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

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1,001 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: 1,001 | Ratings: 2,621
Photo of DavidS333
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imperial by Green Flash Brewing Co. is an American Double/Imperial variety of brew. The smell is nice and floral/rich/refreshing. The head is minimal but somewhat persistent/thick. The color is a nice thick looking dark gold amber. The body is about half way between medium and thick on a scale of light/medium/thick.

The taste of this beer is unique and sort of a connoisseurs American Double/Imperial if I may say so. Its lacking in the sort of fruity/melony side of the mouth taste that some American Double's/Imperials throw in there for a sweeter taste. Instead the sweetness of this beer sits at a sort of cliff face of hops, like a sort of campsite of subtle sweetness in the shadow of a great wall of hops.

This beer's initial taste has that sort of piney-ness inherent to the beer as described by the brewers. It also has a sort of "wild-hops" flavor to it. Its an interesting sort of wild-hops flavor though. It seems as though it might either be the sort of "Dirtwolf" wild hops, or instead something like a wild-hops flavor that is sort of the byproduct(surely carefully planned) of the other hops flavors sort of "crossing", either way its very good and is sort of a masterpiece of different hops flavors intersections if it is not the by-product of simply using gamier hops per se.

Either way the wild hops flavor sort of goes strait into the cliff face of piney hops that really sort of plant their flag on this beer's taste if one will. The sort of strength of the hops for taste, descends into a sort of rich beery mid taste, that's not really bready, but is instead sort of refreshingly crisp. This sort of trough of rich taste sort of arches back up into the sort of back-end hops after taste that is equally hoppy and is sort of a pinier version of "Palate Wrecker's" tasty after taste if one will. The after taste is sort of "steely" too(might just be a slightly diminished lingering piny-ness).

Overall I would say that this is a great beer. I feel like I understand now why the beer was simply named "Imperial" because its almost like when a very talented brewer makes an excellent sort of "specimen"/example beer, they can just use the variety they are mastering as a title, sort of like how some modern art paintings have simple names like "Blue", etc. Either way, really a masterful beer.

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Photo of milwaukee512
4.99/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another world-class brew from Green Flash. One of those few breweries where it can be assumed before trying that the quality will be almost unmatched. Imperial IPA does not disappoint. Probably the dankiest smelling beer I've ever tried, but flavor is well-balanced; strong, fresh hops with a perfect level of carbonation and drinkability for a double/imperial IPA. This is up there with the best DIPAs like Ballast Point's Dorado, New Glarus' Scream, or 3 Floyds Dreadnaught. It's that good.

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Photo of GarrettB
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm quickly learning that Green Flash is established, or is establishing, itself as one of the pioneers of the San Diego hoppiness movement. Without any historical credentials, or even an ounce of research, I've deduced that their definitely a hop forward brewer, but in a style different from Stone. Stone feels...stickier, more syrupy, but better blended with the other ingredients. Green Flash wants you to feel like you're rubbing a hop cone against your gums a little bit, and I get it. Some people deeply appreciate intense IBUs, but that's not me. Beers like Green Flash'd Double IPA identify Green Flash as a kind of predator, out to take my money and kick me in the groin with hops. But I try it anyway. And the aroma starts with an appealing grain medley: biscuits, crackers and rye, with a touch of salt. I can get into this. And they extend into the flavor, mingling with an intense hoppy bitterness, but still in evidence. In fact, all the elements seem to combine to produce a deep umami flavor, with touches of parmesan and miso - good stuff, in my book. And so my initial prejudices are assuaged, and I happily down the rest of the beer, more eager to try Green Flash than before.

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Photo of Pahn
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Month old bottle into a red wine glass.

Appearance: Light orange with frothy white head. Good retention, very little lacing.

Smell: Dank, boozy. Inviting but nothing special.

Taste: starts out boozy sweet with heavy IBU taming the sweetness, then thick layers of dank, earthy, weedy, pungent, oniony Summit hops and piny/ slightly citrusy / slightly marijuana-y Nugget hops.

