Green Flash Imperial India Pale Ale | Green Flash Brewing Co.

1,003 Reviews
Green Flash Imperial India Pale AleGreen Flash Imperial 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:
he mountains of Summit and Nugget hops in this high gravity Imperial will thrill even the most experienced beer explorer. Savory evergreen and pineapple aromas mingle with flavors of bitter, resinous pine and grapefruit pith. A colossal rush of hoppy adventure!

Added by Terp96 on 12-02-2006

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Reviews: 1,003 | Ratings: 2,627
Photo of tylerprince
3.29/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this from a fresh bomber. A tad disappointed.

A: A beautiful hazy copper-orange with two-finger off-white head and ample lacing. Nice bubble show. Unfortunately, this is the best part of the beer...

S: Panoply of hops. Mint, citrus, and pine, with the citrus being a tad subdued. Unfortunately evokes memories of the trub left at the bottom of a carboy after siphoning off a homebrew.

T: Sour citrus up front gives way to pine, ending with an unpleasant bitterness. No hints of hops, and no attempts made to hide the 9.4% ABV.

M: Thick without being syrupy. Resinous. What I look for in an IIPA.

O: A very disappointing beer from Green Flash. I'm a huge fan of their imperial stout, but this IIPA is a hoppy mess that misses the point entirely.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.29/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer on tap at the Falling Rock Tap Room in Denver.

APPEARANCE: Hazy and light gold with almost a glow to it. It had a solid, pure white head that quickly loses about half of it's mass before slowing down to almost a complete stop. The remaining eighth of an inch of head hung in there for a long time, which led to some pretty good lacing.

SMELL: There is a surprising lack of nose to the Green Flash Imperial, especially given the strong head retention and the very strong flavors that you are about to taste. What was detectable though was a piney and floral aroma.

TASTE: The first word out of my mouth when I tasted this was "Weed." It instantly reminded me of Hop Stoopid with it's resiny pine flavor only the Green Flash had a much bigger malt profile and a very short burst of bitterness at the close of the sip. A little bit of citrus and pine fill out the flavor profile.

On a slightly separate note, the bartender was in complete agreement with me on the weed taste. His exact quote was "Yep, if it's hoppy enough, it smells like my backpack."

MOUTHFEEL: Rich and heavy sitting, but along with some solid sparkle and a weird, simultaneous syrupy feel. The sparkling syrup is not something you taste too often.

OVERALL: My notes say "Good, not great, but good." I will drink this beer again, but it will not be my go too. I would say if this one wasn't tougher for me to track down I'd almost always take a Hop Stoopid over it, but it is a good change of pace and ultimately I did enjoy it.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap and served in a pint glass, pours a rich golden color with perhaps a hint of orange. A decent head dissipates over a few minutes and yields little lacing on a pre-chilled glass. I think the condensation on the glass prevented what would likely have been more stickiness on the lace.

Smell is initially a huge fresh hemp bomb. As the head dissipates and the volatility of things settle down. the hop presence throws out slightly floral but mostly tangerine citrus notes. Malt presence is there but rather simple in its supporting role.

Taste is expected given the nose. Initially the marijuana nose dulls the senses and overwhelms the taste. Then the citrus comes through and the finish offers a lightly complex malt sweetness. Hemp influences diminish through the pint short of aggressive agitation of the brew, letting other flavors take the forefront. Malts are light in body and somewhat effective at keeping the alcohol taste down, yet without distracting from the hops.

This is a big, sipping brew that offers a good mouthfeel and decent drinkability within the confines of the ABV. Brewers site notes the use of 'Summit and Nugget Hops' in the recipe.

Edit: Smell reduced from 4.5 to 3.5. Major hop adjustment that I'm not feelin' the love for. Why change a good thing??

Edit #2 01/12 Taste and feel are thinner. Less body on the feel. This is now a mediocre DIPA. Offers a decent but unexciting nose with a light pine resin hop aroma. Taste and mouthfeel are washed out a bit. Hop change? Or financial decision? I would guess the latter. Taste and feel dropped by a half point, and I thing I might be being generous.

