Road Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale Ale | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Road Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale AleRoad Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Imperial Rye IPA is brewed in the name of our Road Warriors—the sales team who tirelessly hit the streets, traveling from town to town and pub to pub sharing the Green Flash experience. Road Warrior™ charges full flavor forward. Columbus and Mosaic hops, rich crystal and spicy rye malts pave the way for Mosaic and Amarillo dry-hopping to boldly shine through in the finish. Raise a glass to those who never settle!

Added by Wrigleyf on 04-22-2014

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Reviews: 189 | Ratings: 1,343
Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

650 ml bomber poured into a tulip. A cloudy reddish toffee color with two fingers of voluptuous frothy yet creamy beige head. Keeps its shape nicely.

Huge citrus rind aroma, orange and grapefruit, with some floral black tea, caramels, and dusty peppery spice. Good old rye. Pungent resins and a whiff of tropical melon. Rather powerful and boozy on the palate, at least initially, with tons of green spicy hop notes, brittle flinty rye, and tannic strong tea. Less sweet than expected. Juicy grapefruit and Seville orange. Musky blueberry and sour kiwi blink though the dark spicy base. Robust pine needle oils from start to finish. I am undecided as to whether the hops or the malts are winning this particular battle ... I'm leaning towards the former but just by a hair. A certain nuttiness emerges late. A few raisin notes. The hops are getting floral. The booze mellows out into a classy rum-like sweetness.

Rather hefty body and silky smooth, with low end carbonation. Finish is on the dry side, copious citrus rinds and peppercorns, but with some lingering brown sugar sweetness. Yep, still a huge Green Flash fan. This is a great rye PA that reveals its complexities over time. There is just enough spicy rye and caramel malt sweetness to provide balance while still letting the hop power shine forth.

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Photo of woemad
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $3.29. According to the label, this is best by December 12, 2014 (oops), although it’s so faint I almost couldn’t find this information.

Poured a hazy, dark mahogany color, with a big, creamy khaki-colored head. Said head subsided after a couple of minutes in a frenzy of bubbles, and left lots of lace on the sides of a Bristol Mass Transit Ale pint glass (Thanks again for the glassware, Connie!).

Lots of piney and citrusy hops and spicy rye malt notes. I could detect a little caramelish sweetness as well. It’s not often I can detect the non-rye malt when drinking a beer brewed with rye malt, but this time I can – just.

The malts are as big as the hops, but the hops ain’t too shy, despite being about 3 ½ weeks past the best-by point. Maybe the hops would be a little bit more dominant if this was fresher, but everything seems very well balanced. Things end with a pleasingly dry zap to the palate.

Medium bodied, with a somewhat oily mouthfeel.

I’ve had some IIPAs, rye or otherwise, that are barely drinkable malt bombs, where drinkability has been sacrificed to the twin gods of IBUs and ABV. This is full flavored, but very drinkable, despite being a little past it’s prime. Once again, Green Flash rocks.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, an ode to the brewery's sales force, and not, as I initially imagined, to Mel Gibson's 1980s magnum opus.

This beer does me the displeasure of foaming and spouting right out of the bottle upon cap poppage (so, in a bit of perfect musical interlude, let's have Korn have the last word on this matter - 'And fuuuuuuck you too...'), and after more than a bit of table top cleanup, appears a hazy, dark red brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and broadly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some decent sudsy cubbyhole lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of zesty West Coast hops - edgy orange, white grapefruit, and lemon pith bitterness - pinecone and pine needle green esters, earthy yeast, acrid alcohol, semi-sweet bready caramel malt, a grainy rye spiciness, and further floral, well-perfumed hops. The taste is gritty, grainy pale, caramel, and rye malt, all showing off their individuality with due aplomb, a still heady SW Cali hop contingent - orange, lemon, kiwi, and red grapefruit bitters representin' - among some agreeably swirling metallic alcohol, and a further green forest floor flora acerbic character - y'know, pine, but some of its harder to describe friends, as well.

