light strawberry, honeydew, lime, light lemon zest, light mandarin orange syrup, and light grass. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and an almost syrupy feel. Overall, a very nice DIPA, one that really shows how you can make a fruity, hoppy brew without going overboard on the hops and maintaining a general balance throughout.

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Photo of IllNate
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours and extreemly clear medium amber. With a good amount of white froathy head which subsides to webbing. Was expecting a hop haze with an imperial IPA...

S - Hoppy nose, but not huge. Citrus and earthy hops. Not much else.

T - BITTER! Was expecting a bit tamer from the nose. Citrus and earthy hops again. Hops overpower any malt character, but there is a caramel nature to it as well.

M - Puckering bitterness, not a great balance to this beer. The malt body just isn't there.

O - A good brew, but not the best IIPA I've had.

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Photo of abgba121
2.41/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: pours a very hazy light amber with about a half inch of head, leaves a strong, dotty lace.

S: smells strong and sour, not very pleasant, neither hops nor malts on the nose

T: Weird taste, at first some of the sourness, then some sweet, but the beer finishes with bitter hops.

M: about average here

O: not a beer I would ever buy again. I don't know if my bottle was a fluke or what, but it was not enjoyable.

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

Pours a pale, flat yellow with a slight white head. Picked up orange in the aroma first. Also some grapefruit and malty notes. A lot of nice sweetness in this IPA off the bat. Sweet, juicy orange and grapefruit notes. Kind of a syrupy canned fruit juice vibe. Nice caramel malt before a balancing pine hop to finish. A double IPA on the sweeter and maltier side, even when fresh, but the hops still have their say.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a DFH signature glass for my pleasure. Beer is orange with a mild haze but is mostly clear.

Off white head of small bubbles, minimal lacing, decent retention, moderate to low carbonation, Looks good

Aroma is a strong mixture of pine and grapefruit hops. Nice, me like.

Beer has a strong backbone behind it, which is good, but it intrudes on the hops which should always be the star of any decent IPA. Balance hop bitterness with hop flavor, not with malt backbone. That is always a mistake. This beer walks the line but trends toward malt in the end. The bitterness is there and the nice hop florals are there but in the end this is malty beer. not my favorite but worht a look.

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

Poured a dark copper/amber color into a snifter from a 22 oz bomber. There was no date of bottling, or best-by, however ABV and serving temperature were on the label.

Two finger foamy, frothy head from a moderately aggressive pour, that dissipated slowly, leaving behind some stunning lace. Very good carbonation with a constant stream of bubbles.

Aroma was predominantly fruity; citrus, grapefruit, pineapple notes coming through with hints of floral hops. As the beer warmed up the malt notes came through with caramel and candy like aroma. Very pleasant on the nose.

From the first sip, it was noticeable that this IPA had a strong malt backbone. Sweet notes upfront with hints of hop bitterness trying to make their presence felt only to be taken over again by subtle, candy like sweetness. The balance in this ale is very good, and also the alcohol is masked very well.
Considering the high ABV, this is surprisingly easy to drink.
One of the really good imperial IPA's out there in my opinion.

Overall, I think this is a solid brew from Anderson Valley and comes highly recommended. A 'must-try' for every IPA enthusiast.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a Bell's stemmed tulip. Poured orange with a one finger slightly off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, grain, earth, earthy hop, and subtle citrus. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, earthy hop, subtle citrus, and subtle pine. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The earthiness in this brew was definitely in full-effect here. While not being abrasive to the palate it was still a little much which hurt the beer's score overall for myself. The slight citrus aspect did try to counteract this, but it was a case of 'too little, too late'. Still worth trying for anyone interested in an earthy DIPA or the ticker out there who has to try them all.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. $2 from Bottle Revolution.

Appearance: Its a good looking, clear orange beer with a nice whitish head and pretty good looking lacing in spots and sheets.

Smell: Theres a nice caramel malty sweetness and a pretty good dose of piney and citrus hops. Its not an all out hops assault, but pretty good. Somewhat subdued for a DIPA.

Taste: Bitter hops with pine and citrus pith. A bit of sweet malt takes a backseat. A grainy, slightly vegetal taste I associate with old hops is there too.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good actually. Soft but tingly with well executed carbonation and a resiny stickiness on the end.

Overall: Its OK. Looking at other reviews that date back to at least July makes me think this isnt that fresh, and it shows. Could probably be better.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Light copper with off-white 2 finger head. Very good lacing that sticks to the glass.

S- Skunk piney hops, some citrus and sweet malts.

T- Sweet malts, pine hop bitterness. Hard to pick out much citrus from the pine, but it's there.

M- Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Leaves a bitter dry mouth.

O- Decent DIPA. Not sure how fresh this is but flavors may have faded some possibly?

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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.

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Photo of bogus564
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 fl oz, poured into a pint glass.

My previous review, written last night, was somehow lost; it's likely due to my overactive security software. Going from memory (and the fact that I have half the bottle still here on my desk).

Cloudy copper color, half beer, half head. Head is wheat-colored, and lasts quite awhile. This could be something worth trying.

It smells predominantly of prunes and piny hops. It's so overpowering that I can't discern any other aromas.

Oh, the disappointment in taste. It tastes predominantly of prunes and piny hops. If I were drinking prune juice, I'd appreciate that, but in an IPA, not so much. Wow.

Mouthfeel is, well, ehh. It's medium in body, very strongly carbonated, dances over the palate like Ron Artest (Metta World Peace) attempting the quick-step, icky piny finish.

Overall, I can say that I tried this beer, but I don't believe I'll be trying anything else from this brewery.

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