With time a lot of boozy esters come out, heavily complimenting the pungent, almost savory hops. This is a serious beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Unimpressive; bitter and carbonated enough, but neither dry nor juicy nor any other IPA enhancing adjective for feel. Straightforward, like the brash flavor. I don't dislike it at all and it's appropriate for the flavor, but it doesn't elevate the beer.

Overall: truth be told I love this beer. Just a ton of boozy flavor surrounded by really dirty, garlicky Summit hop flavor. Once you get a taste for this kind of beer, a big shameless example of it like Green Flash IIPA is something you keep going back to, and loving.

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Photo of MacPhergus
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours with a shout head, light amber, clear. Mild aroma, mostly pine. Flavor balanced for a DIPA, slight sticky bitterness, lingering sweetness but the bitterness doesn't give up. No alcohol bite in the body.

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Photo of jonwiseman
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is outstanding. It's strong and that's good and bad. Wish I could drink a few of these. Tastes of copper and citrus with a hint of malt. Much like their single ipa only better. Great beer in all respects.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden color with a decent foam head that retains well and leaves pockets of lace.
Typical IPA aroma consisting of citrus pith, pine resin, spices and herbs. There are also strong hints of caramel malt and some alcohol.
The taste and feel are dynamic. Plump, juicy and sweet at first, which is highlighted by the caramel malts. The mouthfeel is medium to full and chewy during this phase. Then, the hops take over. They dry up the palate and provide a semi intense citrus and pine resin. In the third phase, the fruity and malt sweetness and bitterness from the hops come together providing a nice balance.
Really good DIPA I wish I saw more frequently.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: The beer pours gold under a 2” white foam cap. I have had this from the bottle brilliant and with a haze. It’s not a chill haze.
S: Fresh mown grass, grapefruit, light fruits.
T: A firm malt backbone supports rich hop flavors and masks potent levels of alcohol. Light bread and fruit precede a big grapefruit rind bitterness mellowed by citrus flavors.
F: Creamy medium body and medium high carbonation.
O: Although everyting is big in this beer, it’s smooth with nothing harsh or out of balanced.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one at the local grocer the other day. No bottled on date on this bomber. Poured right from the fridge into a pint glass.

L: Pours a nice orange blossom honey/amber color with a half-inch of off-white head that drops to a film but doesn't leave any clearing on the surface. A little hazy with minimal effervescence. Some decent lacing on the glass as it goes down.

S: Apricot in the nose, along with some malt sweetness and a hint of pine/herbal hops. Not a very big bouquet, but it's quite pleasant.

T: Caramel malt at the start, with an onrush of big pine and herbal hops following closely after. The middle has more of that piney, earthy and herbal hop flavor, mingling with some clear alcohol and sweeter malts. The back end is very hoppy and bitter, with that warming alcohol riding it out almost to the end. While really delivering the hops, this beer still manages to stay pretty balanced. I would have cut down some of that clear alcohol flavor, but I suppose that reminds you of the big ABV.

F: Medium-bodied, well-carbonated, and bright on the palate. This one goes down relatively easy for such a high ABV. No lingering syrupy quality, though the bitter of the hops sticks around for quite a while.

O: I really enjoy this DIPA, as I've enjoyed several other offerings from Green Flash. It hits all the right notes--it's very solid for this stye--even if it doesn't completely alter my reality. If you're looking for a very drinkable, sweeter DIPA with a big ABV and plenty of lively hops, this one will suit you nicely.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours into the glass with a nice head. Hops are definitely there but not overwhelming. Tasty. Excellent example of a US Imperial IPA.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

In my tulip at cellar temperature.

Its color is an amber-orange of great clarity capped with a small amount of white foam. It looks like something I would like to imbibe. Yes.

Smells even MORE like something I'm inclined to imbibe. A heavy dose of pine, potently spicy hops that make me blush a little just from a whiff, orange zest, pineapple, and honey all combine for a real knock-out of an aroma.

The flavor is sublime, divine, and balanced fine, possessing ample citrus fruits, copious quantities of sprightly pine bitterness and astringency, and a sweet little kiss of honey that complements the whole thing.