The bubbles are actually pretty sedate, their frothy inclinations hardly worthy of worrying about, the body a dense medium-full weight for the style, and not particularly smooth, both the rye spice and the overall hoppiness really making a dent here. It finishes off-dry, the now well-blended malt taking hold in an apparently defensive measure against the regrouping bitter hop cabal.

Yup, just as I might have suspected, a rye-inflected IIPA from this brewery is nothing more than a malt bill adjusted version of their venerable West Coast IPA, or its bigger brother - whatevs. I'm generally down with this, even as my inner dialogue continues to pester me with the lingering question of why the fuck, why the fuck - given my particular disposition to the guest grain - do I subject myself to this. Oh, yah, right. Hops - the bastards.

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Photo of HopticalDeployment
4.73/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Biscuity toffee essence, laced with a sticky imperial hop forward flavor profile.

When I consume an IIPA or DIPA (or should I say, "am consumed by..."), I expect and search for a biscotti like biscuit profile, enriched by an undeniable, smooth yet inappropriately hop aggressive start and finish.

Bravo green flash... bravo.

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Photo of samtrillo
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep and mysterious mahogany. What's going on in here?

Brioche and pine nose.
First thing that hit me from the first sip was the soft and rounded mouthfeel. Followed by graham cracker malt and a bitter forest finish. The rye really adds a quality complexity to this brew. I wanted a little more from the hops, though. Getting mostly bitter pine with some citrus.

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Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

Poured with a light tan head that had great retention and left a surprisingly complete coverage on the glass. Deep amber body is surprisingly dark for style.

Aroma: sweet, spicy and hoppy. As suggested by the dark body, there seems to be a generous load of rye and malted barley in this.

Flavor: a hop bomb with added spicy rye and enough malt to temper the still moderately high bitterness.

Feel: near full body; very smooth; mild, soft, medium carbonation.

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Photo of MarkQ617
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Had this poured into a pint glass, my second Green Flash review. I should preface review saying that imperial ripas are my favorite, and this isn't exception. Rich copper color. Plenty of fresh hop flavor with that nice rye bite on the finish. Outstanding.

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Photo of jellikit
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Appearance: ruby red. Hazy. Thin head. Nice thin lacing.
Smell: grapefruit. Pine. Sweetness like caramel. Floral.
Taste: slightly roasted malt. Pine. Citrus. Black pepper. Alcohol
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Big body. Sweet.
Overall: yum.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Unibroue tulip. Best before December 15th, 2014.

A a cloudy, ruddy, burnt orange body is sealed by a lasting peach finger. Sandy lacing, thin tears, superior retention.

Potent aromatics, the nose suffused with spicy, herbaceous, resinous hops balanced by woody faintly grainy malt/rye notes. A slight orange-water floral element sneaks in as well, maybe from dry hopping with Amarillo.

Intensely sweet but with a forward complex bitterness that stands up to the malt bill. Grass, toast, pine, forest floor, peppercorn, jasmine, etc. The rye comes through in the dry earthy finish. Very good.

Rich medium bodied mouthfeel with good carbonation. A touch warming from the alcohol, but still refreshing.

A big, substantial, rewarding flavor bomb, if a bit sweet.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%

Dark amber pour with a nice fluffy head, that even tho is small, is not in any rush, slowly receding to the long-lasting thin, sticky lace.
Spicy rye keeps the hops under control on the nose, with some grapefruit and light tropical notes passing through. Caramel, some floral honey notes, bread, leafy hops.
Taste serves up sweet honeydew melon, pineapple, peach, faint mango and tangerine, quickly shoved aside by spicy toasted rye bread and grassy hops. Grapefruit develops and lingers, with a nice lifting caramel note, pinched by a small floral note. Some black tea, pine and rough leafy hops finish it up, really bitter.
Dry tobacco lingering to the aftertaste, a bit of peppermint, light citrus, hop oils and the rich rye bread. Medium body and carbonation, with an abrupt conversion from sticky sweetness to bitter dryness.
A roughly hopped Imperial IPA, nice spicy rye. Manly, but unpolished.

