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: 2,630
Photo of InsidiousRex
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow I was really impressed with this product. Was expecting a smack in the face no apologies enamel pealing hop acid bath as many west coast double IPA’s are these days. But instead got something with more than one dimension with true subtlies in flavor and body. Just enough malt to give a subtle sweetness to it although not necessary “balanced” in the truest sense. And the hop taste is pleasant and the bitterness isn’t off the scale.

This is kind of a Pliney the Elder meets Hop Wallop. The taste is very earthy, nutty with mild citrus and clover notes. Some pine and just a touch of peppery spiciness but overall incredibly drinkable and pleasant from first taste to contemplative after taste.

I was pleased with the Green Flash IPA so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised I enjoyed this product so much. I guess it’s the first time in a while Ive had an extreme beer that’s surprised me some and that’s a good thing. You can only get knocked off your bar stool so many times before they all start tasting basically the same… Very well done.

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Photo of Phatz
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is not my favorite product out of Green Flash. Bitter yes. But there is a point where bitter becomes overpowering. Many breweries have one that goes over the top. Near me Victories is Hop Wallop. Green Flash, maybe be this one, their 'Imperial India Pale Ale' takes that rank. To me a Double IPA is not only supposed to load up on the hops but give it some balancing sweetness as well. This is a bitter beer. Hop heads rejoice, but it didn't quite do it for me.

Appearance: Pours a translucent but not transparent pale golden orange color with a quick fade off white head.

Smell: The hop bitterness did not smell fresh at all! It smelled stale and earthy and quite bitter pine solvent aroma.

Taste: It starts off very hard to drink. As it warms and I adjust to it, 2/3rds of the way through my bomber, I started to actually enjoy the beer. But it took me a long time to warm up to the abrasive chemical like bitter and alcohol. It was a smelly feet, body odor like aftertaste. Not all bad but it made me think of onion bagels and arm pits. After I got that out of my head I tried to focus on the pine attribute. Where is the malt backbone??? seems to be quite minuscule in proportion. The bitterness sin the aftertaste goes beyond pleasant for me. It became a bit bothersome. It was definitely better with some cedar cheese.

Mouthfeel: The beer flavor is over the top but the mouthfeel is pleasant. Medium body with decent carbonation and other than the big bitter pucker it is nice on the palate.

Drinkability: The bomber was a bit rough to start but after all my taste buds were burnt off I finished it off. Just give it some time. This beer is for the hopheads.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of merlin48
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle thanks to srandycarter. Pours a hazy, but radiant, peach body topped by a creamy, one finger almond head. Retention is excellent and island chain lacing drapes the pint glass.

Aroma is pink grapefruit, lemonrind, and orange with hints of pine in the background.

Mouthhfeel is creamy and medium bodied with solid carbonation.

Taste opens with citrus fruit hoppiness, followed by a restrained malt sweetness that adds a note of clover honey. The malt sweetness struggles to tame the hops bitterness but never fully succeeds. Outstanding balance with prominent Nugget hops. No hint of the 9% abv. Finishes slightly bitter with a prominent pink grapefruit aftertaste.

Outstanding DIPA that is exceedingly drinkable.

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

A "San Diego-style IPA" as it says on the label...known for being super hoppy. Just what I needed after a long day of field work, a hop-infused kick in the ass! This beer poured a nice clear copper color with a strong white head that clung to the upper rim of my tulip glass. A pungent and beautiful aroma of dank and herbal green hops with a whispering of pine forest and cannabis was the first thing I noticed. After warming, and a few swirls, I was able to conjur up a fruity, almost champagne-like aroma that came through in the effervescence. The aroma seemed to have many layers, and evolved as the beer warmed. The taste of the beer also really shows off the hops, with notes of pine resin (not unlike some of the flavors in retsina, a Greek wine made with pine resin), fresh herbs, grass. Lots of Nugget and Summit hops used here, as mentioned on the label, and the 101 IBU rating reflects this. Some cookie malt flavors were muted to the background and really only provided a base for which to showcase the hops. I thought the consistency was very good for the style. With the 9% ABV, a little strong for too many but still drinkable if you are in the mood for a hop bomb!

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Photo of Umbra
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up yesterday since I was in the mood for some hoppiness as I put together an "assembly required" piece of furniture. 22 oz'r pours a bright amber hued orange with a fluffy head. Nose full of grapefruit and pine.

The pine and grapefruit come through pretty strongly in the flavor. IBU's off the charts. If there's any malt in there, I don't really see them, which I think detracts overall from the style and beer in general. Very good in and of itself. Mouthfeel was smooth, leaving the tongue parched afterwards, requiring another drink, leaving the tongue parched...Next thing you know, its gone.

