Imperial IPA | Mendocino Brewing Company

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Imperial IPAImperial IPA
223 Ratings
Imperial IPAImperial IPA

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Zorro on 07-03-2010

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 223 |  Reviews: 101
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, citrus fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer for what it is but it's a bit rough around the edges in my opinion.

 508 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is hazy copper in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down and left lacing covering the surface and the edges of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel malts and grapefruit hops in the nose. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is evenly balanced between flavors of caramel and grapefruit. Only a slight amount of bitterness is present and notes of alcohol are perceptible in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, chewy and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a slow sipper because the flavor is very malty (it isn’t balanced off that much with bitterness from the hops) and the taste of alcohol is present.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Resiny, citrusy, and earthy/grainy, Mendocino Brewing does a great job of capturing a malty flavor to balance the hops without allowing the malty-sweet weight to interfere.

A hazy, deep copper-deep amber color adorns the tulip while sticky lace climbs up the glass. Obviously the great rocky head formation and stubborn retention of eggshell white foam are prerequisites.

Malty rich aromas give the impression of deeply caramelized barley malts but avoiding toast, thus promoting a bread crust savory sweetness. But the hops are quickly countered by sharp hop flavors of citrus zest, ruby red grapefruits, and resiny bitterness. Pungent maltiness gives the impressions of rye malt or everso peated malts- flavorful but earthy. Alcoholic bitter flavors intensify the hop bitterness and gives an acetone taste.

The mouthfeel starts very creamy and somewhat heavy, but the sweetnes falls off quickly, allowing for a malty-dry mid palate. But the malts continue its fleeting texture as the hop dryness and alcohol warmth gain intensity- leading to a crisp and clean finish even if with a mild resiny sticky-dry bitterness.

It seems like I've written hundreds of IPA reviews that read the same way this one has. Though this is a delightful beer, there's little that separates it from many other well made Double IPA's.

 1,317 characters

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip, no idea on the age of the bottle. Pours slightly hazy brick red color with a dense 2 finger off white head with fantastic retention that eventually reduces to a thin lacing cap. Aromas of big caramel, pine resin, orange, a bit of spices, and a bit of alcohol. Seems like there is a lot of sweetness in these aromas, decent stuff though. Taste of tons of caramel, pine, orange, spices; with light grapefruit and a bit of pineapple. Tons of sweetness on the taste and finish; but there still is a decently strong bitterness that shows up after the finish to balance out the sweetness, and lingers for a good period of time. Some lingering notes of pine, spices, caramel, and citrus on the finish as well. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied. Fairly syrupy mouthfeel, but still manages to be quite drinkable despite the alcohol level. Alcohol is nicely hidden; nothing but a slight warming after the finish. Overall, despite this being quite malty, it is surprisingly delicious stuff; I definitely enjoyed it.

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Photo of Boone757
3.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LXIXME
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in standard pint glass

A - clear or hazy amber, with off-white head. Head has good retention. Trace of sediment in bottom of bottle (added to my beer, of course).

Mouthfeel: creamy and full, but with some dryness towards the finish. smooth; medium body and carbonation

S - Resinous and citrusy hops, but a bit subtle compared to the bold taste. {A more recent Nov. 2011 sample had a bolder, more citrusy aroma}. A bit earthy with hints of herbs and baked bread.

T - citrusy hops with traces of orange. Rather complex hop mix but perhaps not quite as hoppy as expected for an Amer. imperial or double IPA. Significant levels of sweet and caramel malt to balance the bitter hops. Only moderately bitter and hoppy after-taste. 8% ABV is largely hidden.

O - A very well-crafted DIPA. Boldly flavored, yet an excellent sipper that is refreshing and not challenging or overly aggressive. .

 895 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The typical orange amber color in the Duvel glass. Less foam than average but plenty of fizz in the mouth. Medium body. Some hoppy notes and alcohol in the smell.

Nothing subtle about this. A flavor that makes me think of really overripe canteloupe and a whiff of the compost pile. An odd candy taste, some kind of fruity flavor. Caramel and malt. Wintergreen and brake fluid in the nose. Plenty bitter but not overwhelming. Usual hop flavors don't seem to apply here. It is just really strange though not actually undrinkable. I keep thinking of camphor and something sweet for the cough.

Rather hot and tastes more alcoholic than expected from the abv. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Baron's Marketplace in San Diego.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.51/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12-ounce bottle courtesy of JohnCoctsin. Served in a tulip.

Pours a very clear light copper color with a thin white head that diminishes quite quickly, leaving some spotty lacing behind. The nose carries some light alcohol plus bready malt and a bit of caramel. The flavor is booze in the background with mostly caramel and bread up front. Some faint floral and citrus hops. Medium body with very low bitterness and a fair amount of alcohol. Not a fan.