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Photo of Sam-VW
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

A - A ruby/brown with a foamy medium white head that sticks around leaving rings of sticky lacing

S - Lots of rye, Citrus, bubblegum and pine. Some toffee.

T - starts with pine and rye, going on to citrus and tropical notes. Bubblegum and some caramel on finish

M - Carbonation is medium and finishes medium dry

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Westbrook pint glass.

A: Very dark bronze, fairly hazy, with a thick two-finger dense tan head that has great retention for a hoppy beer. Modest visible carbonation. Darker than I had anticipated, but it's pretty.

S: Resin, citrus rind, and bready spicy malts...pretty much straightforward for the style, and as expected.

T: Bitterness hits you up front – thick resin and very bitter grapefruit pith hops, thick toasted rye-bread malts in the middle, then more lemon and pine tree bitterness with some vegetal and floral aspects around the edges. It finishes out with some alcohol heat, and some faint residual malt sugars fighting against the lingering bitterness.

M: Fairly heavy-bodied, low carbonation sensation. The alcohol is noticeable though doesn't seem overdone.

O: Tasty, but this is big – the big big ABV taste, the big malt bill, and big bitterness. An in-your-face west coast IPA for sure in IBUs, but it lacks the interplay of the hop flavor profiles that the more interesting ones have. Almost a heavy-handed Stone bitterness quality at the end. Enjoyable, but nothing I'd wish they would make year-round.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

A - Amber red, a touch of clarity, and sticky lace left all over the glass

A - Citrus and pine hops, sweetness.

T - toffee, grapefruit, citrus, bread, and a boozy aftertaste. Well balanced, tasty as hell

M - Medium bodied and well carbonated.

O - GF knocks it out of the park, like usual. Awesome brew!

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Photo of MAB
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

This was a "wow" beer for me. I was not expecting the unique flavor that I got from it.
It was plenty bitter, plenty of malty balance, but an unidentifiable flavor just kept me sipping for more.
Delicious stuff; I'll be having more. On-tap at Hop In Brew in Calgary, OCT 15, 2014

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Photo of garymuchow
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Even during the pour I could pick up the hop, rye and alcohol. On closer inspection a bigger grain and more intense hop mix nicely and form an appealing sweet nectar aroma. Some fruit but also flowery.
Huge tan mousse head. Red amber body mostly clear.
Full taste with some pushing of the hop oils, but seems to hold back just in time. The hops really lay on the tongue (and shred those poor cells up a bit too). Clear and distinct rye spicness. Complex hop flavors before the bitterness does it's damage and then lingers for a good long while. Smooth alcohol with a little warming in the gut, and some perfumey taste which is not overpowering.
Bigger than moderate feel and smooth enough carbonation.
Drink smooths out as it warms and airs out.

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Photo of Samp01
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark reddish brown with a medium tan head. mild lacing. Rye and grains upfront with caramel malt making its way slowly as it warms up, some earthy resin pine hops bitterness. Palate is a medium to full body, good carbonation, mild dry alcohol. Finish is rye and grains, caramel malt with some earthy resin hops bitterness on the end and some lingering rye malt flavor. A note worthy rye DIPA, good and full flavored brew.

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Photo of argock
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%

Poured from a 12 oz stubby brown bottle into a clear glass tulip. Best by space on label but blank. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Murky brown but clears as the glass empties with 1-finger of frothy beige head with good retention and a nice web of lacing at the top of the glass. (4)

S: Very rustic, earthy aroma with an excellent mix of lemony-grapefruit and herbal honeysuckle aroma. Light and medium crystal malts lend a touch of sweetness. There is a grassy edge as well to this wonderful beer. No yeast and minimal alcohol aroma. (4.25)

T: Flavor does not drop off at all -- I like the grassy, herbal yet floral edge to the hops flavor, it is very unique and inviting. There are some citrus characteristics too with lemon and grapefruit and pine resin pushing into the picture too. The light and medium crystal malts provide a good countering sweetness. The grassy, rustic finish is exceptional. Road Warrior is an underrated beer. Alcohol flavor provides a bit of an undercurrent of sweetness. (4.5)