I really like the feel going on here. Full, but at the same time seamless in some way...

Just as the big old "imperial" on the label suggests, this is not a subtle beer. It casts a maelstrom of roaring magic hoppiness that few can endure, and even fewer can enjoy. But those of us who are acclimated to such hops hurricanes (you know who you are) will find that there's nowhere they'd rather be than in the middle of a glass.

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Photo of hophugger
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light, clear gold. Head is ample and fluffy. Lacing is spotty but nice. Aroma is a snoutfull of piney hops, pineapple and other assorted citrus, wow !!!!!!. Taste is bitingly bitter from the hops and some of the pineapple and citrus is lost because of this. Alcohol can be felt(ABV 9.0%) but is not too much to turn you away from this hop bomb. Mouthfeel is decent, but slightly biting, obviously from the insane amount of hops and the ABV. Hopheads should like this one just fine. Aftertaste is decent and little more of the citrus releases at the very end..

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Photo of arvidkoval
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- Orange body.

S- Malty sweet, piney, guava, pineapple, very inviting.

T- Bit of sweet malts under the pineapple and grapefruit, with a bitter bite.

F- Good feel for the style.

O- Green Flash delivers again.

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Photo of travolta
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: What a beautiful thing to look at! Spotted lacing and amazing head retention. A huge, rocky, dense head with perfect retention. Crystal clear golden amber.

Nose: Papaya, mango, some lime and citrus,

Taste: Pine and tropical fruits, some orange flesh, and a little rind at the end. there is a tiny bot of alcohol hotness at the very end.

Notes: An Imperial that lives up to the name.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz 'tall boy' bomber into a tulip glass. 9.0 abv.

A- Poured a clean, polished looking copper-amber color. The fluffy,2f, linen-white colored head tapered to a heavy ring. Spot and ring lacing.

S-As advertised. Lots of woodsy pine, evergreen, and sweet pineapple.

T- Piney and tropical hops over sweet malts. There's a note of citrus, orange.

M- Resinous, chewy. Lots of body. A bit sticky sweet, 9.0 sugars have to go somewhere.
Enough hop bite on the finish to hold back the boozy sweets.

O- It's a big beer, maybe a little too big (sic). Lots of flavor, abv, sugar.

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Photo of bassboneman
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- hazy, strawbeery (ha!) blonde appearance
S- certainly pine notes
T - sweeter than I expected - very hoppy with earthy pine essence coming through. Finish is a bit "soapy" bitter like Heineken :o(
F - moderate carbonation that helps distribute the sweet soapy taste...
I am slightly disappointed with this brew. I typically love Green Flash brews - like the hop head red and the West Coast IPA.
Perhaps this was just a bad bottle - 22oz'er...


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Photo of tomschepker
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour out of 22 oz bottle. 9.0 by volume not 9.4 and different label than depicted at time of review. Light golden colored IPA, minimal white head. Very piney on the tongue, almost to a fault.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

(Note: The bottle I have says 9.0% ABV versus 9.4%, perhaps indicative of a recipe tweak)

A - A hazy golden/amber with a one-finger snow white head of mixed size bubbles. Decent lacing.

S - Strong aroma of dank hops, pine, and tropical fruit. Some malt odor comes through as well, hopefully setting the stage for something good in the first sip. Smells like a good west coast imperial IPA should.

T - Core is definitely West coast IPA flavor: mango, and grapefruit. A good bit of resinous pine. Fantastic sweet maui onion and garlic in the mid-palate. Biscuity malt provides a nice base and a hint of sweetness. The malt/hop balance is there and the complex hop bill is there. Flavors aren't "blended" or "balanced" yet, still work together. Delicious.

M - Medium bodied with subdued carbonation and a dry finish. Somewhat slick and oily. That description doesn't encompass the drinkability here...it all comes together nearly perfectly so much so that I had to force myself to sip instead of gulp.