Bottom line: This beer has little if any resemblance to it's former self. And that really pisses me off. If you can't make the same beer with the same ingredients, then at least call it something else.

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Photo of natelocc787
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Not impressed with this beer. All IBU's are alive and kicking, leaves a big bitterness at the back of the tongue after each sip. A heavy dose of malt as well, making the feel thick and syrupy, but ample carbonation makes the mouthfeel good, very understated on the tongue. I've never had an Imperial IPA that tasted so damn heavy on the malt, yet so damn bitter with the hops, I almost wish one would dominate the other so they weren't fighting the character of the beer. The bitterness is penetrating, everlasting in it's power, and the malt almost seems like the wrong malt used (pale) where is the caramel?

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Photo of scooter231
3.31/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very clear, light rusty color. Grapefruit juice, really. Head is off white and super extremely uber bubbly. Did I get that point across? Millions of bubbles. The lacing is nice and sticky. Preeeetty beer.

Smells sweet and tangy. The hops are crisp, fresh, and grassy. There's some lemon in there, and some... apricot? The sweetness isn't cloying or overdone, it's actually quite pleasant. If you take in a big whiff you even get some vanilla. All that said, it's kind of faint- you reeeeally gotta sniff it out.

Huh. Flavor threw me off. It's... bitter. A little TOO bitter. Lots of roasted, toasted, burnt bread flavors. There's some sweetness in the beginning but it's immediately overpowered by woodsy hop flavors then bitterness that lingers. Now, I like my hops- I LOVE my hops. But this is a little too rushed. It's not harmonious. There's potential, the ingredients are there- but they just don't flow like they should. It's not unpleasant, just not as good as it could be.

Mouthfeel is pretty strong. Very sudsy and chewy, and slick. Doesn't dry you out, doesn't leave you with anything unpleasant. Good bite.

Overall this beer is just... I had hoped for so much more! It's unbalanced. The bitterness is both too much, and not enough. It needs more, or it needs less. But for 7 bucks in Manhattan, for a 9.4% beer... I'll take it.

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Photo of jonziefle
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured a slightly cloudy orange/brown amber. Less than one finger white head, which doesn’t stick around very long. Diminishes to a nice mottle bubble coating. Visible bubbles on glass when poured, which some good visible carbonation. Some lacing, but nothing spectactular.

Smell: A strong nose of fresh hops, big but not overpowering. The hops are sweet, fruity, and candy like. Citrus and pine are also present.

Taste: First impression is that it is a little too strong, making it slightly harsh. The alcohol (9%) and bitter hops hit first; definitely a pucker moment. The hops taste a bit darker and not as appealing as the smell, but still alright. Sweet, like an IPA should be, but not overly so. There’s a slight off taste after the hops with some malt to balance the beer, but only slightly. Raisin taste that lingers for awhile.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied beer, with a big alcohol bite. The beer itself is smooth, but the alcohol works its way back and tickles the throat fast and early.

Drinkability: A beer that had incredible promise, but just ended up being way too much. It looks and smells wonderful, but the taste leaves much to be desired. The alcohol isn’t hidden at all, making it tough to do anything but sip. I'll have to try this again sometime, but right now its not for me.

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Photo of illidurit
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at 515 in Santa Cruz. Pours gold with a nice white head that leaves thin filmy lacing. Aroma is garlicky hops, herbs, and pale malts. Flavor is heavy on herbal hops but that garlic is throwing me off. There's also some sweeter citrus influence but it's mild. Not a lot of malt presence but that may be a result of tasting this after an imperial red. Seems dry and bitter enough, but the hop profile could easily be improved.

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Photo of JoeMayo
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a decent head. It leaves spotty lacing down the side of the glass.

S- Very hoppy with a little bit of malt noted. The scent imparted from the hops is primarily pine with notes of lemon and organge.

T- Surprisingly bitter. Almost agressively so. No citrus comes through in the flavor. Only pine and alcohol come through.

M- Slightly astringent, but overall pleasant carbonation and decent body.