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Photo of Braudog
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz’er ... pour a nice light, bright orange, with a massive airy, rocky head. of white foam. Pure hop nuggets assault the olfactory glands on the first whiff ... wow ... quite the tease for the hophead like me. As I begin to drink it, the utter oily, resiny hoppiness starts pouring down my gullet before the first bit of liquid touches the lips. Surprisingly the beer itslef is less brutally hoppy than all that aroma suggests. Instead, it’s nice and even-keeled with a decent citrus hop flourish, but without being overwhelming. Still a lot of resiny, oily hop here, but blended into a light-to-the-lips beer. Wow. (#2758, 3/18/2007)

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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 hoppymeal
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper color and clear with a decent sized off white, light tan head that slowly chunks up and lightly laces on the glass. Citrus aroma, grapefruit, some lemon and a soft powdered sugar sweetness. Some fresh grassiness in the aroma as well. Taste follows the aroma closely with a light citrus sweetness up front that is slowly overtaken by a grassy dry and fairly bitter finish. Medium in body, a low to medium amount of carbonation. Alcohol is slightly evident in the finish but is fairly well balanced for its size. Nothing that was knocking my socks off flavor wise, but still a good beer with a decent amount of raw bitterness.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, murky faint amber in color. Sizeable head. Big piney and resiny hop aroma-very frsh smelling as well. Grapefruit flavors dominate with a nice "catty" characteristic to it. Not as sweet and malty as some DIPAs I have had. Not as much pucker to it either. Good body-quite dry in the finish. Very drinkable beer though there are some better ones out there. Between this and their West Coast IPA it all sort of gets blurred. Well worth consuming however.

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Photo of
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle.

Hazy, golden color. Medium sized, off white head. Summit & Nugget hops bring the flavor in at 101 IBUs.

Grapefruit, grass and pine. Smells like a hop bomb....No malt balance in aroma.

It is, it is a hop bomb! No confusion with an American barleywine. Grapefruit and pine. Hops supported by a cracker-like malt. A bit of a soapy aftertaste?

Medium + in body. Medium + carbonation. Dry as can be. Soap is back as a mouth-coating feeling.

I like the taste, but this one is kind of rough. Unbalanced is a bit of an understatement.

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Photo of spazaru
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I used to have some skin cells on my tongue. They were getting in the way, so thankfully Green Flash Imperial IPA removed them for me.

This is a great double IPA from Green Flash, the maker's of San Diego County's best IPA in my opinion, West Coast IPA.

Smells of intense yeast and tastes of straight hops which you would expect. Nice alcohol warming, but the mouthfeel isn't overly thick, so this goes down almost too easily, except for the skin cell removal of course.

Great job Green Flash. Stick to the stronger beers like this and your equally excellent Barleywine.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy light copper. Frothy one finger head. Ivory white. Lace comes in webby rings. Got a great nose of juicy pink grapefruit pulp, bong resin and leather. My kind of nose for an IIPA. The flavor is pretty good too. It's got that grungey, resiny, oily hop feel to it. I get a hint of garlic on the palate as well. The malts are firm. They don't stand out obviously, but they don't fucking back down either. Toffee and caramel come to mind in this malt backbone. Alcohol gives a little bit of a lingering spiciness. But for 9%, I really don't get much on the buds. Very interesting and quite good. I could drink a few of these. For 101 IBUs, the bitterness really doesn't seem over-the-top.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My glass is filled with a clear golden liquid topped off with a nice two finger head of tight, off-white bubbles. Nice rings of lacing go down the glass like height marks on a door jamb. The second pouring revealed a slightly cloudier and darker shade of gold.

Pine hops are the strongest scent here, with citrus following a few car lengths behind. Just a hint of sweet malts in the beginning.

The taste is definitely DIPA. Pine and citrus hops hit you with bitterness from start to finish. The malt isn't even noticed. This brew just goes from pine to citrus to grassy then back to a resiny pine. Delicious.

Slick, oily moutheel to this full body beer. Resiny hop oils coat the entire mouth. I can taste the dryness, but I can barely feel it...if that makes any sense. I am glad that Green Flash has finally made it to my neck of the woods. I will be grabbing this one regularly.

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Photo of asabreed
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: A slightly hazy peach and copper-colored body with a billowing head that unfortunately fades too quickly. Perhaps this is too cold, but there's still some dotty lacing hanging around on the sides.

Smell: There's some kind of rooty bitterness that I can't put my finger on here at the forefront, and I'm not sure if it's supposed to be there or not. I guess at this point I wish I could differentiate between hop varieties, but unfortunately I can't. Since the barley wine of theirs I had recently was so aromatic and infused with citrus, I was expecting the same, but alas, this isn't as aromatic as I want it to be. The high IBUs, however, seem to be showing, as maybe there's not enough malt balance coming through, giving a kind of unevenness.