O - Outstanding and just well put together on all levels. The vegetal onion/garlic notes really set this one apart from some of it's competition and border on divine to this taster. Why am I not drinking more Green Flash brews? A "quick rebuy", meaning I'll probably run out and get another bottle as soon as possible.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle is marked best by 5/3/15

A: poured into a tulip to a clear golden orange with a three finger dense and rocky off white head that is slow to fade and leaves decent lacing
S: smells of juicy citrus and tropical fruits with a little sweetness. so oily and resinous it's amazing
T: taste is oily and resinous hop goodness with notes of tropical fruits, peppery spice, earthyness, citrus, mango and a little alcohol. swallow is more oily hops and citrus. slightly biscuity at times but the hops really shine on this beer
M: lighter side of medium in the mouth with slightly prickly carbonation and an oily refreshing finish
O: A fantastic Imperial IPA. Hops are in your face from the nose all through the taste with a slight reprieve at times from the malt. Great flavors and good complexity although not exactly 'balanced'. If hops are your thing buy this beer.

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Photo of Hardtailbrewer
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tried at local piZza joint before ordering and was very impressed by the hoppiness appearance and overall flavor. Not overwhelmed at all by the alcohol content, which is truly amazing in my book

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Found a bomber of this for just $5.99 at a local Giant Eagle. Good deal!

A - Slightly oily in appearance it has a nice 1/2 inch plush sticky white head atop of a light amber brown colored beer. Fed by carbonation bubbles this beer looks great!
S - Not intensely hoppy in the nose mostly citrus and mango like hops really digging it. Not sure the hate I got no ethanol smells and a good biscuit like malt body.
T - Classic West Coast like hops but dialed back a notch more balanced with a citrus like bitter zest. Body is balanced with cracker like malts and some sugars.
M - Best part of this beer drinks like a regular IPA but DAYMN clocks in at 9% plus!

Overall I was scared to try this since I HATE their west coast IPA but enjoy their Palate Wrecker. To me its somewhere in between but very balanced and drinkable. LOVE the not so lingering hop bitterness. Well worth the price!

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Photo of beergoot
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Solid gold hued body with a very rich, sticky, creamy, white head. Fine hop aroma; citrus and pine. Excellent flavor combination of warm, bread-like malt grains with a bold yet tempered hop bitterness; caramel and biscuit. Medium bodied; smooth mouthfeel; faintly juicy.

A well-done, above-board IIPA with an overall zesty hop character and mildly sweet malt grain profile. Balanced and complex throughout and does justice to the American hop-bomb styling of an India pale ale. It may not be the biggest, most brutish example of huge hop presence in a beer, but it certainly stands head and shoulders above most of the competition.

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Photo of blinky1717
4/5  rDev -1.5%

First few sips (gulps?) were amazing. A strong 4.75 out of 5. Nice and hop forward the way I prefer it. Half way through the bomber and while eating some heavily spiced chicken, I started pulling the garlic/onion that others were discussing. Didn't get it at all when I drank it fresh from the office. But with the meal, it came through.

Will give it another try based on the initial impression. Could go up in rank but we'll see.

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Photo of BigRedDog
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber poured into a nonic pint glass.

Pours a deep, hazy gold/amber color. Good sized head that lingers. Good lacing.

Smells slightly of pine resin and citrus. Not a whole lot of other smells.

Taste is fairly hop forward. Very resinous hops like I've come to expect with Imperial IPAs. Some citrus, but not as noticeable. Defiite piney, resin flavor.

Fairly sticky on the palate. I attribute that to the resiny hops. Other than that, still fairly smooth and very drinkable.

Very good beer.

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Photo of Cobrito
4.89/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

No date on bomber. None of the new GF beers to arrive in Atlanta seem to have any dating indicated. Very annoying.

Appearance--whatever, nothing to twitter about.

The aroma, taste, and mouthfeel are fantastic. A balanced yet kick-ass DIPA with unwieldy hops in it tamed by the master brewers at GF. Great combination of vegetal Summit with resiny-fruity Nugget.

Why this does not get as much praise as the somewhat similar Sucks is beyond me. This is better, with the disparate elements coming together more harmoniously.

A great DIPA. Gotta try it.

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Green Flash Imperial India Pale Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,621 ratings.
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