Imperial Rye (Pilot Series)
Alaskan Brewing Co.

Imperial Rye (Pilot Series)Imperial Rye (Pilot Series)
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Rye Beer
3.91 | pDev: 8.7%
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Imperial Rye (Pilot Series)Imperial Rye (Pilot Series)
Notes: Our Imperial Rye IPA has a big fruity hop aroma with the drying clean taste of Rye that provides some spiciness especially in the finish. The dry hopping of Mosaic, Amarillo and Calypso provides notes of pine, tangerine and pears. This is a big beer with a strong bittering element of three hop varieties in the boil to bring focus to the flavor. It is a crisp and refreshing beer and the Rye flavor is a unique twist on a double IPA.

70 IBU
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 80
Photo of GarrettB
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

August 20th, 2015 - There's a lot of Alaskan beers around, but I hardly ever see some bottles outside of Alaska itself. Like this, the Imperial Rye. Served in my traveler's plastic cup, it has a smooth, soft foam and a nice auburn body, and smells of rye, with plenty of cinnamon, brown sugar and even cedar and nori (flattened, dry seaweed.) The flavor leans more to a woodier note, emphasizing the cedar wood found in the nose. And the alcohol burn comes in the mid-taste. When it gives way, the aftertaste gives some molasses with the persistent cedar burn. A delightful beer!

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Photo of crimsonfloyd
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Copper with pale sea foam yellow. Smells of berry jam, pie crust, and spice. Taste is similar. Sharp tastes of raspberry backed by honey and syrup. A nice black bread taste in the malts. Mouthfeel is crisp and sharp.

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Photo of stevoj
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Boise Coop. I’m surprised the ratings aren’t higher, its hitting all the marks for me. Clear, medium amber pour with nice fluffy head. Nice grainy aroma, which carries over to the taste. Rye adds the typical musty, sour, flavors, sweet and syrupy, nutty. All around exceptional beer.

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lighter amber shade with a thick half finger off white head atop that settles into a creamy mass.Sharp rye and deep fruity tones in the nose along with some pine that creeps in as it warms.Great balance on the palate with caramel,brown sugar, and mild nuttiness mixed with some light tart and spicy rye,finally ending with a good dose of pine resin in the finish.A nice complex flavor profile makes for an enjoyable drinker here.

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Photo of ZAP
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big on the caramel malt....hints of tropical fruitiness.....slight spiciness evident from the rye but the rye is pretty secondary, or thirdly...candied like caramel sweetness up front...I like it...just not a lot of hop notes to this.

Decent enough...just don't expect a hop bomb. I like it....finishes with a rummy like booziness..

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Photo of SitkaSteve
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a ruddy bronzed orange color with a slim finger's worth of white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute leaving some light messy lacing weaving it's way around the glass.
The smell starts off with a fairly sharp semi-crisp, somewhat spicy rye character punching light citrus notes and then allowing a delicate sweet caramel malt backbone.
The taste was mainly malty sweet. Rye spice becomes lacksadaisical, somewhat. Sweet sticky citrus to caramel notes peg down the aftertaste rye slides into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it with some good balance between the rye being spicy yet sweet hitting my tongue adequately.
Overall, it's good for what it is. Though nothing over the top, it's worthy to try if you see it.

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Photo of frozen-1984
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bold and spicy rye meeting the bitter hops is a great combination. I have had a couple rye beers that were over spiced with rye. Alaskan did good with this one.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz. Bomber
Best By: 08/08/15

Pours a very nice clean/clear dark golden amber color, very nice carbonation, with a nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves some small islands and sticky lacing. The nose is malty, very little hop note, and some rye. The nose is malty, very nice rye note. Medium body, with a very nice dry/bitter finish. Overall a very tasty brew, been years the last time I've had an Alaskan brew.

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Photo of hreb
3.02/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle served in pint glass. Beer pours all the way on the red side of amber, with even hints of cola brown. Nice tan head, but doesn't look like an IPA at all. Slight estery aroma -- I am definitely getting a not so great and even slightly defective smell on this one. Flavor is slightly redeeming. There's a big load of citrusy hops, and a little bit of spice. Definitely tastes like an Imperial IPA, but I don't get much in the way of rye flavor. In fact, the mouthfeel is so thick and creamy, I wonder if this is an oatmeal IPA.

As an imperial red ale, I'd say this is a solid C+. But as an Imperial IPA from the Northwest it is disappointing.

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Photo of jp32
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was wonderful. Good color, sweet and hoppy aroma, full bodied. I thought it drank more like a Belgian than an IPA. That same slick, sweet, heavy mouthfeel that never loses carbonation, the same I notice in belgian quads, triples, I noticed very nicely in this beer. A hint of spiciness from the rye. Sweet for an IPA. Nice, high quality beer.

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Photo of arizcards
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from TW Arrowhead the first of May for $8.99. Best before 8/8/15. Received at TW on 4/14/15 so presumably it was bottled in March.

Beer poured amber with a nice white head upon the initial pour.

Nose is a wonderful tropical fruitiness, definitely makes what to come appealing!

Taste has hints of rye and is a tad sweet. Tropical fruits are present but there is a strong residual pine slick left on the palate that brings the score down a notch.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall this is an enjoyable brew with some nice characteristics but I would not do again because of the price point to enjoyment ratio is expensive.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours deep copper amber with a frothy light tan head that settles to a light layer and laces well.

S: Fruity, pine, spicy, faint citrus, and big caramel malt sweetness.