Taste: With more balance this could be incredible stuff, but I feel like the IBUs are at an all-time high. Still, it's very tasty, lip-spacking, and is infused with both the grapefruit and citrus elements and also the oily pine flavors, and for that I applaud it.

Mouthfeel: Pretty sticky and full, but that only adds to the flavors and the lip-smacking nature of the brew, with also enough carbonation to not let either side take control.

Drinkability: The IBUs are high, but thankfully the alcohol burn is pretty much absent, giving more focus to the flavor. Plus, at around $5 a bottle there's enough here for hopheads to like. I'll probably stick to the barley wine, but overall this was a pretty good experience, and it can certainly last a while too, which is also a plus.

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Photo of InsolublePancake
2.6/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- Light gold with a big, fluffy white head and good lacing.

S- Big initial burst of piney hops. There are some underlying sweet fruity aromas including orange, grapefruit, and a little bit of a cotton candy smell.

T- A bit of sweet malt, then an intense bitterness. Hop flavors are rather nondescript. Not balanced in the least. The focus seems to be entirely on the bitterness and not on the flavor. Alcohol is unusually noticeable. I'd expect a little alcohol flavor from a 9% brew, but this is uncharacteristically strong. Generous bitterness on the finish.

M- Not bad, but not great either. A little thin, but not too highly carbonated. Pretty average.

D- Not very drinkable. The flavor just isn't very good, and the alcohol is not well-hidden. I'll have trouble finishing the bomber, and may not even do that.

Wow, this just wasn't good. I wasn't expecting anything spectacular, but I was at least hoping for a decent, drinkable DIPA. What I got was a complete mess. Now I don't mind bitterness, but if there's no hop flavor to go along with it, then it's pointless. I couldn't find a date on this bottle, so I'm almost wondering if it's a little past its prime or otherwise tainted. If all the bottles taste like this, then I would recommend staying away from this beer. I've had this brewery's barleywine and it's much better, so I'd suggest going with that instead.

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

Thanks to skinnyelvis for including this in my ba anniv. package. Shared with my brother after a long day of work. Review from notes--This was had last night.

A: Pours a hazy peach color with a thin white head. Slight retention with bubbles making their way to the top. Thick lacing down the glass.
S: Pine sap hops coupled with those always noticeable grapefruit flavors. Malty background tries to keep the hops a bit subdued, but their no match. Floral hop presence with a spicyness to them also.
T/M: Hops right from the get go. Grapefruit, citrus fruit, pears laced with a sharp and hot spicyness. Prickly pine needles oozing with sap and tar stick to the tongue. Resiny, oily, and juicy leave the mouth dry. Thicker body and at 9% it's quite drinkable. Quite bitter finish leading to a spicy grassy hop finish.
D: A very wonderful beer to indulge in. High abv is masked by the grapefruit and other hop flavors, although it comes through slightly in the spicyness. Very smooth. Almost bordering on a barleywine in my opinion. Nice one from Green Flash.

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Photo of orsulacp
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The body was very clear, light copper color with a small sticky off white head. Very nice citrus nose, mostly orange rind with a slight piney smell. The taste starts off very bitter, in a good way, then a citrus fruity sweetness hits and a small bit of biscuity malt. It finshes pretty clean with slight lingering piney bitterness. The texture was creamy and smooth, very drinkable. A very good DIPA.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a thick gold with great carbonation, I just love the look of these big DIPA's in a glass the brew looks very thick and rich. The head is a big 2 fingers, White and leaves lots of lace.

The smell is big and deep piney citrus woodsy.

The taste follows, Lots of hops right up in your face. At first it over powers the malt but as it warms the malt makes it's play, Bringing back some balance.

The mouthfeel is good. Good body, nice carbonation.

The drinkability is good, for the price a great deal and I just might get more. Prosit MK

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

A: I was not expecting this color when I imagined what it would look like. It is an orangey-goldish color with a small head with what appears to be good carbonation. This is not what I might normally expect in an Imperial IPA but I love the appearance. Lots of good lacing on the glass.

S: A nice hoppy smell right up front, resiny and piney - I love it! If there are malty smells associated with it I can't detect them.

T: Wow that packs a punch - I like! The malt still seems to be hidden if there at all which is fine with me. A very decent tasting beer. Definitely a hop heads delight.

M: Has a chewy sticky mouthfeel with a strong bittering taste. The alcohol comes through strong.

D: This is a very good beer. I just feel like something is missing - certainly not the malt - I like it the way it is but it just needs a little tweaking. Overall a classic representation of the style. If you are a hop head you should enjoy this one. But I can see why it is not for everyone. I will definitely try this again at the next opportunity.

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Photo of vurt
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased at Red Carpet Wine in Glendale, CA on Valentine's Day-- bitter hops for a bitter holiday!