D- I couldn't finish it. There was nothing I really liked about the flavor. The pine was not very pleasant and the alcohol was too noticeable. Usually piney IPAs are a good thing (ie Pliny the Elder) however there was not enough to balance it.

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Photo of tpd975
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice even honey golden hue with a big bubbly head. A small put thick head remains after the inital pour. Lacing is left in sheets with this one. One side of the glass was so covered you could barely see thru it.

S: Nice citrus aromas. Tons of bitter lemon and zesty grapefruit. i like it.

T: Tons of grapefruit right up front. Malt appears in the middle to lessen the bitter blow of the hops. Then a strange taste appears. I don't know how to place it. It tastes kind of like the white part of the grapefruit mixed with stale grass. Not good at all. It finishes crips and dry.

M: Nice and full bodied, filling like you would expect from a big DIPA.

D: So So. That strange taste in the middle kind of blow it for me.

Overall: It's a nice looking brew that starts off so nice. I just can't get over the odd taste in the middle. It starts great and finishes wonderful, but when its all said and done it's just okay.

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Photo of AbyssJunkie13
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sorry, just going through my review book and posting these, but here it goes.

Split a 22 with my bro-in-law.

A: Great golden, honey color. Pretty clear for a beer like this. Thick head with decent staying power. Moderate lacing.

S: Good smells of general citrus, grapefruit, passionfruit maybe?

T: The flavors are great, but not very intense. What I can taste are sweet grapefruit, and a slight hoppy bitterness. The only problem with this brew is that while the alcohol isn't completely overpowering, it has a big enough presence to overpower the faint flavors.

M: Nothing crazy noteworthy here. Just solid.

D: Not bad. But at 9%, it should probably not make me want to have another different beer right after I drank this one because I want more flavor.

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Photo of CWiggins
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I walked into Sam's Quik Stop a couple of weeks ago, and, to my utter delight, they were conducting a beer tasting! Green Flash has arrived in North Carolina, and the local distribution representative was sampling five offerings. I did sample each, and left that day with one bomber. (Not the DIPA.) On a later visit I obtained a bomber of the DIPA for that perfect summer evening when a nice hopbomb seemed appropriate. Tonight was the night.

My wife and I were preparing a spicy tuna and quinoa dish with sauteed broccoli on the side. (Actually, I ended up cooking the entire meal, as my wife had some work to catch up on.) A DIPA seemed like a nice choice, so I threw it in the fridge while dinner was cooking. Frankly, with the meal it was a little too dry and light-bodied, but the glass I had afterwards was most enjoyable.

It poured a dark gold into my Green Flash pint glass; the head was lean if not at all present, and it mainly stuck to the perimeter to the perimeter of the brew. This beer does have a nice appearance in the glass: the shiny, non-bubbly liquid is a pleasure to observe because it looks so clean and crisp, yet colorful and complex. Aromas of spicy hops and citrus rise to meet the nose. The flavor is mainly of hops and medium-bodied malts, while the aftertaste is a nice balance of the two. Overall, it's a pleasing taste, with bright grapefruit-like citrus, light grainy malts, and piney hops combining in a well-balanced taste experience.

This one will really sneak up on you. Halfway through my second glass, I began to feel the effects of the 9.0 ABV. After emptying that glass. I could barely get through this review without constantly hitting the Delete key over and over! Be careful!

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Pours a clear amber body with 1.5 fingers of off-white head. It retains as well as I would expect for the ABV, leaving some lace behind in its wake. The result is a thick collar on the beer, with some broken film wafting around.

S: Interesting take on an imperial IPA. It has a very dank grapefruit aroma, some pine, and a touch of booze. It also has a noticeable spicy onion nose. Reminds me of GUBNA, but not nearly as horrid; you wouldn't think the spice would work on paper, but here it somehow does.

T: Yep, definitely a slight onion quality here. There's a heavy malt presence here that gives the impression of candied grapefruit. Tons of resin. At times there is a light tea-like bitterness.