T: Fruity up front, then pine, citrus, orange, spicy rye, hint of tropical fruit, and big dark caramel malt sweetness.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, rather smooth.

O: This one comes off a little too sweet and fruity, not really accentuating the rye. Not bad, but not my favorite.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber marked C 080815 at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma of rye and citrus
Head small (<2 cm, aggressive pour), off white, creamy, diminishing to 4 mm ring and I mm layer with rocky island
Lacing OK – partial curtains of tiny to medium bubbles
Body medium amber, clear
Flavor grainy, no particular rye spiciness, hop bitterness shows at the end with a moderate hang time and no particular flavor; no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, slightly oily, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 3.25, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5

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Photo of jwc215
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours red-hued amber with a thin frothy off-white head. Spotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of pine/citrus and minty rye. Some caramel in the back.

The taste is of citrus and pine - plenty of hops. A caramelized grainy balance comes through. Minty rye in the dry, bitter-ish spicy finish.

It has a smooth, somewhat chewy, body. Alcohol shows, but doesn't burn - not too hot.

This is a very nice DIPA with a pleasant rye character. Very close to a solid "4" in my opinion.

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Photo of Braz
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This just didn't have the taste or feel of something that should be using the word imperial. Perfectly enjoyable, but I like the offerings like hopthermia better.

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Photo of mactrail
3.09/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Dark amber with streaming bubbles in the Aventinus wheat beer glass with the bulb top. Lovely pile of foam. Modest aroma considering the big hop blast. Lemony nose. Fine-grained sudsy mouthfeel is quite nice.

Sweet and fruity. Rye is not so evident, though there is a dark grainy taste. It does lack the spicy taste of better Rye Beers. Orange marmalade taste. Bitter and sweet. Hard to drink.

Not one of the better DIPAs with so many excellent ones out recently. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Liticker's LIquors in San Diego.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brilliant copper amber under a lacy, 1” off white rapidly dissipating foam collar.
S: Butterscotch, grass, mint and spicy grain
T: A strong minty woodruff herbal bitterness runs all the way through this beer. Big malt flavors provide balance with a suggestion of anise, faint cola, with a tannic tea-like drying astringency on the finish. The herbal woody character of the hops becomes more prominent as the beer warms.
M: Creamy, moussey texture – almost like foam dissolving in your mouth into a liquid. Medium body to medium carbonation.
O: A very big, enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In my tulip. Cellar temperature.

A deep orange or amber color, with a couple centimeters of off-white foam that leaves some lacing.

It smells fruity, but not as bright with the citrus as other IPAs. Instead I'm getting more peach, mango, and cantaloupe. It's also quite floral, and has some honey. Very nice!

Oooooh, the citrus was hiding. How naughty! For it pops out and surprises me with tangy zestiness when I take a sip. The fruity aspect of the flavor is definitely orange-lemon-and lime-oriented. This is sweetened by the honey, and transitions to a dry, herbal finish of resinous, piney hops. Moderately dank.

Full-bodied and crisp.

A sufficiently hoppy, yet also fairly malty, imperial IPA. Good complexity as well.

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Photo of hardy008
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours amber with a one finger beige head, which has nice retention and lacing. The aroma has citrus, rye, melon, and caramel.

Has a nicely balanced flavor with sweetness up front, and bitterness at the back of the mouth. There is melon, tropical fruit, caramel, rye, citrus, pale malt. The alcohol is well hidden in this beer.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes somewhat dry. Well worth buying again.

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Photo of maximum12
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bomber with the word ‘rye’ on the label? Sold. 22 oz. split with my wife, with a best before 8/8/15 date. +1 for the date, -.83 because I have no idea when it was brewed.

The pour is that shade of golden oak you hope your cabinets are when they’re delivered from that really cheap place in Djibouti, albeit without the carbonation, which is quite active here. The nose is light on the rye, tropical, sweet. Intriguing but shy.

Alaskan Imperial Rye pulls the punch in the nose & ploughs it into the taste. Rye dawns with only a meek spiciness that turns rapidly to dank earthiness. Bitterness follows, with light orange & peaches, caramel sticky bun (toasted). Waterlogged rye dominates the finish & sticks around like a jalapeno caught in your molars. Easy enough to drink, but I’ll make due with what I have. No need to steal this one from the wife.

Pretty good, but missing that spicy rye roundhouse I love so much.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 8/8/2015. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big peach, pineapple, mango, tangerine, pear, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, toasted bread, light spicy rye, and floral/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big pineapple, peach, mango, tangerine, pear, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, toasted bread, light spicy rye, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pineapple, peach, mango, tangerine, pear, lemon/orange zest, light pine, caramel, toasted bread, light spicy rye, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance, robustness, and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Imperial IPA style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. Not as pronounced on rye as I expected, but a very enjoyable offering overall. Definitely for fans of maltier DIPAs.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Growler fill from the 16th St Albertsons for a very reasonable $12... Pours clear amber with a khaki head that sticks around for a while and leaves great lacing. Big tropical fruit bowl hoppiness.. Rye comes out a crisp dry dark toast. Bruising bitterness up front and on the finish... Mid-palate orange and melon hops play well with a background piney hop presence... The rye is light once again and only adds the same dry toasty element.... Pretty refreshing despite the ABV... Interesting non-traditional take on the DIPA style. I would buy this again no problem.

4's across the board.

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Photo of Mickeyp2814
2.93/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark amber color with beige head. The rye isn't too strong but does change the flavor profile to somewhat of a sweet taste. Good effort but nothing too impressive.

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Imperial Rye (Pilot Series) from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 80 ratings