M: Medium body with a nice dry finish and low-ish carbonation. (4)

O: Road Warrior is a nice diamond in the rough -- rustic and earthy but with plenty of hop citrus and pine resin coupling with the light crystal maltiness. Great beer.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark ruby red over an amber background. Massive head with excellent retention and lacing. Very nice complex nose of citrus and tropical hops, a hint of spicy hops and rye over a caramel and biscuit malt sweet base. Medium body with an almost creamy texture. Slightly above normal carbonation with a good effervescent finish. The bold flavor profile is complex, but falls a bit short on balance. It begins with a blend of hop flavor that has a sweet caramel undertone, then rapidly flows into the bitter aspects that predominate the middle. The spicy rye notes assert themselves as you adjust to the mostly pine bitterness with small amounts of dank, tropical and citrus hop flavor. The finish is where the alcohol predominates and lingers over a receding bitterness and fading sweetness that, unfortunately, is out of balance. You get the nice alcohol burn at the back of the throat, but the lingering aftertaste is a bit astringent.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.44/5  rDev -40.2%

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass, with a branded black pry-off pressure cap. "Best by 12/05/14." Purchased at Whole Foods HQ yesterday.

Reviewed as an "Imperial Rye India Pale Ale" per the label. 9.0% ABV. 80 IBU.

Expectations are below average given the brewery and style; I'm of the opinion Green Flash is (along with Stone) on the cutting edge of the trend towards direly imbalanced (Imperial) IPAs.

Served cold into a snifter at low altitude in Austin, TX. Reviewed live. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A gentle hiss upon opening suggests apt carbonation.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Pale khaki/off-white colour. Has a fairly creamy nicely thick consistency and a relatively soft complexion, though I do wish it were fuller. Thick lacing clings to the sides of the glass as it recedes. Head retention is above average for the high ABV - about 4 minutes.

BODY: Shallow muddled garnet colour of below average vibrance. Translucent. Nontransparent. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible, though I'm hesitant to say it appears clean.

It leans far more towards an amber colour than expected given the style, which is uncommon but neither unique nor special. I find it generally appealing.

AROMA: Much sweeter than I ever could have anticipated - Green Flash brewed this? Where's the overbearing bitterness assault with wreckless disregard for balance? I pick up on amber malt, deep caramalt, toasty bready malts, sweetbread, and a kiss of rye malt's signature spiciness.

What's unimpressive is the hop character and awkward Christmasy spice. All the hops really evoke is vague shallow fruit and herbs. Boy does Amarillo seem wasted on this.

It's a shallow aroma of light strength, and I find it largely unevocative. Frankly, it's boring for an IPA - let alone an Imperial IPA - and I never thought I'd write this about a Green Flash beer: but where are the hops?

TASTE: The dominant herbal hop character is just plain unsatisfying, and the signature spiciness of the rye barely emerges. I'm not finding any Amarillo character here, which is a damn shame given it's my favourite hop. Even some floral hop character would be better than what little is offered here - let alone some nectary, oily, citrusy, grassy, or resinous hop character. There's some uninteresting vague fruitiness. If the crux of the imperial IPA is/are the hop flavour(s), this beer just plain doesn't deliver.

The malt base is largely amber and caramalt, with a bit of pale malt. A strange foundation for a purported imperial IPA. I do find it slightly too sweet, but I suppose that's a welcome change from Green Flash's usual m.o. of overbearing bitterness.

Not that this is a balanced beer by any means. The hops aren't complemented well by the malts, and while it has a loose cohesion, it's far from a gestalt build.

Do I like it? Not really. In classic Green Flash fashion, it's a mess. Sure, there's a fair amount going on in this flavour profile, but the beer lacks order and focus. It's sloppily constructed. By no means subtle; this is as in-your-face and shallow a flavour profile as you'll find in the style. Not an intricate or pleasant brew. The ale esters are nice, I guess.