A: Green Flash Imperial IPA is yellow-gold in color, and almost perfectly clear. It is topped by a finger of fluffy white foam which lasts and lasts.

S: Immense, resiny hop aroma. White grapefruit pith, pine sap, warm grass, and something feline. This is what you would smell if you found yourself trapped in an elevator with the God of Hops and His cat.

T: Sure, there's some malty sweetness at the very beginning, when the beer first hits your tongue. But it is so quickly and thoroughly obliterated by hop flavors that the malt is more like a subliminal impression. Astonishingly bitter right from the start, with a truly impressive hop bite. There's some good apple fritter sweetness in the swallow, right before the hops boomerang on you. Bitterness lasts an insanely long time.

M: Full and round, thinned out by the astringent effect of all those hops. Some alcohol numbness sets in by the end of the bottle.

D: If you love hops, you can pick this up without hesitation. If you love balance, look elsewhere. I find this beer to be bracing, warming, and absolutely obnoxious. And in an imperial IPA, that's a virtue.

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Photo of IgnatiusReilly
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this 22oz. bottle up at Red, White, and Brew in Mt. Holly, NJ. Store owner highly recommended it – from one hophead to another.

A: Pours a hazy amber, gold. Decent head retention – about half an inch.
S: Ripe, biting hops dominate. Lots of pine scents. Some spiciness, too.
T: All hops as soon as it hits. Summit and nugget hops throughout (according to the label.) Slight citrus taste, hint of malt sweetness through the middle, but the aftertaste finishes with a dry, hopped bitterness and refreshing alcohol bite.
M: Full, chewy texture coats the mouth. Lots of malt sugars there.
D: Surprisingly drinkable for 100+ IBU and 9% ABV.

Paired this with a filet of salmon with a spicy jerk sauce. Excellent – the sauce helped balance the high IBU and allowed some of the sweeter tones of the beer to come through.

All in all, a solid imperial IPA. I’ll pick up another bottle soon.

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pizza Port in Port Carlsbad. Good hop juice, piney. Drinkable though over 100 IBU. Orangey colour with white head. Citrus taste. Satisfying though assaulting as it is. Summit and nugget hops. A change of pace, but their IPA and most IPA are more my speed. Had a bottle 15 months later and it was certainly as good, and mellowed as aged a year.
A year and a half later, in bottle. Good, orange, average DIPA. And on tap 1.5 years later, even better. Lots of lace.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into my pint glass.
Pours a golden color with only the slightest of head that quickly recedes and is gone.
Smell. The smell is sticky-icky. You know when you get done cutting the grass and you turn the mower over to clean out the clumps. Yeah, that in a glass.
The taste is pretty much the same as the smell but with the obvious hop bitterness. Now I'm more of a fan of the simcoe hop. The juicier, more citrusy hop.
But for what it's worth, this beer was easily drinkable. It went down smooth. The mouthfeel was well balanced between the hops and what malt there was.
The alcohol does come through quite apparent. It's not hiding no where. It's as up front as the hops are.
Which is about the only thing that keeps this beer from being highly sessionable. A good offering. I would have again.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Extraordinarily clear yellow/orange/gold body, topped by three fingers of rocky off-white foam. Dense lacing.

Big, powerful aroma of citrus and pine asserts itself even with the glass and bottle sitting passively on the desk.

Opening sip is sweet malty, but the malt more slips by then lays a foundation. Its a sand castle that's wipe out before its even shaped. Hops come roaring in, juicy yes, but also highly aggressive, sandblasting the mouth and tongue and roaring through like a bullet train. After adjusting to the force of the hops, there's an enjoyable orange streak running through the beer to the finish. Big hop snap at the swallow, and a lingering tingle in the center of the tongue, along with a caustic aftershock through the rest of the mouth.

Mouthfeel is a little sloppy, but ok overall. Good drinkability.

Could use a firmer malt foundation, but if you're looking for some aggressive hops, they are here. Not sure that Green Flash really needs an Imperial IPA, considering their wonderful West Coast IPA, but it's certainly worth trying.

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Photo of cbl2
2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2/2/2007 $5.25 22 oz. 9.00% No best by date.


Pours a weak, hazy orange that is topped by a half inch of tight white head that slowly settles.


Fresh (too fresh) nose blistering hops (a combo of Summit and Nugget varieties) masks a backround of muted citrus. Herbal notes are too intense, and approaching mulch pile in fragrance.


Harsh metallic/medicinal notes kick off this taste-bud obliterator. The 101 IBU's are more than apparent (coupled with a pine sensation) as my palate puckers in defense of this affront to my senses. I love DIPA's when they are done well, but this one is not. Too one sided, with very little balance (a note of sweetness appears towards the end, I think. My mouth was a little too busy recuperating to notice).

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Green Flash Imperial India Pale Ale from Green Flash Brewing Co.
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,630 ratings.
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