M: Somewhat boozy, but mostly it's enamel-peeling and harsh. Don't get me wrong: that's a GOOD thing sometimes, and once in a while I like an imperial IPA like that. This happens to be such a day. The bitterness is initially very sticky, but as the beer warms (or as I adjust?) it becomes less pronounced.

D: It's not world-class, IMO. But I'd get it once in a while for its enamel-ripping satisfaction, especially if it were $5 a bomber.

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Photo of phisig137
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber/ golden color, with a one finger head from a vigorous pour. Decent retention with no lacing, just a small ring of foam in the glass.

Aroma is outrageous. Pine-sol. Seriously piney hops, along with some grassiness, combined with a decent level of alcohol present in the nose, makes this smell like floor cleaner. This is definitely a love it or hate it smell. I think it's pretty good, and leaves me curious as to the flavor.

Unfortunately, I'm let down here. Tons of hop flavor, but not well integrated at all. Very little malt presence does not help this at all. The different hop flavors clash quite badly, leaving you with an unpleasant bitterness that is harsh and metallic. Mouthfeel is fairly full and creamy. Drinkability is pretty good for the alcohol.

I've got to say that I've very disappointed in this. The Green Flash West Coast IPA I really enjoy sometimes, this one just doesn't do it at all. Very unbalanced, harsh hoppiness, with no malt to back it up. Their standard IPA is much better. For that matter, their barleywine is a far better DIPA than this is... I won't be buying it again...

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear copper with about three fingers of mammoth head. Slow to die, it leaves some clumps of lacing on the way down.

S - MMM! Hops. Grapefruit pith and spruce with other strong citrus notes. Some white pepper and a little biscuity character too.

T - A bit of a peppery alcohol with a strong pine bitterness. A slight biscuity finish joins the waning pine on the finish. That alcohol is too promnient a feature here for my tastes.

M - Thin, a little harsh and only slighty refreshing.

D - Pretty good, the mouthfeel could afford to be better and the abv makes its presence know much more than it should. But it really isn't bad all around. I probably won't have it again (especially with that delicious barleywine for the same price), but if offered, I wouldn't pass it up..

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Photo of kernalklink
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice copper orange with nice fizzy head. Aromas are interesting and strong. Huge floral hop aroma, some biscuity malts. Now, i know that hops are botanical cousins to cannabis, but goddamn. Aromas are strong in that department. The volatile hop oils transfer to the taste, where the flavors are too overwhelming. Nice bitterness, but its all too much in the end. Malts are not really present, not that your numb tongue would be able to discern them. Slight alcohol burn. Smooth and dry finish. Perfect DIPA for some hop-heads, and other "-heads", but not for me.

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Photo of Crosling
3.37/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Super fresh, drank within two weeks of being bottled. Light gold, very nice head. Fairly nice hop nose but not super great. Awfully drinkable. It goes down super easy. Nice body. Nice hop flavor. A good Double IPA, but far from great, especially for being so fresh.

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Photo of Dbrulet
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into snifter glass.

A - 3.5 - Dark golden yellow with slight haze. Two finger foamy head with Quite a bit of lacing left on the glass.

S - 3.0 - Mix of pine, floral and citrus aroma. Not as hoppy as I would have expected.

T - 3.5 - Grapefruit and citrus flavor. Decent hops but a little bitter compared to the great dIPAs. Well balanced considering the 9.4% abv.

M - 3.5 - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

O - 3.5 - This beer is a slight dissappointment to me from what I was expecting. I wanted it to be great but the aroma and flavor fell short based on the comparisons it received to the other beers I love. Good beer. Just not great.

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Photo of Cresant
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Sierra Nevada glass. No date. The body was bright golden amber. The tall head was off-white and irregular. It left sheets of lace in the glass.

Smell was earthy and a little dirty/funky. Fresh hops.

Taste was oranges. Some alcohol is evident. Not super-bitter (that would have been ok). Very drinkable.

Mouthfeel was medium in body with a alcohol, zippy carbonation.

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Photo of midaszero
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Cloudy orange with little lacing

S - Lots of hops. Also hard to place smell with as my friends all best described as green ... think forest.

T - More bitter hops. It is the dominating flavor and I couldn't really pick anything else out.