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Photo of smcolw
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick, minute bubbled head that settles in a rocky fashion. A cross between a blanket of lace and ring lace. The brew is cloudy with brownish-amber color.

Syrupy rich malt aroma. Alcohol is also quite present. For the style, I would say the hop is muted.

Creamy, high alcohol, malty on the first impression. The hop bitterness continues to be far below expectations. Carbonation is high, but the body is chewy. The aftertaste has an alcohol element to it--short lived, though.

 478 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Slatetank
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Thirsty's in York, PA. consumed chilled in a willybecker from the 12oz brown bottle w/out freshness date.

A deep amber bordering on copper with hazed appearance and 1/2 inch of light beige cap w/ tight bead and waves of lace that pixelate the glass. The IPA smells of piney hops with some worty malt and a mild fragrance of fruit from the yeast ester. The feel is average to me, moderate bitter entry with slightly long lasting astringency and moderate carbonation w/ semi-dry finish.

The taste has pretty smooth hop bitterness which I expect more from a standard IPA with slight tangy taste and mild grassy tinged and slightly acidic character. The bitterness creeps in and overwhelms the hop flavors but the malt which has a caramel accent keeps pace. There is a mildly lemony aspirin-like astringency that doesn't quit wiht light yeast and vegetal elements w/ mild alcohol in the finish. I found this above average in most every way, but nothing really sets it apart, maybe I am being to generous...but it is not seriously flawed, just doesn't fit my personal taste for this style. I think it does lack some dimension and complexity with a sweetness level I don't prefer, but for your 'average' Imperial IPA it isn't bad.

 1,249 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy light amber colr. Nice carbonation was evident right away as it bubbled up towards the surface. A good two inches of head then came up and capped the topped, only dropping slightly and depositing significarnt side glass lace,

The aroma was a hop heads dreams. Harsh, bitter, floral hops. Lots of grapefruit and strong pine notes, rich and fresh with tons of resin at the front of it. The flavor was more of the same. Damaging to the taste buds this was huge, Lots of rich pine flavors, pineapple, grapefruit, soem lght orange

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by matt9875. Thanks Matt!

A: This beer appears orange in color, with a slight haziness about it. The head is off white, and measures in at around a half inch thick.

S: The aroma is of hops and alcohol.

T: A decent tasting brew, with a balance between hops and malt. Not overly hop forward or bold in terms of aroma or flavor, this is a relatively straightforward, balanced version of the style. While not particularly unique and/or exciting, it's still an enjoyable brew.

M: Medium bodied, with some bitterness, adequate carbonation and a warming alcohol finish.

D: Decent beer. I would drink it again.

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Photo of tdm168
4.47/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with a hint of orange. There's a thin lacing of white head that's soft and has good retention. The nose is bready and sweet with some underlying baked apple notes. The flavor opens up with a malt forward, bready, sweet, birthday cake character and then blends into a citrusy, grapefruit, pineapple hop character that is slightly bitter in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and smooth with decent carbonation.

This is a solid beer. It has good flavor and body. It's balanced, smooth, drinkable, flavorful. This is a nice West Coast IPA.

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Photo of MarkyMOD
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

Another offering in my mini Mendocino tasting this afternoon. It pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, lots o' ruby red grapefruit, a touch of pine resin, and a hint of mint (he-he, that rhymes...). The taste brings in more of the same, with the grapefruit and the caramel really combining and intertwining nicely. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a pretty dry finish. Overall, a pretty solid DIPA, one that doesn't try to o'erwhelm tastebuds with hops, but rather pumps plenty of hoppy flavor in with pleasantly sweet caramel sidekicks. Always nice to find an easy-going DIPA.

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Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle that came in a $9.99 four pack. I see no freshness info.

Pours typical almond amber, moderate haze. Frothy lite mocha head, stays @ 1/4 inch and leaves better then respectable fine lace.

Pine resin nose with some underlying malt.

Hopped up DIPA, resin, pine, gritty hop notes. Big and bold. East coast style...dont let the name fool you, this stuff is brewed in NY state.

Pleasant in the mouth with ample carbonation.

Solid effort, not spectacular, but a quality brew in all respects.

 505 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.48/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appears a deep orange pale copper hue with an off white head, speckled scattered lacing across my chalice. Aroma has deep citrus with some biscuit malts, a touch of pine and honey malts as well. Flavor is a bit weird it's like an herbal pine experiment with hints of citrus, blast of alcohol in the back end this is a bit rough. Unrefined hard to drink version of a great style, mouthfeel falls flat seems like it's brewed in Saratoga with the rest of the lineup. This is the type of craft beer that turns off new comers, Drinkability just isn't good not a beer I will return to anytime soon.

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Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of IPAchris
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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Imperial IPA from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 223 ratings