Four Winds Brewing Co.

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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #678
Ranked #4,833
4.24 | pDev: 5.66%
Four Winds Brewing Co.
British Columbia, Canada
Notes: Vexillum, an ancient Imperial Roman symbol for strength and nobility. This insistently hoppy IPA reveals notes of Grapefruit and Melon while finishing bitter, yet affably balanced.

100 IBUs
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 42 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of TooManyGlasses
TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber... split 2 ways. Deep golden pour with just a touch of haze, but definitely not hazy. Nice 1 finger white head. Aroma is so good - sweet citrus, melon, mango, and in the back that hint of musk and sweat. Taste starts sweet and fruity - caramel malt - melon, tangerine, grapefruit, then to the back of the palate a bitterness that is appropriate - not the 100 IBU as noted, but pleasant - it does amp up as the beer warms and lingers on a smooth well balanced finish. Really good - the aroma kills.

Apr 15, 2019
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

3.81/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

650ml bomber poured into tulip 7/6/16, cheers Derek for just tossing the bottle my way

A hazy orange liquid with lots of bubbles moving slowly towards a long lasting finger of foam that leaves lots of random lace deep down the glass

S sweet orange, tangerine, papaya and mango, brown sugar, and hard toffee, faint booze, citrus rind and a hint of oddly placed licorice and Swedish berry candy

T mimics the nose fairy well, sweet tropical notes with lots of brown sugar and a hint of fennel that again seems out of place, some pine comes out and the booze is there but mellow

M some weight and the bubbles fluff it up, bitter as can be, sticky on the lips, some heat going down and a brown sugar pine finish

O I knew this bottle had a few months on it when I cracked it but the malts starting to come out in a big way but its still drinking well

Derek placed licorice in my head before I got to this one but when found it was hard to shake and I'm fairly sure its not just in my head. I liked this one but I might re-review a fresh bottle when I get the chance and just may very well throw one under the stairs for a year just for shits and giggles.

Jun 08, 2016
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MaltyPythonsHopCircus from Canada (BC)

4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dank and grapefruity hops that seem to have faded with time in the fridge. Strong hop bite up front that isn't off putting. Malt is quite bready and not too sweet. There's a nice alcohol warming that's not overpowering., Overall the beer is quite sessionable for a DIPA

May 10, 2016
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LampertLand from Canada (BC)

4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Four Winds Brewing 'Vexillum Imperial IPA' @ 9.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $8.75
A-pour is a light pale gold from the bottle to a clear gold in the glass with a small white head leaving a fine spotty lace along the pint
S-grapefruit & citrus
T-tasty , mostly grapefruit & citrus
MF-ok carbonation , big full body
Ov-nice good beer , another winner from Four Winds
prost LampertLand

Feb 29, 2016
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StJamesGate from New York

3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Bitter, Vancouver.
Hazy brass with lumpy white head that sheets. 4
Fresh-squeezed OJ! 4
Touch of pastry, then peach sorbet, grapefruit verging on cat, herbal green, and lemon ice hops. 4
Resiny little end and slightly scratchy mint linger.
Lt-med, some oil, slight heat. 4

West Coast lean DIPA - butterfly, bee, and all that. No heat, but hops don’t follow through, though it gets quite floral as it opens. Just kinda… good. Not Hop Priority, never mind Hop Stoopid. 3.75

Feb 04, 2016
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Derek from Canada (BC)

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2016 - bitterness isn't as harsh, so I'd say the flavour is even better.

Original review:

The aroma is lighter than some and the bitterness is just a bit too assertive, but otherwise it's very good. Nice head, not a lot of retention but it leaves an amazing lace. When it's really fresh, the profile is somewhere between Pliny and heady topper. Unfortunately it really needs to be fresh, as it goes downhill quickly (even in the fridge), what is that liquorice taste that comes forward?

Jan 17, 2016
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hotmailmsn from Canada (BC)

4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

9% abv, 100 ibu, 650ml bottle.
A - light orange cloudy with one finger head, lacing.
S - big herb, grassy, floral, grapefruit peel, pineapple, lychee, tangerine; caramel, vanilla, toffee, malt sweetness. it smells like orange jelly, thats how sweet it smells.
T - welly carbonated. medium body, sweetly smooth, medium malt backbone, finished with lingering bitterness, not as big as 100 ibu tho. tartness kick. more bitter as it gets warmer.
O - it's a delicious beer, fruity, malty, hoppy, balanced, but seems lighter than I expected from an imperial ipa, especially stated as 100 ibu. taste similar with stone cali-belgique, just much sweeter n bitter. worth to try but not worth to hunt. grab it when u see it on shelf.

Jan 11, 2016
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Ghrymm from Canada (BC)

4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 650ml bottle. 9% ABV, 100 IBU
A: Pours a Golden Amber very thin head and minor lacing no carb bubbles at all.
S: Tropical fruits and citrus nose,very nice.
T: Nice bitter hop taste not as much as i expected for 100 IBU maybe some mango there.
F: Nice the malt is not strong and its what i want ,hops. Not much carbonation though.
O: I like this one Four Winds is into there IPA's but i still strive for the Sculpin Breaking Bad
citrus hit or of course Pliny.

Dec 23, 2015
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buschbeer from Ohio

4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle
Served in an oversized wine glass

It is a deep shade of amber with some haze. It is topped with a couple inches of beige head that leaves some decent lacing.

The smell is loaded with tropical fruit. I get a little bit of sweet malt, almost a candy corn aroma.

The taste is fruity with hints of pine. Delicious.

Medium with lower than expected carbonation.

This is a tasty beverage. The tropical fruit really hits my wheelhouse. This is a fantastic beer and makes me want to return to BC.

Apr 13, 2015
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Rutager from Canada (BC)

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So much grapefruit on the nose with some great sweet pale malts still coming through, pineapple and other tropical fruits too.

Taste is pretty sweet, malty base with some resinous, citrusy hops, and some light woody licorice root. Leafy bitter lingering finish.

Very imperial in feel. Full body, med-low almost creamy carbonation.

Feb 28, 2015
Photo of smekermann
smekermann from Canada (BC)

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy pale gold colour with a decent off-white head. Looks pretty dang nice for an unfiltered double IPA.

Smell is kinda thin, slightly juicy/watermelon-y with just a whiff of something metallic lurking in the background.

Taste is better, the watermelon comes through a lot more, along with some nice juicy fruitiness that I would normally associate with Brett yeast (though I don't know if it has Brett, there's no mention of it on the label). It's still a bit anemic, though.

What doesn't feel anemic is the beta acid bitterness that accompanies the aftertaste. It's just a bit too heavy-handed to make this beer enjoyable to drink. I guess that's where the grapefruit comparisons on the label come from, but honestly, we're in the Year of Our Lord 2015. Hugely bitter dIPAs are so ten years ago, especially when the hop profile is too subtle and maybe even disparate from the aftertaste to properly balance the beer out.

I dunno, overall this is a decent first attempt at a double IPA from Four Winds. I'm gonna cut them a bit of slack for that, although they have been known to make the occasional great IPA (Juxtapose). I just hope that they'll be able to dial some stuff in a bit more for their next batch - cut down on the beta acids and hopefully give it a slightly bolder hop profile, maybe do some additional dry-hopping or something.

If you like (or tolerate) old-school dIPAs that are bitter as heck, I'd recommend you give this a shot. It's not a bad beer by any means. It just does nothing to differentiate itself from the glut of similar dIPAs out there (despite it being in the upper echelon of that category), and I've come to expect better of Four Winds.

Feb 28, 2015
Vexillum from Four Winds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 42 ratings