M - Light to medium body with light carbonation

D - To hoppy for me to enjoy on a regular basis

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color. Lovely big slightly off-white head with good lacing and nice retention.

Smell: The aroma isn't too strong. Fairly biscuity, with light citrus hops.

Taste: There's a fair amount of sweetness starting out, and it just gets stronger as you get towards the finish. Sure, there's some hops and biscuit flavors going on too, but they seem overwhelmed by the sweet, alcoholic malts. The aftertaste is generally bitter, but with some underlying sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and fairly viscous. Very smooth with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Tough with all that sweetness. Very strong in the ABV department, and after a bit you can really taste it in the aftertaste.

I continue to struggle to find a Green Flash beer that I truly enjoy. They all seem to clash with me a bit or otherwise miss the mark. Now that they're moving in just down the street from me, I'm hoping I'll be able to find one that suits my fancy.

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Photo of hardy008
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear light amber with a 3 finger bright white head with good retention and lacing. Has the aroma of grapefruit, tangerines, citrus zest, and biscuit malt. The aroma is not real strong.

Has grapefruit, tangerines, citrus zest, caramel malt, and biscuit malt in the flavor profile. Is sweeter than I expected, but also has a good deal of bitterness. Much like the aroma, the taste is also not real strong.

Medium bodied with average carbonation, and not much aftertaste. A decent DIPA, but there are plenty which are better. Worth trying though, and may need to try again sometime.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.39/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours golden brown with a huge oily off white head. The head settles and bubbles like a pancake batter just before you need to turn it over. The head maintains oily and had nice stick through the entire drink.

S - Big hop aroma - citrus, dank, soapy, fruity, resinous weed.

T - Big wet and oily hop blast. This is almost too much of a HOP bomb and not as drinkable as I would prefer. Maybe some of the intricacies are lost on me, but I don't find this to be the most balanced DIPA....It is so dominated by the hops that it doesn't stand a chance to be drinkable.

O - This is the first brew from Greenflash that has disappointed me. I will put this on the "do not try again list".

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Photo of Beaver13
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear golden amber with a big frothy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is strong piney and peppery hops with a little charcoal and doughy malts underneath.

The flavor is kind of a mish-mash. There's some sweet bready malts, a little fruitiness (melon) and a good amount of hops (piney, peppery and floral). It ends with some harsh bitterness and a little sweetness and a weird aftertaste. The flavor profile is just not very smooth and the flavors don't blend well. The mouthfeel is medium with some harsh carbonation.

Overall, this was a bit of a let down. I like their IPA, so I was looking forward to this, but it was not as good.

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Photo of BeTheBall
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Nice lively head, almost three fingers with a classic golden amber color that you would expect from an IPA.

Smelled of hops; grassy and pine, but not as strong as I expected from an Imperial.

Taste frankly was disappointing. I was hoping for a hop bomb, but bitterness was almost totally missing. That being said, there was a nice piney flavor, just weaker than even some IPA's I like. Aftertaste was also weak, bland to me.

Mouthfeel was good, nice carbonation all the way down.

As far as drinkability, when I open an Imperial IPA, I want to experience massive hops and bitterness, and got very little of this. I suppose this would make it even more drinkable for some, but for the style, it's not what I was looking for or hoping for.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Nice golden color with decent, dense white head that faded to a soapy layer.

S - Hops: Grapefruit, fresh cut wet grass; pine, and barnyard wet straw. Maybe a touch of Earthiness.

T - Hoptacular. Assaults the tongue; hops, followed by more hops, and then to finish it off, some more bittering hops accented by some other sort of hop. Some malt on the back end and finishes with dry hops. There's a hop fight going on in my mouth and I'm calling the cops. The Hop Cops -- beaten to a hop pulp -- are sprinkled with fresh, wet hops. Other than all that, it's quite balanced.

M - Too numb to detect anything.

D - Have you lost your mind? 100+ IBU. 9% ABV. This ale is out of control. Recommended.

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Green Flash Imperial India Pale Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,627 ratings.
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