As it warms, I do pick up on some citrusy blood orange character, but it's largely eclipsed by the grapefruit, and is ultimately muted by the unnecessary bitterness that emerges alongside it.

TEXTURE: Full-bodied. It's smooth and wet, yet somehow drags on the palate. There's an irritating scratchiness on the back end. Overcarbonated. Alcohol warmth is noticeable, to its detriment.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or creamy.

Overall presence on the palate is poor; this texture is mismatched to this beer's taste - not that the flavour profile is all that great to start with.

OVERALL: I continue to be confounded by Green Flash's popularity and consistently high beer ratings. I would caution friends against purchasing this. While it wasn't the bitterness nuke I anticipated, its imbalance was still dire. The discerning drinker will be unimpressed. I'll finish the bottle with some effort. I admit I'm a bit confused by the herbal hop emphasis, but I guess I'm glad they're not pushing Mosaic in the marketing like many other breweries might.


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Photo of claminat420
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

A for appearance- [on a hardy pour] somewhat transparent amber colored. nice frothy off white
head that leaves alil bit of lacing.

A for aroma- a spicy floral aroma. caramel malt is definitely detected.

T-* this is awesome solid malt hophead loving goodness*. wish I could try this on tap. spiciness
snaps with with hops which were slight grapefruit mixed with tropical fruit. as it's not fresh and
by months the caramel malts really shine. the abv is pretty hidden with the malt.

M- medium/ heavy body. good carbonation.

DRINKABILITY<<< bring it back!- about to be on the 4th out of the four pack. plan on getting more.

Overall- I would get this for another month and maybe one more. seeing as it came out in may this
beer might be getting past it's prime. seeing the specialty malts really shine with this brew is
what you want in a rye ipa. I would like to try this beer fresh next year to see how much the
hops showcase compared to the aged malt creeping goodness which it's now. like I said in taste
this beer is more for the hophead who wouldn't mind malt showing up to the party.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev -2%

A-Clear deep amber orange, some carbonation, one finger head that leaves some lacing.

S-Some rye and malt, tad bit of grass and some citrus.

T-Starts with some rye spiciness and malt. Tad bit of grass and earthy notes with mild citrus

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation and some hop resins

O-If only I was watching Frasier while drinking this.

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Photo of tykechandler
2/5  rDev -51%

blech. the grain bill here is very rye forward, which is fine. but notes of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar simply do not mesh with the hop profile. in reality, it tastes like a decent homebrew; hoppy, but not balanced at all. seek shelter elsewhere. i drank ~6 oz and poured the rest out. i'm just not a fan of this one from a brewery that i generally enjoy a good deal.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, red copper light brown with a short off white head that dissipates leaving some lacing, clear

S: peppery and pine, distinct spicy smell from the rye, hop forward with notes of citrus mostly grapefruit

T: heavy on the rye flavors with some slight alcohol flavor, esters present, leather, tobacco

M: quite heavy and coats the tongue, lower carbonation

O: an aggressive rye flavor with heavy hops

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Photo of schoolboy
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%

Ah, another great Green Flash brew. This may be the heaviest of theirs that I've had, but they do nanny very well.

Is dark, cause its a rye brew. IPA or aipa don't seem accurate. The aroma is a wonderful citrusy rye boozy smell.

The taste is thick. It's sweet, bitter and boozy, and fairly complex. The after taste I bitter to a high degree. It lingers nicely. This is an over the top brew that has a great balance of loads of bitter with loads of malt.

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Photo of coldriver
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

12 oz bottle pours a dark amber with nice head and lacing, Aroma is pungent pine-resin, apricot and grapefruit, with some alcohol. Taste has a sharp rye malt bite, but not overdone. Hops profile is typical Chuck Silva deep pine resin dominated - flavorful but not particularly fruity (so good). Love the way this sticks to the back of the tongue begging you for another sip. This is pretty damn good managing to avoid the higher alcohol over-sweet sugar water taste of many imperial IPA's.

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Road Warrior Imperial Rye India Pale Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
4.08 out of 5 based on 1,343 ratings.
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